students benefit from professional MMI support

Wednesday November 11, 2020

A selection of Concord’s 6.2 students have this week started taking part in a super-curricular support programme, in the form of multiple mini interviews (MMI). 27 of Concord’s aspiring medics, in addition to a handful of Shrewsbury Sixth Form College students took part in the first of four online sessions, undergoing practice interviews with a number of different healthcare professionals. The aim of the programme is so students can practice for real medical school interviews, due to the ever-growing competitive nature and limited number of places available at top universities. Key criteria of the interview process include interview technique, such as ability to engage with the interviewer, communicating articulately, and analytical and critical thought-processes, including willingness to change perception and direction as required, with considered responses. Speaking of the online sessions, Concord’s Student Futures Officer, Mrs Helen Povey said: “This annual support programme – previously delivered by the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury – has changed to online interviews, via Microsoft Teams. “This year, we’re extremely grateful to the eight medical professionals who have volunteered their time outside of their busy work schedules to support the students, and also to supporting staff at the college, and Rotary for helping to coordinate initial discussions and contacts. “The interviewers all have different medical backgrounds and current roles, such as A&E doctors, general surgeons, observationists, oncologists and more – so there’s plenty of scope in terms of students’ higher education and career interests. “Whilst we would usually tailor interviews for medics, dentists, vets and also Oxbridge hopefuls, the focus of this particularly programme this year is just for aspiring medics.” Interviewees have the opportunity to make use of these sessions over three evenings and one afternoon over the next couple of weeks, in addition to receiving valuable verbal and written feedback from their interviewer(s). Concord’s Head Girl and aspiring medic, Hannah, took part in the first interview session. Reflecting on her experience she said: “I really enjoyed the mock interview experience – it helped me see how I interact during an interview with someone I've never met before. “By being online and recording the interview, this helped me see where I could change my hand gestures and eye contact to be more effective in front of a camera, as I could see exactly what the interviewer was seeing.” Said Mrs Povey: “Because of coronavirus, most interviews in education or the workplace now take place online – and probably will do for the foreseeable future, so online interview technique will become essential to students. “Then, during their real interviews, there shouldn’t be any stress over the new medium.” Concord’s Assistant Principal (Careers and University Admissions), Dr Rob Pugh added: “We are enormously grateful to the team of doctors who have given their time to interview our students. “Performing strongly in an online interview is a very different challenge to meeting an interviewer in person, so these mock interviews are an important step in further developing the skills our young medics need.”