The Medical School Interview

Conquering the last step to becoming a medical student.

Medical School Interview

You were invited for an medical school interview by your first-choice. Now what?

Interviews can be very nerve-racking experiences for those who have not taken the time to prepare. More often than not, medical school applicants rely on advice from peers, forums, friends, and family, who all have the best of intentions.

Although they all mean well, the advice you may receive from those people may not be adequate for your situation. As with most tasks in the medical school application process, there are many obstacles that are unique to applying to med school.

The biggest difference between a medical school interview and a job interview is the focus on “the person”. Companies seeking to hire are concentrated on employing individuals who will be able to perform the job for which they will be hired. In contrast, medical school admissions committees are seeking individuals who will be exceptional additions to the medical community. Also, medical schools recruit students whose morals and values correlate with university’s morals and values.

If you made it here, consider yourself to nearly be a medical student. If you are offered an interview at any medical school, that means that you have passed the primary and secondary application. All things considered, remember that it is no longer your job to look great on paper. Your status as an interviewee places you among other students with similar experiences, grades, and MCAT scores. Now, you have the opportunity to really sell yourself the the medical school admissions committee. Below are a few recommendations and sample interview questions from pre-medical committees and medical students compiled for your convenience.

14 Medical School Interview Tips for Success

  1. Be genuine and honest.
  2. Be humble, yet do not be afraid to speak well of yourself.
  3. Show your passion for medicine while sharing your experiences.
  4. Practice and prepare. Ask a friend to help you practice interviewing.
  5. Control your body language and non-verbal communication. Look at each individual in the eye when you address them.
  6. Speak clearly and at an adequate volume.
  7. Be confident.
  8. Be respectful. Address professors and physicians using their appropriate titles.
  9. Avoid using one word answers (e.g. yes, no).
  10. Dress for success.
  11. Research the medical school for which you are interviewing. Know the school’s mission.
  12. Be thorough. Do not be afraid to talk a lot. The committees want to be able to learn as much as possible about you.
  13. Make sure your communication is fluid and coherent.
  14. Read the current events that physicians read. Be able to talk about major current topics in the healthcare industry.

Common Medical School Interview Questions

  1. Why do you want to be a physician?
  2. What will you do if you do not get into medical school?
  3. How did you decide you wanted to become a physician?
  4. Define “altruism”.
  5. Why should we offer you admission to our program?
  6. How do your goals for the future align with our mission statement?
  7. In your opinion, what is the most pressing problem facing medicine today?
  8. Where else are you applying?
  9. Tell me about yourself.
  10. What do you do in your spare time?
  11. Why would you be a good doctor?
  12. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  13. Discuss your experience in a clinical environment.
  14. How do you feel about the current state of healthcare in the U.S.?
  15. How do you imagine that you will impact society as a physician?


Next: Information about Medical School Interview Formats

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