In regards to Medical and Dental school applications, multiple mini interviews are becoming an increasingly common interview technique in order to assess candidates and offer places on courses.
Multiple Mini Interviews are currently used by the following universities as a recruitment technique:
- University of Aberdeen
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- Cardiff University
- Dundee University
- University of East Anglia
- Keele University
- Kings College London
- Lancaster Medical School
- University of Leeds
- University of Leicester
- University of Manchester
- Queens University Belfast
- Royal Veterinary College, London
- St Georges University, London
Please note that these are subject to change and there may be additional universities so it would be advised to check with the university before preparing for and attending an interview.
What are multiple mini interviews?
Multiple mini interviews, like their name suggests, are a series of interviews, which are shorter in length and spilt between a numbers of different “stations”. These are brief one-on-one miniature interviews, solving problems and taking part in a number of role-plays as opposed to answering generalised questions about themselves and their interests. The stations are designed to assess qualities that are deemed important in relation to the successful progression.
It gives applicants the chance to demonstrate skills and qualities that are not always evident on a written application, and gives a fair chance to every applicant as they have an opportunity to demonstrate a broad range of skills.
When undertaking an MMI style interview, applicants spend a certain amount of time with each assessor. There they will undertake tasks ranging from scenarios, ethical dilemmas and role-play, for which they must think on their feet and demonstrate important skills
Each interviewer then scores the applicant independently, and is unaware of the applicant’s performance at different stations.
The purpose of multiple mini interviews is to show you can communicate and the importance you give it. It’s the explanation you give for your answer that’s important, showing you can explain and justify your reason. It is an opportunity for applications to show what they are capable of doing, rather than telling us.
How to prepare for multiple mini interviews?
Multiple mini interviews are difficult to prepare for due to the fact you are unsure of what situations and questions you are going to face, and in some situations there are no “right” answers, it just depends on how you justify it.
- Research before you get into the interview room.
- Look at information universities offer regarding their interviews and what they are looking for.
- Use MMI resources online.
- Revise your work experience beforehand and have examples prepared.
- Keep up to date on current affairs – interviews could use this as a base for questions or tasks.
- Don’t panic if you get a station that isn’t your best strength – this is one of a number of stations and you can make up for it elsewhere.
- Practise with someone – this can help with nerves.
- Be yourself – the MMIs are used to show personality and your views.
- Don’t rush your response – take time to think over the scenario so your answer is best prepared and relevant to what they are asking.
- If you are unsure – ask the interviewer to clarify.
- Relax – people just want an insight to you, there are no trick questions.
Examples of what an MMI can focus on:
- Compassion and empathy
- Initiative and resilience
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- Organisational and problem solving skills; decision making and critical thinking
- Team working
- Insight and integrity
Examples of MMI Questions
Have a think about what the question is asking you and what would be the appropriate response
Question: An actor plays the role of your elderly neighbour. You have just accidentally run over your neighbour’s cat whilst reversing your car. You have 5 minutes to break the bad news to her.
What it is testing: Insight, integrity, communication skills and empathy.
Question: You are given details of 15 individuals, including their age, sex and occupation. A nuclear attack is imminent and you are only allowed to save 5 of them from destruction. Which ones and why?
What is it testing: Prioritisation. The emphasis is on problem solving and rational thinking.
Question: Without using your hands, explain how to tie shoe laces.
What is it testing: Verbal communication skills, the ability to break down the task into a series of small steps and the interviews ability to check that the speaker is understanding what they are saying.