Once getting my offers to medical school. I was really excited, then came the interview.
That moment when you're so close yet so far. I had received all four medical school interview offers. But I had unfortunately failed 2 of my medical school interviews already. That is when I started wondering, what I was doing wrong during the first round of interviews, which were MMI (Multiple Mini Interview). The latter 2 were panel interviews.
Imaging having to interact for 15-20 minutes with someone who has your whole future in their hands. They are literally at the stage you want to reach one day so bad. How do you not panic or say something silly. You start wondering if it is true that the interviewers are out to get you, Whether you will get stereotyped, are you Smart enough, etc...
What do you say, which may makes you seem like you're the right candidate. These are some of the questions that went through my head, whilst I was preparing for my interview.
On the day of my panel interview, there were two interviewers, they first asked me to relax and that they just wanted to know more about me and what I wrote on my personal statement. They were so nice and nothing what I was expecting.
"At this stage, the interviewers are phrasing the question nicely, but they are not really asking you about yourself. It is a way of asking you, why they should choose you. So you need to answer that question strategically. This is something MedScore can help you with it."
So here are the myths you may have heard from your colleagues or online about the Medical School Interview.
Misconception 1: The longer you are speaking to the interviewer the better you are doing. Many applicants think, that if they talk for a long period of time, it means that they are performing better.
Firstly, talking for a long period of time means you're more likely to make a mistake or say something which the Medical School Interviewer might catch you on. If you have answered your questions properly and concisely, then you have done well.
Putting yourself in a pitfall by talking for too long and saying things you have limited knowledge on, are easily noticeable by a Medical School Interviewer and you put yourself at risk of performing badly.
The interviewers most-likely have been interviewing all day. So they could easily dose off and miss what you really wanted to say, if you are not concise and straight to the point.
Misconception 2: Do not panic or you will make a mistake.
You are still in the running. Compose yourself and keep going. What I really liked about the MMI is that you get 6 to 8 opportunities to give a good first impression and if any of the stations does not go to plan. Dose yourself off and start fresh at the next station.
Don't start thinking about the previous station, when you attention should be on the current station. Despite, not getting this opportunity for the panel interview, You do get more time to settle yourself and get a momentum. Also, you do not need to worry about the buzzing going off, telling you to go to the next station of the MMI.
The good thing with more time, means you can truly show your personality and desire to be a doctor. You can build a chemistry with the interviewers, hence even if you've messed up, they might still want you at their medical school, as there could be something about your personality, that they really like, so they will be more likely to remember you when deciding which students passes the interview.
THIS LITERALLY HAPPENED TO ME, Yes!
During my interview I told one of the interviewers that he looked really young to be a doctor. They laughed and i asked him for his age. I was just so admired, how young he was and already a doctor, ha ha. then I started asking him some questions about himself once the interview was finished. Well I don't know if it is a good thing or bad thing, but I did get my offer :).
Misconception 3: There is a big difference between MMI and Panel Interview.
They are more similar than you may think. The interview questions and whole content would be similar, it is just that some medical schools add various other stations for their interviews. Such as East Anglia Medical School and Leeds Medical School.
They both asses the same qualities, in the MMI you get a role play, whereas in panel Interview you do not. It would instead be an ethical scenario and they would ask you how you would react, which you would most likely need to answer it with the same knowledge you would have needed to have for the role play.
All you need to do is practise answering scenarios questions and you'll be fine in either of the interview styles. Having someone give you feedback is a good way to find out where you are going wrong. I could be friends or family members.
But I found that, it is much better to get feedback from random people, as friends and family members may be biased. It is even better, if you get your feedback from medical students who recently been through the process or medics who participate at current Medical School Interviews. Doctors, who have qualified long a go may have forgotten the Medical School Interview process, the Interview process would most-likely be different to when they were in Medical School.
It is really difficult to get people who previously participated in Medical School Interview admission process, to help you. That's why I think, Medscore really stand out.
4rd Yr Medic