The multiple mini interview, as objective as it is, is still subjective. Nevertheless, you can do well in your interviews by preparing well and by adhering to the following rules during your actual interview.
1. Understand your role in the situation
This is critical because if you don’t understand what your role is in the scenario, you cannot answer the question properly. For example, if the question states, “You are a fourth year medical student”, then you must answer from the perspective of a fourth year medical student. Avoid answering from a position that is more senior than you are asked to. This means that you should not answer as if you were an attending when the situation clearly states that you are a medical student. If you answer from the incorrect perspective, you essentially automatically fail the scenario because the interviewer assumes that you cannot accomplish the simple task of comprehending a question.
2. Accurately and succinctly summarize the question before you start
You may be asked at many MMIs to summarize the question before you actually start answering. This is often an underrated part of the interview. Being able to properly summarize a situation in your own words while staying true to the question is a very important skill. It is important because in medicine, you will often have to present patients with a “one-liner”, summarizing their situation in your own words. Summarizing the question shows the interviewer that you understand the question. If you don’t really understand the question, you must follow the rule below.
3. Ask clarifying questions
It is encouraged to ask clarifying questions, especially if you don’t feel like you have a strong understanding of what the MMI scenario is. If you don’t understand the scenario, you can’t answer the question properly. If there are terms in the question or scenario that you don’t understand, ask the interviewer what they are You are not expected to have medical knowledge yet so do not feel pressured to know what antibiotics should be given for urinary tract infection or whether 30 extra minutes of anesthesia is truly harmful to a patient. Remember, the MMI does not test specific knowledge, rather it is designed to demonstrate your communication, interpersonal, and critical reasoning skills.
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4. See the different perspectives to the situation but pick a side and have good reasons why
Being narrow-minded will kill your chances at being successful in the MMI. Making strong statements such as “that physician is immoral” or “it is always wrong to withhold information from a patient” gives off the notion that you operate off of broad generalizations or see only in black and white when much of medicine is very gray. You should be opinionated and have a perspective that you follow, however it is very important for you to see the other side. “Although I can see why the physician reacted in that way, I would have acted differently.” Speak authoritatively but avoid answering questions in a way that makes it seem like your way is the only way.
5. Don’t ramble
This is especially important during your opening response to the scenario. Avoid going for longer than 2 minutes for any of your responses. You want to answer each question thoroughly but you must give your interviewer the opportunity to ask you follow up questions. If you don’t, it would be hard for them to properly assess your ability, most likely forcing them to grade you worse.