It’s important to start preparing for you Neurology ST3 Interview early. There are certain parts of the interview which candidates may do well in if they are well read in the specialty. Some suggestions are below. You may also find our Neurology ST3 Interview Question Bank helpful.
Visit the ABN Website. Join the society
The Association of British Neurologists (ABN) offers different membership tiers for junior doctors interested in neurology. Membership benefits include newsletters updating you on the hot topics in neurology (know about these!) as well as giving you the opportunity to attend their annual meetings (good opportunity to showcase your research).
Read Practical Neurology
This is one of the most important resources for your future neurology training. It’s a free journal for members of the ABN and covers many topics important to the neurological curriculum. A knowledge of the topics covered here will certainly stand you in good stead if the topic comes up in the clinical case. Once more, watch out for hot topics arising here.
Current hot topics for 2017-18 include valproate in pregnancy, the impending shape of training and impact on neurology training in the UK, the recent Parkinson’s disease guidelines (NICE updated).
Talk to neurologists and neurology registrars
This is particularly important when it comes to the clinical presentation station. Present this a few times to different people and have them ask you questions. Get them to really grill you. In reality, you will be well supported at interview but you may want to practice under pressure to make sure you really know your stuff.
Practice making the question about you
There’s nothing more irritating than hearing the 25thcandidate tell you the definition of a QIP. If you’re asked about something generic (such as audit, QIP, governance), talk about your experience of it and showcase the evidence in your portfolio. You’re going to be employed on the basis of your experience and attitudes, not your ability to regurgitate definitions and description of the audit cycle.
Neurology ST3 Interview Portfolio Preparation Tips
Your portfolio is your passport to your NTN.
For the interview process, interviewers will be using this to a) check your achievements match what you’ve claimed on your shortlisting score, b) grade your achievements relative to your experience and c) as inspiration for questions to ask you during your commitment to speciality station.
You must make this easy for the interviewers. They have a surprisingly short time to review this before they meet you and are interviewing.
- Follow the ST3 recruitment advice as closely as possible
- Use a lever arch file, with a contents page and dividers – follow the order of the shortlisting sheet (i.e. if shortlisting lists undergraduate degrees, prizes, publications – follow this order).
- Make sure you identify the folder as required, usually with your name, application ID and GMC number.
- For publications/reports – highlight your name in colour and highlight what your contribution was.
- In each section put your most important achievement first
- Where using poly pockets – label it so the interviewers know within seconds what they’re looking at (see photo)
- Know your achievements; if you’re including an audit project from 10 years ago, make sure you know the results (and relevance!).
On the day
You’ve applied and been invited to interview; well done. The interview process is a challenge for many but a knowledge of what will happen on the day will help give rest to your nerves.
The current interview model has been in force for several years now and is well tested. Candidates are invited to attend the lead deanery for interview which will be held in a pre-determined location. At present, this has been, and is likely to continue to be, Kassam Stadium, Oxfordin the HEE Thames Valley deanery.
You will be invited via Oriel to choose an interview slot.
Be punctual. There will be an allocated slot (usually of around 15- 20 minutes) to allow your identification documents to be checked and your portfolio to be (very briefly) checked. This will usually then be taken from you, with your ID and other eligibility documents being returned.
Take the opportunity to have some refreshment and a last minute toilet break. It is not unusual for the interview process to run late; bring some fruit.
Other candidates will be herded into the interview corridor with you; don’t be put off. Some are nervous, some are cool. This is not a reflection on how others will do.
Check out all our Neurology ST3 Interview resources.