Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Top tips for both the panel and MMI style interview
Author: Ms Alia Nanda
Alia (aka aliaa03 - known to many on TSR for her amazing and unlimited advice) is currently a gap year student applying to veterinary school in the 2021/22 cycle. She has received an offer from Surrey and has multiple interviews in the pipeline. Alia attended both our widening access course with Dr Shane and the National Veterinary MMI course.
Tip #1 - Familiarise yourself with Zoom or Teams
With many veterinary schools opting to hold interviews virtually, the importance of familiarise yourself with the interview platform is paramount. I knew my interview was taking place via Zoom, so a few hours before it started, I pressed “New meeting” and was able to familiarise myself with the software beforehand, so I was much less stressed before it started. Practise using the programme to simulate the interview with a family member or friend on another computer - can they hear you clearly? Is your camera quality clear? Is the audio clean?
Tip #2 - Stay up to date with current affairs and topical issues!
This is essential. Follow the BVA on social media and have a clear understanding of how COVID-19 has changed the veterinary sector.
"Pandemic puppies - check out ‘Britain’s Puppy Boom: Counting the Cost’ on BBC Three - a controversial BBC TV programme was released which caused a whole hoo ha"
Tip #3 - Finish strong. Have a question to ask at the end of a panel interview
DON'T bother asking generic questions (things you can find in the prospectus) like “can we intercalate”. Remember this is the final statement you will make to the interviewer and a foolish question won't go down well.
Tip #4 - Nail the work experience section
For work experience questions – prior to the interview, I would recommend thinking through at least one or two interesting cases that you have seen throughout the extent of your work experience. The most important element that interviewer's want to see is your understanding and the ability to reflect on things you have encountered.
Tip #5 - Utilise widening access scholarships and bursaries if applicable
I have done lots of mock interviews before, however MediTutor were by far the most helpful in helping me secure my offer for Veterinary Medicine at University of Surrey!
I was offered a 1 to 1 session with Dr Shane as part of their widening participation scheme, which was incredibly helpful. Together we went through a PowerPoint of information relevant to the interview, covering topics such as current affairs to ethics such as the Five Freedoms. I was also able to practise MMI stations that modelled the ones I did at my Surrey interview! Dr Shane was really knowledgeable as an interviewer himself on what interviewers are looking for and the specific points to talk about. After this 1 to 1 session, I was further sent helpful resources such as the Prescribing Cascade, which really made me stand out in my interview. After this session I was then offered to partake in a further Veterinary MMI course as part of the widening participation scheme. Dr Georgina covered further topics that were really useful to me during my interview, such as how to break bad news to clients as well as going through more MMI practise questions together. Check out part of the course book below! I would without a doubt recommend MediTutor to anyone looking to secure an offer for Veterinary Medicine :)
Practise, practise and practise!!!
Practise practise practise!!! Get your friends or family to ask you questions and roleplay together, as this is a station that often comes up. Check out the interview courses, veterinary interview book and the free widening access courses that MediTutor runs.
Best of luck with your application!