Mock Interviews

Mock Interviews

Last Monday saw 13 Caterham School, two Oxted and 15 London Academy of Excellence potential medics and dentists take part in virtual one to one mock interviews with a superb panel of medical parents and Old Caterhamians. Mock interviews for these fields have been in place for over 20 years but this is only the second year the careers department have been able to offer this programme to our extended network of partner schools and I am forever indebted to the parental and alumni community for their continued support with this event.  

Each thirty minute interview included questions asking why you want to be a doctor, what developments have been fundamental in the progress of medicine/dentistry over the last few years, how has the NHS coped with the pandemics, dealing with difficult conversations and medical ethics, amongst many others. 

One of the most difficult questions appeared to be those asking about personal weaknesses and understanding why thinking about this aspect was so important to showcasing how well you understand yourself and the need for continual self-evaluation in order to develop your skills. The general rule of thumb when answering this type of question was to be honest but not to focus on a catastrophic weakness. Instead choose an area where you can evidence what you have learnt about yourself and how you are already addressing this in order to improve. 

Each interview was then followed by a ten minute feedback session, where pupils were offered advice on how they might improve their answers through more self-reflection, research and better restructuring of answers.  

Some top tips included: drawing a spider diagram of the skills required to be a doctor and include some brief examples of how you can demonstrate that you have these for each skill, keep your answers structured and don’t waffle too much as a tired interviewer might cut you off and move onto the next question, remember how important teamwork is, think about your work-life balance and how you might deal with this and consider using examples that are not in your personal statement to add depth and variety to your answers. The very final top tip was to always have some questions for the interviewer that cover areas that can’t be accessed through university website research! 

A huge thank you to everyone who took part and made this possible and I look forward to the mock multiple mini interview session scheduled for 29 November.  

Mrs Clare Brown, Head of Careers. 

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