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Practice Interview Question Thread

whoartthou

Regular Member
I will be posting questions every now and again given interviews are out. I will give sample points to consider a few days after posting. Given I have certain committments I may not be able to reply to every question here but will try to reply and help those as needed.
These questions may be sourced from other universities with my own edits to them.

An elderly Muslim patient with dementia had come in with gallstones and his gallbladder had been removed in a recent surgery. He is recovering well on the ward from the surgery but had been accidentally given bacon as part of his breakfast. He has eaten half of his breakfast already before his son comes into the room. The son notices the half eaten breakfast and becomes extremely angry and confrontational towards hospital staff because it is against their religion to consume pig products.
  • What should the nurse do in this situation?
  • What would you tell the family if the patient was the one that did not specify his dietary requirements?
  • Can you think of any other situations where cultural and/or religious sensitivity is important in a hospital environment?
  • What changes would you make to the hospital system to ensure people with certain cultural and religious beliefs are being catered to?

    EDIT: Can admin please change threat to thread XD thanks. Done, from LMG
 
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leez

Member
is all you can do apologise and reassure the son and tell him you'll follow up on the situation to ensure this doesn't happen again?
 

Crow

Moderator Band 🦧
Moderator
is all you can do apologise and reassure the son and tell him you'll follow up on the situation to ensure this doesn't happen again?
Remember an MMI station will (usually) last for ~8 minutes. You should explain your thought process, the perspectives of the key stakeholders in the scenario, etc. It won’t be enough to leave your answer at the stage it is currently.
 

whoartthou

Regular Member
The usual way you would appreciate a situation where an "error" has been made is.
1. Firstly de-escalate the situation by apologising even if it isn't your fault. It's hard for someone to be angry at someone who is being apologetic and taking responsibility for the situation. If you feel threatened (ie. if there is an immediate danger to you or other staff) then you will need to call for security.
2. Offer any assistance you can for the current circumstances. Does the patient need monitoring because a wrong medication was given? Offer the family assistance, is there anything that can be done now?
2. Figure out what happened for this situation to occur. This may need to be delegated to a senior member sometimes but it is important to document and raise the issue with senior management. A formal investigation may arise out of this situation.
3. Depending on the outcomes of the formal investigation there may need to be policy changes. How do we identify patients who need dietary requirements and record them? Does there need to be more cultural awareness training for staff? Ensuring kitchen staff labels food correcting? Could this be automated?

If the question asks you as a nurse it may not be necessary to raise the third point but this is later addressed in the latter follow up questions.

Question 2
Despite there being no recorded dietary requirements the circumstances that arose here is still a learning experience for the hospital. This patient has dementia and therefore, the recording of dietary information may have been missed as a result of their medical condition. I would not direct blame or place responsibility on the patient or the family but again apologise and address what could have been done to prevent the situation from occuring. There is an opportunity here to address policy issues here if you want.

Question 3
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island (ATSI) Population - eye contact, multiple languages, spirituality attachment to their land, family/community importance. Great time to address the ATSI issues.
Jehovah's Witnesses - Unable to accept blood products in general not just red blood cells although I think there may be different sects that can
Vegans/Vegetarians/Pescitarians - Along the same line of food
Christianity - Last rites for dying patients
islam - Burial within 24 hours, no cremation
There are plenty more.

Question 4
See above

You don't need to know the exact protocol to give an answer but having "real life experience" in the world can potentially help you answer this particular question.
 

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whoartthou

Regular Member
Your aunt is a strong believer in alternative medicine and often uses Chinese herbal medicines to treat her own symptoms. She states Chinese Medicine has been used for centuries and is nature's way of curing disease. She often uses the internet as her source of information. However, there is no regulation on the information being posted on the Internet and this sometimes leads to the perpetuation of false or misleading information.

1. How would you go about determining if the sources you read on the Internet are reliable?
2. Are there other sources you can use to attain information?
3. You are a doctor and you have inadvertently told your patient outdated information on a medication you prescribed. What do you do?
4. You aunt wants to recommend sharks cartilage as the sole treatment for her friend’s terminal cancer. How would you advise her in this situation?
 
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Asl

Lurker
1: Whenever you read something on the internet you have to first check whose writing it and ascertain whether there are any potential biases or prejudices you'd have to take into consideration. You can further look at the domains to check whether it comes from a corporate source or educational source and further check a sources reliability. After that, you should cross check the information and check into peer reviewed studies that have been done into the topic at hand to ensure that the sources are accurate.

2. You can check the NCBI and scientific database to attain more reliable information. Furthermore, you can always ask a professional such as a doctor or go to the library to check physical books on the subject matter.

3. I'd immediately call them or contact them by some means, and tell them my mistake and also apologize for it. I'd tell them the proper procedure and ask whether they've done anything that would have been dangerous given my misinformation, and make sure everything's all fine and dandy.

4. Immediately, I'd recognize that using sharks cartilage as a sole treatment is bad idea, and I'd advise her against recommending it to her friend. But I'd also have to recognize that my aunt is worried for her friend and truly believes that shark cartilage would work and may recommend it to her friend anyway, soI'd go through and try and explain to her why shark cartilage is not a valid treatment, while going through the aforementioned steps to show why a source can be reliable or not and direct her and show her sources that are reliable yet relatively easy to understand to try show her why taking a natural treatment is not the right solution to a terminal cancer.

Would some answers like these be good for an interview and any recommendations on how I can improve and work on them?
 

whoartthou

Regular Member
1: Whenever you read something on the internet you have to first check whose writing it and ascertain whether there are any potential biases or prejudices you'd have to take into consideration. You can further look at the domains to check whether it comes from a corporate source or educational source and further check a sources reliability. After that, you should cross check the information and check into peer reviewed studies that have been done into the topic at hand to ensure that the sources are accurate.

2. You can check the NCBI and scientific database to attain more reliable information. Furthermore, you can always ask a professional such as a doctor or go to the library to check physical books on the subject matter.

3. I'd immediately call them or contact them by some means, and tell them my mistake and also apologize for it. I'd tell them the proper procedure and ask whether they've done anything that would have been dangerous given my misinformation, and make sure everything's all fine and dandy.

4. Immediately, I'd recognize that using sharks cartilage as a sole treatment is bad idea, and I'd advise her against recommending it to her friend. But I'd also have to recognize that my aunt is worried for her friend and truly believes that shark cartilage would work and may recommend it to her friend anyway, soI'd go through and try and explain to her why shark cartilage is not a valid treatment, while going through the aforementioned steps to show why a source can be reliable or not and direct her and show her sources that are reliable yet relatively easy to understand to try show her why taking a natural treatment is not the right solution to a terminal cancer.

Would some answers like these be good for an interview and any recommendations on how I can improve and work on them?
Overall very good answer.

3. I would probably advise them to come in depending on the magnitude of the misinformation. Apologise, open disclosure and prevent this from happening in the future by studying relevant material, keeping up to date with knowledge, cross referencing etc. Be specific because that is where you will get your marks.

4. Emphathise first before going into detail as to why its not a good idea. You need to ascertain why your aunty has first recommended the treatment in the first place. What is her understanding and knowledge? She may be feeling desperate and hopeless in the face of her friend facing imminent death. You need to convey this to the interviewer. I think it's important to be realistic and to study the science as well which you have mentioned. It is unlikely it will do any good but sometimes if there are no other treatment options available trying things that do "minimal harm" without evidence can be overlooked but this needs to be discussed.
If you really want to be thorough you can even discuss the ethical considerations in the use of "shark cartilage" but I would not discuss this in detail.
 
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whoartthou

Regular Member
You are a 1st year medical student at the university and it is midway through the year. In your cohort, students have created a private Facebook group which has inappropriate posts and offensive comments about other students. You were invited to this private group previously and have only noticed this trend recently. The Dean of your faculty has been alerted to this and has asked you to formulate a plan to deal with this issue as a student representative.
  • How would you go about it?
  • How would you get in contact with those who are posting the comments?
  • Should there be any repercussions for those posting these comments? Are there a specific number of times before you have to take action?
  • You implement changes but find that some students have been ignoring you. How would you engage these students?
 

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nath456

Member
1. I would first try to get all the facts of the matter by Direct Messaging each member, explaining what they are doing and that it is offensive and inappropriate. It may be the case that the students are oblivious to the offensive nature of their comments and may be under the assumption that its light-hearted banter, in which case, messaging them directly points out their mistake and helps prevent putting them "on a spot" and they would hopefully rectify their behaviour. I would also ask that they take down the inappropriate posts and apologise to the Dean.
2. I would message each member directly rather than confront the whole group, that way the message wouldnt get lost in the chat and at the same time prevents putting each member on a spot, which helps prevent embarrassment for them whilst allowing each member the opportunity to make amends and behave appropriately in the future.
3. I believe that informing the students that their behaviour is offensive and providing them the opportunity to correct themselves would be the best first approach. This is especially true if they were simply not aware of the offensive nature of what they posted and are under the assumption that they are just having fun. On the other hand, if the comments were mean-spirited, allowing them the opportunity to apologise and correct their mistakes helps them to learn and conduct themselves respectfully in the future. However, if the students continued in the inappropriate behaviour after this, I would notify the Dean and he/she would implement repercussions.
4. I would make every effort to ensure that the students have heard and read my messages. If I some students were still ignoring me, I would try to also speak to them privately in person and explain the situation and potential ramifications of their actions.
 

whoartthou

Regular Member
1. I would first try to get all the facts of the matter by Direct Messaging each member, explaining what they are doing and that it is offensive and inappropriate. It may be the case that the students are oblivious to the offensive nature of their comments and may be under the assumption that its light-hearted banter, in which case, messaging them directly points out their mistake and helps prevent putting them "on a spot" and they would hopefully rectify their behaviour. I would also ask that they take down the inappropriate posts and apologise to the Dean.
2. I would message each member directly rather than confront the whole group, that way the message wouldnt get lost in the chat and at the same time prevents putting each member on a spot, which helps prevent embarrassment for them whilst allowing each member the opportunity to make amends and behave appropriately in the future.
3. I believe that informing the students that their behaviour is offensive and providing them the opportunity to correct themselves would be the best first approach. This is especially true if they were simply not aware of the offensive nature of what they posted and are under the assumption that they are just having fun. On the other hand, if the comments were mean-spirited, allowing them the opportunity to apologise and correct their mistakes helps them to learn and conduct themselves respectfully in the future. However, if the students continued in the inappropriate behaviour after this, I would notify the Dean and he/she would implement repercussions.
4. I would make every effort to ensure that the students have heard and read my messages. If I some students were still ignoring me, I would try to also speak to them privately in person and explain the situation and potential ramifications of their actions.
Your answer will probably be rated as average for the interview.

1. Why is it inappropriate? Does this constitute as bullying? Is it a reflection of a medical student or doctor to engage in such activities? What other consequences may arise out of their actions? You didn't discuss these issues in depth. Your answer is typical of a superficial answer most students will give.
3. I think having formal rules and educational seminars in place to educate students will be more helpful. If it constitutes as bullying or in breach of laws/rules then I think they need to be punished as it is unacceptable behaviour. This could be through writing a self-reflective essay, suspension or even expulsion depending on the seriousness of the offence. Again you only offered a very superficial approach to the situation.
4. "I would make every effort to ensure that the students have heard and read my messages." What does this mean? Be specific such generic comments gives no direction or weight to your discussion. "I would contact each students directly first via messaging them and if they do not respond, I would approach them in person after a lecture." ".... ramifications of their actions" what are the ramifications of their actions? This could be detailed here or above.
 

whoartthou

Regular Member
You are working at a retirement home as a carer for the residents. Edna is a friendly resident whom you have gotten to know well during your time there. Edna has no other relatives and seems to enjoy the times she spends talking to you. After recovering from a particularly bad bout of illness, Edna offers you a diamond ring as a gift. She says she wants to thank you for being there for her.

  • What would you do in this situation?
  • If Edna decided to give you chocolates instead. Would this have been more appropriate?
  • What policies should be created to decide when it is acceptable to receive gifts and when to deny them?
  • Do you think gifts affect professional judgement?
 

Lawrencealot

Newish member
You are working at a retirement home as a carer for the residents. Edna is a friendly resident whom you have gotten to know well during your time there. Edna has no other relatives and seems to enjoy the times she spends talking to you. After recovering from a particularly bad bout of illness, Edna offers you a diamond ring as a gift. She says she wants to thank you for being there for her.

  • What would you do in this situation?
  • If Edna decided to give you chocolates instead. Would this have been more appropriate?
  • What policies should be created to decide when it is acceptable to receive gifts and when to deny them?
  • Do you think gifts affect professional judgement?
1. I would thank Edna profusely for the offer but explain that I must apologise and decline. It would be wrong of me to accept the diamond ring as it would be inappropriate as it could be perceived as me taking advantage of someone vulnerable. It may also lead to discussion between the other residents of favouritism and would devalue the care I give by monetising it. I would point out that it is my pleasure to speak with her and spending time with her is my reward and that I'm glad she is recovering well.
2. If Edna had offered chocolates, it would be more appropriate but the best course of action here may be to share them with Edna and the other residents and take it as an opportunity to bring the community together. This assumes that none of the residents were unable to consume the chocolates due to dietary restrictions such as soft-food diets or diabetes or other issues in their care plans. It would be prudent following this occurrence to discuss this with Edna and explain that the gift was deeply appreciated but unnecessary.
3. As with any other framework, set limits should apply. While a $5 box of chocolates may seem insignificant, it can affect the way that the profession is perceived by other residents and their families. Generally speaking, any gift with any resale value should be graciously declined and any offered tokens of appreciation (great or small) should be discussed and discouraged, reminding the resident that you are enjoying your time together as much as they are. Certainly in the case of an elderly woman recovering from illness, her state of mind should be assessed to ensure she is cognisant of her offer because in aged-care facilities, as many as 70% of residents suffer from some sort of dementia and many forms of the disease tend to be exacerbated by the fatigue often associated with recovery from illness.
4. In the case of high-value items, it would be a tad unrealistic to think that it would never affect professional judgement however it is for this reason that policies must exist to limit the human factor and avoid colouring any decisions regarding treatment. Gifts and other preferential treatment within the doctor/carer - patient relationship can cloud the judgement of the medical professional could be considered akin to a surgeon operating on a family member. An example of this might be when a doctor works against a DNR order to save a resident.

By the way, I appreciate the work you put in, whoartthou thank you
 

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Lawrencealot

Newish member
1. I would thank Edna profusely for the offer but explain that I must apologise and decline. It would be wrong of me to accept the diamond ring as it would be inappropriate as it could be perceived as me taking advantage of someone vulnerable. It may also lead to discussion between the other residents of favouritism and would devalue the care I give by monetising it. I would point out that it is my pleasure to speak with her and spending time with her is my reward and that I'm glad she is recovering well.
2. If Edna had offered chocolates, it would be more appropriate but the best course of action here may be to share them with Edna and the other residents and take it as an opportunity to bring the community together. This assumes that none of the residents were unable to consume the chocolates due to dietary restrictions such as soft-food diets or diabetes or other issues in their care plans. It would be prudent following this occurrence to discuss this with Edna and explain that the gift was deeply appreciated but unnecessary.
3. As with any other framework, set limits should apply. While a $5 box of chocolates may seem insignificant, it can affect the way that the profession is perceived by other residents and their families. Generally speaking, any gift with any resale value should be graciously declined and any offered tokens of appreciation (great or small) should be discussed and discouraged, reminding the resident that you are enjoying your time together as much as they are. Certainly in the case of an elderly woman recovering from illness, her state of mind should be assessed to ensure she is cognisant of her offer because in aged-care facilities, as many as 70% of residents suffer from some sort of dementia and many forms of the disease tend to be exacerbated by the fatigue often associated with recovery from illness.
4. In the case of high-value items, it would be a tad unrealistic to think that it would never affect professional judgement however it is for this reason that policies must exist to limit the human factor and avoid colouring any decisions regarding treatment. Gifts and other preferential treatment within the doctor/carer - patient relationship can cloud the judgement of the medical professional could be considered akin to a surgeon operating on a family member. An example of this might be when a doctor works against a DNR order to save a resident.

By the way, I appreciate the work you put in, whoartthou thank you
Thinking slightly more about point 1, I think it would be prudent at this stage to enquire with Edna and her other care staff as to whether or not she had offered anyone else any gifts and follow up accordingly.
 

whoartthou

Regular Member
1. I would thank Edna profusely for the offer but explain that I must apologise and decline. It would be wrong of me to accept the diamond ring as it would be inappropriate as it could be perceived as me taking advantage of someone vulnerable. It may also lead to discussion between the other residents of favouritism and would devalue the care I give by monetising it. I would point out that it is my pleasure to speak with her and spending time with her is my reward and that I'm glad she is recovering well.
2. If Edna had offered chocolates, it would be more appropriate but the best course of action here may be to share them with Edna and the other residents and take it as an opportunity to bring the community together. This assumes that none of the residents were unable to consume the chocolates due to dietary restrictions such as soft-food diets or diabetes or other issues in their care plans. It would be prudent following this occurrence to discuss this with Edna and explain that the gift was deeply appreciated but unnecessary.
3. As with any other framework, set limits should apply. While a $5 box of chocolates may seem insignificant, it can affect the way that the profession is perceived by other residents and their families. Generally speaking, any gift with any resale value should be graciously declined and any offered tokens of appreciation (great or small) should be discussed and discouraged, reminding the resident that you are enjoying your time together as much as they are. Certainly in the case of an elderly woman recovering from illness, her state of mind should be assessed to ensure she is cognisant of her offer because in aged-care facilities, as many as 70% of residents suffer from some sort of dementia and many forms of the disease tend to be exacerbated by the fatigue often associated with recovery from illness.
4. In the case of high-value items, it would be a tad unrealistic to think that it would never affect professional judgement however it is for this reason that policies must exist to limit the human factor and avoid colouring any decisions regarding treatment. Gifts and other preferential treatment within the doctor/carer - patient relationship can cloud the judgement of the medical professional could be considered akin to a surgeon operating on a family member. An example of this might be when a doctor works against a DNR order to save a resident.

By the way, I appreciate the work you put in, whoartthou thank you
Sorry have been caught up in some personal work.

1. If you really want a top scoring answer you can talk about cultural considerations where in some cultures it's rude not to accept gifts. Also you can consider Edna's mental state and if she is fit enough to make these decisions or is her reaction as a result of an organic cause but you did mention this later. It may also encourage favouritism and your ability to care for other residents affected. You are being paid for your work so anything extra isn't really necessary although a sign of appreciation will warm the soul.
2. Why would chocolates be more acceptable? What differentiates being acceptable vs not being acceptable? That's why the next question asks this if you don't address it here. Personally, I think chocolates should be fine.
3. Your second half of your answer didn't even answer the question. What is the limit? What is the resale value limit? What if she made muffins? Perishables are ok? What if she gave you flowers costing $100? Sharing it with the community as you mentioned earlier? Assessment by a supervisor? Donation to a charity etc.
4. I think the extrapolation of surgeon operating on a family member is different. I think doctor working against a DNR order would be considered assault so again that is different. It would be more akin to someone paying a surgeon to put them on the surgery list earlier than those that waited longer than them. I don't think you answered this question well towards the end.

Overall I think your response would lie just slightly above average to above average score.
 
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whoartthou

Regular Member
You’re having coffee at a café on your day off work when you see a lady looking annoyed and frustrated with three children in a disheveled state. One of the children starts misbehaving and you watch as she disciplines him by smacking him. The child starts crying and the mother yanks the other child by the arm to get him to move.

  • What do you do?
  • Would this change if the lady wasn’t the child’s mother?
  • Why do you think the lady could have been behaving in this way?
  • What constitutes as child abuse?
 

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You’re having coffee at a café on your day off work when you see a lady looking annoyed and frustrated with three children in a disheveled state. One of the children starts misbehaving and you watch as she disciplines him by smacking him. The child starts crying and the mother yanks the other child by the arm to get him to move.

  • What do you do?
  • Would this change if the lady wasn’t the child’s mother?
  • Why do you think the lady could have been behaving in this way?
  • What constitutes as child abuse?
1. Initially I would not intervene with the mother and child, her choice of action of disciplining the child may have been successful in the past with removing poor behaviour and this is a continuation of that. As the mother may be clearly frustrated and disturbed by her children 'acting up' then her movement of pulling her other child can be seen as an extension of her mood. Should her behaviour become increasingly elevated with greater punishments in a public area (not that it is ok in a private area) then I would intervene by possibly interjecting with a question like, oh what has this little child done? or maybe mentioning a story of when I acted up as a child, to possibly bring humour to the situation by recalling when my mother wasn't happy with me to possibly relate to this women.
2. I think this behaviour may be considered unacceptable should it have happened by another guardian or stranger, some parents suggest other adults punish their children to 'scare them straight' but in this case it was just the mother. The case would also be dissimilar as a mother likely knows her child's recent behaviour and what techniques are effective in 'punishing' the child to improve their behaviour overall. While a stranger may share similar feelings to the mother with these disruptive children, their actions of smacking a child are not as well received in society as it may seem unnecessary or not the choice of not a parent.
3.The lady could be acting in this manner for a number of ways, each one is neither more important than the other entirely but, she could have been dealt like this as a child and believes it may work for her children, the mother is frustrated from the day/weeks with her children and has just snapped, the children have continuously acted in a way that the mother has not taught them to be right, the mother may commonly use smacking as a useful technique.
4. I constitute child abuse as physical, verbal, emotional or mental pain that can unintentional or intentionally faced toward a child. The abuse may be short-lived but anything more than once where the child is left feeling hurt, sad, distressed or angry can be considered child abuse. Abuse may also stem from neglect and failure to raise a child, therefore leading them down poorer paths of crime or poor education with a smaller chance of being able to function in society. Importantly, the actions of the parents need to negatively affect the child, such a depression, withdrawal, fear or anxiety.
In a 2min response, this would be mine
 

ucatboy

Regular Member
Valued Member
Hi whoartthou really appreciate the work you're putting into giving us MMI-style questions for us to think about, they're really helpful! I just have one question though: a standard MMI station is generally 8 minutes. If we take an average talking speed of 120 words per minute (perhaps even faster when nervous), we need to have a response that's bordering on 1000 words.
All the answers other forum members have provided here are super good (much better than what I could come up haha) but I've put them in a word processor and they all come to roughly 300-400 words, which would be spoken in 3-4 minutes. I'm struggling to comprehend how you could approach the questions in a such a way to double your time answering them to meet 8 minutes - you need to spend roughly 2 minutes on each question! What has your experience been with coaching students for interviews? Do many of them easily reach 8 minutes of non-stop discussion?
 

whoartthou

Regular Member
Hi whoartthou really appreciate the work you're putting into giving us MMI-style questions for us to think about, they're really helpful! I just have one question though: a standard MMI station is generally 8 minutes. If we take an average talking speed of 120 words per minute (perhaps even faster when nervous), we need to have a response that's bordering on 1000 words.
All the answers other forum members have provided here are super good (much better than what I could come up haha) but I've put them in a word processor and they all come to roughly 300-400 words, which would be spoken in 3-4 minutes. I'm struggling to comprehend how you could approach the questions in a such a way to double your time answering them to meet 8 minutes - you need to spend roughly 2 minutes on each question! What has your experience been with coaching students for interviews? Do many of them easily reach 8 minutes of non-stop discussion?
Digesting the questions takes some time.
Also I would focus on elaborating on my answers more. Typing it out and speaking it are two completely different situations. Most students will often repeat themselves or forget something and mention it later.

Quality is always better than quantity. I emphasise this often because if you say the same thing or something similar or something not logically connected it will get you no extra marks.

Most students will reach the 8 minutes and the interview will not feel that long.
 

TKAO

ima head to oooo-wahhh for med
Valued Member
Digesting the questions takes some time.
Also I would focus on elaborating on my answers more. Typing it out and speaking it are two completely different situations. Most students will often repeat themselves or forget something and mention it later.

Quality is always better than quantity. I emphasise this often because if you say the same thing or something similar or something not logically connected it will get you no extra marks.

Most students will reach the 8 minutes and the interview will not feel that long.
Is there a certain basic pattern that guides a good answer? Should one constantly have key pointers in the back of their mind to direct their answer and cover all their bases?
 

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