What Types of Oxford Medicine Interview Questions will they ask?
What are they looking for in an Oxford interview?
Before we get down to the nitty-gritty Oxford medicine interview questions, let’s first have a look at what interviewers are looking for in a candidate.
It can be difficult to know how to act in an interview. The official criteria that Oxford University state they look for in a candidate is listed as follows:
- Academic ability
- Interest in the scientific basis of medicine
- Evidence of self-motivation. Plus, an ability to work a good work/life balance.
- Ability to develop good relationships with others
- A high level of communication skills, with an interest in and an ability to communicate with people from all background
- Personal integrity
- Stability of character
- Leadership potential
- Concern for the welfare of others
While it would be advisable to have all these in mind when interviewing, they are all quite vague categories. After all, how do you go into an interview with the intention of showing off your ‘Stability of character’?
To get a better idea about how to do well, particularly with the difficult Oxford medical interview questions, we need to look more closely at the structure of the interview and the types of questions that applicants need to be prepared for. This will give applicants a better idea of what to expect, and help them to prepare for questions rather than be caught off guard by each one.
Structure of an Oxford Interview
Interviews typically last around 20 minutes, and all candidates will have at least 4 of them, however, an Oxford interview is difficult to define in terms of ‘structure’. It is perhaps better to describe it as an academic discussion than an interview in the typical sense. While there may be some questions like ‘what would make you a good student’ etc, these are all ice-breaker questions designed to make the applicant more comfortable. The majority of the interview will be focused on challenging questions and academic potential.
What kinds of Oxford medicine interview questions will come up?
While the questions in a medical interview could be on anything, they can be broadly grouped into a few categories. The following list aims to show you the overarching styles of questions that could be asked, and how to best approach them:
These Oxford medicine interview questions test the applicants’ direct knowledge of the subject. They will not be a large part of the interview process, and will not draw on more than A Level Biology and Chemistry knowledge unless you have mentioned a specific topic in your personal statement.
Candidates should make sure that they have a solid understanding on anything they have written about, and can still tackle the types of questions they might have had at school like mole calculations or the functions of specific organs or systems f the body.
- Why do we have red blood cells?
- Why does heart rate increase with exercise?
- What does your liver do?
- Which is your most important organ?
These questions test the applicant’s suitability for the role of a doctor and introduce them to some of the dilemmas that are common in modern medicine. They will often involve introducing a difficult scenario and asking what the most ethical course of action is.
- Should the NHS treat people who smoke for free?
- Is the health of a child more important than the health of an adult?
- How should justice be incorporated into Medical practice?
There may well be questions that have nothing to do with medicine that test the student’s creative thought processes and ability to think outside the box in a stressful situation. While some of these questions may seem bizarre, it is always best to try to answer them and to not be afraid to ask for help if really stuck.
- If you threw a stone out of a boat on a lake and into the water, what would happen to the water level?
- How do animals know when to migrate?
Some questions may test the student’s ability to come up with creative solutions in a similar way to the abstract logical/creative questions, but with a more direct link to medicine. These require careful thought, and consideration of all factors present in the possible solutions.
- How would you find out the weight of all the blood in a living person?
- What approach would you take to testing for dangerous allergic reactions in a patient?
Many of these questions will be based off unseen material. As with interviews for other subjects at Oxford, the applicant may be given images, graphs, texts, or objects to analyse and discuss in their interview. Again, it is important to think carefully before coming to any conclusions, but to not be afraid to try to answer the question, even if they do not know the answer (the whole point may well be that they do not know the answer!).
- A student may be given a skull and asked what kind of animal it is from, and why it is like how it is
- Student asked to interpret a graph on the obesity rates from a particular time and place.
What should you take away from this?
This should, of course, be taken as a rough guide to the Oxford Medicine interview questions, as everyone has a different experience. Just remember that successful applicants make their thought processes clear, and are not afraid to approach difficult questions from creative angles!
It can be a very stressful experience with a lot of pressure, but your child should remember to relax, and show off their ability to deal with brand new situations. They will not be expected to know everything already, but successful applicants will certainly show a keenness to learn, and a creative and logical approach to challenges.
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What are Medicine interviewers really looking for?
It’s difficult to know what the interviewers are really looking for in a candidate. There are certain characteristics that are expected of a successful candidate and it’s important that you get to grips with them before your interview. You can find out these attributes in the following article…