Written by Nermine Sheikh
The University of Liverpool uses MMIs which can be challenging due to their strict timings and variety of questions. This is how I prepared for them:
After researching about Liverpool’s interview process, I found that they use Value Based Recruitment, which meant they looked for future medical students whose values aligned with that of the NHS.
To get some further insight into these values they would look for I read through and made notes on the NHS constitution and GMC guidelines. Through this, I learnt of values and qualities such as compassion and commitment, which I could then reflect on to use in my answers.
I also read up on the medical hot topics, medical news stories such as the Bawa-Garba Case and the four pillars of Medical ethics. Referring back to this, I was able to answer ethical questions as well as relevant hot topics questions confidently using my knowledge to justify my answers.
For me, it was really important to be able to discuss my personal experiences such as volunteering and work experience. This is because these experiences and my reflections were what would make my answers stand out from the rest of the applicants.
To review them I used my Personal Statement and highlighted a few key experiences that showcased the qualities of a Doctor. By using these few experiences, I found I was able to focus more on reflecting on what I learnt and adapting my answers as I wasn’t spending time trying to learn different experiences for each quality or value.
From my research, I found more time practising reflections was very useful as the University of Liverpool looks for what you’ve learnt from your experiences, not just the experiences alone.
Since my interview was an MMI where each station has a set time, I was cautious of time when practising answering questions.
After some research, I found that each MMI station at Liverpool would be 6 minutes long with 1 minute to prepare after being shown the topic for each station.
From this, I was able to time my answers to be around 5-6 minutes so that I could get all my points across within the time given. Having a too short answer could mean I miss out on an opportunity to showcase my skills and qualities. Similarly, having a long answer could mean that I end up being cut off without finishing, and miss out again on relaying important experiences or information.
For interviews, I found that it was important to practice your answers, as preparing for them on paper can be very different to actually speaking them.
The way I practised was to create bullet points of key topics or points I wanted to talk about within my answer. I would then give these bullet points to a family member or a friend and get them to ask me the questions, while I would form answers including those main topics. I was then able to get used to speaking in front of others as well as, giving answers on the spot that was more natural as they would be based on the points and not completely written out.
During my interviews, I remember feeling quite stressed and nervous, which is completely normal!
What I tried to do was to not let the nerves overwhelm me as I answered the questions. There is always time after the interview to reflect on how you did but doing it during the stations can add to the stress of an already stressful environment.
I focused on making an effort to keep positive for each new station, and to not think about the previous station if I felt it hadn’t gone well. MMIs can be nerve-racking and you can treat each station as a fresh start because unlike a panel interview, for each station you will get a new interviewer with a new set of questions. This really helped me keep calm throughout my MMI and allowed me to continue answering questions to the best of my ability.
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