Rosenfeld, J.M., Reiter, H.I., Trinh, K. et al. Adv in Health Sci Educ (2008) 13: 43. doi:10.1007/s10459-006-9029-z
A major expense for most professional training programs, both financially and in terms of human resources, is the interview process used to make admissions decisions. Still, most programs view this as a necessary cost given that the personal interview provides an opportunity to recruit potential candidates, showing them what the program has to offer, and to try and gather more information about the candidates to ensure that those selected live up to the espoused values of the institution. We now have five years worth of experience with a Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) process that, unlike traditional panel interviews, uses the OSCE model to have candidates interact with a larger number of interviewers. We have found that the MMI is more reliable and has better predictive power than our traditional panel interviews. Still, the extent to which any measurement is valuable depends also on the feasibility of use. In this paper we report on an exploration of the cost effectiveness of the MMI as compared to standard panel-based interviews by considering the generation of interview material, human resource (i.e., interviewer and support staff) use, infrastructure requirements, and other miscellaneous expenses. Our conclusion is that the MMI requires greater preparatory efforts and a larger number of rooms to carry out the interviews relative to panel-based interviews, but that these cost disadvantages are offset by the MMI requiring fewer person-hours of effort. The absolute costs will vary dependent on institution, but the framework presented in this paper will hopefully provide greater guidance regarding logistical requirements and anticipated budget.