Interview Tips for Medical Students

Applying for medical school can be a difficult process. You have to ask yourself what kind of school you want to go to – large or small, face class size concerns, and decide whether your chosen school has the faculty to prepare you for the specialty you desire.

Once you apply and a school is interested in considering you as a student, they will invite you for an interview. Although you are applying for school, this interview should be treated as any job interview would. Here are some tips to help your medical school interview be a success.

Dress Professionally. ‘Dress for success’ is not just a phrase, it’s a reality about the way people perceive you. You don’t want to pretend to be someone you’re not, but you definitely want to come off as well-groomed, sharp, and professional. The first impression will go a long way toward how they see you as a candidate.

Be Confident. A firm handshake and a broad smile will tell the interviewers that you are confident and strong. Be sure to maintain good posture also, and try not to fidget or swivel in your chair. You’re here because they wanted you here – keep that in mind and let it feed your self-confidence!

Know Yourself. Can you explain to someone why you should be a doctor? Practice on your friends and family. You want to get your goals, ideas, and explanations very clear in your mind. This doesn’t mean to memorize a script, however – you want to sound natural. This is simply about being able to tell the interviewing panel why you are unique and why they would be happy to have you as a student.

Prepare for Common Questions. While you don’t want to sound robotic in your answers, it is helpful to think through the answers to common interview questions. Some you might consider:

  • What made you decide to become a doctor?
  • Why would you be a good doctor?
  • Why did you choose this school for application?
  • Give examples of times you showed leadership.
  • What experience do you have in healthcare? Have you volunteered or done internships?
  • What do you feel are the key characteristics of a good doctor?
  • What would you like most about being a doctor? What would you like least?

Ask Questions and Take Notes. The interview isn’t just about the school finding out who you are. It’s also a chance for you to learn about the school and its programs. Ask a lot of questions – be engaged in the interview. This will show that you are passionate and eager to find out more, as well as giving you some important information about the school you are considering. Also, have a notepad with you to jot down interesting points that are made in the interview.

Say Thank You. Although this is a basic etiquette tip, it is often overlooked. Remembering to be grateful will help you stand out from other interviewees. In addition, if you receive a business card from the interviewer, drop them a quick thank you letter in the days after you return home. This can help you be remembered in a positive way.

A medical interview can be incredibly stressful, but if you’ve prepared and keep in mind that they asked you to be there because they’re interested in you, you can stay calm and confident. These tips will help your interview go smoothly. Good luck!!





Elsevier Health is the leading publisher of popular medical textbooks, such as The Textbook of Family Medicine and Campbell-Walsh Urology that are used in universities throughout the world.


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  • Good tips. The most common ‘question’ I encountered during my med school interviews was “tell me about yourself”.