If you have recently tried applying for jobs in the healthcare field, you may have noticed that there is a new acronym in town. The MMI stands for Multiple Mini Interview, a new method of evaluating healthcare professionals for hire that seems poised to become one of the industry standards. So far, mini-interviews in healthcare recruiting are primarily aimed at newly graduated physicians, but the practice can easily expand to other jobs in healthcare including nurses, nursing assistants and therapists of all stripes.
Why the Switch?
Mini-interviews in healthcare recruiting are designed to eliminate one of the major problems that many patients identify when visiting a healthcare professional: poor bedside manner. The MMI is designed to target not only the knowledge of interview candidates, but also their ability to work in teams, communicate respectfully and engage with issues of medical ethics. This is a lot of ground to cover, which is why the interviews are conducted in miniature. This allows interviewers to zero in on exactly the skill they want to assess and get a feel for whether or not the applicant possesses it in just a few minutes.
Anatomy of an MMI
Mini-interviews are conducted by allowing applicants to cycle through a series of stations. At each station they are assessed on a different skill before moving on to their next appointment. Applicants may conduct ten or twelve interviews of just a few minutes each, finishing their round of mini-interviews in about the same amount of time it would take to complete a single traditional interview. MMIs are generally conducted in a group interview setting. Some tasks may require multiple candidates to work together to complete a task so that they can be assessed on their teamwork or communication skills. After the time allotted for the mini-interview is up, candidates cycle to the next station to meet with a new interviewer.
Topics Covered by the Interview
A variety of topics are covered during MMIs. Generally, each interview station is devoted to a different topic, though there may be some overlap and interviewers may be asked to weigh in on other aspects of an applicant’s character. Some common topics include the following: lStandard interview questions, such as questions about challenges the applicant is faced and how an applicant would describe his or her work style lEthical dilemmas, during which the applicants are faced with a question or problem related to medical ethics and asked to work through it lInteractions with a patient, during which time the applicant will role play a common scenario with an actor playing the part of the patient lTeamwork, a task that requires the applicant to work with others to accomplish a goal lHard skills, including writing and reading comprehension
Should You Conduct Mini-Interviews?
Mini-interviews in healthcare recruiting are not without their benefits, bur there are several questions you should ask yourself before you begin to implement them. First of all, think about the large amount of staff required to man all the stations needed for an MMI. Can you realistically spare this many people, who might be needed on the floor or helping patients during the interview time? Also consider whether you have the administrative and human resources staff required to research and coordinate an entirely new method of interviewing. Finally, think about the applicants and people doing the interviewing. Will they be receptive to this new type of interview process, or are they happy doing things the old way? Change may have to come eventually, but forcing unwilling candidates and hiring managers may be more trouble than it’s worth right away.
Preparing to Conduct MMIs
Before conducing mini-interviews in healthcare recruiting, make sure all your staff doing the hiring are thoroughly briefed on the process and what it is intended to accomplish. Identify the problems you have had with previous new hires and how the MMI process is intended to fix them. Next, recruit good people to do the hiring. If you typically leave hiring up to one or two individuals, keep in mind that you may need as many as ten or a dozen to man all the MMI stations. Finally, conduct thorough training for everyone who is going to be involved in the hiring process. Mini-interviews are complicated machines and in order to get them to run smoothly you need to make sure that everyone is able to finish his or her task in the allotted time. To find out more about mini-interviews in healthcare recruiting and other cutting edge topics in the fields of hiring and recruitment, check out the resources available from Mighty Recruiter.