Medicine interview prep in Australia is essential for acing the med school interview and getting accepted. Most of the top medical schools in Australia require applicants to undergo the medicine interview. Medical schools in Australia can be highly competitive, so knowing how to prep for the med school interview is as important as knowing the top . In this blog, we’ll look at what med school interviews in Australia look like, what formats they take, what kind of questions to prep for, and how professional interview prep can help.
The vast majority of medical schools in Australia use the medicine interview as key factor in deciding who receives a letter of admission. The medical school interview can be an intimidating challenge for any applicant, but it can be conquered. Wherever you’re applying, is essential for your success.
The medical school interview in Australia is used to evaluate applicant’s soft skills, to see if they can demonstrate the essential qualities and characteristics of a successful physician. It’s also a good evaluation of applicants’ maturity, professionalism and dedication. Admissions boards also use your interview as a way to learn more about your background, personality and motivation to study medicine or motivation to study at their university med program in particular.
Not only is the medical interview required at some of the best medical schools in Australia and New Zealand, its crucial for entry to some of the most competitive programs in these countries. Admission to competitive medical programs like the University of Notre Dame in Sydney or the University of Wollongong requires acing the medical school interview.
Fortunately, applicants can make use of professional interview prep and expert advice and tips to coach them on tackling this tough requirement.
Are you wondering what you need to know before walking into your interview? Check out this video:
Professional interview prep can be your biggest tool in acing your med school interview in Australia. Most professional interview prep services focus on . Using this strategy, you can get a feel and understanding of the interview process and format before you even step into the room. This is a proven preparation strategy, and it can help correct any issues in advance of the big interview.
Interview prep can also help evaluate your answers to interview questions. To craft a good answer to an interview question, you need to first brainstorm your answer, identify the key points in said answer and structure it in a cohesive, clear and concise way. Professional interview prep can help you guide you on this process.
Professional interview prep can give you helpful feedback and tips you can’t get from asking family or friends to mock interview you. As objective evaluators, a professional interview prep service can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and help you improve your interview skills and delivery. They may also have inside knowledge on the interview process and evaluation for the schools you’re applying for, and so can prepare you to interview at your specific, chosen schools.
Along with mock interviews and feedback, professional interview prep can help you craft your answers to interview questions, help finesse your delivery and advise you on comportment, let you know and more.
Medical schools in Australia and New Zealand, for the vast majority, use one of two interview formats for the admissions process: the dreaded multiple mini interview () format and the semi-structured, traditional panel interview format.
Med schools use the interview to evaluate a number of characteristics of their applicants, including their communication and critical thinking skills, how they make decisions and solve problems, their ethics, empathy, maturity and self-awareness, as well as their ability to work in a team an collaborate. All of these traits are essential for a successful medical doctor, so interviewers will be evaluating how well you can execute these skills in hypothetical situations or questions during your interview.
If you can, research which type of interview format your chosen school uses, how long the interview will last and if they provide a list of questions commonly asked. Forward knowledge will help you prepare yourself the best for your interview, no matter the format.
Interested in testing yourself with some practice questions? Let's work through some together:
For your medicine interview at Australian med schools, you can expect some of the to pop up. But you can also rely on research to help you out here. Certain schools will place emphasis on different aspects of healthcare or candidate qualities. James Cook University has a special emphasis on rural healthcare and Indigenous health, so expect some questions related to those topics. The University of Wollongong also has an interest in candidates who want to provide care in rural or remote communities.
Below we’ve outlined some of the more common questions you can be asked in a medical school interview, as well as some current affairs in Australian medicine to be aware of.
Some general questions that are commonly asked revolve around your motivation to study medicine. These might include:
For these kinds of questions, it’s best to be succinct, honest and specific. Provide distinct examples to illustrate your points, and stick to one or two key points so you’re not tempted to ramble or get off topic.
- How would you navigate various religious requests which may interfere with your ability to perform medical procedures, even life-saving ones?
- Would you prescribe birth control to an underage girl without the knowledge or permission of a parent or guardian?
- What are the 4 pillars of ethical medicine?
- In what situation would you withdraw medical care?
For ethical questions, don’t worry about finding the ‘correct’ answer. Focus on providing an answer that is unbiased, non-judgmental and patient-centred. Explain your thought process to the interviewer as you answer.
Interviewers are also likely to ask your thoughts on current affairs in the medical field in Australia or ask you to discuss current healthcare topics. Keep in mind that these may also center on Australia’s rural communities and Aboriginal populations, so it’s a good idea to research the core healthcare concerns affecting these communities, such as mental health or access to healthcare. Here’s a short list of some potential topics that may be covered:
When preparing for your med school interview at an Australian school, it’s a good idea to follow the usual interview prep advice such as how to dress, don’t show up late and practice your answers beforehand. But for the med school interview in Australia, there are two important things to remember: learn and practice.
The practice part of the equation comes from employing tools like mock interviews and interview prep. But there are other tools you can use, too.
If you want to see a summary of some of the key points covered below, take a look at this infographic:
Record your answers
Recording your answers to common interview questions can be a good way to really hear yourself. You can more easily identify where you’re pausing, talking too long or talking too little. Its also helps to pick out the “ums” and “ahs” we can eliminate from our speech. Practice taking a pause or a breath before you answer a question, both to calm your nerves and give you sufficient time to think of your answer. This helps you cut out the “um” at the start of your sentence, too!
Recite in front of the mirror
Like recording your answer, practicing your interview answer delivery in the mirror is a useful self-assessment. By watching yourself in the mirror, you’ll be able to see for yourself what your body language is like, where your eyes are moving and any physical habits you need to correct for your interview, such as fidgeting or tugging at your clothes. Building some self-awareness of your actions and voice will help you improve your interview skills in time for your interview.
MMIs at Australian med schools typically give applicants 6-8 minutes to answer the given questions at each station. It may seem like a lot of time to fill, but it can get eaten up quickly. Practice delivering your answers in 4-7 minutes so you know you can get your primary points in under the time limit.
The next part of the preparation equation—learning—is essential for prepping for the Australian med school interview. Learning about the country and its healthcare system, as well as general knowledge about healthcare will provide you with ready to go answers when these kinds of questions come up in your interview.
Keep up to date
Do some research on the current hot topics in Australian medicine and healthcare. Provide yourself with some background information and an overview of the issues the country is facing. You’ll be able to give better interview answers from an informed position. Research topics such as inequities in access to care, the growing problems with an aging population and chronic disease and what impact political and workforce pressures have on the healthcare system.
Make an experience bank
Learning about yourself is just as important as learning about the medical field. Brainstorm and write down any and all possible life experiences you have that could serve as good answers for common interview questions. Think on the meaningful moments, learning experiences or inspiring memories related to your desire to study medicine. Write down the key details and lessons you learned from each one. Making a bank of experiences will help you learn more about yourself, and allow you to dig deep into your personal motivations and drivers. It will also give you a handy mental list to pull from to answer any question.
Research the healthcare system
Whether you’re an international applicant or a domestic student, researching the healthcare system in Australia can give you some much needed base knowledge. Look up how primary and secondary patient care works in Australia, or the governing medical bodies like the Australian Medical Association and give their website a read. General knowledge about the field of medicine, and how medicine works in the country you plan to study in will show that you’re a diligent student and you’ve done your homework.
Medical school interviews in Australia are a fast and furious process and work off a short deadline. Application deadlines are usually in late October or early November, with interview invites being sent out shortly after. Undergrads can expect their interview to be held in November and December. They also won’t need to wait long to hear back on admissions decisions, since offers are typically sent out quickly in December or early in the New Year.
Specific deadlines for applications, interviews and admission offers can be seen on each university’s website.
1. How do I prepare for medical interviews in Australia?
The best way to prepare for medical interviews at Australian schools is to learn as much as possible about Australian healthcare and practice, practice, practice with the help of mock interviews.
2. Do all Australian med schools use medicine interviews?
Not all, but the majority do use med school interviews. The most competitive med programs in the country all use med school interviews.
3. How can professional interview prep help with Australian med school apps?
Professional interview prep can be a helpful resource in preparing for the med school interview process. Most importantly, their services usually involve mock or simulation interviews, professional feedback and expert advice.
4. Do med schools in New Zealand use MMIs?
Yes. Most Australian med programs use MMI format, but some use traditonal panel interviews instead.
5. What are the current healthcare issues in Australia?
Some of the current healthcare issues in Australia are related to an aging population, the growing rate of chronic diseases, and issues related to inequitable access to care in remote areas or for certain populations.
6. When do interviews start at Australian med schools?
Interviews for Australian med programs are usually held in November and December of each year.
7. Is it hard to get into med school in Australia?
Australian med schools can be highly competitive. Some of the most competitive programs have an acceptance rate under 10%, such as the University of Wollongong and the University of Notre Dame.
8. When should I start prepping for med school interviews?
As soon as possible. Give yourself as much time as possible to prepare for your med school interviews. Application deadlines for Australian med schools come shortly before interview invites are sent out, so you may not have longer than a week or two between submitting your application and your interview to prepare.