Medical Consultant Interview Questions

ISC Medical has been running consultant interview courses for many years and many of your trainers have sat on consultant interview panels. Over the years we have collected a comprehensive list of consultant interview questions, which we have set out below for your benefit.

At the bottom we have also added full lists of questions asked at recent real consultant interviews for different specialities so that you can see the spread of topics being addressed.

General consultant interview questions


Background, training, the job & motivation questions

  1. Tell us about yourself
  2. Take us through your CV
  3. Why do you want to join this Trust?
  4. What can you offer to this Trust?
  5. What can this Trust offer you?
  6. How does your training meet the needs of the post?
  7. What makes you think that you are fit to become a consultant?
  8. How do you know that you are fit to become a consultant?
  9. How did you acquire the maturity to become a consultant?
  10. Do you feel that it is right for trainees to become consultants straight after CCT?
  11. What are the advantages and disadvantages of employing locum consultants?
  12. Where do you see yourself in 5/10/20 years' time?
  13. How do you see your career develop over the next 10 years?
  14. Would you like to become a clinical director?
  15. Looking back at your training, what did you like the most and the least?
  16. If you had the chance, what would you change in your training/ portfolio?
  17. What experience do you have to manage <type of session> successfully?
  18. Why should we give you this job?
  19. Is there anything which I, as the Chief Executive, should know and that you are not telling me? Why should I not give you the job?
  20. What was your greatest professional challenge in the past 5 years?
  21. What are the medium term goals for this hospital and how could help?
  22. What do you like the most and the least about this specialty?
  23. How do you identify your weaknesses?
  24. What is the difference between being a senior SpR and a junior consultant?
  25. How would your seniors motivate you?
  26. What do you think will be your biggest challenge in this post?
  27. What experiences outside of medicine have you found useful for your medical career?
  28. As a new consultant, what use will you make of your SPAs?
  29. Do you think that consultants should be entitled to SPAs?
  30. How do you measure success?

Personal attributes

  1. How would you describe your communication skills?
  2. What makes you a good communicator?
  3. What is more important: good communication or good clinical skills?
  4. Give an example of a situation where you failed to communicate appropriately.
  5. Give an example of a non-clinical situation where your communication skills made a difference to the outcome of a project.
  6. How can you show empathy through an interpreter?
  7. What makes you a good team player?
  8. Give an example of a situation where you made a difference to a team.
  9. Give an example of a dysfunctional team in which you worked. How did you deal with it and what did you learn from that experience?
  10. Tell us about your management experience.
  11. What is the difference between management & leadership?
  12. Can you learn management by going to management courses?
  13. Do doctors need management skills?
  14. What does leadership mean to you and when do you exercise it?
  15. What makes you a good leader?
  16. Give an example of a situation where you showed leadership.
  17. Are leaders born leaders or can you learn to become a leader?
  18. What type of leader are you?
  19. Are you a leader or a follower?
  20. What makes a good team?
  21. How do you deal with stress?
  22. Give an example of a situation where you showed initiative.
  23. If you get this post, what ideas would you like to develop?
  24. How do you implement change in a unit?
  25. How do you go about fighting resistance from others when you want to change something? Give an example.
  26. As a consultant, how will you make sure that your team is up to scratch?
  27. In what circumstances have you had to influence others and how did you achieve your objectives?
  28. How possible is it to motivate and develop junior doctors in the current climate?
  29. How will you make sure that your team is up to scratch?
  30. How do you motivate others?
  31. How would your boss motivate you?
  32. How do you go about resolving a conflict?
  33. When is the last time you argued with a colleague?
  34. Tell us about a conflict which you had with a colleague?
  35. Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a conflict within your team or an MDT?
  36. What skills have you got which make you a good consultant?
  37. Would you be happy being an average consultant?
  38. What skills do you feel you need to improve the most?
  39. What are your strengths?
  40. What is your main weakness?
  41. How would your colleagues describe you?
  42. How would your patients describe you?
  43. How do you know that your colleagues trust you?
  44. How do you respond to criticism? 


  1. Tell us about your teaching experience.
  2. How do you cope with teaching multidisciplinary groups?
  3. Tell us about Problem-Based Learning? What are its pros and cons?
  4. What kind of teaching do you like/dislike the most?
  5. Tell us about your worst teaching experience as a teacher.
  6. What have you learnt from the teaching courses you attended?
  7. Do you think that anyone can be taught?
  8. How would you enthuse a junior doctor who had shown an interest into your specialty to join the specialty as a career?
  9. If I gave you a group of 6 FY2s/ST1s to teach next week for one hour on <topic>, how would you go about preparing for it?
  10. What makes you a good teacher?
  11. How do you know that youare a good teacher?
  12. What is the difference between a good teacher and an excellent teacher?
  13. How can we maintain good teaching in view of the decreased number of hours imposed by the European Working Time Directive?
  14. Other than by attending courses, how would you improve your teaching skills?
  15. Tell us about some of the negative feedback that you have received following your teaching sessions.
  16. How would you explain to an uneducated patient what <condition> is?


  1. Tell us about your research experience.
  2. What is your understanding and experience of research governance?
  3. What did you gain from your research?
  4. Do you think that all trainees should do research?
  5. What is the role and importance of research for a junior trainee?
  6. How do you go about seeking ethical approval?
  7. What are NRECs?
  8. How would you go about seeking funding for your research?
  9. Why should a DGH care about research when there are more pressing issues such as service provision and profitability?
  10. Should all research be carried in tertiary centres or do DGHs have a role?

Clinical Governance & Safe Practice

  1. What makes you think that you are safe?
  2. How do you know that you are safe ?
  3. How can we make sure that you are performing to the standards of Good Medical Practice?
  4. Tell us about your day-to-day experience of clinical governance.
  5. What contribution can you make to clinical governance in your new consultant post?
  6. How do you keep up to date?
  7. How do you identify your weaknesses and deficiencies?
  8. What contribution can you make to risk management?
  9. Do you believe in a no-blame culture?
  10. When did you last have to complete a critical incident form?
  11. How would you encourage your team to complete critical incident forms each time it is appropriate?
  12. What are the hurdles to implementing clinical governance in a department?
  13. Tell us about a recent clinical mistake that you have made.
  14. Tell us about your biggest mistake.
  15. Tell us about a situation where you felt out of your depth.
  16. When is the last time that you had to seek senior help?
  17. Do you think that it is acceptable for consultants to ask for help?
  18. Tell us about your audit experience.
  19. How does patient feedback influence your practice?
  20. How responsive are you to your patients' needs?
  21. Tell us about the most difficult clinical situation you have faced.

Difficult colleagues & other difficult scenarios

  1. One of your consultant colleagues is underperforming or his quality of care is unsatisfactory. What do you do?
  2. One of your juniors complains to you that they are being bullied by another consultant. How do you handle the situation?
  3. One of your junior colleagues comes in late by over 20 minutes repeatedly. What do you do?
  4. Your registrar reports to you that his SHO has been coming late for 20 minutes each day over the past 4 days. What do you do?
  5. One of your juniors keeps contradicting you in front of patients. What do you do?
  6. A senior consultant turns up drunk for work one morning. How do you handle the situation?
  7. You overhear two nurses talk about the fact that one of your registrars was taking cocaine last Friday when he went clubbing. How do you address the situation?
  8. Assuming that you report a colleague's bad performance to your clinical director. What would you expect him to do about it?
  9. What difference do you make between lack of fitness to practice and underperformance?
  10. What role does NCAS play in dealing with underperformance?

Management & NHS Issues

  1. Give an example of a situation when you enhanced the efficiency of your department.
  2. How would you develop better links with other departments? or Primary Care?
  3. How will this specialty be affected by current NHS changes?
  4. How do you feel that the Trust should react to current changes in the NHS?
  5. Should we be worried about polyclinics?
  6. How can we make this specialty more community centred?
  7. What do you think about giving patients the choice?
  8. Do you think it is fair to link the PBR tariff to quality of service? How do you think that quality should be measured?
  9. How do you think that the Darzi report influences the future of this specialty?
  10. How can we best present data on quality to patients?
  11. Darzi's proposed approach is to link quality payments to patient feedback. What are the pros and cons of this?
  12. What would be the effect of having a clinical dashboard in the waiting room?
  13. How can patient feedback be measured in a meaningful way?
  14. Do you think that encouraging competition through patient choice is the best way to achieve good quality of care?
  15. How can we optimise the efficiency of our department?
  16. If the tariff for procedure X is £1000 and, after full optimisation, the best we can do is an actual cost of £1,050, what should we do about it?
  17. What is your opinion on the new revalidation proposal of relicensing + recertification?
  18. What do you think would be the best way to assess if a doctor is safe?
  19. How do you assess surgical competence in a trainee?
  20. Do you think that appraisals are useful or just a paperwork exercise?
  21. What do you think are the issues caused by the introduction of revalidation as proposed?
  22. How possible is it to maintain good teaching and training in the context of the EWTD?
  23. Do you think the increasing role of nurses / the introduction of physicians' assistants is a solution to the NHS's problems?
  24. The Tooke report talks about destigmatising staff grade. What did he mean by that and what role can you play in achieving this?
  25. Both Tooke and Darzi talk about doctors needing more management and leadership skills. What is wrong with the status quo? What role can you play in helping juniors gain more experience in both?
  26. What is the best way to assess if someone is fit to enter this specialty at ST1/ST3 level?
  27. Our aim is to develop a new service on xxx. How do you think we can about doing this? What hurdles do you foresee?
  28. When you visited me (Chief Exec), I told you about the direction the Trust was taking. What can you tell me about it and how can you contribute?
  29. Do we have anything to fear from ISTCs?
  30. When you make a patient information leaflet using patient groups, do you think they self-select and are therefore not necessarily unbiased? What level do you pitch your information at? Which side do you lean towards: explaining in very simple terms or more detailed? How do you stop yourself from using medical parlance?

Recent Consultant Interview Questions By Speciality

In addition to the questions set out above which could be asked at any interviews, we felt it was important that you saw also which questions come up in specific specialities, which topics are being addressed and with which weighting. You will notice in particular that, although most questions could be asked to all competitors, some can be specifically targetted at a candidate's CV. The fact that all candidates get asked the same questions is a myth.

The questions set out below are the full list of questions asked in specific consultant interviews, based on feedback from candidates who attended our consultant interview course. The interviews are listed in reverse chronological order (i.e. most recent first).


Microbiology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. What is your ppinion on the changing working hours in laboratory medicine?
  2. What are the difficulties with getting involved in research when laboratory facilities are off site?
  3. What is the impact of new GP consortia/clinical senates and how should we engage with these to determine service provision?
  4. How an we improve quality and innovation in microbiology?
  5. Give an example of a clinical mistake you made.
  6. What risk would the Trust be taking in employing you?
  7. Beyond my service provision role, what could you offer the trust that another candidate couldn't?
  8. How would you go about bringing about a change in policy?
  9. Why do you want this position?

Paediatric Anaesthesia/PICU Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Can you tell me how your training has prepared you for a post as a Consultant in Paediatric Anaesthesia?
  2. Panel requested more detail on a couple of audits
  3. This is not an academic post but how will you contribute to academic anaesthesia at this trust?
  4. In 5 years time, a post for a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Undergraduate training is advertised. Would you be interested?
  5. You are in theatre with a diaphragmatic hernia when another surgeon tells you he has a really sick neonate in NICU with NEC. How will you manage this?
  6. You are repairing a hernia thoracoscopically when you suddenly find the child’s CO2 goes up. How will you manage this situation?
  7. Bearing in mind the HDU/ITU facilities in this hospital, how will manage a child who needs a Nissen’s fundoplication who has suddenly aspirated while on the ward?
  8. How do you measure efficiency?
  9. What efficiency strategies would you like to introduce if you were appointed?
  10. Where do you see the role of Chelsea in North West London in the Paediatric Surgical Network?
  11. You will have read about CQUINS and QIPPS in preparation for your interview. What do you understand by the term innovation?
  12. What innovations will you introduce to the trust?
  13. You are in theatre with a trainee who isn’t performing to the standards that you would expect. You question him during a long boring case and find out that about 2 weeks ago, he was with a senior colleague who shouted at him in front of the whole theatre team and he has been feeling very demotivated since. How do you handle this?
  14. He then tells you he could smell alcohol on your colleague’s breath. How do you handle this?
  15. How do you deal with a senior underperforming trainee?
  16. How would you respond to a complaint letter?

Cardiology (Electrophysiology) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Why do you want to work at this hospital?
  2. Tell us about your fellowship
  3. How did they keep the staff happy at that institution?
  4. What have you heard about PCTs funding AF ablation?
  5. Who will you need to talk to when asking for funding for AF ablation?
  6. How will you construct your argument for funding AF ablation?
  7. Tells us about a complication during a procedure that you had.
  8. What will you do in the first 6 months at this trust?
  9. What is your first peer reviewed grant that you will put in?
  10. What is the difference in applying to an AHSC, or to a FT?
  11. What is the difference between a SL position and a Consultant position.
  12. How do you deal with an underperforming colleague.
  13. How does the hospital as a whole deal with the outside community.
  14. Name an instance when you have saved money for the hospital you have worked in.
  15. If all your colleagues were in the room what would they say your strengths were?
  16. And your weaknesses?
  17. On a scale where one end is value and the other is results, where do you put yourself?
  18. What is the tariff for AF ablation?

Anaesthesia Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about your CV
  2. Tell me about your orthopaedic anaesthesia experience
  3. Tell me about the GIC course you attended; did you find it useful?
  4. How do you evaluate your teaching sessions?
  5. How would you advise me to collect my CPD points in line with the new GMC revalidation process/RCOA matrix?
  6. What is the best intervention that affected anaesthesia in your lifetime?
  7. The hospital covers a huge geographical area - how would you most effectively staff a pre-op assessment clinic attached to an outreach orthopaedic OPD clinic?
  8. Why are anaesthetists involved in pre-op assessment?
  9. In which ways would you improve productivity without spending more money ?
  10. Tell me about an audit youve done, relevant to this hospital, that has led to improvements.
  11. Why are you competitive?
  12. Patient in recovery in fast AF. How would you manage it?
  13. Patient in pre-op for elective hip replacement, 9 months after insertion of drug eluting stent - what would you advise?
  14. How would you introduce a new idea when you start as a consultant?
  15. We are a small department and have to work together. Tell me about teamwork
  16. How much blood loss per hour is there from a revision hip replacement?

Anaesthesia & ITU Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Introduce yourself in 3 sentences
  2. Tell us about your teaching experience
  3. Tell us about your research experience
  4. How can we improve our anaesthetic service without spending more money?
  5. How would you help to integrate the 3 anaesthetic departments from the 3 hospitals in the health board?
  6. Why did you apply for the job and what can you bring to the health board?
  7. Why is there a problem with patient safety?
  8. If you could do any research what would you do and why? how would you develop collaborative relationships to help your research?
  9. Convince us you have enough ITU experience to cover ITU on call.

Breast Reconstruction Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Presentation: 5mins - modernising the breast reconstruction in Warwickshire
  2. Are you well trained? Talk us through your training.
  3. What do you understand about the national mastectomy audit, implications for practice, limitations of audit?
  4. What benefits did you get from your oncoplastic fellowship?
  5. Why do you think that plastics trainees have been reluctant to take up these fellowships?
  6. What are the details of the enquiries in Mid Staffs and paediatric cardiac surgery in oxford? How will this affect you when starting your new consultant post?
  7. What is your main weakness?
  8. How do you relax?

Obstetrics & Gynaecology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Presentation on "How would you use the opportunity to make the services in this hospital first class?"
  2. Tell us about yourself.
  3. How do your friends describe you?
  4. You have not done any research or publication, has this been a conscious decision...not to be involved in research?
  5. Would you like to continue your masters in medical education? Is it a part-time or distance learning course.
  6. What do you think of GMC revalidation?
  7. How will you provide leadership to such a big unit?
  8. Is there anything you learned in other units that you would like to bring to our unit?
  9. You said you want to set up combined obstetrics and cardiac medicine clinic in the unit....will that improve outcome for patients? 
  10. A midwife comes to you and complains that the SHO on call for labour ward is seen to use opiates on duty and seen to walk around with hypodermic needles and syringe in his pockets. How will you handle this situation?
  11. How will you develop the education programme or the post-graduate trainees in the unit?
  12. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
  13. Do you feel you are ready to become a consultant?
  14. Tell us about a recent NICE guideline which you tried to implement in your department. What problems did you face in implementation?
  15. What experience have you had as a registrar which would help you meet the challenges of the role of a consultant?
  16. Do you feel you had enough time for your training...did EWTD affect it in anyway?
  17. Tell us about a recent AIRS form that you filled in.
  18. If we employ you, what will you do for the first 6 months?
  19. Chief Executive: If you get the job, what will you ask me?
  20. What is the risk in employing you? How can we help mitigate the risk?
  21. Do you have any questions for us?

Anaesthesia (Pain) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Tell us 3 skills you have acquired in your training which make you different.
  2. Is the role of psychology important in pain?
  3. What are the new requirements in the curriculum by the Faculty of Pain Medicine for training?
  4. What is the difference between a consultant and a trainee?
  5. Tell us about your research experience?
  6. Tell us about your MSc?
  7. Do you read any subspeciality journals?
  8. What have you read which changed your practice?
  9. What is the future of pain services in 5 to 10 years?
  10. Tell me about a memorable patient encounter?
  11. How do you measure quality in chronic pain?
  12. How do you now chronic pain services are value for money?
  13. What is the point of integrating King's, Guy's and St Thomas and KCL?
  14. What initiatives do you know for infection control in the wards?
  15. Should we ask GPs how we are doing?
  16. How will GP consortia change pain management?
  17. How do you increase patient satisfaction on the wards with regards to pain?
  18. How do you get nurses to improve pain scoring and assessment of pain on ward?
  19. What are King's values and which one of them do you identify with?

Gastroenterology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Presentation (Topic given 30 minutes beforehand): How will you contribute to the development of new and existing gastroenterology services in this Trust?
  2. Could you take us through your experience as a junior doctor?
  3. Tell us more about your speciality training.
  4. Describe your experience of therapeutic endoscopy.
  5. Do SpRs take place in a bleeding rota in the North-West?
  6. How do you know you are competent in managing emergency GI bleeding?
  7. The service need for Hepatitis C is increasing. Would you be prepared to treat Hepatitis C if appointed?
  8. Are you familiar with Kieran Moriarty's alcohol service and recent guidelines?
  9. Would you be willing to develop an alcohol service within the Trust? How would you develop it?
  10. Let's say you estimated that £50,000 was required to fund an alcohol specialist nurse. How would you achieve this funding within the current financial climate?
  11. Describe a recent study or guideline that has changed your clinical practice.
  12. Are you an advocate of top down biological therapy in Crohns?
  13. Give two examples of basic scientific research that have changed clinical practice.
  14. You receive an email from me (clinical director) when you arrive at work one morning informing you that the hospital is on red alert. What would you do?
  15. It is 2013 and the GP commissioning consortium decides to reduce the tariff on open access gastroscopy to that equivalent to an outpatient appointment. How would you manage this? What is the current tariff for an open access gastroscopy?
  16. How do you anticipate that planned changes in NHS configuration will affect gastroenterology services?
  17. If you were successful and were offered this consultant post, you will come at a cost of £4.5m to this trust over your career. How will you prove to be a worthwhile investment for the Trust?
  18. What is your opinion on the recently published white paper?

Histopathology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Tell us about your training experience. What did you feel were the advantages and drawbacks?
  2. How many cases have you reported?
  3. The post needs research interests. How do you think you can develop this?
  4. What is you subspecialist interest and how can it fit within the current job plan?
  5. What is your experience in GI pathology?
  6. Not everyone can be a leader. What do you understand by 'Clinical Leadership'? How would you develop this within your department?
  7. What leadership role would you like to take in future?
  8. What are the changes propsed by the current white paper?
  9. Which of these do you think is the most important change and why?
  10. What is the major threat to our Trust as a result of the proposed changes?
  11. What are the criteria for patient satisfaction during the period of their treatment in a hospital?

General Adult Psychiatry Consultant Interview Questions

First interview (HR Director + 2 consultants)

  1. Why do you want this job?
  2. Tell me about something you have innovated on this year.
  3. What problems have encountered in supervising junior staff?
  4. Tell me how you used evidence-based medicine in your practice in the past 12 months?
  5. There have been 45 people applying for this job. Why should we give it to you?

Second interview (Full panel of 8)

  1. Tell me the top 3 things that make you stand out for this job.
  2. How will you work with local GPs in this job?
  3. Tell me about a clinical audit that you have done in the last 12 months that has resulted in service improvement.
  4. How would you deal with a junior doctor who is not performing well.
  5. What are the difficulties you could face as a clinician dealing with your managers?
  6. How would you work with your managers to develop the service?
  7. How do you think the new White Paper will affect your service?
  8. Give me some examples of how you have involved service users over the last 12 months.
  9. What aspects of the job do you think you will need help with in the first year?
  10. What would you need a mentor to help you with in the first year?

General Surgery Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Take us through your CV.
  2. How will the white paper alter local health economy.
  3. What would you do if one of your consultant colleagues was drunk in theatre?
  4. What important information do you think the Trust should put on its website.
  5. What new service could we introduce and would you go about it?
  6. Why do you want to work in a DGH with such an academic CV?
  7. Tell us about a serious complication you had and how you dealt with it.

Orthopaedics (Spinal Surgery) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Describe your postgraduate training - especially in your subspecialty.
  2. Describe your practical experience during you fellowship.
  3. What are your thoughts on cross specialty working within spinal surgery?
  4. Do you see any areas of commonality / difference between orthopaedic and neurosurgical spinal surgery?
  5. How would you organise MDTs?
  6. Where do you see the areas of expanding demand within spinal surgery?
  7. Can you expand on your comments regarding joint operating?
  8. How do you view research?
  9. You talked about postgraduate teaching - do you have any undergraduate teaching experience?
  10. Ho would you organise the spinal service?
  11. How would you organise the trauma service?
  12. How can you support the work of the trauma specialists?
  13. Ho do you think we are performing in the management of fragility fractures (osteoporosis)? How would you improve it?
  14. Describe a weakness?
  15. Describe another weakness?
  16. How would you demonstrate to me that you a good doctor?
  17. What action would you take if you discovered shortcomings in a colleagues practice?
  18. What two issues keep me, the CEO, awake at night re this Trust?
  19. In your experience what is the main limiting factor for efficient throughput in theatre? How would you improve it?
  20. How would you respond to complaints from nursing staff regarding changes in their working arrangement? (In the context of improvements in theatre practice)
  21. Did you realise that you have spelt orthopaedics incorrectly in your application form? How does that speak in favour of your attention to detail? 
  22. What has been the biggest change and development for you moving from trainee to locum consultant?
  23. You discussed team working - how have you managed this during your time as a locum consultant?

Radiology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. What is better for patients? General radiologists or specialised radiologists?
  2. What are the implications of moving to a paperless department and moving more service to the community?
  3. Do you think we should stop GPs having open access to imaging such as MRI?
  4. Do you think vetting the radiology request forms is a waste of money and time?
  5. What is the risk of employing a new consultant?
  6. What is the risk for you in taking up this job?
  7. What is the importance of management for clinicians?

ICU / Anaesthesia Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Talk me through your training.
  2. You’ve published a bit, most seems to be from earlier placements in your country of origin. Is research easier there?
  3. What did the General Instructor Course equip you with for teaching? Does it really help?
  4. You’ve mentioned simulation in your presentation. Who do you use it for, and how do you keep it realistic?
  5. You’ve mentioned patient safety in your presentation. Which single thing would you do to increase patient safety?
  6. What is the first thing you would change on the ICU if you’re given the job?
  7. How do you know that you’re a good team playe?
  8. You said you’ve got communication skills. Can you expand on that?
  9. How would you deal with a situation where you find that the surgeon you’re working with is below par?
  10. How would your friends describe you?
  11. How do you think you can help move UHL forward in the climate of the Comprehensive Spending Review? Follow-up question: Do you think some of your older colleagues might struggle with going out selling our services to buyers (GPs)?
  12. Why do you want to work here?

Pathology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. What is the difference between clinical governance and clinical effectiveness?
  2. Describe an audit which you have done.
  3. Where do you see your role given the planned restructuring of pathology services (Carter report) and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the proposals.
  4. What makes a good leader!
  5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
  6. What advancements do you think you will have made to the department and how do you plan to develop the service over the next 5 years?
  7. Are you happy just giving clinical advice (as a consult) without full responsibility of the patient? What do you do if the advice is then ignored?
  8. How would you save costs in pathology?

Surgery Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Tell us about yourself.
  2. What would your ideal job plan look like?
  3. Out of the job plans on offer, which one would you prefer and how does your training make you suitable for it?
  4. You are wearing a tie bearing the arms of the royal college. Explain.
  5. If you were appointed how would you help the new PFI?
  6. What do you know about the new elective emergency split? What are the pros and cons?
  7. How would you reassure me that I won't be called for questionning by the GMC to discuss your conduct?
  8. Have you had any critical incidents? What did you learn and how?
  9. Are we doing enough nationally in terms of audits?
  10. Are our systems robust enough?
  11. What are the timelines and developments for revalidation? Tell us about the logistics.
  12. How would you increase theatre efficiency and save money?
  13. Will you be working in theatres or trying to solve all the problems outside the theatre environment?
  14. How can you work with people as a team to improve efficiency?
  15. Will you accept any job or a specific job plan?
  16. Praise the Trust.

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Talk us through your CV.
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  3. What would you like to look back on when you retire and feel proud of?
  4. What relation issues could arise between 2 consultants on an inpatient unit and how would you manage that?
  5. What isyour experience of developing services and how do you succeed when there is resistance to change?
  6. What outcome measures would you collect?
  7. Why should the Trust take the risk of giving such a high profile post to a new trainee?
  8. Other candidates are more experienced than you. What do you have to say about this?
  9. What will your contribution to research be?
  10. How would you help enhance this trust's reputation?
  11. How would you evaluate this service?
  12. What is unique about you?

Anaesthetics (Trauma interest) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Talk me through your career to date.
  2. What added value do you have to offer to this department and what is your 5-year career plan?
  3. A surgeon whom you work with regularly always arrives late for the afternon list, meaning that staff and you regulalry stay late to finish. What do you do?
  4. I want to set up a trauma fellowship. How can you help me and how woud go about it?
  5. I am the Clinical Director. I have a problem with 2 consultants. I have received a number of complaints from colleagues about Consultant A and the same number of complaints from patients about Consultant B. Which ones should I take more seriously and why? What should I do about both as their manager?
  6. How can you demonstrate quality in your practice?
  7. How can you save 3% of your costs in Anaesthesia?

ENT Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Do you know how the teaching of medical students is done here and how could it be improved?
  2. What do you do if you come into conflict with a manager colleague about funding for a service you wish to provide?
  3. What do you think is the leading cause of conflict amongst colleagues?
  4. Tell us about your fellowships.
  5. What can you bring this trust which is unique?
  6. If there was one things whcih as chief executive I could do for you, what would that be?
  7. What does a team structure mean to you and where do you see yourself in the team?

Dermatology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. What service would you develop in your department and how?
  2. How would you reduce the costs of the department by 20%?
  3. How do you know that your teaching methods work?
  4. Are there any published studies on the outcomes of teaching?
  5. To produce a good undergraduate teaching, we will need to run less clinics or see less patients in clinics. How can you defend/argue this?
  6. Our hospital has poor feedback on patient experience. What one thing do you think we could change to improve this?
  7. In the current times when there is demand to see more patients, how can you defend spending time in research?
  8. What is the most interesting paper you have read this year and why?
  9. There is pressure to move some specialities into the community. What arguments would you use to keep your speciality hospital-based?

Radiology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Talk me through your training milestones.
  2. Are you trained and competent for this job?
  3. The trust has recently merged and there are two people on the panel from the different sides of the city. Where does your allegiance lie?
  4. In your application form you said you were passionate about teaching; that's an unusually strong word. Explain.
  5. Tell me a bit about interviewing medical students. Why do we need to interview (some medical schools don't)? How is it best to approach the interviewing process?
  6. Would you like to become a mentor?
  7. Tell me about patient safety, giving radiology-based examples.
  8. How do you intend to improve the service. Be specific.
  9. The job description includes specialist sarcoma imaging. How much have you done?
  10. Are you happy and competent to do on call intervention work?
  11. The job includes padiatric intervention. What are you willing to take on?
  12. How would you deal with a problem colleague and can you give an example of one?
  13. How would you put together a business case to stop performing barium enemas?
  14. What do you think of CT colonography? Where is it going in the future?
  15. What research have you done? What are your future plans?
  16. What do you think about revalidation?
  17. How can we reduce healthcare associated infections?
  18. How can we improve the day-to-day safety of the department?
  19. What is your understanding and experience of clinical audit?
  20. Explain your understanding fo becoming a foundation trust. How should we go about it and what difference will it make?
  21. What do you understand by plurality and what effect does it have on radiology?
  22. What 3 words would you use to describr how you felt when you walked in here today?
  23. How do you think patients feel when they are about to see you? How do you feel when you are about to see a patient?
  24. Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?

Plastic Surgery (with breast reconstruction interest) Consultant Interview

  1. Talk us through your training.
  2. As you know this job covers two sites. How will you ensure a high quality breast service across two sites?
  3. This is a breast job. How do you feel about undertaking non-breast work?
  4. Tell us about your experience abroad.
  5. This is your first night on call as a consultant. How will you manage / interact with the registrar on call?
  6. Your Registrar has called you in for a difficult case but it is more complicated that you thought. You are not sure how to manage it; how will deal with this?
  7. How many flaps have you done? How long does it take you to do a DIEP flap? How will you manage your first bilateral DIEP flap?
  8. I see you have done a higher degree. Do you think research is important for surgeons?
  9. Do you think you are a good teacher and what evidence do you have to show this?
  10. What can bring to this hospital?
  11. Where do you see yourself in 2 and 6 years' time?
  12. How will foundation status affect you and the service you provide?
  13. How do you think you will work with your line manager in terms of your service?
  14. If I were your patient, how would you build a relationship with me?
  15. How would a physician's assistant help you in your practice?
  16. What makes a good leader?
  17. How would your colleagues describe you?
  18. Why do you want to work in this hospital?

Paediatrics Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Why do you want to work for this Trust?
    What projects have you done that you have seen through to completion?
  2. Give an example of conflict between members of your team and how you dealt with it?
  3. Our Trust has signed up for "Patient first". What does this mean?
  4. What were the lessons of the Mid-Staffordshire report?
  5. Can you outline how you propose to undertake CPD as a consultant?
  6. What were the lessons from Baby P and how does this affect your practice?
  7. What is the NHS constitution?
  8. Do you know of any objective way of measuring risk?

Histopathology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Take us through your CV and your histopathology training.
  2. Who should run the MDT meetings? (Question asked by a surgeon).
  3. One of the consultants in the department complains their workload is excessive. What do you do?
  4. How would you describe yourself in relation to the way you work in a team?
  5. How would you improve efficiency in the lab?
  6. You are reporting a metastatic malignant melanoma. Looking at the previous histology, which is a skin biopsy, this was reported as a benigh naevs but is clearly a melanoma that has been missed. You were the reporting pathologist. What do you do next?
  7. How would you ensure that your department is working well and demonstrates excellence?
  8. What is the Trust's future direction and how can you contribute towards it?
  9. You talked so passionately about teaching that I am now wondering why you applied for a post which does not have a big teaching component. Why? 

Anaesthetics (Interest in Pain) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Tell us how your training has helped you to apply for this job (other than Pain)?
  2. What is your opinion about the decreasing time for training nowadays?
  3. What are the recent NICE guidelines on pain management? Will you follow those guidelines?
  4. Why do you want to take this job and why in this region?
  5. Do you think the NICE committee is fairly representing all stakeholders?
  6. Epidural steroids are not licensed for use. If you were taken to court on this matter, how would you defend yourself?
  7. Why do you want to do the Irish Fellowship in Pain when you already have the British Fellowship?
  8. You are interviewed by the media about the role of the anaesthetist. How will you explain it to the public?
  9. Tell me about the WHO checklist.
  10. Give me examples of your previous encounter with management officials.
  11. Have you done anything to improve services in any of the hospitals you have worked in before?
  12. Have you ever filled a critical incident form?
  13. Can you talk about root-cause analysis?
  14. Discuss one thing which impressed you most and one which depressed you most about the NHS in the past 10 years.
  15. Tell us about communication.
  16. How do you reduce the anxiety of patients and relatives pre-surgery?

ENT (Paediatric interests) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. You have a lot on your CV. How do you manage your time?
  2. What can you do to improve the provision of children's services in the hospital?
  3. Do you have enough experience to cope with a young child's airway e.g. have you got experience of performing neonatal / paediatric tracheostomy?
  4. How would you improve our relationship with GPs?
  5. How would you improve our relationship with the PCT?
  6. The demand for outpatients has gone up by 50% in one month, but the conversion rate to inpatient admission has not changed. What do you think about this?
  7. How do you deal with criticism?
  8. Have you ever caused harm to a patient? How do you know you are safe?
  9. How does serving the individual conflict with serving the population?
  10. Tell me about your best publication?
  11. Tell me what your role would be in teaching?
  12. What is your best professional achievement?
  13. What are your plans for the department? Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?
  14. What do you think the challenges will be as a new consultant?
  15. How would you convince a patient you have never met that you are safe?
  16. How do you deal with a difficult patient?
  17. Tell me abou the feedback you have had from patients?

Radiology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Why do you want to work for this Trust?
  2. You were one of the first SpRs to be based in a DGH for your training. How was it? Is there any situation you feel you couldn't handle?
  3. Have you written up any of your oral or poster presentations?
  4. Have you come across the ethics committee form?
  5. What interests would you like to develop?
  6. What are your views on flexible working?
  7. Do you have any ideas about how we could reduce waiting time?
  8. It has been recommended that every consultant should spend one SPA on risk management issues. How would you spend this time?
  9. Your CV mentions various examples of leadership and management. Tell us about one that is particularly interesting or that you are particularly proud of.
  10. What could you you do to improve the patients' experience in your department?

Neonatology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Take me through your CV concentrating on the clinical aspects.
  2. What personal attributes do you have that make you suitable for this post?
  3. Which part of the service do you want to develop?
  4. What are the challenges facing Neonatology?
  5. How can we improve communication between Obstetrics & Neonatology?
  6. How can training for junior doctors be improved?
  7. How do research and audit fit into business planning?
  8. What are the challenges caused by EWTD?

Paediatrics Consultant Interview Questions

  1. What information would you need to be given by the management on a regular basis in order to perform your duties as a consultant effectively?
  2. What would you be guided by when treating children?
  3. Tell me about an ethical problem you have encountered in your practice. What did you do and what did you learn?
  4. How do priorities differ between a Level 1 and a Level 3 neonatal unit?
  5. How do you ensure that paediatric and obstetrics teams work together?
  6. Take us through your CV.
  7. How would you deal with a drunk consultant colleague?

Oncology (Breast & Urology) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Tell us about your Research Fellowship in Canada.
  2. How does the Canadian system compare to the UK system?
  3. What are the pros and cons of MDTs?
  4. MDTs may involve sharing patient images and scans. What are your views regarding potential problems with this sharing?
  5. How should we implement new  radiotherapy technologies?
  6. What model should we employ in setting up satellite RT centres? Resident doctors or visiting doctors with extended roles for other professionals?
  7. If you extend roles, where would you draw the line? Should radiographers prescrive RT?
  8. Does palliative RT lend itself to delivery of a satellite centre?
  9. How would you set up an acute oncology service?
  10. What are your general thoughts on audits?
  11. How would you prioritise what needs auditing?
  12. What is your experience of patient reported outcome measures? Would the results of these influence your practice?
  13. You only had 3 publications in peer reviewed journals before going to Canada. Do you think that is acceptable?
  14. Seeing as clinical oncologists need to know everything a medical oncologist does and then more, do we need to increase the length of clinical oncology training?
  15. Should we split into radiation oncology and medical oncology in the UK?
  16. Are there any things that our centre could learn from yours?
  17. How is the critical care in your hospital run?
  18. What are the problems you envisage for stand alone cancer centres in the future?
  19. You will need to train SpRs. How will you deal with an SpR who is underperforming?
  20. This post involves working closely in a team with two other consultants. What are your perceived advantages and disadvantages of this approach?
  21. An article in the NEJM indicates the Cancer Plan wasn't working despite a massive investment of money. What is you opinion?

Obstetrics & Gynaecology Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Take me through your non-obstetric and obstetric experience as a registrar.
  2. How will you improve teaching in this hospital?
  3. How do you deal with complaints?
  4. What new things can you bring to obstetrics?
  5. How do you make others know that you have seen a patient in the high risk pregnancy assessment unit?
  6. How could you improve our low labour epidural rate? What are the implications on training?
  7. What are the alternate ways to improve training? 
  8. Can you tell me of recent advances in epidurals?
  9. What are your plans for for the future development of this unit?
  10. There are two hospitals under this trust. We will soon merge onto a single site. Can you tell me what this means in terms of clinical governance?
  11. Can you tell me of any clinical governance issue in your hospital, in which you got involved?
  12. Give me an example of a situation where you got involved in risk management.
  13. What is lacking in your training?
  14. What is your main strength?

ENT (Paediatric interest) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. What have you achieved so far in your career?
  2. How much neonatal experience do you have?
  3. What do you mean by "day case". Home by tea time or 11pm?
  4. What can you do to make Alder Hay famous in the world?
  5. What is your teaching experience?
  6. How would you help us develop this service?
  7. What did you do that demonstrates clinical leadership?
  8. How should we increase our surgical capacity? How would you ensure we can do so and maintain high governance standards?

Anaesthesia Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Can you summarise how your interests will benefit the job plan that you have applied for?
  2. Can you summarise your research experience?
  3. Can you tell us about your teaching experience?
  4. What does an "organisation with a memory" mean to you and how do you think it applies to this Trust?
  5. Do you believe in evidence-based practice?
  6. What do you think about being told to change your practice when there is no evidence for the change?
  7. How does working in a team help with our jobs?
  8. What is the role of the anaesthetic consultant as a leader?
  9. Have you been involved in changing practice where you have worked? Tell us what steps you need to follow and what the outcome was.
  10. Have you anything you have regretted in your career?
  11. Have you been involved in conflict? Can you talk us through how you resolved this?

GUM / HIV Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Describe your training to date.
  2. What are the barriers to undergraduate teaching?
  3. In a few sentences, compare and contrast this job with your ideal job.
  4. A  patient sees you for benefits and divulges that he has had sex with a consultant colleague. How would you approach this?
  5. The move to our new location may potentially result in clinical demand which outstrips capacity. In what ways might we cope with this?
  6. This is a brand new clinical service in an area of high need that has never had a sexual health service before/ What opportunities do you see for the development of the service?
  7. What single change would you make to sexual health services which would have the biggest impact?
  8. How would you ensure that sexual health services remain a priority if there is no NSF?
  9. A 15-year old single mother is diagnosed HIV positive. What are the issues?
  10. What do you understand by Information Governance?

GUM / HIV Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Take us through your CV.
  2. How would the public patient know that you deliver a quality GUM/HIV service?
  3. Rates of chlamydia remain high despite the screening programme. Can you explain this?
  4. Have you done a Myers Briggs evaluation? What type wre you and what insights did you gain? How would you use this for the consultant team?
  5. In future, GUM services may be split from HIV and moved to the community. How would you advise the Trust regarding the advantages and disadvantages of this model?
  6. If we gave you £150k for research, what would you do?
  7. What are the similarities and differences between this trust and where you work at the moment?
  8. What feedback do you get from patients?

Urology Consultant Interview Questions

Questions asked in addition to other standard questions:

  1. Do you think that encouraging competition through patient choice is a good way to improve patient care?
  2. How will you balance training and teaching with service commitment?
  3. How does patient feedback inflluence your practice?
  4. What do you see as the weakness of your department?

Anaesthesia (Obstetrics) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Tell us about how your experience abroad constrasts with your UK experience.
  2. Looking back at your training abroad and in the UK, what would you have done differently?
  3. What areas do you feel would have made your UK training more complete?
  4. Are you aware of anything which was written in the past 6 months on the issue of content?
  5. What risks are surgical patients exposed to?
  6. You are in theatre drawing up your drugs for your first case, with the patient in the anaesthetic room. A fellow consultant anaesthetist comes in to say that he is not comfortable anaesthetising the first patient on his list. What would you do?
  7. You have a novice SHO who knows nothing about epidural with you. How would you go about teaching him about epidural?
  8. When you think the SHO is ready to do his first epidural, would you tell the patient that it is the SHO's first epidural?
  9. Why should we recruit you as a consultant rather than employ someone else at staff grade level?
  10. You have applied for the obstetric anaesthetic post. If we offered you a generalist job instead, would you take it?
  11. In a University hospital, what is more important: teaching or research?
  12. What are your views about appraisals for consultants? How should it be done? Who should be in charge?
  13. Will you be applying for an employer-based merit award?
  14. What is the worst peri-operative outcome? Should it be included as a discussion point during appraisal?
  15. If all doctors were asked to comment on the appraisal process, what do you think the majority would say?
  16. If we offered you the job, would you accept it?
  17. Why do really REALLY want to work for us?

Anaesthesia (Paediatric)

  1. Tell me how your training has prepared you for a job in paediatric anaesthesia with some adult practice.
  2. How has your training prepared you for dealing with the sick child in a hospital without PICU?
  3. The job is essentially a clinical job but we all have a good research record. How will you support the research activities in this post?
  4. You are going to teach a group of undergraduates on a topic of your choice next week for an afternoon. How will you go about doing this and what would be your aims and objectives for the session?
  5. What are the current issues in paediatric anaesthesia? What are the challenges in doing research in paediatric anaesthesia?
  6. You have a 12-year old child in the anaesthetic room listed for a gastroscopy (non-urgent) and he is refusing the anaesthetic. What would you do?
  7. Now you have a 14-year old child listed for an emergency operation also refusing the anaesthetic. What would you do?
  8. If I informed you that I was about to do one of the cases on the list using a new technique, what would be your response?
  9. In this hospital, we often repair TOFs thorascopically. What would you do if the neonate became difficult to manage and was hard to ventilate during the procedure?
  10. What does quality mean in terms of paediatric anaesthesia?
  11. What is the anaesthetist's role in child protection?
  12. How we can compare ourselves against other paediatric anaesthetic departments?
  13. What do you know about Information Governance?
  14. What do you think of the consultant appraisal process?
  15. Tell me why we should give you the job above the other candidates?
  16. Have you ever had a complaint made against you or seen a complaint handled? What happened?
  17. You have been a locum for nearly a year. What do you think could be improved in your current trust?
  18. You have never worked in London before. How do you feel about that andd isn't that full of large intimidating teaching hospitals?
  19. There is a spectrum of anaesthetists; some are very cautious and others are more cavalier. Where are you on the spectrum?
  20. Paediatric anaesthesia is a stressful job at times. How do you handle that?

Radiology (Interventional)

  1. Why have you applied to this particular trust?
  2. What qualities can you bring to this post?
  3. You mentioned that you are a good team player. What does that mean? And what are your main weaknesses?
  4. What do patients think of you?
  5. What do you do to de-stress?
  6. Tell what you understand by appraisal.
  7. What is the difference between assessment and appraisal?
  8. How would you react to your Royal College advocating objective assessments as part of revalidation?
  9. A recent audit in the department shows that you are not performing as well as the other consultants. How do you react to this?
  10. Your clinical director feels that the 10 hours of SPA time in your job plan are rather generous and would like you to do another 4 hours of direct clinical care. What would you do?
  11. Tell me about your radiology experience as a consultant.
  12. What do you think of open access to GPs for musculoskeletal ultrasound?
  13. What about radiographers doing musculoskeletal ultrasound?
  14. Talk me through your experience of musculoskeletal interventional procedures.
  15. Can you perform MR arthrograms competently?
  16. What is your opinion on open access to GPs for MRI? What do you think are the issues associated with this?
  17. What is your experience of CT colonography?
  18. What is your experience of cardiac CT.
  19. Tell me more about your most recent poster.
  20. What experience do you have of 3.0 Tesla MR imaging. Do you think there is a role for a 3.0 T MRI scanner in a DGH?
  21. Would you be happy to perform drainage of a deep pelvic abscess or a lung biopsy?
  22. You are on call and an FY1 has contacted you asking for an urgent MRI of the lumbar spine for cauda equine syndrome. What do you do next?
  23. What are the child protection issues in radiology?
  24. What is your experience of head and neck radiology?

GUM /HIV Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Explain the gaps in your CV.
  2. Whay do you think that the Royal College encourages trainees to undertake research?
  3. How do you think we can better integrate sexual health and contraceptive services, bearing in mind staff numbers and constraints?
  4. How would you overcome the barriers to integration between sexual health and contraception?
  5. If a Fairy Godmother came along and gave you £500k to do some research, what would you do and how would you do it?
  6. How would you compare service standards between departments from results of questionnaire surveys bearing in mind that different specialities do different things and may be graded differently?
  7. What makes a good / bad teacher?
  8. How would you deal with an underperforming junior? What would you do if despite your best efforts there was no improvement?
  9. What would you do to improve the service?
  10. What would you have done differently in your career?

Anaesthesia (Obstetric) Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about your obstetric anaesthesia training.
  2. Are there any deficiencies in your training?
  3. What problems do you anticipate as a consultant?
  4. Is our present system of cross-site cover ideal? What possible changes could be made?
  5. What are your views about nurse epiduralists?
  6. What are the unanswered questions in obstetric anaesthesia?
  7. How wouldyou obtain funding for research projects?
  8. Do you think that having undergraduates rotating through anaesthesia is a waste of time?
  9. How do you cope with teaching multidisciplinary groups?
  10. How can we ensure that you are performing to the standards of Good Medical Practice?
  11. What are clnical performance indicators?
  12. Tell me about your management skills.
  13. Are you a good leader? Why?

Intensive Care & Anaesthesia Consultant Interview Questions

  1. Talk me briefly through your CV.
  2. The Chief Executive has decided to give you a year off before your start your post. How would you spend that year, and how would that benefit the Trust?
  3. What do you think wil be the major changes within intensive care medicine during the next 5 years?
  4. The ICU in this trust is going to change considerably over the next 5 years. How can you assist in this process?
  5. How do you know that you get on well with people? How would you know if you were failing?
  6. What do you think is the role of the consultant in postgraduate medical education?
  7. What do you think is the role of the consultant in teaching outside of ICU?
  8. Sometimes in the ICU there is a difference of opinion between the parent medical or surgical team and the ICU team about the appropriate management of the patient, in particular with regards to end of life decisions. How would you go about managing such disputes?
  9. The post that you have applied for is essentially 2 jobs (ICU and anaesthetics). This can cause problems between the two departments with conflicts of loyalty. What do you think about this and how will you manage it?
  10. Tell me about your hobbies and how they are useful to this job.
  11. What do you think the contribution of the new consultant post will be to medical student education.
  12. What do you think of the role of the new consultant in clinical research?
  13. A report in the Annals of Medicine states that patients managed by intensivists have a worse outcome than those managed by non-intensivists. Would you like to comment?
  14. What is your greatest weakness?
  15. Is there anything that you are not telling us and that you think I, as the Chief Executive, ought to know? Why should I not give you the job?