Preparing for an interview requires research, self-awareness, and practice. This is true whether it’s an interview for a job, a volunteer position, or entrance into a postsecondary program – such as medical school or a physiotherapy program. For the latter, the interview often takes the form of Multiple Mini Interviews, otherwise known as the MMI.
The MMI is an interview format that consists of a series of 6-10 interview stations, each focused on a different question or scenario. It is designed to assess your communication skills, specifically verbal and nonverbal skills.
If you have an MMI coming up, first, CONGRATULATIONS! We have helped hundreds of clients build their confidence and prepare for interviews.
The following are tips for your own preparation, which is summarized with the acronym: A.P.P.
A – ANTICIPATE:
Anticipate what topics/questions you will be asked by analyzing the skills you are being assessed on. You likely received an interview preparation package from the school, which outlines the competencies and skills they are looking for. Take your research even further – figure out what the interviewer wants to know about YOU.
What are the important features of the program? Is it self-directed learning? Volunteering? Ask yourself why you are a great fit for the program. What are your strengths? Think about how your strengths will benefit the school, the program, and the profession.
For example, at the University of Alberta’s physiotherapy program, applicants are assessed on their critical thinking ability, ethical decision-making ability, communication skills and the non-cognitive humanistic skills required for success in a clinical environment. Now that you know this, think about your personal experiences with these skills.
P – PREPARE:
The MMI does not test specific knowledge, so you can’t study for it. Continue your MMI interview preparation with more research. This can include:
- Reviewing each program website and making note of the curriculum, mission statement, and themes that resonate with you
- Researching and reflecting on your own personal skills, personality traits, experiences and motivations
- Talking to other people who have gone through the MMI before you
- Researching and paying attention to news on healthcare and health care related issues, and trends that are affecting and impacting the profession.
P – PRACTICE:
Now that you have anticipated and prepared through research, it is time to practice. This will give you a chance to experience thinking on your feet and expressing yourself articulately and logically in a timed environment. The purpose is not to have a rehearsed answer ready to go, but to practice thinking on the spot about a concept and answering in a thoughtful way.
This is where we come in!
As an experienced interview coach, Lise Stransky can ask questions so you can practice answering them and give you feedback. She can tell if you sound awkward and will point out where you can improve. During a mock MMI interview, we recreate the interview conditions as much as possible, take notes, and coach you on how to structure and organize your answers. We listen to your responses for appropriate language; evaluate if the experiences were relevant to the question; and if the question was answered in its entirety.
Lise can also watch your nonverbals, including eye contact, posture, facial expressions, tone of voice and pacing. All this practice and feedback puts you in a more confident and better prepared position for your MMI.
Need help preparing for your MMI for medical school or a physiotherapy program with a career advisor? Submit an inquiry online, give us a call at 403.261.5085, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
Lise Stransky, CCDP, Career and Job Search Strategist, Calgary Career Counselling