Makeen Baroudi

18th June 2020

How Do Universities Use Medical Interviews?

  • What are the types of medical interviews?
  • What are the advantages of medical interviews?
  • What are the disadvantages of medical interviews?

1. Types Of Medical Interviews...

There are three main types of medical school interviews: traditional, Multiple-Mini Interview (MMI) and group interviews.

Traditional interviews

This type of interview is what you think of when you hear the word ‘interview’. Basically, you sit in front of a panel that directs questions at you.

‘Why medicine? What do you do in your spare time? Why this medical school? What do you think of the new junior doctor contracts?’

These are the types of questions that usually kick off the interview and then the discussion is taken further by the panel. It will usually be the case that the panel will try to keep the discussion going until you stall.Please don’t be disheartened by this.

Universities such as Imperial College London, Oxford University and Cambridge University use traditional interviews.

Group Interviews

This is the same as traditional interviews but instead of being on your own you will sit and discuss matters as a group. This means there will be less pressure on you to give answers. However, you will still be expected to: contribute to the group discussion as much as others; respect the other opinions.
Some universities use a mix of MMI and group interviews. For example, at Lancaster University you will have a group discussion about a topic, as well as the MMI afterwards.


This type of interview involves many stations. Each station will be about a particular aspect of medicine. For example, one station could be about the attributes of a doctor: leadership, teamwork, resilience etc. the next station can be on the pillars of medical ethics. The following station can be a discussion about a particular article that you would have read beforehand.

There is usually a certain number of stations and they are all the same length. This includes break stations. For example, 10 stations, 8 minutes each, including 2 break stations.

The vast majority of UK universities use MMI-style interviews. For example, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff etc.

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each interview style?

There are many pros and cons to each interview style. You can explore these in depth in our interview guide. Here, we will discuss the main advantage and disadvantage of each style only.

Traditional interview

The key thing about a traditional interview is that you sit down in front of a panel for a long time and you will end up forming a rapport with the interviewers.

Therefore, the advantage is that you get comfortable with the people interviewing you which makes you more likely to be yourself during the interview. On the other hand, if you accidentally mock up a question it may daunt you for the rest of the interview and ruin the rest of your answers.


The key thing about these ones is the opposite of traditional interviews. The stations here are short and you do not build rapport with the interviewer. Even if you did, it would only happen towards the end.

Therefore, the disadvantage of MMI is that it is more difficult to show your personality. However, it does mean that if you mock up a question at a station you can easily forget about it because your performance at one station won’t affect your score at the other stations.

Group Interviews

This kind of interview encourages teamwork and group efforts.
As a result, similarly to MMIs it would be difficult to show your personality since you are not the only interviewee. However, it does mean there is less pressure on you to come up with an answer. Instead you can just build on other people’s ideas. As long as you contribute in a similar amount to others.

Makeen Baroudi

Product Manager

Hi guys, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog page. We at TheMedicalGeeks try and pass on the lessons we learned whilst getting into medical school.

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