6 Tips for the Multi Mini Interview

After a rigorous application process, interview invites for medical schools across both Canada and the U.S. are trickling out. While it is a huge accomplishment in and of itself to receive an interview, preparation—and the interview itself—is the final hurdle and, as most of us that have gone through it know, can be the most nerve-wracking part.

Since the introduction of the MMI, or multiple mini interview, more and more medical schools have adopted this as their admissions interview or have done a mixture of both MMI and panel. For those that are unfamiliar, the MMI consists of numerous different stations. You will stand outside of a door and read a prompt for which you will have 2 minutes outside of the room to prepare for. That prompt can truly be anything. It could be an ethical scenario, a question about yourself, you might have to build something, put together a puzzle, or act as a friend to someone that just received bad news. The variety in MMI is endless, and to be honest, once you get past the nerves and preparation for it, it can be kind of fun!

Preparing for the MMI can be challenging because of the variability. Here are some of my tips that you can use beforehand as well as during the interview that will help you throughout the process!

 Based off my own personal experience these are a few things that I found the most helpful. However, take everything with a grain of salt because remember that you are ultimately representing yourself and what worked for me may be different from what works for you. It is in your best interest to consult various resources and try several approaches to best individualize your responses and cater to your style of preparation and interviewing.

1. Have an approach rather than an answer.

Once you read the prompt outside of the door you have time to think of a few points for an answer. Rather than letting your mind ramble into the depths of the different possibilities, structure your points in a concise and coherent way. Pick what your argument will be. Depending on the context, have points/arguments for both sides of the situation and have a conclusion that will outline why you believe your actions would be the right ones. An answer that is coherent to the interviewer and maintains your train of thought will ultimately aid you more than one with a lot of content that is difficult to follow.

2. Know what you have learned from your own experiences.

Go through your ABS and jot down a few notes about what you learned from each experience. Was there any conflict resolution? Communication issues that you resolved? Did you have to be professional? Have the framework of the CANMEDs roles and try to apply each experience you have had to them. When answering questions about yourself or in scenarios this will help to bring in examples and personalize your answers.

3. Read up on current events.

I would go through BBC/CBC a few times a week and see what was going on in the news especially in the “health” section. Again, not necessarily that you will get a question on any of this but sometimes it will prepare you with examples to give in interview questions and give you a broader perspective on current issues. There are also applications that can collect news articles that you are interested in from various sources!

4. Do some research on the school that you are interviewing at.

Go onto the website of the school that you are interviewing at and see what they have to say about their interview process and what values they look for. Sometimes they even have examples of questions they may have. It happened to me; the example activity online was the same as one of the stations in my interview!

5. Practice, Practice, Practice!

The best thing to do to get comfortable with this type of interview format, and importantly the timing of it, is to practice with others. Most university career centres will run MMI prep sessions that will allow you to go through a few stations mimicking the exact environment as in your real interview. Recruit a few friends to help you and time the prompt reading/interview to have the timing down right. Remember that you only have 8 minutes to answer the question and there is often prompting questions that follow as well.

6. Last but not least…stay calm, be friendly, and show that you are empathetic.

You will likely have at least one “bad” station throughout your interview. But remember that one of the advantages of the MMI is that you have a whole round of chances with other interviewers that are marking you separately! So even if one question doesn’t go well, take 10 seconds before you read the next one, clear your head, and don’t let it affect your next station. Most importantly, try your best to be thoughtful of all circumstances in your answers and show your passion for what you want to do!

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