5 Nottingham Medicine Interview Tips
Firstly, congratulations if you’ve been invited for interview at Nottingham! This means that you’ve been shortlisted for entry; now is your chance to show them why they should want you! Here are some tips to help you to impress your interviewers.
1. Understand the MMI style
Nottingham uses MMIs (multiple mini interviews), consisting of 8 stations, each lasting 5 minutes. This means that each station is likely to focus on a single task, or a specific aspect of your application. There will be a sign outside the interview station (each MMI will take place in a cubicle) with some information about the station; make sure to read this and start thinking early on. The short interviews mean there is less time for warming up at each station, so it is especially important to go in switched on. Try to practice answering questions or debating a specific issue with a timer set for 5 minutes.
2. Focus on “soft skills”
Nottingham places emphasis on the soft skills of medicine, if you are unsure what this means I suggest reading the GMC’s “good medical practice” (which can be found online). Try to think of an example of a time when you have demonstrated the following skills; personal organisation, empathy, teamwork, stress management, leadership and conflict resolution. Make sure you can talk about these examples and skills, remembering the importance of self- reflection; is there anything you did in these examples that you would now do differently? What did the situation you dealt with teach you that you could apply to life as a medical student; and a doctor? Try to strike a balance between practicing to be prepared, but not sounding overly rehearsed.
3. Prepare for role play
Nottingham has 2 role play stations, in one you will have to help an actor complete a task, while the other is a conversation. In these stations you will need to demonstrate the skills of a good doctor; including communication, empathy, patience and compassion. In terms of communication; ask open questions, pay attention to your body language, show that you are listening (such as by nodding or saying yes) and remember to make eye contact. It is difficult to predict the questions that will be asked in these role plays; but the principles above are likely to apply. Stronger candidates will adopt a structured approach such as the BlackStone Tutors 6 Stages of MMI Role Play.
4. Prepare in general
Nottingham have a fairly specific course, where you complete a BMedSci in your 3rd year, make sure you understand what this entails (lab work and research). The course is mainly clinical case based, so teamwork and problem solving are important; and the university is proud that they still do full body dissection. Other ways to prepare are staying up to date on medical news (especially any ethical debates that are current), reading books by authors such as Atul Gawande and thinking about your work experience and personal statement. For work experience, reflection is again key. What did you admire in the doctors you watched, what did you think and feel about the patients you saw and talked to?
5. Be confident and enjoy yourself!
You have no reason not to be confident; so try to relax! Introduce yourself to each interviewer and make sure to smile (especially at the role play stations). You will be marked independently at each station. This means that if you’re unhappy with how one task has gone- try to forget about it and treat the next station as a completely new interview. You have 2 minutes between stations in which to do this. There may be tasks that are designed to disorientate you and see how you react to a stressful situation. Just stay calm and do what you can, remember other interviewees will be no more prepared for this than you.
In order to optimise your preparation, attempt a range of past MMI questions used in Nottingham MMI Interviews (as well as their model answers) by subscribing to the Online MMI Question Bank.
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