Other Interview Formats

Panel/Traditional/Informal Conversational Interviews

Panel Interviews (often referred to as Traditional Interviews or Informal Conversational Interviews) are the conventional interactions you may be familiar with from having interviewed for employment.  The duration of the interview is usually between twenty minutes and an hour of examination time.

The interview may be ‘open’ (i.e., committee members have previous knowledge of your application) or ‘closed’ (i.e., where interviewers have no previous knowledge about your background).  The panel interview format consists of question and answer or directed conversation aimed to gain insight into the applicant’s personality and suitability.

There are two general approaches taken to the informal conversational interview:

  1. ‘Non-guided.’  In this format there are no pre-determined interview questions.  Interviewers come up with questions during the course of the session in order to facilitate a natural conversation.
  2. ‘Guided.’  Certain questions are pre-determined, but there is flexibility in terms of how they are asked.  The interviewers may come up with additional questions during the course of the meeting.  Although this approach is slightly more regimented, it also encourages conversation.

In addition, there are two general settings:

  1. ‘Panel.’  The interview team often consists of a group of 2-3 people; classically, the panel is comprised of a combination of university-associated professionals, students, and community members.
  2. ‘One-on-One.’  One faculty-member or student interviews the applicant.

Modified Personal Interview

The Modified Personal Interview (MPI) is relatively newly established interview format used by the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

As with the previous panel style interview format used by University of Toronto and other medical schools, the purpose of the interview is to allow interviewers to get to know different aspects of the applicant’s character and background, as well as to assess the competencies necessary for admission into medical school.

The interviewers will ask questions designed to discover who you are as a person and how you will conduct yourself, both as a medical student and as a practicing physician.  Learn More

CDA Structured Interviews

The CDA Structured Interview Format, used by some dental schools to evaluate candidates, consists of seven questions from the Canadian Dental Association’s list.  Each question is represented by one of seven competencies, namely:

  • Communication
  • Conscientiousness
  • Integrity
  • Judgment; Analysis
  • Self-control
  • Sensitivity
  • Tact; Diplomacy


Prepare for Panel / Traditional Interview

Prepare for Modified Personal Interview (MPI)

Prepare for CDA Structured Interview