What Is the Multiple Mini Interview?

Sandi Johnson

The multiple mini interview, or MMI, is a system of candidate evaluation developed early in the 21st century by medical school candidate evaluators at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. The evaluation method consists of several eight minute interviews with various interviewers placed at different stations. Candidates progress through several interview stations, with each interviewer focusing on specific questions and criteria to score, depending on organizational goals and requirements. Upon completion of the interview circuit, scores for each candidate are calculated and averaged to provide information on which to base acceptance decisions.

Interviewers are placed at different stations during a multiple mini interview.
Interviewers are placed at different stations during a multiple mini interview.

Prior to the development of multiple mini interview evaluation methods, medical school candidates were interviewed using traditional face-to-face interviews with one or two evaluators. Unfortunately, the results of initial evaluations did not accurately predict a candidate's future success in the medical school program or in professional practice after graduation. Additionally, few interviewers could accurately judge interpersonal skills or soft skills of candidates with reproducible or measurable results. As a result, professionals at McMaster University began developing an interview circuit from which to aggregate scores levied by multiple evaluators to better predict a candidate's likelihood of success, ability to interact with peers and patients, as well as measure a candidate's intentions and drive to complete medical school and eventually, licensure.

Upon completion of the interview circuit, scores for each candidate are calculated and averaged to provide information on which to base acceptance decisions.
Upon completion of the interview circuit, scores for each candidate are calculated and averaged to provide information on which to base acceptance decisions.

Seven years of research and development eventually lead to the current multiple mini interview method, including standardized time tables, number of stations, and other particulars required. In studies, the multiple mini interview evaluation method resulted in higher accuracy of candidate predictions, with little influence by gender, race, or educational preparation. The resulting success rate of initial predictions lead to the development of multiple mini interview methods for other academic institutions, businesses, and government service. Each system presents different questionnaires and measurement tools for evaluating candidates within a particular industry. All systems, regardless of industry, seek to measure less obvious traits that affect a candidate's chance of success with regard to soft skills and job aptitude.

Overall, the multiple mini interview system's core features remain consistent across industries and professions. Professionals recommend each mini interview last approximately eight minutes, with no more than nine interview stations. For large recruitment groups, each candidate begins at a different station, rotating in an organized fashioned through the entire interview circuit. With nine stations and eight minute interviews, a group of nine candidates can complete the entire circuit in just a little over an hour's time. At the end of the evaluation process, interviewers submit individual scores for aggregation and likely candidates are selected.

Soft skills are viewed as essential to having a successful job interview.
Soft skills are viewed as essential to having a successful job interview.

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