MMI interviews explained

The medical interview is the time to showcase your enthusiasm and passion for medicine to the admissions team. Understandably this is a cause of great anxiety for medical applicants. So we’ve written this post to help you ace your MMI!

What are MMI's?

Don’t let admissions tutors catch you unawares. Get prepared well before your interview by understanding what’s to come.

MMI stands for Multiple Mini Interviews. MMI’s involve a series of short interactions with interviewers rather than the traditional interview where you would be questioned by a panel of interviewers.

Why do Medical schools use MMI’s to select between medical applicants?

Personal qualities and attributes are considered important by medical admissions tutors, but they have not been reliably assessed.

Not until MMI’s came on the scene anyway, now medical schools are able to see differences in ratings between interviewers and are able to counteract this effect using statistical analysis in order to standardise assessment of medical applicants.

MMI’s are designed to help university admissions tutors determine if you have the skills, knowledge and experiences that they’re looking for in future doctors. 

Sometimes one station will be focused on one aspect, e.g. a station dedicated to teamwork; whilst other times it will be a station looking for a combination.

They often look for you to demonstrate:

  • Interpersonal and communication skills (inc empathy)
  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Preparation and motivation
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Ethical and moral reasoning
  • ‘Integrity’

MMI’s are made up of stations. The total number and length of stations depends on the university. 

The stations are often set-up in halls or rooms where several stations may be happening at once. The stations are enclosed – screened off from one another using large screens.

Inside the station there is typically a table and 2 chairs. One for you and one for the interviewer. At some universities they have 2-3 interviewers in certain stations.

Yes! MMI’s aren’t unique to Medicine or the UK. They are becoming more and more popular not just for Medical School interviews but also Veterinary Science and Dentistry interviews.

MMI’s have also been adopted to select between applicants in Canada 🇨🇦, USA 🇺🇸 and Australia 🇦🇺.

Preparing for *your* interview

So now you know what MMI’s are, it’s time to think about your interview and how you can get ready to ace it.

MMI prep

Unfortunately there’s no one-size-fits-all method for MMI’s!

Each Medical School’s MMI’s may vary in:

  • The number of stations they put on
  • The length of time you’ll spend at each station
  • The questions they ask
  • What skills, experiences and knowledge they’re looking for
  • How they finally assess your results.

For example one university might run eight MMI stations that last 5 minutes each; whilst another might run ten stations with 8 minutes at each. 

Trust us when we say that you will notice the difference!

Before attending for interview you should prepare by ascertaining as much detail about the MMI that the medical school you’ve been invited to interview at uses. This information is updated when changes are made so be wary of using outdated online forums or advice. Instead go directly to the medical school website or check the email with the invitation to interview, as it normally includes some useful links on what to expect

Not necessarily, no! 

Most MMI interviewers are given the part of the application that’s relevant to the station they’re assessing. However, some universities provide interviewers with the whole application.

You can’t therefore rely on the interviewers already knowing everything about you or why you were chosen for interview.

They’re unlikely to have. 

Your interviewers might not have been present when your application was first reviewed, also most interviewers will be interviewing a full cohort of students over a series of days with little time in-between each applicant. Therefore you have to expect that it’s unlikely that the interviewer in front of you has read your entire application from start to finish.

This means that if you think that there’s something prudent to the question being asked, you should mention it, as you might not get a chance at the rest of your stations.

You should also prepare for your MMI by looking back over your entire application so that you can pull out things that you think are important when answering your questions.

During your interview

Here are some answers to frequent questions that applicants have on the day of their medical interview.

Yes, and we’d definitely recommend you do some research on the university so that if you have any questions, you make sure they get answered.

When you step into your MMI, your interviewer assesses your performance using a standardised template/mark-scheme. 

Although some universities offer a short refreshment break for interviewers, it’s unlikely that they will have time to discuss your individual performance before you enter your next station, so don’t worry – every station is a fresh opportunity!

Each university will have their own system to make both yourself and the interviewer aware if when you need to move to your next station. They often use electronic buzzers, bells, a speaker system or sometimes a person whose role it is to shepherd applicants to the next station.

So that’s one less thing to worry about!

After your interview

ucas notification

Following the interview, the university will inform you if you have:

  • An unconditional offer
  • A conditional offer: an offer of a place on the course conditional on you meeting specific requirements which will be set out in their letter to you
  • Been unsuccessful this time and not secured a place on the course

As well as receiving confirmation of the outcome of the interview in writing from the University, you will be notified formally through UCAS.