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The Multiple Mini Interview Format

Normally, medical school applicants are asked to attend a six to ten station multiple mini interview (MMI). In most cases, the instructions for the station may be posted outside the room. Each medical school applicant receives a question or a scenario and is given a short period of time (typically two minutes) to prepare his or her answers. The length of the interview may be anywhere from 70 to 100 minutes (more or less 2 hours) depending on the number of stations with six to eight minutes allocated for each station.

The stations may include questions that focus on the following areas:

1. Ethical dilemmas or questions about policy or social issue - A situation is described and the candidate will discuss the ethical, social or other issues involved.  To examine and assess the applicant’s response, the interviewer may follow up with some other questions.

2. Interactions with an actor - A scenario involving an individual who is played by an actor is provided. The applicant may need to give the actor bad news, confront the person about a problem or gather some information. The interviewer or observer will rate the applicant based on his or her interaction with the actor.

3. Standard interview questions - One or more stations will have traditional interview questions like –

  1. “What made you apply to this medical school?”
  2. “What book have you read in the last years that has a special meaning to you and why?”
  3. “How will you contribute to this campus?”

4. A task requiring teamwork - Some stations involve two or more applicants working together to complete a given task. The ability to work as a team is essential in the field of medicine.

5. Essay writing - The applicant will be given 30 minutes to answer prompt questions or asked to choose one after reviewing several topic statements.  The topics do not require any academic knowledge but will test your ability to communicate as well as develop, support or defend an idea.

6. Communication skills - The MMI is structured to evaluate each candidate’s communication skills.  There is no right or wrong answer to all the questions, but each applicant is rated on how well and clear they deliver their thoughts to the interviewers.

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