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Getting that Medical Job: Secrets for Success, 3rd Edition

Getting that Medical Job: Secrets for Success, 3rd Edition

Colin J. Mumford, Suvankar Pal

ISBN: 978-1-444-34120-1 February 2011 Wiley-Blackwell 168 Pages




Confused and stressed by the latest round of Foundation Programme recruitment?

Looking to bag that Specialty Training position?

Applying for your first consultant’s post?

This fully updated short guide covers recruitment at each step of the medical career, and helps you plan an effective strategy to get the job you want.

The authors advise on the basics from choosing your ideal specialty, preparing a strong CV, and what to do to get shortlisted, through the application process, and the interview itself. New features include:

  • Chapters tackling online application for the Foundation Programme, and the new structured interview in Specialty Training recruitment
  • How to deal with the academic interview
  • Advice on how to explain time out from training
  • Real examples of successful and unsuccessful answers to interview questions
  • Step-by-step key points to consider when working on your own application

With advice on successfully moving and settling into your new medical job, this is the ideal aid for medical students applying for Foundation Programme training, recently qualified junior doctors applying for Specialty Training, and those applying for their first consultant post.



Note for would-be medical students.

1 Introduction.

2 Choosing the specialty that's right for you.

Themed core specialties.

Medical specialties.

Surgical specialties.


Run-through specialties.

Points for reflection.

3 Before the interview.

Spotting the advert.

'The commando operation' to get on the shortlist.

To visit or not to visit?

Whom to see once you are shortlisted.

How to choose a winning referee.

Points for reflection.

4 The person specification form – ignore it at your peril!

Essential entry criteria.

Specialty specific selection criteria.

Points for reflection.

5 The curriculum vitae: do you still need one, and how to get it right.

Do you still need a CV?


Professional company?

Order of jobs.

Gaps on the CV.

Other content.

'Dangerous' CV content.

Contact details for your referees.

Points for reflection.

6 How to deal with the online application form for foundation year applications – 'radiating excellence in 250 words or less'.


What makes a candidate stand out?

Example questions.

General tips.

Points for reflection.

7 How to deal with the online application form for Specialty Trainee (ST) applications.


Example questions and answers.

1. Clinical experience.

2. Personal attributes and qualities.

3. Audit, presentations and publications.

4. Teaching.

5. Leadership involvement.

6. Ethical considerations.

7. Commitment to specialty.

Points for reflection.

8 The interview.

Where, when and how?

What to wear.

How to sit.

Eye contact, where to look and the 'CV run-through'.


Voice usage.

How to end the interview.

Points for reflection.

9 Specific interview strategies.

'I'm in there already'.

The rank outsider.



Points for reflection.

10 The questions: general points.

Inevitable questions.

Probable questions.

Problem questions and how to escape.

'Cringe' questions.


Handling the lay member of the panel.

Hill walking and motorbikes.

'Any questions for the panel...?'

11 The questions: actual questions and answers.

Good, bad and ghastly.

Points for reflection.

12 Structured interviews for Specialty Training posts.

General tips for the day.

'Portfolio/CV' station.

'Clinical and ethical scenario' station.

The 'practical skills' station.

'Research, audit and teaching'.

'Clinical governance and NHS management'.

Points for reflection.

13 The academic interview and interviews for clinical research fellowships.

Examples of questions relating to personal research experience.

The clinical research fellowships.

14 Important points regarding the consultant interview.

15 Explaining time-out from training.

Career gaps to have children.

Applying for a job share.

Other delays in career progress.

16 What happens behind the scenes?

Who chooses the panel and how are panel members selected?

Who is the chairman?

What are they told beforehand?

What do they discuss when you've gone?

How important are the references?

17 After the interview.

The job offer.


What if you weren't successful?

18 Conclusion.

Index. Revierw, May 2011
This very compact little book covers everything candidates could wish to know about interviews in medicine, from MTAS to consultant posts. Sections deal with how to find your ideal post, the personal specification and the interview itself - from what to wear to specific interview strategies. There is also an excellent section on example (and actual) questions asked in interviews and how best to answer them.

All the advice is delivered by authors who have clearly faced numerous interview candidates in their time. They are aware of how difficult it is to be interviewed and deliver their words of wisdom in a very practical and humorous way - exactly what is needed before facing the interview panel.

All in all, an excellent little book to read before any interview or application in the hope of getting that one step ahead.