Your preparation for MMIs should, of course, mainly focus on previous MMI interview questions. As well as secondary decisions like finding the best MMI course for you, the amount of your preparation that you directly dedicate to approaching previous questions is an important variable.
What types of questions should I look at?
Common question domains that you should cover include motivation for Medicine, understanding of Medicine as a career, empathy, teamwork and communication skills, resilience and adversity, extracurricular activities, and medical hot topics. Core questions that you might cover the following for ‘motivation for Medicine’ and ‘communication and teamwork’:
Motivation for Medicine
- What are the most difficult aspects of a medical career?
- Why do you want to be a doctor?
- Why are you interest in becoming a doctor rather than a nurse, occupational therapist or other allied healthcare professional?
- How can you show that you are ready to deal with the long hours that the career demands?
- What attributes do you think all good doctors must demonstrate?
- What have you read or research that has changed your opinion on the profession?
- Tell us about one important development in healthcare in the last 10 years.
- What sources do you use to keep on top of healthcare and medical news?
- What is one important issue that’s been in the news recently regarding Medicine?
- Is the NHS efficient? Should it be privatised or re-model?
Communication, Team-working and Soft Skills
- What makes a good team player?
- What makes a good leader?
- Tell us about a time when you had a falling out with a friend or colleague, and how it was resolve.
- Did you have a mentoring position at school? If so, tell us about it and your learnings.
- What is the role of the multidisciplinary team in Medicine?
- What kind of challenging situations have you found yourself in, where communication was difficult? This may have been an emotional situation, or a stressful situation.
- What kind of patients might doctors find it harder to communicate with, and how can these barriers be overcome?
You can find a range of questions on sites like BlackStone Tutors, which will offer a range of free questions and resources alongside their paid options – an example is available here.
How much of my prep should focus on previous questions?
After you’ve found a good range of previous questions, you need to decide how much time to dedicate to practising answering questions, and how much time to dedicate to establishing a base of knowledge.
A sensible approach is to first look at a representative sample of previous questions, before you begin your preparation. This will ensure that you’re then able to direct your work correctly, rather than focusing significant amounts of time on areas that are less frequently brought up.
To begin your preparation without having properly assess the kind of question that you will be ask would be rash, and could lead to you wasting valuable time.
Medicine interview preparation is difficult, and there are different ways of approaching it. Whilst medicine interview training will ensure that you are able to polish your performance in due course, prior to this you need to be realistic with the way that you revise.
You must accept that the types of questions you will be ask determine how you should prepare, but equally that you can’t fully predict the exact questions that will come up.
As such, the goal should be to combine drilling previous questions with building up general answers to the types of questions that are likely to come up – covering large areas like medical ethics and personal attributes.
Reaching out to a tutor – like those at Blackstone Tutors – might be of use if you’re looking to focus your preparation towards a specific university. Equally, you can find guides to the kinds of questions that each university will ask here.
If there are some questions that you don’t know anything about, then this means that you must focus more on that area. A common mistake students make is to naturally spend more time on areas that they enjoy, and in turn create blind spots that they haven’t cover at all, simply as they don’t find them to be so interesting.
An excellent candidate will instead honestly assess the whole range of questions they may be asked, and then create a list of areas which they need to focus on more in order to ensure a rounded performance.