10 Tips for Mastering your MMI interviews
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10. Pick your outfit early


When you receive your invitation to interview, picking an outfit may or may not be the furthest thought from your mind but it’s one to address and get out of the way as soon as possible.


Wearing your school uniform, if you have one, or a smart formal outfit is always a good idea. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed so you have no surprises on the day of your interview. Wearing sensible shoes is also recommended as most universities will suggest you go on a campus tour either before or after your interview and this can involve plenty of walking.


Do be sure to pack lightly too and avoid bringing a heavy bag if you absolutely can. This will make things easier for you and give you less to worry about losing.




9. Read the paperwork carefully.


Having worked as a student ambassador at many MMI interviews I know that a surprising number of candidates forget to bring in documents they have been asked to bring to your interview by the university. Perhaps this is due to nerves or other life stressed, ultimately it can be devastating as some universities may refuse to interview without the documents. 


You will want to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you. Read any emails you receive from universities very carefully. They may ask you to bring in a valid form of ID, any GCSE/ AS certificates you have, work experience references, contracts/ agreements. Many times universities will also ask that you photocopy these documents in advance. 


If you are struggling to obtain these documents or need help preparing them it can help to mention this to your teachers. They may be able to help.




8. Refresh your memory - review your personal statement!


It may have been some time since you read your personal statement. Reading your personal statement is a fantastic idea as you may be asked specific questions about it depending on the medical school you are being interviewed by. This information is readily available on most medical school application information pages online. If the medical school do not look at personal statements at the interview stage then this is great! You can reuse all the great points you worked so hard to write up earlier in the year.


7. Revise key medical competencies


The medical school are likely to be assessing you based on key medical competencies at the interview in one or more stations. These include things key medical ethics topics like non-maleficience, beneficience, capacity and consent, autonomy and confidentiality. 

Some issues may be quite topical and there may have been recent cases in the news which you can use to illustrate your views. Linking any points you make to real-world issues and using your own experiences, whether they be at school, on work experience or when volunteering to embellish any points you allow you stand out from the sea of other candidates.


6. Watch the news/ stay informed on current affairs


As you are attending an MMI, at least one station is likely to encourage you to discuss your views on a recent scientific discovery or world event. The interviewers will want to see how coherently you discuss important issues in healthcare. For this you will need to be up to date about current world affairs. Practise discussing these topics with friends and family; this will give you added flair compared to most other candidates. Regarding issues that are particularly politically polarising it may be best to present these in an objective way rather than a subjective way. 




5. Start preparing early!


A lot of people suggest under-preparing for interviews and whilst that may be a good approach for some I personally advise against it. I believe it provides candidates with a false sense of reassurance that they will be okay with minimal preparation and that is simply not the case. My approach is to begin preparing early but pace themselves so as not to overwhelm themselves. Perhaps spend 45 minutes a day on interview preparation starting a few weeks before the date of your interview, but of course adjust as you feel necessary.


4. Time yourself


MMI interviews consist of short stations, often this means you have 4 to 5 minutes allocated to answer each question. This may be with or without follow up questions. Usually you will not have access to a clock or be able to look at your watch if you are wearing one. This means it is very important that you have a sense of how long four to five minutes is. The only way to know if you can speak for that long and answer questions you may be asked is to time yourself!




3.  Record yourself answering MMI questions either by yourself or with friends.


This will help you to notice things about yourself that you may not previously have been aware of. These may be little things you say or do that can be addressed to improve your overall performance. Now is the time to address a tendency to say “like” or any awkward twitching or other habits you may have. This may be via audio recording or video recordings. I personally found both extremely helpful when preparing for my own interview.


Practising questions with friends and family is absolutely essential to doing well in your interviews. It can help to ask teachers at school to run mock interviews or practise interviewing you after school or at lunch. They may be able to simulate the real interview environment and that can be massively helpful.




2. Use all your time to the best of your ability


Aim to prepare answers that are longer than the allocated time per station. This will ensure that you never run out of things to say. Additionally, stress often makes people speak faster than is necessary. Preparing longer answers or more points will mean that there is less of an awkward gap between you finishing your answer and the station coming to a close.


1. Smile!


Your interviews are humans, just like you! They are likely to react positively to a candidate who seems generally smiley, cheery and happy. Most candidates will be so stressed they will forget to smile and their anxiety will show on their faces and in the way they carry themselves. Your interviewers will remember the candidate who seemed unphased, was smiling and happy and appeared to be having fun and be more likely to mark you up!



10. Pick your outfit early


When you receive your invitation to interview, picking an outfit may or may not be the furthest thought from your mind but it’s one to address and get out of the way as soon as possible.


Wearing your school uniform, if you have one, or a smart formal outfit is always a good idea. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed so you have no surprises on the day of your interview. Wearing sensible shoes is also recommended as most universities will suggest you go on a campus tour either before or after your interview and this can involve plenty of walking.


Do be sure to pack lightly too and avoid bringing a heavy bag if you absolutely can. This will make things easier for you and give you less to worry about losing.




9. Read the paperwork carefully.


Having worked as a student ambassador at many MMI interviews I know that a surprising number of candidates forget to bring in documents they have been asked to bring to your interview by the university. Perhaps this is due to nerves or other life stressed, ultimately it can be devastating as some universities may refuse to interview without the documents. 


You will want to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you. Read any emails you receive from universities very carefully. They may ask you to bring in a valid form of ID, any GCSE/ AS certificates you have, work experience references, contracts/ agreements. Many times universities will also ask that you photocopy these documents in advance. 


If you are struggling to obtain these documents or need help preparing them it can help to mention this to your teachers. They may be able to help.




8. Refresh your memory - review your personal statement!


It may have been some time since you read your personal statement. Reading your personal statement is a fantastic idea as you may be asked specific questions about it depending on the medical school you are being interviewed by. This information is readily available on most medical school application information pages online. If the medical school do not look at personal statements at the interview stage then this is great! You can reuse all the great points you worked so hard to write up earlier in the year.


7. Revise key medical competencies


The medical school are likely to be assessing you based on key medical competencies at the interview in one or more stations. These include things key medical ethics topics like non-maleficience, beneficience, capacity and consent, autonomy and confidentiality. 

Some issues may be quite topical and there may have been recent cases in the news which you can use to illustrate your views. Linking any points you make to real-world issues and using your own experiences, whether they be at school, on work experience or when volunteering to embellish any points you allow you stand out from the sea of other candidates.


6. Watch the news/ stay informed on current affairs


As you are attending an MMI, at least one station is likely to encourage you to discuss your views on a recent scientific discovery or world event. The interviewers will want to see how coherently you discuss important issues in healthcare. For this you will need to be up to date about current world affairs. Practise discussing these topics with friends and family; this will give you added flair compared to most other candidates. Regarding issues that are particularly politically polarising it may be best to present these in an objective way rather than a subjective way. 




5. Start preparing early!


A lot of people suggest under-preparing for interviews and whilst that may be a good approach for some I personally advise against it. I believe it provides candidates with a false sense of reassurance that they will be okay with minimal preparation and that is simply not the case. My approach is to begin preparing early but pace themselves so as not to overwhelm themselves. Perhaps spend 45 minutes a day on interview preparation starting a few weeks before the date of your interview, but of course adjust as you feel necessary.


4. Time yourself


MMI interviews consist of short stations, often this means you have 4 to 5 minutes allocated to answer each question. This may be with or without follow up questions. Usually you will not have access to a clock or be able to look at your watch if you are wearing one. This means it is very important that you have a sense of how long four to five minutes is. The only way to know if you can speak for that long and answer questions you may be asked is to time yourself!




3.  Record yourself answering MMI questions either by yourself or with friends.


This will help you to notice things about yourself that you may not previously have been aware of. These may be little things you say or do that can be addressed to improve your overall performance. Now is the time to address a tendency to say “like” or any awkward twitching or other habits you may have. This may be via audio recording or video recordings. I personally found both extremely helpful when preparing for my own interview.


Practising questions with friends and family is absolutely essential to doing well in your interviews. It can help to ask teachers at school to run mock interviews or practise interviewing you after school or at lunch. They may be able to simulate the real interview environment and that can be massively helpful.




2. Use all your time to the best of your ability


Aim to prepare answers that are longer than the allocated time per station. This will ensure that you never run out of things to say. Additionally, stress often makes people speak faster than is necessary. Preparing longer answers or more points will mean that there is less of an awkward gap between you finishing your answer and the station coming to a close.


1. Smile!


Your interviews are humans, just like you! They are likely to react positively to a candidate who seems generally smiley, cheery and happy. Most candidates will be so stressed they will forget to smile and their anxiety will show on their faces and in the way they carry themselves. Your interviewers will remember the candidate who seemed unphased, was smiling and happy and appeared to be having fun and be more likely to mark you up!



Originally published 02 April 2020 , updated 11/04/2020

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