MMI

Multistation/Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

Development of the MMI system began in 2001 in order to address some of the issues with standard interviews. It is an interview format that involves short, independent assessments, usually in a timed circuit, much like speed dating. The scores for each of the assessments are combined to create a total score. Research shows that the structured format of MMIs are more efficient than other unstructured formats.

The MMI is slowly being introduced as an interview format for entry into undergraduate Medical Courses, particularly those that require the UMAT, for example the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at Monash University. It is generally a candidate’s UMAT score that determines whether they are offered an interview. For information on the interview requirements for all participating UMAT courses click here.

MMIs usually involve eight to nine stations: eight active stations and one possible rest station. Each station lasts for 8 minutes, plus 2 minutes for scoring and changeover (total = 10 minutes per station). An entire circuit should take between 80 and 90 minutes in total.

Each station will pose a scenario as well as associated questions or tasks that focus on relevant personal qualities:

  • motivation
  • communication skills
  • collaboration
  • empathetic reasoning
  • critical thinking
  • ethical reasoning

The MMI system has many benefits that include: independent sampling of candidates compared to the traditional interview before a panel, it eliminates non-verbal communication from some members of the interviewing team/panel, and students are able to recover from a poor performance in a previous station, all whilst still in an interview setting.

The total score yielded by the MMI is then used in conjunction with other selection criteria, such as, written application, UMAT score, ATAR, OP, etc.

How can I prepare for a MMI?

Candidates typically exhibit anxiety in anticipation of challenging questions that may arise. Many people have difficulty formulating logical, cohesive, polished answers within the allotted preparation time prior to the start of each station.

How well you perform during the actual interview and whether you will ultimately succeed in gaining admission to medical school is linked to the preparation you do in advance. The most effective strategy to prepare for a MMI is to anticipate the types of questions/scenarios you will face and to practice your answers. Here are a few tips:

Understand the goal:
You should aim to answer the questions in a manner that demonstrates that you are capable of being an excellent medical student. Make a list of the attributes that you believe are essential for success as a doctor, such as integrity and the ability to think critically. Practice integrating these key attributes into your answers.

Work on time management:
Many students experience difficulty with pacing and effectively answering the question in the allotted time, therefore, proper pacing is essential. Practice 7 to 8 minute presentations in advance of your interview to get comfortable with timing. Appropriately managing your time will give you the opportunity to end the interview in an organised and effective manner.

Listen carefully:
During the MMI, the interviewer will often provide prompts designed to direct you. Listen carefully to the cues provided so you can take advantage of any new information that may be introduced. The prompts may guide you to the specific issues that are the focus of each rotation.

Conclusion:
Although success cannot be guaranteed, your performance can improve significantly with knowledge about the interview process, strategies to avoid frequent pitfalls and knowing ways to sell yourself so that you get the place that you deserve. Poise under pressure can make the difference between achieving your goals and falling just short. As you get ready for the big day, consider including a mock interview as a key part of your preparation. Simulating what you are about to experience will help build confidence, allowing you to remain calm and more organised on the interview day.

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