You get only one chance to get it right. For a small price, we are here to help make it your best attempt. If you would need help with detailed responses to any of these questions or responses based on your specialty, please feel free to contact us!

Interviews are usually divided into 3 stations. Each station might last up to 10 minutes on an average. There are usually 2 interviewers per station and score independently.

Station 1 usually deals with portfolio information: Please read below for relevant questions. This is relatively straight forward as you are intimate with parts of your portfolio. This is replaced in most of the recent interviews to reflect your committment to specialty and related questions.  

Station 2 deals with a clinical scenario. These are usually pitched at the level of your training and there is no hidden agenda. You must show that your response is structured, systematic and logical. Even if you are not up to date with the latest evidence related to the question, a sensible response is expected.

Station 3 usually has an ethical scenario, and might enquire about your teaching, leadership etc skills as well. This section has also been modified in the recent interviews to include a clinical presentation of your choice usually lasting 5 minutes and another 5 minutes for questions. The choice of topic is upto the candidate, might include case presentations, literature review, clinical audits etc. Please contact us if you need further guidance on this section, this section has the maximum potential to earn the top marks from both the interviewers! 

Questions about the post/Specialty

Why this post? why this specialty? Good things and bad things about this specialty, what work have you done towards this specialty, what are the challenges facing this specialty, what qualities in you suit this specialty etc

Why this deanery?

How are you different from the other candidates, why should that job be given to you etc?

Stress management: how do you recognize you are under stress, what are your coping mechanisms, how will you help a stressed colleague etc

Your hobbies, how do they help this job?

EWTD and its implications on clinical training

Importance of General (acute) medicine versus specialty training

How to Answer: You need to expect such a question at the interview and a quick response without much of a pause is not inappropriate for questions about why you chose that job/specialty, as the interviewer expects you to know this well. You might include any psychometric tests you have used to help your decision (but over-reliance on these tests is not advocated as there is variability in their validity and reliability, they only help in understanding yourself and no way are definitive predictors of a successful career choice, another option is ROADS approach). Questions which need your understanding issues affecting NHS/training/street management etc, pausing before you respond is perfectly acceptable and rather expected!

Questions about you as a person

How do you handle criticisms against you?

How do you indentify your training needs? what you need learn most in the next one/two years

How would your friend or colleague describe you in 3 (few) words

Personal strengths and weaknesses

What are your career aspirations, where do you see yourself in few years etc?

If you were to start your career again, what would you change?

Most interesting case you have been involved with recently (learning principles are evaluated here)

Worst case you have been involved with recently (learning principles are evaluated here)

Recent mistake

How to Answer: About your strengths and weakness- you need to prepare answers in advance so as not to blurt out any major weakness (against GMC principles and making you a suspect doctor!, but there are measures in place to pick out such doctors). Please use specific examples or situations to explain your points rather than just using few words describing yourself. Please do not try to sneak in a positive point as a weakness, interviewers are usually experienced clinicians and this would not make a good impression, all of us have weaknesses and they expect you to show insight in to these!

Organizational skills (both inside and outside medicine) - how are they useful to this post

How to Answer: When answering such questions enquiring on your organizational or leadership skills, it is important that you give examples relevant to your stage of training. Nothing extraordinary is expected here.

Communication skills and Ethics at work

Breaking bad news

Obtaining informed consent

Conflict management: disagreement with a colleague, patient, with a manager etc

Difficult colleague- colleague (junior or your registrar/consultant) with a drink problem, colleague using or in possession of class A/B/C drugs (you need to know them) especially when they are at work, colleague does not want to treat a person because of their religious convictions/patient being a criminal/ patient of different skin colour or country, colleague often coming late to work, colleague stealing form hospital (e.g. Stationery) etc

Whistle blowing

Complaints  how you dealt with them

Root cause analysis- what is it?

Examples of your communication skills questions: situation where your communication made a difference to management of patient, example where your communication failed or you did not communicate appropriately, situation when patient disagreed with your management etc

(Its crucial you understand what they are looking for here- your! learning methods)

Your skills as a good communicator

Abusive patient (you need to know your trust protocols)

Colleague examining patient inappropriately, offering incorrect treatment and placing patient at risk

Inadequate training provided in your post- consultant not helpful, how you manage this situation

Principles of ethics:  Respect for autonomy, Beneficence, Non maleficence, Justice

Tips on how to answer this section:

If it is a clinical mistake or error type situation- give a brief description of the situation, what was your role, why you did what you did?, any stressors or situation that might have led to it, what feedbacks your received from colleagues and patient, what was your reflection and what remedial action you took. 

If it is particularly targeting your communication skill: example agitated relative, abusive patient etc, you need to show how you remained calm, how you elicited specific concerns of the patient and how you reassured the patient, what extra measures you took to ensure patients concerns are death with etc. This shows you understand the principles of effective communication and also as a conscientious doctor you put effort to deal with the patient's concerns.

Ethical scenarios are always difficult to answer. Acknowledging this and making sure you answer taking both clinician and patient perspective is important. Make sure you do not sound much indecisive though.

NHS related questions 

NHS plan 2000, Modernization, important reforms and targets set every year- You need to know only the salient targets like trolley wait times etc

Clinical Governance- Definition, 7 components of clinical governance, applicability to your post, examples and your involvement, problems in implementation, etc

Clinical risk management- your understanding of it, examples and what was your role etc. They might throw several scenarios at you and ask how you deal with them. Near miss incident, what happens to critical incident form once you have submitted it? Etc

NICE- role of NICE, applicability to your specialty, you might need to know some of the guidelines especially for ST3 and registrar level posts

NPSA- its role, recent publications and reports, applicability to your specialty

Clinical Audit- Definition, its role in improving clinical services, cyclical process, your own involvement, discuss your audit and changes to the service as a result

Foundation trusts: what are they, advantages, disadvantages, financial repercussions etc?

Decentralization: Arguments for and against, implementation, applicability to your services

Primary care reforms: what are they, how have they changed patient care in the community, impact on secondary care etc

Revalidation: timeline, how it affects every doctor, safe guards in place, what are the advantages and disadvantages- it’s not a closed chapter! Also you are expected to understand assessment and appraisal processes

NPfIT: Important to know the impact on NHS and services, patient records and confidentiality, safety of data, current applications already in clinical service, financial implications etc

Payment by Results: it’s already in place, what is PbyR, how does your trust plan services, how does it impact you- especially for ST3/registrar level posts

Choose & Book: what is it, how does it affect your specialty.

Commissioning: (Practice based commissioning) what is it, how are your trusts paid and what services are considered for commissioning, etc.

Performance Indicators: What are they, what are its components, what are your current trust’s dashboard figures, ratings of different trusts in your region, etc

DOH important targets like trolley wait times, two week cancer referrals etc.

Tips on how to answer this section:

You are not expected to have in-depth understanding of these issues, but relevant to your level of training. Please read relevant sections of DoH website, BMJ careers, speak with your consultant etc. 


Why is it important

Should every doctor involve in research

Research in lab versus clinical research

Translational research

Role of research in DGH setting

DGH versus tertiary centre clinical research

How to obtain funding for research, problems associated with funding

Research ethics

Research risk management

Phases of clinical trials

Problems with conducting clinical research

Clinical audit versus research

MMC , ACF, NIHR- Invention à Evaluation à Adoption à Diffusion concept

Research and job prospects

Research in medical education, primary care, social care etc

Qualities of a good researcher

Are your skills up to date whilst you were on research? etc

Tips on how to answer this section:

You need to have some understanding of the importance of research to every post, please refer to our 'Resources' section. Contact us if you need further help. 

Evidence based medicine

What is EBM?

Why is it important

Levels of evidence

Problems with guidelines

Guidelines versus protocols

Your involvement in EBM - give examples

NICE guidelines and EBM- example if you are unable to provide a certain treatment due to NICE guidelines, how do you explain this to patient.

Critical analysis

Tips on how to answer this section:

Most of the data is easily available on the internet and in your hospital library. We are more than happy to help with your responses related to problems with research, critical analysis etc.

Teaching and learning

Understanding various methods of teaching and learning in clinical context, especially with the changing NHS, how does this affect teachers and learners?

The learning environment- how to create, outpatients, ward rounds, dedicated time table, patient involvement etc

The education versus training debate, especially with EWTD and shortened hours

Competency based learning

Critical incident or significant event based reflective learning

Problem based and Case based learning

Discussion techniques- Brain storming, Buzz groups, Fish bowls, Role playing, Cross Overs etc

Other learning methods in clinical setting: rehearsal, feedback and reflective practice

Teaching methods:  lectures, small group teaching methods, seminars, tutorials, and computer based teaching and learning, etc

Your experience in teaching

What methods have you employed, what feedback did you receive etc

Qualities of a good teacher

Advantages to you by teaching others

Tips on how to answer this section:

You might have been offered some generic training sessions. If you would like more targeted responses, please do contact us.

Team Working and Leadership

What is a team?

Characteristics of an effective team

Stages of team development

Your experience of team work, examples

What was your role in a team- E.g.: Resource investigator, implementer etc

What are the attributes of a good leader?

What are the differences between leadership and management?

Your experience of leadership- both in medical and non-medical fields

How would you motivate your team, how do you give positive or negative feedback- examples, give examples of situations where you showed initiative.

Tips on how to answer this section:

If you would like material related in teaching at workplace or further help, please contact us.

Other general questions:

Health care associated infections- its implications on patient care, how to minimise them, DoH targets on MRSA bacteremia, C. Difficile infection etc

Important advances in NHS over last few years

Qualities of a good consultant, of a good doctor, what skills you have that make you a good doctor or a good trainee etc

Expanding role of nurses- especially your specialty- what are your views?

NSF affecting your specialty- for ST3 level interviews usually

Homework to do before the interview

Starting and ending the interview

Body language

Questions to ask at the end