With a limited number of posts available, competition for ST3 Obstetrics and Gynaecology is fierce! Therefore, knowing what to expect from the interview, and preparing well, is vital. To make things easier, this guide provides you with the key information you’ll need, including the interview timeline, interview format and interview panel and scoring.
ST3 Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) Interview Timeline
The following is an overview of the ST3 Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) recruitment process timeline:
- Ensure that you meet the relevant eligibility criteria
- Register on Oriel
- Familiarise yourself with the information provided about the process and the programme
- Complete and submit your application on Oriel before the deadline, including answering the white space shortlisting questions (see below).
- Your application will be checked to ensure that you’re eligible to apply (longlisted)
- If you pass the longlisting, your white space questions will be used for shortlisting
- You’ll be required to complete your preferencing – i.e. preference all programmes in which you will be willing to accept a post
Interviews and offers:
- If you’re shortlisted you’ll be invited to attend an interview which takes place in April
- You’ll be scored based on your interview performance. All applicants are given a ranking based on their score and offers are made in rank order until all posts are filled
The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists provide the following key dates in relation to the recruitment process for posts commencing in August 2022:
|Advert placed on Oriel||Tuesday 16 November 2021|
|Application window||Thursday 18 November 2021 at 10am – Thursday 9 December 2021 at 4pm|
|Longlisting||By 4pm Friday 18 February 2022|
|Shortlisting||Results expected by 4pm Monday 28 March 2022|
|Invitations to interview||No later than 4pm Wednesday 20 March 2022|
|Preferences open on Oriel||14 March at 10am|
|Interview dates||5, 6 and 7 April 2022|
|Preferences close on Oriel||Monday 11 April 2022 at 10am|
|Offers||No later than 5pm Tuesday 21 April 2022|
|Hold deadline||Tuesday 3 May 2022 at 1pm|
|Upgrade deadline||Wednesday 4 May 2022 at 4pm|
|Anticipated start date||From Wednesday 3 August 2022|
* Note all times given are UK time.
ST3 O&G Interview Format
For the purpose of shortlisting applicants for interview, white space questions are used, which assess your suitability and commitment to the specialty. Answers to these questions are used to rank applicants and interviews are offered in rank order up to the available interview capacity. There are six white space questions to answer as part of your application. You can find out more about the process, as well as the six questions which will be asked, here.
If shortlisted, you’ll be invited to attend a 25 minute online interview, which consists of the following two elements:
- Clinical prioritisation
- Structured interview
The interview will assess your skills and competences against the ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ sections of the person specification.
The interview timings are as follows:
|Applicant waiting room||Log in at your interview time (given on Oriel). There’ll be a briefing video to watch followed by a link to the interview room once the interviewers are ready.|
|Read Clinical Prioritisation||5 minutes|
|Clinical Prioritisation section||10 minutes|
|Structured Interview Questions||15 minutes|
|Total interviewing time||25 minutes|
The Clinical Prioritisation section of the ST3 O&G interview requires you to prioritise and explain a management plan for four patients. You’ll have five minutes to read through the prioritisation scenario and prepare. The time will go fast! Make sure you use the preparation time effectively so you can provide well structured, thought-out management plans and a justification for your prioritisation. The best way to prepare for this is simply to practise. Use different scenarios, different topics across O&G and pay attention to feedback or explanations which can provide insight into areas you can improve. You can find ST3 O&G Clinical Prioritisation questions which cover a wealth of topics and provide detailed explanations in our question bank (coming soon).
The Structured Interview section of the ST3 O&G interview consists of questions which cover the following four areas:
Targets and Management
Think questions relating to leadership and appraisal, as well as topics such as the Maternity Dashboard and Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST).
Prepare for topics such as breaking bad news, communicating with women in labour and antenatal counselling.
Having an understanding of the challenges facing O&G is essential. For example, the challenges of O&G training, the workforce and the pressures of out of programme vacancies.
QIP, research and teaching
Be prepared to discuss Quality Improvement Projects (QIP), the difference between audit and research, and the role of teaching and why it’s important.
You can find examples of the types of questions you’ll be asked in the ST3 Structured Interview in our ST3 O&G question bank (coming soon). As with the Clinical Prioritisation section, completing practice questions and learning from the feedback / explanations provided is the best way to effectively prepare.
ST3 O&G Interview Panel
The interview panel will consist of a minimum of three assessors. The applicants’ guide highlights that you can expect the interviewers to ‘probe and challenge’ your answers if they require more information. Don’t let this put you off, it’s designed to ensure you have a fair opportunity to answer the questions fully, so see it as an opportunity to score some extra points that you’ve missed.
ST3 O&G Interview Scoring
Each assessor on the interview panel will score you independently. The applicants’ guide states that all panel members are trained and briefed on the interview process and the importance of maintaining consistent scoring parameters. Additionally, all scoring is reviewed by the interview panel, a lay chair and the recruitment lead, to address any significant discrepancies between the interviewers’ scores.
Your interview score will determine your ranking. Offers are then made in rank order until all posts are filled. With ST3 O&G the number of posts is limited and significantly lower than the number of applicants they receive. This makes the ST3 O&G interview highly competitive. However, it is not impossible, if you’re determined to secure a position, dedicate time to preparing effectively with plenty of practice questions. We recommend you use a question bank which offers a broad range of topics and high quality explanations to help you to improve.