The multiple mini-interview approach to recruiting (now being shortened to MMI in some circles) appears to winning the attention of interviewers in the academic area. Medical schools in increasing numbers are relying on this method to screen potential students, since it helps young applicants overcome their nervous jitters and take multiple swings at making a first impression. But can this interviewing strategy meet with the same success in the professional sphere? Can hiring managers in hospitals and clinical settings use this approach to assess and screen job candidates more effectively?
What Is the Multiple Mini-Interview Approach?
In a traditional interview, a candidate sits down for a detailed, in-depth conversation with a single interviewer or a panel of assessors. By contrast, the multiple mini-interview model works more like speed dating. Each candidate meets with an interviewer for a very short conversation of ten minutes or less, and then moves to another room to meet with another interviewer, followed by several more. Meanwhile, each interviewer meets with a series of candidates immediately after dismissing the first. Each conversation lasts long enough to provide both parties with some meaningful information, but not long enough to become redundant, inefficient, or grueling. Candidates obtain a broader and more nuanced picture of the organization, and interviewers can compare notes and make a team-based hiring or admissions decision.
Multiple Mini-Interviews: Considerations
This strategy may work for your organization, but keep a few considerations in mind. First, mini-interviews require a substantial investment of time and personnel resources. Can you really afford to pull multiple healthcare providers off the floor and away from their responsibilities to conduct these interviews?
Second, logistics may present an obstacle. Often, healthcare candidates don’t want it widely known that they’re searching for a new position. And more interviewers increase the likelihood that the news will get out. Interviewing organizations need to carefully control the flow of information and should not allow candidates to see or encounter each other in the hallways between meetings.
Highly talented candidates may resent being put on parade like contestants in a beauty pageant. As talented applicants compare one organization with another, this kind of model can suggest that the employer misunderstands the balance of power.
Finally, while this method brings teamwork into the decision-making process, each member of the interviewing team can only contribute a limited post-interview impression to a combined pool of data. Short conversations often don’t make it past a superficial level, and ten superficial impressions may have less value than two impressions that extend more deeply into a candidate’s personality, background and conversational style.
Can multiple mini-interviews streamline your organization’s approach to the hiring process? To find out more, contact the Seattle staffing experts at Pace Staffing Network. We can help you find an interviewing strategy that meets your company’s needs.