The following document provides suggestions on how to prepare for and perform at interview. You may wish to read this in conjunction with Specialty Assessment Centres and Hints and Tips for Compiling Your Portfolio
You can download a PDF of the following information here Interview Techniques
Assessment centres for hospital specialties currently include interview stations. Some interviewing may specifically be aimed at exploring your level of competency in a variety of key skills. How can you prepare yourself for this type of interviewing?
- Know the job description and person specification as both documents will give you a good idea as to the competencies required for that specialty at a specific level
- Ensure that you have ‘quizzed' people already training at that level and beyond as to the skills they use on a regular basis and details of their daily responsibilities
- Know your portfolio inside out so that you can recall appropriate examples to use when demonstrating your competencies to your interviewers
- Talk to doctors who have already been through the process and have secured a training post. This will give you a feel for the range of questions that were asked previously. Do not expect the same questions to be asked at your interview, this will just give you a flavour of styles of questioning and some of the competencies that were explored
- Do not develop ‘stock' answers as you do not know whether your answer will fit the question asked. Have examples you can draw from so that you can tailor your answer to the question
- Develop techniques to help you structure your answers and keep them concise and to the point
Suggestions for Structuring Your Answers
You may already have developed a technique that will help you successfully answer the competency based questions - great! On the other hand if you find that you are struggling you may find it helpful to familiarise yourself with the STAR Technique described below.
This particular technique has been used by many people for applying for jobs across a variety of professions and has proved to be an effective way of getting an answer across in a logical, efficient and effective way.
S T A R
Break your answers down in the following way:
- Provides the interviewer with the context for the ACTION
- Make your description CONCISE and INFORMATIVE
- Concentrate only on RELEVANCE to the story and message you are trying to communicate in your answer
- Only give clinical information if directly relevant to answering the question
Example (using an old GPVTS question)
Give an example of a situation in which you had to deal with a difficult colleague. What did you do? What was the outcome?
Briefly describe the situation and how the colleague was being difficult.
This is where you demonstrate and highlight the skills and personal attributes that the question is testing.
- Explain what, how and why YOU did it.
- Demonstrate what you did i.e. talk about YOU not everyone else
- Give some detail, but beware of giving clinical information unless it is necessary to your example.
- The actions you describe should highlight relevant skills.
- Explain the outcome of YOUR action
- Describe what YOU accomplished
- Reflect on the situation by stating what you have learnt - this adds the personal element and will show that you can think laterally and fully about a particular issue.
Explain what you have done since e.g. implemented new procedures or protocols and give some idea of their success. This will help you ‘close the loop'.
Practice your Technique
- Ask a friend or colleague to put you through your paces, video yourself so that you can see and hear your performance
- Specialty Assessment Centres - index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=104&Itemid=117
- Hints and Tips for Compiling Your Portfolio - index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=468&Itemid=405