The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) is a unique and increasingly popular method used by medical schools in Australia to assess prospective students. Unlike traditional interviews, the MMI consists of a series of short, structured interview stations designed to evaluate specific qualities and skills crucial for future medical professionals.
The MMI structure is used in the majority of medical schools for both undergraduate and postgraduate selection. I have completed an MMI for both undergraduate and postgraduate medicine entry, ultimately achieving an interview score of 93%. I have been successful in gaining entry into 7 medical schools through both undergraduate and postgraduate entry pathways. Here are my tips on how to prepare for the MMI for medicine in Australia.
What is An MMI Interview Australia?
As we said above, the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) is used by the majority of undergraduate and postgraduate medical school in Australia for entrance into medicine. Unlike traditional interviews, the MMI consists of a series of short, structured interview stations designed to evaluate specific qualities and skills crucial for future medical professionals. The interview consists of several one-on-one stations (usually around 10) and students will rotate through the stations either in-person (through several rooms) or online (through different Zoom or Teams calls).
The MMI was developed by McMaster University in Canada and you can read more about the interview format from the creators themselves here. According to McMaster, the MMI is designed to assess non-academic skills like critical thinking, decision-making, communication skills, interpersonal abilities, compassion, and your ability to work in a team.
The format has several advantages compared to the traditional panel interview, including the fact that the multiple stations allows for a fresh start for candidates as they move from station to station so a poor performance in one station shouldn’t heavily affect the others. Also, the MMI interview format has been shown to provide a more objective analysis of candidates as they cycle through multiple one-on-one interviewers.
Do I Need To Prepare For An MMI?
While this is a bit of a contentious question, I am confident that the answer is yes. It’s important to practice your ability to respond to questions on the spot, as this is a unique skill that isn’t often practiced in everyday life. It can be very easy to get flustered and be left with no response if you haven’t consistently practiced the skill of formulating a solid response to a random, unfamiliar question.
Some universities will recommend not practicing too much, and I do tend to agree with this. The interview panel will consist of a variety of interviewers, including doctors, allied health staff, and members of the community, and they will 100% know if you are too rehearsed. After all, they will be listening to answers to the same question all day! For this reason, I will say that yes it is important to be prepared but not over prepared to the point where your responses are robotic.
How Do I Prepare For An MMI?
The best possible way to prepare for an MMI is to practice. As we said above, the skill of answering unfamiliar questions on the spot is a unique one that you likely haven’t practiced too much in your everyday life. Because of this, it’s important to practice doing just that.
There are several free sites online such as Fraser’s Question Generator and this Question Generator from Med Students Online. I’m not endorsing the accuracy of these sites, though they did help me to prepare. Another great MMI question bank can be found on Paging Dr. The single best free resource in my opinion is the r/GAMSAT Discord server that you can join from their Reddit Page.
On the r/GAMSAT server, you will find a bunch of interview prep voice channels and sample interview question channels that you can hop in to practice answering interview questions with other applicants. This is a brilliant way to prepare, and it helped me to become much more confident with the prospect of producing a solid answer on the spot.
Time Management For MMIs
Another important aspect for preparing for MMIs is to practice your time management. The exact timings of your MMI will differ depending on the specific university you’ve been offered an interview at (check the university’s guide!) but in general you will be required to read through the scenario for a few minutes and then answer in a few more.
Because of the time pressure, it’s important to practice your mock MMIs under a similar amount of time pressure, especially as you near the end of your preparation. A tip to help with time management is to try to mentally plan out a response prior to answering and try to line your plan up with the time you have left in your response. This will help with both coherence and time management on the day.
Another tip that really helped me was to practice only answering with limited words. While you shouldn’t be a robot answering with super short sentences, you also shouldn’t take too many words to say what you want to say. Interviewers know when you’re simply fluffing out ideas or repeating things you’ve already said, and I don’t think this is the best use of your time.
Stress Management For MMIs
It’s also completely normal to experience stress on the day of your medicine interview. Know that almost every other candidate is in the same boat, and a certain amount of stress is actually a positive thing as it keeps you on your toes and engaged. If you’re even at the point of an interview, you should be super proud of your amazing ATAR, GPA, UCAT, or GAMSAT marks that have gotten you here, and remember all of the hard work and amazing achievements you’ve accomplished thus far.
Having said that, it’s important to come up with strategies for managing stress prior to your MMI interview, and these strategies will vary from person to person. Whether it’s listening to music, mindfulness meditation, or simply having a cup of tea prior to the interview, finding a way to reduce stress is super important to make sure you’re at your best on the day.
Are Preparation Companies Worth It?
There are many preparation companies that offer MMI preparation and practice. While these can be beneficial, I would recommend trialling the free resources above, particularly practicing with friends or other applicants (whether on Discord or elsewhere) before you jump in to paid solutions.
You may find that the free method of practicing from free online question banks is actually more beneficial than the programs from paid preparation companies! If you feel that you’re still lacking some structural or time-management skills, or joining an online group to practice isn’t an option, then the paid route can certainly be helpful as well.
Preparing for a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) in Australia is both an art and a science, requiring a blend of authentic spontaneity and well-honed skills. Leveraging free resources like the Fraser’s Question Generator and the r/GAMSAT Discord server can offer invaluable practice for formulating prompt responses, while also aiding in time and stress management.
- Read Our Discussion On The Best Medical Schools In Australia
- Read Our Article On What UCAT Is Required For Medicine
While it’s tempting to rehearse answers, remember that seasoned interviewers can spot a rehearsed response a mile away. Instead, focus on a balanced preparation approach that keeps you genuine and adaptable. By doing so, you’ll not only navigate the MMI stations effectively but also showcase the critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills that are vital for a future in medicine.