What does a good interview response look like? What does a bad interview response look like?

The purpose of the interview is to determine whether you possess the right traits to work as an effective medical/dental student and professional. So it’s always crucial to remember that THIS is what the interviewers are listening for in every response.

For example, one of the most commonly asked questions in the interview is “Why do you want to be a doctor?” When answering this question, lots of students respond that they want to be a doctor because “my mother was sick and encountered a doctor who helped her a lot” or because “my uncle is a doctor and I really admire the work he does in helping patients.” Although these answers sound good, in a medical or dental interview they would actually earn almost 0 marks because they don’t actually demonstrate any traits at all. Even though they sound inspiring, these responses don’t show the interviewers that you’re prepared, that you’ve worked hard, or that you understand the realities of the medical or dental profession.

A higher-scoring answer to this question would be one that specifically mentions what you found inspiring about the people you’re describing. For example: “I was impressed by the way the doctor spoke to my mum: he took his time, acknowledged that she was really stressed, and identified something they had in common (having kids) that he could talk to her about.”

To improve your answer even further, you can then go on to integrate the trait you’re trying to demonstrate: “This helped me to realize that effective communication is different for everyone; for every person, you need to be mindful of their situation and emotional state.” By answering the question in this way, you are clearly showing the interviewer that you understand the trait, what it means, its importance, and the benefits it offers, and that you’re also likely to apply it in the same way when you become a doctor or dentist.

For more advice on how to get a high interview score, refer to this article.

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