AUSTRALIAN DOCTOR (22 January 2009)

EDITOR: Your article criticises the interview questions used by the University of NSW without providing any alternatives.

The interview is designed to create a psychological profile of the candidate — to gain an indication of their personal qualities, their interpersonal style, how they arrived at the decision to pursue medicine as a career, etc. Some job interviews also use this approach.

Each university has a different emphasis in its interview. For example, Monash University has a “detechnicalisation” exercise, Adelaide has scenario-based questions and the University of Western Sydney has a multi-station mini interview.

There is no right or wrong way of interviewing. They are all perfectly valid ways of assessing the suitability of a candidate for the medical profession by gaining an indication of students’ motivation to pursue the career and their communication skills.