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Preparing for Interviews

General Pre-Health Interview Resources

The University of Minnesota provides a free online workshop to guide you through the interview process. Within the interview workshop you are able to go at your own pace through the various common interview questions, strategies, mock interview, and feedback. The resources in this interview workshop is geared for students applying for health programs, and all materials are free for any student.

Preparation is key for interviews! Practice the STAR model for answering interview questions to ensure you provide concrete examples of how you meet the organizations needs and prove you will be successful.

MMI Resources

Multiple Mini¬†Interviews (MMIs) are a common assessment tool for health professions schools (institutions using MMIs). They are a way for students to demonstrate interpersonal/intrapersonal characteristics necessary in healthcare. They are meant to measure communication skills, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making, not test a student’s knowledge of science, the body, or any particular healthcare procedure. While there are, for the most part, no right or wrong answers in MMIs, there are many ways to prepare so that you can be assured you’ll do your best.

What students need to know

Be prepared to answer behavior-based and ethical dilemma questions in a much longer, extensive format. It is helpful to become aware of your own idiosyncrasies in your verbal/non-verbal behavior that have the potential to be exaggerated in stressful and/or prolonged speaking situations (i.e., using the words “like” and “um” as space fillers).

It is good practice to be well-informed about “hot topics” in the healthcare community. Some reputable sites for gaining insight include:

Affordable Care Act
Center for Disease Control
National Institutes of Health
NPR’s Health section
New York Times’ Health section
WebMD Health News

How will applicants be evaluated?

Students will be evaluated on their ability to analyze information, engage in ethical dilemmas, think critically about each scenario and problem solve, as well as on if they actually answer the question(s) presented (as opposed to telling the story they want to tell). Non-verbal skills like eye contact, comfortable voice pattern, empathy, use of hands/gestures/posture and how well students listen and respond to the evaluator will also be considered.

Applicants generally receive no feedback from their evaluators.

How to prepare for MMIs

  • Do time simulations to experience how quickly, or slowly, 6-8 minutes pass. Develop your sense of time management.
  • Develop a mental outline that helps you analyze what the scenario is asking:
    • Gather information (read scenario, breathe deeply, analyze what you might know, ask questions)
    • Establish rapport with your interviewer (listen to cues, use preferred names, good eye contact and handshake, open body language, show empathy, patience, and try to understand the values involved)
    • Discuss the issue presented, while continuing to listen, gather information, and maintain your rapport. You are using a balance of your academic excellence with your interpersonal and professional skills to show your strength.
  • Set up a timed circuit of 6-8 mock MMI questions using a wall/corridor. Two minutes to read the question, and then face away from the question and use 6-8 minutes to respond.
  • Work with a partner to role play different scenarios as well as all about current healthcare issues.
  • Role play how you respond when someone is upset or disagrees with you.
  • Become comfortable being cut off (mid-sentence or mid-thought) because of time constraints.
  • Become comfortable receiving no feedback.
  • Learn all you can about your school’s interview process.

What happens when a scenario goes wrong?

Stay calm, breathe deep, and be willing to say if you misspoke and then clarify your response. Know that this is only ONE of 6-8 opportunities for other evaluators to see you (in a different light, next time). Six to eight minutes will be over before you know it. Learn what you can from this scenario then let it go and fully address the next scenario.

Where to find interview questions

University of British Columbia
University of Calgary
University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine
Multiple Mini Interview Sample Questions


Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

Columbia University Bioethics faculty discussing how to prepare for & successfully complete MMIs.

Additional Resources:

Paper: “How Bioethics can help Students with the Multiple Mini-Interviews for Medical School”¬†

Presentation: “Preparing Pre-Health Professional Students & Advisors for the Multiple Mini-Interviews: Advanced Issues.”

UMN Health Careers Center MMI Information