Oxford Interview Help!

Discussion in 'Oxford Medical School' started by -Neuro-, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. -Neuro-

    -Neuro- New Member

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    Hello guys,

    I was wondering if anyone was able to provide some help on preparing for Oxford (or Cambridge for that matter) interviews?

    What books do you read? What magazines, podcasts, courses , Tv programmes etc would be useful for expanding knowledge and possibily gaining this scientific problem-solving abillity which they are looking for? Just general ways of gaining scientific curiosity and problem-solving skills as well as out of the box thinking .

    Thank you and I really hope someone will be able to help,
    -Neuro-
     
  2. neuro1

    neuro1 New Member

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    When i asked the same question last year, everyone said 'there's nothing you can learn, it's just about how you think and work through the problems at the time'.... i found this particularly unhelpful, but a year down the line i realise it was entirely true!!

    I read a lot of BMJ articles as prep, which wasn't unhelpful (and made me feel like i was doing something productive) but i'm not sure it was particularly useful in terms of the interview. Obviously interview styles vary a bit between colleges, at one of my interviews it was very much about working through problems outside of your knowledge base. Got a few questions about NHS reforms which were in the news a lot at that time (BMJ reading was useful for this).

    Do you know which colleges you are applying to?
     
  3. rennstimpy

    rennstimpy New Member

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    Completely agree with Neuro's comment...I just prepared in many ways as if it was any other medical school interview and bought one of those books (cant remember name now but it basically had Q&A to lots of generic q's that I got asked about in all my interviews and was quite useful) - I also read more in depth stuff about the job I do now/recent quliaifcations etc - but to be honest the stuff they asked about that was easy....the main difficult bits of the interview were the academic questions - some of which were completely random and there clearly wasnt a correct asnwer to just to get you to see how you worked it out - there was no way you could have prepared for this....then at others I was asked about stuff related to studys and papers and clinical trials and stuff (not sure if they asked spec due to my background though) and one genetics-y style question could have been very biased as would have been very wasy for someone fresh out of degree but more tricky if you've not considered this for a few years!! So overall, I would advise generic medical interview prep and the academic stuff they test you on cant really be prepared for - guess youd jus be lucky if you happened to be in that area they asked you on so you had some basic ground...it was overall a very much more pleasant experience than I thought it would be - and all were very nice and even when stuck they help you alot and odnt make you feel stupid - so I wouldnt worry about that...hope that helps
     
  4. django

    django Member

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    I'll second what neuro and rennstimpy have said. I found most of my preparation useless (for Oxford). You need to be comfortable with thinking on your feet, expect awkward questions. Don't be afraid of 'going off on one', with regards answering these awkward questions. I had interviewers change the parameters of questions as I approached (I think) an answer. I don't think they're looking for 'answers' as such, but instead want to see your though processes as you talk. Ramble, a bit. Don't be silent when thinking! I know that's really tricky to do though.

    Ethics came up a bit, so do some reading there. Other than than, they will fire questions at you based on your level of knowledge. I was asked a stats question but clearly knew nothing about stats so they swapped it for an equally horrible neuroscience question. They are on your side, remember that. I really got the impression that they were trying to get the best out of me, rather than the bullshit I had to put up with at Imperial!

    I read Medical Ethics - A very short introduction, and How Not To Be A Doctor, and god knows what else. I just immersed myself in the process really. Type medicine into iTunesU, or browse Oxfords section, amongst others. Podcasts are a pretty good way to learn.

    Not sure what else to add, so good luck! :)
     
  5. caveman76

    caveman76 New Member

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    Which college did you interview at? Have you firmed Oxford?
     
  6. neuro1

    neuro1 New Member

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    I had interviews at Somerville and Harris Manchester - and the interviews were quite different from each other. Got a place at Somerville which i'm taking up in September.
     
  7. -Neuro-

    -Neuro- New Member

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    Thank you so much everyone for your advice! It was a great help!

    Neuro1 I'm thinking of applying to New college and the other college I believe is randomly allocated.
    Is there any way of building that problem-solving ability? Puzzle books, I don't know :confused:

    Congratulations for those who have offers! What academic questions where you asked?
     

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