Probably everyone’s biggest fear in a medical school interview is getting blindsided by a trick interview question. Nobody wants to be that guy or girl who freezes up when asked a weird question.
What can you do to prepare?
Well, the best way to prepare for an interview is to know your application and story like the back of your hand. This way, you aren’t at risk of having to BS and answer.
However, tricky and weird questions are designed specifically to trip you up.
This is a common tactic in interviews. Not because the interviewer wants to embarrass you but rather because the truth tends to come out when the candidate is blindsided.
To help you with these kinds of questions, we compiled the 41 most common weird, tricky, and straight-up difficult medical school interview questions based on real experiences from other candidates.
Examples Of Weird And Tricky Medical School Interview Questions
We reached out to a huge sample of premed and medical school students who recently went through a medical school interview to find out the weirdest questions they were asked.
Here are the results:
- Tell me a funny story from your childhood.
- What is your favorite animal?
- If you had as much money as you wanted for exactly one day, how would you spend your day?
- 3 inventions/discoveries from the past 100 years have most impacted the field of medicine or most important medical technology discovered/invented.
- (For students with parents in Medicine) Why do you not want to pursue your parents’ profession and how do you know you wouldn’t change directions to pursue your parents’ profession?
- How did you pay for your education and how do you plan on paying for Medical School?
- Why do you think we should be sending our tax dollars to aid other countries? I’m one of your blue-collar neighbors. Convince me.
- Do you think marijuana should be legalized? Convince me one way or another.
- Describe your childhood bedroom and your bedroom here at college
- Should all types of doctors, regardless of specialty, be paid the same?
- What is one reason you may not want to go into medicine
- Tell us why we shouldn’t choose you or why the other candidates may be better qualified than you at this moment?
- If you could meet any three people (dead or otherwise) who would you choose and why?
- What’s your role in the family?
- You have a patient come into the ER who tells you “please leave me alone and let me die in peace.” What do you do?
- If you were stuck on an island alone and you could have three things, what would they be?
- Where have you been rejected so far?
- Why not become a nurse?
- There are 140+ MD schools in the country. If you could choose any one to go to, which would you pick and why?
- So tell me why you want to go into medicine.
- This is a common question but nonetheless important to prep for because it can be tricky to articulate why.
- Are you a Square, Circle, or Triangle?
- Tell me about yourself.
- Another common question but can be very difficult to answer on the fly. What makes you unique? Generally, it’s a good idea to talk about your hobbies during this question.
- How would someone who doesn’t like you describe you?
- What’s a recent book you’ve read? What character would you be and why?
- If we don’t give you this position, would you be mad?
- Don’t you think you should go and take a year off to find yourself? Figure out who you are without ‘the struggle’?
- It is estimated people spend X amount of time in traffic every year costing Y billion dollars. Discuss what you believe to be a physician’s role in traffic jams.
- How would you describe the color yellow to someone blind?
- Do you believe physician-assisted suicide is ethical? Would you perform physician-assisted suicide?
- What would you do if you caught your best friend cheating?
- What profession would you choose if not medicine?
- For DO schools: What happened in your childhood that inspired you to apply to osteopathic medical school?
- What is your greatest passion in life?
- What animal would you most like to be?
- What are the best and worst qualities of your best friend?
- If you saw an attending doing (something bad, unprofessional, or unethical) to a patient or student. What would you do, if anything?
- Give me a song, book, movie recommendation.
- You’re driving and you hit me with your car. I’m stuck with this huge ambulance/hospital bill that I have to pay for. Why does America penalize the victim?
- Who would you save if you only have 1 unit of blood and you have to pick between x, y, z people?
- What are the pros and cons of the American healthcare system and should we adopt any other country’s system?
- Tell me about a time when you did the right thing and it didn’t work out?
Tips For Answering Weird Medical School Interview Questions:
We have given you a lot of possible tricky medical school interview questions but you won’t know all the curve balls that can be thrown at you.
However, here are some good interviewing tips that will help you tackle any difficult, tricky, or just plain weird question.
I can’t stress enough the importance of staying calm. Medical school interviewers are always looking out for changes in your body language.
Part of the reason why you are asked tricky questions is to test how you perform under pressure.
Remember to always stay calm. Take slower, deeper breaths. Be aware of any kind of rigidifying you might be doing.
Mock interviews are great because they help you become aware of your nervous ticks. When you are aware of changes in your body language, you can focus on calming yourself through breathing exercises to counteract these.
There Is No Right Answer
When it comes to weird and tricky interview questions, the reality is that there is no real answer. Interviewers ask these questions because they are trying to get the truth out of you.
They realize that if they give you a question that couldn’t be rehearsed you will be forced to speak with more personality.
In addition to this, interviewers are also just trying to see how you perform under pressure.
So don’t try to look for the “right answer.” You will come across as disingenuous and fall directly into their trap.
Instead, be honest, speak from experience, and give them some kind of answer.
Ask for Time
When there is silence in an interview, it is common for people to want to fill the silence with rambling. This is something you want to avoid.
So when a medical school interviewer asks you a question and then is silent, don’t just start talking if you need to think about an answer.
In fact, it’s totally fine to politely ask for some time to think.
Gather your thoughts and give a concise answer without rambling on and repeating yourself. This will come across as very professional and will leave a good impression on the interviewer!
It’s Okay To Ask Questions
Oftentimes when we are asked questions in an interview, we forget that we can ask questions to clarify. If you are asked a question that completely takes you off guard or you simply don’t understand, feel free to ask for clarification.
Stay up to date on Medical News
Finally, make sure you are up to date with major medical news. It is not uncommon for interviewers to ask your opinion on hot topics in medicine.
However, make sure you keep your answers logical and neutral. Do not take an extreme view or politically biased view. The last thing you want to do is piss off the medical school you are interviewing at!