MEDICAL INTERVIEWS, Australian Doctor (25 November 2008)

Your article (Med School Interview Furore, 21 November) criticises the interview questions used by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to select medical students, 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 their interview, for example, Monash has a detechnicalisation exercise, Adelaide has scenario-based questions and University of Western Sydney has a Multistation 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, for example, by gaining an indication of students' motivation to pursue the career and their communication skills.