Radiology Interview Overview 2024
The application process for Radiology ST1 is becoming increasingly competitive and can be daunting. In the 2023 application, there were a total of 3068 applicants for 350 training posts across England, Scotland and Wales, with a total of 688 applicants being interviewed. This demonstrates roughly a 2:1 competition ratio prior to interviews and post MSRA. Historical statistics on the number of Radiology ST1 applicants, interview places and available posts are available on the RCR website.
Evidently, making a good impression and standing out in the interview is vital in securing a radiology training number – don’t let your hard work revising for the MSRA go to waste! We’ve written this overview of the Radiology ST1 application process and interview to help you prepare.
What is the format of the radiology interview?
The format of the radiology interview has changed again for 2024, and we have recently updated our question bank to reflect this.
Previously, the interview consisted of one station lasting 15 minutes, aimed at assessing a candidate’s “commitment to radiology and communication skills”. This could involve asking candidates about a range of topics within radiology, from their understanding of the training pathway to what they thought about teleradiology. Candidates would also be scrutinised on their portfolio. Having a detailed understanding of what is present was crucial to answering the relevant portfolio based questions.
However for 2024, the interview includes 2 stations lasting up to 10 minutes each, covering “Commitment to Specialty” and “Personal skills”, including criteria from the person specification.
We have split our question bank across the two different stations to cover “Commitment to Specialty” and “Personal skills”. We will discuss each of these in turn. For 2024, your interview is worth 50% of your overall score, this is an increase from 33%.
Commitment to Radiology
There are a variety of topics this can encompass, which range from purely factual questions, for example, the training pathway in radiology, FRCR exams or curriculum requirements. Or they may ask opinion-based questions, such as your thoughts on skills mix in radiology, or your reasons for wanting to do radiology. In all questions, the aim is to demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of the topic being asked, gained through your personal experiences of time spent within the radiology department through taster weeks, audits, clinical placements or conferences. In recent years there has not been a dedicated portfolio station so this question presents a great opportunity to bring to light all the amazing elements of your portfolio! Be sure to do so when it is relevant to the question being asked.
Below is a snippet from our Radiology Interview Question Bank dashboard, displaying just some of the scenarios included.
The interviewers may ask you about what skills you possess, or they may want you to discuss a particular attribute or skill and for you to give an example of a time you have demonstrated it. Conversely, they may want to assess if you know what skills are important for a radiologist to have and would expect you to refer back to your taster weeks to discuss what skills you saw the radiologists exhibit. This could range from communication skills in MDTs or teaching sessions, to skills in manual dexterity and anatomical spatial awareness when conducting ultrasound-guided procedures. The list is endless! It’s all about how you discuss it and the relevant details you can delve into.
Note for 2024:
It’s worth bearing in mind, the interview structure is fairly broad, and can encompass a variety of topics. For ‘commitment to speciality’, this may be as simple as ‘why do you want to be a radiologist?’ or it may require some prior reading on radiology specific topics like skills mix, teleradiology and REALM meetings just to name a few. These have always been fair game for radiology interviews and the new format is no different. In the ‘personal skills’ station, they will likely want to assess skills that make an effective radiologist and examples of when you have exhibited them. Additionally, they may give you an ethical scenario and identify how you would manage the situation appropriately.
How can I prepare for the interview?
The 2023-2024 will be conducted remotely via a software called Qpercom Recruit. You will likely be unfamiliar with this, so make sure you have practised using it beforehand. Ensure you have good screen hygiene with a clean background, central framing with your camera near eye level. This may sound pedantic but it makes a big difference! Practice answering questions whilst looking into your camera, rather than the screen (it can be harder than it sounds!). The more you can make second nature, the easier it will be on the day.
Spending time practising possible questions will provide you with confidence and the knowledge to tackle any questions that may arise in the real interview. Practice with a range of people to receive the most variety of feedback for you to work on. This may be fellow applicants to radiology or other specialities, previous successful applicants or even friends and family. It’s all about getting the miles in and getting used to structuring your answers to maximise your marks. The Medibuddy Radiology Interview Question Bank has been updated to bring it in line with the current interview structure and features a wide range of practice questions covering frequently assessed topics, covering the key points that examiners are looking for. Our Radiology Interview Question bank is written by high-scoring Radiology trainees who have gone through the process you are about to embark on!
If you are reading this blog to get an idea about the interview, but you haven’t yet taken your MSRA, check out our adaptive, AI-powered MSRA question bank to help you prepare.
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