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Alternative ('Other') Category Chat/Enquiries

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drum99

Member
Big congrats to all who got an interview! :)
Im sorry to those who didn't :(

I found some useful information on the internet about the alternate category. Some lady asks a lot of questions on the FYI website.


All the best!
Thanks pillmonkey! Yes I found some rather illuminating freedom of information documents online as well - check this one out:


That shows that in 2019, there were 21 'Alternative' entry people who accepted an offer of place in the MB ChB programme of study. The link you posted up showed that in 2019, there were 39 interviews, so the probability of getting an offer seems pretty good! But also the year before that being 2018, they gave 42 people an interview and offered a place to 21. So exactly 50% chance!

Crikey, it's all rather exciting! May I kindly ask pillmonkey, what was the interview like? What were the main questions and what would you consider to be the best method of preparation for this type of interview?

Many thanks
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Thanks pillmonkey! Yes I found some rather illuminating freedom of information documents online as well - check this one out:


That shows that in 2019, there were 21 'Alternative' entry people who accepted an offer of place in the MB ChB programme of study. The link you posted up showed that in 2019, there were 39 interviews, so the probability of getting an offer seems pretty good! But also the year before that being 2018, they gave 42 people an interview and offered a place to 21. So exactly 50% chance!

Crikey, it's all rather exciting! May I kindly ask pillmonkey, what was the interview like? What were the main questions and what would you consider to be the best method of preparation for this type of interview?

Many thanks
just a heads up that a lot of Aus unis have interviewees sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to their interview. I have no idea what the process is in NZ, but it’s possible your questions can’t all be answered.
 

drum99

Member
just a heads up that a lot of Aus unis have interviewees sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to their interview. I have no idea what the process is in NZ, but it’s possible your questions can’t all be answered.
Wow, thanks for clarifying that LMG, I had no idea that was the case. I guess it makes sense though, considering how competitive med entry is. I'm sorry if my question was somehow unprofessional or inappropriate pillmonkey! If that is the case please disregard the question and absolutely no pressure to give me any indication of the interview process. Otago Uni have clearly identified the topics to be covered so that should be enough for me to go on :)
 

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Thanks pillmonkey! Yes I found some rather illuminating freedom of information documents online as well - check this one out:


That shows that in 2019, there were 21 'Alternative' entry people who accepted an offer of place in the MB ChB programme of study. The link you posted up showed that in 2019, there were 39 interviews, so the probability of getting an offer seems pretty good! But also the year before that being 2018, they gave 42 people an interview and offered a place to 21. So exactly 50% chance!

Crikey, it's all rather exciting! May I kindly ask pillmonkey, what was the interview like? What were the main questions and what would you consider to be the best method of preparation for this type of interview?

Many thanks

Hey Drum99

I signed no such documents to my memory, but its not your typical interview, its more like applying for a job. I have posted in the past to try and be as transparent as possible to help others but Im not sure what I even said, it was a while ago. (maybe check my posts from a few years ago)

I would say its a mixture of a job interview with a med entry interview. Like a hybrid?

Job interview parts: At our age Im certain you've applied for jobs, panel of three-four. Usual HR type questions (e.g. what you have to offer, why pick you...). They hold your CV in one hand and ask you about your work experience etc and clarify your background. Basically have a good yarn. So whatever your background they ask about that. So thats specific to whatever you wrote on your application. (e.g. my classmate worked a medical publisher and she was asked her view on plagiarism, I had worked in public and private healthcare and they asked me about private healthcare)

Med interview parts: If you google med interview questions its all generic nothing special. Like actually, just go on google and look at a range of questions and they will come up. Then two-three ethical situations based around the NZ health setting (which again you would expect in a med entry interview) and issues with the health system (again to be expected).

If you've applied for a professional job then you'll know what its like. Only the stakes are way higher and its more stressful lol
The only hard questions I found was how do we know you haven't just waited five years (yes because thats what normal people do sigh) and what would I do if my husband couldn't get a job in Dunedin, would I still take the offer?
I feel like well undergrads would be asked more generic questions, many of your questions will be personal because relocating families and embarking on a 6 year life change isn't exactly easy when you are older.

Hope that helps.
 

LMG!

Moderator
Staff Member of the Year 2019
Hey Drum99

I signed no such documents to my memory, but its not your typical interview, its more like applying for a job. I have posted in the past to try and be as transparent as possible to help others but Im not sure what I even said, it was a while ago. (maybe check my posts from a few years ago)

I would say its a mixture of a job interview with a med entry interview. Like a hybrid?

Job interview parts: At our age Im certain you've applied for jobs, panel of three-four. Usual HR type questions (e.g. what you have to offer, why pick you...). They hold your CV in one hand and ask you about your work experience etc and clarify your background. Basically have a good yarn. So whatever your background they ask about that. So thats specific to whatever you wrote on your application. (e.g. my classmate worked a medical publisher and she was asked her view on plagiarism, I had worked in public and private healthcare and they asked me about private healthcare)

Med interview parts: If you google med interview questions its all generic nothing special. Like actually, just go on google and look at a range of questions and they will come up. Then two-three ethical situations based around the NZ health setting (which again you would expect in a med entry interview) and issues with the health system (again to be expected).

If you've applied for a professional job then you'll know what its like. Only the stakes are way higher and its more stressful lol
The only hard questions I found was how do we know you haven't just waited five years (yes because thats what normal people do sigh) and what would I do if my husband couldn't get a job in Dunedin, would I still take the offer?
I feel like well undergrads would be asked more generic questions, many of your questions will be personal because relocating families and embarking on a 6 year life change isn't exactly easy when you are older.

Hope that helps.
For the med interview questions practice, this might be useful: Medstudent - Interview Portal
 

drum99

Member
Hey everybody, been a bit quiet here lately. How's everybody's interview prep going? I'm starting to get nervous!!!
Yeah it has been a bit quiet. How you going Sideshow? Yeah I'm getting a bit nervous now too. I've booked in to do a test Zoom with Otago econferencing - did you do that? My prep is going alright but I've been a bit slack tbh. Need to up my game now!
 

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Same here, it's really hard to know what to study but I've been splitting my time between:
- generic interview questions (motivation, strengths & weaknesses, teamwork, conflict management, difficult decisions etc).

- medical ethics/complex clinical case questions.

- trying to read stuff and formulate some semi coherent opinions about COVID (and nz public health) and other current hot topics in health In NZ atm (end of life act, cannabis reform, PHARMAC issues etc) so I sound smarter than I am.

From reading some stuff on other threads it seems like the ethical questions are very hard on purpose because they want to see your thought processes under pressure. Who knows. I'm still stressing hard despite all this.

When is your zoom connection meeting? Have you actually received a Zoom invite for the interview yet?
 

drum99

Member
Same here, it's really hard to know what to study but I've been splitting my time between:
- generic interview questions (motivation, strengths & weaknesses, teamwork, conflict management, difficult decisions etc).

- medical ethics/complex clinical case questions.

- trying to read stuff and formulate some semi coherent opinions about COVID (and nz public health) and other current hot topics in health In NZ atm (end of life act, cannabis reform, PHARMAC issues etc) so I sound smarter than I am.

From reading some stuff on other threads it seems like the ethical questions are very hard on purpose because they want to see your thought processes under pressure. Who knows. I'm still stressing hard despite all this.

When is your zoom connection meeting? Have you actually received a Zoom invite for the interview yet?
Sounds like you've got alot of it sussed! Ministry of Health website is a good resource for reading up about the health system in NZ. From my understanding the interviews are so personal - each applicant has such a different background and has achieved such a variety of things! So I would say just being yourself and engaging well is a big part of it. We are not health experts that's for sure haha!!
 

drum99

Member
Same here, it's really hard to know what to study but I've been splitting my time between:
- generic interview questions (motivation, strengths & weaknesses, teamwork, conflict management, difficult decisions etc).

- medical ethics/complex clinical case questions.

- trying to read stuff and formulate some semi coherent opinions about COVID (and nz public health) and other current hot topics in health In NZ atm (end of life act, cannabis reform, PHARMAC issues etc) so I sound smarter than I am.

From reading some stuff on other threads it seems like the ethical questions are very hard on purpose because they want to see your thought processes under pressure. Who knows. I'm still stressing hard despite all this.

When is your zoom connection meeting? Have you actually received a Zoom invite for the interview yet?
Well I should say I'm definitely not a health expert haha - coming from an arts background. Probably even more important I read up more sheesh!!

I'm having my test Zoom 2 days before the interview. No I haven't received the actual interview Zoom link yet.
 
My tips for your interview would be to answer honestly and sincerely. They are interviewing a lot of people, and I think might get a bit used to generic answers.
It is hard to let your true self come through especially when you are nervous and the stakes are high, but try and relax and don't overthink things too much. I believe they use alternate entry to diversify the student population, so having some "different" ideas and answers (as long as you have reasons to back these up), are fully acceptable.
 

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kated

Lurker
Hey guys, I'm totally new to this!
Have just interview for the alternative entry and just wondered how everyone is going with their interviews?
 

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drum99

Member
Hey guys, I'm totally new to this!
Have just interview for the alternative entry and just wondered how everyone is going with their interviews?
Hi KateD ! Yeah this is a pretty sweet chat group with a lot of cool info. I had my interview yesterday as well. I was super nervous to begin with, even though it was over Zoom. Also there were some technical glitches on their end which meant the call got cancelled for like 10mins while they sussed it out. That threw me a little but didn't care too much. Overall I thought I did OK. Not amazingly, not terribly. I guess I've just been thinking alot about my answers and how I could have been alot more 'to the point' or answered the questions in sometimes more of a direct manner. But also I suppose I was trying to let who I am come through abit but hopefully I didn't overdo that. Who knows. The one thing I did find surprising - the sheer number of ethical scenarios they threw at me. Oh my Lord. Must've been close to half a dozen. And some of them were super hectic. One of them in particular was like this intense as scenario that took what felt like an eternity for the panelist to even describe. My initial response was 'wow that's a lot to take in. I'm just gonna think about that for a minute.' LOL. So I've been just second guessing myself like crazy. But oh well!! Other than that, they pretty much asked things that I expected them to ask. And most things which people said would come up from this forum came up so that was good. I had read quite a lot on RNZ about the NZ health system reforms which helped alot. And I had also read about the 4 pillars of medical ethics which definitely helped me approach the ethics questions.

I hope yours went really well!!
 
Hey guys, I'm totally new to this!
Have just interview for the alternative entry and just wondered how everyone is going with their interviews?
Welcome Kated!

Hope yours went well.
Personally, I always prefer in-person as opposed to Zoom interviews which can be artificial and disjointed. Surprisingly I did a lot better in the scenarios than on questions regarding my motivation for a complete change in career path (didn't expect it to go that way!). I struggled in some instances to be coherent and provide more detail in my hobbies etc, and I was trying my best to avoid sounding over-rehearsed or too cliche. Overall I think it went relatively ok in my mind, and it felt more like a collegial conversation rather than an interview, which was a nice change. I made them laugh thrice which was a bonus, so hoping these brownie points count in my favour somehow.
Let the long wait begin....

P.S. Quick tip for others hoping to go through this pathway: have some questions prepared to ask the committee. They like it when you show interest about their course and University activities.
 

drum99

Member
Welcome Kated!

Hope yours went well.
Personally, I always prefer in-person as opposed to Zoom interviews which can be artificial and disjointed. Surprisingly I did a lot better in the scenarios than on questions regarding my motivation for a complete change in career path (didn't expect it to go that way!). I struggled in some instances to be coherent and provide more detail in my hobbies etc, and I was trying my best to avoid sounding over-rehearsed or too cliche. Overall I think it went relatively ok in my mind, and it felt more like a collegial conversation rather than an interview, which was a nice change. I made them laugh thrice which was a bonus, so hoping these brownie points count in my favour somehow.
Let the long wait begin....

P.S. Quick tip for others hoping to go through this pathway: have some questions prepared to ask the committee. They like it when you show interest about their course and University activities.
Wow MurderKing that's fascinating cos that's how I feel alot too - that I answered the ethical scenario questions better with more concise answers than the motivation and career questions. I felt I gave rambly and a bit fluffy answers for those. Buzzy!
 
Wow MurderKing that's fascinating cos that's how I feel alot too - that I answered the ethical scenario questions better with more concise answers than the motivation and career questions. I felt I gave rambly and a bit fluffy answers for those. Buzzy!
Oh well, we all did our best during the day. Que sera sera!
Drum, are you looking at other places for med school, like UoA or Aussie?
 

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