You got the grades, you aced your UCAT (or GAMSAT), but now you’ve a final hurdle to clear. In this article, we’re going to tell you how to prepare for your MMI so you rock all your interview stations.
MMI stands for Multiple Mini Interview. Nowadays, the majority of universities around the world and medical schools (especially those that require a UCAT score) are using the Multiple Mini Interview. This is a format many students – arguably most students – won’t have encountered yet in their lives.
The MMI is very different from some of the more traditional interview formats where you will have a panel of interviewer asking you questions.
Instead, you take part in a series of activities and tests structured as stations in a room, hall or school. They are designed to assess your ability to make ethical judgements and test your problem solving abilities in a structured environment.
The unfamiliarity of the structure, the variety of stations, and huge array of potential tasks and scenarios make it quite challenging to prepare for. But never fear, this article will guide you through the interview process and how you can prepare for your MMI and rock it!
MMI interviews consist of several short practical assessments where you will be given a scenario before each mini interview. The overall interview takes about 2 hours, with most have around 10 stations that are around 10 minutes each.
At each station the interview should last for about 10 minutes or less. You will have a bit of time to prepare an answer.
The scenario for each station can be an interview style whereby and interviewers asks you a question, or it can be a role-play scenario with an actor whilst an interviewer assesses the interaction.
MMI interviews will differ from one university or school to another – there is no set structure or rigid format, however they are all very similar in content.
The most common stations consist of:
Most MMI interviews are set up in a way with activities that can allow a candidate to demonstrate to the interviewer your capacity to undertake real actions in scenarios rather than just theoretically. You may have great grades and do well in exams, but you need to show your personality, attitude and ability to act on your feet.
The interviewers and assessors want to know whether you have the traits to be a medical practitioner.
The scenarios you’re presented with will try and detect your general knowledge of social, healthcare and world issues. And so, they will be looking at your critical thinking and communication skills as well as your ability to make ethical and informed decisions.
You need to be prepared for a broad range of scenarios and questions. You could be presented with anything in the healthcare industry, technology or impacts of regulation or political issues. Then, when they drill down into your performance, they are interested in determining whether you can formulate logical, well thought-out responses within a set time period.
To do well, you need to be well-prepared and have a thorough familiarity with a wide range of possible scenarios.
MMI interviews can be challenging as they are different to the Q&A interviews most people are familiar with. But don’t worry – there are ways to be prepared!
The assessors are interested in your genuine self, so use your past experiences to demonstrate your understanding and ability to empathise with situations. Make sure you also understand key ethical concepts relating to medicine such as patient confidentiality.
Assessors are interested in who you are as a person, so make sure you make a list of qualities that you have that are common with the qualities it takes to make a great doctor.
Its important to know what’s happening in the world – again topics range far and wide from political issues to technology changes in healthcare. Make sure you are familiar with the world around you – reading is key!
Practise talking and reasoning to answer with a stopwatch and mirror. It sounds silly but you will be surprised at how 8-10 minutes feels when the clock is ticking! Being in front of a mirror helps you see how you present in the eyes of the interviewer – the more aware and prepared you are, the more confident and natural you will come across to the interviewer. These MMI interviews are made to assess your communication skills so make sure you listen carefully to the question – ask for clarification if you need to as you want to make sure you are properly addressing the situation or problem. Remember, there is no absolute right answers – it’s your delivery and methods of addressing the issue at hand they want you to demonstrate.
Lastly, be confident! You got this far – let your personality and knowledge shine on the day!