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Sample Questions

These questions may be used in interview. Consider them carefully and prepare answers for them to assist you with the interview process.

Communication Skills

  • Describe a situation where your communication skills had a positive effect upon patient care.
  • What did you learn on the last communication course that your went on?
  • How do you know that you are a good communicator?
  • How would you like to develop your skills further?
  • Give an example of how your communication skills have enabled you to develop effective relationships with your colleagues.
  • Describe a time when you found it difficult to communicate with a colleague or patient. What did you do and how did you feel?


Problem Solving and Decision Making

  • Describe a difficult problem you have faced at work. How did you contribute to the solution?
  • Give an example of a difficult decision you have made recently. How did you decide what to do?
  • Describe a time when you felt that you made the wrong decision. How did you feel and what has happened as a result?
  • What is your strategy dealing with difficult problems at work?
  • Do you always know the right thing to do in any given situation?


Managing others and Team Inolvement

  • Describe a time when you have led a team successfully.
  • Describe a time when you have supported a colleague with a work related issue.
  • Outline a situation where you have had to motivate work colleagues to do something that they did not agree with.
  • Which do you prefer, leading a team, or being a team member?
  • What attributes are required to be a good leader?
  • Describe a situation demonstrating that you are developing leadership qualities.
  • Describe a situation demonstrating that you are beginning to develop your management skills.


Empathy and Sensitivity

  • Why is it important for doctors to demonstrate empathy and sensitivity?
  • Describe a situation where your sensitivity to a patient's perspective altered the way that you managed their care?
  • Describe a situation where you have demonstrated sensitivity or empathy towards one of your colleagues.
  • Do you really need to show sensitivity and empathy to be a good doctor or are clinical skills and knowledge more important?


Organisation and Planning

  • How do you keep yourself organised at work?
  • What strategies do you use to plan your work effectively?
  • How do you cope when unexpected and unplanned work is added to your workload?
  • What advice would you give to a Foundation 1 doctor on their first day, about being organised at work?
  • How have your planning skills had a positive impact upon those around you?


Vigilance and Situational Awareness

  • Describe an example of when your awareness of a developing situation at work, enabled you to avoid a problem or difficulty.
  • What impact has clinical governance had on your work to date?
  • Why is vigilance an important attribute to have for this specialty?
  • Describe a situation where you lacked awareness of a developing situation, resulting in difficulty for you, your colleagues, or a patient.


Coping with Pressure

  • How do you cope with pressure?
  • Describe a situation where you found yourself under conflicting pressures. What did you do to resolve them to the satisfaction of everyone involved?
  • What do you do when you can no longer cope with the pressures of your workload?
  • What strategies do you have in place to manage your workload and the pressure that you are under?
  • How have you used your initiative to manage your work effectively, and reduce the pressure that you are under?


Professional Integrity

  • Give an example of a clinical scenario where you made a mistake. What did you do about it?
  • What do you understand by the term 'professional integrity' and can you give an example where you have shown professional integrity at work?
  • Why is it important for doctors to demonstrate integrity in all elements of their work?
  • Is it ever justifiable to bend or break the rules at work? Have you ever done so?
  • What would you do if a patient offered you £20 as a thank you for the care you provided?
  • What would you do if you overheard a senior colleague making an inappropriate remark to a patient?
  • How would you respond if one of your patients asked you out on a date?


Clinical Knowledge and Expertise

  • Describe a difficult clinical scenario you have been involved in. How did you contribute?
  • Describe the most interesting case you have been involved in recently. How did you contribute to the management of the case?
  • Describe a situation where management of a patient did not go as planned. What happened and what did you learn?

You may also be asked a range of questions about particular clinical scenarios relevant to your specialty.


Research Skills

  • Why is research important?
  • Describe your last audit.
  • Is it important for all doctors to undertake research?
  • Which is more important - research or teaching? Which do you prefer?
  • Tell us about your publications.


Other Questions

  • Why do you want to train in this specialty?
  • What concerns you about a career in this specialty?
  • What are the challenges facing this specialty in the next five years?
  • Why do you want to be a hospital doctor rather than a GP? (or vice versa)
  • What do you think of NHS Direct?
  • Is the clinical governance system really necessary?
  • What are the main issues facing the NHS over the next five years?
  • If you could change one thing in the NHS what would it be?
  • Do you think doctors are misrepresented by the media?
  • Do you think changes brought by the MMC will improve the training of junior doctors?
  • If you could not be a doctor, what would you be?
  • What do you want from your career?
  • Looking over your CV, could you pick two or three achievements which you are most proud of?
  • If you could go back to your first day of medical school and do all of your training again, what would you do differently?
  • We are interviewing many high calibre candidates today, why should we appoint you?


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