Preparing for one interview? No sweat. How about 8 small ones in the span of one hour? Yikes. That was my thought process heading into my first MMI Interview. However, as I worked up the mental courage and confidence to challenge the interview I began to feel calm, collected, and excited for each new station. For myself, the nature of multiple mini interviews became a game of sorts. A new twist and turn behind each door. I remember finishing the MMI interviews more energized than when I had begun. Fortunately, my enjoyment of the experience translated into success as I was admitted to each PT school that I performed the MMI at. Now that I’m a few years into my career as a Physiotherapist I have reflected back on the physiotherapy admission process and want to help you feel as I did with the MMI. Interested? Let’s go.
As I reflected on my time preparing for and taking the MMI interviews there were three common themes that I identified as keys to my success and enjoyment. I want to share them with you and hope that they will assist you in succeeding at the MMI interview.
1. Bring your Personality to each and every station.
This is by far the most important element of a successful interview. Especially when you have limited time with the interviewer. Although it varies year to year and interview to interview, the majority of questions being asked will prompt similar answers from candidates taking the interview. So how do you stand out from others when your responses are largely the same? The answer, is your personality.
I remember lightly considering this heading into my interviews. Everyone tells you it is important but does anyone really take it that seriously? I’m here to tell you to take it seriously. I encourage you to even reflect on your own personality. What aspects of it are strengths for you in an interview? Which areas do you need to work on during an interview? Consider asking others about their perception of your personality and which aspects they believe would shine during an interview. It can be difficult to critically evaluate yourself and having another individual’s opinion can help you when it comes to the interview itself. Therefore, your first step is to reflect on your personality and ask others to do the same so you can be your best during the MMI.
2. Stay Engaged and Excited.
It is normal to feel fatigued during this style of interview. However, you need to stay energized throughout the entire MMI. I remember feeling tired from a poor sleep and elevated levels of stress prior to both MMI interviews I attended. However, on the walk/drive to the building where the MMI was conducted I told myself that I needed to shake this feeling of fatigue and turn the energy switch on for the entire interview. This elevated energy level must remain from the moment you begin your interview to the second you finish. Remember, you have worked hundreds of hours to get this interview invite – you owe it to yourself to put 110% into the hour that is the interview itself.
Being engaged and excited will not only keep you mentally sharp but help you in your interviews. Imagine yourself as an interviewer; would you connect better with the disinterested, tired candidate? Or the excited, energized, and passionate one? Part of what evaluators are looking for is the passion you hold for becoming a Physiotherapist. This will be communicated as you display your excitement about the potential for joining their program and achieving your professional dream.
As I previously mentioned, the interview is a lot of stress for a short period of time. There will be times when you disengage or lose focus for a second. During those times you must be aware of what you are feeling and snap yourself out of it. Pinch yourself, snap an elastic on your wrist, take a deep breath and reset, or anything else that will help you get out of that headspace. Trust me, it will be worth it to stay engaged and energized during your interview.
3. Replicate the demands of a real MMI when practicing.
The MMI is a demanding interview. It is fast paced, stressful, and goes by before you know it. The only way to truly prepare yourself for the demands of the interview is to do your best to replicate it. Each MMI is different with respect to the time for question reading and answer preparation and the number of verbal vs. written answers. Therefore, research how each interview is organized and practice utilizing this format.
Replicating the demands of a real life MMI may also include having multiple people review your answers, setting strict timers, and having yourself move room to room (in person or virtually). You will also require a good combination of written and verbal questions to draw from while practicing. If you are looking for additional materials for preparing for your MMI interview then you’ll be interested in our PT Interview Booster course. This course contains an entire module on the MMI, modules on how to prepare for different styles of questions (such as conflict resolution and ethical dilemmas), and multiple practice tests and questions.
Best of luck to all of you challenging the MMI for the upcoming admissions cycle! I hope you found these tips helpful. If you are curious about the Interview Booster course offered by Physioschool.ca please contact us! This course was designed to help reduce the uncertainty of physiotherapy admissions interviews while helping you improve your interview skills. Thanks for reading!