University of Manchester Medicine Interview Tips
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve probably secured an interview at the University of Manchester to study Medicine. Here’s a few tips on how to tackle the daunting process that is interview day!
The Manchester course
If you applied for a foundation year (A104), be ready to explain why you made that choice: make sure you’re able to do the same! If there is a particular feature of the course at the University of Manchester that attracts you, be prepared and use it in your interview! It could be: the chance to intercalate, the problem-based learning approach to medicine, whole-body dissection, early clinical contact and so on. Consider defending PBL as opposed to traditional teaching, but don’t be too biased and discuss pros and cons in a balanced way. Practice answering questions like “do you think whole-body dissection is the best way to learn anatomy?” or “why do you think this course is a good fit for your learning style?”.
Focus on what your examiner is saying
The room where some interviews are held in have stations separated by curtains, making it a potentially ‘noisy environment’. Make sure to simulate this when you’re practicing, so you’re not caught out by the lack of silence. Try to focus only on what your examiner is saying, rather than aiming to get a head-start on your neighbouring station!
Know your personal statement inside out
Just a couple of years ago, a personal statement station at UoM Medicine interviews was a must, so make sure you’re able to back up every sentence you have written with plenty of detail. You might want to look up the STAR interview technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result) if you need a more structured approach to your answer about previous experience. Don’t forget to mention what you have learned from that experience. If you couldn’t fit all of your amazing work experience in there, bring it up during this station! Try not to be cliché: consider that they see many candidates every day so mention the buzzwords (“team-working”, “multidisciplinary approach” …) but try and be memorable as well. Don’t be scared to brag! This is your chance to show off and prove that you’re motivated to join this medical school.
Many students find it really unsettling when an examiner speaks for a substantial part of the station’s allocated time; some get so paranoid about it that they’re thrown off their game for many stations after! If this happens, don’t worry about it. There is a good chance that this is either a dedicated station or it’s just a way to put you at ease.
You might have become an expert on medical news and memorized everything you’ve learned from your work experience, but don’t forget the basic questions that you might be asked! Don’t be surprised if an entire station is dedicated to “why do you want to be a doctor?” or “do you think you have what it takes for a medical career?”. Try and make it personal, use examples from your experience and don’t use a rehearsed speech; they’ve heard many candidates before you!
The ‘usual’ ethics station
Make sure you know your ethics pillars of medicine (Autonomy, Beneficence, Non-maleficence and Justice) and you are able to explain what they mean and give examples. Be able to know how they’re involved in a hypothetical scenario that the examiner might read out to you. As everything in ethics, any scenario they read out will heave grey areas that you need to explore: don’t be scared of exploring them. There is nothing wrong with concluding a monologue where you balance both sides on an argument with stating that you’re on the fence at this moment in time. Be honest and they will appreciate your integrity, a crucial skill in a doctor. Also, don’t forget to mention “confidentiality”!
Finally, to attempt a range of past MMI questions used in Manchester MMI Interviews (as well as their model answers) subscribe to the Online MMI Question Bank.
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