University of Sydney Medical School interviews

From July 29 to Aug. 6, Sydney Medical School applicants will be undertaking interviews for admission into the MBBS program for the 2014 intake.

University of Sydney Medical School
Learn more about Sydney Medical School
As part of the application process, interviews are mandatory and are often a cause of unease with prospective students. Like a job interview, it is best to exhibit a professional, competent, and likable personality. OzTREKK has compiled some handy-dandy tips and “heads up” info to help those about to be interviewed, and those who will be participating in them in the future.

On the day of your interview, you must log into Skype and be ready at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time.  Your interview will last 45 minutes; however, you should allow at least one hour in addition to this time in case there is a delay, or there is a need to clarify a matter. Internet and computer glitches often come at the most inopportune time!

You should use the most reliable method of connection available for your interview (e.g., a wired computer connection, where possible.)  Wireless connection can be used, provided that it is sufficiently reliable to complete the interview process. Imagine beginning your interview with shady internet connection—not a smooth move!

Can’t attend your interview at the specified time? You must contact the Admissions Office as a matter of urgency.  The Admissions Office will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your needs, but cannot guarantee that an alternative interview time will be available.

What should I know?
Don’t call  us, we’ll call you. Please do not contact the Admissions Office or any of the interviewers via Skype at any time. The office will be running many interviews over a period of time, none of which can be interrupted.

Prior to your interview day, you will be sent a “Contact request” via Skype from the Admissions Office (e.g. sydneyuni-med-admissions-x), which you should accept as soon as possible.

Position yourself in a way that your face can be clearly seen on the camera. Don’t sit with a strong light behind you. When discussing the question with the interviewer, please look directly at the camera on your computer. Have your photo ID ready to be shown to the camera.

In the event that the connection fails during your interview, please do not try to contact the Admissions Office or your interviewer. Faculty staff will try to  re-establish the connection via Skype or call you on the contact number you provided at the interview booking stage to sort out the issue. You may be  re-interviewed for that station at the end of the entire 45 minutes.

Must I bring anything to the interview?
For verification purposes, you must bring photographic identification (passport or driver’s license) to the interview.

Please note that if you do not bring photographic identification to the interview, the Sydney Medical School reserves the right to cancel your interview.  In that event, your application for admission to the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery in 2014 will be deemed to have lapsed, and will not be considered further.

What should I expect?
The multi-mini-interview (MMI) is an assessment of applicants’ personal and professional attributes. It is designed to test your reasoning and problem-solving skills in a range of areas that the Sydney Medical School considers important in entry-level students, as well as your values and commitment.

The assessment is conducted through a range of different authentic scenarios that test specific characteristics.  There will be 5 stations of 7 minutes each, with a turnaround time of 2 minutes.  Each station samples different aspects of professionalism according to a carefully designed framework.

At the commencement of the interview, the first interviewer will appear on the screen. Say hello to him or her. Once the bell rings, you will be sent the first scenario via ‘Instant Message’ on Skype. Read the first sentence of the scenario aloud to the interviewer.

What are they looking for in a candidate?
Sydney Medical School will be looking for the following skills and attributes from applicants:

1.    Knowledge relevant to the question.
2.    The capacity to draw implications from that knowledge.
3.    Insight into their own attitudes and views relevant to the issue.
4.    Insight into other people’s attitudes and views relevant to the issue.
5.    Ability to formulate an approach to address the issues that takes account of 1–4.

The interview process is designed to assess suitability based on qualities important for success in the MBBS program, including
  • good communication skills;
  • a sense of caring, empathy and sensitivity;
  • an ability to make effective decisions;
  • an ability to contribute as a member of a team;
  • an appreciation of the place of medicine in the wider context of healing; and
  • a sense of vocation, motivation and commitment within the context of medicine.

The interview aims to broadly sample the candidate’s competencies in order to gain an accurate picture of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. This is achieved by having several brief interviews with different interviewers.

Interviewers will not be provided with any information (including MCAT and GPA scores) about applicants. Full details of the interview process will be sent to applicants who are deemed eligible for interview.

Who are the interviewers?
All interviewers are volunteers who have completed a training program. They are recruited from the following groups:
  • Academic, clinical academic, and staff of Sydney Medical School
  • Senior students and graduates from the medical program
  • Persons drawn from the wider community. The interviewers will optimally include 2 or 3 of each gender.

What else should I know?
  • Don’t have Skype? Get it. Learn about it. Be prepared to know how it works.
  • Be yourself. Putting on an act to impress people is rarely successful, is usually transparent, and is most often a turnoff.
  • Dress appropriately (business casual). No one wants to see you just out of bed or wearing exercise gear. You are interviewing for a professional degree!
  • If you are invited to ask questions, have some prepared! Be prepared to speak about your interests outside of medicine should they ask you.
  • Take a deep breath. The interviewers are people, just like you. They understand that you will be nervous and will factor that in when they interview you.

OzTREKK Tip: Past OzTREKK students have commented that the interviews go smoothly and are far more friendly than some Canadian medical school interviews.

OzTREKK wishes you the best on your interview!

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