After receiving the great news about being invited to an MMI interview at McGill Medical School, I had to prepare for what was the most important interview of my life. To gain insight into McGill’s Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) process, the type of questions and how to structure my answers, I signed up for the Astroff’s Mock Interview Package PLUS.
Additionally, I researched mock MMI questions to practice with my family and friends. Through the premed101 forum, I had also found other students who were applying to medical schools across Canada and had set up Skype practice sessions with them. I also went to my university career center, which offered mock interviews and MMI information sessions. I aimed to do approximately 3-5 hours of practice MMI questions a week.
The week before my interview, I had prepared my outfit, I knew what I would eat for breakfast and organized how I would get to the interview. I did not want to experience any additional, unneeded stress prior to the interview. I even made a song playlist and read my favourite Dr. Seuss book (“Oh the Place You’ll Go”) to boost my confidence before the interview. It’s normal to be nervous, but know that you earned the interview.
During the interview, I followed Astroff’s I.C.E. Strategy when formulating my answers to each scenario. It was also important for me to listen to the interviewer/ actor. This was tougher than it sounded; especially during the role-playing scenarios, where the actors gave subtle hints (both verbal and non-verbal), which I had to pick up on and seek further information about.
At the written scenario, I added a quick thesis statement/ introductory paragraph and then employed the same I.C.E. Strategy to answer this question. After a scenario was done, I would take a deep breath and not think about it. Also, during my rest stations, I did not think about my past answers. I focused on staying calm and confident.
Unlike many other Canadian medical schools, McGill’s interview questions were mainly role-playing scenarios, involving actors. A small number of these scenarios involved more than one actor, which was not obvious in the prompt. McGill also included a couple of very difficult and abstract calculation questions.
Upon reflecting on my interview experience, I was impressed by how similar it was to what I had anticipated. I was told that McGill’s interview process is commonly composed of one CV related station, two calculation stations, one written station, and 5-6 role-playing stations. This structure was very similar to my MMI experience at McGill. What I had not expected was that we had a couple of hours prior to the interview to mingle with other applicants and current medical students and listen to a presentation about McGill’s medical school (tuition, hospital affiliations, admission statistics…).
Preparing for the MMI was critical for me to remain calm and know how to approach each scenario. I was constantly told to “just be myself”, and although this is very true, I also needed to know how to formulate and structure my answers. And although I was nervous before the interview, once it started, I actually enjoyed myself.