• Amy van Dongen

Barts and the London (QMUL) Medical School Interview Explained – 2023

Congratulations! You’ve managed to secure an interview at QMUL and now you’re trying your best to prepare to turn the interview into an offer. General preparation for all your interviews will certainly help, but make sure you read this blog so you are familiar with what QMUL might test you on specifically. This way, you can be the most prepared you can be for whatever they throw at you during the interview!

Barts and the London (QMUL) Selection Criteria

Just a recap if you are still waiting for your interview invite, the academic criteria for an application at QMUL are as follows:

  1. 3 As and 3 Bs at GCSE including Biology, Chemistry, English language and Maths

  2. A*AA at A level including Chemistry OR Biology + another science OR Maths

If the minimum academic requirements are achieved, applicants will then go through a selection process for an interview. The process is outlined below:

  1. UCAT scores within the third decile range or above will be considered.

  2. They will then have a UCAS tariff calculated based on achieved/predicted grades

  3. UCAS tariff must be a minimum of 152 points to be selected for an interview.

Click HERE and scroll to page 12 to read more details about this.

Barts and the London (QMUL) interview format

For 2023 entry, interviews for QMUL will take place online and will be a 15–20-minute panel-style interview. The interviews for QMUL usually take place between January and March, and the panel will consist of 2 members of senior staff (clinical or non-clinical) and a current student.

The panel-style interview will be a different experience to the MMIs that most other medical students use, but try not to be thrown off–the interview is likely to be more discussion-based than the typical question/answer style of MMI, so try to relax and just be yourself!

What do Barts and the London (QMUL) assess at interviews?

QMUL say that the interview is used to assess the following qualities in each of the candidates:

  1. Motivation

  2. Communication skills

  3. Teamwork skills

  4. Personality

  5. An awareness of the realities of working in the medical profession

This will be done through reflections on work experience or voluntary work. You will also be closely questioned about your personal statement at the interview to analyse your motivation for medicine, to understand what your other interests are and to assess your suitability as a future clinician.

Finally, unique to QMUL, when you are invited for an interview you will be sent a case scenario or topical issue which you will be expected to discuss in the interview with the panellists. This is part of the interview that you will be able to extensively prepare for, and this will be touched on again later.

Work experience – Barts and the London (QMUL)

When talking about work experience in your interviews, it is important that you not only describe what you did but also reflect on what you learned from that scenario. This could be what you learned about yourself – have you discovered a quality about yourself you didn’t know you had or improved on a quality? This could also be what you have learned about the healthcare profession as a whole, or what you have learned about what it’s like to care for others.

QMUL acknowledge it is not always possible to have work experience in a healthcare setting but expects some experience in “working with the public in a caring or service role.” Regardless of your experience, it would be great if you could discuss it in terms of the qualities QMUL are looking for as described in the previous section.

For example, if you witnessed an MDT discussing a case on work experience, you could reflect on how teamwork is important in medicine, and how it is necessary for optimising patient care. You could then talk about an experience where you also demonstrated effective teamwork skills, to prove to the interviewer that you have the qualities required of a future doctor.

The panellists will also expect you to have explored what a career in medicine entails through your work experience. It would be important to highlight any negative experiences you had to demonstrate you have an understanding of the drawbacks of working in healthcare as well as the benefits.

Personal statement – Barts and the London (QMUL)

Since your personal statement will be analysed in the interview, it is important that you are familiar with what you wrote, and that you are able to talk about every aspect. This part of the interview will particularly highlight your motivation for medicine, so ensure that you are able to articulate this effectively.

Furthermore, be prepared to answer further follow-up questions about what you have written. Similarly when you are talking about work experience, try to expand on what you learned from the experiences you have had, and relate back to the qualities you know QMUL are looking for.

The personal statement is also an opportunity for you to express your personality to the panellists – you will have written about things you enjoy and are passionate about in your statement, so let this show! The interview is about assessing you as a whole and what you will contribute to the University as well as analysing how good of a doctor you will become, so make sure that you be yourself and talk candidly to the interviewers. The better the panellists get to know you, the more memorable you become!

The Article

It is guaranteed that you will be asked about the article that QMUL will send you with your interview invitation, so it is most important that you dedicate some time to familiarise yourself with it. Make sure you understand everything that is written about within the article so that you can effectively answer questions about it in the interview. Some key things to do before you go to the interview are:

  1. Think about the topics addressed in the article. It is likely that these will be current issues, so it is important that you have some background knowledge as well.

  2. What is the author’s opinion? Why is this the case? What arguments do they use?

  3. What are your own opinions on the topic? Be prepared to give a justification for your opinions.

It might be a good idea to write down as many questions/prompts as you can that you think the interviewer may use to test you. Try to go through these questions and practice articulating your answers out loud so you can answer anything that comes up!

To sum up…

Make sure you do some general practice, but also focus on these three sections mentioned in particular to ensure you ace your interview at QMUL!

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