January 25, 2020
Medical School Interview
Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)
The interview may seem like the most anxiety-provoking part of the whole application process. Unlike the written application forms, you don’t get to see the questions before giving your answers. Still, there’s a lot you can do to prepare.
There are two main types of interviews: the multiple mini interview (MMI) and the standard interview. Schools will tend to do one type, or the other, or a mix of both. In the MMI, instead of one single interview, there are many smaller stations you complete, lasting about 10 minutes each. Some will involve interacting with an actor, explaining a concept to the interviewer, or working with a partner (another candidate like yourself) to solve a problem. You don’t know what’s at each station until you’re in front it, and you’re given 2 minutes to read the prompt and think about your answer before going in.
Because everyone goes through the same stations, you’re marked relative to how well everyone else performed at that station. This means that if you did poorly at the station that everyone else did poorly at, you won’t really get penalized. And don’t be alarmed if you think you’ve done poorly on a station that everyone else aced. Each station is evaluated separately, so as long as you do well overall, that will reflect in your final assessment. This also means that you get a fresh start at each station, so once you’ve finished with a station, don’t ruminate on your performance – forget about it and focus on the next one.
Acing The Interview
In the standard interview, by contrast, it may be more difficult to recover from a stumble because the same interviewers stay with you throughout. In this interview, you sit by yourself in front of a small group of interviewers who ask questions about your experiences and goals and questions that rely on ethical decision-making. You should be well-versed with what you’ve written on your application as interviewers may choose any point and ask you to explain it in detail (for instance, “What were the top three lessons you learned from volunteering at the hospital?”). You can find sample questions for both the MMI and standard interview online and go over them with a friend – make sure to time your answers. These no shortcut to acing the interviews, so practice, practice, practice!
Take Home Points
Types Of Interviews
- Know which type of interview your school uses: standard, MMI, or a mix?
- Be familiar with your own CV and be ready to elaborate on what you’ve written.
- Find sample/past interview questions online to help you formulate your answers.
- Time yourself while practicing to make sure you’re succinct.
- Practice with a friend and get their feedback.
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