MMI vs. Panel Universities

Tamsin Dyer

Tamsin Dyer

Senior Writer at Medic Mind

MMI or Multiple Mini Interview is quite different to that of a Panel interview, for quite obvious reasons, but which is better?

What is an MMI?

MMI’s are a little bit like speed dating, as at each table, or station, there will be a new examiner with a new question for you. As every station is different the examiners you see will only ever ask you 1 question, therefore each station is like a brand new chance to impress. You will have a time limit at each station to answer each question before you hear a bell, just like at speed dating, and you will need to move on to the next examiner. 

What is a Panel Interview?

A panel interview is a panel of 2 or 3 examiners which you will sit in front of individually and will answer questions that they have. It is a much more traditional style of interviewing for medical school, and many no longer adopt this style. Your interview may last 20-30minutes or longer and unlike the MMI you won’t need to move and have a chance of building up rapport with the examiners. 

MMI vs. Panel:

We have put together a table to compare the differences between the two types of medical school interviews. 

QuestionMMIPanel
How many examiners will there be?Usually around 8, who you will see individually at each stationUsually 2 or 3 examiners, you will see them all at once. 
How long do I have to answer each question?Usually between 5-7 minutes, depending on the university. Therefore being time conscious is essential. As long as you like!Panel interviews don’t time individual questions. However, you have a set amount of time for the overall interview. Therefore, make sure you don’t spend too long on each question.
One benefit of this type of interview?If you mess up on a station don’t worry, none of the other examiners know, and they won’t see your scores from other stations, so treat each station as a fresh interview!You are with the same examiners for the whole interview, so you can build a relationship with the examiners in front of you. You can also reference your previous answers as the examiners will remember what you have said!
Will the examiners have read my personal statement?No. Occasionally there will be a station about your personal statement (university dependent) however, the examiner at that station may not have been the one to set the question on your personal statement, and may not even have a copy of it. Having said this it is still important to know your personal statement backwards!Yes. At least one member of the panel will have already read your personal statement, if not all. At some universities each examiner will have a copy of your personal statement. Some candidates have said they saw their statement highlighted and annotated with the questions each examiner wanted to ask. Therefore, be ready to answer questions on your personal statement!
What do I need to know for my interview?The same things! Both an MMI and Panel interview are assessing the same things!

Which is better?

This really is down to personal choice, some students prefer being with the same examiners and find that calming as they get to know each examiner. Others find the MMI set-up more calming as if they mess up they get a fresh start at each station. There is no right or wrong answer to this, and it iss down to which suits your personality best. Having said that, provided you know your stuff and are confident with your answers, you will do fantastically at either type of interview.

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