What is the interview actually like? There are many stories and myths about what goes on, but in this post, we hope to demystify the intricacies of the interview format. The take home message is that time is tight, and you need to approach each station with a strategy. During your interview practice, try to imagine the interview stations by reading the descriptions below. You can also use our General Surgery ST3 Interview Question Bank to prepare for each individual station.
- The 2021 interview dates are: 29 March – 1 April 2021. You can prepare for your interview using our General Surgery ST3 Interview Question Bank.
- The interview will last 35 minutes and will involve reading time, a clinical scenario, a management scenario and a portfolio review.
- All interviews will be conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams. It is vital you have the latest version of MS Teams installed, test your audio-visual equipment and ensure you have a strong WIFI connection. Interviews will be terminated if the panel cannot see you.
- It is extremely important to arrange practice runs of interviews with colleagues in order to become familiar with MS Teams and the problems you might encounter (e.g. turning off mute quickly).
- The initial process for the remote interview will be as follows:
- You will receive an invite link to the interview close to the time.
- You should enter the interview 5 minutes before the start time. You will then enter the ‘lobby’.
- You will then be asked to confirm your identity with photographic ID, and move the camera around your room to confirm there is no one else present.
- Once your identity is confirmed, the administrator will advise the interview panel to commence the interview.
- The interview panel will consist of at least 2 Consultant interviewers. Additional members may include: A Lay Representative (for quality assurance) and/or another Consultant observer (to assess the interviewers).
The Interview Stations
There is 5 minutes of reading time prior to 3 core stations, each lasting 10 minutes. You will be assessed and scored at each station by the two Consultants.
All stations, except for the Portfolio station, are scored using a Rasch analysis which compensates for ‘hawk’ and ‘dove’ interviewers as well as ‘easy’ and ‘difficult’ scenarios. There is usually a lay person in the station to ensure the interview process is conducted fairly.
The interview format will be as follows:
1. Reading Time (Clinical and Management scenarios) (5 minutes)
Time is very tight so make sure you read the scenarios fully before writing any notes, as you must ensure you understand them. There is usually 1 side of A4 text for each scenario containing a lot of clinical information. Candidates have failed in the past for missing out a vital point in the scenario which was the last piece of text on the instructions.
2. Clinical Scenario (10 minutes)
You will need to explain your management for the Clinical Scenario step by step. We have provided example scenarios and the recommended answer structures in General Surgery ST3 Interview Question Bank. Make sure you identify all the issues at the beginning. The interviewers will provide you with more information and ask you to suggest management plans. These can usually be anticipated (e.g. CT reports).
3. Management Scenario (10 minutes)
You will then discuss the Management Scenario. We have provided example scenarios and the recommended answer structures in the General Surgery ST3 Interview Question Bank. Again, identify all the issues at the beginning and utilise all available human and institutional resources.
For both scenarios, you will be marked down if you are prompted to highlight a key issue or aspect of management.
4. Portfolio Review (10 minutes)
You do not need to prepare a hard copy of your portfolio for the 2021 interview. All portfolio evidence will be submitted along with the evidence to support your self-assessment scores from shortlisting.
This is an opportunity for the panel to ask questions on your career to date and clarify anything that is uncertain in your submitted evidence.