Alex | Founder of Medfully
01 Feb 9 min read

Ultimate Guide to Imperial Medicine Interview | Questions & Tips (2022)

Imperial Medical School: Overview

Imperial medical school - 4th best medical school in the entire world according to 2022 THE rankings and one of the most prestigious scientific locations in the UK. The medical school is located in the very centre of London and is linked to numerous first-rate clinical hospitals under the Imperial College NHS Trust.

Imperial is known for its world-class researchers and cutting edge research facilities, which play an important role in the science-heavy medical course that Imperial offers. At the same time, Imperial recently introduced more patient-facing activities in the early years striking a better balance between academics and clinical exposure.

It’s one of the few medical schools that include a mandatory iBSc in Year 3, in one of the 17 subjects offered, which is a great opportunity to explore other subjects or get more involved in medical research.


Pre-interview Selection in 2022:
🔢 How does Imperial select candidates for medicine interviews?

GCSE/A-levels: Imperial only checks if the GCSE and A-level/equivalent grades meet the minimum entry requirements. In other words, a predicted 3A* doesn’t give you a competitive edge over a person with an A*AA.

Personal Statement: The personal statement isn’t used by Imperial medical school when shortlisting candidates for an interview, but may be used during the MMI.

BMAT: Each year a cut-off is calculated based on the scores of the year’s cohort. Scores from section 1 and section 2 are combined and section 3 is given a separate cut off. Everyone who passes the minimum threshold is invited to an interview at Imperial.

Our dear friend and second-year medical student at Imperial, Akshi Kumar, has made a Q&A on the admissions process with the admissions team at Imperial, where they answer common questions about the application process. You can check it out here.


📊 What is the lowest required BMAT score to get an interview at Imperial?

Imperial’s BMAT cut off tends to change from year to year. But to give you a rough indication of their level here’s data from the 2020/21 admissions cycle:

Home Students: At least 3.5 from sections 1 and 2, and at least 10.9 combined (5.5 average). Minimum 2.5C from section 3.

International Students: A minimum of 4.0 from sections 1 and 2 and at least 12.3 combined (6.2 average). Minimum section 3 score: 3 C.

Overall, you need a very competitive BMAT score to get invited to an interview at Imperial.

📈  TOP Tip: Want to save yourself some time, stress and money in the process of preparing for interviews at the Imperial Medical School (ICL)? Prepare with Medfully, the best interview preparation tool for self-paced interview preparation.


📤 When does Imperial send out interview invitations?

Since Imperial relies on the BMAT, they start sending out interview invitations slightly later than most UCAT schools. This is typically around mid-December and lasts until January.


👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 How many candidates get interviewed for Medicine at Imperial?

Home Students: In the 2020 application cycle 2560 applications were received and resulted in 1245 interviews. This means roughly 49% of all home candidates are interviewed at Imperial.

International Students: In the 2020 application cycle 889 applications were received and 129 international students were interviewed. Hence, roughly 15% of all international candidates are interviewed at Imperial.


2022 Medicine Interviews at Imperial:
🗓️ Imperial Medicine Interview dates:

Imperial medicine interviews run from January until March. At Imperial, you cannot choose an interview date that would suit you most, but have to stick to an assigned date.

For the 2022 entry, the interviews were split into two parts, one of which took place in January (online, asynchronous interviews) and the other in February and March (online, face-to-face interviews).



💬 What’s the interview format at Imperial?

Historically, Imperial has always been conducting MMIs and since the interviews were moved online Imperial stuck to MMIs, but slightly tweaked their format. In 2021/22 the interviews were split into two parts:

Part 1: Asynchronous MMI interviews, held in January. What are asynchronous interviews? These are interviews that aren’t conducted in real-time - questions are written down or pre-recorded, and after listening to the recording you’ll have to record your response and upload it. As such, there is no interaction with the interviewers. At Imperial, you were given 1 minute to read the question and up to 5 minutes to answer it (but you didn’t have to use all allocated time). This part of the interview took place on a specialised platform called Panopto Capture. Candidates who were invited to the interview were given account details and instructions on how to use the website.

Part 2: Face-to-face online MMI interviews, featuring 7 stations, each of which lasted 5 minutes and included 1 min of prior reading time. In total these MMIs lasted for approx. 40 minutes.

Since the interview dates and format may change from year to year in line with the dynamically changing pandemic, please refer to Imperial’s official website for the latest information or contact the admissions office directly.


🏆 How likely is it I’ll be given an offer after an interview at Imperial?

Home Students: After 1245 interviews, 670 offers were given to home students. This means that once you’ve received an interview invitation from Imperial you have a roughly 54% chance of receiving an offer!

International Students: After 129 interviews a total of 63 offers were given to international students at Imperial. This means that once you’ve received an interview invitation you have approx. 50% chance of receiving an offer!


💅 What to do before the interview at Imperial Medical School?

  • familiarise yourself with the Panopto platform for asynchronous interviews
  • read carefully the invitation email and all instructions it contains
  • review your personal statement
  • prepare your interview outfit, check how it fits you and if it’s fit for use


💯 How does Imperial score candidates at the interview?

Interviewers at Imperial score each of your answers from 1 to 10 points - out of which 7 are for content (what you’ve said) and 3 for communication (how you’ve said it).

🚀 TOP Tip: At Imperial interviews, there is often no right or wrong answer. Feel free to change your mind halfway through a question as this will show your ability to reflect critically on your ideas. However, if you decide to do so, make sure to explicitly explain to the interviewers that you’ve changed your mind and explain why you did so.


⏳ How long does it take to hear back from Imperial?

Imperial medical school replies to candidates usually within 2 weeks from their interview.


🧠 Imperial Medicine Interview Questions:

Teamwork and Leadership

  • Tell us about a situation when you had to work in a team.
  • What’s more important in medicine - being a good leader or a good follower?
  • What makes a good team? Follow-up: How can these values be fostered within a team?
  • How would you rate your leadership skills?

Motivation to study medicine

  • Why would you like to become a doctor and not a nurse?
  • Why are you a good candidate for medicine?
  • Did anyone ever try to dissuade you from becoming a doctor? If so, why did you persist?

Understanding the role of a doctor

  • What’s more important in medicine - sympathy or empathy?
  • What steps have you taken to better understand what being a doctor entails?
  • Why do some doctors prefer to become GPs and some prefer being hospital specialists?
  • What are the most important qualities of a doctor?

Empathy and breaking bad news

  • You are a fresh FY1, 2-weeks into your oncology. You are responsible for a 12-year old patient, who is suspected to have leukaemia. The patient's father, who is visibly anxious and stressed, stops you in the hospital hallway to ask you if the boy's results are available already. They say they are tired of the waiting and uncertainty. At this point, you realise you forgot to bring the blood sample to the lab and need to take the bloods again. Explain your mistake to the patient's father.

Ethics scenarios

  • Imagine you are the head of the surgical department in a hospital. There are two patients, A and B, both requiring an urgent liver transplant, but there is only one viable liver. Patient A is a 32-year old social activist, with a drug abuse history. Patient B is a 78-year old woman, who takes care of 3 children, whose parents died in a car accident. How would you allocate the liver and why?
  • 19-year old patient comes to your GP practice and discloses they regularly engage in the use of illicit drugs. They ask you not to tell anyone, including the police. What factors should you consider in such a scenario, and who would you inform about the situation?

Imperial and contribution to the school of medicine

  • Why would you like to study at Imperial?
  • What makes Imperial better than other medical schools in London?
  • How could you contribute to our medical school?

Resilience

  • Tell us about a situation when you had to overcome a challenge.
  • Medicine is a demanding field to work in. How do you deal with stress?

🚀 TOP Tip: Have a hard time answering any of the above questions? Check our Medicine Interview Preparation Resource, which is guaranteed to help you prepare convincing and structured model answers. Looking for more questions? Check our comprehensive list of 250+ medicine interview questions.

Please note that these aren’t questions that have been asked at Imperial medical school in past years. Publishing such information would be against Imperial’s policy. The above questions are adjusted for the interview style at Imperial Medical School and are meant to give you a broad sense of the questions you may face.


✅ Imperial Medical School Interviews: 4 Tips

Start preparing early:

Most medical schools leave very little time before sending out an interview invitation and the actual interview date. Therefore, the worst mistake you can do is to wait until you receive an invitation before starting to prepare.

It’s far better if you start early and commit a couple of minutes to interview preparation every day for a couple of weeks or months, than if you were to cram non-stop for two weeks. Want to speed up your interview prep? Check out Medfully!


Don’t let a challenging station affect your performance:

Remember that on an MMI interview you start each next station with a clean slate - the interviewers don’t know how well you did on your previous stations. Therefore, if something doesn’t go to plan take advantage of that clean slate and don’t let a lousy station affect your performance.

Before entering the next station, take a deep breath, forget about what just happened and channel all your energy to acing the next station. You’ll still have plenty of time to worry afterwards.


Prepare examples for situation-based questions:

Tell me about a situation when... is a common type of questions that can appear on your MMI at Imperial. The best way to prepare for this tricky kind of questions is to come up with a few examples that cover a variety of traits. Eg. In many instances when you’ve demonstrated teamwork you’ve also demonstrated leadership and communication.

Write down 4-6 different examples from your life, where you’ve demonstrated compassion/empathy, good communication, ability to solve a problem or face a challenge, teamwork, leadership. To improve the structure and clarity of your answer you can use the STARR (situation, task, action, result, reflections) framework. Remember that Reflections should form the bulk of your answer!

Find more insider interview tips in our comprehensive interview guide written by doctors and medical students from top UK universities.

🤞 Good luck with preparing for the Imperial Medicine interview! Fingers crossed!

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