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What is a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)?

At St George’s, MMIs consists of between six and eight short interviews, which take around five minutes each. The interviewers sit at ‘stations’ and the interviewees move between them. Each ‘station’ may involve answering a question, completing a practical task, or participating in a role play, for example, giving bad news to a patient’s relative.

Each station is marked separately and independently.

Why are MMIs used?

We believe that MMIs give fairer and more accurate results than a traditional interview for selecting medicine and healthcare students. The scenario based approach helps us better assess qualities that make a good healthcare professional, such as empathy and respect, rather than which candidate is strongest at answering standard interview questions. And from your point of view, if one station doesn’t go very well, you can start again from scratch at the next one.

What sort of things will I be asked?

This will vary from course to course, but the interviewers will ask questions that help them assess the following:

  • why you want to follow this profession

  • what skills you have that demonstrate that you will be a good healthcare professional and a good student

  • whether you are committed to quality of care

  • whether you are up to date with research and aware of government policies on healthcare

  • whether you are respectful and treat people with dignity

  • whether you are committed to improving the lives of others

  • how good you are at teamwork.

In the past, students have been asked questions such as the following.

  • Explain, without gesture or mime, how to tie a shoelace

  • Explain to someone with a learning disability how to tell the time using an analogue clock

  • Travelling on the underground in London, one of your friends becomes separated from the group and it is their first time in London. Explain your plan of action.

  • You were cat-sitting for your neighbour while they were on holidays and the cat ran away. Explain how you would break the news to your neighbour and how you would comfort them.

How will I be assessed?

Often there is no right or wrong answer – the interviewers are assessing your ability to explain your thinking. Don’t worry if you change your mind half way through a question – this shows that you can think on your feet and are properly considering your answer.

How can you prepare?

When preparing for your MMI, it might be helpful to consider the following topics.

Current issues affecting the profession

  • NHS politics.

  • Funding.

  • 7-day NHS.

  • NHS long-term plan.

Past and present areas of exploration/research

  • Breakthrough treatments, vaccinations and other developments.

  • Key events in the history of medicine and healthcare at St George’s (for example Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccine, or John Hunter’s role in the development of modern surgery.

Work experience

  • Reflect on what you saw and learnt about the profession and your own strengths and weaknesses in relation to key skills.

  • Focus on the skills and qualities you can offer, such as teamwork, leadership and communication skills, and how you can demonstrate these.

Our tips to help you on the day

Do

  • Make sure you thoroughly read information you are sent about the MMI – plan your route to the university in advance and leave plenty of time on the day, in case of delays.

  • Be polite and friendly but professional.

  • Take your time to read the problem and clearly understand what is being asked.

  • Think about your answer before you start giving it. There are no trick questions, but it helps to think about what you are going to say before you say it.

  • Give multiple examples to illustrate your points. Make sure you include your personal experience in your answers, for example, work experience.

  • Prepare thoroughly. Many universities will want to know why you want to study with them in particular. And they will all want you to demonstrate that you have a good idea of what it’s like to work in your chosen profession.

  • Keep up to date – often questions will reflect a current news story.

Don’t

  • Don’t panic. If you run out of things to say, take a moment to collect your thoughts and see if you have anything relevant to add. If you think you’ve done badly on a particular station, put it out of your mind and move to the next interview with confidence.

  • Don’t memorise a script – remember to answer the question you are being asked and try not to go off topic. If you think you have gone off-track you can ask the interviewer to repeat the question.

  • Don’t try too hard to make an impression or stand out. You will be assessed on your friendly approach and professional responses.

 

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