My Interview Experiences for Non-Training Jobs

This post concerns the interview experiences that I had after I passed PLAB 2 and I started applying for jobs.

 

Overview of My Interviews

  Date Location Specialty Post P S A J
01 10/03/17 Blackburn Eld. Med JCF S
02 15/0317 Haverfordwest Medicine JCF S
03 15/03/17 Cambridge Anesthesia SCF S
04 20/03/17 Portsmouth Medicine SHO S
05 20/03/17 London Urology SHO S
06 24/03/17 Birmingham Renal ST1
07 28/03/17 Portsmouth Medicine CMTF P
08 28/03/17 London Urology SCF
09 29/03/17 London Stroke SCF S
10 29/03/17 Luton Medicine FY1 S
11 31/03/17 Manchester Plastics CT1
12 05/04/17 Birmingham Medicine ST1
13 05/04/17 Middlesbrough Eld. Med CT1 ?
14 10/04/17 Huddersfield Medicine CT1 ?
15 11/04/17 East London Eld. Med FY2
16 11/04/17 Plymouth Rheuma ST1 ?
17 13/04/17 London Urology SHO ?
18 18/04/17 Blackpool Medicine ST1 ?
19 28/04/17 Manchester Medicine ST1 ?
20 02/05/17 London Renal ST3 ?
21 08/05/17 Cardiff Medicine ST1 ?
22 08/05/17 Cardiff Teaching CTF ?

P = In-Person interview was offered
S
= Skype interview was offered
A = I attended the interview
J = Job was offered
S = Interview was attended via Skype
P = Interview was attended in-person
? = I did not inquire about the Skype interview option


Questions about Experience:

  1. Tell us about your experience.
  2. Have you ever worked in the UK?
  3. In which departments have you worked so far in your career?
  4. What was your role in your last job?
  5. What responsibilities did you have in your last job?
  6. How was your experience at your last job?
  7. How was the patient load?
  8. Did it ever get too hectic?
  9. If so, how did you deal with it?

 

Questions about Working:

  1. Will you be able to adjust to the working conditions here?
  2. How will you adjust?
  3. Do you work well in a team?
  4. Do you get along with your colleagues?
  5. Have you ever had a problem with any colleague?
  6. How did you deal with it?
  7. Do you get along with nursing staff?
  8. Have you ever had a problem with the nursing staff?
  9. How did you deal with it?
  10. Do you ever lose patience at work?
  11. Do you get angry at work?
  12. Do you get angry at home?

 

Questions about Interests:

  1. What are your future academic interests and why?
  2. Do you know the pathway for your future academic interests?
  3. Have you taken any membership exams after graduation?
  4. Why have you applied for this job?
  5. Why do you want to work at our trust?

 

Questions about Growth:

  1. Is learning important?
  2. How can we learn as a doctor?
  3. How have you learned as a doctor? Give us examples.
  4. Have you ever learned anything from your colleagues? Give us examples.
  5. Have you ever learned anything from the nursing staff? Give us examples.
  6. Have you ever made a mistake at work? Tell us about it in detail.
  7. How did you learn from your mistakes?
  8. Were any changes introduced into the system after this incident?
  9. What do you expect to learn from this job?
  10. What do you expect to achieve from this job?

 

Questions about Procedures:

  1. Which procedures can you perform?
  2. Can you perform them without supervision?

 

Questions about Ethics:

  1. If you ever saw your consultant doing anything illegal, what would you do?

 

Questions about Knowledge:

  1. What is Clinical Governance?
  2. What are its pillars?
  3. What is an audit?
  4. Do you know the steps of an audit?
  5. Have you ever been a part of an audit?
  6. Have you ever seen anyone at work conduct an audit?
  7. What is the difference between audit and research?
  8. What is research?
  9. Have you ever been a part of a research?
  10. Have you ever seen anyone at work conduct a research?

 

Scenario-based Questions:

  1. Pneumonia
  2. Hyperkalemia
  3. Indwelling urinary catheter causing fever.

 

Questions from the Human Resources Department:

  1. If we offer you the job, will you accept it?
  2. When can you start working for us?
  3. Do you have any more interviews after today? If so, when?
  4. Are you single or will you be moving with your family?
  5. Will you need hospital accommodation?

 

Final Question:

  1. Do you have any questions from us?

 

Your Questions:

This is what you should ask them:

  1. Will I get any teaching opportunities?
  2. Will I get to attend daily morning meetings?
  3. Will I get to attend any courses?
  4. Will I have a supervisor to assist me with audits and research?

You should ask any question which shows your interest in the job from an academic point-of-view.

 

Conclusion:

I applied for 181 jobs.
I had 22 interview offers.
I attended 8 interviews.
I got 4 job offers.

.

What I Learned from My Interviews:

1. Only apply for jobs in which you are interested. Otherwise, you are wasting your own and the interview panel’s time.

2. Memorize a few basic definitions like Audit, research, clinical governance. Know the steps of audit and the 7 pillars of clinical governance.

3. Go through emergencies from Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine. But don’t worry yourself too much. Most panel members are not asking scenario-based questions. Out of the 8 interviews that I attended only 3 asked scenario-based questions.

4. Stay calm. Be yourself.

5. Dress formally.

6. As soon as you accept a job offer, it’s best to politely decline all other interview offers, to give other candidates a fair chance and to be fair to employers as well, to not waste their time.

 

Useful Link:

When I was preparing for my interviews, Dr. Omar Alam’s blog post about interview experiences helped me a lot.

72 thoughts on “My Interview Experiences for Non-Training Jobs”

  1. Naseer, hats off!! You are an amazing person and you will make a great doctor. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I am in the USA work in outpatient medicine ( primary care medicine). I am planning to switch to inpatient because I feel it will be more relevant to my job application in the UK. I still need to take IELTS first, however I appreciate any tips about how can I can make use of my experience in the US to enhance my UK application. Many have asked me why I am planning to leave the UK after residency but this is mainly for family reasons.

    Like

    1. Judging by my interview experiences, you can see that finding a job in the UK is very easy. If you can, any research, audits, presentations, teaching experience or quality improvement projects will help. But I did not have any of these and I still easily found multiple job offers.

      So best of luck! And thank you for your kind words and for visiting the blog! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations Nasser. May Allah always be with you. So after you finish two years as core medical training fellow will you be eligible to apply for ST3 positions? Also in your case was it not needed to do any F2 post? Could you tell us some of responsibilities and working hours you will have as a CMTF. Thank and once again may allah always be with you.

    Like

      1. okay. I meant what are your plans after you finish your core training fellowship? Enter ST3 directly?

        Like

      2. Hi Naseer..just wanted to inform you that you can buy a eportfolio from JRCPTB, maintain it just like any core medical trainee and get signed off on alternative certificate of core competences and apply to ST3 after that…difficult but not impossible. Plenty of people have done it.
        Challenges to this route

        1. Getting alternative certificate of core competences signed off. You have to work closely with a trainee to know exactly what is required of them and work to acheive all of that. MUST attend all of the CMT teaching sessions, MUST make it clear to your educational supervisor that you intend to get signed off on alternative certificate of core competences. If your educational supervisor does not seem to be supportive of it, find another consultant who will be will to sign you off and work with them towards sign off.

        2. Getting a ST3 TRAINING job while on tier 2 visa sponsored by a specific trust – this is another challenge. You must research and find out and be clear on what specialities have a second round of recruitment to their ST3 posts because as long as you are on a Tier 2 visa issued for a non training job RLMT applies to you automatically disqualifying you from applying to any speciality that has just a single round of recruitment but easy access to specialities that have a second round of recruitment provided you have enough evidence in ur cv showing commitment and personal development in that particular speciality

        Like

      3. You’re absolutely right. And I’m aware of this. I have bought an ePortfolio.

        But I am targeting GP ST. So this is road is not for me.

        And I feel that it’ll be a big jump for others too. It’ll also need them to complete their MRCP. So I think going through Core Training is a better idea. But I still appreciate your kind and detailed message. I’ll keep this in mind and I’ll get more information. Thank you again! ☺️

        Like

  3. Bravo! Naseer “chaa gaye hoo” . We have talked on FB messenger before too. You have always been there 24/7 🙂 .. Thanx for a wonderful insight into all these matters. My question is, After carefully looking at your interview table, what i see is that you were not offered any job for which you just did skype interview and did not attend in person, so is it going to be difficult for the rest of us who can not stay in the UK after Plab 2 for our personal reasons if we are unable to attend the hospital for interview ? And you have ticked both the skype as well as attend column in some cases, can you please explain that a bit. Thanx alot for all this hardwork 🙂 Good Luck !

    Like

    1. Hello,

      Yes, of course, I remember talking to you. 🙂

      After seeing your message, I realized that the table was slightly confusing. I’m sorry about that. I’ve tried to make it a bit more clear. Please let me know if it makes more sense now.

      Thank you! 🙂

      Like

    1. Experience in the same field does help. But a lot of specialties have this rule that if you have worked for 18 months in that specialty, you can’t apply for training in that field, as you are considered overqualified.

      FY2 is like an internship year, so it has many different specialties. I don’t think it would be possible to work for the whole FY2 year in Psychiatry.

      Like

  4. Wow ! Its crystal clear now 🙂 Thank you.

    Sorry for putting you through the stress of going through it again and making these changes 😦

    I am satisfied now that skype interviews are offered for nearly all the jobs and people do get the job offer based on these 🙂 hopefully situation remains the same till our time comes 😦 My plab 2 is in May 😦

    Thank you again for all this hard work and dedication 🙂 take care.

    Like

    1. No problem! 🙂 Actually I want to thank you for pointing this out. I was able to make this post more clear because of your valuable feedback. So thank you for that! 😊

      And I don’t expect things to change any soon. So I’m sure you’ll easily find job offers via Skype interviews. Best of luck! 🙂

      Like

  5. What is the possibility of getting into surgical specialties? What needs to be done ? Kindly put your insight please.
    Your comments will be highly appreciated.

    Like

    1. I am sorry but from what I hear, getting into surgery training is next to impossible for IMGs in the UK. I also hear that if you stay and work in the UK for 6 years, you can become a national and then you can apply for surgery training.

      Like

  6. I am so impressed of your care and concern of trying to help. May allah bless you for this great help you are offering. Full five stars.

    Like

  7. I am government employee in my home country,I am waiting for plab2 result.If want to collect the good standing certificate should I have to wait for result.Is it any obstacle to receive good standing certificate if you already are govt.employee?

    Like

    1. I got my Good Standing Certificate even before I took my PLAB 2 exam. So that works.

      How would being a government employee affect your chances of getting your GSC? That depends on your country’s rules. I don’t think it should be a problem.

      Like

  8. Did you apply to these jobs via nhs.jobs or through the oriel system? (I am asking mostly for the FY1, FY2 and CT1 jobs)

    Like

  9. Hello Nasser, greeting from punjab. Can you discuss the length of post as well. Supposing i want a post for 7 months only. Can we negotiate these terms? Thanks brother and if you ever need a home to stay in Punjab send me an email. angysbaby@gmail.com

    Like

    1. Hello,

      It’s best not to discuss this during the interview. Because it would show a lack of intent and enthusiasm from your side. However, the general rule is that you can always quit the job with a month’s notice. You can confirm this privately in an email to the Human Resources department.

      And this is very kind of you. Thank you very much! 🙂

      Like

  10. Hi Naseer. Great job on this blog. I’ve really learnt a whole lot from you. I’m working for the government and plan on writing my Plab2 when I apply for my annual leave. Do you think this would be enough time to do the course and take the exam or would I have to resign from work in order to have a better chance.

    Like

    1. Hello, thank you for your kind words! And thank you for visiting the blog! 🙂

      Since I don’t know the duration of your leave, I can’t comment on it. But you can go through my PLAB 2 preparation timeline to make an estimate of this. 🙂

      And it’s best to take a leave and not resign, since you need you employment as a proof of coming back to your home country.

      Like

  11. hi naseer
    could you tell me by 18 months experience in a specific speciality . do you mean UK experience or experience any where? and secondly have you in your contacts heard any single IMG getting a surgical training post?

    Like

    1. Hello, the 18-month experience includes experience anywhere in the world.

      Unfortunately, I don’t know even a single IMG who made it into training in surgery in the UK.

      It’s very difficult to find Surgery training in the UK. Until last year, the hope for finding surgery in the UK was non-existent. However, due to the severe crisis of doctors’ shortage, more openings are arising with time. And this year, for the first time, they have 5 openings for Surgery Core Training for IMGs. So this is encouraging. However, it’s still a very small number and anyone who wants to go into surgery, should think hard before coming to the UK.

      Bear in mind that Core Medical Training has roughly 250 to 300 openings and most IMGs do find a slot in CMT. So Surgery’s openings are 50 times less than Medicine’s. But it’s still encouraging, since, in the past, there were no openings in surgery.

      People who are extremely passionate about surgery, choose the following route:

      They come to the UK, work here for 6 years (usually they enter GP training, since it only takes 3 years and makes them a consultant). After 6 years, they become nationals. Now they can apply for surgery training.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Nasser! Thanks for the info.
        I have read Waqar’s guidelines for ST3 posts in Surgery as well.
        It says we have a do a number of audits and researches, etc to compete with the younger UK nationals.

        So would you suggest going through the GP route and attaining these qualifications or just work at non training posts (till I get my UK residency) in relevant disciplines and then apply for ST3 in Surgery?

        Also, wouldn’t it make you over qualified if you’ve worked for 5 or 6 years in surgery in non training posts?

        Like

      2. I understand everything you wrote and I am glad that you also understand all of this. So you do have some basic knowledge about getting into surgical training. Unfortunately, my knowledge is the same as yours. I am sorry for not being more helpful with this. If I do find anything once I start working in the system, I will definitely update you. You yourself will learn answers once you enter the system.

        For now, you can read Dr. Omar Alam’s guideline for getting into surgical training:

        http://omarsguidelines.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/my-guideline-for-surgical-training-in-uk.html

        Like

      3. I have read Omar’s guidelines too.
        I’m still doing my internship so I think I will just get into the system and figure it out from there.

        Thanks a lot for taking time out and replying to my queries so promptly! And all the best! 🙂

        Like

  12. Hello Dr. Naseer,

    Congratulation on your acheivement and you are totally an inspiration to all of us. Your blog is truely amazing. I have several questions to consult you.

    1)Do you recommend a fresh graduate to sit for plab test and try to find an FY1 job right away? Are the chances of getting one high? Any specific months with more FY job offer?

    2) I was told that getting FY1 job couldn’t entitle me for a Tier2 working visa, because the amount of income per annum is less than 30k pound per year. I was told that the minimum amount of income per annum was increased from 26k pound to 30k pound last year November. Is it true? Do you know anyone who get FY1 job and has been granted Tier 2 visa this year?

    Thank you so much for your time and this definitely is the best blog ever!

    Like

    1. 1. I recommend fresh graduates to take PLAB 1 soon after graduating; PLAB 2 after that; join the NHS only after completing House Job back home.

      2. Yes, I’ve heard the same. But I am not sure. Getting an FY1 job is not easy or advisable anyway.

      Like

      1. Because it is difficult to find. If you go for FY1 training, you have to pass a few additional exams, which I am not fully aware of. And finding FY1 non-training is difficult as they don’t come up too often.

        Like

  13. Hello Naseer, Thanks for all your helpful info in your blogs, appreciate your contribution to the IMG society. If I may ask you a few things about your experience please.
    – When did you join Portsmouth Job?
    – What process to be followed to get a work visa once you are offered a job after GMC registration?
    – Which VISA you get and for how long its valid please ?

    Like

    1. 1. I will join in probably August of this year.
      2. I haven’t even applied for a work visa yet, so I can’t say much about this.
      3. Tier 2 (General) visa, valid for 2 or 3 years.

      Like

  14. Hello Dr. Naseer

    I have been following your blog and it is extremely informative, providing insight in to many things. I got my GMC registration a week ago and I am waiting to start a clinical attachment in paediatrics( my field of
    interest). However, I haven’t started the job
    hunt though I have registered in the NHS.jobs since a while. My main issue is I keep looking for SHO paediatrics which I never find or I feel I am too under qualified for a ST1/2 post.
    What do you suggest ?
    Where should I start with ?
    Should I apply for all Trust grade FY1/2 posts in medicine as I don’t want to go for surgical fields?
    Kindly guide me please

    Thank you

    Like

    1. Hello,

      You should apply for the following posts in paediatrics:

      Foundation Year 2 (FY2)
      Senior House Officer (SHO)
      Core Training 1 (CT1)
      Core Training 2 (CT2)
      Specialty Training 1 (ST1)
      Specialty Training (ST2)
      Clinical Fellow (CF)
      Junior Clinical Fellow (JCF)
      Senior Clinical Fellow (SCF)
      Junior Doctor

      Do not worry about being underqualified. The nature of work is the same at all of these jobs. If you do not get any response after a few months of applying, then you can try to apply for the same jobs in medicine. Best of luck! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Salam,
    I just wanted to ask . As I have been unemployed since my internship, the interview calls which I’m getting are next to nil. But recently they offered me a job in Grantham, which I cant take up due to personal commitments. So how should I politely refuse it.
    Thanks

    Like

  16. Greetings. If a person gets a job in uk. Can he go to uk to start his job with a family eg wife per se.
    Or it is not possible for a wife to travel with husband the first time

    Like

  17. Hi sir
    Your blog is very informative and thank you so much for your time.
    Sir can you tell me what exactly is the role of. GP? How is it different from specialists?
    Thank you

    Like

    1. The GP is a government-sponsored physician who runs a free clinic in the local area. Whenever we are sick for any reason, we don’t go to the medical store to buy medicines. We go to the GP, who writes a prescription or sends us to the hospital. The GP is responsible for primary health care.

      Like

  18. Thank you Mr. Naseer for your guidance. I have a question, Is it possible secure a post in Radiology in UK? What if a person is not too interested in Medicine and wants to do Radiology or Anesthesiology.

    Like

    1. Radiology and Anesthesiology are both difficult to get into.

      If the only reason to pursue them is lack of interest in medicine, then you’ll find a lot of other options in the UK like psychiatry and GP.

      Like

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