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Medical School interviews usually take the MMI or Traditional format – but this year there has been a digital shift, with online interviews taking place instead. Find out how to prepare for an online interview, and what to expect from the new format.

Virtual Medical School Interviews

In line with social distancing and safety measures, Medical School interviews have moved online for 2021 entry selection process.

Who Is Interviewing Online?

Currently, 39 Medical Schools have confirmed they will be interviewing candidates via online interviews:

  • University of Aberdeen is interviewing online for 2021 entry
  • Anglia Ruskin University will interview online. They say: “for the 2021 cycle, we’ll be running all of our interview days remotely, but still following the MMI format. You’ll be invited to a ‘preparation session’ in the week prior to your interview, to ensure you are able to access the platform and are comfortable with the technology that you will be using.”
  • Aston University told us they plan to conduct MMIs online this year and are working on updating their webpages with this information. Their website states that the online MMIs will take on the same format as their in-person MMIs.
  • BARTS (Queen Mary University of London) clarified that although interviews normally take place at the Whitechapel campus between January and March, for 2021 entry these will be held online.
  • University of Birmingham is also interviewing online and has updated the MMI format so that it works online. There is extensive information on its website about the changes.
  • Brighton & Sussex Medical School will interview online in January, via Zoom. There are still a few details to be ironed out and a few test events to be carried out, but BSMS  are confident that they will be able to deliver their MMIs with very little or no problems. They plan to liaise closely with all applicants who are invited to interview to ensure that everyone has access to a suitable device, adequate wi-fi and a quiet space to be interviewed in.
  • Bristol will hold all interviews virtually this year via Zoom. More information on the online interview structure can be found on their website.
  • Brunel University will be using Zoom for its online MMIs.
  • University of Buckingham told us they will be conducting Digital MMIs.
  • Cambridge is making plans to interview applicants this year without requiring them to travel to Cambridge in December. Further details will be announced about alternative arrangements in due course.
  • Cardiff University told us they are looking to do MMIs virtually, but the format isn’t yet confirmed.
  • University of Central Lancashire confirmed that interviews will be done remotely and that more details will be given once you’ve been shortlisted for interview.
  • University of Dundee will conduct online interviews for 2021 entry, and they’ll use Blackboard Collaborate.
  • University of Edinburgh is still working on the details of their interviews – but told us that they will aim to offer virtual interviews that maintain the format used last year: three interview stations and a group exercise.
  • University of Exeter told us they “will be conducting interviews for the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery programme online/virtually. We are not sure exactly how these will run at the moment, but it will still be MMI. Information will be on our web pages in due course.”
  • University of Glasgow told us that they’ll conduct interviews virtually in December.
  • Hull York Medical School will be doing digital MMIs during December and January. If you are invited to interview, you’ll also be invited to attend a virtual pre-briefing session so they can explain how this will work.
  • Imperial College London has confirmed that they’re moving to digital interviews. They told us they will keep this as close to the MMI format as possible, adding that “further information on what the interview process will look like and how it will be managed will be made available on the course website as soon as it has been finalised.”
  • Keele University says that “for 2021 it will be necessary to hold interviews online. Applicants who are offered an interview will be asked to select a morning or afternoon session and will have two separate 15-minute interviews; you will have two interviewers in each of the 15-minute interviews, so you will be interviewed by four different people.”
  • Kent and Medway Medical School told us: “We will be running MMIs in 2021 with a preference for in-person attendance, but we will provide virtual MMIs particularly for applicants who live abroad or are self-isolating. If the public health situation does not allow in-person attendance, we will shift to a virtual model.”
  • King’s College London also told us that they’ll be interviewing online this year.
  • Lancaster Medical School told us that although they would prefer to hold interviews in-person, “at this stage it’s uncertain how the pandemic will progress over the coming months and we are unable to confirm if the interviews will be held on campus or remotely”. They added that they’ve already held remote MMIs so they’re confident if they need to be done virtually. More information will be added to their website.
  • University of Leeds said the decision hasn’t been made, but online interviews are likely.
  • Leicester Medical School has confirmed that interviews will be virtual.
  • University of Liverpool has stated that it expects 2021 entry interviews will be online and semi-structured. These should take place between December to February.
  • The University of Manchester told us that interviews for 2021 entry will be held online. More can be found about their interview process on their university website.
  • Newcastle University has confirmed that instead of their usual MMI interview process, they will be running virtual panel interviews with two selectors per panel. More on what they will test candidates on during the interview can be found on their website.
  • Norwich (UEA) also confirmed their interviews will be held virtually.
  • Nottingham will be holding interviews virtually using Microsoft Teams. More information about the interview can be found on the university website.
  • Oxford said that admission for the next academic cycle will take place in December 2020. All medical school interview advice on the university website is still applicable for online interviews. Information concerning the technology that will be used will be released soon.
  • University of Plymouth is also moving interviews online. They said: “this means that the interview structure may differ from our standard Multiple Mini Interview format, however, we will send applicants who are invited to complete an interview process all of the required information in advance”.
  • Queens Belfast will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will change how interviews are delivered accordingly in line with government advice.
  • Sheffield typically uses the MMI format for interviews, but this year an online panel-based interview will be used instead. Approximately 1,050-1,150 applicants will be interviewed, taking place between November 2020 and February/March 2021.
  • Southampton will be holding their selection day online for 2021 entry and will take place between January and March 2021. Details about the selection day will be updated on the university website.
  • St. Andrews will be conducting interviews online using Microsoft Teams. Additional information will be given to applicants who are successful in being invited to an interview.
  • St. George’s, University of London told us they’ll be doing their Medical School interviews online for 2021 entry. We’ve also updated our tips for how to prepare for a St George’s interview.
  • Sunderland state that for 2021 entry, MMIs will take place on Microsoft Teams. How the format of each station will vary and can be found on the university website.
  • Swansea University also confirmed their interviews will be held online, via Zoom.
  • UCL has stated that “interviews for the 2021 cycle will be structured panel interviews conducted online.”
  • Warwick confirmed they will run their selection process virtually this year.
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What Software Do I Need For Online Interviews?

As it stands, Zoom and Microsoft Teams are the two common software programmes that will be used to conduct Medical School interviews for 2021 entry.

Zoom Interviews

Universities that have confirmed they will be using Zoom:

Zoom is a cloud-based software that allows both video and audio, allowing live chat sessions to be recorded and viewed later. To join a Zoom instant meeting, you will need an invite. This will be in the form of a unique 9, 10 or 11-digit number, also known as a meeting ID.

Prior to joining the Zoom on a computer or mobile device, the Zoom app should be downloaded from here. If this isn’t done, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom after clicking the invite link. Alternatively, you can join via a Chrome web browser, where you simply need to input the meeting ID.

A good way to get to grips with the software is by joining a test meeting.

Here’s a video explaining how Zoom setups work:

Microsoft Teams Interviews

Universities that have confirmed they will be using Microsoft Teams:

Slightly different from Zoom, Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace that incorporates all Microsoft applications such as Skype and Outlook.

To join a Microsoft Teams Meeting, you will need a link from the organiser. Through the invitation, there will be an option to Join Microsoft Teams Meeting – clicking this will take you to a page which allows you to join either via the web or desktop app. If you already have the app, the meeting will open automatically.

Microsoft Teams can be downloaded onto your desktop. You can also install the app onto your phone by simply entering your phone number or email to receive a download link. Like Zoom, it can also be used through a browser too.

If you do not have a Teams account, providing the organiser has certain settings, you may have the option to join as a guest. If you do have a Teams account, you will have access to the meeting chat and more after signing in.

You can also check out how to set up teams meetings on the Microsoft website.

Blackboard Collaborate Interviews

The University of Dundee has confirmed they will be using Blackboard Collaborate.

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing tool that doesn’t require any app installation.

To join a session, a moderator will need to send you a link. After clicking the link, Blackboard Collaborate will appear at the top of the screen. You will see what session you have been invited to – once you’ve typed your name in the given space, you will be able to join the session.

Find out more about how to join a Blackboard Collaborate session on their site.

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How Are Online Interviews Different?

Whilst in-person and online interviews will contain the same questions, there are some differences you should be aware of for the big day:

  • Location And Setup. You’re in control of where you are when you sit this exam, which should help you to feel more comfortable. But this can also add to the pressure, as you need to find the right place to set up for the online interview.
  • Body Language. It’s harder to convey positive body language during an online interview, so you need to think about ways you can do this.
  • Speech. Sometimes there can be lag during video calls, so your speech needs to be adapted in anticipation of this.

We’ve shared our tips for online interviews to help you prepare.

You can also find out more about online interviews in our upcoming free webinar or by booking onto our Medicine Interview Course or MMI Prep Course.

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