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Looking Back: Your Biggest Mistakes In The Mmi?

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To anybody who has previously done an MMI -- for better or worse -- I thought it would be helpful for all applicants if we shared our biggest mistakes in prior interviews, and what you would do differently next time. When sharing your experiences, please acknowledge the confidentiality statement, and keep your posts as general as possible. 


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From my reflections at the University of Alberta MMIs:

 

My biggest mistake was a lack of confidence in the delivery of my answers, as well as overall poor interview skills. If I was a doctor proposing a dangerous treatment to a patient, I'd need to confidently ensure my patient this is the best course of action to gain his/her trust. I strongly believe my lack of style, rather than lack of substance, was a major contributor of my poor performance.

 

My second biggest mistake was showing a lack of contemplation. In the time I spent formulating my answer, I was fixated so purely on my perspective that I ignored all other views in my answer. Most, if not all, MMI questions are complex and any number of perspectives are correct; by ignoring other sides of the issue, I may have appeared cocky and unthoughtful to my interviewers.

 

My third biggest mistake was a lack of sincerity. The whole interview day, I didn't feel like myself and tried to portray myself as someone who I wasn't. This led to responses that weren't particularly sincere and sounded forced / rehearsed.

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My third biggest mistake was a lack of sincerity. The whole interview day, I didn't feel like myself and tried to portray myself as someone who I wasn't. This led to responses that weren't particularly sincere and sounded forced / rehearsed.

I think it's funny how everyone frets over moulding themselves into what they think the admissions people want to see so they can stand out, and paradoxically it makes being genuine a sure way to stand out 

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To anybody who has previously done an MMI -- for better or worse -- I thought it would be helpful for all applicants if we shared our biggest mistakes in prior interviews, and what you would do differently next time. When sharing your experiences, please acknowledge the confidentiality statement, and keep your posts as general as possible. 

 

 

Holy f@#$ I got some good ones from the first time I did mine

 

When I interviewed at the UofC two years ago I honestly thought I did ok.... man I was so f@#$ing dumb I had no idea. My biggest series of weaknesses by far in those stations was just how superficial my answers were.... as in they barely scratched the surface of the problem and they weren't nearly as simple as I made it out to be.

 

I still recall the most cringeworthy moment where they asked me about my belief in a contentious concept (unfortunately I cannot share the question to anyone)... and I said something along the lines of................. "it's ok as long as you don't hurt anyone." Like no S@#$ call Watson cause this guy is a Sherlock over here...

 

For the UofA two years ago I distinctly remember every failure... I had a question where I was to communicate to the interviewer to draw something without their prior knowledge. As I went to shake the interviewer's hand.... I dropped the picture and she went "uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." I felt like I got a spinal malformation because I tilted so hard afterwards that with the <7 min I had left I was very panicked and had no clue what to do. I didn't even realize at the time that drawing the picture was irrelevant to the goal of quality communication and interaction. I let myself get so frazzled that I tilted on 2 other stations before I got myself under control, but by then it was too late and I blown any chances I had.

 

I knew deep down that I had the potential, but did not execute at all when it mattered. I choked on the day and let the pressure get to me. Furthermore, some of my answers showed how little I understood ... pretty much anything. It sucked when I saw many of my friends move forward while I was feeling stuck, but I realized that if I wanted to obliterate the interview the next time I gotta smarten + grow up, get some more experiences, develop some critical thinking skills + depth perception, learn more about contemporary issues (health care + humanities), and most importantly to control my composure... how was I going to be a good doctor when I choke on a question?

 

Two years later I got that chance. Despite placing near bottom pre-interview, I'm here now.... and man does it feel much more rewarding this time around. I got to actually tell myself "you've grown as a person" after my second interview.... and that the hard work preparing over two years was worthwhile in making me better.

 

- G

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[...] I tilted so hard [...]

 

[...] I choked on the day [...]

 

Are you me? (Btw, 10 bucks says you game.)

 

I made the opposite mistake people usually make and seriously under-prepared. People claim over-preparing makes your answers sound rehearsed and autonomous, but my answers just lacked substance, clarity and confidence. Makes me feel like I squandered my interview because i YOLO'd it. :angry:  

 

Make sure you prepare just the right amount and find a method that works for you. I'm probably practicing an average of 2-4 hours per week for 1-2 months before my interview this time. 

 

Protip: Even though the interviews are confidential, you can find LOTS of information online (usually on the school's website even) that will basically tell you how the interview will go. 

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Are you me? (Btw, 10 bucks says you game.)

 

I made the opposite mistake people usually make and seriously under-prepared. People claim over-preparing makes your answers sound rehearsed and autonomous, but my answers just lacked substance, clarity and confidence. Makes me feel like I squandered my interview because i YOLO'd it. :angry:  

 

Make sure you prepare just the right amount and find a method that works for you. I'm probably practicing an average of 2-4 hours per week for 1-2 months before my interview this time. 

 

Protip: Even though the interviews are confidential, you can find LOTS of information online (usually on the school's website even) that will basically tell you how the interview will go. 

 

You get $10. 

 

As for the practicing... I don't even consider 2-4 hrs/ week to be enough. I went for ~1-2 hrs per day for the first year, then as it got to a few months >=2 hrs.... for the last week (I got the interview through a unique circumstance) I aimed for ~ 8-10 hrs/day then just went in and did my best.

 

- G

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As for the practicing... I don't even consider 2-4 hrs/ week to be enough. I went for ~1-2 hrs per day for the first year, then as it got to a few months >=2 hrs.... for the last week (I got the interview through a unique circumstance) I aimed for ~ 8-10 hrs/day then just went in and did my best.

 

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. They are valuable. I will consider preparing as much as you did, Ghoststalker154... after all, practice makes perfect.  :D

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Awesome idea, I was also thinking of starting up a thread like this at some point but I got cold feet!

 

MMI Specific: -A small thing, but I regretted it for months afterwards: knock on all the doors. At one point I started to feel silly knocking on the door since the interviewer knew I was about to head in, so I think I missed a few doors. But often, the idea is to simulate a patient encounter, and you'd always want to knock in that situation. I still got an offer at Mac, so again, not a dealbreaker, but much easier to just remember!
 

General: -At Western I brought my OSSD instead of my transcript for SWOMEN verification for some reason. Not sure if anyone else would do something like that, but it definitely jacked up my anxiety even higher than it already was.
-I often cut my timing getting to interviews pretty tight. I was lucky, but an unforeseen circumstance could have really thrown me off. I almost forgot to bring my suit on the bus to my first interview!
 

I'll add more if I think of them.

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my biggest problem was, and still is, tunnel vision.  Once an impression of the situation/dx formed in my head as the most likely scenario, it was really hard to broaden my horizon.

 

I went in to one scenario with one expectation (judgement even?) of the person I was about to encounter and when she didn't behave as expected, I froze and fumbled.  Could not adapt.  Fortunately, the actor was nice and threw me a lifeline at the end of the station.  Not sure if that was enough to save it.  Stations started going okay once I stopped thinking about who I was going to see behind the door.

 

Another example of not thinking broadly: Interviewer asked a question, I gave an answer, interviewer said "good, and what else?" and my brain drew blank. 

 

I still fumble when preceptors or small group leaders asks "what else?"

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my biggest problem was, and still is, tunnel vision.  Once an impression of the situation/dx formed in my head as the most likely scenario, it was really hard to broaden my horizon.

 

I went in to one scenario with one expectation (judgement even?) of the person I was about to encounter and when she didn't behave as expected, I froze and fumbled.  Could not adapt.  Fortunately, the actor was nice and threw me a lifeline at the end of the station.  Not sure if that was enough to save it.  Stations started going okay once I stopped thinking about who I was going to see behind the door.

 

Another example of not thinking broadly: Interviewer asked a question, I gave an answer, interviewer said "good, and what else?" and my brain drew blank. 

 

I still fumble when preceptors or small group leaders asks "what else?"

Same here. In practice, I explore all the possible ramifications and possibilities; in MMI, I ramble on about very specific points in a way that I'm sure comes across as genuine but not very thorough :)

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Same here. In practice, I explore all the possible ramifications and possibilities; in MMI, I ramble on about very specific points in a way that I'm sure comes across as genuine but not very thorough :)

 

I also experienced the same thing. Maybe it is because in the actual MMI we are more perceptive to the interviewers non-visual cues which takes off attention.

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