A Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) is a rigorous part of the admissions process of applying to many medical schools across the world.
In this article, we will explain our best tips on how to prepare for an MMI interview and answer any questions you may have.
We want to make the preparation process as easy as possible for you, reduce any anxious feelings and help you walk into the interview room feeling confident.
Click here to read our blog post on ‘MMI interviews- what are they looking for?’
What happens at an MMI Interview?
Not all Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) formats are exactly the same because each university will tailor the procedure to their own requirements. But here is a rough guide on how the MMI is carried out.
The MMI is a group assessment hosted by Medicine programme recruiters. A select number of Medicine applicants are invited to attend. The interview process usually takes around 2 hours.
The assessment comprises 5 to 12 ‘stations’, which candidates rotate between. Each station lasts between 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the university. Also, each station has one central component, theme or scenario that candidates are tested on.
At each station, interviewers pose questions, and candidates are given 2 minutes of thinking time. They will have 8 minutes to answer the questions.
The MMI is an opportunity for candidates to provide thoughtful answers and stand out from the crowd, which increases their chances of being offered a place in the Medicine programme.
What themes usually come up at MMI Interview stations?
There are various topics that can come up during an MMI interview. Universities are creative with the ‘stations’ they come up with.
The stations could be based on:
- Role-playing and interacting with actors
- Professional judgement
- Clarity of communication
- Ethical dilemmas
- Decision-making under pressure
- Interpreting data
- Critical thinking
- Non-Medicine questions
- Writing tasks
- Making observations from a photo/video
- Motivation for studying Medicine at this university
Why do some students get nervous during the MMI interview?
The MMI is unlike any other type of academic interview or job interview.
The questions asked at the MMI are more complex and unpredictable, so these sometimes catch students off guard.
Additionally, some students are thrown by how fast-paced the group assessment is, or because there are multiple interviewers stationed all over the room.
However, don’t let this scare you. If your mind goes blank in one station, you will have multiple other stations to perform better.
The interviewers know that the MMI is a nerve-wracking assessment. Your answers don’t need to be perfect and overly rehearsed. You will be required to react to what is happening in front of you and think on the spot.
What are MMI interviewers looking for?
MMI interviewers want to gain an understanding of the way you think, so they can see what kind of doctor you will make someday.
You are being assessed on your thought processes and aptitude in various scenarios.
So, when you give your answers, you should show that you have the important skills needed to practise Medicine, for instance:
- active listening
- excellent verbal and written communication
- compassion and empathy
- people skills
- respect and care for patients
- understanding of patient autonomy
- strong worth ethic
- stress management
- organisational skills
- knowledge of the healthcare industry and its challenges
How do I prepare for an MMI Interview?
There are so many ways to prepare for an MMI interview. The more time you spend on preparation, the more confident you will feel when you attend the assessment centre.
- Remember the qualities needed for a career in Medicine.
- Create a revision timetable and stick to it. But remember to take study breaks.
- Draw on your knowledge from your UCAT exam. What did you learn about Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Situational Judgement?
- Research MMI questions.
- Look up study resources which can help you prepare for MMI interview topics. For instance, The University of Washington has a fantastic resource on Ethics in Medicine, which contain examples of ethical dilemma questions that all aspiring doctors need to know.
- When you read example questions and scenarios, collect the key factors and identify the problem. For E.g. what is the most ethical decision you should make in that scenario? How will your decision impact the patient? Have you considered the patient’s autonomy?
- Brainstorm answers to the questions that you think are tricky. However, there is no need to write out answers to every single question you find on the Internet, as this will eat into your revision time.
- Split your questions into Medicine-related questions, and non-Medicine-related questions.
- Familiarise yourself with the style of questions. E.g. ‘who gets the organ?’ or ‘what would you do if…?’
- Practice giving 8-minute answers out loud and time yourself.
- Keep up-to-date on news relating to Medicine and healthcare, by reading the news, listening to podcasts and reading books/journals.
- Use an interview tutoring service to help you prepare for an MMI interview and improve your performance.
- Identify your weak areas and revise them.
- Remember your interview etiquette. There are other candidates who are also eager to be accepted onto the Medicine course.
Always treat others professionally and respectfully, as the interviewers will notice if you are not a team player.
- During your MMI interview, stay calm, composed and polite. You won’t impress the interviewers if you are too chatty, if you interrupt others, or if you behave aggressively.
What are some example questions that I could be asked at an MMI interview?
Some of your questions will not be related to the medical field.
The interviewers want to assess key factors needed to be a doctor- e.g. how you make decisions, how well you can communicate with people, and how you react to scenarios under time pressure.
Example Non-Medical Questions
- You have been taking care of your neighbour Jane’s cat while she is away on holiday for five days. Today, you discover that the cat has died after being run over by a car. Break this news to Jane.
This tests your communication skills, your empathy, and your ability to deliver sad news.
- An actor is sitting across from you, with wrapping paper and a skateboard in front of her. You must instruct the actor on how to wrap the skateboard, without actually touching the objects yourself.
This tests your ability to communicate instructions and your patience.
If you are not specific enough with your instructions, e.g. if you don’t say “use your left hand to grab the left corner of the wrapping paper”, then the actor will not wrap the object properly.
Don’t get frustrated and lose your cool if the actor doesn’t do what you asked. The interviewer will assess your ability to stay calm under time pressure.
Example Medical Questions
A proportion of your questions will be related to the medical field because the recruiters need to test your capability for studying Medicine at their university and becoming a doctor.
- You are a GP and your patient is a 14-year-old girl, Sara. Sara and her parents have been your patients for years, so you know them well.
When Sara’s dad leaves the room, she asks you for contraceptive pills, but she doesn’t want you to tell her father. What do you do?
This tests you on concepts such as patient autonomy, confidentiality, dealing with minors, and delivering advice about safe sex.
- A surgeon who is senior to you is due to perform surgery on a patient. You notice he is drinking from a glass bottle, which you suspect is alcohol. He begins slurring his words.
You only have 5 minutes to talk to him before he enters the surgery room. What will you say?
This tests your ability to intervene and deal with a very serious breach of duty of care. If a surgeon is drunk, he is not fit to practise surgery. Not only would he endanger the patient undergoing surgery, but he is also endangering himself, his colleagues, and the reputation of the hospital.
Where can I get help with interview preparation?
We offer an Interview Coaching package here at The Future Medic.
Starting from only £100, our Interview Coaching package offers advice and guidance from our expert tutors. All of our tutors are fully qualified British doctors, specialists in medical education and interviewers at their respective medical schools. This level of tutoring is not guaranteed by any competitors.
You will have access to Interview Online Courses and personalised 1-to-1 lessons with a highly qualified tutor.
You will get to work on topics such as:
- Motivation for Medicine
- Interpersonal skills
- Academic ability
- Lateral thinking
- Work experience
- NHS & Hot Topics
- Medical ethics
- GMC/ Good Medical Practice
Choose from between 1 to 20 hours of coaching, to prepare for an MMI interview and set you up for the best chances of success.
At The Future Medic, we have helped thousands of aspiring medical students successfully enter the medical schools of their choice.
Click here to book our Interview Coaching package or learn more.
So, there you have it. Remember to stay calm and relaxed and put your best foot forward. The recruiters were already impressed with your UCAS application, which is why they invited you to the MMI interview.
Good luck with your MMI interview!
We hope our article has helped you prepare for an MMI interview.
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