The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) is now used by several universities, alongside the UCAT and ATAR, to determine entry into medicine courses. Unlike traditional panel interviews, the MMI features multiple stations, in which you are marked by different assessors. Therefore, the ideal approach to the MMI is different to the approach for a panel interview.
Each station in the MMI has a strict time limit. Many applicants may find the process rather rushed, as you are spending a short time in each station, before being quickly moved on to the next. There are a set of questions which are designated for each station. It is advisable to ensure that you have an opportunity to answer each of those questions, as they all contribute towards your overall score for that station. Therefore, do not excessively elaborate upon your answers. You need to show that you can remain concise and provide an answer which directly addresses the question. If you feel as though you have sufficiently answered a question, do not hesitate to let the interviewer know you are ready to move onto the next. Keep in mind that if you have time remaining, you can always return to a previous question and further develop your answer. Surprisingly, many students find it difficult to talk even for the 8 minutes allocated at each station and tend to finish too early!
The time pressures of the MMI limits the time during which you are able to establish rapport with your interviewers. Interviewers will want to select medical students who they find likeable, both in the way they present themselves, and also in their answers. Smiling helps – first impressions are important!
One advantage of this multi-station format is that it also allows you to start afresh following a station with which you are not happy. Each interviewer marks you independently, and has no knowledge of your previous stations. Allowing yourself to move on from the previous station is critical to maximising your opportunity to do well in the MMI. Avoid allowing a ‘bad’ station to affect your performance in all of the following stations. Train yourself to concentrate on the present task at hand, rather than dwelling upon past stations.
It is crucial to remain calm and focussed in the MMI if you want to succeed, much like in the UCAT. It is a time pressured process, and every minute is an opportunity for you to demonstrate to the interviewer that you possess the qualities to be a desirable future medical student.
MedEntry offers day long Medical Interview Training sessions which cover the content and approach for MMIs in detail.