350 Common Medical School Interview Questions to Help You Prepare for Your Interview
Updated: Sep 23
We know how anxiety-provoking and challenging it can be to prepare for the medical school interview. Studies have shown that the interview is the most important factor in admissions decisions, and the stakes are high. You have one shot at your dream school when you're interviewing, so it’s important to be as prepared as possible.
The following list of questions will help you get started.
Why It's So Important to Prepare Extensively For Your Medical School Interview
We've spoken and written extensively about the medical school interview, because it's such an incredibly important part of the application process. Applicants spend years working to achieve a high GPA. They spend months preparing to take the MCAT. And then, unfortunately, they may just spend a few days or weeks preparing for the interview.
That's a huge mistake.
It's incredibly important to prepare in advance for your interviews, and to give your interview prep the effort and attention it needs. If you'd like to learn more about exactly how important the medical school interview is when it comes to med school admissions, please see our podcast episode that goes into depth on this topic.
The Medical School Interview: When It Comes to Admissions, It May Be Even More Important Than Your MCAT score or Your GPA
Surveys indicate that when it comes to admissions decisions, the medical school interview may actually be more important than either your GPA or your MCAT score. In fact, a less than stellar interview performance is felt to be one major reason why so many high-achieving medical school applicants are ultimately rejected. Data from the AAMC indicates that about 1 in 5 high-achieving medical school applicants are rejected from medical school. These are applicants with a 3.8 or higher GPA and an MCAT score of 514 or higher! We know what it takes to achieve scores like that, and that's why it's important to give the interview the attention and effort it deserves.
Learn About the Variations of the Common Medical School Interview Questions
Let's start with some of the common med school interview questions. Why do you want to be a doctor? Why did you choose to apply to our medical school?
Most applicants to medical school are familiar with these types of common interview questions. Many interviewers will ask slight variations of these basic, standard questions.
However, there are many more potential questions. After interviewing hundreds of applicants, we've found that most applicants come prepared for the very common questions. However, they struggle with two types of other questions.
The variations of the common questions
The less common (but still potentially asked) questions
We created this list of over 350 medical school interview questions to help you as you prepare for your interviews.
The Most Common Interview Questions Fall Into About 30 Different Categories or "Parent" Questions
Note one important point: although we've listed over 350 questions, many of these questions fall into different groups. In fact, most of these questions are variations or subsets of about 30 main "parent" questions or categories of questions. (Doesn’t that sound much less intimidating?)
Learn How to Prepare Unique, Unforgettable Responses to Common Questions
Knowing what questions you might be asked is, of course, just a starting point. Your overarching goal is to craft powerful, unforgettable responses to each of the common interview questions.
If you’d like to receive more of our resources on crafting unforgettable interview responses, sign up here for our free 14-day email course Prepare For the Medical School Interview.
Every day you'll receive an additional resource via email to help you as you aim for your dream medical school.
You can also learn more here about our online course Medical School Interviewing 101, where we teach applicants how to take their responses from good to great to unforgettable.
350 Common Medical School Interview Questions, Grouped Into "Parent" Questions or Categories
How are you today? (Icebreaker Questions)
1. Did you have any trouble getting here?
2. How do you like the weather?
3. It’s quite a cold/hot/snowy/rainy/windy day, isn’t it?
4. Did you have any trouble finding a place to park?
5. How do you like [our city]? Have you ever visited before?
6. Did you get a chance to explore [our city]?
7. Was there a lot of traffic on your way here from the airport (or hotel)?
8. How do you like living in ____?
9. I see that you go to [school/university]. How do you like it?
10. What do you prefer to be called?
11. How has your visit with us been so far?
12. Do you think you would enjoy living in ____?
Tell me about yourself.
1. What brings you here today?
2. Tell me how you got to this point in life.
3. Tell me something about you that has nothing to do with academics.
4. Tell me your story.
5. Tell me about your life.
6. If you could sum yourself and application up in a short pitch what would you say?
7. Give me a one-sentence summary of yourself.
8. What should I know about you?
9. Tell me something I can’t find anywhere on your application.
10. Teach me something.
Why do you want to be a doctor?
1. What led you to pursue a career in medicine?
2. What stimulated your interest in medicine?
3. Name a meaningful experience you’ve had and how it’s shaped you to pursue work as a physician.
4. What major life influences led you to your decision to pursue medicine?
5. Name one specific event that confirmed your desire to go into medicine.
6. Why medicine over everything else?
7. What leads you to apply to medical school?
8. How long have you been interested in medicine?
9. What influenced you to be a doctor?
10. What was the defining moment when you decided you wanted to be a doctor?
11. What person in your life has influenced your decision to pursue medicine?
12. Tell me about your path to medicine.
13. How do you know you want to be a physician?
14. What got you interested in the field of medicine and why are you pursuing it?
15. What is your motivation to pursue medicine?
16. Why did you choose to be a doctor?
17. What is the number one reason you want to be a doctor?
1. What does integrity mean to you?
2. Define professionalism.
3. Is there a time where you witnessed a physician interacting with a patient in a manner you believed to be unprofessional?
Why our school?
1. What qualities are you looking for in a school?
2. Describe your ideal medical school.
3. What interests you most about our school?
4. Tell me what you know about our school.
5. Why do you want to be a student here?
6. What two or three things are important to you in a medical school?
7. Why did you choose to apply to our medical school?
8. What factors will affect your choice of medical school?
9. Why would you come to our medical school?
10. Why is our medical school a good fit for you?
11. Is there anything you have heard that makes you think less of our medical school?
12. Is there anything you don’t like about our medical school?
13. Would you come to our medical school when you live so far away?
14. How do your goals relate to your interest in our medical school?
15. What are you looking for in deciding which school to attend?
16. How much do you want to go to this school?
17. If you were accepted to all schools you applied to what would be the deciding factor on where you chose to go?
Do you have any questions for me?
1. What questions do you have about our school?
2. What would you like to ask me about our medical school?
What are your weaknesses?
1. What is your weakness that concerns you the most?
2. What about yourself would you change if you could?
3. What are your shortcomings?
4. What are your two worst qualities?
5. What is your greatest weakness?
6. What is one thing or trait your friends would change about you?
7. Name one bad thing your friends would say about you.
What are your strengths?
1. What are your positive qualities?
2. Do you like to work with other people?
3. If your best friends were asked to describe you, what would they say?
4. Describe your personality.
5. How would you describe yourself?
6. What would your best friend say about you in convincing me I should admit you to our medical school?
7. Describe yourself in three words.
8. What do you think are the most important qualities a person should have to be a good doctor? How do you rate yourself in these areas?
9. What are your three best qualities?
10. Why should we pick you over the other candidates?
11. What is your biggest strength, and how would it make you a better physician?
12. What strength would you contribute to the incoming class?
13. What three adjectives would classmates use to describe you in a classroom setting?
14. What three qualities should a doctor possess and do you have those?
15. What would your Dad say is your most impressive quality?
16. Name one good thing that your friends would say about you.
Where do you see yourself in 5/10/15 years?
1. What are your specific goals in medicine?
2. What type of physician would you like to be?
3. Where do you plan to practice after you graduate?
4. What specialty interests you?
5. Where do you see your career going 5/10/15 years from now?
6. How do you envision your career in 5/10/15 years?
7. Where do you see yourself in the future?
8. Where do you see your career going?
9. Is there a specific area you see yourself pursuing?
10. Have you thought about what field of medicine you might like to end up in?
11. Are you planning on staying in ___ after your graduation?
12. Where do you see yourself after medical school?
13. What are your career goals?
How have you explored medicine as a career?
1. Is medicine a rewarding career? Why?
2. What health care experience have you had?
3. If you want to help people, why not social work?
4. Do you know what a real doctor’s life is like?
5. What experiences have you had in the community that demonstrate a commitment to medicine?
6. What steps have you taken to acquaint yourself with what a physician does?
7. Tell me about your shadowing experiences.
8. Tell me about your patient interactions.
9. What did you learn from your experiences in the medical field?
10. What did you gather from your clinical experience?
11. What have you heard about life in medical school?
12. To what extent do you understand the life of a physician?
13. Describe any medical experiences you have had.
14. What experiences have you had that have reaffirmed your belief that medicine is for you?
15. What surprised you about medicine?
Tell me about your research experience.
1. Explain your research as if you were trying to educate a patient without a science background about it.
2. Why don’t you just devote yourself to research?
3. Tell me about your current research.