Master the Multiple Mini Interview
A Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) is an interview style used by certain university programs as part of their admissions process. We assist applicants with interview preparation (both Multiple Mini Interview and Panel interview formats). For more information, please click here to visit Astroff Consultants, leaders in MMI preparation.
Where to Begin?
You have received an invitation to interview which uses the multiple mini interview format. Now what? First, recognize your accomplishment – by reaching this stage, you are among a select group – you are one step away from gaining admission.
The final stage of the application process offers you the opportunity to shine and distinguish yourself from other qualified candidates; however, it can also be a highly stressful period marked by uncertainty and anxiety. Although these feelings are common among applicants, they are typically more pronounced among candidates facing Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI).
What is an MMI?
A multiple mini interview consists of a series of short, structured interview stations used to assess non-cognitive qualities including cultural sensitivity, maturity, teamwork, empathy, reliability and communication skills. Prior to the start of each mini interview rotation, candidates receive a question/scenario and have a short period of time (typically two minutes) to prepare an answer. Upon entering the interview room, the candidate has a short exchange with an interviewer/assessor (usually about 8 minutes). In some cases, the interviewer observes while the interaction takes place between an actor and the candidate. At the end of each mini interview, the interviewer evaluates the candidate’s performance while the applicant moves to the next station. This pattern is repeated through a number of rotations. The duration of the entire interview is about two hours.
Generally, the situational questions posed in a MMI touch on the following areas:
- Ethical Decision Making;
- Critical Thinking;
- Communication Skills;
- Current Canadian Healthcare and Societal Issues.
Although participants must relate to the scenario posed at each station, it is important to note that the MMI is not intended to test specific knowledge in the field of medicine. Instead, the interviewers evaluate each candidate’s thought process and ability to think on his or her feet. As such, there are no right or wrong answers to the questions posed in a MMI, but each applicant should consider the question from a variety of perspectives.
How Can I Prepare for an MMI?
Candidates typically exhibit anxiety in anticipation of challenging questions that may arise. Many people have difficulty formulating logical, cohesive, polished answers within the allotted preparation time prior to the start of each station.
How well you perform during the actual interview and whether you will ultimately succeed in gaining admission to medical school (or another healthcare profession) is in large measure linked to the preparation you do in advance. The most effective strategy to prepare for a MMI is to anticipate the types of questions/scenarios you will face and to practice your answers. Practice Sample MMI Questions
Here are a few tips:
Understand the goal: You should aim to answer the questions in a manner that demonstrates that you are capable of being an excellent student and thereafter, an outstanding professional thereafter (e.g., physician, veterinarian, nurse, etc.). Make a list of the attributes that you believe are essential for success, such as integrity and the ability to think critically. Practice integrating these key attributes into your answers.
Work on time management: Many students experience difficulty with pacing and effectively answering the question in the allotted time. Remember that once the bell has sounded, the interview must end immediately even if the candidate is not finished. Therefore, proper pacing is essential. Practice 7 to 8 minute presentations in advance of your interview to get comfortable with timing. Ensure that you wear a watch that clearly displays the time (e.g. a digital watch) on the interview day, since you cannot rely on a clock being present in each interview room. Appropriately managing your time will give you the opportunity to end the interview in an organized and effective manner.
Listen carefully: During the MMI, the interviewer will often provide prompts designed to direct you. Listen carefully to the cues provided so you can take advantage of any new information that may be introduced. The prompts may guide you to the specific issues that are the focus of each rotation.
Although success cannot be guaranteed, your performance can improve significantly by learning about the interview process, acquiring strategies to avoid the common pitfalls, and knowing ways to sell yourself so that you get the place that you deserve. Poise under pressure can make the difference between achieving your goals and falling just short. As you get ready for the big day, mock interviews should be a key part of your preparations. Simulating what you are about to experience will help build confidence, allowing you to remain calm and more organized on the interview day.