Multiple Mini-Interview FAQ
The College of Human Medicine uses the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format, consisting of timed, highly-structured interview scenarios. Applicants rotate through a series of stations, each with its own interviewer and interview scenario. Interview scenarios include addressing questions, collaborating with a fellow applicant on a project, and engaging in role-play with a standardized actor. The MMI allows the College to assess applicant characteristics and attributes we believe are important components in becoming a competent and caring physician.
What is the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI)?
The MMI is an interview process where applicants rotate through a series of timed, highly structured mini-interviews, or “stations,” and meet individually with an interviewer/rater. While this is a relatively new interview format in the United States, it has been used successfully for about ten years in medical schools throughout Canada and Australia.
How long is each station? How long does the entire MMI process last?
You will interact with the interviewer/rater for eight minutes. We will inform you when your time is up and you need to move to the next station. There will be a two-minute break between each station. In total, the MMI session lasts approximately 100 minutes.
Where do the mini-interviews take place?
Each station takes place in a separate room within a medical educational facility called a simulation center. The simulation center mimics the look and feel of an actual doctor’s office. These facilities are traditionally used to teach clinical skills to medical students.
Who are the interviewers or raters?
Interviewers and raters are administrators, faculty, staff, and students who have been trained specifically for the MMI process at the College of Human Medicine. You will not know in what capacity each interviewer/rater is affiliated with the College.
What will I be asked?
Before entering each station you will receive a prompt of the question, scenario, or task you will address. You will then have two minutes to gather your thoughts before you enter the room.
Some stations focus on interview questions. Others ask you to engage in a collaborative activity with another person. A third type asks you to engage in a role-play scenario with a standardized actor or actress.
Typical questions and scenarios provide your interviewer/rater the opportunity to evaluate a variety of personal characteristics the College of Human Medicine believes are vital to becoming a successful physician.
The following is an example of a scenario that measures communication skills:
The parking garage at your place of employment has assigned parking spots. As you leave your spot, you back into a BMW, knocking out the left front headlight and denting the left front fender. The garage attendant witnesses this and calls the owner of the BMW. The attendant gives you the BMW owner’s name and office number and states that Tim is expecting your visit. Enter Tim’s office.
How can I prepare for the MMI?
You will be rotating through several stations that continuously change. In addition, the MMI does not use the same questions you might experience during a traditional interview. Therefore we do not recommend that you attempt to rehearse answers to multiple questions ahead of time. Instead, you may want to practice expressing yourself verbally to someone else to ensure that you can provide thorough, logical answers within a short time frame.
As with any human interaction, practice is helpful. It could identify nervous habits, and it may help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. Participate in a mock interview event through your school’s career development office, have a friend ask questions and give you feedback, or use a webcam to record your own practice responses. All of these may help you find ways in which you might improve your interview performance.
Understand the basic structure, time limit, and number of stations. Listen to and carefully read any prompts directed to you. Arrive to your interview day on time! We encourage you to conduct yourself in a professional and courteous manner at all times, as you will not only be observed and evaluated during the MMI scenarios themselves, but also as you interact with your fellow interviewees and members of the CHM community throughout the day.
Why the MMI as opposed to the traditional interview?
The purpose of the MMI is not to test your scientific or clinical knowledge. Unlike standard metric tools such as the MCAT or GPA, the MMI is designed to measure personal characteristics that are important to the College. There are no right or wrong answers to the scenarios posed, but you should consider a variety of perspectives when formulating a response.
Research has shown that the MMI is a good predictor of future clinical performance among medical students. The process can also be more fair and just when applicants are rated by eight interviewers instead of just one or two, by minimizing potential compatibility issues and unconscious bias that may be present in a traditional interview scoring system. If an applicant does poorly at one station, he/she still has the opportunity to do well at the remaining interview stations.
As part of your interview experience, you will also have a 20-minute traditional interview with one of our current medical students. This gives you the opportunity to convey to him/her why you believe CHM is a great medical education option for you.
Is it just me, or do others also feel nervous about the MMI?
Some applicants find the structure of the MMI to be somewhat intimidating, and a bit exhausting. If you believe this may be true for you, know that you are not alone. Many individuals report warming up to the process as they move through each station, and often 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 Committee on Admissions an aspect of your personality that may not be readily apparent through words on an AMCAS application. Our MMI is designed so that you will, hopefully, walk away from the experience not only feeling good about yourself but that overall, you had fun on your interview day!
What is the feedback you’ve received regarding the MMI?
While each school who uses the MMI format may incorporate subtle differences, CHM's implementation of the MMI has garnered very positive feedback. Here are few comments from personal responses we have received:
"I think that [the MMI] allowed me to display my character in a multidimensional facet, which could not be done in a traditional interview. The interviewers were respectful and professional, which allowed me to feel more at ease."
"I really enjoyed it! I thought it was well-organized and I liked the variety of questions and tasks that were presented."
"It was extremely fair, in my opinion. The process let every applicant experience the same pressure and content regardless of interview time or interviewer."
"I really liked the fact that the process allows multiple interviewers to evaluate each student. I feel that eliminates a lot of room for biases that come with the traditional interview."
"It was great! It is a class above the other MMI's that I have done. The MMI's made me feel very relaxed and did not provide a stressful environment. Most importantly, I feel that I was able to espresss myself to the best of my ability."
I’m still curious about the MMI. Where can I learn more?
You can find more information within the references below.
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.