The Multiple Mini Interview: What it is, and How to do Well

By February 12, 2016 August 28th, 2017 Announcements

The Multiple Mini Interview

What are multiple mini interviews? How are they different from “normal” medical school interviews? In this blog, the Cracking Med School Admissions team will dissect the multiple mini interview.

Read our blog “5 tips to ace the MMI interview”  if you want more tips for the multiple mini interview. Our Cracking Med School Admissions team has successfully prepared students for the multiple mini interview, and our students have received acceptances to top schools, including Stanford. Contact our team members at info@crackingmedadmissions.com if you have any questions or need help preparing for your next multiple mini interview.

Here’s what a typical multiple mini interview day feels like:

  • You will cycle through 8-10 multiple mini interview stations
  • Each station is a total of 8-10 minutes long. At the beginning of each station, you have 2 minutes to read the interview prompt for that station outside the interview room
  • After 2 minutes, you will be prompted by an announcement to step into the interview room and you will be greeted by an interviewer. This interviewer will be random and can be a medical school student, a professor, or even a patient. Depending on the school’s multiple mini interview format, you have 6-8 minutes to discuss or act out the prompt for the station.
  • You will be given a score by each interviewer. Medical schools take into account that people rate interviews differently. Your score will be calibrated based on the scores given by the interviewers during your session only.

There are various types of questions you can get asked. Questions range from ethical questions to questions about your extra-curricular activities to situational questions to problem-solving questions.

An example of a multiple mini interview question might look like:

Dr. Cheung recommends homeopathic medicines to his patients. There is no scientific evidence or widely accepted theory to suggest that homeopathic medicines work, and Dr. Cheung doesn’t believe them to. He recommends homeopathic medicine to people with mild and non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and muscle aches, because he believes that it will do no harm, but will give them reassurance. Consider the ethical problems that Dr. Cheung’s behavior might pose. Discuss these issues with the interviewer.

Buy our book to get more sample multiple mini interview questions!

Some other Insights from our Cracking Med School Admissions team…

1) Don’t be thrown off by actors

Some schools have MMI interviews where actors are paid to play a particular role of a patient or a person in a scenario. Don’t be thrown off. The actors may cry, shout, act aggressively, or be quiet. Whatever the case, be confident and treat the scenario as if it were real life. Don’t cry, shout, or get extremely emotional. We’ve seen students who lose their cool, which is never helpful. Practice with our Cracking Med School Admissions team to make sure you can handle these tough cases! Check out our interview packages here.

2) Team-Based Scenarios

Some multiple mini interview stations will be team-based, where you and a partner have to work together to solve a problem or complete a task.

Contact our experts by email at info@crackingmedadmissions.com if you have any questions or need help with preparing for your next multiple mini interview. We can help you get into the medical school of your dreams!

3 Interviewing Skills to Constantly Practice:

Interview Skill #1: Connect with your interview peers the morning of the interview

Why: It can be intimidating to start the morning off with complete strangers in a room, especially if these strangers are also vying for a spot in the med school that you are applying. Writing from our personal experiences, this can be especially difficult for introversive applicants. However, social skills can be. Think of it as a social warmup, an exercise to engage and connect with others, right before your actual interview. A little bit of enthusiasm goes a long way, and, while you may not be officially evaluated outside of your interview, the admissions directors and staff do take note of how you interact in a dynamic environment. A couple bits of advice:

  • DON’T compare yourself to your peers. It’s easy to get caught up in the interview numbers game (e.g. “How many interviews have you gone to so far?”) Don’t fret! It’s not about the number of interviews you’ve gone to; it’s about the interview you’re in now.
  • DO take the time to get to know your peers. The simplest way to human connection is asking questions. Use the FORD mnemonic: Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams.

So flash a smile, shake a hand, and open up to your peers! Besides, you’ll never know; they may end up becoming your future classmates.

How to prepare: Extend your daily interactions with your co-workers to connect with them a little bit more. The next time you order at your Starbucks, ask the barista how they’re doing. Connect with them on the why.

Interview Skill #2: Give a pause and breath before each answer

Why: We get it. Silence is never comfortable, especially during an interview. It might be tempting to just throw yourself into a response to avoid any semblance of an awkward silence. However, letting the question marinate is advantageous for three reasons:

  • Even if you have the perfect answer for the question asked, taking a couple of seconds to think will allow you to slow down and navigate your response.
  • If you DO have the perfect response the question, giving a pause will ensure that you’re not giving a canned response.
  • If you do this for each question, you will have established a pattern. That way, if you get stumped over a question that you really don’t know, then you’ve built for yourself a safety net to regroup your thoughts. You may be nervous internally, but no one can tell externally!

How to prepare: Take time in your daily conversations to observe how long you take before responding. Lengthen those responses for a couple of seconds until it becomes natural. Then, try and lengthen the silence for 5 seconds, then 10. Do this until you’re comfortable.

Interview Skill #3: Practice your body language

Eye contact: How much is too much? Shift your gaze between four elements: the person’s eyes (one after the other), nose, forehead, and chin, occasionally shoulder if you want to break contact.

Try to make enough eye contact that you can remember their eye color.

How to prepare: Be cognizant of whether you are making good eye contact with everyone you talk to throughout the day – whether you’re chatting with somebody at a party or working with a groupmate for a class project.

Need help preparing for your med school interviews?

Your Cracking Med School Admissions Advisers

Rachel Rizal, MD

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

Undergraduate: Princeton University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Harvard, Emergency Medicine
What I did After College:
• Improved vaccine distribution in developing countries
• Worked with the World Health Organization in the Philippines
• Launched a national HIV Awareness Campaign in the Philippines
• Produced an HIV awareness commercial for MTV
• Worked full-time at a healthcare consulting firm, advising pharmaceutical companies
• Created a public health program in Stanford’s Emergency Department

Devin Nambiar

Helping students reach their full potential

Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Undergraduate: Columbia University
What I did after I graduated:
• Worked at two education non-profits, improving public & charter schools across the U.S.
• Coached students to master interview, debate, and speech techniques in the U.S. and Asia
• Advised students in China, Korea, and Japan with college applications to American Universities
• Developed mobile education content for iPhone apps
• Worked in investment banking, conducting industry analysis and advising technology companies
Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA

Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.

Advising students to attend their dream schools

Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics, Stanford
Masters: Masters in Medical Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies; Masters of Science in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
What I did after I graduated:
• Interned with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland
• Founded and launched an NGO to improve the health and education of Ethiopian
• World Bank consultant who helped implement Ethiopia’s national nutrition program
• Partnered with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to study child health practices in communities
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Author Rishi MEDIRATTA

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