Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately, Fall semester has been really gearing up and getting intense very quickly. We’ve already had two Clinical Medicine exams and a pharmacology exam, as well as a giant group project and what feels like a million slides of powerpoint to learn. But it has been going great and I’m really enjoying it a lot more than summer semester because I feel like I’m actually learning medicine. My hope is to sometimes this week give y’all an idea of what fall semester has been like and what I’m enjoying about it so far.
But, on to the stuff you’re really dying to know about-the different types of interview styles you could come across during the process of getting in to a PA school. I’m going give a brief synopsis of each, as well as some tips on how to prepare and do well.
The MMI or Multiple Mini Interview
This is by far my favorite type of interview, because I think I excelled the most with it. GWU does this type of interview, as well as a good amount of Medical Schools. Basically, your overall interview process might last an hour (this is all an example with made up numbers), but you’re going to have 6 “mini interviews” that each last 10 minutes. With each mini interview you’re going to meet a different individual and basically have a brand new interview with that person. These different “mini interviews” may ask the typically interview questions such as “Why do you want to be a PA”, or they might be scenarios that you have to come up with a solution for. An example for a scenario is:
You work as a pizza delivery man. You only have 30 minutes to deliver a pizza before the customer gets it for free. You know that if you go outside that 30 minute window again, you will get fired. But on your last delivery of the night, you find an unconscious person in the road. What do you do?
Tricky, right? Not so much actually. These scenarios are designed to give the interviewer a better look in to your personality, morals, and what type of patient care you will provide. Often times, there may not actually be a right answer. The interviewer just wants to see that you can formulate an opinion quickly on your feet that is well thought out and consider the other side without easily giving up on what you think.
- Each “mini interview” is a clean slate. The interviewer doesn’t know how you answered any previous answers so there is no bias formed based on your responses.
- You clearly get to show off your personality and opinions without worry you’re coming across “too strong”. The goal here is to see your opinion, so having a strong one won’t hurt you in the way it might during a traditional interview
- You get more than one chance to impress. You have a multiple number of this “mini interviews”. The more you do well on, the better you are. But most schools accept that you’re going to fumble on one or two
- Its fun. I found it a lot less stressful than a normal interview because I felt less judged. There is no one simple right answers for a lot of these questions
- it moves very quickly. You might only have just a couple of minutes to answer the question completely. So you need to think about what you want to say and answer as efficiently as possible
- Its exhausting. I literally went home and passed out after my GWU interview. Its just a mental exhaustion from being so on point.
- You can’t fully prepare for it. You have no idea what they could ask or what kind of scenario it might be.
- There’s a bunch of examples of MMI scenarios out there on the internet. Read them over and think about your example.
- Belive in yourself and don’t get stressed out. This is a quick thing. Don’t try to overanalyze and beat a dead horse. Just go with your instinct and trust it.
- practice at home or with someone. Your family or friends might be able to come up with some totally out there questions, so see if you can answer them.
- Know the “normal” questions. You very well can be asked those too, so don’t forget about the tips about having pointers on what to answer in your mind
This is one of the “standard” interview styles that you may face. In fact, most of you interviews are probably going to be this way. This is great for you, because this style is probably the easiest to practice for and has the most advice out there.
- You can easily practice for this, and if you’ve ever had any sort of interview before it was probably like this.
- SOOOO much research is out there about this style
- You can prepare pretty easily for the typical questions asked
- Its a little more intimate which makes it a little easier to answer those sensitive questions
- You only get one interview for the process, which means you only get one shot. If you screw up, you don’t have a second person like in the one-on-two who might not have been offended.
- There is such a thing as too prepared for the interview. Don’t memorize your answers and try to regurgitate them.
- Do your research online. Look up tips on eye contact, using your hands while you talk, etc.
- Look up practice questions. Think about the main points you want to hit and how you can remember to hit those main points. DO NOT MEMORIZE A SCRIPTED ANSWER
- Practice, practice, practice. There is definitely someone you can do this with.
- Practice keeping your facial expressions in check.
This is another “standard” interview that you could face. Basically you are the “one” and then you have two interviewers. The two interviewers could both be asking you questions, or one could ask questions and the other be the scribe. Its a little different at every school. On a plus side, these tend to ask the more standard interview questions like those asked in a one-on-one interview
- you can easily prepare for this in the same way you would prepare for a one-on-one interview.
- You can treat it like a normal interview and not get extra stressed out because of how different it is.
- Two people interviewing you means two people who will back you up and want you in the programs
- It can be a little difficult knowing who to talk to, especially when one is the interviewer and the other one is acting as a scribe
- You can feel teamed up on, which might make you get more defensive than if you only had one interviewer.
- If you offend both of them somehow, you probably can’t come back from that
- Practice alternating eye contact and speaking to two people at once. Make sure you’re not only talking to one person and ignoring the other.
- Practice engaging conversation with two people at once and having a dynamic flow. This is hard to a lot of people (someone tends to end up being a third wheel), so its good to practice
- Practice those stereotypically interview questions just like you would for a traditional one-on-one interview.
This is by far my LEAST favorite style. Firstly, its just awkward. Secondly, its hard to tell were you stand during the interview. and Thirdly, its just plain awkward. Basically what happens is it is a group of interviewees and maybe one or two interviewers. You all sit in a circle and discuss different topics in a way thats “not supposed to feel like an interview”/ To me its hard, because I definitely want to listen to what other people are saying but I find it hard to jump in without speaking over someone. It just requires a lot more thinking than the other types of interviews in a less clear manner.
- Its great for showcasing how you work in a group and interact with others.
- Its a little more “casual” and allows for the conversation to flow in a better dynamic than a maybe more stilted traditional interview
- I personally find it hard to make myself stand out in a good way here. Either I feel like I talk to much, or not enough.
- Its hard to make yourself sound as great as you are without making it sound like you’re bragging or showing off.
- Its sometimes hard to answer some of the typical questions in front of other people. For instance it might be too personal of a story to what to share in front of a group as well as the interviewer.
- Get used to talking in groups. Practice listening to what others have to say and joining in the conversation in a meaningful way.
- Don’t try to make yourself in to something you’re not. If you don’t know something or don’t have any experience with it, say that. Have someone explain it to you. This shows that you can learn and that you don’t feel the need to pretend that you know everything.
- For you guys still in school, see if your career research center offers practice group interviews.
- If you have a couple of friends who all have the desire to be a PA, do a mock group interview with them, even if it is just another friend asking the questions.
Hopefully this helps! I’m going to be posting just a simple list of some typically questions this week for you to think about. Don’t forget to email me, or contact me on Facebook, if you have any questions or topics I should cover