CT / ST Interview Questions

A comprehensive list of CT, ST and SPR interview questions gathered from our years of experience of coaching candidates for medical interviews.

General background/CV/Application Form

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. Talk us through your CV/Application form
  3. Tell us about your background
  4. What is exceptional about your CV?
  5. What part of your CV are you most proud of?
  6. Why is there no separate Clinical Governance section in your CV?

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Personal qualities, motivation & drive

  1. What made you go into Medicine?
  2. What is your career ambition?
  3. Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years' time?
  4. If you were to start your career again, what would you change?
  5. Why do you want to do this speciality?
  6. What do you like about this speciality and what do you dislike?
  7. What are the challenges facing this speciality over the next ten years?
  8. How do you know you are making the right career choice?
  9. What have you done to prepare yourself for a career in your speciality?
  10. Why do you want to train in this region?
  11. What do you have to offer to the specialty?
  12. Give us three adjectives that describe you best.
  13. What would your friends say about you?
  14. What kind of feedback would I obtain from your patients if I asked them?
  15. What would you like written in your obituary?
  16. What are your main strengths?
  17. What is your main weakness?
  18. What skills have you gained that will make you a good trainee/doctor?
  19. What are the qualities of a good doctor?
  20. Name two skills that you would like to improve over the next two years.
  21. What skills do you need to develop most?
  22. What job have you particolarly liked/disliked?
  23. How do you measure success?
  24. Would you be happy being an average consultant?
  25. What should we recruit you rather than any other candidate?
  26. What have you done that is different to anyone else?
  27. What makes you a good candidate for the job?
  28. How would your seniors motivate you?
  29. What do you think will be your biggest challenge in this specialty?
  30. Tell us about your best consultant/colleague.
  31. Tell us about your worst consultant/colleague.
  32. What are your hobbies? How do they influence your medical practice?
  33. What experiences outside medicine have you found usefol in your medical career

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Communication, Team Playing, Leadership, Stress & Conflicts

  1. How would you rate your communication skills?
  2. Give us an example of a situation where your communication skills made a difference to the care of a patient.
  3. Give us an example of a situation where you failed to communicate appropriately.
  4. What skills have you acquired  that make you a good communicator?
  5. How can you improve your communication skills as a leader?
  6. What are the attributes of a good team player?
  7. Do you work better as part of a team or on your own?
  8. Give us a recent example of a time where you worked a member of an MDT.
  9. What makes a good leader?
  10. What does leading by example mean to you?
  11. What makes a good team?
  12. What leadership skills have you acquired during your training?
  13. What is the difference between a manager and a leader?
  14. Tell us about your experience of managing a team of people.
  15. What is the difference between people management and leadership?
  16. How would you motivate others?
  17. Describe a situation where you had to give negative feedback to somebody.
  18. Tell us about a situation where you had to bring a difficult person on board.
  19. Tell us about a situation where you showed leadership.
  20. Tell us about a situation where you showed initiative.
  21. What makes you angry?
  22. Have you ever been in a situation where you have had a conflict with a colleague?
  23. Give an example of a situation where your work was criticised.
  24. How would you cope with criticism or a complaint being made against you?
  25. What is your approach to resolving conflict?
  26. How would you handle a non-performing junior colleague?
  27. One of your SHOs says he is getting bored in his job. How do you respond?
  28. How would you handle a situation where you had a disagreement with a nurse over the management of a patient?
  29. What would you do if a patient disagreed with your treatment approach?
  30. How do you handle stress?
  31. How do you normally cope with pressure?
  32. How do you recognise when you are stressed?
  33. What difficult decisions have you made in a clinical setting?

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Research & Audit

  1. Tell me about your research experience.
  2. Tell me about your research. Assume that you are talking to a group of charity workers from your funding organisation.
  3. How much of your research is your own design and how much was guided by your supervisor?
  4. How did you organise your research project? Did you supervisor write your grant application?
  5. I am worried about your lack of research experience.
  6. Why is Research important?
  7. How do you go about setting up a Research project?
  8. When doing Research, what is the one most important factor to get right?
  9. Do you think all trainee doctors should do Research?
  10. What is Evidence Based Medicine?
  11. What are the pros and cons of Evidence Based Practice?
  12. What is your understanding of the term "Research Governance"
  13. What are the different levels of Evidence available?
  14. Do you think Evidence Based Medicine is applicable to all specialities?
  15. What is an audit?
  16. Tell me about your Audit experience.
  17. What is the difference between Audit & Research?
  18. Tell me about the Audit cycle.
  19. What problems are there with the way in which trainee doctors conduct audits?

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Teaching/Training/Learning/Keeping up to date/Seeking Help

  1. Tell us about your teaching experience.
  2. What methods of teaching do you know. Which do you prefer and why?
  3. How would you convince a junior colleague of the importance of teaching?
  4. Give me an example of a situation where you recognised that a member of your team had a deficiency/difficulty.
  5. What is Problem Based Learning? What are its pros and cons?
  6. Tell me about a memorable case where you have learnt something new
  7. With the introduction of the European Working Time Directive and the reduction in the number of hours leading to CCT, do you feel you will be folly trained by the end of your training?
  8. What measures do you take to improve your training?
  9. How do you identify your training needs?
  10. What do you get out of teaching others?
  11. What is the most interesting case you have managed?
  12. When did you last call your consultant?
  13. What is the biggest mistake that you have made in a clinical setting?
  14. How do you keep your skills up to date?
  15. How did you keep your skills up to date during you research/career break?

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Ethical Issues & difficult Work Scenarios

  1. How would you handle a problem doctor - for example if you suspected that your consultant had a drink problem?
  2. How would you react if one of your junior colleagues turned up drunk on the ward first thing in the morning? What if it was your consultant?
  3. A patient mentions to you that on two occasions they have smelt alcohol on your consultant's breath during clinic in the past few weeks. What do you do?
  4. How would you react if one of your female junior colleagues refused to treat a patient who is a known rapist?
  5. How would you react if a patient refused to be treated by one of your junior doctors because he is foreign?
  6. You see a patient verbally abuse a nurse. What is your response?
  7. One of you peers arrives constantly late for work in the morning. What do you do?
  8. One of your junior colleagues is placing patients at risk. How do you react?
  9. Your consultant does something that goes against protocol. How you do you tackle it? How would you approach the consultant?
  10. Your consultant does not provide adequate training and adopts a condescending attitude towards you because of your apparent lack of knowledge. How do you react?
  11. A patient mentions that, during an examination, one of your colleagues examined her breasts. Although the patient is not aware that such behaviour was inappropriate in that context, you are. How do you respond?
  12. You observe your consultant making inappropriate sexual remarks to one of your patients. There are no other witnesses and the consultant is not aware that you were there. How do you react?
  13. Your consultant mentions something to a patient, that you believe to be wrong. How do you react?
  14. You have heard rumours that one of your colleagues is taking drugs. You also know that some drugs have disappeared from the cabinet. How do you react?
  15. One of your colleague seems to be suffering from stress. What do you do?
  16. You have suspicions that one of your peers has been stealing an important amount of hospital property (including stationary and needles). What do you do?

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Clinical Governance and Other NHS Issues

  1. What do you know about Clinical Governance?
  2. How does Clinical Governance affect patient safety?
  3. How does Clinical Governance impact on your daily work?
  4. Do you think Clinical Governance is usefol or is it just another layer of bureaucracy?
  5. Are there any problems with the way Clinical Governance is implemented?
  6. Who, in your Hospital, is responsible for Clinical Governance?
  7. What is Clinical Risk Management?
  8. What is a Near-Miss situation?
  9. What happens to Critical Incidents Forms once they have been submitted?
  10. You are working as a consultant and you are recommending that one of your patient should be given a particolar treatment based on the best evidence available. Hospital managers inform you that this treatment cannot be given as it is too costly. What do you do then?  How would you inform the patient? What if the course of action you recommended was actually contained in a NICE guideline?
  11. What is NICE? What do they do?
  12. Tell us about a NICE guideline relating to your speciality.
  13. What is the National Patient Safety Agency?
  14. What do you know about the European Working Time Directive? What are its effects
  15. What do you think about MMC?
  16. What can you tell me about appraisals?
  17. Do you feel appraisals are a usefol process?
  18. What do you know about Revalidation?
  19. What is the difference between Assessment and Appraisal?
  20. Who is the main beneficiary in an appraisal?
  21. How can we persuade the public that doctors can be trusted?
  22. Is the expanding role of nurses a benefit or a danger to the medical profession?
  23. What is the difference between a protocol and a guideline?
  24. What do you think about management issues? Do you think its something we should be getting involved in as clinicians?
  25. How do you seek informed consent for the procedures that you do?

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