When I was applying to Medicine in the UK, I found preparing for interviews to be the most enjoyable part of the entire application process. Mock interviews were a key part of my preparation, which led me to receive offers from all the medical schools that I interviewed at.
I did a lot of mocks before my actual interviews and most of them were virtual, which is even more relevant now that interviews are online. This post is intended to give you an overview of what to consider when doing a mock interview and tips/tricks to make the most of them, enjoy!
First of all, when to do them?
The whole point of a mock interview is to simulate the experience of being in an actual interview.
Mocks should NOT be done right at the beginning of interview prep. Since you won’t know much, it can make it quite difficult for the mock to proceed. This will be a waste of your time and the interviewer’s time. You wouldn’t be going into an actual interview without having done any preparation, wouldn’t you?
In my opinion, it is much better to do one after you’ve done some wider reading and gone through some questions on your own. It is also important to perhaps do one final mock not too long before your actual interview.
What format are you going to do?
Is this a mock specific to a certain medical school or interview style? Do you want to do the full thing and receive feedback at the end or do you want to do a question/station then receive feedback after each?
Dos for Mock Interviews
As I’ve said above, PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE.
Have specific areas/things you want to work on.
You should have an idea of the questions that you struggle with based on your preparation before the mock. Make sure that your interviewer is aware so they can pay more attention to it.
Try to do mocks with a range of interviewers.
Your interviewers don’t always have to be medical. Some people that you can approach include teachers at school, family members, friends, any doctors/medical students that you know.
Also make sure that you practice with interviewers of different personalities, especially interviewers that are more intimidating. It’ll definitely make you feel more prepared in terms of how you’ll manage if you end up having an interviewer that doesn’t speak much. I had a really intimidating interviewer during one of my actual interviews and having had some practice with a senior staff member of my college really helped.
Dress for it!
Wear the clothes that you would wear in your actual interview. It’s a good idea to ask your interviewers what their first impression of you is and it’ll also help you feel more at ease in formal clothes.
Practice a range of questions.
If there are specific areas that will definitely be covered in your interviews such as your BMAT essay, data interpretation, and roleplay, make sure to go through those! Go through a range of questions in your mock: motivation for Medicine, recent medical news/developments, skills/qualities, work experience, ethics, etc.
Thank your interviewers.
As simple as this is, a lot of people forget about it because of their nerves. Whoever your interviewer is, they’ve given up some of their time to help you out so make sure to show your appreciation! It might also encourage them to help you further with more mocks 🙂
Don’ts for Mock Interviews
Do NOT go in as a blank sheet.
As I’ve discussed above. Prepare, for real.
Don’t take it lightly just because it’s a mock!
It can be difficult especially if your mocks are virtual and might be taking place in your room. However, now that most actual interviews are virtual, virtual mocks will provide a more similar experience to the actual thing.
Specifically for Virtual Interviews:
Practice with the same technology that you would use for an actual interview: will you be wearing earphones/headphones? Are you going to use a laptop or tablet?
CHECK YOUR BACKGROUND. A messy background can give a negative first impression, make sure that is sorted!
Practice maintaining eye contact virtually. You should be looking into the camera, not the image of the interviewer.
Check your non-verbal communication. Since only the top half of your body will be seen, make sure that you can show that you’re actively listening eg through nodding your head and your facial expression.
That’s the end of this post! I hope that this helped and good luck with your interview prep! Thinzar recently did a post about her medical school interview experience and our International Insights series also covers interview experiences for specific medical schools so make sure to check those out!
We’re happy to help with interview practice so if that’s something that you might be interested in, do message us on Instagram and we’ll see if we can sort something out!