Most pre-medical students preparing for the interview trail are now familiar with the multiple mini-interivew (MMI) format for med school admission interviews. However, these are actually a fairly recent development. I was lucky enough to not be subjected to these during my interview experiences. With med school applicants up, and there being a surplus of qualified candidates with great scores, schools are looking for more objective ways of picking the best applicants. The multiple mini-interview format offers an appealing way of taking the most subjective of evaluations and assigning a numerical value.
For those not familiar with the multiple mini-interview format, it is one in which applicants are given many different shorter "interviews" instead of the traditional 2-3 longer ones. These interviews are not the open ended "So tell me about yourself" style of questions used in the past. They are often very direct, specific questions. There is usually less conversation, and the format almost parallels the process of an oral exam. There have been numerous studies showing that this method of interviewing can actually predict a candidates performance in medical school and even their changes of passing their licensing exam. Some evidence shows that a properly administered MMI is even more predictive than an applicants GPA score.
A recent article published in the annals of emergency medicine takes another twist on this format. Although the format makes it much easier for schools to select the most qualified applicants, how do the applicants feel about it? I know I personally wouldn't be happy with this format. When it comes to selecting a medical school there is a certain degree of intangible "fit" that needs to be evaluated by both the applicant and the interviewer. This type of format limits the number of connections that are made, and based on anecdotal evidence can actually make the applicants less likely to want to go to the school, even if they get accepted.
What are your experiences with the MMI? Did you find it impersonal, or do you prefer it to a more traditional format? Either way this formal dramatically changes how med school applicants need to prepare for their interview.
Phillips, Andrew, and Gus Garmel. "Does the Multiple Mini-Interview Address StakeHolder Needs? An Applicant's Perspective." Annals of Emergency Medicine 64.3 (2014): 316-19