Oxbridge Medicine: 10 Last Minute Tips to Help you Ace your Interviews

3 min read

No amount of revision or preparatory work would be enough if you are unable to get past the final part of your application for – your Medical interviews. Hence, we have curated 10 last minute tips for polishing your interview skills and being your best self on the day of the interview.

1. Last minute tips: Think out loud

Everyone’s worst interview fear is to face deafening stillness during the interviews. The greatest approach to avoid that is to remind yourself to thinking aloud and practise doing so. For interviews at Oxbridge, the people who would be interviewing you would generally be your future tutors at university. Hence, your admissions tutor would not expect you to know everything at your interviews as they would be teaching you that during your degree. In fact, they frequently make a point of pushing you over the boundaries of your expertise to see how you approach brand-new questions. Your thought process is regarded as a more accurate predictor of future academic success than your capacity to recite information.

When you are being challenged in this manner, thinking aloud will be helpful as you will be demonstrating logical reasoning. It would also allow your interviewers to understand your thought process and to allow them to guide your thoughts toward a solution.

2. Do not be afraid to give a simple answer

The fear of saying something obvious or basic is one of the most frequent reasons candidates do not dare to think aloud. It is understandable why you would like to want to appear as smart as possible. But the best approach to respond to a hard topic is to start with the fundamentals. As such, speaking about simple topics or laws would help you instead of work against you! Additionally, some of the questions you will be asked may require straightforward, even GCSE-level responses. This might disarm Oxbridge interviewees, especially those who have put in a lot of preparation, so do not second guess yourself!

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3. Last minute tips: Answer the question

On a related point, resist the need to brag about any in-depth, unrelated information you may have and instead respond to the question that is being asked of you. Going off on tangents would not impress your interviewers. They will be more knowledgeable than you are on any subject and will take this as a failure to comprehend their question. Even worse, it causes you to lose precious time that might be used later to tackle the trickiest questions with the most potential for impressing.

4. Help yourself by asking questions

Feel free to ask an interviewer for clarification or even to repeat themselves if you are not sure what they mean. If a sentence is clarified, you will feel less foolish and come out as smarter than if you ask the same question in numerous different ways.

5. Last minute tips: Do not take things personally

Some candidates make the mistake of taking the examiners’ challenging questions personally. If you sense that an interviewer is being picky, purposefully misunderstanding you, or providing no assistance while you stumble over your answers, it is likely that they will be doing the same to all the other applicants. Keep in mind that this is standard, so try not to become discouraged.

6. Be personable

As mentioned previously, one unique aspect of Oxbridge is that many of your interviewers would be close to you in the future as you would be involved with them via the collegiate tutorial (Oxford) or supervision (Cambridge) system. This means that they will consider what you would be like to teach and interact with on a weekly basis during your interview. To succeed on your interview, you should not need to go above and beyond the norm. Instead, just make an effort to be courteous, pay attention, and enter the room smiling.

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    7. Expect the unexpected

    The Oxbridge interview process frequently includes unconventional questions to show how you think on your feet and apply what you have learned in new contexts. Along with anticipating such questions (see our post on preparing for Oxbridge), you should approach them with an open mind. When coming up with an answer, stick to the content you have revised. They would not have asked you a question you are not equipped to answer.

    8. Remember who you are up against

    It is simple to be intimidated by your interviewers, who are brainy professionals with years of expertise in the industry you are answering questions about. However, keep in mind that thse are not the people that you are competing with. The people you are up against are actually your age, at the same academic stage as you, and you will all go through the same interview procedure. This should help you relax and lower the bar you set for yourself.

    9. Clear your mind beforehand

    It is debatably a worse idea to study for an interview just before one as compared to studying the day before a test. It is essential to approach Oxbridge interviews with a clean brain. They require you to wrestle with unfamiliar ideas and think imaginatively about ones you are already familiar with. Relax and concentrate on the fundamentals of your interview approach in the days before the interview.

    10.  Wear whatever you are comfortable in

    Although Oxford and Cambridge are traditional, your interviewers would not anticipate you to show up in a suit and tie. Anything goes, but wearing too casually might indicate that you are not interested in the interview sufficiently. Overdressing could simply make you feel self-conscious and uptight. You should, within reason, dress in whatever is most comfortable for you.

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