So, you have an interview at Hull York Medical School? Congratulations, this is a big deal! You have already beaten many applicants who received a rejection without an interview. Let this give you a bit of confidence as you have already been shortlisted. But now, it is time to focus on this next hurdle to claim your place at Hull York Medical School.
I remember when I got my HYMS interview invitation, it was such an exciting time for me. But then I got hit with all the nerves and anxiety that came with it. My performance at the interview was enough in the end because I received an offer. Read on for essential tips so that you can do the same! To get a better understanding of what to expect, also read about my full experience at my Hull York interview here.
HYMS Interview Overview
The structure of the Hull York Medical School MMI is very different from others. It isn’t the typical table to table or room to room circuit with equal timings. Here, there are 6 stations in total lasting for different periods of time. Before the interview, there’s always a briefing detailing what you need to know about the day. After the stations are finished there is a debriefing which allows you to ask questions. If you have any questions before coming to the interview that perhaps you haven’t managed to find yourself, come with them ready!
So now we have come to my breakdown of the stations:
Group Interview Station
Group interviews are not a common station at medical school MMI’s, so many people don’t know what to expect. Hull York has a focus on group teaching and learning. Take full advantage of the experience because this will be your opportunity to get a taste of PBL life. It is designed to test your teamwork and communication skills.
Task: Discuss a scenario about a patient’s case in a group of 8 candidates. The scribe will write down your points on a board where you can all see it and they or the facilitator may guide your conversation a little bit.
Timing: 20 minutes
- You don’t need to have knowledge of the medicine behind the cases so don’t worry about that.
- Listen to everyone’s points to ensure you don’t repeat them. You can also add to their point to develop it further. E.g. “Going back to your earlier point, I think…”
- If you are not the loudest in the group, don’t worry. Think of a few really good points that have an edge to them and this alone will help you stand out.
- When you arrive at the interview speak to the other candidates as you may find your group members (it will be written on your name badges). The aim of this is to increase your group success as you will be more familiar with them. Performing well as a group is more likely to positively impact your individual score. But don’t worry if you don’t find and speak to them all.
- Ignore the assessor who will be in the corner of the room, pretend like they aren’t there. This will help you stay focused and not obsess about what they are writing or thinking about you.
Mini Interviews Station
You will undergo two mini interviews in this station. This resembles the usual ‘circuit-style’ MMI, as you will move from the first room to the other. However, to stick to the theme of Hull York’s unique interview style, this station resembles a panel interview as you will have two interviewers. They will ask you two main questions, and you can expect to spend 5 minutes on each. The interviewers will likely ask you follow-up questions in response to your answers making it feel more like a chat.
Let’s look at what each of the mini interviews will focus on. One will concentrate on your motivation to study medicine and your understanding of current medical issues. So why do you want to be a doctor? Expect the premise of this question to be prominent in this section and prepare for it well. Current medical issues can be anything from obesity, sugar tax, global pandemics or abortion rates.
The other will focus on your critical thinking skills and self-awareness. Do you possess qualities like empathy and resilience? The website also states they may assess your ability to tolerate ambiguity. In other words, your ability to deal with uncertainty and complicated situations. If you found yourself in a difficult situation where the outcome was unknown what would you do?
Timing: 2 x 10-minutes
- Keep up to date with medical affairs by using the news e.g. BBC News Health, journals like the BMJ or research hot topics in medicine.
- Take full advantage of the minutes before you enter the room. Read the card with the information on the interview topic at least twice to fully understand it. What you don’t want to do is misread or misunderstand the information. Then you can prepare a few points in your mind before you are told to go into the room.
- Eye contact may be tricky at first because you are speaking to two people. Alternate between the two interviewers. If one of them starts writing notes, for example, turn your gaze back to the other interviewer.
- Take pauses where needed, this will prevent you from rushing your answers and give you time to think ahead. It may feel like you are in silence for ages but, it would be for a couple of seconds in reality.
This is basically where they observe how you would act in a situation with an actor and an assessor observing you.
Task: enter a scenario where you will be engaging with an actor about a situation. For example, breaking bad news, giving advice to a stranger, reassuring a worried friend.
Timing: 5 minutes
- You are in the scenario as soon as you walk into the room, so just start! You don’t need to ask the assessor or the actor in the room if you can start.
- Be yourself. It is tempting to think that you are in a GCSE drama class and start playing a ‘role’. The assessor wants to see how you actually would react in real life; not how good you are acting. When you become a doctor you won’t be acting the part, you will be one!
- Pick up on emotion cues, this could be verbal or non-verbal. For example, if they start to cry offer them a tissue (could be an imaginary box of tissues) instead of watching them and doing nothing. Depending on what the scenario is about the actor will show different emotions whether sad, happy, disappointed or scared. It could be anything so be ready for this. Practise with friends and family, ask them to surprise you with the scenarios.
The Task Station
This station is a new addition to the HYMS interview. They will give you a task to do in the 5 minutes. They will observe how you approach it, your method or the outcome of the task.
Timing: 5 minutes
Top Tip: Pace yourself, don’t feel like you have to rush it. This may cause you to make mistakes or produce sloppy results.
That brings me to the end of my top tips for a HYMS interview. This is my second post of this interview series and I’d like to answer any questions or queries that you guys have. Leave me a comment on this post or DM me on Instagram. I love to hear from you guys, it really makes my day when I receive messages.