Mastering the Multiple Mini Interview: Essential Strategies for Success

21/04/202411 minute read
Mastering the Multiple Mini Interview: Essential Strategies for Success

Preparing for your multiple mini interview (MMI) and eager to understand its nuances and master it? The MMI isn't just an academic hurdle—it's a comprehensive skills assessment that delves into your communication abilities, empathy, and ethical judgment, all crucial for a future in medicine. You'll encounter a variety of scenarios, each designed to tease out a different aspect of your professional potential.

This guide is here to offer you targeted tips and advice, ensuring you walk into your MMI poised to impress the admissions committee with the qualities that mark a promising healthcare professional.

What is the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)?

As a medical student on the cusp of securing your place in the world of healthcare, you'll find the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) to be a pivotal step in the journey. These interviews are a series of concise, yet intensive, interactions that serve as a modern method to gauge a range of competencies including:

  • A deeper evaluation of your practical abilities
  • Reducing biases to ensure a fair selection process
  • A progressive alternative to traditional interview techniques, aimed at more accurately predicting your success in medical school and beyond
  • Assessing your interpersonal skills, ethical decision-making, and professional demeanor

The MMI is meticulously designed to evaluate key skills such as:

  • Your ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and non-verbally
  • Your empathetic approach towards patients and colleagues
  • Your situational awareness
  • These traits are indispensable in the medical field

Unlike the old-style interviews at medical schools, which mostly just listen to what you say, MMIs let the people decide to see how you deal with real-life situations. This way, you get different chances to show them what you can do during the interview.

Unveiling the MMI Format and Structure

The MMI format consists of multiple brief, specialized interview stations where different examiners assess distinct qualities or abilities. The setup can differ among medical schools as applicants proceed from one station to another. In an MMI, there are 5 to 12 such stations and the overall interview process typically spans about two hours.

Candidates have just 1 to 2 minutes to get ready for each part of the interview after they see a situation or a question. Then they go into the interview room and talk or act for 5 to 8 minutes. A big thing about the MMI is that each part is separate. How you do in one part doesn't change how you do in the others that come after.

Types of MMI questions—and how to answer each type

In MMI interviews, each station encompasses a diverse array of topics including critical thinking, current events, role-playing activities, and open discussions.

At these stations, you need to show that you understand and respect different cultures. You also have to solve problems well. It's really important to make a good impression on the person interviewing you. Being calm and sure of yourself is just as important as giving clear and smart answers.

To do well in each part of the MMI, candidates should treat every station as a new start. They should forget about what happened before and show their skills again. This way, they can make a good impression many times during the interview.


Whilst a rarer type of UCAT station, it is definitely one of the more difficult. The format of the station is often completely different to all others, requiring you to act as a doctor/medical student. In all other questions, students have to answer “what they would do” in a scenario, whereas in roleplay, you actually have to “do”. For example, a lot of students will discuss how they will treat a patient with empathy, whereas in roleplay, you have to show that you can directly demonstrate empathy.

Professional Judgement

Here you are assessed on making a good decision, in a potentially stressful environment. Sometimes you may be given too much information, or sometimes too little. The important thing is to work through what information you have, or from inference, and make a defined decision based on your assumptions.

Communication questions

Another question type that requires direct acting, you will have to give a set of instructions or a description to your interviewer to complete a task. Usually this involves something simple like tying shoelaces, or giving directions.

Prioritisation Questions

This is another quesiton type that requires you to create solutions out of a difficult, stressed scenario, much like professional judgement. This requires a slightly different answer overall, but still needs calm, thorough processing and describing all the decisions that you would make.

PBL Stations

Only for USYD. This is a group interviewing style that will demonstrate how you work in a team.

What are the hardest MMI questions?

The hardest MMI questions can vary depending on who you are as a student. Some students struggle with shorter questions “e.g. describe your leadership, tell us why you want to be a doctor”, as the student will have to add lots of accesory information to get close to a potential 10 minute time limit. Otherwise, some students struggle with long, scenario questions that require a clear answer, as the analytical skills may not have been practiced and developed with a tutor.

MMI character development question examples

MMI questions about personal growth ask how you handle mistakes and improve yourself. They look at your values, ambition, and ability to think about your actions and learn from them.

MMI questions are designed to show if you know yourself well, can think like a grown-up, and learn from things that happen in life. When you talk about how you handled a big problem, how you stay calm under stress, or how you get along with people at work, it gives a peek into how you've grown as a person.

How hard is an MMI interview?

The MMI interview presents a significant challenge because its purpose is to evaluate and choose candidates who perform at a high level for a restricted quantity of available spots, making it by nature competitive.

What to expect at the MMI

In the MMI interview setting, candidates navigate through different stations that might feature a range of MMI interview questions or require engaging in role-play exercises with actors under the observation of an interviewer. It's important to explain your thoughts well and show how you solve problems when you're in these situations. You should be okay with asking questions if you're confused and you need to be nice and understand how other people feel. Don't just give answers you've memorized ahead of time.

The best way to prepare for the MMI

The only way to prepare is to practice. Whilst practicing to make sure you can reach the time limit is important, that is a skill that the vast majority of interviewees have reached. The important skill is filling your time with quality insights about your candidacy. This is why it is important to be graded and analysed on your scores prior to your interview, either by your tutor or from an interview course.

Delving into Medical Ethics

Medical ethics is a big part of MMIs. It's about understanding important ideas like doing good, not causing harm, being fair, and letting people make their own choices. When you're in an MMI, you might face tough situations that deal with things like abortion, helping someone to die when they're very sick, or using medical marijuana. You have to figure out what the main problem is in these situations.

Current Affairs and Healthcare Issues

Staying in tune with current affairs and healthcare issues is another significant aspect of MMI preparation. As part of their MMI preparation, candidates should familiarize themselves with the issues confronting current medical students and ongoing healthcare debates.

Reflecting on Personal Experiences

Using stories from your own life can help in an MMI interview. When you talk about your own experiences, it shows who you are. If you can talk about a time when you had trouble talking to someone and how you got better, it shows you can learn and change.

Where is the MMI held?

Before, when you had to do a multiple mini interview (MMI), you would go to the university to do it. Now, a lot of medical schools do MMIs on the internet. They use video calls on Zoom or Microsoft Teams to do these interviews. [1]

For effective participation in remote MMIs, applicants are required to:

  • Learn how to use the video call software they will use for the interview
  • Make sure their camera and microphone work well
  • Keep their internet connection strong and stable.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in MMIs

MMIs can be quite daunting, and the high-stress environment often leads to slip-ups. Some typical errors that arise include:

  • Over-elaborating in responses which might result in disengaged interviewers
  • Shifting attention away from the current station by dwelling on past or future ones
  • Reciting lengthy, memorized answers that come off as insincere
  • Bombarding interviewers with an excess of information all at once

Recognizing these common mistakes is crucial for avoiding them during your MMI.

One common mistake is not hearing the question. This can make you give answers that don't fit what they asked. Applicants are advised to follow up questions and infuse their responses with personal insight rather than merely narrating incidents or cataloguing accomplishments – this strategy effectively conveys their aptitude for pursuing a medical career.

Which universities use the MMI?

The MMI way of interviewing is getting more popular with universities all around the world for picking students to go to medical school. For example, at the Australian National University, they don't just do MMIs, they also have a group activity that lasts an hour to see how well students work together. Bond University and Charles Sturt University, which runs a program with two schools together, also use the MMI to find out who gets in.

Additional Australian institutions that have adopted the MMI for their medical school admissions include:

  • Curtin University
  • Deakin University
  • Griffith University
  • Macquarie University
  • Monash University
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Newcastle and University of New England (Joint Medical Program)
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Western Australia

These universities recognize the MMI's value in assessing applicants' suitability for the medical profession.

What is the purpose of the MMI Medicine Interviews?

The MMI format is a key part of choosing students during the medical admissions process. It tests how well students can make good choices when they know a lot about a topic. This interview style strives to capture a broader evaluation of applicants compared to traditional interviews by emphasizing interpersonal abilities, ethical reasoning, and professional demeanour.

MMIs are like practice runs for real doctor stuff. You get a little bit of time to think, then you have to act or talk about something important. They're not just looking at how much you know from books, but also how you use what you know in real situations. The ultimate aim of MMIs is to pinpoint individuals who are academically adept while simultaneously exhibiting the essential communication skills and ethical acumen required for excelling in the medical profession. [2]


[1] Poole, D. (2023, September 8). Monash University. Medicine MMI Interview.

[2] What it’s like to participate in multiple mini interviews (MMIs) | Students & residents. (n.d.). Students & Residents.\~:text=The MMI is designed to,and colleagues as a physician.