Top 10 Tips for MMI Interviews:
Interview Season has arrived! I am sure you are all thinking about how you can ace your upcoming MMI Interviews – well fear not! Having gone through the process myself in the past year, here are my top 10 tips to do exactly that:
- Consider your language and tone – speaking clearly and ensuring your sentences are succinct will allow the interviewer to process your words and presents to them your amazing communication skills!
During my interview, I tried to maintain a clear voice and paced my words according to how much time I had in a station. This helped me carefully think back to how I was structuring my answer, considering experiences, skills, and application to medicine.
- Time management during a station – research the timings for the stations at your interview and practice beforehand using those timeframes. They will stop you abruptly in person or change your breakout room automatically online otherwise! Do not worry if you finish early have a few seconds at the end.
In my interview, I knew the timings for each station from researching beforehand, so I tried my best to speak in a good speed and tone balanced with my answer structure to get all I wished to say in the timeframe. At times, I did overrun as well as finish early, but I used the experience to improve for the next station.
- Be yourself! – They will see you are providing a true representation of yourself through your communication and confidence levels. Practice but do not sound rehearsed!
During my interview, I did refer to some of the points I had prepared for a similar question to the one I was being asked, but I ensured to not memorise any answers, and talked about my work experiences and extra curriculars from memory.
- Pause before answering – Taking time to think before speaking allows you to structure your answer well – consider exactly what points you will mention and in what order. This can impress the interviewer greatly! Otherwise, you risk subconsciously waffling / repeating words.
During my stations, whenever I was asked an unfamiliar question, I would take 10-15 seconds to just think about what I was going to say and mentally structure my answer before delivering it to the interviewer, this helped me include everything I needed to mention and wherever I had time at the end, I would elaborate on my work experiences.
- Try not to think about previous stations – no matter how it went, you will likely not see the same interviewer again and what’s done is done! Take a few seconds to recompose yourself before the next station and go ace the questions!
At times I would run over time or finish to early, which initially was intimidating, but as I moved onto to the next station, I tried my best to leave that in the past and focus on the next thing at hand! I remembered as long as I included some/most of my points, it is perfectly okay! Besides, the interviewer will understand that it is a stressful and time limited situation and will take it into consideration. I then proceeded to reflect on all my questions after the interview. This helped me perform my best in all my stations.
- Role play with as many people as you can – Start early as it can take time to master – think of it as a stress reliever between your studies – besides, you are improving your communication skills on the way!
I would practice at home with my sister, teachers, and friends at school and sometimes with an imaginary person or cuddly toy! It really helped me work on remembering all the key elements and some mnemonics to ensure I included as many skills and aspects as possible during the real thing!
- Have some points prepared especially for hot topics – Read on the hot topics of your course, especially COVID-19!
I researched as many hot topics as possible and read the news whenever I could prior to my interview. This automatically integrated in my head, and I would try to include some of these points in any appropriate question I could do so. When interview time came, I would do this wherever possible which will impress the interviewers as you are doing this unprompted!
- Practice Practice Practice! – whenever you can. Record yourself asking some questions and listen to them on the way to school and try to answer them, Practice with whoever you can – friends, family, pets, and teddies. Doing Mock Interviews are extremely worthwhile – reflecting and improving on feedback is key!
Personally, making flashcards with common questions by using MM book questions and online resources helped me to practise and recall well. I would then apply this in MLP mock interviews and refer to the feedback from those events in addition to what I had learnt during the MM Summer School! This widened my question bank and aided me with recalling as many points as I could on the day of the interview.
- Brush up on the key skills and ethical knowledge– you will need to mention these in majority of the questions, so make sure you know them!
Recapping the medical pillars, NHS core values, some key organisations and understanding laws aided me with answering scenario based/ ethical questions. I would include these elements when structuring my answer and attempt to link it back to my own experiences and key skills.
- Enjoy it! – Take in the process – it is a huge opportunity to sell yourself and tell the med/dent/vet school why YOU deserve to study there – nothing to worry about as you are a pro already! Take time to reflect afterwards for your personal development and possibly apply what you have learnt here to a future interview ☺
At the end of the interview, I recalled how I did, thinking about what went well and how I can improve for next time, which helped me in understanding the process and strengthening my interpersonal skills. I also concluded my experience by celebrating it afterwards!
Jai – 1st Year Medical Student at Plymouth University