Section Two: Familiarisation with the Process

What is a structured interview/ MMI and how are they used?

You may be familiar with a structured interview. The diagram below provides an overview of how a typical structured interview works.

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Structured Interview

During a structured interview, you are interviewed by one or more interviewers. If there is more than one interviewer this is normally so one individual can ask the questions, and the other can make a note of what you are telling them.

Structured Interview

The interview may be behavioural (based around examples of your past behaviour or experience e.g. "Can you tell me a time when... ?") or situational (based around asking what you may do in a hypothetical situation).

Structured Interview

It is likely to be competency based; this mean it is structured around the attributes and values that have been defined by the medical school as important for a medical professional.

Structured Interview

You will likely be asked a series of 'main' questions, and the interviewer will then follow up to elicit more information, for example asking; 'why did you take that course of action?' or 'what was the outcome?' Don't be put off if follow on probing questions are asked; interviewers will do this with all candidates, often to ensure that you have additional opportunities to demonstrate the attributes that they are looking for.

Many medical schools employ the use MMIs to inform final decisions in their selection process. The MMI comprises a series of short interviews (called 'stations') (typically 5-10), normally about 5-8 minutes in length each. Different stations are generally run by one or two interviewers, and you will be required to rotate around the series of stations.

MMIs are used by many medical schools as they provide an accurate way of looking for the behaviours, attributes and values that are desired for a medical professional. The use of multiple stations means that you have more than one opportunity to demonstrate a given behaviour, attribute or value, and you will also be seen by multiple people. An overall score across all the stations is then calculated.

Whilst it may seem like a lot of information to take in, and you are moving around stations quite quickly, the MMI will have been carefully designed to ensure that you have plenty of opportunity to show the interviewers why you should be selected for their medical school.