Multiple Mini Interview Program
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine has adopted a new and growing method for interviewing applicants called the Multiple Mini Interview Program. Originally developed and implemented by McMaster University in Ontario for their medical doctorate program, the process puts prospective students through a series of eight-minute interviews. As the New York Times describes it:
At Virginia Tech Carilion, 26 candidates showed up on a Saturday in March and stood with their backs to the doors of 26 small rooms. When a bell sounded, the applicants spun around and read a sheet of paper taped to the door that described an ethical conundrum. Two minutes later, the bell sounded again and the applicants charged into the small rooms and found an interviewer waiting. A chorus of cheerful greetings rang out, and the doors shut. The candidates had eight minutes to discuss that room’s situation. Then they moved to the next room, the next surprise conundrum and the next interviewer, who scored each applicant with a number and sometimes a brief note.
The bell used during the Multiple Mini-Interview Program denotes when interviewees can read their situational prompts and also when they can enter their eight-minute interview stations.
There are several reasons for the use of this technique. As hospitals increasingly turn to team-based patient care, social and communication skills that do not translate on resumes are becoming more important. It also gives applicants a chance to demonstrate how well they can think on their feet. Rather than relying on the opinion of just one interviewer, the multiple mini-interviews take into account the views of many different people.
MMI interviewers, including Carilion clinicians, faculty and administrators, businesspeople, and other leaders drawn from the Roanoke community, are trained in the interview process. Each interviewer poses a pre-developed scenario to each applicant related to a theme, such as professionalism or interdisciplinary teamwork. In short, they are looking for qualities that reflect the interviewees’ potential to develop into excellent clinicians and innovators in the biomedical sciences and public health.