Understand The Core Surgical Training Interview
The core surgery interview officially lasts 70 minutes and consists of three stations each lasting just 10 minutes with 3 minutes breaks in between and some time left either-side. Each station is designed to assess the selection criteria on the Person Specification. The interview runs in a similar format to OSCE examinations with two interviewers scoring you per station using iPads.
Core surgery interviews are held in London during the last week(s) of January at Stewart House on Russell Square.
The stations for 2021 Core Surgical Training Interview are:
- Interviewers have 10-minutes prior to interview to review the portfolio
- Applicants MUST complete the portfolio checklist
- The portfolio station has no set questions and will be based on the candidate's portfolio
- A 3-minute pre-prepared presentation
- 2-minutes of questions on presentation
- 1 management scenario
- 5-minutes of questions on management scenario
- Questions test the candidate to think on their feet
What To Expect
Upwards of 1200 people are interviewed each year, and you will have the opportunity to pick which date and time slot you want on a first come first serve basis.
You will arrive on the day at your assigned time. There is then a wait of about an hour while your documents are checked and portfolios taken to be reviewed. You are then called into your groups and taken to different corridors of the building. You start sat outside of a room with station instructions on the door and then work your way round the circuit.
The Core Surgical Training interviews over the last few weeks of January at Stewart House in central London on Russel Square.
The documents required for interview have been reviewed and candidates are now only required to bring the documents detailed below.
In addition to these documents if you have been informed by the London and South East Recruitment Office or the National Recruitment Office that you must provide any other documents then please ensure that you do so.
Blurred or illegible copies cannot be accepted. We do not always have facilities for obtaining copies at the interview venue, so it is important that the evidence is copied before the day.
Essential documents you must bring to your interview:
1. Current passport – You must bring the original document plus 1 copy of the photo/signature page, to be retained. (if you do not have a valid passport please see Appendix 1 below).
2. GMC Registration Printout from the GMC/GDC website - dated no later than 7 days prior to interview – no copy required, not required if not registered.
3. Original evidence of right to work in the UK – You must bring the original plus 1 copy, to be retained. Examples of this include:
- A current passport showing you are a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and colonies having the right of abode in the UK
- A passport or National ID card showing you are a national of the EEA or Switzerland.
- A full list can be found here
If you do not think you will be able to provide the above documents, please contact the London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex Recruitment Office by following the link below.
Core Surgery Interview Scoring
The core surgery interviews are scored out of a total of 216.
Every station has two interviewers, each of whom will present a stem and a series of questions designed to last five minutes. Seventy two marks are available for each station with a total of 216 marks available overall. It should be noted that there is a cut-off score of 136 marks (or 62%, subject to slight yearly variation guided by statistical analysis), whereby any candidate below this score will not be deemed suitable for core surgical training. Interviewers will score digitally via tablets.
As you can see from the station scoring breakdowns below each interviewer scores a certain criteria out of six for the management and clinical stations. A full breakdown of the portfolio station scoring is reflected in the self-assessment scoring system. Scoring systems are mapped against the person specification.
Other marking elements may be used in assessing suitability, such as the modified Angoff method or a weighting being given to the clinical station, and this means that there is no guarantee of success even if the candidate scores a total mark above the cut-off. An example of this might be if the interviewers deem an answer to have shown unsafe practice.
Portfolio Station Scoring
Candidates are required to complete a ‘self-assessment’ as part of their application form where they self-score on all the domains that will be assessed in the Portfolio Station. Two panellists will review the evidence provided against the score that the candidate has awarded themselves in their application based on evidence provided in the candidates Portfolio and during the Portfolio Station itself
Management Station Scoring
Clinical Station Scoring
Top Tips For The Core Surgery Interviews
- Make sure you have all your documents prepared well in advance and have included and completed the checklist for your portfolio
- On arrival at the interview centre you will be directed to a document checking area and then to a waiting room. A number of parallel interview sessions take place at any one time, so make sure you know which interview circuit you should be attending. At the document check, basic identification details and eligibility for interview will be confirmed. The waiting room will have some refreshments and is a place to relax and prepare mentally.
- Administration staff are available on each circuit and floor to guide you or answer any questions you may have on the day.
- You may receive a short presentation when you arrive to help familiarise yourself with how the selection centre process works.
- Remember to acknowledge lay people who may also be present in the interview room and don't let an extra person put you off
- Give your self plenty of time to get to the selection center – plan your route, check for roadworks/closures, don’t turn up late and stressed
- Dress smart with suits and ties for men and trousers/long skirts and formal tops for women
- Make sure your portfolio is well presented and easy to navigate, invest in a nice binder
- Remember to smile and be personable despite nerves.
- Each station is a fresh start – whether the last station went amazingly or terribly, forget about it as soon as you leave the room and concentrate on the next station