• Sameerah Khan

University of Aberdeen Medical School Interview 2023: Survival Guide



Aberdeen Medical School is one of the highest ranking medical schools in Scotland, the UK, and in the world. Medicine has been taught in some form here since 1495. Aberdeen is a dream medical school for many students from the UK and internationally. This guide will help you get an edge on the competition!



Before the Interview

After you send off your UCAS application, the university screens each application with a range of tools. You can read about them here.

Interview at Aberdeen: Explained



Aberdeen University follows an MMI format, and in the past has had 6 stations at 5 minutes each, with a 2-minute reading time beforehand. The interview will last approximately 1 hour in total. This year, the interviews will be in-person starting from the week beginning 19th December.


What Questions Will I Be Asked in Aberdeen’s Medical Interview?



The questions vary each year, but they all revolve around the same topics. Aberdeen has published the main topics that may be covered in the interview.


  • Discuss their preparation for entry to Medicine

  • Research into undergraduate curricula and postgraduate training

  • Research then understanding the implications of a medical career

  • Experience of caring or other environments

  • Consider a new situation and discuss their thoughts or suggest a solution to solve a problem

  • Outline any learning points from previous experiences

  • Reflect upon their own and others' skills and abilities

  • Consider their potential contribution to the care of others


Below, I will talk about these topics in some more detail, and discuss how to prepare for questions regarding those topics. The university website also covers some tips and previous questions here, and is a superb resource to check out!



Discussion for preparation for entry to Medicine + Previous Experiences



You might be asked about your motivation for medicine as part of this. It will be good to talk about what made you apply to medicine over other healthcare professions or to talk about your experiences with the profession. It’s a great time to talk about your work experience.


Top tip: When talking about your work experience, always talk about what you learned, as well as what you saw!

Work experience is a big topic to talk about as interviewers want to see that you have had exposure to the medical world, but they are also very interested in what you took away from those experiences. You will probably be asked to talk about what work experiences you have done or to talk about a specific situation from your work experience that really stood out to you.


Remember: Reflection is key in medicine! Throughout the interview, make sure you are reflecting on all the experiences you talk about. Interviewers would love to see what you have learned and how you have improved.


Top tip: when talking about what you learned, talk about how you implemented changes and how they helped you overcome future tasks.

It’s also good to be up to date with the current news articles regarding the NHS and scientific advancements, as it shows you are keeping up to date with hot topics and medical debates.


Top tip: the BBC news app is a really easy way to do this, as you can choose to specifically receive news regarding the NHS.


Problem Solving



Aberdeen is interested in critical thinking skills, and so they will likely give you a scenario or a problem-solving question. Examples can be theoretical scenarios such as: “you need to choose 4 out of these 8 items to survive on a deserted island”, or you may be given a more realistic scenario where you have come across a peer who you have discovered is cheating, and you need to figure out what to do next.



Personal Skills



This will involve skills such as empathy, good communication skills, and awareness of weaknesses and strengths. They will be assessed throughout the interview, but you could be asked to talk about something you consider being a strength/weakness or to talk about a time when you demonstrated good communication skills.



Teamwork is another important attribute to possess at medical school, and you can be asked about it in different ways! Examples include being asked about “a time you worked in a team and some of the challenges you overcame”. You might also be asked to “talk through how you would approach a potential scenario”, or you could be asked to “talk about examples of teamwork you have seen during work experience”.



Reflecting upon your own skills



Reflection is key in medicine! Throughout the interview, make sure you are reflecting on all the experiences you talk about. Interviewers love to see what you learn and how you improve.


Top tip: when talking about what you learned, talk about how you implemented changes and how they helped you overcome future tasks.


Contribution to the care of others



This can be referring to the fact that you have an insight into your own abilities and have good communication skills and empathy for patients. Empathy is a very important quality to have as a doctor, and the interviewers will want to make sure you understand its importance. When talking about your own abilities, you may be asked to talk about your strengths and weaknesses and how they will affect you in your career.



Final Thoughts


The interview is a stressful time, but the universities just want to know what type of person you are. Practice example questions with friends and family and make sure you’re happy with the main topics but ultimately, be confident in your abilities! Good luck, you got this!


Key Resources


Aberdeen Interview Guide


To test yourself in a simulation of the real thing, book a 1-1 Aberdeen mock interview with us today. We have built this using the information published by the university online.