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Preparing for Medical School Interviews

Mock Interviews

Mock interviews are invaluable trial runs. We can help you evaluate your speaking style, the content of your answers, your body language, and your overall presentation. Some colleges offer mock interviews, so check with your premedical advisor or career center.

Even if a formal mock interview is not available, you can always have a friend or relative act as the interviewer and evaluate your performance. Honest feedback will help you realize if you speak too quickly or softly or if you should enunciate more clearly, etc.

Don't Go In Unprepared

Once you have reached the interview stage, the academic credentials of the group are probably pretty comparable. The quality of your interview may make a difference. Remember, once granted an interview, your fate is in your own hands. So, by all means, be prepared.

Many students go into their first few interviews completely unprepared, hoping to get the hang of it as they go along. Few people would attempt to run a marathon (or take the MCAT) untrained. The same principle applies here. You want to anticipate the questions and formulate the key points of your responses, maximizing your potential for success.

More often than not, the interviewer will base their questions on your personal statement and your medical school application. This type of questioning is especially true if you have an "open file" interview where the interviewer sees your application beforehand.

On occasion, an interviewer may ask you to comment on a medically related current event or ethical issue. You are not expected to be an expert on these topics—just that you have thought about them and have something reasonably intelligent to share.

101 Medical School Interview Practice Questions

  • Tell me about yourself ?

  • What do you feel is the purpose of Medical School?

  • Tell me about why you are interested in this program.

  • Describe your style of communicating and interacting with others. Give an example of a situation in which you had to utilize effective interpersonal skills.

  • Describe a situation in which you were dependable or demonstrated initiative. One in which you were not as dependable as you would have liked.

  • What experiences have you had working with diverse populations?

  • How do you handle stress?

  • From what you understand of medical school, what part of the program will be most difficult for you?

  • If you were a cookie, what cookie would you be?

  • Describe how you can effectively deal with someone in crisis.

  • What was your favorite college course and why?

  • What do you hope to gain from this experience?

  • Describe your style of communicating and interacting with others.

  • Tell me about a time when you demonstrated initiative.

  • Tell me about a time when you faced a conflict or anger with another individual.

  • Tell me about a time when you were criticized unfairly.

  • Tell me about a time when you failed.

  • How do you handle failure?

  • Tell me about a time when you’ve been disappointed in a teammate or fellow group member. What happened? How did you approach the situation?

  • Describe a situation in which you have worked with a diverse group of people. What did you learn from that situation?

  • How do you handle change?

  • How do you go about making important decisions?

  • If you could start your college career all over again, what would you do differently?

  • What were your most memorable accomplishments in your college career?

  • What does the word “success” mean to you?

  • What attracted you to this program?

  • What do you do when you are not at work or school?

  • How would your teammates describe you? How would your professors describe you?

  • If we contacted your references now, what do you think they would say about you?

  • If you could change one aspect of your personality with a snap of your fingers, what would you change?

  • In what course did you get the worst grades? Why?

  • What two things would you consider your greatest strengths?

  • What two things would you consider your greatest weaknesses?

  • What else do you want us to know about you before you leave today?

  • Who would you say has been the most influential person in the last one-hundred years?

  • Why do you want to be a doctor?

  • What do you do in your spare time?

  • What are your specific goals in medicine?

  • What stimulated your interest in medicine?

  • What do you think about HMO’s and the changes taking place in medicine?

  • What schools have you applied to?

  • What do you intend to gain from a medical education?

  • What do you think about euthanasia?

  • Why do you think so many people want to be doctors?

  • Do you think a physician should tell a patient he/she has eight months to live?

  • There are 1,000 applicants as qualified as you. Why should we pick you?

  • What steps have you taken to acquaint yourself with what a physician does?

  • How would your plans differ if you knew that all physicians would be working in HMO’s in the future?

  • What do you think is the most pressing issue in medicine today?

  • What will you do if you don’t get into medical school ?

  • If you discovered a classmate cheating, what would you do?

  • Tell me about your family. How do they feel about your decision to attend medical school?

  • What are your positive qualities and what are your shortcomings?

  • What is your relationship with your family?

  • How do you think your role as a physician fits in with your role as a member of the community?

  • Describe your personality.

  • What do you have to offer our school?

  • What are the best and worst things that have ever happened to you?

  • What do you see yourself doing in medicine 10-15 years from now?

  • Is medicine a rewarding experience? Why?

  • Would you practice in the inner city? What do you think happens to people who practice medicine there (attitude changes, etc.)?

  • If there were an accident on the highway, would you stop and help the victims, knowing that doing so might lead to a malpractice claim against you?

  • What aspects of your life’s experiences do you think make you a good candidate for medical school?

  • If your best friends were asked to describe you, what would they say?

  • How do you plan to finance your medical education?

  • What do you think about the ongoing conflict in Iraq?

  • Discuss a book that you have recently read for pleasure. Why did you select that book?

  • If you could invite four people to dinner, who would they be? Why?

  • A patient who has been in an accident needs a blood transfusion. She states that her religion does not allow them. You are the physician in charge. What will you do? Will you override her strong objection? Why/why not?

  • If you have the choice of giving a transplant to a successful elderly member of the community or a 20-year old drug addict, how do you choose?

  • What will you do if you are not accepted to medical school this year?

  • What newspapers, journals, etc., do you read on a regular basis?

  • Why did you choose your undergraduate major?

  • What extracurricular activities were you involved in during your undergraduate major?

  • What qualities do you look for in a physician?

  • Where do we stand in your list of medical school preferences?

  • What is the most pressing health issue today?

  • What experiences have you had in community involvement that demonstrate your commitment to medicine?

  • How do you think your personal background will affect your practice?

  • What are the negative aspects of medicine from a professional standpoint?

  • Would you like academic medicine as a career?

  • How might you deal with a terminally ill patient?

  • If you want to help people, why not social work?

  • Describe any travels that you have undertaken and exposure to other cultures than your own, if any.

  • Do you prefer the idea of basic research or of working with people?

  • Have you an alternative career plan?

  • When you need counseling for personal problems, whom do you talk with?

  • Describe your childhood and present living conditions.

  • How will you keep in touch with community needs?

  • How do you handle blood and gore?

  • Tell us your opinion of this medical school's curriculum.

  • Discuss National Health Insurance and how it would affect the physician and the patient.

  • Do you feel that medical students receiving federal loans should spend time practicing medicine in a rural area to give society something in return?

  • What are the differences between Britain's health care delivery system and ours?

  • What is the biggest problem in the world today?

  • What is your solution to terrorism?

  • How do you feel about euthanasia?

  • What is success?

  • What do you think about American primary health care delivery (i.e., status quo, total private systems, national health insurance)?

  • What impact do you want to have on the medical profession?

  • How do you plan to pay for your education ?

Interview Dress Code

Ask Questions

If you are given the opportunity, have a few questions that you can ask  such as "How do students from this medical school perform on the National Board Examinations?


How does the school assist students who do not pass?"

" or "Is there a mentor/advisor system? Who are the advisors—faculty members, other students, or both?"


Asking questions is a great way to be engaged in an interview and will prove to the interviewer that you are interested in their program.

 Send Thank You Notes

After an interview, make sure to send thank you notes no more than 24 hours after you are finished interviewing.


Taking the time to thank the people that interviewed you for their time and consideration. It's a small gesture but sending a thank you note goes a long way.


Interview Prep Packages

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