Multiple Mini Interview (MMI).
Three words which can send any medical school applicant into a bottomless pit of fear and doubt. “How can there be enough time to prove myself?” “How can I even prepare for it?” “It’s so unlike anything I’ve ever done before.” “ROLEPLAY?! REALLY?!”
Chances are that at the age of 17/18 when applying for medical school, if you’ve had any experience with interviews at all, it’s unlikely to have been anything similar to an MMI. You might have had a panel interview or a one-on-one interview for a job or perhaps at school, but the MMI seems so different to that. It’s highly structured, with intense time pressures and is, quite simply, incredibly unfamiliar. So, how can you go about preparing for it?
Firstly – research, research and more research.
See what you can find online, either directly from the university itself where you have the interview, or on forums or blogs which have been written by medical school applicants themselves. Find out what topics could come up, and also what has been covered in the past. Will your interview include a maths station? Or an ethical debate? Or even a practical skill or roleplay? Find out how many stations there are, and about the timings of each – if you have only 6 minutes for an ethical debate, don’t practice debating for 30 minutes because you need to learn how to be efficient with your time.
Secondly – it’s worth investing in a couple of interview preparation books.
There are heaps of them out there which include practice questions and well-structured example answers, as well as some basic medical background knowledge (e.g. how the NHS started etc.) which would be worth reading before any interviews you have. There are some books out there which include actual questions which have been asked at specific universities, so have a scroll through Amazon or make a trip to your school library to find a good one.
Thirdly – try and practice as much as possible.
If there’s more than one of you at your school who are applying for medicine (or dentistry), it would be worth considering that you could help each other and work together. Share resources, have practice sessions together and give each other constructive criticism. Even if you have only a couple of times a week when you’re both free, it can really help to just sit down with someone and discuss an issue such as organ donation – each take a different stance, set a timer and see how you get on. Try not to be intimidated, and keep calm. 6 minutes might sound like a relatively short period of time, but it should be enough to get the most important points across.
It’s undeniable that the MMI is actually highly effective – it assesses so many more skills, traits and insight than a traditional panel interview probably could.
It also introduces you to the format of the OSCEs which you would experience as a medical student, so in my opinion, was actually quite a helpful process. So, in short, do your research, practise and try and keep calm!