Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) FAQ

Q: What is the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI)?

A: The MMI is a series of 8 interview stations consisting of timed interview scenarios. Applicants rotate through the stations, each with its own interviewer and scenario. The MMI allows the Admissions Committee to assess applicant characteristics and attributes we believe are important components in becoming a competent and caring physician. While this is a relatively new interview format in the United States, it has been used successfully for about ten years in medical schools throughout Canada and Australia.

Q: What are the problems with the traditional interview?

A: Research tells us that traditional interviews can be influenced by inherent biases, expectations, and perspectives of the interviewers. Harasym et al. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8546779) demonstrated that the interviewer variability accounted for 56% of the total variance in interview ratings.

Q: What is the evidence for the MMI?

A: The MMI has been shown to minimize unconscious bias and is more reliable than one-on-one interviews. By using multiple “raters” to assess applicants, student performance is evaluated through multiple assessments by multiple assessors, creating a fairer and less biased process. Applicants who do poorly on one station have the opportunity to perform better on another.

Q: How many stations will there be?

A: There will be a total of eight stations.

Q: How long does the entire MMI process last?

A: The MMI session lasts approximately 72 minutes.

Q: Where do the mini-interviews take place?

A: Each station takes place in a separate room within the Admissions Office.

Q: Who are the interviewers?

A: Interviewers are NYU faculty, staff, and students who have been trained specifically for the MMI process at NYU School of Medicine.

Q: What will I be asked?

A: Typical questions and scenarios provide your interviewers the opportunity to evaluate a variety of characteristics the School of Medicine believes are vital to becoming a successful physician. Scenarios may explore an applicant’s communication skills, ability to work as part of a team, problem solving capabilities, integrity, ethics and judgment. You will receive a prompt of the scenario or question you will address before entering the station. You will then have two minutes to gather your thoughts before you enter the room.

Q: What do I need to know about the purpose of the MMI?

A: The station scenarios are not meant to assess scientific or clinical knowledge. The purpose of the MMI is to measure abilities such as communication skills, professionalism, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making. In fact, the MMI has been shown to be a far better- and from an applicant’s perspective a much fairer- means of assessing these attributes than the standard one on one interview. Oftentimes there are no right or wrong answers to the scenarios posed, but you should consider a variety of perspectives when formulating a response. You may find it helpful to be familiar with current events and social policies when preparing for the MMI.

Q: How can I prepare for the MMI?

A: Because you will be rotating through several different stations and because the MMI does not use the same questions you might experience during a traditional interview, we do not recommend that you attempt to rehearse answers ahead of time. Instead, we recommend you practice expressing yourself verbally to someone else to ensure that you can provide thorough, logical answers within a short time frame.

As with any human interaction, practice is useful. It could identify nervous habits, help you feel more comfortable, or help you feel more relaxed. Understanding the basic structure, time limit, and number of stations will also help you prepare for the MMI. Finally, consider participating in a mock interview event through your school’s career development office, having a friend ask questions and give you feedback, or using a webcam to record your own practice responses; they may help you find ways in which you might improve your interview performance.