How do MMI interviews work
What is an MMI?
During an MMI interview students will work through a number of brief semi-structured stations. Each station will have been created and written to test a specific skill, attribute or behaviour that a student can demonstrate. Stations will present various scenarios or problems. The purpose of them is to get students to think on their feet. Compared to traditional interviews MMIs allow students to showcase a wider skill set.
What is the purpose of MMIs?
Many Universities have chosen to replace structured traditional interviews with MMIs in attempt to make the interview process fairer and more transparent. A number of research studies have concluded that MMIs are more reliable when distinguishing between applicants more likely to succeed in training. This makes the process fairer as you are not relying on one interviewer to engage well with you and positively perceive your performance.
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What do you do at an MMI?
At the MMI you will physically move from one station to the next (this may involve moving rooms or to the next table). The university staff will guide you where to go as you follow their pre-arranged circuit attending every station.
How is your performance on each station assessed?
Interviewers grade students for their performance at each station. You should view your performance at each station independently. Interviewers will not know how successfully you have performed at other stations nor your results from these. If one station goes badly you have the opportunity to redeem yourself on the other stations. It is perfectly expected that some students will excel more on some stations over others. Being insightful into the type of questions you find more challenging can be beneficial in your preparation. Working and developing areas of weakness so they become your areas of strength is so important.
Accept stations that do not require any form or non-verbal or verbal communication with another person both stations will be monitored and run by at least one interviewer. At some stations there may be multiple interviewers, this may be because one of the interviewers will engage in an activity with you such as role play whilst the other trained assessor focuses on marking your performance. Alternatively, in order to standardise the process, assessors themselves may be being monitored to ensure they are interviewing students transparently and making fair judgements.
The sum of a student’s marks from each station will represent their interview score. It is extremely unlikely that you will receive any feedback or marks from your interviewer. It can be useful at the end of your interview to clarify when you expect to hear about the outcome of your interview and whether or not the university will provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates.
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How do Universities use my MMI score?
Each Universities selection process will slightly differ. Some universities will discard any previous credentials of a student and rank students for offers purely based on their interview performance. Other universities will have different weighting for a series of selection factors in addition to considering your interview score.
Before the Interview:
Universities will inform you if you have been short listed for an MMI. An update will show on UCAS track and you may also receive an email from the University. Ensure you carefully read any information from the admissions team. There may be further documents which you are required to complete, you must also be careful you correctly book your MMI and have access to all the relevant information available.
On the day of your interview, you will register your attendance. The University may request you to bring certain documents as proof of your identity or achievements.
Most stations will have a sheet of card/ questions to read. This will inform you of what to expect from each station. You may be given reading/ preparation time. Other MMI circuits will allow time for students to move between stations but questioning will begin immediately. Try to make the most of any short breaks between stations, clear your head and take a deep breathe.
Some MMI stations will be organised so that the interviewer has a standardised written set of questions/ activities which they ask each student. Other MMI stations may be more interactive and involve unique follow up questions being asked by the interviewer. You may not know how many questions the interviewer will ask you for that station. This makes it difficult to know how long to speak for. This will vary depending on the length of the station. If you complete all the questions with time to spare it is perfectly reasonable to request to further add to previous answers.
Following the interview
Following interview students will be asked to keep the content of their interview confidential and they may be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements. Remember cooperating with this will only work in your favour as everybody is then approaching the interview blindly.
Universities may also offer students the opportunity to learn more about the medical school. This may be by the way of medical school tours, question and answer sessions or interactive sessions.