Have you been invited for MMI interview at the University of Dundee School of Medicine? Here's what you need to know.
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)
The MMI format is designed to assess your thinking skills, your personal values, and your ability to communicate. These are all hugely important in shaping the kind of doctor you will be, and here in Dundee we place a lot of weight on them.
Students tell us they prefer this format.
The interview consists of short independent 'stations'. This means that you get ten fresh starts, so if a particular station doesn't go well, then it's not the end of the world. Pretty much every candidate will find that some stations go better than others. The MMI format helps to even out this fluctation in interview performance. It's much less of a lottery which particular interviewer you get, because in each MMI run, every applicant gets every interviewer, so it's fairer all round.
When you arrive on the day, there will be some paperwork to complete. After that you should switch off your mobile phone and leave it with our staff, who'll also look after your bags and coats.
Before you go in, you'll be given a sheet of labels with your name on them. This is the only item that you will need going round the MMI stations. You should put one of the labels on your front before you start to identify yourself to the interviewers. At each station, the interviewer will ask you to give them your sheet, and they will peel off a label and give you back the sheet. There will be spare labels on your sheet at the end. This is intentional and doesn't mean that you've missed a station.
At the station
At the beginning of each station you will be given a card to read with simple instructions. These are to help orientate you, and let you know what to expect from the station.
When the station is over, after seven minutes, a bell rings, and there's a short break of 30 seconds during which you will move to the next station, and start reading the next set of instructions. At the end of 30 seconds, the bell rings again, and the next station begins. Once you've started going round, this short break between stations gives you a chance to settle yourself after the previous station, and clear your head for the next station.
There are 10 interview stations in total. Each person starts at a different station. It doesn't matter at all where you begin. You move round the stations in chronological order. If you pass station 10, you move on to station one. There are helpers to ensure you go around the stations in the correct order. If you leave your sheet of labels behind, let us know and we'll get it for you.
Types of MMI station
There are two types of MMI station. About half are a fairly traditional one-to-one interview, where you consider a question, situation, or dilemma. Even though these are often framed in a clinical or medical context, no prior medical knowledge is required to address them. We're seeing to probe your values, and your ability to think critically and flexibly, on your feet. There are no correct answers.
The other stations are more interactive. You might have to work with an actor, or complete a task along with a helper. Don't get fazed if you can't complete tasks. They're designed to be challenging, and we may not be measuring your ability to complete the tasks but rather how you react to being unable to do so.
We recognise that MMI interviews are stressful, just like other kinds of interview. That's inevitable in any high stakes process. From our perspective, trying to select the best applicants, that stress may be useful, as medical practice is itself stressful. However, we don't want it to stop you from providing your best performance. If it's obvious that you're becoming a bit flustered, our interviewers will be helpful and encouraging, and will put you at your ease.
If there are any issues that you feel may affect your performance at iterview, please bring these to our attention on the day.
We switch round stations and introduce new ones every year, but it helps us if the content of the stations is not shared. Although it's natural to want to share your experiences with others, we ask you not to discuss the specific topics or tasks at the stations with other applicants, with school friends, or online. Although there is little evidence that knowing the station details in advance makes a difference to performance, we feel that the integrity of the system is upheld better if the topics and tasks of individual stations are confidential, so we would appreciate your cooperation in this.
We realise that for you, waiting to know the outcome of your interview is stressful and frustrating. However, we need to interview all applicants before we can rank everyone. We usually make offers at some point in March.
A chance to look around
In addition to your interview, you will be offered the opportunity to take an informal tour of the School of Medicine while you are with us. You will have a chance to speak to current students for a candid view of what it's like to study with us. There is no obligation for you to do this, but our students tell us that it helped in their decision making.