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I have an upcoming interview at a medical school, how do you prepare for a one-on-one interview?

I have a one-on-one interview at a medical school coming up. Does anyone have any helpful tips on what to prepare for and how to approach the interview.

For reference: I have a masters degree in biomedical sciences and a bachelors degree in mathematics. medicine -school interview

First you should research the school that your interviewing at so that you can have some background knowledge about the school and show them your interested. Second practice what you'll say and how you will approach the important people in a respectful manner. Third dress to impress and the first impression is the best impression. Don't over do it but dress in a way where you stand out while being yourself and look professional all at once. Introduce Yourself Professionally, make sure you smile and give a firm handshake. Lastly, be Punctual and Prepared you need to be on time and prepared which is tied back to the second tip. Shamya L.

Thanks for the sound advice! Will definitely keep all this in mind while preparing! Hashir A.

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James’s Answer

hi hashir,

my experience, 25 years ago, was that all the interviewers will ask you why you want to be a doctor. it sounds like a boring, standard question; however, there's more to it than simply "wanting to help others." they want to know how much thought and research you've put into this career decision.

did you speak with or shadow any medical professionals? did you volunteer at a medical facility? did you read medical biographies or other books about the medical field? did you have a profound experience as a patient, caregiver, etc?

a related question i was asked goes something like this: there are 3 applicants for every medical school position. if you are not selected for this medical school class what will you do? again, there are numerous ways to answer this question, but what they are trying to gauge is how much you've thought about your chances and your absolute desires. will you apply to nursing school, dental school, podiatry school, etc? will you work in a medical auxiliary field, such as phlebotomy, for a year then reapply to medical school next year? will you get another advanced degree?

or ... are you 100% convinced that you are such a strong candidate that there's no chance whatsoever of failing?

questions for you to ask: is the medical school focused on primary care such as family medicine? or to hospital medicine such as internal medicine, specialists, etc? are there any opportunities for research? rural rotations? (whatever it is you're interested in.)

i always thought it was a good idea to try to get a smile/laugh out of the interviewer one way or another. sometimes that would be to ask about an old book on his/her shelf. or inquire about his/her background. sometimes i'd inquire about politics. if you're daring, ask about their feelings on the affordable care act!

overall, don't be nervous. probably half the applicants will be sweating, reserved, brief, and generally forgottable. interviewers remember applicants who are smiling, friendly, gregarious. they need to see you as someone who is confident of his abilities, knowledgable about his career path, and pleasant to be around. just don't take things to the point of being arrogant.

i'll make one more small comment. make sure your suit & shoes fit comfortably. a lot of applicants have one outfit that they were on special occasions that doesn't quite fit right. when you're not comfortable it shows.

good luck!

Thanks Dr. Garza! I appreciate the level of thought in your response! I tried my best to be reflective while I was preparing for my interview and did focus on the things you stated. Yea you are most definitely right about making a connection with the interviewer, I talked about my hobby about drawing and later found that she was a medical illustrationist! Haha and you're right about the clothes for sure! :) Hashir Hashir A.

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Dr Julian’s Answer

Congratulations on your interview! I'm sure you will do well.

Place yourself in the medical school's position. They want
to know who you are and whether you are a good fit for their
program. You and the school are going to make a life changing
decision after your "chat". Try and paint an honest picture of
yourself in the mind of the interviewer. You can read the list
of most commonly asked questions but I promise you the person
interviewing you will have read them also. Remember you have
made it this far. Much farther than thousands of other applicants.
Ask questions about the school and the city which show you are interested
in moving there and living there possibly long after medical school and residency.
Relax and be yourself.
Best of luck to you.

Thank you Dr. Julian! I appreciate your comments! Hashir A.

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Jay’s Answer


Interviews (whether for university or for a job) can be very stressful. I always recommend a few things in general:

1. Make sure you are outwardly presentable. This does not mean you have to rush out to buy a brand new suit or set of fancy clothes but remember that first impressions are the longest-lasting, and you want to be professional. Make sure you are set up for success by being presentable and ready to go.

2. Practice, practice, practice. Think of potential questions you may be asked, and think of how you want to answer those. Just like preparing for a presentation, practice your answers out loud and make sure you have clear responses. If you have a friend or partner, ask if they can play the interviewer and ask for feedback.

3. Make sure you get plenty of rest before the interview. You are going to be stressed out and nervous, but try and get a full night's rest, eat a good breakfast and come as fresh as you can.

For medical school specifically, I would also recommend that you look to prepare your answers about your previous course work and history. Focus on preparing answers that demonstrate your passion for the medical field and let your interest show in your confidence. Remember that many interviewers will try and "stress test" you during the interview to see how you handle tough situations, so try and be calm, relax and provide your best answers.

Best of luck
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Lucie’s Answer

Outch, job interviews are tough! But the hardest part is really to actually get one in my opinion!
First of all dress for the job you want, without a tuxedo, dress the part.
Second, in my opinion what everyone looks into a good candidate/good interview is someone who is concise, doesn't lose his train of thoughts, to the point, good story teller, etc.

To stand out, despite the many answers you already got, I would say:
#1 Match job posting and resume
Highlight the different part of the job posting and match it to your resume. Use maybe a few different highlighters to really distinguish the different skillset required. This will be make it easier for you to speak about what has not been highlighted (because it will come up!)

#2 Look out for the obvious
Look for the obvious questions you will be asked: Experience, gap in resume, etc. Be prepared to respond to these questions with a well prepared answer. It might be a way for you to shine.

#3 Work on story telling
A good story needs to be down to the point and follow a path of development. Don't get lost into rabbit holes and other tangent, look into the narrative and make sure it is one where you stand out.

#4 Prepare and Practice make Perfect
There will be obvious questions about your resume, also, there will be the questions we are all expecting: Tell me about yourself, what are some of your qualities, what do you like about our company, why do you want to work here, etc.?
It will vary per the role and industry but all the questions you will have will be in some sort of the same flavor from one interview to the next.
Then rehearse, under the shower, in front of the mirror, with friends, family, etc. The more you repeat your stories the more they will come naturally and when a question you have not prepared for arise you should be more relaxed to answer.

Hope this helps,
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Poonam’s Answer

Here are the best face to face interview tips:


Lying can backfire on you! The individual sitting before you has adequate experience of interviews and can without much of a stretch know when you are faking it. So, keep it genuine and just write in your CV, what you have really accomplished. Else, more often than not, you would be in a soup.


More than whatever else, the anxiety hampers most interviews. Just before going into the interview room, take a couple of deep breaths and unwind your nerves. It for sure, makes a difference!


This can be a significant undertaking thinking of it as’ the first occasion when you are sitting for an interview. However, you need to pull off this lie. You need to act confident and ensure that the recruiter feels that you have everything in perfect order and splendidly fit in the job position.

for more tips: face to face interview