Questions to ask your medical school interviewers

43 Questions To Ask Your Medical School Interviewers

While many applicants think of the medical school interview as a one-way interaction, the truth is that successful applicants will often turn the interview into a two-way conversation. Your ability to pause and listen in order to connect with others is as important during an interview for medical school as it is when seeing patients as a doctor. We included tips on how to continue the conversation after these initial questions and tips on what you should do prior to your interview. Whether at the middle or end of your interview, here are questions you can keep in your back pocket to ask your medical school interviewers.

What are the best questions to ask at your medical school interview?

Questions to ask medical school interviewers: Faculty Interview

#1. Ask about their career

These are especially high yield questions to ask faculty member interviewers because people enjoy talking about themselves and their careers. While a student may answer from a more recent perspective as an applicant deciding between schools, a faculty member will be able to give a more detailed answer, which will serve as a springboard for further conversation. You can start a conversation and ask follow-up questions based on their responses.

Questions to ask your med school interviewer:

  • “Why did YOU decide to come to [medical school] as a faculty member?”
  • “What was your path to [specialty]?”
  • “What was your path to [academic position]?”
  • “How do you split your time between clinical medicine and your other activities (i.e. research / teaching community work / business)?”
  • “I heard that you do research in [X]. Could you speak to your experiences in that?”

Medical School Interview Preparation Tip: Prior to the interview, if you have your interviewer’s name, find areas of commonality between you and your interviewer—maybe you do research in a related area or volunteered with a similar patient population. Even if you have little in common with your interviewer, many medical school faculty members work at academic centers precisely because of their interest in mentorship and education. The insights you gain from asking this question may be valuable for your own career.

#2. Demonstrate your knowledge of the school

Medical School Interview Preparation Tip: As part of your preparation for a medical school interview, you should research specific programs and aspects affiliated with the school. Peruse the school’s website, speak with current students, and look to other sources online. One way to incorporate what you found into your interview is to explicitly ask about it during your interview. Focus your questioning on information you can’t easily look up online, or subjective opinions of your interviewer. Your interviewer will recognize your preparation and you will be able to learn more about a topic of interest.

Questions to ask your interviewer:

  • “I read about [a program in the school] online and was wondering if you knew about it?”
  • “I heard that the curriculum includes [aspect of the curriculum]. Could you speak to this?”
  • “A current student at your school told me [specific fact]. [Follow-up question]?”
#3. COVID-19 research and volunteering

Faculty at universities (i.e. medical schools) often value mentorship so asking them directly for advice, if they seem receptive to it, can go a long way toward making a positive impression and obtaining useful pearls of wisdom from someone further in their career.

Questions to ask your med school interviewer:

  • “What are characteristics you see in successful students at [school]?”
  • “Do you have any advice for somebody like me who is interested in pursuing research and clinical medicine?” Note: You can replace the underlined part to your specific interests, like global health, community medicine, academic medicine, etc.
#4. Inquire about the school’s mission and success

Often interviewers will ask students about future career goals or “where [they] see yourself in 10 years?” Think about this question as the applicant version of the same question. What is the school’s mission? Not only will this give you a good idea of what the school values, it will also allow you to assess your own fit and, if appropriate, express your suitability along those lines to your interviewer. For example, if the school values service to underserved communities, consider re-iterating your volunteer work with such communities briefly to conclude the interview on a strong note.

Questions to ask your med school interviewer:

  • “How does your school define an excellent physician?”
  • “What do you feel makes this institution different than other medical schools?”

Medical School Interview Preparation Tip: Make sure you know the mission of the medical school and the school’s focus. For example, some medical schools prioritize research. Other medical schools prioritize innovation. Still other medical schools prioritize community engagement and community-based initiatives.

#5.  Inquire regarding new changes at the medical school

Faculty members are well-positioned to answer such questions, especially those involved in medical education. The answer to this question will allow you to gauge a school’s momentum and willingness to adapt to serve its students. You will also be able to compare between schools as you become more familiar with typical curriculums/aspects of each school.

Questions to ask your med school interviewer:

  • “What new changes has the school implemented into the curriculum?”
  • “What were the motivations and inspirations behind _____ change at the medical school?”
  • “Can you give an example of how the medical school has created a change based on student feedback?”
  • “Are there any initiatives the school is working on for med students?”

If you are prepared, the Cracking Med School Admissions interview gives you the perfect opportunity to standout and shine by sharing with people what you are passionate about.

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Questions to ask medical school interviewers: Student Interview

#1. Ask about student life

There’s more to thriving in medical school than lectures and studying. Your classmates will be your future colleagues and friends. For an interview with a current student in particular, you want to convey that you would fit in with others in the class not only academically but also socially as a part of the community. Also consider speaking with multiple students after your interview if you are accepted to gauge if you would fit into the class. Ask yourself if students at the school model someone you would want to become in 2-3 years.

Questions to ask your med school interviewer:

  • “What do students do for fun around here?”
  • “What are your favorite things about [city]?”
  • “What do students do in their spare time?”
  • “What’s the social culture at this medical school?”
  • “What are the most popular extracurricular activities?”
  • Are there any intra-mural sports? 
#2. Evaluate the supportiveness of the school’s administration and faculty

Medical school can be challenging, and the amount and degree of support you receive from the school can play a large role in mitigating or exacerbating that challenge. Current students are best positioned to answer this question candidly. Remember that you are also evaluating the school! While this question does less to highlight your attractiveness as a candidate, it can give you an important gauge of how well the school supports its students.

Questions to ask your med school interviewer:

  • “What resources are there for student wellness?”
  • “Who are your mentors and how did you get to know them?”
  • “How many advisors do you have and what purpose does each advisor have?”
  • “Are administration receptive to student feedback?”
  • “Do students often go to TA’s and Professor’s for extra help in pre-clinical classes?”
  • “What resources, such as tutors, can students tap into if they are struggling with medical school courses?”
  • “What support does the medical school give for research and other healthcare projects?”
#3. Ask about experiences as a medical student

Perhaps most relevant to you is what your experiences will be like as a medical student at the school. Many students will offer helpful advice and point out useful resources which will be a benefit to you regardless of the medical school you choose to attend. Also consider that most students want to speak positively about their school, so it will be important for you to read between the lines for more critical sentiments about the school.

Questions to ask your med school interviewer:

  • “Is there anything you would add to the curriculum?”
  • “Are you involved with research and what was the process like for that?”
  • “Are you in any student organizations?”
  • “How well prepared do you feel for clerkships/residency?”
  • “Is there anything you would change to be better prepared for your clinical clerkships?”
  • “What’s been your favorite clinical rotation?”
  • “Are there any unique electives or clinical rotations that you and your peers have pursued?”
#4. Ask about medical student resources

This is a good question to ask in order to get an idea of how the school treats its students as well as potential resources you may want to take advantage of should you choose to come to that school. As you interview at multiple schools, you will also start to get a good idea of where schools stand relative to one another in the quantity/quality of resources provided to students. While not the most important factor, this may be a consideration for you in deciding where to attend.

Questions to ask your med school interviewer:

  • “What resources are available to students?”
  • “How are the school’s facilities?”
  • “Where do med students study?”
  • “Do students have access to a gym and other recreational facilities? How far is the gym from the clinical rotation sites and our pre-clinical classes?”
  • “If I wanted to write a research proposal, what resources are available to help me with IRB submissions and writing a research proposal?”
#5. Follow-up on topics brought up during the interview

This is a great question to connect with your interviewer and shape the interview into a conversation. Demonstrate genuine interest in what your interviewer shares with you and ask sincere follow-up questions. For example, if you and your interviewer share music as a hobby, ask them about how they have been able to enjoy that hobby as a medical student. Find common ground and connect with your student interviewer. Assuming you have already demonstrated strong interview skills, your interviewer will be far more interested in connecting with you as a person rather than your interview prowess/application.

Questions to ask your med school interviewer:

  • “Earlier we talked about [topic]. I wanted to follow up on this and ask…?”
  •  “You mentioned [X]. I was wondering…?”

If you are prepared, the Cracking Med School Admissions interview gives you the perfect opportunity to standout and shine by sharing with people what you are passionate about.

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