All UK medical schools will interview school leavers before offering them a place, to assess their suitability to study medicine and to become a doctor. They will be looking at communication skills, motivation, attitude, awareness of what is happening in medicine, and an understanding of what the study and practice of medicine will involve. Medical schools will do this in one of two ways. The following are summaries, and you will find more detail on each type, and on Oxbridge interviews, elsewhere in the Knowledge Base.
This type of interview is question-based but can develop into more of a conversation in which you have time to elaborate on your answers. You are most likely to have more than one interviewer, who may be drawn from admissions staff, professionals, or current students. The length can vary but expect 20 – 40 minutes as standard. Questions tend to be drawn from common themes, which you can find in published question banks, so you can prepare some answers in advance, and many medical school websites will indicate if there are things they will explore during an interview, such as your work experience.
The MMI was introduced as a more objective way of assessing candidates and is now being used in some form by the majority of medical schools. As it is practical, it gives a more accurate representation of a candidate’s actual abilities than a traditional interview and being modular can cover a wider variety of skills. You will encounter a number of stations, each lasting no more than 10 minutes, but some much less, which can be role play situations, problem solving, data handling, teamwork, or short interviews covering your work experience or how you would cope with stress.
Many interviews for 2021 entry were conducted online, on a platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Some universities may continue with this for 2021/22. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure you are somewhere quiet, with the best wifi you can, and that you will be uninterrupted. Dress and behave as you would for an in-person interview. Although the setting is less formal, you are still being assessed, so prepare and focus in the same way. The Medical Schools Council has prepared some useful guidance on taking an online interview which you can read here.
The tables show which type of interview the medical schools are now using, and any special arrangement they have announced for 2021/22 interviews. This may change, but if you are offered an interview, they will give you full details and instructions. Institutions usually assessing by MMI are included in that table, even if they are proposing to use a more structured approach in online interviews for 2021/22.