How do I score in the interview?

First of all, you need to know what the interviewers are looking for. If you’re not even clear on what will get you marks and what won’t, you won’t be able to create effective, targeted answers that will score highly.

What interviewers are looking for are the traits (attributes, skills, motivations, values, and goals) that the university expects its medical and dental students to have. If you can successfully demonstrate the relevant traits to a well-developed extent, then you should have no issues with achieving a high interview score.

As for how to actually incorporate the right traits into your interview responses in a relevant, diverse, and authentic way, there are certain techniques and approaches you can use to do this well. These techniques are taught in complete detail in our interview courses, but here’s one piece of advice to help you get started: stay offensive rather than defensive.

Instead of focusing on not getting anything wrong (defensive), you should proactively try to identify the traits that are relevant to the question and then focus on showcasing those traits in your response (offensive). When you have a defensive attitude, you become less expressive and it’s a lot harder to produce a well-developed response that demonstrates the right traits, since you’re too focused on just avoiding poor answers; on the other hand, maintaining an offensive attitude by deciding on the desired outcome of your response and then shaping your answer accordingly will allow you to express yourself better and display the desired traits more clearly.

For example, imagine you’re given this scenario during the interview: “A health professional hides certain information to gain the trust of patients.” You might be inclined to take a defensive approach and just focus on not getting the answer wrong, but it would be much better to take an offensive approach: to first decide on what impression you want to give the interviewer and what trait you want to focus on in your response. Perhaps you might aim to make the interviewer feel like you’re a respectful individual, or that you have integrity. Once you have this goal in mind, your response will have a much clearer direction and will also more effectively show that you possess the traits needed to be a good health professional.

For more advice on what interviewers are looking for and how they mark candidates, make sure to read this article and this article.

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