Today’s post comes from Joe Baxter who writes for MDLinx.

Many medical school students will stress the fact of how worried they were before their medical school interviews. But really, if you’ve participated in an interview before you should not expect much different. Sure you’ll feel greater pressure because the interviewers are doctors themselves, board members, or both, but you should come to expect the same type of questions. Interviewers will be judging your ability to think on your feet, why you want to practice medicine, why this specific medical school is better than the rest, and so forth. Don’t get caught with your mouth open and your mind blank, so here are a few of those questions med school interviewers may ask while conducting an interview.

  • Do you plan on parenting while going through medical school or during your residency?
  • Are you currently married?
  • Where does your sense of morality derive from?
  • You are studying to improve the health of others, but what do you do to ensure you yourself are a healthy individual?
  • What should I tell the administration committee about you?
  • Tell us why this medical school is your choice and not that school.
  • What is an instance in which you were very happy in life? Now, an instance in which you were very sad or down?
  • 15 years from now, if you took me through a day in the life of (you), tell me about what that would look like.
  • Socialized medicine or the alternative?
  • If we didn’t accept you, how would you feel and what would be your reaction?

While some of these questions may not seem completely relevant to why you want to become a neurosurgeon or interventional cardiologist, you should still be prepared to answer each of these questions thoughtfully and honestly. Remain calm during the interview session and answer clearly and without stuttering or incoherent interjections. Interviewers want to see you struggle and observe your reaction to tough questions – so expect them. You can categorize interview questions as interviewers determining:

  • Strengths/weaknesses
  • Leadership qualities
  • Healthcare beliefs
  • Study habits
  • Free time activities

By keeping these groupings of questions in mind, expect to receive an equal share of questions from each category. You may find that your specific interview may include more questions from, say, the leadership category. Do not be alarmed. It may be that those interviewing you saw a possible hole in your ability to lead a team. Prepare for those areas you think appear weakest on your resume or personal statement(s). Your job is no different than any businessman or woman trying to sell their product, except you are selling yourself and attempting to convince the interviewers/board members that you offer the best value and are the best potential medical school student. Although this may seem like quite a bit of information to mull over during interview preparation time, relax and just answer each question honestly and confidently. You cannot try to be anyone else at this point, so don’t try to be. Be yourself, answer as you would to your friend or parent, and knock those interviewers’ socks off, no matter how weird some of their questions may seem.

Joe Baxter worked in medical research for the majority of his life. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling abroad, working in his wood shop and freelance writing about medical news.