How to Prepare For Your Medical, Dental or Science University Interview!
University interviews are daunting at the best of times, and somehow the long-winded application process of UCAS, personal statements and UKCAT exams all lead up to a twenty minute conversation that can determine the next steps in your life. However, these interviews aren’t something to be feared, you’re not simply trying to impress; it’s your chance to find out more about the course, the university and whether or not you actually want to go there, making you more in control than you think. Here’s a few of our best tips to help you prepare for the all-important interview.
1) Research, research, research! Find out everything you can regarding the course and the university, and pick parts of the syllabus that you’re particularly interested in that you can talk about enthusiastically should you need to. Talk to people already on the course or at the university if you can for extra information.
2) Find out what to expect – There’s no harm in phoning the university to find out more about your interview. Ask about anything you’re unsure of, be it things you should take or the general format of the interview. It’s worth having a look on the internet as other students may have posted in forums about their interview experiences. Knowing what to expect should help ease your nerves.
3) Prepare some questions to ask in advance – Make sure you prepare so you don’t end up with nothing to say at the end of the interview. The interviewer should cover most things, so have a few questions ready. It looks good to ask a question, but many of us can’t just think a good one up in the spur of the moment.
4) More research – be knowledgeable about the broader topics of your course, keep up to date on relevant recent medical advancements. Is there something you’re particularly passionate about? If you’re fascinated by something then tell them why it’s so great, it’ll look far better than just saying that you’re interested in every aspect of the course with no conviction – no one has a passion for every topic and the interviewers know it.
5) Think of some key points to mention in your answers – You know you’ll be an awesome doctor, but unfortunately that isn’t a great answer when they ask you why you’ve applied for the course. Have a look at commonly asked questions and have an idea of what to say, although don’t have them exactly scripted as you’ll look robotic. Maybe consider having a mock interview with a friend, parent, teacher or careers advisor. We also offer Interview Prep Courses!
6) Re-read your personal statement – Chances are they’re going to ask you about some of the things you’ve said about yourself. If it was written a while ago, you should familiarise yourself so that you can elaborate without hesitation if necessary.
7) Finally – Relax! The interviewers know you’ll be nervous, take your time over your answers; there’s nothing wrong with taking a moment’s pause to compose yourself and your answer. Remain professional, but be yourself. These interviews are to find out what you’re like as a person, and if you’ve got to interview stage then they already like you! Turn up on time, be enthusiastic and smile, and you’ll be completely fine.