Ultimate Guide To Multiple Mini-Interviews for Medical School Admissions: Part 2

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The Structure Of The Interview

A multiple mini-interview consists of 6 to 10 timed stations. Although the exact set-up may vary from one school to another, the structure of the interview at every school typically follows a similar format.

The instructions are generally posted at the entrance of each station. You will be given about 2 minutes to read and analyse the instructions after which you spend about 8 to 10 minutes at the station, answering questions, interacting with other students, discussing a specific issue or finding a solution to a presented problem. The same interviewer or panel of interviewers evaluate all individuals at any one particular station.

The different types of stations you may encounter include:

  • Ethical Scenarios:

At this station candidates are presented with scenarios that involve ethical dilemmas or they are asked questions about controversial social or policy issues that usually but not always pertain to healthcare. It could be some aspect of a doctor/patient relationship or it may be a situation where you have to help a friend in need. Here the instructions you receive would describe a scenario and you would be asked to discuss the ethical or other issues involved. You are then judged on your ability to make ethical judgments and solve challenging problems. Depending on your actions, the interview may follow up with a few questions designed to understand your response and why you responded the way you did.

  • Traditional interview questions:

Some schools may include one or multiple stations where candidates are asked standard interview questions such as “Why do you want to study medicine?” or “Why did you apply to this school?” You would be assessed here the same way as you would at a traditional interview.

  • Essay writing:

When an essay component is included, it usually involves a written response to the prompt provided. Candidates usually get a little more time at this station so that they get sufficient time to formulate and write an appropriate response. 

  • Reactions to specific scenarios:

At this station applicants encounter a specified scenario where they have to interact with another individual. This could involve confronting the person about a problem, conveying some bad news or gathering sensitive information. An interviewer present in the room will observe and evaluate you based on your interaction and communication.

  • Teamwork:

At the teamwork station you may be part of a 2 or 3 member team. All members of the team have to work together to complete a task and you will be assessed on your ability to work well as a team member.

  • Knowledge Assessment:

Some schools have stations that assess your science and healthcare knowledge. Here you may have to explain a scientific work or concept in lay terms or you may be tested on your understanding of health issues and health policies in Australia.  While the interviewers may not expect you to solve all of the nation’s existing problems, your answer offers them some insight into your mind and allows them to assess your level of interest in the issues and policies relevant to healthcare.

  • A rest station:

Most schools include a rest station where you can take a break between tasks. It gives you the chance to clear your mind, catch your breath and get ready for the next few stations.

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