5 min read

Medical Interview preparation can be daunting – but it doesn’t have to be

Published on
June 3, 2024


My name is Tom Spalding and I’m a medical student at ANU in Canberra. Like you, I have looked down the barrel of an upcoming medical school interview and thought “Where do I start?” In fact, every medical student and doctor you meet has gone through this same experience, it’s part of the process…


As the manager of Fraser’s Interview, I have not only been successful in receiving an offer to a medical school, but I’ve also helped thousands of students just like yourself reach their dream career in medicine. Here are 3 things you should consider as you are getting started:


1.     You need to get in touch with your own motivations, values, and experiences, and understand how they have led you to this point. 

2.     You need to start your preparation early and follow a timeline suited to your unique situation.

3.     Practice makes perfect, and there are a multitude of ways you can do it. 


Now my word count is limited, so I’ll need to be brief, but if you want to know more, I’d highly encourage you to get in touch with my team and have a chat, or join one of our free teaching sessions, no strings attached. 


1- Understand what makes you different. 


If you ask me, or any of our interview tutors, the most common error that we see in our mock interviews is that applicants say the things they think they should say, without putting much thought into whether they meant it, or why they said it. 


The reality is most early interview responses are bland and lack elements that make the applicant stand out from the crowd. The best responses I’ve heard are answered from the heart and are backed by the applicant’s engrained and learned personal values.


If you are a person that is naturally empathetic, you should lean into this, and delve into the emotional elements (where applicable) of every scenario and problem you are presented with. The same goes for strong leaders, good communicators, lateral thinkers, etc. Unfortunately, too many people put a filter on the characteristics that make them unique. 


Bringing it all together for those of you just starting your prep, it’s important to take some time to reflect on your core values, motivations and experiences before you start your preparation, as these elements need to be central in every interview answer you give.  


2- Develop a timeline 


There are few advantages in the interview preparation game that everyone has access to, but not many people utilise; early preparation is one of them. We see every year that a greater proportion of applicants who have had success, start their preparation months in advance. It’s a great idea to create a written plan for your preparation, this will keep you accountable, and contribute to a growth mindset around this endeavour. 


Our recommendation is start slow, allocate an hour per week to your interview preparation. Start by reviewing the common question types you can expect in your interview (Motivation stations, scenario stations, rural health, etc.), then develop a structure that will help you answer these questions in full. There’s lots out there, and within the Fraser’s Interview resources; you just need to find the ones that work for you. Finally, put aside a good amount of time for high quality practice, as this is the key to being confident and conversational on the day.  


3- Find opportunities to practice. 


When we talk about the importance of practice, most students picture this as sitting down with a family member or friend and casually reciting answers. This is not how it should be done. 


Firstly, the questions you practise should be entirely variable, with dynamic wording and question structure. For these, question banks are your friend – you can often find questions online, but I’ll definitely shout out the Fraser’s Interview banks as we have over 200 verified questions. If you are struggling with a particular line of questioning, it is a good Idea to have a couple attempts to see your improvement arc over time. 


Secondly, consider the format of your preparation. While you should of course practise with family members and friends, these sources contain many biases, meaning that you should diversify your mode of preparation. Consider practising by yourself, using recordings or a mirror. Consider joining a study group and practising with other medical applicants. Consider practising in a fully time-matched and format-matched mock interview. While you can run these on your own, Fraser’s Interview is a great place to join university-specific mock interviews that are developed using industry-leading knowledge and experience. 


I hope you have found these tips helpful and wish you best of luck through the final hurdle in your applications journey. Please reach out to the team if we can be of any assistance during your preparation.