Bristol University Interview Questions
About Bristol Medical School
Bristol university boasts a fantastic faculty, which streamlines a holistic approach to medicine.
Early patient contact as well as lectures and tutorials on psychological states, creates a well-rounded view of the health of a patient. Home visits from term one allows students to observe patients in the community, rather than just transient people in a hospital.
Feedback on each week's teaching is encouraged, allowing the students to actively take part in their learning.
MMI or Panel?
Panel 2020-21 (post-COVID)
MMI (from 2019 and before)
Interviews will take a panel format, with two assessors. Each assessor will ask you two questions.
What to expect on interview day?
The formal interview will last approximately 30 minutes in a Structured Interview Format, with two assessors. Each assessor will ask two questions, and both assessors will assess your response separately.
Please set up your computer in plenty of time and join the Zoom link at least five minutes before your interview start time. One of your assessors will admit you when they are ready to begin. The interview will start with some internet connection and sound checks, followed by your ID check.
Wear something smart, but comfortable. Please avoid patterned clothes as these can make visibility difficult on screen.
Interview scoring system
The Independent scores of the two assessors will form an average for each question, which will produce your final interview score.
Usually held between January and March.
You must respond to your interview invitation within two weeks of receiving your invitation by email.
The interviewers are all brilliant and genuinely love getting to know the interviewees.
What to expect after the interview?
They aim to contact you with the outcome of your interview within three weeks. In some cases, this decision may take a little longer. They will endeavour to update you as soon as they can via email.
Most students are told within a few weeks that they are put on hold - meaning the university needs to complete all other interviews before making a final decision
For Bristol medical school, the key thing in interviews is to show your own personality.
Interviews will be full of students who have rehearsed answers to questions, and repeat what they think the interviewers want to hear.
Of course this doesn't mean to not prepare beforehand - it is a good idea to read the key aspects of the GMC's Good Medical Practice.
Doing practise questions is valuable, so the interviewee isn't taken off guard by any of the questions, but making sure the interviewee's personality shows is the key thing here.
Example interview questions
Most medical schools have at least one question based on motivation, for example 'tell me about a time where you had to remain motivated despite facing challenges'.
This allows the interviewer to assess how determined and perseverant the interviewee is, as medical school is not suitable for the less determined students.
Although NHS-based questions are less common for Bristol medical interviews, there are occasions where questions are based on the pillars of medical care, or working in a multidisciplinary team. Here the interviewer is assessing the interviewee's basic knowledge of the NHS care system. For example 'tell me about the essential pillars of medical care'
A common question surrounding teamwork, would be 'explain to me a time where you had to work in a team, and what skills you used'. Here the interviewer is looking for the skills the interviewee used, as well as if they relate it back to the medical environment.
A common example of interview questions involving problem solving is giving a scenario to the interviewee , and having them discuss how they would go about the problem. For example, a question may be 'You are at the site of a car crash, as a medical student who would you help first: the pregnant unconscious woman; the elderly man with bleeding from his abdomen; the lost toddler who is screaming for his father; or the young woman who is crying out in pain.' Although there isn't necessarily a correct answer, the interviewer focuses more on how the interviewee tackles the issue, rather than the direct answer to the problem.
Prioritisation: This may include for example a scenario where you could only offer a life-saving treatment (e.g. an organ transplant) to one patient out of a few — this tests your judgement skills. Try to think out of the box and get more information about the patients (more context). Explore other options, for example, medications that can prolong life, whether it’s possible to get resources from another hospital, transfer patients to other hospitals, etc. Try to come up with several options, if possible
Dexterity: This usually involves you doing a mini procedure eg.threading a large needle in sterile conditions. Such stations are difficult to predict and practice, and the most important factor is to try and remain calm; the reason medical school is 5/6 years is because the knowledge base and skill set are not developed overnight. The interviewers are not expecting perfect suturing or dexterity; instead they are searching for a candidate who can manage pressure and work systematically.
The roleplay questions for Bristol interviews are quite challenging, but give a good insight into the students ability to think on the spot, and be careful about language phrasing. For example, 'you are a medical student and have been asked to talk to a patient about their alcohol dependence'.