The Ultimate Guide to Online Medicine Interviews

COVID-19 has changed the world in so many ways and medical schools, like the rest of us, have been forced to adapt. From expectations of work experience to interview guidelines, the admissions process has been tweaked to offer safe yet effective solutions to the issues caused by the pandemic. One such solution has been the implementation of online medicine Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs). 

MMIs have been around for a few years and allow medical schools to assess multiple competencies in order to select the right candidates for their program. However, with travel restrictions, social distancing orders and other COVID-19 restrictions, real-time MMIs have had to take a backseat. With virtual modes of communication becoming the norm, most institutions have embraced online interviews. We, at Medic Mind, have put together this guide on how to tackle online medicine MMIs to give you the best shot at acing your interviews and joining the future generation of medical professionals. 

Should you be worried about Online Medicine Interviews?

As with all things new, it is natural that online MMIs might make you a little nervous. However, there are plenty of advantages that you, as an applicant, have taking the interview from the comfort of your own home. With full control of your environment and the opportunity to sit for your interview from a place that isnโ€™t new to you, online MMIs offer a boost of confidence to a nervous interviewee. 

There are multiple ways in which your interview could be conducted; broadly, these can be categorized as live or recorded interviews. The former involves a panel of interviewers who will assess you across multiple stations during a video call. The latter may involve the use of a private interview platform wherein your responses will be recorded to be reviewed later. The content of online MMIs, however, will remain largely similar to traditional interviews. 

Online Interviews can be challenging and a new experience for many students.

With this guide and a little practice, there is absolutely no need to be worried about online interviews. While thatโ€™s easier said than done, the tips we layout will help you perfectly prep, practice and present for your interview. 

How to Prepare for Online Medicine Interviews

โ€ข Lights, camera, action! Prior to your interview, ensure you perform a thorough audio and video check. Ensure good visibility (i..; avoid poor lighting and shadows), quiet surroundings and a distraction-free environment. If you have access to one, a good pair of headphones with a microphone attachment can massively improve sound transmission. However, this is not a necessity. Ensure your device is fully charged and that you have access to a bottle of water to keep hydrated. Most importantly, ensure that you will have access to a strong wifi connection! 

โ€ข Practice makes perfect. One of the biggest differences between video and in-person interviews is the difference in the translation of body language. More conspicuous cues are better picked up in person and so, itโ€™s important to practice speaking into a camera. Learn how to maintain eye contact, use hand gestures (if appropriate) and maintain good rapport virtually. Good posture and enunciation can also go a long way in the online MMI. A good rule of thumb is to position yourself so that your head and shoulders are clearly visible in the middle of the frame and that your gaze moves only across the top half of the screen. This will translate more naturally without seeming distracted. Try video calling a friend and practicing more formal chatter with a focus on communication styles and non-verbal presentation.

Medic Mindโ€™s virtual MMI courses bring you experienced tutors who, as current medical students, have stood where you stand today; these courses can make or break your interview technique and are a fantastic tool in preparing for your interview. However, if this is not accessible to you, there is plenty of information online that can be used to prepare for your interview. Whatever modality you choose, preparation is key. 

โ€ข Cheaters never prosper. It can be tempting to have scripts sitting behind your computer to help answer the more common questions. Aside from being highly unethical, it is also incredibly easy for the trained eye to pick up on this; your interviewers have seen it all before and will value genuine conversation over-rehearsed dialogue. 

โ€ข Do your research. Know what to expect before you walk into the room. From what identification they may ask for to what style of interview your university is adopting, you can never be too prepared. While surprises are unavoidable, being proactive in your preparation can help calm your nerves. One of the many ways in which to prepare is to refer to the university specific chapter of this guide to learn more about the universities to which you have applied. 

โ€ข Have a backup plan. Technology is no stranger to last-minute malfunction and it almost always seems to happen at the most unfortunate times. Ensure you have access to another device on stand-by in case your device glitches during the interview. This will allow for a smooth transition and little wasted time. It will also show your interviewers that youโ€™re always prepared; a skill integral to medical professionals. 

University Specific Guidelines

More universities have moved back to in-person interviews but this is dependent on COVID regulations at the time of your interview. It’s good to prepare for both formats just in case and in both instances, the skills the interviewers are looking for are still the same. Use our university interview guides to find out specific information for each university!

More information about specific interview guidelines can be found on each universityโ€™s website. As an applicant, you also have the right to contact your university to request more information prior to your interview. As previously stated, you can never be too prepared, and getting in touch with your university can do no harm. 

If the interview is virtual, the most commonly used platforms include Zoom and Microsoft Teams. With the rise of these platforms over the course of the pandemic, chances are youโ€™re already familiar with them but if not, keep on reading for guidance on how to use these softwares. 

Zoom Medicine Interviews

Whilst Zoom can be accessed via a Chrome browser, downloading the application onto your desktop may offer a smoother experience on the day. To join your interview, you will be given an invite with a unique meeting ID and password. Zoom offers test calls which can be extremely useful to better understand the platform prior to your interview. 

Microsoft Teams Medicine Interviews

This is a chat-based virtual space that brings together all Microsoft applications, including Skype and Outlook. To join a meeting, you will be sent a link from the host of your interview. Like Zoom, Microsoft Teams can also be used via a browser or downloaded onto your device; we suggest the latter. 

Blackboard Collective Medicine Interviews

Fairly straightforward to use, all you will require is a link from the moderator of your session. You do not need to download any application to access your meeting. 

Medical school interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience.

With some things outside your control, there is immense power in preparation. At the end of the day your interview will boil down to one thing – genuine passion for a career in medicine. So, in light of all the tips and tricks laid out above, just remember to stay calm, focussed and authentic; the rest will follow. 

Good luck, stay safe and we hope to see you alongside us in the NHS very soon!

Frequently Asked Question

โ†’What are online medicine interviews, and why are they important?

Online medicine interviews are virtual interviews that are conducted between medical school applicants and the admissions team of a medical school. These interviews are an important part of the medical school admissions process as they allow the admissions team to assess an applicant’s communication skills, knowledge of medicine, and suitability for the program.

โ†’What types of online medicine interviews are there?

There are several types of online medicine interviews, including traditional one-on-one interviews, panel interviews, and multiple mini interviews (MMIs). Each type of interview has its own format and structure, and applicants should prepare accordingly.

โ†’How can I prepare for an online medicine interview?

To prepare for an online medicine interview, applicants should research the medical school and its program, practice answering common interview questions, and prepare questions to ask the interviewer. It’s also important to ensure that you have a reliable internet connection and a quiet and professional setting for the interview.

โ†’How can I make a good impression during an online medicine interview?

To make a good impression during an online medicine interview, applicants should be well-prepared, confident, and articulate. They should also maintain eye contact with the interviewer, avoid interrupting or speaking over the interviewer, and provide thoughtful and concise answers to questions.

โ†’What are some common interview questions for online medicine interviews?

Some common interview questions for online medicine interviews include questions about an applicant’s motivation for pursuing medicine, their knowledge of medical ethics and healthcare policy, and their ability to work in a team. Applicants may also be asked about their strengths and weaknesses, their past experiences in healthcare, and their career goals.

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