The medical school interview is a critical part of the medical school admissions process.

If you are invited to interview, know that one or more members of the medical school’s admissions committee has reviewed your entire AMCAS application and that, based on your metrics, experiences and, letters of recommendation, you appear to be likely to be successful in medical school. The medical school interview that could follow is a critical part of your candidacy.

In order to be a successful medical student and physician, one must be able to be a collegial classmate who can converse with fellow classmates and medical professionals on a medical team, collaborating on patient care, research, and more. Most importantly, during the clinical years in medical school, and later as a practicing physician, it is imperative to be able to communicate well with patients.

The medical school interview is your opportunity to demonstrate your communication and interpersonal skills while responding to questions or scenarios in a way that hopefully will demonstrate that you have the critical thinking skills, maturity, judgment and ethics one needs as a physician. It is also your chance to explain why you would be a good fit for each particular medical school at which you are interviewing. If you have been invited to interview at a particular medical school, it is very important to research the school and have a few questions to ask the interviewer.

Prepare for the interview

To prepare for interviews independently and/or to optimize your “mock interview” appointment experience, read the tips and strategies below, noting that the information provided is specific for either the traditional interview or the MMI format.

If you schedule an appointment, read the information below, email your career coach a copy of your resume prior to the appointment, and review the Four Pillars of Medical Ethics and the 15 AAMC Core Competencies.

Traditional medical school interviews

Traditional interview question type Prep strategy
Applicant focused Draft of Tell Me About Yourself. Know your resume and be ready to talk about what you learned and how you grew from your experiences. Develop answer for Why Medicine.
Behavioral questions Read and be familiar with AAMC Core Competencies. Reflect on activities list and how experiences demonstrate knowledge, skills, and abilities in these areas. Read and be familiar with the STAR Method answering behavioral questions.
Ethical topics Know the Four Pillars of Medical Ethics and how to apply them to ethical scenarios. Be ready to present different viewpoints surrounding the ethical topic. Develop a conclusion.
Current events Review current events, especially noting medical policies, discoveries, and controversies in the news. Develop familiarity, not an expertise.
School fit and match Research schools and investigate factors such as curriculum, student programs, mission, volunteer opportunities, and more. Be able to relate how experiences you have been involved with demonstrate your fit for their medical school. Show that your interests and passions align with what their school is all about.
Questions for the interviewer Have 2-3 prepared questions that will inform you further about the school, rather than questions like, “What made you decide to be a cardiologist?” If provided, it is a good idea to read your interviewer’s biographies on their website.

Sample Traditional Medical School Interview Questions


  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why medicine?
  • What is your biggest strength and weakness?
  • What do you do in your spare time?


  • Tell me about your research.
  • What did you gain from your study abroad experience?
  • Talk a little about your volunteer experience at X organization.
  • Why did you quit X?

Fit and match for the school

  • Why do you think you’ll be a good candidate for our program?
  • What could you contribute to our program?


Tell me about a time when you:

  • Failed and what you learned from it
  • Made a quick decision
  • Received criticism and how you handled it
  • Took initiative


  • What are your thoughts about euthanasia?
  • What would you do if you observed a fellow medical student cheating on an examination?
  • Should fetal tissue be used to treat disease?

Current Events

  • List three issues that confront medicine today. Of the three, which is the most important and why?
  • What do you think are the social responsibilities of physicians?
  • How do you see the delivery of healthcare changing in the 21st century?
  • How could medicine better meet the needs of underserved communities?

Problems in the past, institutional actions, iegal infractions

  • Tell me about your grade in X class.
  • Describe the institutional action on your record.

MMI Specific Prep Strategy

  • Know the interview format: Six to ten stations where the applicant has two minutes to read and think about a prompt and 5-8 minutes to discuss with an interviewer
  • Know what is being assessed:
    • Ability to think and speak quickly in organized fashion
    • Critical thinking skills in developing strong arguments
    • Ethical basis for making decisions thus suitability for medicine
    • Ability to work well in a team
    • Ability to know what you don’t know and to rhetorically ask for information you need to respond properly
  • Practice presenting ideas in an organized and timed setting
  • Know types of MMI prompts:
    • Ethical dilemmas
    • Communication/give instructions: re-create an origami piece, instruct someone to tie shoelaces without using your hands
    • Group collaboration: build something with another applicant, plan a blood drive
    • Role play: act out a scenario with the interviewer like resolving a conflict with a roommate, consoling a friend through a difficult time
    • Soliloquy about a topic: example could be the most pressing situation facing the American healthcare system today
    • Write a paragraph about a topic like a physician’s responsibility to contribute to the public health of the community
    • Standard interview question like “Why our med school?”
    • Data interpretation: explain the information presented in a graph or table
    • Random: what kitchen utensil are you most like?

Additional MMI References

MMI Interview

MMI Question Type Prep strategy
Ethical topics Know the Four Pillars of Medical Ethics and how to apply them to ethical scenarios. Be ready to present different viewpoints surrounding the ethical topic. Develop a conclusion.
Communication/give instructions Work together toward a mature resolution of the situation as success of the team/group matters. Be assertive, yet not aggressive. If introverted, choose your moment to speak and contribute in impactful way. Always use professional interactions.
Role play Consider the main issue and choose your best options on how to act. Adjust your tone and vocabulary based on the scenario. Speak slowly and clearly and seek understanding from the actor as needed.
Soliloquy/written prompt Could be traditional question like an opinion on health policy or ethical dilemma.  The goal is to be able to think quickly and speak/write in an organized manner. Give supporting arguments for your opinion.
Data interpretation Describe what the information is being presented in a table or graph. Describe things such as major and minor trends. State the obvious as well as what can be inferred. Be familiar with basic science unit conversions and mental math.

Sample MMI Questions


  • A 14-year-old patient requests birth control pills from you and asks that you not tell her parents. What would you do?
  • A member of your family decides to depend solely on alternative medicine for the treatment of his or her significant illness. What would you do?

Communication/give instruction

  • After being given a piece of paper, you asked to recreate an origami piece.
  • Instruct someone in how to tie shoelaces without using your hands.

Group collaboration

  • Your group has been asked to build something after being given materials.
  • Your group has been asked to plan a blood drive.

Role play

  • You are physician on a university campus. An 18-year-old man is diagnosed to have suspected bacterial meningitis. He refuses therapy and wants to returns to the college dormitory. As his physician, have a conversation with him.
  • Your medical school roommate’s mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  He wants to leave medical school to be with her. Talk to your roommate.

Soliloquy or writing piece

  • This could be any topic or traditional medical school interview question.
  • What is the most pressing situation facing the American healthcare system today?
  • Write a paragraph about a physician’s responsibility to contribute to the public health of the community.

Data interpretation

  • What information can you gather from this graph