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The Most Common Medical School Interview Questions

Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan School of Medicine

Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan School of Medicine

Congratulations!  You’ve landed the interview!  What’s the best way to prepare for a medical school interview? You should practice. At the very least, you should review common questions and think about how you would answer them. Then you should PRACTICE answering them and do a mock interview with someone who understands the interview process. You should be comfortable discussing your experiences and your motivation for a career in medicine.

Medical schools offer a range of interview types:  traditional (one on one), group interviews (panels of either applicants or interviewers, and sometimes both), or multiple-mini interviews in which hypothetical scenarios are posed.

Here are the most common questions for the traditional interview. Review these to get a good idea as to the types of questions you might be asked:

  1. Tell me about yourself. (This is often used in the “blind” interview, when the interviewer doesn’t have access to your application.)
  2. Why do you want to be a doctor?  Why not another health profession?
  3. What traits are most important in a good physician?
  4. How do you handle stress?  Tell me about a very stressful time in your life and how you got through it.
  5. What’s the biggest challenge you have overcome?  What did you learn by overcoming the challenge?
  6. In your healthcare experiences what did you find most and least interesting?  How did these experiences prepare you for a career in medicine?
  7. Why should we admit you to our incoming class?
  8. Why are you interested in our school?
  9. What do you think your contribution to the medical profession will be?  Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
  10. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  11. Humility is an important trait for doctors to have; tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it.
  12. What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
  13. Do you consider yourself a leader or follower?
  14. Give an example of when you were in a leadership role and what made you effective in that role.
  15. Teamwork is important in medicine. Tell me about a time when you were disappointed in a teammate and what you did to improve the situation.

There are many more that you will likely encounter but these are the types of questions asked. If you want to do a mock interview please contact me at liza@thompsonadvising.com Good luck!

–Liza Thompson, Expert Medical School Admissions Consultant

Originally posted October 10, 2018 and updated August 28, 2019

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