How to prepare for a medical interview
Preparing for an interview in your chosen field takes time and dedication. But I can promise you – when you secure the position you want, the hard work you put in is most definitely worth it! Think of it as prepping for success; showing your best self to the interviewers whilst standing out from the other candidates.
I’ve identified and created a unique system called the 5 Fundamentals for Interview Prep that I’ve used to support hundreds of doctors over the years. I’ve seen it used time and time again to help doctors confidently approach their interviews – knowing they’ve prepared to the absolute best of their ability.
Think of these fundamentals as your interview foundations – we can’t build a house without them strongly in place, or cracks will start to show!
Identify your strengths and what makes you unique
This is a critical starting point! Throughout the application process, the idea is to present a consistent “package”. I know it can be uncomfortable to think of ‘selling’ yourself, but this is key to building your confidence! And once you get into the exercise it feels really good too – think of it like an internal pep-talk.
You’ll be highlighting these strengths in your CV, written application, and during your interview answers, so it pays to get them solidified right at the beginning. This is a great time to sit back and reflect on how great you actually are, and recognise the things that confirm you deserve to get the job!
Get clear on the details of the job
It’s pretty self-explanatory and seems obvious, right? You’d be surprised how possible it is to miss some of these details in preparation so make sure you tick all the boxes at this step!
What are the selection criteria? What are the key competencies? Once you know that you know these, you can prep your answers for the questions they’ll be asking. You need to show that you can meet their criteria – so best be prepared for it!
This is one of the most important parts of getting ready for your medical interview. Through carefully thought-out examples you can prove and show how you meet the selection criteria, rather than just saying that you can.
Read more: Discover The Art Of The Example
You’ll always need examples for things like communication, teamwork and leadership, so make sure you think of how to highlight your strengths in these areas, regardless of the position you’re going for.
Imagine interviewing candidate, after candidate, after candidate…after candidate. Yep, it’s unfortunate to say but it can get boring for the panel!
Practise presenting your information systematically and logically – while they give every candidate their full attention, you still need to make it compelling and easy for them to follow your answers.
Dealing with nerves
The final pillar of your foundation – let’s talk about those nerves! You won’t get rid of them entirely, but you can manage them and even use them to your advantage during your interview process. When you walk into your interview feeling confident it definitely shows, and will help your interviewers sit up and take notice.
- Accept that you’ll get nervous
- Explore things like power poses, mindfulness exercises and visualisations
- Go in prepared!
Take action with this practical exercise
Let’s start with Step 1 and begin by identifying your strengths – ask yourself the following questions and make sure to write them down to solidify their impact.
- What’s unique to you?
- What do you want to highlight about yourself?
- Can you think of qualifications, skills, experiences, and personality traits?
A lot of people tell me they don’t think there’s anything unique about them, but believe me when I say there is and we can always find something. At the end of the day, I believe that if you’ve reached the interview stage then you should celebrate and congratulate yourself for getting to this point in your career!
When you believe that you’re qualified for the position you’re applying for, and that you deserve to be selected, you increase your chances of convincing the interviewers to believe in you too.
If you want to read more about battling nerves and building confidence during interviews, I’ve created a FREE guide just for that very purpose! Take a look: Unlock Your Medical Interview Potential