Graduate-Entry Interview Series #3: Which skills did you develop during your undergraduate degree? How are these helpful whilst studying Medicine and later as a doctor?

The third post of our graduate-entry interview series!

March 2022
Carolina Williams
UCL - 2nd Year

For the third post of our graduate-entry interview series, we will be discussing how to answer questions that require you to explore the set of skills that you will have developed during your undergraduate degree, and consider how they are transferrable to studying Medicine and practising as a doctor.

I would just like to reiterate that the questions discussed in our graduate interview preparation series are here to help stimulate your thinking about your undergraduate degree and how you may put across your learnings in a clear way. You will not necessarily be asked any or all of the questions that have been included in the series, however, I hope that by reading this series you are encouraged to explore a range of themes that may be relevant in your interviews and feel more reassured in your interview preparation.

Which skills did you develop during your undergraduate degree? And how do you think these skills would also be helpful whilst studying Medicine and becoming a doctor?

This question prompts you to think about the skills you have improved upon, and how you have done so, during your undergraduate degree. It also provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate that you are aware of some of the skills that a doctor can benefit from having (which is also another potential interview question on its own!).

Therefore, we will take some time to consider each aspect of this interview question – firstly, which skills you felt you have particularly developed over the past few years and whilst studying your degree (including the events and experiences that contributed to this development), and secondly, how these skills relate to studying Medicine and working in the medical profession.

What are some of the skills that may have been built upon during your undergraduate degree?

You may be able to instantly pinpoint how you and your skills have matured, improved, changed etc. over the course of your undergraduate degree years. If this is the case, I would say to try to select those skills that you notice most of a change in, and which experiences and learnings encouraged the development of these skills. Alternatively, it may be that you are uncertain about where you have developed most or which skills to talk about (and do not worry if this is the case right now!). Spend some time thinking back, in perhaps chronological order, over your university years about the experiences that you participated in and how you felt before and after each, noticing any development within your skillset. Mind maps and lists for example can be really useful ways of visualising the range of information that you may choose to discuss. You could also ask your family and friends about which skills they may think you have developed most to gain insight and trigger your memories, but of course, remember this is YOUR interview and so your answers must be personal to you.

Either way, let’s have a think about just some of the qualities that may have been tested or strengthened whilst studying, and HOW these may be relevant to studying and working in Medicine…

Once you have in mind the most important set of your skills that you would like to talk about, think about how you may like to structure your answer so you deliver the information in a clear and effective way to the interviewers.

An example sequence about how you may choose to answer this question…

(This is just an idea and if you do like this format similar to this, feel free to tailor however you wish to best suit your answers!)

  1. Choose a skill that you would like to discuss.
  2. Provide evidence of how you developed this. Use examples – you may choose to use those you have included in your personal statement for example. Comparing your skillset before and after your degree can be useful to show your progression and highlights your ability to reflect on your experiences.
  3. Explain how this skill relates to studying Medicine and/or working as a doctor (answering what the interview question asks specifically!).
  4. Discuss if and how you would like to develop this skill further if relevant. This is a useful way to show awareness of your strengths and weaknesses as well as your ongoing personal development aims.

I hope that this article has been informative and reassuring. Remember to keep in mind what you would like to find out about YOU if you were the interviewer. About you as a person, your ability to adapt and develop, as well as your knowledge of a medical career are all tested by asking this question. Try to stay calm and make the most of demonstrating this information. Best of luck!

Author: Carolina Williams

Editor: Allegra Wisking

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