Medical School Interviews: What You Need to Know

February 2, 2023

10 min read

Medical School Interviews

Going to medical school is a big deal. Whether your goal is to become a surgeon or practice pediatric oncology, med school is life-changing. But don’t worry if you’re not familiar with medical school interviews or the interview process in general.

We’ll tell you everything you need to know, from what to expect from the interview itself to how to practice and the most commonly asked med school interview questions. Let’s get started.  

What Is a Medical School Interview?

A medical school interview is an interview between the med school hopeful and a representative from the school. 

These interviews are an essential part of the medical school admissions process. It’s one of the most important stages of the process, and is just another obstacle between you and getting into med school.

A successful medical school interview will depend entirely on not only your qualifications but your interview preparation as well. 

Is it hard to get a medical school interview?

Because not everyone is offered a med school interview, it can be difficult to get an invite for an interview if you only applied to one or two schools. 

Medical school interviews are only offered to the brightest candidates in the applicant pool. There’s a chance you won’t get interview invites from every single school you apply to, and that’s normal.

If you’re a pre-med student and you receive an invitation to interview, you should be excited. It’s an honor and an opportunity to begin your med school journey.

How many interviews does the average medical school applicant get?

When applying to med school, the majority of applicants will get around one to three interviews. 

It also depends on things like: 

  • Your qualifications, like your MCAT/GPA scores
  • The school’s admissions process
  • How many schools have already interviewed other applicants

What percentage of med school applicants get interviews?

Getting a medical school interview can be tough. It’s competitive, and the candidates who get interview invitations are the best of the best. Only around 10-15% of applicants get interview invitations each year for each medical school. 

So if you score a med school interview or even if you’re waitlisted, consider it a significant accomplishment and a good sign.

When should I expect my med school interview?

You can expect your med school interview invitation to arrive sometime around July (which would be considered early) or March, which would be a later time.

However, most universities send invitations and schedule interviews during the span between September to January. This is the most likely time to expect a med school interview, if you’re waiting on one.

How to Prepare for a Medical School Interview with AI

It’s no secret that medical school interviews can be daunting. These types of interviews can change your life. They can set you on the path to earning a medical degree, which is huge. If that makes you nervous, you’re not alone.

Still, you can channel that nervousness into excitement through committed practice. To practice, you can meet up with a friend or family member, in-person or online. Have them ask you a few basic interview questions alone with some med school interview-specific questions. We’ll include some down below. 

You’ll also want to record your practice, if possible. You can do so through apps like Zoom or Google Meet, or through an AI communication coach like Yoodli

When you record or upload a video through Yoodli, you’ll receive free, specialized insights into your speech patterns and body language. These insights are unique to you, so you can then use them to improve specific areas you need to work on. 

These analytics — including your filler word usage, word choice, and pacing, among others — can help you pinpoint exactly what you need to practice before your medical school interview.

On top of that, Yoodli has a specific interview flow functionality that allows you to choose from a list of common interview prompts — categorized from general to marketing and finance — (or input your own, like medical school interview questions) and start practicing from there.

A screenshot of a woman practicing med school interview questions with Yoodli
You can easily practice med school interview questions via Yoodli’s interview flow.

Because Yoodli’s interview flow is so customizable, you can even change the tone of the interviewer. You can select “behavioral” if you want to practice more behavioral questions or you can change the tone to something like “serious” or “friendly.” Just remember to use the STAR method when you’re practicing.

After your practice, you’ll gain insights into each question, including a transcript, the aforementioned analytics, and AI speech coach comments — all dependent on the question you’re responding to. That way, you can easily keep track of how you’re doing. Just make sure to avoid fillers, watch your pacing, and avoid rambling.

This dedicated practice can be a game changer when you have a med school interview. For example, if you notice that your filler word usage is above average, you can target that as an area of improvement. 

Although it’s easier said than done, you can decrease your filler word usage by slowing your pace or even pausing to think carefully before you speak. You can learn more about Yoodli’s interview flow below:

Nail your med school interview questions by practicing with Yoodli.

Med School Interview Questions

Med school interview questions can be pretty wide-ranging. These questions are spread across a few different categories, like your personality, your education, and of course, medicine-related. 

Although no interview question is necessarily “easy,” interview questions related to your personality and traits are often the ones you’ll be most prepared for. 

For example, a commonly asked med school interview question is, “What is your greatest weakness?” This can be a tricky question, but if you’re prepared, it won’t stump you. Check out our how-to video on tackling this question: 

Learn how to answer “What is your greatest weakness?” in case you get asked during your medical school interview.

Other typical med school interview questions you might face during your conversation include: 

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths? 
  • Is there anyone else in your family with an interest in medicine?
  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake. How did you react and what solution did you come to?
  • What do you like to do for fun or when you have downtime?

Questions regarding your education are also easier to answer since you’re most familiar with your education history. 

Med school interview questions you can expect to answer about your education include:

  • Why did you choose to major in [your undergraduate major]?
  • What extracurricular activities did you participate in?
  • Did you have a job while earning your undergraduate degree? 
  • What was the most challenging course during your time as an undergraduate student?
  • What is your goal after completing medical school?

As you probably expected, your interviewer will most likely ask you a few questions that are related to the field of medicine as a whole.

Some examples of these types of med school interview questions include: 

  • What do you think is the biggest pitfall of the nation’s healthcare system today?
  • What’s the most concerning health trend today, in your opinion?
  • In your opinion, what’s the largest health issue we’re facing?
  • In terms of healthcare insurance, what are your top three concerns?
  • What excites you about the field of medicine?
  • How do you stay up-to-date on medical and health news?

You might face some ethical questions, since ethics is so intertwined in health and medicine. Examples of ethics questions could be: 

  • Do you think healthcare is a right, a privilege, or a mix of both?
  • What’s your take on medically-assisted suicide?
  • In terms of medical ethics, what are some current controversies you’ve been thinking about?

All of these questions are great practice for med school interview prep, and you really can’t “over” practice — just be sure to keep your focus. 

What questions should I ask at a medical school interview?

Though you might not have considered it, you can (and should) absolutely ask your interview questions for interviewers after you’ve completed your part of the interview. Asking questions helps to show that not only are you attentive and engaged, but you’re also truly interested in the school itself.

If you need some ideas, questions you could ask the interviewer include: 

  • What is the med school campus culture here like?
  • What are some traits you see in the successful medical students here?
  • Do you have any advice for someone pursuing [the type of medicine you’re interested in pursuing]?
  • How does [this medical school] stand out from others?
  • What are some of the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives this school has taken?
  • Have there been any notable changes to the curriculum this year?

Medical School Interview Tips

Aside from some dedicated practice with potential med school interview questions, there are loads of other ways you can prep for your interview. Check out these five tips to ace your medical school interview. 

  1. Get good sleep the night before. You might be tempted to stay up all night practicing, but there’s a risk to that — it could negatively affect your performance during the interview. Go to bed at a reasonable time and try to get as much restful sleep as possible to best prepare.  
  2. Arrive on time. Whether your medical school interview is in-person or virtual, make sure you arrive on time. If it’s online, like a Zoom Call or a Google Meet, don’t join early. There’s a small change that the interviewer uses the same link for everyone, so joining early might actually interrupt another candidate’s interview. 
  3. Be very familiar with the school. Before your interview, take the time to do some heavy research about the medical school. You’ll want to read about the school’s mission statement and the program beforehand so you’ll have an idea of what the school’s all about. 
  4. Keep up with any health and medical news. Although you might not think of it, keeping up with health news — especially breaking news — is a very good idea. Not only is it good to know, but it could even be a talking point during your interview, whether you bring it up or your interviewer does. 
  5. Know the foundations of bioethics. Bioethics is an expansive subject, but before your interview, make sure you can explain some of the foundations. These can include: autonomy, which is the idea that a patient has the right to make their own choices; beneficence, which refers to a medical personnel’s responsibility to better patients’ welfare; non-maleficence, which is a medical personnel’s promise to “do no harm”; and justice, which can refer to the importance of equal, fair treatment to all patients.

Medical School Interview Mistakes

There are a couple of common medical school interview mistakes you should be aware of, too. 

First, remember professional boundaries. Although you might have a very personal reason why you’d like to go to med school, try not to talk about any private health information, even about yourself. Even though it might be in your nature to be open about a health condition you have, focus on the task at hand: showcasing yourself in a way that gives you the best shot of getting into med school. 

Second, don’t panic if you face a question that stumps you. Being caught off guard during an interview isn’t a great feeling, but it’s not the end of the world. You can always respond with something like, “That’s a great question,” while you quickly mull it over. You can also take a sip of water to buy yourself some time to consider their question. 

Lastly, don’t point out any shortcomings on your resume or in your experience. You’re trying to highlight your successes and the accomplishments that show you’re ready to excel in med school. Although you don’t want to lie or be untruthful, you don’t have to bring up any personal “red flags” that might be on your mind.  

Why Is It Important to Prepare for a Medical School Interview?

Attending medical school is a huge, life-changing event. If your goal is to go to med school, it’s critical that you ace your interview. Preparing for a medical school interview gives you the best chance of nailing it. 

You already put in so much work as a pre-med student, so practicing and preparing for a medical school interview using a speech coach like Yoodli is a fantastic way to help you reach your goals of getting into your dream med school.

The Bottom Line

Medical school interviews are exciting and liable to change your life for the better. It’s truly the first step of a journey full of learning and practicing medicine, which is why interview prep is so critical for your success. 

Don’t let the gravity of a medical school interview overwhelm you. If you’ve been invited to interview, you’re a qualified candidate whom the school is looking forward to hearing from, and you should feel proud and confident that you’ve been given this opportunity. 


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