How can I help my child prepare for their medical school interview?
What medical school interview is your child preparing for? Traditional interviews, Multiple Mini Interviews, Oxbridge interviews… with so many different types, it can be hard to get your head around how best to support your child. But don’t panic! There are some things that you can do to help no matter what the interview type or medical school.
Channel your inner interviewer
A quick google search will conjure up all sorts of interview questions. Once you know what you’re your child needs to prepare for, whatever the format, you can find example questions online. You can then use to set up a mock interview in your own home. This will give your child the benefit of practicing skills in a more relaxed, familiar environment. The more practice they receive like this, the more confident they’ll feel when it comes to the real thing.
It’s important to remember that ‘being the interviewer’ doesn’t just involve you grilling your prospective applicant. While there will be some questions that want to know about background or work experience, the less traditional medical school interview (such as MMI) will feature questions that allow the applicant to lead.
So, your role can include being the receiver of instructions. Some examples include:
Your child may have a picture given to them, and they must use their communication skills to get you to draw the same thing.
It could involve acting out a part (a task that your child might be asked to do in an MMI). You will have to act as if you are the relative of a patient who has just passed away, and your child must use their empathy skills to communicate this news to you.
Setting a task for your child. Give your child instructions (for example, asking them to make an origami swan) whilst also getting them to talk to you about the pros and cons of privatisation of the health service (yes, that is a real one)!
Encourage a Natural Approach
It’s very important that your child doesn’t try to memorise answers to the point where they sound so rehearsed that they are no longer genuine. This can come across badly to any interviewer at any type of medical school interview. They are looking for someone with a passion for the course, and someone who sounds like a robot is not at the top of their list.
It’s also a good idea, particularly for an Oxbridge medical school interview, to get your child to practice talking through their ideas in a step-by-step approach when answering questions. This is useful when tasked to answer questions that require an opinion such as ethical ones. Your child should also be prepared to see both sides of an argument. Encourage them to be flexible and accommodate other views, whilst also remaining decisive.
Watch the News
Almost in every medical school interview, they will want to know your child abreast of the current healthcare and social issues. This is so the interviewer knows your child knows what to expect from their profession. It demonstrates that they have seriously considered the pros and cons of going into medicine. Encourage your child to watch the news and take an interest in what is going on in the medical world.
Plan for Problems Together
It’s only natural to expect that your child will be nervous on the day, despite all the practice. But there are some things you can do to pre-empt these nerves and the issues that they may cause in a medical school interview. Encourage your child to structure any answer they give to a question using a framework, such as the STARR Technique. This uses the formula of Situation, Task, Action, Result, Reflection. It is a good way to ensure your child doesn’t waffle so much that neither they nor the interviewer knows where their answer is going.
Prepare well for the medical school interview
For some final preparation before the medical school interview, it’s very important to help your child review their personal statement. Written under immense pressure and the threat of deadlines, it’s understandable that they may have forgotten what they wrote, which is why it’s so important to go over it again. Questions on a traditional medical school interview may ask your child about their motivation for studying medicine, and it won’t look good if they contradict what they said in their personal statement!
It’s also a good idea to do runs of a medical school interview in timed conditions. Each mini interview of an MMI will usually take no more than 10 minutes, so it’s important that your child can communicate everything they wish to in that time. There is further MMI tuition help and guidance at UniAdmissions in the form of our MMI interview tuition programme. It’s a great option if you want your child to practice their interview skills with some of the best in the industry.
Help Your Child Master Their Interview Skills
Would you like some support in helping your child succeed at their medical school interview? UniAdmissions offers excellent support packages for every stage of the application! What does the best medical interview programme include? Your child will have full access to online lectures, expert interview guides, and practice questions. Not to forget, one full-day intensive course where your child will have their go at answering real medical interview questions by the experts themselves.
How Should Your Child Prepare for the Medical School Interview?
Read this article about when and what to prepare for a medical interview and you can find out exactly how. No matter what university your child is applying to in the UK, there are some key tips your child should remember to ensure their well-prepared. Take these key noteworthy instructions with you and help your child be ready for when their time comes on the day.
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