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Prospective medical school candidates are asking questions regarding which of these schools they should attend. The answers provided by these institutions will decide which of these candidates will then be willing to attend their programmes.

As important as it is to ask questions regarding certain aspects associated with medical schools, so too will it be important for an interview panel to ask questions to prospective medical students.

In this article, we shall focus on questions which are asked by interviewers regarding interests/social skills, stress handling, problem situations, personality and other possible miscellaneous topics.

Interests/social skills

The following questions should be easily handled by a prepared student. If you don't know the answer to a question, rather say that you don't and under no circumstances should answers be made up as this will not be appreciated by the interviewer. Not only would you project a negative image of yourself, but you may also worsen your chances of being accepted into the school's programme.
  • Give an example where you have shown leadership skills.
  • Do you relate well to others and provide evidence.
  • Have you done any volunteer work?
  • Is there a possibility for lasting peace in areas such as the Middle-East, eastern Europe and previous U.S.S.R. states?

Stress

  • What has been the most stressful situation you have experienced and how was it handled?
  • In general, how do you handle stress?
  • Your mother has a stroke the night before an exam, what do you do in this situation?
These questions are asked to determine whether a prospective candidate possesses the required coping skills necessary to handle a stressful situation. This is due to the fact that medicine can become very demanding on you physically and mentally, and one will need the correct coping skills in order to handle any challenges.

Some interviewers like to incorporate stress-inducing questions into the interview in order to assess how you end up handling the situation. Sometimes an uncomfortable silence may occur, which is purposefully done. You should be careful not to backtrack in this situation, or to start fidgeting around.

Problem situations

These questions are asked in order to check not only if you are knowledgeable, but also to assess whether you are an empathetic and compassionate person who is objective enough to understand both sides of a dilemma. 

The questions can include scenarios such as:

  • What do you do if a friend you're playing cricket with gets hit in the face with the ball?
  • How do you inform a 50 year old man that he has aggressive prostate cancer?

Personality orientated questions

These are direct questions which will assess your personality to one extent or the other. Be careful not to sound arrogant and being modest also helps.

These questions can include:

  • What kind of person would your friends describe you as?
  • What would you say are your best attributes?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What would you change about yourself?

Miscellaneous questions

  • Why should we accept you into our medical school?
  • How would you attract doctors to service rural areas?
  • Should the government introduce/re-instate the death penalty and why?
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

These are random questions which could be asked to get a better understanding of how you think. As long as you are well prepared and remain focused and truthful, then you should perform well. 

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