Types of Interviews

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Traditional and Panel Interviews

What Is A Traditional Interview?

Traditional interviews primarily ask direct questions, rather than instructing you towards a given set task. This means that you’ll be asked a number of questions that you need to answer precisely without being superfluous and within the time allocated for each candidate.

The interview can start with an “easy” ice-breaker to feel more like a conversation between you and the panel. BUT unexpected pressurised questions can come your way for which you have to think literally on your feet.

Who is on the Panel?

In a traditional Panel interview, you are often interviewed by more than one person and who are linked to the university. You could therefore be interviewed by a Senior Lecturer, an Admissions Tutor, a Junior Hospital Doctor/Dentist or even an existing Student.

How Long will the Interview Last?

The length of your traditional Panel interview will vary, depending on the different medical/dental schools and how many they need to get through. The Panel will have a bit more leeway than the MMI Interview Type so these interviews can be shorter or go over slightly. Overall, it is likely your interview will be between 20 to 40 minutes.

What Questions Will I Be Asked?

The questions you’ll get asked at a traditional Panel interview will vary as set by the individual Medical/Dental School and for each candidate. They are different each year and are never released ahead of time, plus you’re not allowed to discuss the questions after your interview and we would strongly advise against making your questions known to other potential candidates.

However, carefully looking at each individual University can bring you some clues. Usually, there’s information on their websites about what they’re looking for from the interviews, and what topics the questions will cover.

One thing is certain in that common themes come up every year even though they might be dressed up as “different questions.” This means that it’s possible to prepare in advance what may come your way. You know that you must prepare questions for example communication and team working within medicine or dentistry.

Click here to get access to over a hundred questions and example answers that you can prep for, FOR FREE.

How Can I Stand Out In A Traditional Interview?

Universities are not keen on robotic, rehearsed answers which roll off the tip of your tongue at the moment they are asked. This means, you should appear more organic and natural by having the key points in your mind but not “word-for-word” responses.

It’s important to practice how to make your key points naturally and this is one way how we can help you stand out amongst your competitors.

BASIC TIPS to follow:

Make sure you’re totally familiar with every sentence from your Personal Statement. Be prepared to elaborate and expand when you get the chance to answer questions directly from your Personal Statement whether it is about voluntary work, your work experience or extra-curricular activities.

Each university follows a Teaching Style. Learn the advantages of their course and teaching methods and be ready to discuss why you applied to their course and why you would suit this style of learning.

If your interview is Virtual, make sure you prepare the technological side of it such as obtaining optimum internet speed and choice of background where you will be sitting.

FURTHER ADVICE AND TIPS ON THE DAY OF THE INTERVIEW

  • Have a moderate breakfast/lunch with adequate water.
  • Know inside out, the layout and how you will get to the university beforehand and the campus layout.
  • Once there, it is fine during waiting to use this time to have a light friendly conversation with fellow applicants.
  • Be ready for the interviewer to ask about any aspect of your application, your dental/medical knowledge and your personal statement.
  • The panel will know that interviews are very nerve-wracking – that’s natural, but appear relaxed with eye contact, smile and pause before giving out answers. Thank the panel at the end.
  • You can be offered to go on a tour either before or after the interview and it’s good to take this up. There may be something useful you pick up and can even mention during the interview.
  • If you are struggling with a scenario, verbalize your thought process even if you can’t reach a definitive answer.

After the interview:

When you have finished, sit down on your own with a pen and paper in order to Reflect on your interview. If you have any more lined up then you will certainly find it useful to note what you did well, and if there’s anything you can further improve or practice on.

Unless you have another interview the very next day, just take a good rest after the whole process.

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI)

What Is A MMI Interview?

MMI stands for Multiple Mini Interview. – in contrast to a traditional panel interview. With a MMI interview, you go through several short assessments called “stations.”

The Multiple Mini Interview is broken down into ‘stations’ – hence the name: mini-interviews – and each station will usually last 10 minutes or less. Before each station you have a short time in which you’ll be presented with a scenario in order to prepare an answer. When you enter the room, you will either be asked a question by an interviewer or have to engage in a role-play scenario with an actor whilst an interviewer watches.

Here are the key things you need to know about MMIs:

  • MMI interviews take about two hours
  • Each mini-interview station will usually take no longer than 10 minutes.
  • Most universities have around 10 MMI ‘stations’

What are typical MMI Stations?

MMIs will vary by school, but some typical MMI Stations that you’re likely to face include:

MMI scenarios may include questions related to:

  • Communication
  • The chosen University and course
  • Motivation
  • Work experience
  • Personal statement
  • Ethical/ Legal
  • Problem solving
  • Data interpreting
  • Manual dexterity skills ( for dentistry)
  • Management & leadership
  • Current news or dental/medical topics

What are the Schools Looking For?

MMI interviews are about showing your interviewer what you’re capable of thinking on your feet, rather than just telling them rehearsed answers. It’s a chance for you to show that you’ve got what it takes to be a medical professional — as it takes more to be a doctor or dentist than just being a student who attains top grades.

The University will be testing your ability to analyse ethical situations including issues around patient consent as well as your critical thinking and communication skills. They will expect that you have a broader understanding of current medical/dental issues including the regulatory framework.

How Can I Prepare For My MMI Interview?

These tips will help you to prepare for your MMI interview:

  • From your work experience have and use specific examples when giving answers.
  • Know what makes a competent professional and then practice demonstrating them in your responses.
  • Practice initially by yourself and then in front of family members by giving eight-minute presentations in response to common MMI interview questions.
  • Make sure you understand the regulatory frameworks.
  • Keep up to date with dental/medical news by reading publications as Questions may be around stories or debates in the media.
  • Get some help. We can give you 1:1 tailored support.

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