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What is the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)?
In the MMI, applicants rotate through a series of timed mini-interviews, or “stations,” in which you will meet individually with an interviewer.
How long does each station last?
You will interact with the interviewers for seven minutes. You will be informed when time is up. There will be a two minute break between stations.
How long does the entire MMI process last?
The MMI itself, including all the mini-interview stations, lasts approximately 60 minutes. However, all applicants invited to interview should expect to spend the better part of the day on our campus as part of the official University of Arizona College of Medicine Applicant Visit Day.
Where do the mini-interviews take place?
Each station takes place in a small room or quiet area.
What will I be asked?
Before each station, you will receive a “prompt” of the question, scenario or task to address and will have two minutes to gather your thoughts before you enter the room. Some will be traditional interview questions (i.e., “Why do you want to become a physician?”) and others will ask for your viewpoint on a hypothetical situation. Typical questions or scenarios might focus on one or more of the following:
- Critical thinking skills
- Communication skills
- Ethical decision making
The following is an example of a question that measures critical thinking skills:
Universities are commonly faced with the complicated task of balancing the educational needs of their students and the cost required to provide learning resources to a large number of individuals. As a result of this tension, there has been much debate regarding the optimal size of classes. One side argues that smaller classes provide a more educationally effective setting for students, while others argue that it makes no difference, so larger classes should be used to minimize the number of instructors required.
Discuss your opinion on this issue with the interviewer (Eva et al., 2004).
Will I have a chance to take a break during this process?
Typically, you will have at least one “rest break” during the MMI. However, because the 2020-21 MMIs are online this year, there will not be a break station during the interviews.
What information do I need to know?
The purpose of the MMI is not to test your scientific or clinical knowledge. However, you may find it helpful to be familiar with current events and policies in health care.
How can I prepare?
Because you will be rotating through several stations that will continually change, we do not recommend you attempt to rehearse answers to multiple questions. Instead, you may want to practice expressing yourself verbally so that you can provide thorough, logical answers within a short time frame. Have a family member or friend ask you questions and give you feedback, or use a web cam to record your own practice responses. This can be a helpful way to see how you might improve your interview performance.
Why do you use the MMI format, instead of a traditional interview?
Unlike traditional tools such as the MCAT or GPA, the MMI is designed to measure abilities such as communication skills, professionalism and ethical decision making, all important characteristics in physicians.1 In addition, research has shown it is a good predictor of future clinical performance among medical students.2,3 It can also be a more fair and just process for applicants, who will be rated by nine interviewers instead of just one or two. This can help to minimize potential compatibility issues and unconscious bias that may be present in a traditional interview scoring system.4
Is it just me, or do others also feel nervous about the MMI?
If you're feeling worried about the MMI, know that you are not alone. People often "warm up" as they progress through the stations. Some actually end up enjoying themselves! Surveys and interviews conducted at institutions that utilize the MMI have shown that applicants generally give high approval ratings of the format and consider it to be a fair method of assessing candidates.1,5
Above all, be yourself! This is an opportunity for you to show the admissions committee a side of your personality that does not come out on an AMCAS application.
I’m still curious about the MMI. What should I do?
Also, see our reference section, and feel free to look at the papers listed there.
- Eva, K.W., Rosenfeld, J., Reiter, H.I. & Norman, G.R. (2004). An admissions OSCE: The multiple mini-interview. Medical Education, 38, 314-326.
- Eva, K.W., Reiter, H.I., Rosenfeld, J., Norman, G.R. (2004). The ability of the multiple mini-interview to predict preclerkship performance in medical school. Academic Medicine, 79(10), 40-42.
- Reiter, H.I., Eva, K.W., Rosenfeld, J. & Norman, G.R. (2007). Multiple mini-interviews predict clerkship and licensing examination performance. Medical Education, 41, 378-384.
- Edwards, J.C., Johnson, E.K., & Molidor, J.B. (1990). The interview in the admissions process. Academic Medicine, 65, 167-175.
- Kumar, K., Roberts, C., Rothnie, I., du Fresne, C. & Walton, M. (2009). Experiences of the multiple mini-interview: a qualitative analysis. Medical Education, 43, 360-367.