Context: Multiple mini-interviews (MMIs) are increasingly used in high-stakes medical school selection. Yet there is little published research about participants' experiences and understandings of the process. We report the findings from an international qualitative study on candidate and interviewer experiences of the MMI for entry into a graduate-entry medical school.
Methods: Qualitative data from six interviewer focus groups and 442 candidate and 75 interviewer surveys were analysed using framework analysis. Multiple researchers (n = 3) analysed a proportion of the data and developed a thematic framework capturing content-related (i.e. what was said) themes that emerged from the data. This thematic framework was then used to code the complete dataset.
Results: Several key themes were identified, including participants' perspectives on having: (i) a one-to-one interview; (ii) multiple assessment opportunities; (iii) a standardised, scenario-based interview; (iv) a mini-interview, and on (v) the attributes currently measured by the MMI, and (vi) other attributes that should be assessed.
Conclusions: We gained a deeper understanding of participants' experiences of a high-stakes, decision-making process for selection into a graduate-entry medical school. We discuss our findings in the light of the existing literature and make recommendations to address the issue of differing participant expectations and understandings of the MMI, and to improve the credibility and acceptability of the process.