Congratulations! You’ve just received an invitation to participate in the multiple-mini interview stage of your application process.
This style of interview is increasingly used to assess students in the fields of healthcare and science. Now that the admissions committee has looked at your application (including your academic record and extracurricular activities), they want to evaluate your soft skills, such as empathy, teamwork, and professionalism.
What are multiple-mini interviews?
Multiple-mini interviews – as the name suggests – are a series of short interviews, each with a different interviewer. The specifics of the interview (for example, how many interviews you’ll have or how long each will be), are decided by your prospective program.
Generally, at each mini-interview, you will be given a few minutes to read and digest a scenario before entering the interview room to give your response. When your time is up, you move onto the next room.
This interview style is unfamiliar for many people and therefore, can feel more intimidating than a traditional panel interview. However, when you’re in front of a panel of faculty, students, and community members, you have to make sure that you address your answer to each person. If you misstep somewhere, that could threaten the entire interview.
The biggest advantage of a multiple-mini interview is that each one is with a new interviewer – if you make a mistake, you’ll have a fresh start with the next!
Tips for acing the multiple-mini interview:
1. Find out the specifics of the interview.
Ask the program administrators for all the details: how many interviews will you have? How long do you have to read the scenario? How long will you have to give your response? It goes without saying that you should clarify when and where the interview will be, as well as what you need to bring, such as ID and proof of registration.
2. Practice scenarios.
Your program may have practice scenarios for you, but if not, find examples online from other similar programs. A great way to practice is to print or write out the scenarios on flash cards and choose them randomly so you never know which one you will get next. Start your practice by writing down your thoughts, organizing them so there is a clear flow and logic, and then forming a verbal response for each scenario. You won’t have any writing materials during the actual interview, so once you get more comfortable, take away the pen and paper. Lastly, be sure to time yourself based on how long you will have for each interview.
3. Dress professionally.
You are interviewing to enter a professional school, so you must dress professionally for the interview – formal or dress attire only! That means you should avoid jeans, sneakers, and baseball caps, and opt for some tasteful accessories. Not dressing professionally may give your interviewers the impression that you don’t care enough. You should also make sure your clothes are comfortable to wear, as you will be moving from room to room, frequently sitting down and then standing up. Your clothes should not be constricting and your shoes should be comfortable and easy to walk in.
4. Greet each interviewer.
When you are given the signal to enter the room, the first thing you should do is offer the interviewer a smile and a handshake. Introduce yourself, and wait for the interviewer to gesture before you sit down. You may think that this will take too much time out of the few minutes you have, but it is always better to be more polite than less. At the end of the interview, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time before leaving the room.
The multiple-mini interview can seem confusing until you’re familiar with the style. Practice as much as you can before the interview – this will help you get used to the format. Once you’re more comfortable, the multiple-mini interview won’t seem so challenging!