Building Responses for MMI Questions (Multiple Mini Interviews)

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) are used in the application process for Medicine, Dentistry, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs. A MMI involves a sequence of stations in a circuit. For each station, a scenario is typically presented on the door outside of a room. You are then given a time limit to walk to your station, plan your response and present your thoughts to your interviewer. This process will continue until you have completed all the stations in the circuit. You could be assessed on your communication skills, your ability to handle an ethical dilemma or your knowledge on your desired profession.

So, how do you tackle the MMIs? 

It is difficult to practice for MMIs because there is no clear right or wrong answer. Although this statement is true, there is a difference between a strong and a weak response. In my opinion, there are three levels that you need to consider when building your response:

Level One: You are able to answer the question in an organized manner without stressing, panicking or freezing.

Level Two: You incorporate your research on your desired profession and exemplify it in your response.

Level Three: You exemplify both levels one and two in your response and you incorporate your personal experience. Your personal experience should be relevant and appropriate.

When studying for my Physical Therapy MMI at the University of Alberta, I found that personal experience is the key to a strong response. Most interviewees will have an organized response that includes knowledge about their desired profession. Thus, it is your personal experience that will make you unique and memorable. You can gain personal experience by volunteering in areas of your desired field.

I have created a sample MMI question to exemplify the different levels of a response. The scenario and the personal experience used in this example are both fictional.

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Photo Credit: Dalhousie University

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