COVID-19 has exacted a global acceptance of the virtual workspace. Medical schools have taken this shift to produce novel experiences from online work experience for prospective medics to digital tutorials for students. Similarly, the admissions process has been reworked to take the pandemic into consideration whilst still bringing prospective students one step closer to their dreams. One of the many changes that have been implemented is a move towards online MMIs, allowing for social distancing, travel restrictions etc. Here, at UGTM, we are committed to helping each and every one of you reach your potential; with that in mind, here are some things to keep in mind in the run-up to your virtual interviews.
Firstly, it is only natural that online MMIs will make you a little nervous. Much like an in-person interview, the virtual version will be testing multiple skills to pick out the best candidates for medical school. Your interview may be live or recorded; the former will involve a panel assessing you across multiple stations whilst the latter will have your responses recorded, to be reviewed later. Whilst modalities may be slightly different, the content of your MMIs will remain largely similar.
A simple “don’t worry” probably won’t calm your nerves but we hope our tips might so keep reading to learn more about how to prepare!
- In the days running up to your interview, make sure you perform an audio and video check to prevent any nasty last-minute surprises. On the day, ensure strong wifi connectivity, good video visibility and quiet surroundings. Remember to keep your device fully charged and have another one, if available, on stand-by. Keep a notepad, pens and a water bottle by your side.
- Practice conversing to a camera. This is essential as the biggest difference between virtual and real time interviews is an increased difficulty in picking up on non-verbal cues whilst conversing. This makes a bigger impact than you’d think! Focus on maintaining good eye-contact and using hand gestures. Use your favorite youtubers to pick up tips on how to maintain rapport virtually. Additionally, try video calling friends or family and practicing common interview questions with a focus on non-verbal communication cues.
- Prepare for the common aspects of any MMI – motivation for medicine, ethics, general knowledge stations etc. Know what to expect before you walk into the room, the same way you would for a real interview; i.e.; don’t let the comfort of being in your bedroom translate to a complete laxness during the interview. Whilst some surprises are to be expected, using online courses or the wealth of free information available online can help prepare you for most scenarios.
- Look at your university website. Most universities will have updated interview guidelines and tips posted on their website. If not, it is almost completely acceptable for you to contact your university to request more information.
In true 2020 style, applicants for the upcoming academic year will be facing a unique challenge. Whilst some things may be outside your control, there is always power in preparation. In the end, your interviewer will only be looking for one thing – passion. So above all, remain calm and authentic.