TOP TIPS FOR MMI INTERVIEWS
I’ve created a list of my top tips for MMI style interviews, alongside discussing common questions and key topics that are often asked. Ensure you are aware of how MMIs work and check out specific medical school websites for details on what they are looking for in their candidates.
Practice, but don’t rehearse
This can feel like a fine balance to strike, but trust me - there is a difference between the two. Taking time to practice things that may come up, being able to communicate your ideas under time constraints and developing your interview style are crucial. Practice with your peers, your friends and family, your pets - or contact me for personalised interview practice and feedback!
The difference between this and rehearsing is the difference between showing your personality in an authentic manner and delivering an answer that sounds planned out word-for-word, robotic and rigid. Rehearsing will make it harder to adapt your answer if the expected question is asked with a slight twist. Trust me, it is very obvious when someone is performing a pre-written script.
Instead of fully planning out answers, write bullet points that you would like to cover for various topics and consider examples you can use to string together your points. This gives you the versatility to tackle any question.
Have your examples ready and up your sleeve
For the key skills and traits (empathy, teamwork, communication skills, resilience, leadership), think of your best example of each. Take time to reflect on your relevant experience, what you learnt from it, how it changed you, how you will apply this to your training and career etc. Remember, your examples do not need to be from clinical environments and other contexts can help to portray you as a well rounded individual.
Know that you will be asked things you might not have anticipated.
As much as you can practice, a key skill that is being tested in MMIs is your ability to think on your feet and adapt. You may expect to be asked about your work experience, or your motivation for medicine - but you will also face situations that you will not have prepared for. This could vary from displaying manual dexterity skills to discussing the way in which the NHS has responded to Covid-19 to personality questions outside of the box (eg. If you were a kitchen utensil, what would you be?). Don’t let the unexpected questions or scenarios fluster you or ruffle your feathers. Think on your feet and adapt.
Quality not quantity
Take your time when answering questions. Instead of attempting to fit in as many points as possible and telling the interviewer about every relevant experience you may have had, give one or two high quality examples of your many skills and abilities.
Timing is key
Time pressure is a big part of why many students find MMIs daunting and stressful. You will only have a limited time in which to answer a question or discuss a scenario (this information will be available online before the interview). Practice answering questions under a time pressure.
Each station is a clean slate (in theory!)
Each station has the amazing ability to be a fresh start, unaffected by your performance or answers at a previous station.
Move on from previous station. Deep breaths.
Get outside of your head
Practice speaking answers out loud or in front of a mirror rather than simply planning them out on paper or in your head. Chat to your friends and family about your interest in medicine and your reasons for choosing certain universities, discuss current issues in healthcare with peers, or consider different sides of ethical debates out loud whilst with your pet! Working on your delivery; speaking clearly and slowly will ensure that the content of your answers is well conveyed on interview day.
Ultimately remember that the interviewers are not looking for perfection, and they want you to succeed (not to stumble!). Relax and be your authentic self, allowing your personality to shine through.
Ensure you arrange some mock interviews (contact me for individual interviews and detailed feedback!) and talk clearly and confidently (despite the nerves)
Extra things you may want to consider
Be aware of current issues/updates/discoveries in medicine
Show willing to learn and take the time to learn about ethics (a common interview question!); this can include the pillars of ethics, utilitarianism, deontology etc.
Know what you’ve written in your personal statement - they may ask you about things from it!
Watch this space for common questions and more tips for the big day!