(This post was originally written by Dr. Susmita Chowdhury on 18 June 2017. It was shared by the writer’s permission, for which I am thankful).
Guys, just landed an FY2 job yesterday (subject to checks), and I just wanted to share my experience. I was one of the 10 chosen from 150 candidates. The HR calling me after interview said the panel was “impressed”. So my experience may help you to get a job quickly.
Firstly I have no recent clinical experience in last 10 years (am doing a high-level public health job). I did have 4 years old clinical experience from abroad (including FY1/internship) before my MPhil in 2009 but that was long ago- and I did emphasise on what I learnt then. (Btw, I did/do clinical attachment or shadowing). So it was a hard battle. But for such people, I advise two things: don’t be restricted by location (adjust with family needs) and secondly, your interview must be flawless. Your clinical knowledge must be flawless. And your application must be the same. (Sorry but if you don’t have experience this is the only way).
I applied to 4 jobs and got shortlisted to all four. My CV was meticulous and my application was the same. So ensure you understand what they want and write a fantastic case. However, I had added the advantage of citizenship. So others should apply to many many more places at same time. But I’ve seen they prefer good candidates to visa status.
Read Naseer’s and Omar’s guidelines/blog. I read all cases from Omar’s. Read all the Emergency flow charts from Oxford handbook and know your ABCD approach THOROUGHLY. Know exactly how you will say it and say it out constantly.
Also be able to run through your CV in a concise manner which shows you and your clinical skill off massively. Be smart with your 1-4 non-clinical answers by reading up what can be asked and what you will answer.
They ask all emergency cases trust me. If you have Oxford Foundation then can read that too. Think about specific investigations, DD and management for all topics you can be tested on. Because after ABCDE they will go onto those. But they will help. Of course, you don’t want help- you want to show off.
You must think – they must remember me after the interview – what can I say using this interview opportunity – show how you are special and stand out. What can you contribute to the trust that is different from others (I emphasised on my multitasking communication, hardworking abilities and that I’d save all the consultants with their incomplete manuscripts and researches – of course, I said this more politely)
Remember you must sell yourself without sounding haughty. You must smile and relax and make yourself be liked. I even joked that I never failed in my life except in my first driving test (true as I never even failed in my medical daily item viva). They laughed and said – we won’t judge you on that. Easier said that done I know, but practice with someone who can point out what you can improve in your attitude.
They said that yes you don’t have experience but your answers were very impressive and we like you. So we will give you a week’s training before joining in August. When I was confused whether to accept as I had upcoming interviews in areas closer to me, they convinced me that it would be better to train with them and it was a very sought after post.
Point is that if you are good at the interview, they will cling onto you. Please don’t believe anyone who says you don’t need to study/ prepare for interviews. I wrote down each question they could ask and rehearsed them. Prepare as much as you can from the day of shortlisting. Though I must admit I prepared two days – 18-20 hrs though. Good luck and don’t loose hope if you don’t succeed in multiple interviews. It’s not you- it’s them – they have different requirements. Just keep applying and going for interviews. You’ll get it suddenly!