Prepare for the Multiple Mini Interview

History & Structure

The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) is an interview style used by certain university programs as part of their admissions process. A MMI consists of a series of short, structured interview stations used to assess non-cognitive qualities including cultural sensitivity, maturity, teamwork, empathy, reliability and communication skills.

Prior to the start of each rotation, candidates receive a question/scenario and have a short period of time to prepare an answer followed by a short exchange with an interviewer/assessor. In some cases, the interviewer observes while the interaction takes place between an actor and the candidate. At the end of each, the interviewer evaluates the candidate’s performance while the applicant moves to the next station. This pattern is repeated through a number of rotations. The duration of the entire interview is usually about two hours.

Generally, the situational questions posed in a MMI touch on the following areas:

  • Ethical Decision Making
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication Skills
  • Current Healthcare and Societal Issues

Although participants must relate to the scenario posed at each station, it is important to note that the MMI is not intended to test specific knowledge in the field. Instead, the interviewers evaluate each candidate’s thought process and ability to think on their feet. As such, there are no right or wrong answers to the questions posed in an MMI, but each applicant should consider the question from a variety of perspectives.


Although success cannot be guaranteed, your performance can improve significantly by learning about the interview process, acquiring strategies to avoid the common pitfalls, and knowing ways to sell yourself.

  • Understand the goal: You should aim to answer the questions in a manner that demonstrates that you are capable of being an excellent student and thereafter, an outstanding professional. Make a list of the attributes that you believe are essential for success, and practice integrating these key attributes into your answers.
  • Work on time management: Remember that once the bell has sounded, the interview must end immediately even if the
    candidate is not finished. Therefore, proper pacing is essential. Practice 7 to 8 minute presentations in advance of your
    interview to get comfortable with timing. Wear a watch that clearly displays the time on the interview day, since you cannot
    rely on a clock being present in each interview room.
  • Listen carefully: During the MMI, the interviewer will often provide prompts designed to direct you. Listen carefully to the
    cues provided so you can take advantage of any new information that may be introduced. The prompts may guide you to the specific issues that are the focus of each rotation.

Sample Prompts

Take 2 minutes to read and consider the prompt. Take 8 minutes to answer the prompt (the exact length of time that you will be given for each MMI station may vary by
your institution).

  • A close friend in your 1st-year medical school class tells you that his mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. He feels overwhelmed by his studies and is considering dropping out of medical school to spend more time with his mother. How do you counsel your friend?
  • Joe is a pizza delivery worker. The pizza shop he works for has a 30 minutes or less delivery guarantee or else the customer does not have to pay. On Joe’s most recent delivery, he spots a woman bleeding on the street. There is no one else around and the woman seems to be unable to move by herself. However, Joe knows that if he returns empty handed again, he will be fired from this job which he most desperately needs. What do you think Joe should do? Justify your solution in terms of practical and ethical considerations.
  • “Liberation Therapy” (LT), a vascular operation developed to potentially cure multiple sclerosis (MS) in certain patients, has recently come under very serious criticism – delaying its widespread use. Among other experimental flaws, critics cite a small sample size in the original evidence used to support LT. As a healthcare policy maker, your job is to weigh the pros and cons in approving novel drugs and therapies. Please discuss the issues you would consider during an approval process for LT.
  • Because of federal and provincial subsidy policies and return-of-service agreements, international medical graduates (IMGs) now make up an increasingly large proportion of rural doctors. As a consequence, the shortage of doctors in rural areas has prompted many family medicine residencies to increase their quotas for IMGs in their programs. Effectively, this development is leading to a relative reduction in spots available for Canadian medical graduates. Please discuss the pros and cons of such a development
  • Discuss one of your pastimes outside of school and how the skills you acquired from this activity will help you in your career.
  • You are a family physician seeing Jane, a 67 year old woman with a recent history of multiple fragility fractures. You diagnose her with osteoporosis and prescribe some bisphosphonate drugs and other pharmacological treatments. Jane tells you that she has heard some good things over the internet about alternative medicine treatments such as Chinese medicine, and she is adamant on trying these as well. You are concerned about the use of these alternative medicine treatments and the possible negative effects they could have on Jane’s health. How would you handle the situation and what would you recommend Jane do? Discuss any ethical considerations that are present.
  • You are on the committee for selecting a new Dean of Science. What characteristics and/or qualities would you look for when selecting an effective dean?
  • In June 2011, the infamous Vancouver riots took place after their hockey team lost in the Stanley Cup Finals. Stores were ransacked and cars were burned. Hundreds of people were injured and sent to overcrowded hospitals. As the police chief in Vancouver, what measures or policies would you put in place to make sure this does not happen again?
  • Clostridium Difficile (C. difficile) is a type of bacteria that increases its activity with most antibiotic use, and is therefore very difficult to treat. Research shows that the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection is frequent handwashing. However, many people have flat-out refused to wash their hands in hospitals. The government is contemplating passing a policy to make it mandatory for people entering hospitals to wash their hands or else risk not being seen by doctors and being escorted out of the building against their will. Do you think the government should go ahead with this plan? Consider and discuss the legal, ethical or practical problems that exist for each action option and conclude with a persuasive argument supporting your decision.
  • Discuss an experience that allowed you to learn something important about yourself. How will this lesson help you succeed in your career?

Source: “Multiple Mini Interview.” Multiple Mini Interview. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko:

By Lily Guberman
Lily Guberman Marketing Assistant