The average high school grade still plays the biggest role in the application process. For some time now, more and more universities/colleges have been introducing the university selection process, including medicine interview selection. 60% of all study places in the field of medicine are allocated by the AMA (American Medical Association).
In 2023, the admission regulations for medical studies are completely reformed. When applying for a place at medical school, the focus is no longer just on the average high school grade, but also on the personality and motivation of the applicant. During the selection interview, the examination committee then has the chance to get to know the applicants better, find out their motivations, and make more personal decisions. In the following article, you will find out how the selection interview works, what questions you might come up with, and how you can best prepare for the interview.
Which universities/colleges offer the selection interview as part of the AMA?
Even though this method is not yet that widespread, a few universities/colleges still use interviews as part of the medicine selection process. Since the admission regulations change from year to year, we recommend that you check the information about the selection process on the university website before applying.
At private universities/colleges, medicine selection interviews are already part of the daily routine. These universities/colleges use the selection interview as a criterion within the selection process.
Structure and process of the selection interviews
In comparison to the entrance test, no SP specialist knowledge is required in the selection interview. The aim here is to find out what kind of personality the applicant has, why he/she decided to study, and how the applicant reacts in different situations. Whether several examiners sit across from you in your admissions interview or you have an individual interview depends on the university/college. Most students prefer to go with the Medicine Interview Course to avoid rejections and have more chances of success.
Experience in the medical field
If your first attempt at studying medicine ended with a rejection letter, this offers you a good opportunity to gain experience in the medical field until the next application phase. Completed medical professional training always makes a good impression. Various internships or a voluntary social year will also be counted positively in the application. If you don’t want to spend the time between high school and studying in the USA, you can also combine a medical internship with a stay abroad.
The nursing internship is one of the requirements for taking part in the first state examination. You must have completed the internship in a hospital by the end of the fourth semester at the latest. You should not complete a nursing internship during school hours or school holidays. This would otherwise count as a school internship and will not be counted toward medical studies. So it’s better to wait until after you graduate from high school.
It makes sense to have completed the internship before starting your studies. This may give you advantages when applying for a place at university. The completed internship shows the examiners your interest in medicine even before the actual studies. In addition, the first semesters of medical studies are very learning-intensive. You’ll enjoy your free time during the semester break and probably won’t want to spend it on an internship.
Voluntary social year
The Voluntary Social Year is very welcomed by the selection committee during the selection process. Of course, it should be a Voluntary Social Year in the medical field. By working with e.g., for example, older people or other patients in need of help, you will also gain insights into future professional life during your Voluntary Social Year.
While the nursing internship is usually unpaid, you usually get a small pocket money during the Voluntary Social Year.
During a selection interview, a selection committee will ask you about your motivation for studying medicine, what experience you have already gained, and how long you have been working on the subject of medicine. You may be asked the following questions:
- Why did you choose to study human medicine?
- Since when have you wanted to study medicine?
- Was there an event that made you want to study medicine?
- Are you familiar with the course of study?
- Do you already know what field you want to specialize in? If yes, why?
- Why did you choose our university?
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI)
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) are part of the entrance exam. Your reaction and behavior will be tested in various situations. In addition to direct conversations, small role plays can also be part of the MMIs. Using role-play, the examiners can assess how you deal with stressful situations.
Within the MMIs, you should show the examiners that you have the qualities of a doctor: stress resistance, good decision-making skills, empathy, observation skills, and conflict skills are just a few of them.
Preparation for the selection interview
Practice makes perfect
You’re definitely not hearing this for the first time. Preparing for the medicine selection interview should not be taken lightly. It is important that you prepare for certain questions and expect questions from the examiners. You will find many questionnaires online to help you prepare.
You should also prepare for the role plays. Think of as many doctor-patient situations as possible and then play them through with friends or family members. You can work on your weaknesses and always receive feedback from your counterpart.
Tip: In student forums, you can often find information about medicine selection interviews from other students. They usually describe the process of their selection interview and provide a few example questions.
Just be yourself
With the selection process, including the selection interview, the universities/colleges only want to find out whether you are suitable for studying medicine. This procedure saves you and the universities/colleges from dropping out of your studies and potentially dissatisfied student life.
During the interview, the examiners will be able to distinguish whether you are behaving naturally or trying to be someone else. Therefore: just be yourself! Try to be open and friendly and direct the conversation. If you show that you have something to say, the committee won’t be forced to ask uncomfortable questions. Explore more on MOBSEAR Gallery.
Find out more about the university/college
Since the university/college has a limited number of study places available, the commission will always ask you why you decided to apply to their university/college. In this context, people often ask whether you are familiar with the university/college’s focus areas or whether you have already looked into the study plan. Some universities/colleges are known for certain disciplines or discoveries. If you can demonstrate basic knowledge of your university/college, this may increase your chance of getting a place.
Even if no prior medical knowledge is asked for in the selection interview, you should show your interest in medicine and healthcare. There have been many changes to the healthcare system in recent years and many are still to come. As a prospective doctor, you should keep yourself abreast of the latest information in the medical sector and know what influences certain events will have on your future professional life. The examination committee uses this to test how much time and interest you devote to your future career.
Topics that are currently being discussed a lot include the new organ donation law, the 2023 master plan, and the acute shortage of nursing staff.
- Be punctual!
- The first impression counts! Behave confidently and naturally.
- The right outfit: not too stuffy, but not too comfortable and casual either.
- A well-groomed appearance makes a good impression!
These are the questions you can expect in the selection interview
- Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How will you finance your studies?
- What do you do in your free time? What are your interests?
- How do you imagine your family planning?
- What interests you more: research or practice?
- Why do you want to study in this city?
- How do you deal with exam stress?
- Why don’t you want to continue doing the job you learned? (in case of completed training)
- What problems do you think there are in healthcare?
- What do you know about the history of the university/college?
- Do you like learning by heart?
- What would you do if you failed an exam?
- Why should we admit you to our university/college?
With sufficient preparation and confidence, you will certainly master the medicine selection interview very well. We keep our fingers crossed for you for the upcoming selection interview and hope that we were able to answer all of your questions on this topic.