- November 23, 2012
- Posted by: Sahil Mehta
- Category: Applying, Interview, Popular Tips
Sample Medical School Interview Questions and Answers
There are several medical school interview questions that you should be prepared for. While we recommend not memorizing answers, because this makes you sound like a robot, it’s important to think about these questions and their answers prior to your interview. Preparing yourself with our list of medical school interview questions and answers can help!
Tell me about yourself?
This is a question that is often the most popular start question. Rather than say what to do, it’s important what to avoid. Don’t give out your grades (saying you graduated “summa cum laude”, saying you got a 38 on the MCAT, etc). These simple statements quickly lead down the wrong path! Instead, focus on your family, your upbringing, etc.
This question is obviously going to be asked. Saying you want to help people is not enough. MedSchoolCoach recommends that during your medical school interview, you lay out a brief timeline of how you came to the decision you wanted to pursue medicine (don’t simply say I always dreamed of it since I was little). Provide concrete examples and scenarios that have shaped you and made you choose medicine as a career.
Do not be afraid to talk candidly. If you overcame a personal tragedy, or a family member did and this truly led you to medicine, tell us about it. Don’t beat around the bush, unless it is sometime very sensitive. (Beating around the bush means saying your mom suffers from a disease and you were there for her rather than saying your mom suffers from cancer). If there are things that truly lead you to chose medicine as a career, we want to know about them honestly.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
This old-school job interview question still pops up from time to time, and can trip up even the most confident job interviewer. We do not expect you to have your entire career mapped out, or even your specialty choice. But, it’s nice to hear whether you are interested in academic medicine (say it, even if you aren’t), research, teaching, etc. Certainly avoid saying you want to be a plastic surgeon doing breast implants all day in LA (doesn’t come across great).
What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? How will you improve upon your weaknesses?
Create an honest list of what you think are your strengths or weaknesses and then pinpoint a couple you can remember. Practice your responses so that they sound natural and you are prepared for the question.
An example of a strength would be communication skills: “ I work very well with all kinds of people, and understand that everyone has different perspectives about projects and work tasks – so when I work with others I realize that everyone comes to the table with different priorities and objectives. I keep this in mind when I communicate tasks that need to be accomplished with positive reinforcement and awareness of what others are working on.”
For the weakness, pick one that won’t that is not going to disqualify you being a physician, and then follow up with – this is what really matters – the examples of what you are doing (or have done) to fix your weakness. The most important point here is to show that you learn from your mistakes and your weakness, and you are taking the corrective action to fix the situation – and stress that! For example, if the job does not require public speaking, you can say that your weakness is you are afraid of speaking in front of the public. Then tell the interviewers that you have joined a Toastmaster club or public speech course to overcome the problem. Remind them that when you identify a problem, you actively take actions to correct it, and that is how you do things.
What are the current challenges in current health care and what can we do to improve it?
This question will be asked and you need to have an answer. Read NYTimes articles, the economist, etc and understand the current health care climate and policy so that you can better answer this question on your medical school interview.
Stay tuned! We will soon be posting more medical school interview questions and answers!
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