The Complete Interview Guide: MMI
This is part of our new ‘Interview Guide’ blog series, where each post will be focusing on a different aspect of a medical school interview. This guide collects a range of our resources on MMI, from topic-specific blog posts to Interview Questions.
What stations are there at an MMI?
An MMI is usually comprised of around 8-10 stations each lasting around ten minutes each, although this varies between different universities. Stations are designed to assess a range of skills and traits, including:
- Critical thinking
- Interpersonal skills
These skills are often assessed using a range of question types – for example, Ethics questions may feature in a communication station or an interpersonal skills station – or both! Stations can also vary between different universities, even if they’re assessing similar things! For example, at one medical school you may be asked to describe a vaccination to a young child, and at another you may be asked to instruct somebody on how to tie their shoelaces. Both tasks will be assessing your communication and interpersonal skills. To get a better idea of the kinds of stations and timings, we’d recommend visiting each individual university’s website.
Key resource: MMI Top 5 Tips
What will I be asked in my MMI?
You may be asked a range of questions in your MMI designed to test the above skills, and these will vary between medical schools as they’ll have their own set of criteria they’re looking for in candidates. For example, you could be asked:
- Which principle of medical ethics do you consider the most important?
- You are given a map of a building with two doors marked at each end and asked to give directions from door A to door B.
- An actor hands you a card, telling you that, in this role play, you are a close friend of theirs. You have been house-sitting whilst they have been on holiday and you have to explain to them that you broke the laptop they were given as a birthday present. When informed, the actor becomes hysterical and very angry.
As with all MMI questions, the main focus is communication: your ability to communicate your ideas and thought processes, to think clearly aloud while breaking a task into logical steps, and your interpersonal skills and ability to empathise. Generally speaking, the MMI tests personal qualities, like empathy, honesty and integrity, rather than academic qualities (although at some schools, there are exceptions: for example, calculation stations will assess your mental maths skills).
Take a look at our MMI Question Bank to get an idea of other questions you may be asked – complete with a detailed answer guide to each question.
Key resource: MMI Question Bank
How can I prepare for my MMI?
Lots of practice! The key factor of an MMI is communication – so practice this in any way you can, whether this is running through questions with a friend, setting up a mock interview, or playing games with your friends or family. In a group, you could take it in turns to answer a range of prioritisation/rational thinking questions:
- If you were stranded in the middle of the jungle, which one person would you pick to accompany you and why?
- You are given the details of five people, including their age, sex and occupation [for this question you would need to ask a friend to write the details of the five people]. A nuclear attack is imminent and you can only save one person. Who do you pick and why?
- You are going on a trip to a remote island and have two minutes to select three objects from a table of ten [you could bring these objects in or have cards describing them]. Which ones do you choose and why?
Try answering these in timed conditions of seven minutes – this will be great (and fun!) practice for the MMI as they test your ability to communicate clearly, your prioritisation skills and your ability to think rationally under pressure. You can look at the MMI Question Bank’s answer guides for an idea of what interviewers will be looking for at different stations.
And don’t forget that the same interview preparation tips apply: remember to research the medical school itself, practice the obvious questions like ‘Why Medicine?’, research NHS Hot Topics and the four pillars of Ethics. Good luck!
Key resource: MMI Interview
Other key MMI resources:
How we can help:
- MMI Circuits – created and run by doctors and education experts, our practice MMI Circuits recreate a real MMI experience with a variety of different stations – perfect MMI preparation!
- Interview Courses – we devote a two-hour session to MMI questions at our one-day Interview Course. The day also includes proven techniques to tackle all interview formats and a comprehensive workbook.
- Interview Tutoring – our bespoke sessions are entirely tailored to suit your needs, so you could choose to focus on MMI question techniques or bespoke adjustments for particular UK medical schools.