The best way to minimise MMI stress is to prepare yourself for the interview. This includes familiarising yourself with the MMI format and looking over practice questions so that you feel confident to tackle any type of question or scenario that comes your way.
Practising is less about knowing what to say word-for-word in response to a particular question, and more about being able to think on your feet and articulate an answer to a question you might be faced with for the first time. Try practising with a friend who also has an MMI coming up, so that you can give each other feedback on how to improve.
Another part of this prep is understanding the logistics of the actual day. Double-check that you have everything you need, e.g. a suitable outfit, plus any documents or ID that the Med School has requested to see. If it’s an online interview, make sure you have the necessary software and know how it works. The logistics are more predictable than the content of the questions, so try to make this part of the day as stress-free as possible.
Find out the format of your MMI, if this information is available. For example, how many stations there are, how long each station is, and whether you get rest time between stations. Knowing the structure can help you to practise this particular format and avoid any surprises on the day.
Preparation should help you to limit stress not only on the day of the interview but also during the prep period, because you’ll feel more in control and know what to expect.
On the day of your MMI, it can be easy to let stress build up, so actively focus on remaining calm.
You know yourself best, so try to think of any strategies that have helped you stay calm in the past. You may want to listen to some music or speak to someone close to you as a distraction. Use whatever techniques work for you on the day, even if you think you aren’t particularly anxious, because they will help to prevent stress from building up.
At the interview, it can be easy to rush straight into answering every question due to the time limit you have for each station. To improve your performance, you should think about your answer for a few seconds before you start to say it aloud. This will help you to collect your thoughts, decide on your first point, and make sure your answer follows a logical structure.
Taking time to think will set you up for success and help you to avoid MMI stress. You might feel anxious when faced with a question that you aren’t sure how to answer, so use this pause to stay composed and avoid jumping into an answer without thinking.
You will likely have some rest time between each station, even if it’s just a minute. Ensure you use this time to your advantage and prepare yourself for the next station.
It can be easy to dwell on your performance in the last station, but doing this may cause you to go into your next station flustered and this could snowball across your entire MMI. Treat every station as a blank slate because each examiner will have no idea how you’ve done in other stations. If a station doesn’t go as well as you wanted, try to forget about it and clear your mind for the next one.
Make sure you take slow, deep breaths. This will help you to stay calm and go into the next station feeling ready.
Don’t underestimate the power of staying positive and keeping a smile on your face. Remember that you’ve been invited to interview for a reason (because the Med School thinks you’re a good candidate!) so you should go into your MMI confident in your own abilities. You should also show your enthusiasm for Medicine and for the university you’re applying to.
Remind yourself how much prep you’ve done and try your best to enjoy the experience, without letting any MMI stress get to you.
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