This post is all about my experience at my Hull York Medical School (HYMS) interview back in December 2018. All the ins and outs… the good, the bad and the ugly. If you are reading this because you have secured an interview, congratulations! It is a huge step closer to getting an offer at your dream medical school. I can imagine that you are currently full of lots of overwhelming feelings. But, I am here to tell you how to take all those emotions that I also experience and turn it into an offer!
On the 13th of November, I received an interview invite via email from the admission administrator. This was exactly a month before the actual date of the interview, and I was so excited. With a whole month to prep, I was not going to waste any time. I practised as much as I could. I underwent intensive practise sessions with my mum and even more at school. By the date of the interview, I was ready and raring to go.
Arriving at the interview
Hull York Medical School was actually my first out of three interviews. So it was natural that it was the one I was the most nervous about. Travelling to York from London was around 3 and a half hours on the train. Then to make my life that much easier I ended up taking a taxi from the train station to the interview venue. After putting my coat in the room with all the candidate’s belongings I began to settle in before the briefing. Speaking to the student ambassadors and the other candidates was a huge part of this. It was important because I connected with a few members who were in my group station. And remember the interview hadn’t even technically started yet!
My first station was the group interview stage. In this station, you get placed in groups and are tasked with discussing a patient scenario. There is also a scribe who is a senior HYMS student, a facilitator and an assessor. You can read more about the interview structure on the HYMS interview page. I loved the case given to my group; it was very interesting to discuss and dive in deep into. Going into it I thought: if we worked well together then we had a better chance to score highly as individuals. Group work was key here. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say my experience went exactly how I thought it would in my head.
Once the discussion started, everyone raced to get their point in. I really felt like I was thrown into the lion’s dens at this point. When I finally found an opening to speak, all my ideas had been said already. So, I was constantly having to think of new ones. To overcome this, I tried to give an alternative take, a rebuttal or expand on the other candidates’ points. I think this showed my listening skills and my ability to give valuable insights.
To make matters worse, I experienced an overbearing student. She took on a self-claimed position to be a leader. Here and there she would say to me: “You’re a little quiet, do you have anything to contribute?” The struggle was real because it kept catching me off guard and putting me on the spot. There is a tip for group interviews to show leadership that maybe she’d been trying to use. This is to offer a chance to speak to the quieter members by encouraging them. While this wasn’t exactly the end of the world, at the time I felt embarrassed. I thought the assessor would notice what was going on and mark me down for speaking less than some of the others. I realised I wasn’t the group’s loudest member nor the quietest. But I think to my benefit, I chose quality over quantity.
The Mini Interviews
You know when people say that you should forget the previous stations at MMI’s when going into the next one? Well, I can’t stress how true this is. I felt taken aback from the group interview and carried that in with me to my first individual interview. I misunderstood my initial question which led me to go off on a tangent. At this point I thought, yep, might as well pack my bags. Both stations I had done so far hadn’t gone particularly well. And the fact that there were 2 interviewers in this part of the MMI, I had no idea where to look.
Looking back on it, I probably wasn’t doing as bad as I thought I was. I asked to have the question repeated so I could start over and answer correctly. The assessors were understanding, and I was able to gain more confidence. From this point, the rest of the interview started to go much better. I even figured out how to alternate eye contact between the two interviewers.
I genuinely enjoyed my second mini interview; it was more of a conversation than the first one. The questions were based on a hot topic in medicine that was current at the time. With the follow-up questions being off the back of my answers. Luckily before the interview, I had actually done some research on the topic we discussed.
My final station was the scenario, which had an actor and an assessor in the room. Ready… set… action, I was thrown into the scenario and had to roll with it. Being watched was quite weird so pretending that the assessor wasn’t there was my best bet. I focused only on the actor and the time flew by. I won’t disclose what my exact scenario was due to the confidentiality contracts they make us sign. This part of the interview was my favourite. I was able to put myself in the scenario and think about what I would do if this happened to me in real life. I even saw how what I was saying to the actor was helping their character feel better as time went on. After a quick 5 minutes, the interview was over.
Just like that, the interview was complete. We had a debriefing afterwards which was good because we had the chance to ask anything that we wanted to know. They were reassuring, and I walked away from the interview feeling a bit better. I knew I had tried my best and that is all I could ask of myself. I returned home and embarked on a very long period of waiting for the results of the interview. Months later, I received an offer from Hull York Medical School. I am sure you can imagine my happiness at this news, and this offer was my firm choice on UCAS. But that brings me to the end of this story. I hope you enjoyed and gained a bit of insight into interviews at Hull York Medical School.