What Is the Difference Between an MMI and a Panel Interview?

If you’re applying to study a Medicine degree, you’ll be required to attend at least one, likely multiple interviews as part of the admissions process. Unlike most other university interviews, which typically follow a standard question-answer interview format, Medicine interviews can be quite different and fall into two different types: Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) and traditional/panel interviews.

This guide explains these two different types of medical school interviews in more detail, including which universities use each type, what each one consists of, and the major differences you need to consider when preparing.

If you’ve been invited to a Medicine interview and are looking for further support on how to prepare, The Profs’ medical admissions experts can help. Reach out to our Medicine admissions team today to find out more.

Don’t forget to check out our guide to the medical application process and our article on how to pursue a career in medicine.

What is an MMI?

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) are one type of Medicine interview that involves being put through several short assessments – also referred to as ‘stations’ – each usually lasting 10 minutes or less. Most MMIs will include around 10 stations and take around 2 hours in total to complete.

Before each mini interview, you’ll be presented with a scenario and given some time to prepare an answer. You will either be asked a question by an interviewer or have to engage in a role-play scenario with an actor whilst an interviewer watches. MMI stations are designed to assess your soft skills, medical knowledge, and ability to work in unfamiliar and high-pressure situations, so require plenty of expert preparation.

What is a traditional panel interview?

Traditional interviews, also referred to as panel interviews, may be more familiar to you as they follow a more standard interview format. In a traditional medical interview, a panel of around 2-4 medical professionals will ask you questions about why you want to study Medicine, as well as any work experience you have, your understanding of medical school, and your commitment to the subject area.

You will also likely be asked subject-based questions around Human Biology and Science more generally. Unlike an MMI, much of the information the interviewers use to ask questions and spark discussions will be drawn from your personal statement and the information provided in your UCAS application.

Which universities use MMIs vs panel interviews?

Each university uses either MMIs or panel interviews to assess its Medicine applicants. If you are applying to multiple universities, it is highly likely that you will be required to attend both types of interview. The table below shows which universities use each type.

MMIsPanel interviews
  • Aberdeen
  • Aston
  • Brighton and Sussex
  • Buckingham
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Hull York
  • Keele
  • King’s College London
  • Lancaster
  • Leicester 
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • St George’s 
  • UCL
  • UCLan
  • Anglia Ruskin
  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Brunel
  • Edge Hill
  • Exeter
  • Imperial College London
  • Kent & Medway
  • Sheffield
  • Leeds
  • Manchester
  • Norwich
  • Plymouth
  • St Andrews
  • Sunderland
  • Dundee
  • Warwick
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen Mary University
  • Glasgow University
  • Swansea University
  • Southampton University 

Note that Southampton University uses a dual interview format (also referred to as a Selection Day), which combines a traditional panel interview with an additional group task. Always check with your chosen university directly if you’re unsure which format your interview will follow.

What are the differences between MMIs and panel interviews?

QuesionMMIsPanel interviews
What is the interview assessing?MMIs assess a range of attributes you’ll need in order to succeed on a Medicine degree course. This includes: your soft skills, your medical knowledge, and your ability to work in unfamiliar and high-pressure situations. The stations you will take part in will each assess a different skill or set of skills, some of which are similar to those assessed in a panel interview, and others (like your ability to work in unfamiliar situations) are unique to an MMI.Panel interviews allow interviewers to assess your suitability for a Medicine degree. They will ask you a range of questions, such as why you want to study Medicine, any work experience you have, your understanding of medical school, and your commitment to the subject area. Most of the questions you will be asked will be based on your personal statement, however, there may also be some other questions that you cannot predict, so it’s important to prepare thoroughly.
How long do you have to answer each question?You will usually have between 5-7 minutes (depending on the university) at each station. Practising being time-conscious is therefore essential in your preparation.Panel interviews don’t time individual questions, so in theory, you have as long as you like. However, you will have a set amount of time for the overall interview, so prioritising what you talk about and when is important.
How many interviewers are there?There are usually around 8 interviewers, each of whom will assess you individually at the MMI stations.There are usually 2-4 interviewers on the panel who will be assessing you together.
Will interviewers have read your personal statement?Not necessarily. There will likely be a station about your personal statement, however, the examiner at that station may not have read your personal statement personally, nor have been the one to set the question you are being asked. Despite this, it is still important to know your personal statement inside out and answer any questions thoughtfully and truthfully.*Yes, at least one member of the interview panel will have already read your personal statement. At some universities, every examiner on the panel will have a copy of your personal statement. It is therefore extremely important to know your personal statement back to front and be prepared to answer questions on anything that’s included in it.*
What is one benefit of the interview style?Each MMI station is assessed independently. This means that, although there is little chance to build a rapport with your interviewer, it’s less of a problem if you mess up on one of the stations, as none of the other examiners will know. You can therefore treat every station as a new interview and aim to impress each interviewer with your knowledge and skills.One benefit of a traditional panel interview is that, unlike an MMI, you will be with the same interviewers for the entirety of it, giving you the opportunity to build a rapport with your examiners. This also means that you can do your research beforehand into who is likely to interview you, as well as select topics to include in your personal statement that you’re particularly interested in and able to talk about in depth.
How should you prepare?MMIs involve a sequence of short scenarios and questions which you’ll be given a short amount of time to prepare for on the day, however, it’s crucial that you know what to expect ahead of time and prepare thoroughly before the day.
Firstly, despite following the same format, MMIs do differ between universities. While you won’t be able to predict exactly which stations you will encounter, it’s important to research your chosen universities ahead of time and see which stations are most commonly used.
You should also make sure that you’ve read up on medical ethics and kept up to date with news in the medical field in the run up to your MMI. This will ensure that you are able to discuss topical issues and answer commonly asked questions in a thoughtful and well-informed way.
There are many other ways that you can prepare for an MMI – read more of our experts’ tips in our helpful guide.
Panel interviews will be more familiar to you as they usually follow a question-answer format, however, you won’t know the specific questions you’ll be asked in advance and there is plenty of preparation you should do to maximise your chances of success.
Firstly, make sure you do your research into commonly asked questions. For example, unlike in an MMI, you will almost certainly be asked questions relating to your UCAS application and academic experience. You should also always be prepared for the ‘standard’ questions in traditional interviews, such as: ‘Why this university?’, ‘Why medicine?’ and ‘Tell us about this point in your personal statement’.
Naturally, as part of your preparation, you should therefore know your personal statement inside out.
There are many other ways that you can prepare for a panel interview – read more of our experts’ tips in our helpful guide.

Note that all students applying to university for 2023, 2024 or 2025 will still be required to submit a UCAS personal statement as normal. However, from January 2025 onwards (October 2024, for Oxbridge applicants), there will be changes to the UCAS application process and students will no longer be required to write a personal statement. Instead, all applicants will answer a series of shorter, more tailored questions provided by UCAS.

Prepare for your Medicine interview with The Profs

Interviews are one of the most important stages in a medical school application and performing well can be the difference between securing an offer or missing out on a place. That’s where The Profs’ medical admissions team can help.

With expert interview training tutors on hand to help you prepare for MMIs and panel interviews and practise your interview skills, our team is proven to improve your chances of getting into your first and second-choice medical schools. Reach out to our medical admissions team today to find out more.