What will my child experience?
What should I expect for Dentistry MMI interviews? Multiple mini-interviews, often known as MMI or MMI interviews, are an increasingly popular interview format for Dentistry as well as other medical courses. Rather than a traditional interview with a panel and two or three interviewers, your child will go through four to eight ‘stations’. At these stations your child will have a discussion with an interviewer, or they may be asked to complete a task.
What kind of things will my child be asked about?
Dentistry MMI interviews are designed to test a series of skills. Your child will need to approach the Dentistry MMI interview in an open-minded and flexible way. Common interview sections ‘stations’ include; personal statement, current affairs, ethical scenarios, or practical tasks. Many universities are looking for manual dexterity skills, for example your child may have to complete a ‘fiddly’ task. Some questions may be more traditional: such as “why have you chosen Dentistry?”, or “tell us about your work experience”. It depends on the priorities of the university. You and your child can often find more information on the University websites – here’s an example from Birmingham University . Doing research will make your child’s experience of Dentistry MMI interviews go much more smoothly!
What if your child thinks they haven’t done well at an interview station?
Your child can perform poorly in a couple of stations and still get an offer. Also, remember that your child is likely to be very self-critical and unable to accurately judge their own interview performance. Don’t assume that they have ‘failed’ a station; the issue could simply be that they didn’t enjoy that particular part of the interview. Sometimes, struggling to come up with a definite answer to an intentionally difficult ethics question actually shows that your child has resilience, teachability and thinking skills. This is always better than giving what sounds like a smart and snappy answer which might have missed the point. If your child doesn’t know an answer; encourage them to explain why to the interviewer, logically.
A real advantage of Dentistry MMI interviews is that your child will essentially get a ‘fresh start’ every 10 minutes. In a traditional format, the same interviewers see the entire whole process. However in the MMI format; if your child feels that one station didn’t go too well, they get to leave that station and make a new first impression at the next one. They’ll have the opportunity to connect with lots of different interviewers who haven’t seen the previous station. Key tips for your child: Take a deep breath and put it out of mind, ready to impress your next interviewer!
How can I prepare my child?
Here are three top tips to prepare you for your child’s Dentistry MMI interviews! You should both take part in the preparation as support from a parent is key.
- Research the General Dental Council ethical guidelines. Use these guidelines to inform ethical questions, which are often the scariest parts of an interview. This will show that your child is well-informed and thinking meaningfully about what it means to be dentist.
- Read up about current affairs. What do you think of the sugar tax? Have you considered both sides of the argument? This will show that your child is aware of how current issues are shaping the profession.
- Practise! Ask family members or friends to role-play interviews with your child. In particular, time your child and practise time management. Your child won’t have to think about time in a traditional interview format, but making an impression in short bursts means they should be aware of time constraints here.
Finally, remember that despite the non-traditional format; Dentistry MMI interviews are still real interviews. Ensure that your child dresses smartly, shakes the interviewer’s hand if they offer it, and always thanks the interviewer before moving onto the next station.
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