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How to prepare for your multiple mini interview (MMI): Myths vs Facts
Myth#1: “There are no right or wrong answers when answering interview questions.” This is actually stated on the admissions website at some schools. Although there are no right or wrong answers, when it comes to the various scenarios and questions you may encounter on your interview, there are HOWEVER appropriate and inappropriate answers that you can provide. If this was not the case, then a lot more individuals with fantastic GPA and aptitude scores would be admitted to professional schools. But of course we know that’s not the case.
Myth#2: “You can’t really prepare in advance for interviews because no one really knows what type of questions are going to be asked during your interview.” Well, if that were the case, then you wouldn’t be able to prepare for the MCAT, DAT, PCAT, etc. or any of your exams during your undergraduate years. Just like any other tests, there are a number of things you can do in order to prepare in advance. And we will discuss those things in more detail as we conduct your mock interviews.
So now let’s talk about some facts.
Fact#1: Preparing for professional school interviews is like riding a bike! Practice is key! Perhaps you have heard of the saying “practice makes perfect.” Well this is not true and it is not what we mean by practice. In actuality, practice makes permanent, and only PERFECT practice makes perfect. So, if you continue to practice the WRONG way, then you will permanently perform the task in the incorrect manner, no matter what that task may be. This leads us to our next fact!
Fact#2: The best way to practice is using realistic simulations. Just like preparing for the MCAT for example, the interview requires you to perform numerous simulations in order to ensure you are absolutely prepared on your actual interview date.
Fact#3: MMI sample questions and simulations used for preparation purposes are ineffective and useless without proper professional feedback from an expert. Unless someone can identify your strengths and weakness and give you appropriate feedback on your performance, you will not be able to improve your performance. This is true whether you are an athlete, a student, or a medical candidate about to perform an interview. Professional guidance and feedback will be important in helping you formulate appropriate responses and make changes to your behaviour.
Fact#4: Simply reading books, guides, blogs, or attending “interview crash courses” without performing realistic simulations and receiving expert feedback is an ineffective method to prepare for interviews. Again, going back to our example of riding a bike, it is impossible to learn how to ride a bike by reading a book about bikes or attending a seminar on how bikes work! You can certainly review MMI questions and answers, but internalizing strategies is impossible without expert feedback.
Fact#5: You MUST, and I repeat, you MUST have a strategy and a plan of action when encountering multiple mini interview questions. We have already discussed, earlier in this training webinar, some good strategy which you can draw upon when faced with different types of multiple mini interview questions. We will discuss these in more detail during your feedback session subsequent to your mock interview session.
Let’s move on to fact#6: Getting yourself familiarized with professional ethics and specifically, Medial, Dental, and Pharmacy ethics. Although the interview is designed to test qualities and characteristics that should have been developed within you over time, based on your life experiences, being aware of ideas important in professional ethics will certainly help.
Some excellent resources for medical candidates are the CanMEDS framework, MedlinePlus, and for other professional candidates it is worth while to review books such as the Textbook on Professional Ethics and Human values, Meaningful work: Rethinking professional ethics, Reason and Professional Ethics, and lastly Doing Right: A practical Guide to Ethics for Medical Trainees and Physicians by Philip C Hebert.
Fact#7: You must have a strategy to manage your stress and we will discuss our proven strategies to manage stress later in this training webinar.
Fact#8: Interview skills take a long time to develop. Therefore, you must dedicate several weeks and sometimes even months to prepare for your multiple mini interview in advance. Also note that some medical schools provide a short notice of only a week or two in advance, which is insufficient time to fully prepare for your interview.
To your success,