ANZ Medical School Interviews: MMI or Semi Structured
Everything You Need To Know About ANZ Medical School Interviews
Most medical schools, undergraduate and graduate-entry, use some form of an interview in their applicant ranking process. There are two main formats that these interviews can take – multiple mini interviews (MMIs) or semi structured interviews.
Often, an applicant’s academic performance and aptitude test score are used in deciding which candidates should be offered an interview while the interview itself is used to evaluate personal qualities essential for the success of a medical student and doctor. These qualities may include good communication skills, problem-solving and conflict resolution, decision making, critical thinking, empathy, teamwork and motivation.
Since we know it can be nerve-wracking to navigate university interviews, we have prepared a walkthrough of everything you need to know about the ANZ medical school interviews 2022 as well as some general interview tips.
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)
MMIs are more commonly used by medical schools in Australia and New Zealand and consist of different stations that assess a variety of soft skills. For instance, one MMI station may focus on your motivation to pursue medicine as a career while another station focusses on your ability to respond empathetically to unexpected situations. MMIs allow universities to assess multiple facets of an applicant’s personality and to holistically appraise their soft skills. Usually a MMI is composed of 6-10 separate stations that last around 5-10 minutes each (including reading time).
Information outlining the ANZ universities offering MMIs in 2022 is presented in the following table.
|University||Number of Stations||Time Per Station||How MMI Is Used|
|Australian National University (also has one hour group task)||6||6 minutes||Offers of a place in the program will be based on a final weighted score derived from the interview score (weighted at 50%) and the composite GPA/GAMSAT score used for the interview ranking (weighted at 50%).|
|Bond University||4||7 minutes||Interview is used along with the Bond Psychomatic test and other academic credentials when considering making final offers to successful applicants|
|Charles Sturt University (Joint Medical Program)||8||8 minutes||Final offers are made on the basis of – 75% interview performance, 25% UCAT performance and meeting the relevant academic threshold.|
|Curtin University||8||8 minutes||Applicants will be ranked for offer based on their academic merit score (ATAR or equivalent), their UCAT ANZ score and their interview performance.|
|Deakin University||10||5 minutes||Performance at MMI is considered along with academic credentials when making final offers.|
|Griffith University||8||7 minutes||Performance at MMI is considered along with academic credentials when making final offers.|
|Macquarie University||8||8 minutes||Applicants will be ranked and selected for offerbased on the following:• 50% GPA• 50% MMI|
|Monash University||8||10 minutes||Only applicants who complete all three components (Yr12 or equivalent, UCAT ANZ and MMI) will remain eligible for an offer.|
|University of Melbourne||8||5 minutes||Offers made based on MMI performance and academic credentials.|
|University of Newcastle and University of England(Joint Medical Program)||8||8 minutes||You must meet the minimum academic eligibility requirements, and you must satisfy an assessment of your personal qualities.|
|University of Notre Dame (Fremantle and Sydney)||6|
(if online due to COVID-19, 5 questions will be asked)
|8 minutes||Offers made based on MMI performance and academic credentials.|
|University of Queensland||8||9 minutes||Entry is competitive based on GPA, GAMSAT/MCAT and interview score.|
|University of Sydney||5||7 minutes||Offers made based on MMI performance and academic credentials (GPA and GAMSAT/MCAT).|
|University of Western Australia||8||11 minutes||Offers made based on MMI performance and academic credentials (GPA and GAMSAT/MCAT).|
|Western Sydney University(Joint Medical Program)||8||8 minutes||Final offers are made on the basis of: 75% interview performance, 25% UCAT performance and meeting the relevant academic threshold.|
|University of Auckland||8||8 minutes||Applicants will be ranked for final offer selection based on a weighting of the following components:Cumulative GPA from your qualifying programme: 60%UCAT ANZ Final Score: 15%Multi Mini Interview: 25%|
Common 2022 MMI station topics may involve motivation for medicine, ethics and role plays. At the end of your MMI, a total score based on all stations is usually used to rank applicants. This means that your performance in each station counts, but also that a good performance in one station can be used to compensate for a weaker performance in other stations.
How To Approach MMIs
While the idea of tackling a MMI is initially confronting, especially if you’ve never been invited to a similar interview before, it is totally possible to improve your performance by focussing on developing your soft skills and general interview etiquette. Below are listed some tips to help improve your MMI performance and enable you to make the best of your interview practice:
- Focus on timing. Most MMI stations tend to be strict with timing and float around the 6-7 minute mark— so when practicing, be strict with timing and don’t let yourself continue past the timer. When you get to around 5 minutes and 30 seconds, start thinking of how you would like to conclude your answer so that you’re not cut off by your interviewer.
- Know relevant content. It’s vital that you do adequate research into the specific MMI that you’ve been invited to. For example, some universities include role plays in their MMIs while others don’t, and some universities test applicants extensively on ethics while others don’t. So if the medical school you’re interviewing with is known for including specific stations in their MMI, make sure you’ve prepped for those particular stations.
- Become familiar with the structure. MMIs require you to move quite rapidly from one station to another. Therefore, it is important that you familiarise yourself with this structure so that you are not discouraged by one bad performance. The more comfortable you are with switching between different types of stations and recovering from a weaker response, the better you will be able to perform overall.
The medical schools that don’t use MMIs as their interview format tend to use the traditional semi-structured panel interview. These types of interviews do not include multiple stations but, instead, involve the interviewer asking you a series of questions and follow-ups as necessary. The individual questions asked in a semi-structured interview don’t usually have a strict time limit, unlike MMIs, but the interview as a whole usually does have a time limit.
The following universities in Australia and New Zealand use semi-structured interviews to assess their applicants:
|University||Overall Time Limit||How The Semi-Structured Interview Is Used|
|Flinders University||50 minutes||Interview performance is assessed in conjunction with academic credentials to make final offers.|
|James Cook University||40 minutes||Interview performance is assessed in conjunction with academic credentials to make final offers.|
|University of New South Wales||40 minutes||The final ranking of applicants will be based on your academic rank, UCAT ANZ score and interview performance.|
|Wollongong University||45 minutes||Ranking of applicants is based off interview performance and academic performance.|
Semi-structured interviews tend to be less medically-focussed in nature and, instead, center around your academic/other achievements, background, leadership and teamwork experiences, learning style, hobbies and motivation to study medicine.
How To Approach Semi-Structured Interviews
Like with MMIs, it is possible to boost your semi-structured interview performance with adequate practice and preparation. Below are listed some tips to help improve your semi-structured interview performance and enable you to make the best of your interview practice:
- Practice speaking to groups of people. Panel interviews are often initially intimidating since it can be confusing to know who to look at or speak to. By practicing speaking to groups of people, as opposed to having one-on-one conversations, you’ll become more comfortable with answering questions in the panel interview setting.
- Reflect on your life. Semi-structured interviews will predominantly consist of questions relating to your life and experiences so far. By reflecting on key experiences and moments of your life, you will be better equipped to answer unexpected questions and will not have to waste time trying to recall a particular experience/situation.
- Don’t over-practice. While it is important to practice before any interview, be careful to not fall into the trap of over-rehearsing and sounding too robotic or as if you’re reading off a script. If you do practice specific questions, make sure to bullet-point your answers so that your manner of speaking remains natural.
Other Interview Types
While most medical schools in Australia and New Zealand use either the MMI or semi-structured interview formats to assess applicants, the University of Adelaide and University of Sydney provisional entry pathway are exceptions.
The University of Adelaide interview is a combination of an MMI and semi-structured interview and consists of two 15-minute sessions.
The University of Sydney provisional entry pathway for high school leavers has an unstructured interview that is conducted in groups of applicants.
General Interview Tips
It’s likely that you may be applying to a mixture of universities that use different interview formats. If this is you, don’t panic! While MMIs and semi-structured interviews sound like they require applicants to possess differing skill sets, there are many soft capabilities that both interview types look for. Below are a list of general interview tips that will prepare you for both MMIs and semi-structured interviews:
- Talk to as many people as you can. While this sounds simple, just speaking to different people can help improve your communication skills. Different people will respond and react variably to what you ask or say, requiring you to adapt your communication skills to fit different demographics. Additionally, the more you engage in conversation, the more polished and coherent your manner of speaking will sound.
- Know why you are applying to medical school. Although this sounds obvious, articulating why you want to pursue a career in medicine is something that many applicants find difficult. It’s important that your answer flows logically and sounds honest, but also that it does not sound too cliché.
- Stay up to date with current events. In both MMIs and semi-structured interviews, you may be asked to speak about a current scientific/medical event or development. It’s therefore important to stay up to date with current events, especially in the medical field, prior to your interview(s).
- Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. You may be asked about your skills, strengths and weaknesses in both MMIs and semi-structured interviews as this is a very common question. Since it’s often hard to think of answers to questions under pressure, it’s a good idea to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses prior to going into the interview.
- Research the university you’re interviewing with beforehand. After any medical school interview, your interviewer(s) will usually ask if you have any questions. We recommend that you research the medical school you’re interviewing with and think of a few questions you would like to ask them beforehand so that you can demonstrate your interest in their degree and university.
- Make a checklist of everything you need to know before your interview. Whether you have been invited to a MMI or semi-structured interview, create a checklist of everything you think you will need to know before your interview. You can do this by looking at the university specific websites to determine what questions they tend to ask and also by speaking to past/current students at particular medical schools.
To prepare for a medical school interview in Australia, it is essential to research the specific interview format and requirements of each university you have applied to. You should also practise answering common interview questions and prepare responses that showcase your strengths, experience, and motivation for pursuing a career in medicine. It can also be beneficial to participate in mock interviews with friends, family members, or a professional interview coach.
To pass a medical school interview, it is important to demonstrate your passion for medicine and your ability to communicate effectively. You should also be prepared to discuss your experience, skills, and knowledge related to medicine and healthcare. Additionally, you should dress professionally, arrive on time, and be respectful to the interviewers and other candidates.
The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) can be challenging for some students due to its unique format, which involves several short interview stations with different assessors. However, with adequate preparation and practise, students can develop strategies to succeed in the MMI.
To get a high score in MMI, it is essential to demonstrate excellent communication skills, critical thinking, and ethical reasoning. You should also be able to handle high-pressure situations and be comfortable with problem-solving scenarios. Practising with mock interviews and seeking feedback from peers or mentors can also be helpful.
To answer MMI questions, it is important to listen carefully to the scenario and assess the information provided. You should then formulate a response that addresses the question and demonstrates your reasoning, judgement, and ethical principles. It can also be helpful to take a moment to gather your thoughts before responding and to use examples from your experience or knowledge to support your answer.
Before the interview, you should research the university and programme you have applied to. Understand the characteristics they are looking for in a medical student. This will help you tailor your responses to the specific programme and demonstrate your fit.
Practising answering common interview questions will help you feel more confident during the interview and ensure that you are able to articulate your thoughts clearly and concisely.
Be prepared to discuss ethical scenarios that relate to the practice of medicine. This could include topics such as patient confidentiality, informed consent, and end-of-life care. Reflect on your own values and beliefs and how they relate to these ethical issues.
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