Interviews at medical and other health profession schools are granted very selectively and their numbers and formats vary greatly: single or multiple one-on-ones, group interviews, panels, and Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs).
In many cases, interviews are concentrated in the period between September and March and are usually conducted by clinical and basic science faculty, professional students, administrators, practitioners and more rarely by other members of the community, alumni/ae, liberal arts faculty, standardized patients, etc. Some interviewers will have access to your entire application file, some only to your personal statement and essays, others to everything but your academic credentials.
The main goal of health profession school interviews is to help assess candidates’ personal traits and characteristics beyond academic abilities. These traits include:
- Motivation for their chosen career
- Compassion and empathy
- Personal maturity
- Oral communication
- Service orientation
- Intellectual curiosity
- Cultural competence
- Reliability and dependability
- Critical thinking
- Verbal reasoning
- Work habits
- Logical reasoning
It is very important to prepare for your interviews. Minimally:
- Re-read everything you have submitted to the school/s already—most likely questions will stem from things you wrote about in your applications.
- Thoroughly research the school(s) online and develop a list of specific questions to ask.
- Take time to reflect on your experiences, accomplishments, interests, personal traits and characteristics and practice relating these stories and examples.
- Keep up with major issues affecting medical/dental/nursing/etc. education and practice and obtain at least a basic understanding of bioethics.
- Practice answering interview questions. Most likely at least some of the questions will revolve around:
- You and your family
- Your educational experience
- Your career choice and professional plans
- Your exposure to the health care environment (mostly clinical, but when applicable, also research)
- Your familiarity with and understanding of current issues in health profession education and practice
- Although questions asked in MMIs settings tend to be less predictable, in general you may expect a combination of role plays, ethical dilemmas, encounters with standardized patients, team projects, manual dexterity games, logic quizzes, and other practical tasks. For a demo of a couple of MMI scenarios, watch this video.
- Decide what you are going to wear (err on the conservative side).
Below are some resources to assist you with your interview preparation:
- For detailed information on medical school interviews, their structure and format, typical questions asked, recommended reading list, etc., check the more extensive resources in the current Med App site.
- Look up the interview feedback on the studentdoctor.net website. As you peruse these reports, keep in mind that while helpful, these are still individual, somewhat anecdotal experiences and should be evaluated within the context of all the other information that you will gather about a given school.
Discuss your interview preparation with a University Career Center staff member and, if you wish, arrange for a practice interview in person as the final dress rehearsal in your preparation process. Schedule your appointment online or call 734/764-7460.
From a very early age, I have always wanted to be a healthcare professional because of my love of science and caring nature. I attended a medical school successfully completed my second year of study. I shared my accommodation with dentistry students and I began questioning whether I had made the right choice. I believe I was quite naive when applying for medicine as I did not consider the job itself after graduating. I believe dentistry and medicine have many similarities but the typical work activities, working conditions and career development aspects are totally different. Taking into account my interests, abilities and skills, dentistry is the perfect career and thus I ended my medical career.
Dentistry is a career thats challenging and rewarding. I want to apply my scientific knowledge to help people maintain their health and appearance. Dentistry offers the opportunity to be one's own boss and own a dental practice. I want a career thats hands on experience where I have the opportunity to build long term relationships withy my patients. I have a passion for oral care and am always educating my family about developing good brushing habits.
I have a strong interest and ability in science as reflected by achieving A's on all my A-level exam papers. I was selected 'student of the year' by science tutors which was an outstanding achievement and portrays my competitive nature. I am committed to completing a life long, rewarding career as a dentist and am very excited about the lifelong learning opportunities presented by dentistry. I am passionate about applying my scientific knowledge to help treat people of all ages.
There is a great deal of personal satisfaction by providing an important health service. I am a friendly, empathic individual with a caring nature. For the past three years, I have been assisting my sisters by caring for my niece and nephew on a weekend basis. This reflects my caring nature as Im quick to offer my help to make life easier for others. I have been working as a sales and marketing consultant for two years and have the ability to build long-term relationships with clients and colleagues at great ease because of my friendly approach. My duties involve cold-calling potential clients, building a rapport and meet their needs by offering online marketing campaigns. I am a successful team member and thrive under pressure with the responsibility of achieving sales targets. I have further enhanced my communication, teamwork and organisational skills which are of great importance for the interaction with patients and running a dental practice.
I have a professional, confident manner and possess good business and managerial abilities. I have devised successful marketing campaigns for 2 dental practices which was an exciting experience. I have further realised my entrepreneurial abilities and have a talent for business. I have excellent IT skills which are necessary due to the increasing use of computers.
I have completed two weeks of work experience at 2 dental practices. It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life and provided me with a further insight into day-to-day dental management. I was offered the opportunity to shadow a number of dentists, specialists in different fields from orthodontists, prosthodontists to endodontists. I learned it is important to have good communication and interpersonal skills, for interaction with patients of all ages, cultures and personalities. The dentist's typical day was diverse and interesting. It was great to observe excellent teamwork and how vital everyone was to the running of the practice. I observed a root canal treatment, where the endodontists placed the patient at ease (patient centred approach), explained the treatment fully and it was great watching the effective interaction between the dentist and the dental assistant. I appreciate the dentist is a manager and a team leader running a small business. This experience has further reinforced my desire to apply for dentistry.
My main interests are music, sport and sewing. I am a strong believer in taking a balanced approach to life. My current job is quite stressful and thus I attend the gym after work with colleagues where we play tennis, go climbing and exercise. I enjoy designing and sewing my own dresses and thus possess good hand-eye coordination. I appreciate manual dexterity is required in dentistry and is of great importance when treating patients.
I am excited about entering the dental profession and can assure you I will make use of all opportunities that are presented. I believe I possess the ideal skills and attributes required to run a dental practice. I am committed to running an effective practice offering each patient the best possible treatment in a caring, supportive and professional environment.