February 2, 2023
10 min read
Going to medical school is a big deal. Whether your goal is to become a surgeon or practice pediatric oncology, med school is life-changing.
Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with med school interviews or the interview process in general. We’ll tell you everything you need to know, from what to expect from the interview itself to how to practice and the most commonly asked med school interview questions. Let’s get started.
A medical school interview is an interview between the med school hopeful and a representative from the school.
These interviews are an essential part of the medical school admissions process. It’s one of the most important stages of the process, and is just another obstacle between you and getting into med school.
A successful medical school interview will depend entirely on not only your qualifications but your interview preparation as well.
Because not everyone is offered a med school interview, it can be difficult to get an invite for an interview if you only applied to one or two schools.
Medical school interviews are only offered to the brightest candidates in the applicant pool. There’s a chance you won’t get interview invites from every single school you apply to, and that’s normal.
If you’re a pre-med student and you receive an invitation to interview, you should be excited. It’s an honor and an opportunity to begin your med school journey.
When applying to med school, the majority of applicants will get around one to three interviews.
It also depends on things like:
Getting a medical school interview can be tough. It’s competitive, and the candidates who get interview invitations are the best of the best. Only around 10-15% of applicants get interview invitations each year for each medical school.
So if you score a med school interview or even if you’re waitlisted, consider it a significant accomplishment and a good sign.
It’s no secret that medical school interviews can be daunting. These types of interviews can change your life. They can set you on the path to earning a medical degree, which is huge. If that makes you nervous, you’re not alone.
Still, you can channel that nervousness into excitement through committed practice. To practice, you can meet up with a friend or family member, in-person or online. Have them ask you a few basic interview questions alone with some med school interview-specific questions. We’ll include some down below in the next section.
You’ll also want to record your practice, if possible. You can do so through apps like Zoom or Google Meet, or through an AI communication coach like Yoodli.
When you record or upload a video through Yoodli, you’ll receive free, specialized insights into your speech patterns and body language. These insights are unique to you, so you can then use them to improve specific areas you need to work on.
These analytics — including your filler word usage, word choice, and pacing, among others — can help you pinpoint exactly what you need to practice before your medical school interview.
On top of that, Yoodli has a specific interview prep functionality that allows you to choose from a list of common interview prompts — categorized from general to marketing and finance — (or input your own) and start practicing from there.
To add your own questions for practice, simply navigate to the interview prep function from Yoodli’s homepage and input your question straight into the prompt box.
After your practice, you’ll gain insights into each question, including a transcript, the aforementioned analytics, and AI speech coach comments — all dependent on the question you’re responding to. That way, you can easily keep track of how you’re doing. Just make sure to avoid fillers, watch your pacing, and avoid rambling.
This dedicated practice can be a game changer when you have a med school interview. For example, if you notice that your filler word usage is above average, you can target that as an area of improvement.
Although it’s easier said than done, you can decrease your filler word usage by slowing your pace or even pausing to think carefully before you speak. For more details on how you can implement natural pauses in your speech to avoid filler words, check out this crash course on the power of pause:
Or, if public speaking in general is a challenge for you, try reading some of the best public speaking books out there for some motivation and tips.
Medical school interview questions can be pretty wide-ranging. These questions are spread across a few different categories, like your personality, your education, and of course, medicine-related.
Although no interview question is necessarily “easy,” interview questions related to your personality and traits are often the ones you’ll be most prepared for.
For example, a commonly asked question in interviews is, “What is your greatest weakness?” This can be a tricky question, but if you’re prepared, it won’t stump you. Check out our how-to video on tackling this question:
Other typical questions you might face during your med school interview include:
Questions regarding your education are also easier to answer since you’re most familiar with your education history.
Questions you can expect to answer about your education include:
As you probably expected, your interviewer will most likely ask you a few questions that are related to the field of medicine as a whole.
Some examples of these types of questions include:
You might face some ethical questions, since ethics is so intertwined in health and medicine. Examples of ethics questions could be:
All of these questions are great practice for med school interview prep, and you really can’t “over” practice — just be sure to keep your focus.
Though you might not have considered it, you can (and should) absolutely ask your interviewer a few questions after you’ve completed your part of the interview. Asking questions helps to show that not only are you attentive and engaged, but you’re also truly interested in the school itself.
If you need some ideas, questions you could ask the interviewer include:
Aside from some dedicated practice with potential interview questions, there are loads of other ways you can prep for your med school interview. Check out these five tips to ace your interview.
There are a couple of common medical school interview mistakes you should be aware of, too.
First, remember professional boundaries. Although you might have a very personal reason why you’d like to go to med school, try not to talk about any private health information, even about yourself. Although it might be in your nature to be open about a health condition you have, focus on the task at hand: showcasing yourself in a way that gives you the best shot of getting into med school.
Second, don’t panic if you face a question that stumps you. Being caught off guard during an interview isn’t a great feeling, but it’s not the end of the world. You can always respond with something like, “That’s a great question,” while you quickly mull it over. You can also take a sip of water to buy yourself some time to consider their question.
Lastly, don’t point out any shortcomings on your resume or in your experience. You’re trying to highlight your successes and the accomplishments that show you’re ready to excel in med school. Although you don’t want to lie or be untruthful, you don’t have to bring up any personal “red flags” that might be on your mind.
Attending medical school is a huge, life-changing event. If your goal is to go to med school, it’s critical that you ace your interview. Preparing for a medical school interview gives you the best chance of nailing it.
You already put in so much work as a pre-med student, so practicing and preparing for a medical school interview using a speech coach like Yoodli is a fantastic way to help you reach your goals of getting into your dream med school.
Medical school interviews are exciting and liable to change your life for the better. It’s truly the first step of a journey full of learning and practicing medicine, which is why interview prep is so critical for your success.
Don’t let the gravity of a medical school interview overwhelm you. If you’ve been invited to interview, you’re a qualified candidate whom the school is looking forward to hearing from, and you should feel proud and confident that you’ve been given this opportunity.
Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.