In this blog, Professor Olwyn Westwood of Brunel Medical School, Brunel University London, provides some top tips for preparing for a Skype MMI.
Important Note: this post was provided by Brunel Medical School. It does not necessarily reflect processes that will be used by other medical schools.
Many medical schools are now using the Multi Mini Interview (MMI) format – as the name suggests, it is designed so that you have a number of short interviews, using a range of different interviewers so that we get to know you. What you may not know is that some medical schools have been pioneering MMIs delivered over Skype – which is topical and has the benefit of interviewing whilst being mindful of the need for social distancing.
At Brunel Medical School we invite candidates to our London campus for their MMI, but also provide the opportunity to interview candidates over Skype. You should always aim to visit a campus in person, although we appreciate that travelling all the way to the UK for an interview may be inconvenient, especially during term time.
Remember – check what the MMI format is for each of your medical school options so that you can prepare accordingly.
How does a Skype MMI work?
Skype MMIs are very similar to face-to-face MMIs in terms of content, so you can expect the familiar questions to appear. You can also expect to have the same number of question stations. “But how will I move around each station on my laptop?” I hear you cry. So if you can imagine, the format is reversed over Skype. It is now the interviewers (university staff) who move around each station, not you the candidate.
An interviewer will ask you a question and you will answer in the allocated timeframe (typically five minutes). A bell will ring and then a new interviewer will ask you another question on a different topic. And so forth until all questions have been answered.
Here are tips for your Skype MMI experience
You will need to be skillful regarding the delivery of a Skype MMI as a slightly different approach is needed. I recommend that you follow these guidelines and do some of your own research in order to be fully prepared.
1. Practice being interviewed online Practice with a friend, record it, and then be honest with yourself and analyze how you performed, and ask your friend to provide feedback on how you came across on video. You will discover it is quite different to speaking to someone face-to-face!
2. Do your research Identify the key areas that you think might come up, then practice by video-recording yourself answering questions around some of these core themes:
Communication skills, empathy and compassion
Data interpretation and gathering
Personal qualities and motivation, to study medicine
Understanding of what it means to have a career in medicine
Current affairs in the media.
3. Be yourself We are looking for more than just someone you can recite information they have rehearsed. We want to hear from you and understand why you want a career in medicine.
4. No notes It is tempting to have a set of notes close by to refer to off camera. I would avoid doing this because it quickly becomes obvious to the interviewer that you are reading from a paper.
5. Dress code Remember this is an interview and you are on camera, therefore wear exactly what you would to a conventional interview – even down to your shoes!
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