How to ace MMI interviews!

Discussion in 'Medical School Interviews' started by ganjamozart, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. ganjamozart

    ganjamozart Member

    Sep 15, 2015
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    I was able to secure four GEM offers on the first attempt. I believe that my preparation method really paid off and hope that it can help others who are tackling MMI interviews.

    Firstly, GEM MMI interviews' primary goal is not to try and catch you out or to try and test your intellectual capability. Just by crossing the GAMSAT threshold, the universities deem that you are intelligent enough to handle the rigours of a medical degree.

    Instead what they seek in my opinion are three things.
    1. How well you understand the realities of medicine.
    2. How introspective you are - whether you understand your limitations and how you go about overcoming these.
    3. How composed you are during the interview.

    The third factor is often overlooked but given that at each station, all that the interviewers know about you is your name, it's incredibly important to look assured. As a Doctor, you will be in situations far more stressful than interviews and if you can't handle interview nerves, you are going to come across poorly - I can guarantee you that most if not all candidates are terrified prior to the interview. The key is to have a mindset where you know you deserve the place and why the medical school needs a fine future Doctor.

    To attain such a mindset effectively, you need to buttress it with the necessary preparation. The first is getting some quality work experience under your belt and the second is to prepare for the MMI questions that you will face.

    Work Experience
    MMI interviewers follow a script so it's crucial to keep your answers personal and interesting. To do so, you need to look beyond the 'HCA work' which GEM universities love to recommend. In your work experience, try and organise both clinical and non-clinical experiences whilst covering areas that are particularly topical. Keep a journal - always reflect on what you can do better, how the patient may perceive your actions and what you can do to improve in your service delivery. Never forget to constantly think from the patient's perspective. If you can show off these qualities during interview, you will really separate yourself from the other candidates. Also, make sure to read the surrounding literature in areas that you volunteered in as well as in areas that you are interested in.

    I volunteered at
    1. A hospital ward (basically doing HCA work).
    2. A charity for the elderly (I interacted with a lot of dementia patients) - another topical area.
    3. A charity for the mentally ill - again another hugely topical area.
    4. A charity for disabled children.

    These experiences meant that I was able to cover a wide demographic and different conditions that require different skill sets. This also meant that I could provide personal yet professional examples for every question that I faced during the MMI interviews.

    MMI Prep
    This book is the holy grail.

    I made a word document that consisted of every single question in this book (even the traditional interview questions are very applicable to the MMI) and made a framework answer for those questions using my own personal examples. As the MMI is nerve wracking, hectic and often short (it feels very short) it's notoriously difficult to provide structured and clear answers. However, approaching the preparation this way ensures that you can give concise and coherent answers under pressure. It is important to note that you prepare a framework answer for every question instead of writing out model answers. The latter is often very counterproductive as you can sound rehearsed, whereas a framework gives you a clear plan to work with and the intermediate sentence structures are improvised on the spot which means that it does not sound rehearsed.

    After making this document (36 pages in Word), I read it two or three times every month and by the interview time, I knew exactly how I was going to answer every question. The framework method also works as most of the interview questions are variants of one another - especially the ethics questions.

    Read up on the NHS (read journals by both right wing and left wing think tanks) - read some papers that pit the NHS against more privatised systems in Europe that have far better health outcomes (the IEA has a good paper on this). Don't offer the usual platitudes about how great the NHS is. Acknowledge that the underpinning principles of the NHS are admirable but that reforms should be implemented to improve health outcomes.

    Read the documents that are mentioned in the aforementioned book (such as the GMC's good medical practice).

    Read journals on areas that you are interested in, or in areas that you are volunteering in. Be as proactive as possible.

    Go on the Medic Portal MMI mock session. It was impressively similar to the real thing. They also give you great feedback on how you can improve your performance.

    Try and do as many practice questions as you can with somebody who you feel slightly awkward with. It's too comical when doing it with people you are too comfortable with.
    BlessingA likes this.
  2. BlessingA

    BlessingA New Member

    Sep 28, 2017
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    Thank you for this! Very helpful

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