After you've received the letter stating that you've cleared the AKU Admission Test, you'll be called in for an interview. Each candidates sits down for Two Interviews. Each one can range anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. It's very rare that an interview is prolonged beyond an hour. There is one interviewer in each interview (I had always imagined myself being interviewed by a panel of AKU interviewers, don't now where that thought came from)
Also, keep in mind that an interview has two parts to it. One part is what you can prepare for, it includes a few common questions and lies. While, the other part is what you are to beware of, not in a scary way though, as the interviewer might pic up any topic to discuss with you.
Before anything else: Just be yourself.
How to prepare?
Firstly, keep in mind that you have been called for an interview because AKU wants to know about YOU.
Secondly, dress elegantly; not too lavishly nor too informally. Many guys wear suits but my schoolfellows were advised to wear a dress shirt with pants. As for the ladies, mostly go for the eastern look, a long shirt with chooridar or trousers would do. Some do choose a western attire, well, if you're confident with that then it's fine. Anything that would say, "Oh, I'm just me" :)
Thirdly, below are a few hints and tips that will guide you as you prepare for the interview. Open http://www.aku.edu/, get a a general know-how of what AKU has to offer, after all you are choosing to opt for AKU and trying your best to get in, you must know something about AKU that makes it seem so 'desirable'
Fourthly, as you read the following, draw a mind map of what your answers could be. It helps.
Why do you want to be a doctor?
Why do you want to study medicine at AKU?
What are your strengths (Character + Extra Curricular) and weaknesses?
What do you do in your free time?
Briefly describe yourself? Who is *insert your name here*?
Do you read? Who are your favorite authors?
Why do you think AKU should choose you rather than the other candidates?
How do you handle stress? What is your take on cheating?
You achievements and disappointments?
About Family and Household.
Qualifications of your mother and father?
Any other doctor in the family?
Any servants at home? Do you know about their family and kids?
How do you spend time with your family?
Apart from MBBS, do you have an idea of what else does AKU offer?
Do you have an idea regarding PBLs?
From all that you know about AKU, what are you looking forward to most if you get in? (Keep in mind: Safe environment, Sports Center and the likes)
What does AKU's logo represent?
About Pakistan and the World
Tell us about the socio-economic problems of Pakistan
What do you think is the problem in Pakistan's health sector?
Major diseases in Pakistan?
Is the nation loosing sense of its culture?
Any idea about the current affairs? What is in the news these days?
Interviewer describes a scenario related to abortion or euthanasia or genetic engineering (or any other medicinal topic that might spark a debate) and asks your point of view regarding it.
Hints and Tips
One Thing Leads to Another
Think of the interview as a conversation.
Q. What happens when two people converse?
A. One thing leads to another.
Keep the above in mind during your interview. Like, if you tell the interviewer that you have an interest in debating and MUNs. The interviewer might ask you what an MUN is. After your explanation the interviewer might go ahead and ask that what are the major issues that UN has to tackle these days. If go ahead and say that you specialize in SPECPOL and thus know that the Syrian Conflict is a major hot topic these days. The interviewer might further go on and ask you if you know what is causing the conflict and whether you know who Bashar-ul-Assad is and the likes.
From what you read above, remember that one thing leads to another. What you say is going to affect the next question that the interviewer is going to ask you.
DO NOT LIE
Let's see what a lie might lead to
Interviewer: So, do you like to read books?
Candidate (in hopes of impressing the interviewer): Oh yes I do! I read a lot.
Interviewer: That's good. Do you have a favorite author?
Candidate: There is not just one favorite author of mine. J.K.Rowling, Paulo Coelho, Khaled Hosseni and Dan Brown would probably count as my top-most favorite ones.
Interviewer: Oh yes. Dan Brown. Don't you think his views are a bit superficial?
Candidate: Uh, yes.
Interviewer: In what ways do you think that Dan Brown writes exaggeratedly?
Candidate: You know, the Science and Religion conflict.......
NOW, the candidate had heard of Dan Brown but had not really read any specific book with keen interest. In the last answer it certainly seems as if the candidate's hopes of impressing the interviewer have been subdued. Had the candidate been an avid Dan Brown reader the last answer would have worked in a magical way as there's so much to say, even chances of defending Dan Brown.
Religious and Political Concerns
Do not get involved in a religious debate.
Do not get involved in a political debate.
In a global sense, each one is a human regardless of the religion they follow. Which is exactly how it is.
The interviewer might ask you about different Muslim Sects. Or, that what is your religious point of view regarding a certain action. Do not hesitate. Answer by saying that if there is a religious dilemma, your religious scholar will best tend to it as you are just a student and not a religious scholar. If a question arises regarding how you would handle the situation if your patient is against a medical treatment based on religious grounds. It's simple. You do not impose your own religion on the patient, the patient's religious scholar is contacted and then the decision regarding medical treatment is made.
As for politics. Leave it to the politicians. Yes, you do have a say with regards to your views about certain policy changes that might uplift your country's economy but as for your country's stance in the global arena, that is for the policymakers to adhere to. You as a citizen love your country.
What's the right answer?
There is no right answer. There is only the right way to answer every question.
Stay calm and be humble. Nobody likes the scent of arrogance anyway.
At times the interviewer may ask you questions that have no right or wrong answers. What is checked is your thought process. Be rational and logical. Be yourself.
This will be all, folks. Drop a message or a comment if you have any questions or queries in mind.