What is an MMI?
What is an MMI? What are the common interview questions in a panel interview? What should you expect in Oxbridge interviews?
The type and structure of interviews will vary from medical school to medical school. Make sure you check out their websites for up-to-date information and specific details.
Multiple mini-interviews (MMI’s)
Now the most common interview format, mirroring the OSCE exam-style that you will go on to experience. The number of stations will vary (often around eight, with each only lasting a few minutes) and each station will aim to explore a topic further. This could vary from your motivation to study medicine (‘Why Medicine?’) to leadership/teamwork skills (‘Tell me about a time that you led a team to overcome a problem’) to practical skills such as your ability to display empathy (e.g. delivering bad news in role-play with an actor playing the role of a patient). You will often be given 1-2 minutes to read a short ‘brief’ about the content of the station before you enter and greet your interviewer. The great thing about this interview style is that the outcome of one station will not affect the next - each station presents a fresh opportunity! See the MMI tab for more information on potential stations and how to prepare! (Coming soon)
There will be at least two interviewers here, and you may have more than one panel in a day (you will be informed of this in advance). Again similar topics will be covered, assessing your abilities and skills (without the practical elements). They may discuss things written in your personal statement or may present scenarios for discussion such as an ethical conflict. You will be expected to expand on any points from your UCAS application and will need to strike a balance between coming across prepared, without seeming too rehearsed or scripted.
These reflect the tutorials that are a key part of the learning experience at Oxbridge. Questions will likely be challenging and interviewers are looking at your thought processes and how you approach the scenario. The ‘final answer’ is less important than the route taken to get to it and your ability to think on your feet. Compared to other universities, the questions will be more scientific and you are wise to expect an element of surprise - you really cannot predict their questions!
I had two interviews at my chosen college - one of which was very scientific (involving evolution) and one focused on a complicated ethical scenario. I then had an additional interview at another college which was scientific and involved data interpretation (this time it was based on night vision in animals!). For ethical situations, you would be wise to be aware of the four principles of ethics (article coming soon!) and consider how you can utilise these to consider your answer.
3 key tips for Oxbridge interviews:
Work through your thought process out loud; the interviewers can’t give you any credit for what you haven’t vocalised!
Stay calm. When faced with a question you are not expecting, the natural reaction in this situation can be to panic, so decide how you will cope in advance. For me, this involved taking a deep breath and a pause before rushing into an answer.
Be prepared that you will likely be questioned on what you say - this does not mean you are wrong - it is a chance for the interviewers to challenge you further.
More Oxbridge interview tips coming soon from Oxbridge students themselves!