Menu
 
 

Guide to Medicine MMIs: Multiple
Mini-Interviews

9 min read

|

Read 4186 times

So many of us focus a lot of our attention, time and energy into preparing for the GAMSAT ® exam and making sure we maintain our university GPA, but what happens once you clear that hurdle, what comes next? Once your applications are in, the next hurdle (and arguably the biggest) are your medical interviews. Most universities tend to use an interview system known as the Multiple Mini Interview or MMI. So what do you need to know about the MMIs? In this MMI guide, we’ll provide you with an overview of the structure and preparation for MMIs - However, keep in mind that each university will have their own way of running things, and it’s therefore essential to check the details and information for the university you’ll be interview for to get the most up-to-date information.

Feeling overwhelmed with all the information available and not sure how to prepare for your medical school interviews? Our expert tutors, Kayley and Aleesha, have summarised the contents of this page in this Guide to Medicine MMIs: Multiple Mini-Interviews video guide.

What are Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)?

The MMIs, or Multiple Mini Interviews, are an interview format used by the majority of the medical schools in Australia. Whilst the exact format varies for each university, interview offers are generally released in early September, with the medicine interviews themselves taking place in late September and early October. Although it might feel like all the hard work is done by this stage, remember that the med interview is a big hurdle, and major criteria, in the medical admissions process. For most medical schools, your interview performance contributes 33-50% of your final combined score that will be used to determine if you receive a medical place offer!

What is the MMI Format?

Essentially, the name MMI reflects the structure of the format and interview process. On interview day, students will be presented with roughly 5-8 MMI ‘stations’, each with a different question or scenario, and each in a different room. Each station typically lasts for 5-10 minutes, after which you move to the next room/station in a circuit with the other interviewees. Again, it is important to understand that each medical school will run their interviews slightly differently, and it is best to check each university website for the most up-to-date and accurate information. The experience described by one of our tutors below may help illustrate the process:

When you receive your medicine interview offer, you will be given a date and time to present to the university for your interview - Note that you are generally expected to travel if your interviewing university is in a different city or state.

Say there are 8 ‘stations’ in this medical school’s med interview - there will therefore be 7 other students presenting at the same time as you. Your group of 8 will be walked to a corridor lined with tutorial rooms with the numbers 1-8 labeled on each door. Each of you will be asked to stand in front of a different door - this is your starting station, even if it isn’t room 1. On each door is a short passage describing a scenario or theme that is awaiting you inside the room. There will be an invigilator present in the corridor who rings a timer, indicating that you have a set amount of reading time (generally 1-2 minutes) to open and read your door’s station description. The timer will then go off again, and you will be able to enter the room and greet your interviewer.

As an example, this university might give you 8 minutes per station, during which you respond to the interviewer’s questions. It is important to note that the interviewer will usually have follow-up questions for you. They can often add information to the original scenario or simply provide a new perspective that is designed to allow you to display a development of your reasoning or communication skills.

When the timer goes off at the end of this time, you must finish your sentence and leave the room, moving on to stand in front of the next door as all your colleagues also rotate onto their next stations. This process will repeat itself until you have completed all of the stations, after which the MMI medical interview process will conclude. Your final interview mark will be a combination of your marks from each interviewer at each station.

One of our tutors further describes her personal experience with the MMI interviews in the blog article My MMI Experience, so don’t forget to check that out!

What is the purpose of the MMI Medicine Interviews?

When calculating your final combined score that determines your admission into medicine, universities will generally take into account your university GPA, GAMSAT ® score and interview score. Your GPA and GAMSAT ® score reflect important academic and reasoning skills, including written communication, problem-solving and critical thinking. The medicine interview however is designed to assess a completely different set of skills that are equally important to making a good future doctor, such as verbal communication, social skills, empathic/ethical practice, teamwork and situational awareness.

The purpose of the MMI format itself can be tied to the advantages of having numerous short independent stations. The most obvious advantage of course is that it allows Australian medical schools to assess a range of different skills and attributes in a short format. It also means that the opinions or biases of one interviewer cannot be overweighted and helps avoid providing an advantage or disadvantage to individual students. Furthermore, this means that the interviewee has the chance to ‘reset’ between each station - if you feel like you didn’t do too well in one station, it will have no bearing on your performance in the next station with a new interviewer. Each interviewer will be meeting each student for the first time and will not have any previous biases or opinions on their performance in a different domain or question type. Similarly, another advantage for the interviewee is that you will have a minute or two to read about the scenario or theme before entering the station, giving you time to prepare a response before entering the room.

How are MMIs graded?

Unfortunately there’s no straightforward way to determine exactly how MMIs are graded without access to the marking criteria used by medical schools. This is further complicated by the fact that any marking criteria will likely vary across different medical schools, with some universities placing greater emphasis on specific characteristics such as an interest in rural health, population health, research etc. Nevertheless, we can make some generalisations about the grading schemes that universities may likely use. Scores may be allocated across broad categories such as:

  • Content: What points were discussed, what aspects were raised? Were there any important ideas or considerations that were missed?
  • Structure: How coherent was the response? Were ideas laid out in a logical fashion? Was clear reasoning and rationale provided?
  • Insight: Was self-reflection evident? Was there a consideration of alternative viewpoints? Were compassion and respect displayed?
  • Communication: How well did the candidate communicate?

As mentioned above, one advantage of the MMI structure is that each interviewer will be meeting each student for the first time and will not have any previous biases or opinions on their performance in a different domain or question type. As such, the marking is designed to be fairer across all students. Medical schools will typically calculate an overall interview score for your performance and use this in the final ranking process for medical school place offers.

While we don’t know for sure how MMIs are graded, we know there are common MMI mistakes to avoid. Be sure to check out our 5 MMI Mistakes to Avoid for more information.

How much time do you get for MMI?

The short answer is that it varies. Different medical schools use slightly different formats for the MMI - Some may run fewer stations, with more time allocated to each station, others may run a greater number of stations with less time allocated. In general you can expect to have 1-2 minutes of reading time before each station to review the prompt/scenario, and then 5-10 minutes for the station itself. Note that interviewers will often have follow-up questions or additional information to provide during the station itself - As such, make sure you don’t spend the whole time talking about the initial prompt as you will likely lose marks for further questions. A breakdown of the timings for different universities can be found further below in this guide.

How hard is an MMI interview?

Like any other step in the process of applying for medical school, the MMI is by no means easy. It is inherently designed to allow medical schools to assess and select between high-performing students for a small number of places, and is therefore very competitive. Students often find the MMI the most stressful aspect of the application process, particularly given the fact that it often contributes the largest percentage to your overall ranking for medical school places. The structure of the MMI means that you need to perform well across a broad range of question types and work to build rapport with each individual assessor. Furthermore, you need to be able to switch quickly between these different styles of questions as you rotate through, and ensure that a poor performance on one station does not impact the others.

In short, the MMI is challenging for most, if not all students. Nevertheless, it is something that can be conquered with the appropriate preparation and strategy. GradReady offers InterviewReady courses run by current medical students and doctors who have the expertise and experience to know what characteristics medical schools are looking for and can help you develop your skills and prepare for what is likely the most important interview of your medical journey so far. Keep reading and check out the sections below for tips and advice on how best to prepare.

Types of MMI Questions

As mentioned above, one of the advantages of the MMI format for medicine interviews is that it allows medical schools to test a variety of attributes and skills. As there are a generally a set of desirable characteristics to assess in a future doctor, there are consistencies between many of the medical schools, and you will find that the following list of question types are commonly used for medicine interviews in the MMI format:

It is important to remember that each hurdle of the Australian medical school application process is a new way to prove that you have the skills necessary to be a good future doctor. As mentioned above, it is crucial to think of the medicine MMI interview process as a way to demonstrate your skills in verbal and non-verbal communication, empathy and situational awareness. You will not be tested on knowledge-heavy content (no human biology, data extraction, spot diagnoses, etc.).

MMI Question Type: Motivation to Study Medicine

This is the classic MMI station, and you’ve probably already been asked it 100s of times by friends and family in the lead up to the medical application process. The question is - can you articulate it authentically and coherently in just a few minutes? The hardest part about this question is not sounding too cliche or rehearsed. Although it is perfectly reasonable to want to do medicine to help others, this is a response interviewers will have heard time and time again, repeated ad nauseam - Try to think of a way to express this that sounds thoughtful and unique to your personal experiences. Follow up questions to expect from a station like this might centre around the same theme, such as “What would you do if you were not able to get into medicine?” or “How do you plan on maintaining a good work-life balance as a doctor?”.

MMI Question Type: Character/Behavioural Traits

These are the typical questions you might expect at a general job interview. Examples might include, “Provide an example of a time where you faced a challenge and how you overcame it”, “When was a time you displayed good leadership?”, or “What is your greatest weakness?”. These questions assess where your values lie, how you respond to given situations and how well you reflect on your life experiences. It can be extremely difficult to remember examples of such moments you’ve faced on the spot, so as part of your preparation, make yourself a bank of common skills and examples from your life that you can draw on. Furthermore it is important to make sure that you can admit to weaknesses or mistakes without being too proud or scared - the crux of the question lies in how you responded to the situation and what you learnt from it. These types of questions are best answered with the STAR technique - Situation, Task, Action and Response. More information can be found below, where we look into how to best structure MMI responses.

MMI Question Type: De-tech

These are stations that ask you to explain a scientific word or concept in lay terms. You will usually be given a list of 5 or 6 scientific words (from biology, chemistry or physics so it does not matter where your strengths lie), and then asked to choose 2 of the words to explain. Examples might include cell, nucleus, metabolism, force, radiation, electricity, and molecule. To reiterate the ideas raised above, the Multiple Mini Interviews are a tool to explore skills that you will need as a future doctor. Being able to explain a difficult or technical topic to your interviewer can be seen as parallel to being able to explain a complex diagnosis or treatment plan to your patient.

MMI Question Type: Acting

This is often one of the most difficult or dreaded MMI stations, where you enter the room and are thrown into a conversation with an actor pretending to be a patient/friend/stranger, etc. Your interviewer will not engage with you in any way - the whole point of this station is to carry out a conversation with the actor. The interviewer will simply observe the interaction and note the content discussed. This is an example of a MMI station where it is absolutely critical to read the prompt clearly - who are you meant to be in this scenario? A commonly used scenario is that you are a medical student and a member of the public approaches you and begins to tell you about a general medical concern, such as something they heard on TV for a medical issue they have, or doing certain investigative tests or feeling forgetful/confused. This station is largely looking at your personal skills, such as communication, understanding and empathy. You need to most importantly be able to listen to your actor’s words and observe their body language and react accordingly. This will often involve comforting and reassuring their concerns, and encouraging them to speak to loved ones or a professional. However, it’s important to note your limitations as a medical student - it is important to avoid any medical advice but rather explain your role as a student.

MMI Question Type: Practical tasks & Puzzles

In this station, the interviewer will provide the interviewee with instructions and have them complete a task, such as origami folding, drawing an abstract picture or arranging blocks. For example, you may walk into the room with the interviewer standing behind a large whiteboard, while you are handed an abstract line drawing and told to instruct the interviewer on how to replicate the design using only words. The goal of this MMI station is not to solve the task properly (you do NOT have to finish it in the given time), but to demonstrate skills in communication and teamwork. Make sure you use clear instructions and speak at a steady pace, and feel free to check in with the interviewer to see how they are going. Usually, your interviewer will stop you after a few minutes and ask you follow up questions such as, “How do you think you went and would you do anything differently next time?”. It may seem obvious, but never blame your interviewer for the poor result; there will always be something you can work on.

MMI Question Type: Ethical Scenarios

The ethical scenario MMI station is another frequently dreaded station. The prompt on the door will often outline a difficult scenario in which there is no clear right or wrong answer. Examples might include a doctor who is providing their patients with placebo drugs, a family who does not want to vaccinate, or a decision regarding who is to receive an organ transplant. The section below on ‘how to structure an MMI response’ delves deeper into the best approach to ethical MMI stations.

MMI Question Type: Health Knowledge

This station aims to test your understanding of current important healthcare issues in Australia. Examples may include the Gap in Rural or Indigenous Health, Vaccine Hesitancy, Public Health Mandates, Healthcare Privatisation, the Aging Population, the Obesity Epidemic or Antibiotic Overuse. These are all very complex issues and you are not expected to be an expert in any particular area or solve the related problems, but you are expected to demonstrate enough insight to form a succinct and logical response respecting the nuances of the issues. This is impossible without any background knowledge, so make sure you stay up to date with current health issues and read widely. If you’re not sure what to read, our guide on What to Read for the Humanities Section of the GAMSAT® Exam might come in handy.

MMI Interviews: How to Prepare

So now that you have a thorough understanding of the MMI format, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of how to prepare. It can be useful to structure your preparation along the following lines:

What are medical schools looking for in the MMI?

The Multiple Mini Interviews are designed to allow interviewees to showcase their communication skills and emotional intelligence. Think to yourself: “what soft skills would I want my doctor to have?” The interviewers are looking for candidates who are well-articulated, confident (but not overly so!), balanced, considerate, and motivated. It may sound like a lot to think about at once, but the best candidates won’t need to think about each element as they speak. There is no cut-and-dry ‘right’ answer to any of the MMI stations. Rather, the goal is to speak articulately, logically and empathetically, and to have this underpin your response to any question type or scenario.

As such, the best way to prepare is by practising with the question formats above, for example by using a bank of practice MMI questions available as part of our MMI interview prep course, InterviewReady. Depending on your baseline confidence and communication skills, you can slowly introduce time pressures and seek feedback from your friends and family as they help you prepare. Remember to give yourself 1-2 minutes to read the prompt and gather your thoughts before discussing the scenario.

How to plan your MMI preparation

When it comes to planning and focusing your MMI preparation, it can be useful to consider the two approaches below:

  • Building the necessary knowledge and examples
  • Practise, Practise Practise

The first point is one that was touched upon in the breakdown of question types below - Certain stations will require you to draw on background knowledge or previous examples in your personal life. For example, stations that focus on Healthcare Knowledge will require you to have an up-to-date understanding of the main healthcare issues in Australia. You will need to have enough background knowledge to demonstrate a sufficient level of insight to form a succinct and logical response respecting the nuances of the issues. Similarly, for the Character/Behavioural Traits stations, you will be asked to discuss past examples where you displayed certain traits or attributes. As it is nigh impossible to think up such examples on the spot, it is highly useful to build an examples bank that you can draw upon to demonstrate specific skills or experiences.

Furthermore, as can be said with almost any discipline or skill, practice is critical to success. However, the way in which you practise itself can be something you optimise and focus. Make sure that you start practising early to help build up confidence and familiarise yourself with the pressure of responding in a limited amount of time. Furthermore, it’s often recommended that you practise with a wide variety of people, including people who you may not be particularly close with. Doing so allows you to expose yourself to a broad variety of feedback and perspectives - It is useful to gain different opinions on ethical stations, or hear the different ways in which a scientific concept could be explained in lay terms to help broaden your knowledge and approaches to the MMI stations. Before practising, make sure you are aware of the do’s and don’ts of MMI interviews to get the most out of your prep time.

How to structure a MMI Response

What makes a good MMI answer? It is important to realise that there is no overall ‘right’ structure for an MMI response. Each interviewer will have a completely different demeanour (don’t be shocked if some are completely stone-faced whereas others are welcoming and friendly) and each station will be different in nature, so there really is no single ‘perfect’ overall response structure. Generally speaking, a great response will indicate that the student has correctly read and considered the prompt or description on the door, and has entered the room with some thoughtful and logical points.

However, when it comes to certain MMI question types, there are a few general tips or strategies you can use to structure your response. For example, as mentioned above, the Character/Behavioural Traits stations are best answered using the STAR technique. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Response. Using this structure, you will be able to create a comprehensive answer, using examples and reflection to highlight that you possess the necessary skills to excel in medicine. So what does this response actually involve?

  • Situation: Think of an example of an event or situation in your life that exemplifies the trait they are looking for (this is where it is important that you have prepared a skills bank to be able to draw on in the moment).

  • Task: Explain the task or story that you experienced, especially your roles or responsibilities within the event.

  • Action: Describe the actions you took to complete the task or overcome the challenge.

  • Response: Conclude with the overall result of your actions, and (most importantly) your accomplishments, learnings and reflection on the event.

The bulk of this section will now focus on the Ethical or Health-based scenarios, where there are some important and trusted strategies for preparing your response. As mentioned above, the Ethical station often presents you with a difficult scenario with multiple points of view, and asks you to make an overall judgement. There are a few key points you need to remember.

  1. Firstly, there is no absolute right or wrong answer and you will not be penalised for your opinion/perspective as long as you have justified it and are non-judgemental and considerate.

  2. Secondly, you are not expected to know everything about medical ethics or medicolegal issues - if you voice your concerns and acknowledge that this is a tricky issue, you will satisfy your interviewer.

Now for the actual Multiple Mini Interviews response structure.

  1. Brainstorm: You will have some time in front of the room with the scenario to read through, so make sure you do! This is the perfect time to consider what the primary issue is and the key points that make this such an ethically difficult scenario.

  2. Identify the issue: Once you are seated with your interviewer, it is pertinent to voice these thoughts clearly and directly - what are the opposing conflicts in the scenario, what is the inner conflict you are feeling?

  3. Acknowledge all sides: In order to prove that you’ve recognised that this is not a black-and-white scenario, you need to make it clear that you have empathy and understanding for all people/points involved. Don’t pick a clear side at this stage, because this negates all the nuances and may disrespect the voice or dilemma of the other sides.

  4. Voice your thoughts: As you explain your reasoning, do not hesitate to add in extra information or comments that show your underlying empathy and consideration. For example, “At this stage, I would want to make sure that I understood why he made this decision. I would ask this in a non-judgemental way and explain that it is important that I understand his thought process.” Another example would be, “I would try to educate the family on why this is important without coming across as forceful or abrasive, and confirm that they have understood everything that I have said so that I know they are making an educated decision.”

  5. Make a decision: It is important that whilst acknowledging all sides, you do clearly state your overall judgment and justify your reasoning. As above, your final decision should not be one of the black or white answers, but it should fall in the middle gray zone. If you remain ambivalent and undecided, you will not be showing the confidence and decision-making capacity that this station is asking of you.

  6. Think quick: Follow up questions to this station often involve providing a new piece of information to the scenario or asking how you would respond if a certain thing happened next. Think quick on your feet and remain critical, making sure to clearly explain how this new information fits in with your previously explained reasoning. Do not be afraid to change your overall decision based on this new information.

Our tutors have also released a podcast about How to Prepare for Medical School Interviews, so make sure you have a listen!

Top tips for MMI success

To help you even further, our interview tutors have put together a list of useful MMI tips:

  • Always consider all sides of the story. In order to prove that you’ve recognised that a given scenario is not black-and-white, you need to make it clear that you have empathy and understanding for all people/points involved. If you feel like this doesn’t come naturally to you, try to read interesting sociocultural think pieces and engage with people who are from a different background to you and who may offer different perspectives.

  • Make a skills bank. It can be really hard to remember examples of leadership or resilience or challenges you’ve faced on the spot, so make yourself a bank of common skills and examples from your life that you can draw on.

  • Read up. It is important that you know what is happening in current affairs, and specifically that you are well-read on pertinent current issues in healthcare. You will need this to answer any Health Knowledge Stations, but you may also be able to integrate this into other stations if you are confident with your knowledge.

  • Brainstorm. Use your reading time to truly understand the question and scenario, and start thinking about ideas you wish to mention or caveats you need addressed. Also make sure you understand what you are walking into - will it just be you and an interviewer, who are you in the scenario (are you meant to be speaking as you or a doctor or a friend etc,), will there be an actor present, are you meant to be the one drawing or instructing the drawing?

  • Be personal. The strongest candidates are those who can integrate storytelling, especially as it relates to their own life experiences, into their MMI answers. You shouldn’t force this if it isn’t natural or if you don’t have a relevant life experience for that particular scenario. However, if there is an opportunity to demonstrate how your personal experiences relate to answering the question, do it!

  • You don’t need to know everything. Medical schools are not expecting you to know about diseases, treatment options or medicolegal policies. Voice your thought processes and concerns, and use this to communicate your overall feelings about the scenario.

  • Try to relax and act naturally. This seems difficult on such a stressful day, but remember that leaving time to pause and think is natural and expected. Rushing into your MMI response may just lead to you saying the first thing that comes to mind rather than a thoughtful consideration.

  • Be familiar with the campus and the schedule of the day. Make sure you know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. On top of this, make a plan for how you will attack the day - how will you calm yourself, when will you eat, do you need to bring a change of clothes, etc.

Don’t forget to check out our blog article where tutors have shared their own MMI experiences. Reading about someone else’s MMI experience might be helpful to help you prepare for the big day!

Things to Avoid in MMIs

  • Do NOT pre-prepare your answers. This can be very tempting, but if you come in with a robotic answer, you are telling the marker that you can’t think on your feet and are removing the conversational human aspect of the MMI. While it is obviously important to prepare for the Multiple Mini Interviews, make sure you do not script anything and make sure you answer the question they are asking, not the one you hoped/prepared for.

  • Be personal, but not too personal. When asked to call on an example of a character trait or experience in your life, try to keep the story as simple as possible to avoid confusing the interviewer. Your story should be a spotlight on a moment in your life, with the important part being your reflections and learnings rather than a detailed account of the event in question.

  • Don’t restate the question or ask if you correctly understood the scenario. This just proves that you didn’t read the prompt thoroughly, and your interviewer will almost certainly just respond with a blank stare or small head nod as they cannot actually give away more information that would advantage you. Instead, try to synthesise the question or scenario in a quick sentence whilst integrating your own insights as well to prove you understood the assignment and already have a direction.

  • Don’t drag on. Students often think they have to fill up the whole time and keep repeating themselves or even go around in circles and contradict themselves. Remember that interviewers will almost always have follow up questions for you, and these questions may give you a new direction or point that you hadn’t yet considered. Even if you run out of questions, you can choose to either go back and re-address a previous answer, or you can choose to end your questioning early so as to not fumble around if you are confident.

  • Do not get caught up in the details. As stated before, you are not expected to know everything about the disease/policy/issue, so do not panic if you do not know all the answers. On top of that, scenarios might even have too much information in them, where they are testing you to be able to pick out the primary issue and important consideration points.

Read our blog article 5 MMI Mistakes to Avoid for more information about the common pitfalls that you should be aware of.

Sitting Your Medicine Interview Online

As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced medical schools to make some crucial and swift changes to their medical admissions process. As a consequence of travel restrictions, lockdowns and social distancing, the MMI process was one of the hardest aspects to replicate in a new virtual world. Universities had to adjust by moving their medicine interviews online, with many completely restructuring their MMIs at the same time.

Post-2020, the landscape has become more varied - Some medical schools have decided to retain the online interview process, others have returned to an in-person format. However, it is important to recognise that the online MMI format itself varies across universities using it. For example, some interviews are conducted via familiar platforms like Zoom with questions asked by various interviewers (similar to face-to-face interviews in the past), while others are conducted via other platforms with a ‘solo’ interview recording structure (i.e. video recording with no live interviewer on the other side of the screen asking you the question).

Therefore, it is important to ensure that you have read and understood all of the information provided to you by the university where you will be sitting your medical interview. This includes making sure that you are aware of all the technical requirements for the interview. In general, ensure that you download the required program/platform and test it out beforehand if possible, test your microphone and camera, and make sure that you have a quiet and well-lit area for you to complete the interview. Doing this well in advance of the actual interview can help to prevent technical difficulties on the day that may detract from your performance.

It can feel awkward talking to a screen but remember a real person is assessing your interview. Facial expression, eye contact (or camera contact), and body language are still important aspects of an online interview. It might be beneficial to record yourself answering practice MMI questions so that you can assess some of the aspects outlined previously for yourself before the actual interview.

Our tutors have also released a podcast about MMIs and Online Interview Best Practices, so make sure you have a listen!

Hardest MMI Questions

Depending on your personal strengths and weaknesses, everyone will find different stations to be the hardest/easiest. It is crucial that you spend time practising each MMI question type and exploring what you personally struggle with - these are the stations you need to then focus the bulk of your practice on as you get closer to your med interview date.

Anecdotally, students have generally struggled most with the ethical, health knowledge and acting stations. Why? The ethical station requires you to be able to concurrently think logically and empathetically, and to consider all sides of the story (even if you have a strong belief pushing you one way). As a result, students often struggle with the way they need to word and structure their responses, so make sure you read the section above on structuring ethical stations. When it comes to the health knowledge station, students are often concerned that they will not know enough about the health issue at hand. It is important to remember that they do not expect you to know everything, but they do expect you to be generally informed and interested about major public health issues. Finally, when it comes to the acting station, students are often thrown by how different the station feels - you do not actively engage with the interviewer, and you are essentially being asked to hold a conversation with a fake character while being watched. Not very natural, hey? It is normal to feel nervous about this station, but remember that all they are looking for is a respectful comfortable conversation. Make sure that your focus is on identifying and acknowledging the emotions the actor is displaying, and responding to them in a friendly and appropriate way, rather than trying to put on a performance for the interviewer.

How Med Interviews Differ Between Australian Medical Schools

Other Medical School Interview Formats

Finally, just a quick note on some other interview formats. These are sometimes used by certain universities although they are not commonplace.

Group Interviews

Group interviews are all about seeing how well you can work with others to oftentimes solve a problem. This involves multiple candidates being interviewed together. The group is commonly given a problem to solve or a group task to complete.

The ability to collaborate with others to address complex issues is a skill that is required by all doctors and doctors-to-be. Candidates should contribute to discussions but ensure that they do not dominate the conversation. After all, active listening and the ability to incorporate the ideas of others into a solution for a problem is integral to good interprofessional collaboration.

Panel interviews

Flinders University commonly uses the panel interview format to assess their candidates. Panel interviews are usually conducted by a small panel of examiners with varying backgrounds. They will ask you a series of questions about a range of topics similar to what is covered in MMIs. However, the timing of responses tends to be less strict, allowing you to go into more depth than what is often possible in rapid-fire MMI stations.

Just like MMIs, it is important to plan your answers prior to starting your response. Structuring your response well will allow you to delve more deeply into issues that may be raised by the question posed by the examiners.

It can be daunting facing a panel of examiners, but remember they are all there to fairly assess the qualities that will make you a good medical student and future medical professional. Try to engage with all the examiners on the panel as best you can and make use of the opportunity to explore your answers more thoroughly than what a typical MMI format allows.

Useful Resources

  1. Medical Pathways in Australia

    A guide on how to become a doctor in Australia, with an overview of the different pathways.

  2. Understanding your GAMSAT ® Results

    Covers everything you need to know about your GAMSAT ® Results - From how scoring works to the results release dates.

  3. Medical School Entry Requirements

    A detailed breakdown of medical school entry requirements, including cut-offs, how students are ranked and more.

  4. Australian Medical Schools

    An overview of Australian Medical Schools, both undergraduate and graduate, with details on the course and entry criteria for each medical school.

  5. GradReady GAMSAT ® Preparation Courses

    The Best Results at the Best Value - The only provider with statistically significant results over 10+ years - Average student improvement of 20+ Percentile Points.

  6. InterviewReady Courses

    Get ready for your medical application interview with tailored preparation for specific universities and formats. Signup for our InterviewReady MMI Comprehensive Course and get a full refund if you don’t receive an interview offer!

  7. GEMSAS GPA Calculator

Our tutors have also released a podcast about MMIs and Online Interview Best Practices, so make sure you have a listen!