Mastering the MMI!

There’s a new kid on the block that is sweeping across professional faculties, and that’s the MMI! What’s “MMI”, you ask? MMI stands for “multiple mini interviews” and it’s a novel interviewing technique. It was developed by McMaster University’s Faculty of Medicine to better assess applicants communication skills. It was suggested that traditional interview formats do not accurately capture true aptitude of a candidate for the profession. The MMI, on the other hand, allows for assessment of other communication skills such as interpersonal skills, professionalism as well as ethical reasoning.

The MMI format is gaining traction in interviews at the professional faculty level. Many institutions are opting to carry out this format when assessing candidates. For instance, the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy conducts their interviews in the MMI format. When I learned that my interview was going to be this format, I panicked a little because I have never done an interview like this before! This is likely the case for many applicants. But there are some insightful tips I can give you that will help you prepare for the MMI.

A typical set-up of a MMI. Candidates are reading the scenario before they enter the room. Source:

A typical set-up of an MMI. Candidates are reading the scenario before they enter the room.

First, it’s important to understand the layout of the MMI. Institutions will state how the MMI will work and the general categories of questions you will likely encounter. MMIs are organized in a way that candidates will be interviewed in a circuit of stations. At each station there will be a question, situation or problem presented to the student. They will then enter the room and carry out the scenario. The advantage of this is that it reduces bias since each assessor will be different. In addition, if you struggled at one station, you have the opportunity to make it up in the next station.

Second, be familiar with the types of scenarios you may be presented with. Most institutions will state what stations you can expect during the MMI. Some common stations include role-playing, stating your opinion on a hot topic in healthcare, being able to communicate directions and follow directions, etc.

Lastly, despite not knowing the questions or scenarios presented to you, you can still practice the skills that will help in your performance in the MMI. It’s very important to have good spontaneity and be able to articulate your answers. Through a quick Google search you can find some practice MMI scenarios. My suggestion is that you print off the scenarios. Then, read a scenario and “webcam” yourself delivering your response. Rewatch the video, and identify strengths and weaknesses in your response. This will help you develop the skill of communicating readily and on the spot. This is a good way to determine which topics you struggle with and what areas need improvement.

I hope these tips will help guide your preparation should you encounter an MMI. Good luck! :)