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Common Mistakes on the MMI Interview

Skipping the Introduction

While the interviewer already knows your name and the prompt you are discussing, it is a nice personal touch to start every station with a smile, your name, a handshake (optional), and a “Nice to meet you” or similar greeting. Small talk is optional, and unless the interviewer initiates it, it’s perfectly fine to jump right into the scenario. Starting your answer with a short (1 sentence) summary of the question is a nice transition into your discussion.

Only Arguing One Side

A full response is one where you make a decision but then address all the possible counter
points, different perspectives, etc., in a clear discussion. Always discuss why you took a certain opinion over the opposite. Try playing “devil’s advocate” (but indicate that you’re doing so!) and explain the implications of the alternatives.

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Giving Vague Answers to Vague Questions

Some questions will be very vague on details, even philosophical in nature. If you are not sure about something, discuss under what conditions you would give one answer over another. Clearly explain what assumptions you are applying to the prompt, and later consider going back to explore alternate assumptions.

Being Too Narrow-minded

Imagine “zooming out” from the scenario. Perhaps there are other players besides the patient in question (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, family members…). Consider micro- versus macro scale (individual person versus province-wide resource allocation). Perhaps there are risks, benefits, and costs to investigating a medical condition or providing treatment. Now you are thinking like a doctor.

Trying To Impress With Medical Knowledge

Don’t try to impress the interviewers with superfluous knowledge. If the interviewer is a medical professional, you are unlikely to impress them; If the interviewer is a community member, they may have no idea what you are talking about!

Going in Circles

It is not necessary that your answer fills all 6-8 minutes of the station. However, interviewees often feel they need to keep talking and will go in circles, missing the opportunity to finish with a brief summary and firm conclusion to leave a confident final impression.

Being Uncomfortable With Silence

If there are no follow-up questions or you finish them all, it is appropriate to sit in silence for the remainder of the station. A minute of silence will not affect your score. Blabbing on with filler or making an inappropriate comment surely will.

Missing Eye Contact

Looking down or away from the interviewer for the majority of your answer does not make for a confident impression. While it is not recommended you constantly stare at them for the full station duration, it helps to use normal eye contact as if you were speaking to a friend.

Running Out The Door

It can feel stressful knowing your reading time for your next station has started as soon as the bell ends your current station. It only takes 10 seconds to politely exit with a “Thank you for your time” or similar statement, push your chair in, and quietly leave. Like the short greeting, this puts a personal touch on the station and leaves the interviewer with a more positive final impression than you abruptly ending your answer and exiting in a rushed fashion.


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