The PremedHQ Guide
The PremedHQ Guide
The Six Essential Steps
As the name suggests, Multiple Mini Interviews consist of several, short interviews with different assessors. In most cases, you will start at a specific station and at that station, you will be presented with a prompt. Then, you will have approximately 2 minutes to read the prompt and plan out your response. What will follow is a 6-10 minute (the time varies from school to school) conversation that addresses the given prompt with your interviewer.
Although this type of interview may seem quite intimidating at first, the best thing about a multiple mini interview is that if you put in the effort to prepare for the interview, you are bound to get some questions that you have already prepared for and are thus more likely to leave your interviewer with a great impression. Keeping all of this in mind, here are some recommended steps you should take after you familiarize yourself with the MMI layout in order to prepare yourself for a great interview:
- Anticipate the types of questions you will be asked. Many of the questions or scenarios presented to you in MMI are somewhat predictable. This interview style is attempting to understand the way that you think; therefore, many questions will be geared towards testing your non-cognitive qualities such as your maturity, teamwork, reliability, ethical views, and ability to communicate. That being said, it is key to remember that just because you will be hit with these more complex types of questions, you will not be exempt from coming across general questions that are in most traditional types of interviews, aimed to holistically understand who you are as a person. Depicted below is a categorized table of a few of the types of questions you may be asked:
|General Questions||Ethical Questions||Teamwork Based Questions||Health Care Based Questions|
|Why do you want to become a doctor? (Very commonly asked question)||Do you ever believe it is ethical to go against what a patient asks for/demands? If so, in what types of situations and why?||Tell us about a time that you worked in a group. What were some challenges you faced? How did you handle those challenges?||What are your thoughts/opinions on preventative health care services? Do you believe that companies should invest more money into preventative care instead of curative care?|
|Describe a situation in which you were challenged. How did you overcome this difficult situation?||You notice a colleague continually being careless with his patients. How would you handle his cases of negligence?||Tell me about an instance when you worked with someone with whom you did not get along. How did you go about dealing with that person?||Every doctor is responsible for maintaining HIPPA, a US legislation that ensures that doctors maintain the privacy of their patients. Why do you think it is important that physicians protect their patients’ individual record? What should be the consequence of a doctor who fails to do so?|
Coming up with more questions like the ones above will not only help you prepare strong answers, but will also get you to start thinking more about certain situations that you have already faced and handled (teaching you more about your skills) and will also make you start thinking about situations that doctors face on a daily basis (making you more well-informed about the challenges you will face as a physician). Doing this type of thinking and displaying it in your answers is key because it will show your interviewer that you have really thought about what a career in medicine looks like and have assessed what skills of yours prepare you to take on such a career. Collectively, this training will allow you to display extensive maturity and seriousness about your interest in medicine.
- Practice answering your list of questions in front of someone under a certain time limit. A lot of times, we brush off questions thinking that we know how to answer them. However, you will soon realize that when practicing your answers to them out loud, it is often difficult to express what you are thinking concisely into words. Next, it also helps to time out your responses. Very often, most people — even interviewers — will start to zone out after a while if your responses stretch out too long and seem too repetitive. Thus, by timing yourself, you can develop a sense of how long your responses are and adjust them accordingly. Generally, the more succinct your responses, the better! You want to make sure you convey your key points at the beginning when your interviewer is most attentive. In addition, be sure to primarily focus on just a few things rather than elaborating on a variety of different aspects. Finally, answering your questions to someone can also substantially help you with MMI’s. By creating a type of mock interview, you will feel more comfortable on the interview day because you have put yourself in a very similar situation before. Doing so will also enable you to receive feedback from many different people on your interviewing style/responses that will only further help you to give a great interview.
- Practice organizing your responses in a way where you spend the majority of your time showcasing the skills that you already have/have learned that will make you a great doctor. Remember that no matter how general the questions during your interview, the overall purpose of these interviews is to see if you, at such a young age, understand what a career in medicine looks like and showcase the types of qualities that embody a successful physician. This considered, it is important that you place your response in the context of the medical field. To better understand what I mean by this, let’s walk through the steps to take in answering the question (from the table above) concerning a challenging situation:“Explain a situation in which you were challenged. How did you overcome this difficult situation?”
- Spend 30 seconds to 1 minute explaining the situation and why it was challenging.
- Spend approximately the next 2 minutes explaining how you overcame the challenging situation — in this time period, highlight your personal skills that allowed you to effectively overcome this hardship.
- Spend the next 1-2 minutes explaining what you learned from this type of situation.
- Spend the last 1-2 minutes explaining how the skills that allowed you to effectively overcome the hardship and the qualities you took away from dealing with this situation together will make you a promising doctor. In this time, make sure you explain why these skills specifically will make you a great doctor. For example, if you learned the importance of perseverance through your challenging circumstance, you can conclude your response by saying that because this situation taught you to never give up, as a doctor, you will always try until the very end with your patients, no matter how little or slim their odds of survival.Keep in mind that this is not a definite structure that you should follow, but merely a suggested approach you can take for answering this question. Also, note that the approach you take in answering questions can very well vary from question to question — all questions are different and ask for different points of emphasis, so keep your answering style flexible and go with what you are most comfortable with!
- Read up on ethics/health care. While this is not entirely necessarily, familiarizing yourself with ethical principles and reading up on health care will only help you give more educated responses in your interviews that will give you an edge over other candidates. For example, if I were interviewing a student on a question asked about a certain scenario where ethical principles were breached, and that student followed their direct response by bringing up the ethical principles of non-maleficence (do no harm), beneficence (do good), and discussed the struggle to balance these two aspects in evaluating how they would go about dealing with this breach, I would naturally be very impressed with the student because this type of response shows that this student has obviously done their research on medical ethics, showing dedication and maturity.
- Practice, Practice, Practice! You will not know the exact questions that you will be asked until the day of the interview, so the best thing you can do in the meantime is just prepare yourself for any and every type of question you can be asked. While this does seem like a lot, it is worth it! Coming into the interview knowing that you have tackled almost every type of question they could ask will give you a great deal of confidence while giving your answers. Of course, it is possible that you will get a question that does not match up exactly with another that you have practiced, but don’t panic! Chances are that in all that practice you have thought about/discovered certain things about yourself and the medical field that you can always pull from when constructing your answer.
- Relax and appreciate the process! Lastly, it is important that you appreciate this preparation process. You should realize that no matter what the outcome, you (a 17/18 year-old) are giving an interview in a style that most people in their mid 20’s give after experiencing a whole four years of college. Thus, it is key that you remember how far you have already come and just have fun with this process. The less you stress and the more relaxed your attitude, the better you will be in delivering great responses!
How Premed HQ Can Help You
The BS/MD interview is the final barrier when it comes to securing your future in the medical field. Premed HQ trains students to achieve stellar interviewing skills every year. We have a comprehensive interview preparation process that puts the student through multiple interview sessions and rigorous critique. Each session is uniquely crafted to prepare the student for the myriad of scenarios they may encounter on their actual BS/MD interview.
Unlike other admissions consulting firms, we have multiple coaches that will interview at each of your interview preparation sessions. This is done to simulate the actual “Multiple Mini Interview” format you will encounter on your BS/MD interviews. Be wary of any firm that does not have a team of coaches interviewing you during one sitting, because then they are not truly simulating the actual BS/MD interview experience and subsequently setting you up for failure.
In our most recent application cycle, our clients enjoyed an acceptance rate of 93% to BS/MD programs. If you’d like to learn more about our BS/MD admissions coaching service, you can also give us a call directly at (858)-333-4390, or click here to schedule a complimentary 1/2 hour consultation session with us. We look forward to discussing how we can help your child secure a future in the medical field.
Additional Resources for BS/MD Interviewees
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PremedHQ’s Admissions Guidance Portal
Check out The PremedHQ Guide, a free online guidance portal for the BS/MD applicant’s journey.