One of the most nerve-wracking parts of your med school applications will be your interviews, and a medical school interview prep course may be the solution you need to ace them. Your grades may be on point, and you have the right clinical experience and extracurriculars for medical school, but the interview is often one of the last stops before reaching your destination. No matter how prepared you think you are, there are always more ways you can set yourself up for success.
This article will discuss whether a medical school interview prep course is worth it, given that schools take different approaches to interviews. If you decide that a prep course can fulfill your needs, you can then learn how to access the best medical school interview preparation.
Disclaimer: Please note: Although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.
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Is a Medical School Interview Prep Course Worth It?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question. It depends both on your own needs and on the priorities of the schools you are looking to apply to. Some colleges and universities weigh the interview heavily in their decision, while others place more emphasis on academic performance. Nevertheless, the interview is always important because it gives you a chance to explain your passion for medicine and your candidacy to become a doctor. No matter what, learning how to prepare for a medical school interview will never hurt your chances.
Trying to figure out how to prepare for your med school interview without memorizing answers? Watch this video:
Looking at the numbers and determining how your schools are specifically narrowing down the applicant pool can be a big factor in deciding whether you really need an interview prep course. The percentage is usually an indicator of what each school places value on. Some schools publish this information publicly, so it can be clearly seen how many students they interview vs how many were ultimately accepted into their program. By announcing these statistics, they also want their applicants to know what they look for in a successful candidate.
Looking at a few universities as examples of how they judge their medical school interview will give you an idea of how each school can be vastly different in their approach.
Overview of Interview vs Acceptance Rates in Canadian Medical Schools
In a recent year, the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine interviewed 582 students, and 167 ended up being enrolled in the program. There was no information on how many applied overall, but you can see that a lot of students were rejected following the interview sequence, meaning that they seem to place high importance on it. By contrast, McGill Medical School in Montreal had 1,957 applicants, interviewed 380, and then ultimately accepted 203 – showing less of a discrepancy between number of interviews and acceptances than Ottawa. Over half of the students who had an interview got accepted, but the majority were cut even before that point because McGill tends to focus more on academic performance. Their GPA, CV, and CASPer evaluation process is very selective, and they make sure to establish the interview as the absolute final step of selection. In this case, you could argue that the interview portion of McGill’s application process is “less important” than that of uOttawa. Finally, the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine seems to have more of a holistic selection process that considers academic ability, MCAT, and CASPer as well as interview results. Over half of the applicants received interviews (288/536), with 100 acceptances from that bunch.
Overview of Interview vs Acceptance Rates in American Medical Schools
In the United States, Stanford University is a school with a very high ranking and positive reputation. As it is so highly regarded, its medical school has a very large number of applicants. Admissions to Stanford are very competitive, considering that 500 interviews were performed for only 90 open spots. This is even more shocking given the fact that there were 11,321 total applicants. There are surprisingly not a lot of places available for such a popular school, so the interview is absolutely crucial for securing one, yet it is not a guarantee. Although medical school admissions are highly competitive in general, Stanford is an example of a university with next-level competition.
Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, has an applicant demographic that is mainly from out of state, so they conduct a lot more interviews than other schools and use a virtual medium. Out of the 875 interviewees, 230 were accepted. Therefore, the interview is a very important part of their selection process and narrowing down potential students.
Meanwhile, the medical school at the University of California, Riverside, conducted 250 interviews from among 6,771 applicants, accepting about 86. This is similar to McGill in the sense that they cut down a lot before the interview, but a nice chunk of the interviewees got accepted, even if it was less than half. For UC Riverside, the interview portion seems a little less crucial compared to other schools.
While it is impossible to know what admissions committees are thinking when they make decisions about who to accept into their program, based on the numbers, you can notice data and patterns that may inform your game plan. Every school is different, so make sure to do some research before committing to an interview prep course. Depending on the school’s priorities, in conjunction with your situation and level of interpersonal skill, participating in a prep course could have a variety of benefits.
This begs the question: why do medical schools place a heavy emphasis on interviews? Contrary to what people may think at first, getting into medical school is not just about your grades or how good your CASPer or MCAT score is. While academic performance is important for weeding out applicants in the initial round, the interview portion is usually what will make or break your application. In an interview, the admissions committee wants to see the person behind the CV. It is an opportunity for them to learn more about you and see your passion for medicine in order to determine what kind of doctor and colleague you will be. If you have strong grades and feel like the schools you are applying to weigh the interview very heavily, a medical school interview prep course could be just the thing to raise you to that next level and get you accepted.
Why Would I Need a Medical School Interview Prep Course?
The primary goal of a medical school interview prep course would be to give you a test run that you cannot get anywhere else. Basically, you get a shot at attending the interview with trained experts before it is official. You can be aware of what to expect. If you are dealing with really competitive admission requirements and need to learn how to stand out in a medical school interview, it could be a great idea to practice with people who know what questions to ask and how to help you. By participating in a course of this nature, you are taking your future into your own hands and doing whatever you can to succeed.
This could take the form of a realistic mock medical school interview to test the format of the interview you will be required to perform. Medical school interviews have unique formats that you may not be familiar with otherwise, such as the multiple mini-interview (MMI) and panel-style interview. You need to look at each school’s interview type to be able to maximize your preparation for it and decide which type of prep course can help you best.
Interviews can be intimidating, but a prep course will alleviate some of that stress. Admissions experts will be able to properly assess your skills in a particular interview format because they know what schools are looking for. Practicing with parents and friends may not be the best option in these cases, as they are likely not familiar with administering these formats. A coach who is dedicated to your success is best suited to helping you ace behavioral tests, such as the MMI. In addition, a prep course may also be a viable option for international students looking to test out their communication in another language or to experience how universities in other countries conduct their interviews.
Learn Question Types
A prep course may also teach you how not to memorize your answer to standard questions and to prepare for the various question types you may come across. Learning about the different types of multiple mini-interview questions and how to navigate them could be essential to your success. If the schools you are applying to use this format, why not try it out first to make sure you are on the right track?
Brush up on the most common medical school interview questions so that you can begin coming up with sample responses early. Anticipating questions is important, but so is being coached on how to best formulate your answers. Being non-judgmental and unbiased in your responses is a facet of a successful career in medicine that interviewers will be evaluating and therefore key to your success in the interview.
Interview preparation could also inherently aid you with other aspects of your application, as this skillset is also important for situational judgment tests such as CASPer. A mock interview with detailed feedback from advisors who have experience working with students will point out areas for improvement so that you are better equipped when you actually step into the room.
How Do I Access a Medical Interview Prep Course?
Now that you know how interviews affect acceptance rates and why you may need a medical school interview prep course, where do you go about accessing one? These worthwhile opportunities may not seem easy to come by, but there are professionals ready to help you right now. Academic advising companies, such as BeMo Academic Consulting, dedicate themselves to student success, particularly in competitive admissions to medical school, law, pharmacy, MBA, and more. Our mission is to make higher education accessible to all students, regardless of their identity, background, or socioeconomic status. Admissions can be a maze and BeMo provides world class mentorship, tools, and resources to the students who need them.
What Is Covered in a Medical Interview Prep Course?
With BeMo’s in-depth expertise on the MMI, the most popular format of interview for medical school, you will get the best possible MMI prep that will surely boost your confidence and your chances of acceptance. BeMo can help you identify up to 20 MMI question types and strategize your answers to fit each one.
The MMI is often dreaded by prospective med students because there is so much at stake if you reach the interview phase. Not to worry – BeMo makes bold guarantees when you sign up for an interview prep course.
People often get nervous, and this could affect their performance or first impression with interviewers. We can manage your stress and help you respond calmly when speaking with medical school admission committees.
Participating in a simulated MMI station that seems realistic will make you practice under the right conditions that will mimic your actual interviews down the road. Afterward, feedback from our MMI experts is direct and to the point. Each part of the process is meant to help you learn from any mistakes and perform the best that you can.
If the school of your dreams does not use the MMI format, you will also be able to workshop other standard formats as well. With our interview prep course, you will receive expert help that every student needs when navigating medical school admissions. It is a tough road that no one should go down alone.
When it comes to interviews, it is always okay to reach out for help. Academic consultants, such as those at BeMo, can be the difference between getting accepted and not getting into medical school. The interview is important, but it is often the last step in a series of complex application procedures that can be overwhelming without another set of hands to help you out.
When thousands of students are applying to medical school each cycle, you must work to stand out to ensure your acceptance. A student aspiring to a career in medicine can benefit from medical school application help in any capacity. Consultants can help perfect application documents, such as the medical school personal statement and medical resume, to highlight what makes you unique.
The decision to apply to medical school can affect the course of the rest of your life, so it is important to treat it with the most care. If you’re going to commit to becoming a medical professional, do so to the best of your ability and give yourself every opportunity to succeed.
1. What are some of the general acceptance rates for medical school?
Medical school acceptance rates are very competitive. Most schools accept less than 10% of all applicants, with many schools accepting less than 4%.
2. What are the most common medical school interview formats?
There are a variety of different interview types in medical school applications that depend on the particular institution, but some of the most common include the multiple mini-interview (MMI), one-on-one, and panel interview. Some schools have an interview day where a large number of applicants are interviewed and alternate stations with other prospective students. More interviews nowadays also use a virtual format, so take note of that as well. The MMI, in particular, may be daunting, as you may not have faced one before. For some extra guidance, read this blog in which a former MMI evaluator reveals her top prep tips.
3. How much weight is placed on the interview?
It really depends on the school, and you can often find this information on the school website. For some medical schools, the interview is almost on par with the academic components, while it is less emphasized by others. No matter what, the interview is always very important and crucial to your acceptance, even if carries less weight in some schools, and you should be well prepared for it.
4. How do I know which type of interview I will be completing?
Medical schools will likely put this information on their website. MSAR, which is the AAMC official resource for medical schools in the United States and Canada, could be a great tool for you to use when learning about specific school admission requirements.
5. Should I memorize my answers before my interview?
No, it is typically not helpful for students to memorize their answers. First, you don’t necessarily know exactly what questions you will get, and memorizing answers means you may be caught off guard if asked an unexpected question. Then, having answers that are too rehearsed may sound robotic. It is better to have bullet points you want to hit throughout your interview, rather than a script.
6. Is professional help necessary to succeed in a medical school interview?
It is definitely possible to prepare on your own but help from academic consultants will surely increase your chances. People in sports have coaches to act as their mentors and help them perform better, so this philosophy could also apply to academics and applications. With professional help, you get the opportunity to receive quality feedback and work on your weaknesses to turn them into strengths. You will also have the opportunity to participate in mock interviews that are very close to the real thing. Many of the other applicants you are up against will not have the same experience. With academic consultants dedicated to the goal of improving your skills, all aspects of your application will surely improve, including your interview performance.
7. Are there specific ways to prepare for the MMI?
The MMI is based on different stations, with the exact number depending on the school. Your goal will be to learn about the types of stations and MMI questions you will be facing. Some will be more traditional interview stations and others will be more interactive. A simulation MMI mock interview will be the most accurate way to prepare for what will happen on the day of, since the feedback and experience you take from that will benefit you in the long run. The more simulations you are a part of, the more well versed you will be in the format.
8. Will reading BeMo blogs and watching your videos help me out?
Absolutely. Our posts are a great place to start learning about the fundamentals of preparing for a medical school interview or other facets of your application. However, the best way to prepare yourself is with mock interviews and expert feedback from professional consultants. If you have that option available to you, why not take it?
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