MMI is a specific type of interview that you’re very unlikely to have ever faced before.
Start your Medical School interview preparation by familiarising yourself with the MMI format. Then, work your way through lots of practice questions. It’s also wise to try an MMI Circuit if you want to get an idea of what the real thing will be like.
The aim of your MMI prep is to ultimately feel confident enough that you can tackle any type of question or scenario that comes your way.
Each MMI station has a time limit, which is typically 10 minutes or less. It’s vital that you practise answering questions with the time limit in mind.
For example, if you’re given 8 minutes to talk about your work experience, your motivation for pursuing Medicine or your knowledge of the Medical School, do you have enough to say that will fill this time? Or if you find during prep that you have too much say and keep running out of time, practise being more concise and focus on the key information.
During your interview, you could be asked to discuss a current ‘hot topic’ in the world of Medicine. Therefore, you need to read about NHS hot topics and medical ethics in the run-up to your interview. If you’re asked to discuss an important topic that you’ve never heard of or thought about before, it will make this particular station very difficult.
It’s also a good idea to follow medical news, e.g. the Health section of the BBC News website, because a familiarity with up-to-date issues will demonstrate your enthusiasm for Medicine.
MMI preparation 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. So although it’s vital to practise answering common MMI questions, make sure you don’t learn answers off-by-heart.
Interviewers won’t be impressed if you answer questions in a robotic or overly rehearsed way. This advice applies to panel interviews too.
A crucial part of your MMI prep is understanding the logistics of interview day. If the information is available, find out how many stations you will face, how long each station lasts, and what the themes are likely to be. You should feel a lot more confident at your interview if you arrive knowing what to expect.
In the run-up to your MMI interview, check that you have everything you need, e.g. a suitable outfit, plus any documents or ID that the Medical School has requested to see. If it’s an online interview, make sure you have the necessary software set up 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.
On the day of your MMI, it can be easy to let anxiety 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.
Last-minute cramming for the interview is unlikely to help and will probably just make you feel more stressed!
At the interview, you might be tempted to rush straight into answering every question due to the time limit you have for each station. To improve your performance, try to think about your answer for a few seconds before you start to say it aloud.
This brief pause will allow you to collect your thoughts and decide on your first point, ensuring that your answer follows a logical structure. There is no rush, so don’t jump into an answer without thinking about it first.
In one of your MMI stations, you may be asked to interact with an actor and roleplay a scenario with them, such as breaking bad news. The actor is required to test you, so they are likely to get upset and/or angry, and they could even cry. It’s important that you don’t let this phase you.
When you’re breaking bad news in a roleplay station, take your time and speak as calmly as possible. Give the actor time to talk, pay attention to what they are saying, and don’t be afraid of a little silence.
You will likely have some rest time between each MMI 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 you need to avoid doing this. Treat every station as a blank slate, because each interviewer will have no idea how you’ve done in other stations. If a station doesn’t go as well as you wanted, just try to forget about it and clear your mind for the next one.
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 Medical School thinks you’re a good candidate!) so you should go into your MMI feeling confident in your own abilities.
Tackle your MMI interview with the right mindset, having done a good amount of preparation, and you will boost your chances of success!
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