Medical Interviews at Sheffield: Do you know what to expect?

How does the Sheffield medicine interview differ from all other medical universities? Sheffield, like a number of non-Oxbridge universities, has different processes to their medical interview. We’re discussing in focus what exactly you can expect when you attend the interview day.  

What is the Sheffield medicine interview process?

Like a number of other medical schools, Sheffield uses the MMI (multiple mini interview) format for its medical school admission. Some research suggests this is a more reliable and fair means of assessing candidates, allowing Sheffield to pick the best candidates from those that are invited to interview.

Applicants with strong enough academic and ukcat scores can expect an email from the Sheffield medical school admissions team inviting them to an interview during November. Interviews will then take place late November/early December.

In total, around 1,300 applicants are expected to be interviewed for the 2019 entry course. At the Sheffield medicine interview, candidates will move through eight 8-minute stations designed to test a range of areas. A cumulative score from each of these stations is then used to select the top performing candidates who will be offered a place on the course. For more information, visit the Sheffield medical school site which details what happens during the interview process.

How does an MMI work?

An MMI (vs a more Oxbridge style traditional interview) allows candidates a chance to be assessed in a number of areas, each in a distinct mini-interview. This allows a more complex impression of a candidates suitability for the course to be assessed, whilst allowing the candidate multiple chances to make a good impression.

During the Sheffield medicine interview, invigilators will assess candidates on their:

  • Communication skills
  • Various keen interests
  • A commitment for caring
  • An interest in studying at Sheffield
  • Work experience in a medical environment
  • EPQ (if relevant)
  • Motivation for medicine
  • Understanding of the nature of medicine
  • Values and attitudes
  • Outside interests

Whilst this list initially seems rather off-puttingly long, these are well assessed by the on each respective station that interview candidates go through.

In the Sheffield medicine interview room, there will be eight booths behind a curtain / folding wall with an interviewer (and sometimes an actor) behind. Candidates stand outside and have a minute to read the instructions on the outside of the booth, after which a bell rings and you have eight minutes to enter the booth and begin the interview.

After eight minutes are up, the bell rings again and you leave the booth, to go to the next one where you start the process again. The cycle continues like this until all eight stations have been completed by everyone. With eight conversations going on in one room it can get quite loud, so don’t get distracted!

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What questions to expect and how to prepare

MMIs can often cause medical candidates some anxiety, possibly due to the strange nature of the process. However, versus the more typical interview approach, the MMI has a number of benefits.

Firstly, each station is independently marked and equally weighted. Therefore, if a station doesn’t go well, don’t worry! You can forget about it and move on, and as long as it doesn’t affect your performance in subsequent stations, it doesn’t have to derail your entire interview.

Secondly, there are a number of typical stations where you can expect variations of the same, so it is possible to prepare. For example, you are likely to face questions pertained to your commitment to medicine. This is a classic medical interview question, not just at Sheffield, so it always pays to have an answer ready for this. It’s important to make your answer sound genuine and not scripted as the tutors know that people prepare standard answers for these; having expert interview preparation can make a big difference.

“Roleplay anyone?”

Furthermore, expect there to be a roleplay section where you’ll be talking to an actor, possibly about a diagnosis, breaking bad news, explaining treatment or another common clinical scenario. It’s important to remember that you are not expected to know much (or anything!) about the disease in question; they want to see how you communicate and interact with patients. Again, practicing with a tutor can make a real difference.

Finally, doing some research on the Sheffield medical school course and the university will be very useful, so ensure you do your research prior to the interview day.

Further help: Medical Interview Course

For more information on Sheffield medicine Interviews, more advice on the MMI or for just medical school interview tips in general, find an expert admissions tutor to help you with this here at UniAdmissions.

Further reading

MUST READ: how to tackle the MMI interview process

Further reading

MUST READ: how to tackle the MMI interview process