Oxford Medicine Interview Tips
Essential Tips To Help You Succeed In Your Oxford Medicine Interview
First of all, if you’re reading this to prepare for your interview- congratulations! If you’ve been invited for interview it means that something in your application stands out to the tutors as someone they want. There are many myths surrounding Oxford interviews, this article aims to demystify the process for you.
Be logical; and walk the tutors through your thought process
In the interviews, you will be asked questions that you don’t know the answers to, this is the goal. Go back to the basic principles of what you do know and try to work up to an answer from there. Don’t panic; you’re allowed to take a second to think. Fall back on what you know for sure- remember they don’t expect you to know the answer, they just want to see how you think. If you made a mistake in your logic earlier, don’t be afraid to say so- explain that now you’ve thought more you realise you were wrong. Often you may be asked to interpret a graph, or a picture (generally an X-ray or image of some body part), that you struggle to interpret. Start off by describing what you see that you consider important to give yourself some time to think about the interpretation, then move on to what you think this might mean.
Forget your expectations
The myths around the interviews are exactly that- myths. The tutors are generally kind people who are looking for potential students- they are looking for the good, not the bad. In terms of medicine specifically, don’t worry too much about the “soft skill” questions, there is far less emphasis on this in Oxford interviews compared to other medical schools.
Do your reading
Make sure you have brushed up on current topics relating to health and the NHS in the news, everything in your personal statement and what you wrote your BMAT essay on. In addition, read over your notes from Biology and Chemistry (or any relevant subjects you take)- it is common to be asked to talk about something you’ve studied that you found especially interesting. It’s also worth having a look at recent popular medical research, in case you’re asked whether you have read anything interesting recently. The BMJ is excellent for this, if you can find a couple of articles you really understand then that’s an excellent topic to discuss. Think critically about what you’ve read, in popular research the titles are often attention grabbing but misleading, or the authors conclude too much from a small amount of data. If you have a strong opinion about the research, then voice it!
Practice past Oxford Medicine interview questions
There's an abundance of great free resources to help prepare for your interview including a page dedicated to past Oxford Medicine Interview Questions. Make sure you don't only practice with familiar friends and family; experienced (and sometimes challenging) teachers are a great resource when preparing for Oxford Medicine interviews.
When you’re asked questions about yourself or about things that you have done, what is really important is what you’ve learnt from tasks and situations. They don’t care about the exact cases you saw on your work experience, they want to know about what you thought about what you saw, how it made you think about medicine. Similarly if you’re asked situational questions, such as “tell us when you dealt with a conflict”, they want to know what skills you gained from this situation and how you would apply these to life as a doctor or medical student.
Try to relax - they’re just human!
The tutors understand that this is stressful and are trained to help you show your potential. These interviews are meant to be a chance for you to experience the tutorial style of thinking and learning. Don’t assume that anything you’re thinking is obvious and not worth saying, they may not have looked at it from that angle. Don’t try to pretend you know something you don’t- explain that you don’t know the answer, and then explain how you would work it out.