Why some students don’t prepare for Medical Interviews
5 months ago by Chris
Medical interviews are a crucial aspect of the selection process for entry into health science courses. In some universities, medical interviews are weighted at more than 50% of the total selection criteria (James Cook University, Newcastle/JMP, WSU/CSU and Bond University). Most people focus on their ATAR scores, study for the UCAT but do not prepare for their medical interview. Hence there are students who obtain perfect ATARs (99.95) and perfect UCAT scores (99th percentile), but are not offered a place in medicine.
Some students go into the medical interview thinking it is just a 'chat'. Chat it may be, but it is a crucially important chat that will change the course of your life!
Reasons why some students don’t prepare for medical interviews
There are many reasons some people do not undergo quality medical interview training. These include:
- Believing universities who say that you cannot prepare for medical interviews (hypocritical since universities train their graduates for job interviews!)
- Fear of being put on the spot in the medical interview training sessions (however, it is better that you get used to it before your actual medical interview!)
- Not knowing what they don't know (unknown unknowns)
- When it comes to personality tests, and an interview is a type of personality test, we all tend to think we are awesome
- Thinking the medical interview is just a ‘chat’
- Not being motivated enough
- Not understanding the importance and benefits of university specific medical interview training
- Thinking that training with, and obtaining tips from, parents, friends, senior students or medical students is sufficient
- Not having a full understanding of the benefits of training with a trusted institution such as MedEntry
- Not realising the importance of maximising the medical interview score particularly when their ATAR/UCAT scores are not very high
- Not knowing the benefits of obtaining a top interview score even with a very high ATAR/UCAT (e.g. you may obtain a CSP rather than BMP place, you may be offered a scholarship, you can choose to study at your preferred campus)
Importance of medical interview training
For most universities, your interview score will count for as much as your ATAR (33%). For some, your medical interview performance is worth 40%. For others, your medical interview score is much more important than your ATAR, contributing up to 80% of your final ranking score. For Newcastle, Bond and Charles Sturt (dentistry), your interview score counts for 100%, once ATAR and UCAT thresholds are reached.
For Monash university, if you take a gap year, your interview score from the previous year will be used: which means you get only one shot at the interview! Therefore, doing well and obtaining the highest possible score in your medical interview is of critical importance.
Benefits of medical interview training
Knowledge of the types of questions asked, coaching on interview technique and enhanced communication skills can dramatically improve your medical interview performance. You should not go into an interview unprepared or not having an understanding of what you will be asked, or what the interviewers are looking for. If you do, you will be at a competitive disadvantage compared to those who are prepared for their medical interview.
Even if you think you will get into medicine without medical interview training, there are several benefits of attending MedEntry medical interview training. These include:
- The psychological and other principles learnt at MedEntry interview training sessions will also be useful throughout your life for other interviews (for example, job interviews, Internship/Registrar interviews).
- It is the only opportunity you will ever get to benchmark your medical interview performance against your peers
- It is an opportunity to obtain honest and constructive feedback from experienced trainers, so you can improve further on your future interviews
Expecting a high ATAR and excelled in UCAT? Medical interview training is still important. Check out our blog for details.