Medical School Interview Time Frame

by Giulia Bankov January 10, 2020 4 min read

You have written your personal statement, sat your UCAT exam, chased up supervisors for a letter of recommendation and finally submitted your application - the dreaded wait has now begun. The time between finalising your medical school application and receiving invites to interviews is a difficult period that can feel like forever and applicants often end up stressing over not having heard about interview dates. Fear not, as we from theMSAG are here to clear up all questions you might have regarding interview dates and timelines and settle your nerves in this stressful time.


When do invites start going out?

Every university deals with the application process differently, which also means that interview invitations will be sent out at different times, depending on where you have applied to medical school. As a general rule though, interview invites don’t start coming out until a few weeks after the UCAS application deadline, which is October 15th, as medical schools need some time to review all applications, decide on a scoring system and a cut-off point and select the candidates they will be further considering for admission through an interview process. For the 2019/20 application cycle, the earliest time at which invitations start going out is late October-early November, as is the case for University of Bristol Medical School, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry or University of Leicester Medical School. Don’t panic, though, as a lot of medical schools send out interview invites in batches and a big portion of them continue to do so all the way into the spring - so even if you haven’t heard anything from your dream school a few weeks or a month after you sent off your primary application, there is still a very good possibility that you will be contacted at a later date. Just keep checking your email and make sure you are familiar with your choices’ academic calendar, in order to be prepared at all times. You can do this by checking out ourWhen do most medical school interview invites go out? 2019-2020 blog post, for a full list of medical schools and their expected timeline.

When do medical schools start interviewing?

As with interview invites, actual interviews take place at vastly different times for each medical school. In fact, interview season spans across several months and it is very likely that should you be successful in obtaining interview invites, they can start as early as November and finish as late as April. As most medical schools do give you at least two weeks’ notice between interview invitation and actual interview date, you can expect that the earliest you could be given an interview is early to mid-November. Such would be the case for University of Dundee School of Medicine, University of Sheffield Medical School or King’s College GKT School of Medical Education. As you are aware, however, interview invitations often come in batches, which leaves the spring season fair game for any further interview dates. As before, make sure you check our full list in our When do medical schools start interviewing? 2019-2020 blog post to ensure you are prepared and ready to go, once that coveted email arrives. 

Also note, sometimes it could be the case that a particular interview date isn’t suitable and you would need to ask to reschedule. This is okay and admissions offices do try to be as accommodating as possible, provided you have reasonable extenuating circumstances. However, if you wish to change an interview date, make sure you apply early for this and get in touch as soon as possible with your university, to avoid any further scheduling conflicts. 


When are offers sent? 

While some med schools aim to send successful candidates offers within a couple of weeks of their interviews, such as University College London, most don’t start until early February, as is the case with Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Cardiff University School of Medicine and Hull York Medical School. In fact, some will still be sending out offers well into April, e.g. University of Aberdeen or Queen’s University Belfast School of Medicine, which is understandable, as interviews are still being conducted at the time. So don’t despair if you still haven’t heard by then and remember - no news is good news, and this scenario is not an exception. Consider the timeline of your own universities of choice and if still in doubt, make sure you get in touch with the admissions office for any further information they can release.


When should you start preparing?

As with any other aspect of your medical school application, interviews are no exception - and as such, it is never too early to start preparing for them. Once your UCAS application is submitted and you have had a chance to relax for a bit, do yourself a favour and get on with your preparation. Do some research into which of your choices start interviewing the earliest and make sure you are aware of what type of interview they conduct, as well as any further information that might be available into the types of questions they tend to ask. Start considering those all too frequent and incredibly relevant questions, such as “Why do you want to be a doctor?”, “Why do you want to study at this medical school?” and start drafting ideas down. Getting this step done early on ensures that you leave yourself plenty of time to practice your answers and become more fluent and confident in them when the day does finally come. 

We hope this information was useful and you now feel more relaxed regarding interview dates. Good luck in your preparation and if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us Good luck!

Additional resources for your interview preparation: