Hi guys, I hope your preparation for interviews is going well! If you receive an interview for an MMI university, you are most likely to be asked at some point about work experience, or it will be a separate station itself.
To try and ease your minds a bit, in this article, I will talk about some of the things that I learnt during the preparation process and suggest some tips on how to talk about your work experience at an MMI.
Want to practice approaching work experience stations before the real thing? Book a space on our MMI Circuit! Book an MMI Circuit
1. Reflection is key
It’s important to recognise that work experience is an opportunity for learning. Your answers should be a representation of the fact that you learnt new things from what you saw during your time at the placement.
One of the best pieces of advice that I received was to ensure to focus on what I took from work experience rather than what I did.
Let’s consider the following statements: ‘I was in an outpatient clinic and watched the consultant interact with a younger patient’ vs ‘seeing the consultant interact with a younger patient in the outpatient clinic highlighted the importance of using uncomplicated, non-medical jargon in order to effectively explain situations’.
I think it is obvious that the latter is better as it clearly shows that you have an appreciation for the importance of what you saw, and the good communication skills of the consultant. It also demonstrates that you have taken time to think about what you did and have good reflection skills.
In medical school, and throughout your journey as a doctor, reflection is a skill that will constantly be required of you. The universities are likely to be seeking students who can demonstrate good reflective skills early on.
This links very closely to the point of reflection. Since many other applicants would have done something similar, it is highly unlikely in a medical school interview that you will gain marks solely from the fact that you saw surgery.
Interviews are not a chance for you to out-compete the other applicants on how much work experience you have done. Therefore, simply reciting a list of all the amazing things you have seen may not go down very well with your interviewer.
To combat this, try only mentioning it to give some background and context for making a larger, overarching point. For example, mentioning that you were on the medicine for the elderly ward provides context for your communication with older people.
3. Be familiar with what you have written on your personal statement
Although you may have submitted your personal statement a while ago, don’t forget what is written on it! When I was preparing for interviews, I brought it back out, read through it thoroughly, and formulated a set of potential questions that could be asked – based on what I had written.
I am aware that many universities will not use your personal statement during MMI, but I am certain that yours will consist of the best examples of your dedication to study medicine and your insight into the course. I would highly recommend slotting in these examples in your interview!
Also, looking at a work experience log is helpful when preparing to pick out other key experiences that stood out, that may not have made the final cut for your personal statement. I personally used The Medic Portal’s Work Experience Diary to record what I did. If you haven’t yet done so, get wracking your brain!
I hope that this summary of things that I learnt from last year’s process will make your preparation go just that bit smoother. I understand that this is an intense time, so I wish you guys the best of luck with everything!
Experience 20 MMI practice stations! The Medic Portal's MMI practice circuit is truly unique in the way it recreates a real MMI interview experience. It's created and run by a team with deep experience of the medical school interview process. Book your space today!