How To Answer The Medical School Interview Question: Tell Me About Yourself

Photo by cottonbro on


  • Let’s say you have an MCAT score of 520,
  • You figured out what med schools you want to go to, 
  • You have collected all your letters of recommendation,
  • You have researched your favorite institutions and know their mission statements by heart, and you can recite their values in your sleep,
  • You have pored over your initial applications, and they sparkle and have been submitted early, 
  • You have received initial interview invitations, 
  • And you know this because your best friend who went through the same process told you that you would get the “Tell me about yourself” question.

You would think this is easy, but you have to ponder it carefully because answering it wrongly can impair your whole admission process. 

Assemble a story. You are the protagonist. Give it some structure:

  • Beginning
  • Middle
  • End

You have already dug into your top-choice school’s information and incredibly researched what they stand for. Getting into med school is not only about you but also about who your teachers are, what the school stands for, and what their principles are; we suggest making a list of the pros and cons of your choices. This is your professional future: you need to pull up all the stops.

Conduct the same process with your second-choice schools; schedule these interviews first. You might not think this is important, but this is your chance to try out the interview process and see how it goes. If this interview doesn’t go your way, you’re not doomed yet; you are going for the big fish.

Let’s go back to the structure:

The Beginning

Where did you grow up? What was your family life like? Who was your closest family member? Who was your favorite sibling? Who was with you all the time when you took the temperature of your sister’s ragdoll? 

Do you belong to a long family line of doctors? Was your family into religion? Was the family community-oriented? Were your parents well-off? Did you have pets growing up? What were your favorite family activities? 

The Middle

Make a list of all your hobbies and interests. What are you passionate about? What makes your day happy, and what makes your day sad? Are you a dog or cat person? Do you like hiking? Are you more of a fisherman? When did you discover you wanted to be a doctor?

You have the list, now what?

Write about why you are into these hobbies, why you like those activities, and what you learn from them. For example, you love basketball because there is a sense of community. Your teammates have become like another family to you, and you have their backs one hundred percent. That will give the school an insight into how you will relate to your peers. Let’s say you love pottery because you like working with your hands. That will tell the panel that you could be a good surgeon.

Do you like cycling because you did that with your uncle when you were a teenager? You are a family person.

Maybe you like volunteering. You learned that giving back was important.

You love reading and playing the piano because you also value being alone sometimes.

The End/ Today

Choose two or three values from the school investigation and see if yours are the same. Please talk about this; describe how they relate to one another; and talk about how you are the perfect fit.

The “tell me about yourself” query is more about your personality traits than your curriculum. They already have that on the table. You are this person with all these fabulous academic accomplishments and, at the same time, this unique human being that will become an even more impressive professional. Who you are is indicative of who you will become.

Through your response, you are there to show them that you can receive feedback with grace, self-reflect, have a suitable bedside manner, and be emphatic with your patients, demonstrating that you understand what they are going through.

Will you relate well to the faculty, peers, and teachers? 

Are you friendly to be around? Will you have the discipline it takes for one of the most challenging careers ever invented? Will you respond well to the long hours, the nightshifts, and the responsibility of doing everything possible to heal a person? Does your passion for medicine shine through in person the same way it has in your application?


  • You have practiced with a mirror. You have tried on what you will wear and have gotten rid of that habit of wringing your hands while talking.
  • You have read your list with all the points we suggested above until you are comfortable with them and are prepared to talk spontaneously. You have practiced your answer and have ensured it will take only three to five minutes. 
  • Breathe, try to relax, and state your case with calmness and composure. Don’t rush into the answer. Let the interviewer get in if he wants; it is probably a sign that you have connected with him personally. That is a good sign.
  • Now, the follow-up questions. Again, take your time to think and answer with confidence.

And you’ve made it.

Good luck!




%d bloggers like this: