What are the Typical MMI Interview Questions asked at Medical School?
Does your child have a Medical School interview coming up? If you want to know what’s in store for them or you just want to get an idea of what the typical MMI interview questions will be then read on. We’ve gone on to explain what the MMI is and what questions your child should be ready for.
What exactly is the MMI process?
The MMI, Multiple Mini-Interviews is exactly what it says on the tin – lots of mini (shorter in length) interviews.
The applicants spend around two hours going around several different stations where they will be ‘interviewed’ on a series of questions or will be given a scenario involving actors that they will have to respond to. Each lasts approximately around ten minutes.
The number of interviews, and their duration/time given for preparation in advance, varies from medical school to medical school. It is worth doing your research ahead of each medical school interview to see how they format their MMI interviews.
A full list of MMI universities and how they time each MMI station can be found following this link >>>
As for the questions, while there is no set way that these interviews go, there are some typical MMI interview questions and styles that they are likely to come across.
These interviews may all be different from each other, but there are certainly typical patterns that they each follow and certain styles of questions that candidates can safely expect to come up. In many ways, this makes the MMI style of interviewing more predictable than the traditional style of interview, which may go in any given direction.
Types of Typical MMI Interview Question
Medical schools use the MMI style of interviews for a reason. In this section, we’ll delve into the basic types of scenarios that applicants are likely to see at the MMI stations, what they are testing, and the style of questions/tasks that they will be expected to tackle…
Ethical scenarios are very common within any medical interview not just specific to MMI interviews. As you can imagine, medical roles will involve your child having to tackle some very difficult decisions. Most of these decisions will have ethical, moral and social consequences. As such, interviewers are looking for candidates who have an understanding of and are able to apply the four pillars of ethics to a given scenario.
- The candidate is asked if they should respect a very young patient’s wishes, who says that they do not wish to receive further treatment for a potentially fatal medical condition.
- The candidate is given the profiles of 20 people and asked to choose which 5 they would save in an imminent disaster.
- The candidate is asked ‘which of the four pillars of Medicine (autonomy, justice, beneficence, non-maleficence) is most important, and why?
- An actor pretends to be an underage girl who is asking her doctor for contraception, to which the applicant must respond in a considered and careful manner.
Breaking bad news
If your child wants to become a doctor, then it is inevitable, further down the line in their career, that they will have to break the bad news to patients no matter how big or small. This scenario is also testing how well an applicant can communicate. Communication is vital in the role of a doctor and interviewers want to see you’re your child can show compassions, clarity/competence in medicine, and respect for the patient.
- The candidate will have to tell a ‘family member’ that their grandparent who was in intensive care has passed away.
- The candidate has to tell an actor that they have a serious illness and deal with the strong reaction that the actor has been instructed to respond with.
- The candidate has to tell their ‘friend’ that they have just run over their cat. The actor will be very upset, and the student must act with compassion and sincerity, making an appropriate apology.
With these typical MMI interview questions, the interviewer is finding out a little bit more about the applicant and why they want to study medicine in the first place. This is your standard interview setting that you’d expect at any interview. Think of it as a ‘getting to know you’ section of the MMI interview.
- The applicant is asked what traits they have that would make them a good doctor in the future.
- An interviewer will ask the applicant to explain why they chose medicine.
- The applicant may be asked why they chose to study medicine specifically, rather than other health-related professions, like nursing or dentistry.
- The applicant is asked why they chose this particular medical school, and not another.
Data analysis stations
Part of their role within medicine will be to analyse findings in order to discover what is wrong with a patient and to be able to come up with a remedy. It is important, then, that applicants are competent with data analysis. In this section, the typical MMI interview questions could include the following:
- The applicant is given a graph showing rates of disease for a certain time and place, and asked to comment on it in a constructive and thoughtful manner.
- The applicant is given a passage of information about the nervous system and asked to describe the main ideas behind the article.
- The applicant is given a sheet of statistical data about patient responses to certain treatments and asked to suggest which treatments were the most effective.
Teamwork tasks with other applicants
As with a number of careers it is very unlikely that in their medical role they will be working independently. For this reason, the MMI is used to test an applicant’s ability to work in teams and communicate across multi-departments.
Some example scenarios include:
- The candidate is placed in a small group of other applicants and is asked to try to solve a logical or ethical puzzle, like having to come to a group consensus on what to do in an ethical scenario.
- The candidate is given a drawing, and placed behind an interviewer/actor who is facing away from them, and has a blank piece of paper and a pen. The candidate must instruct the other person on how to accurately draw the picture in front of them, without the interviewer seeing the image, and only using verbal instructions.
Dealing with a co-worker
Sometimes it’s not just the patients that doctors have to be able to communicate and manage. Again, this is another aspect of the MMI interviews that is testing how a colleague works with others. Dealing with a co-worker is an important part of any job and interviewers want to test an applicant’s reaction when faced with a difficult scenario at work.
Candidates could be tested on the following:
- The candidate is told that they suspect one of their co-workers has been drinking at work, and needs to confront them (an actor) about it. They need to deal with it in a moral and sensitive way.
- The candidate is asked to explain to a co-worker why the approach they are taking to a medical issue is not the right way forward.
- The candidate is asked to explain how they would tell a doctor that they think they are mistreating one of their patients in a careful and considered way.
Explanation and communication
If this wasn’t already drilled in with the first few scenarios, communication is important in the field of medicine. Applicants need to able to communicate their knowledge and thoughts with clarity and reasoning. As such, they might be asked to do the following in their MMI interview:
- The candidate is asked to describe a practical task to an actor without using their hands, such as how to use chopsticks, or how to wrap a present. The actor will assume zero prior knowledge, and take the applicant’s suggestions entirely literally, making mistakes wherever possible. In these exercises, clear explanation and a methodical approach are essential.
Are these questions the same for all Medical Schools?
The short answer – not exactly. While all medical schools approach the MMI process in broadly similar ways, some universities put greater emphasis on certain sections more than others. To get a better idea about what the experience will be like at specific universities, it is well worth researching them further an finding out what past students had to say about their MMI sessions at their specific university.
Get MMI-Ready with the MMI Interview Programme
MMIs are becoming increasingly popular across medical schools across the UK. It offers a more comprehensive assessment of a candidate’s suitability for the course and their future in the industry of medicine. Because of the various tasks and questions within the MMIs, preparing for them isn’t as simple as your standard interview. We’ve created the tailored MMI interview programme to tackle this. We tutor students in the art of MMI interviews, giving them the skills and strategies that will triple their chances of success.
For more information on this course, take a look or get in touch with us.
Master the Interview Jitters
It’s okay to be nervous for the MMI interviews. It’s understandable with so many stations to consider and prepare for! However, interviews are a normal part of life. While it’s okay to be nervous, it can also be used for good. We’ve got a blog that explains what happens if your child panics at the interviews and why there’s simply nothing to worry about.