ST3 Interview Tips
- Prepare your portfolio well in advance
- Only include things that you are happy to talk about in depth in the interview
- Make sure that it is well structured and easy to navigate – the interviewers will only have 10 minutes with it
- Structure your portfolio in sections based on the self assessment questions
- Make sure that your portfolio looks professional – expensive leather-bound, gold-embossed portfolio is not essential, but it needs to be neat and tidy.
- If in doubt, get someone with recent experience of the interview (i.e. An ST3/4 or consultant who has recently sat on the panel) to check it over
- Spend some time looking at ‘hot topics’ in orthopaedics and orthopaedic training.
- Have in your mind examples of your practice/achievements to reflect desired attributes, such as leadership, professionalism, teamwork, good communication etc
- You will be given the title in advance of the interview – prepare for it, but remember that it is just part of one station
- Whilst content needs to be reasonable (i.e. not nonsense), presentation skills are the main thing being tested here, so focus on structure.
- Make sure your presentation has an introduction and a conclusion
- Keep visual aids very simple – not too many words
- Practice at home and check your timing – the interviewers will enforce the time limit
- When looking at clinical cases, start simple and safe – ABCDE/ATLS protocol
- BOAST guidelines can be helpful
- Know your limb anatomy
- Be structured in your answers – for example if asked to name all muscles supplied by a nerve, group them in compartments
- This station can feel very artificial, but try to act as you would if you were talking to a colleague about real patients.
- Think about patient factors which might affect list planning (eg. warfarin/NOACs/diabetes/
- Make sure that the interviewers can see that you understand the urgency of life/limb threatening situations
- If part of the scenario involves list planning, read the scenario carefully: How many sessions is the list, who is available for it etc. There isn’t a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ order per se, but you need to make sure that your reasoning is sound (and that the interviewers understand your rationale)
- Stay calm
- Put ethical principles and patient safety first
- Show that you understand capacity, consent, autonomy etc
- Consider ideas, concerns and expectations
- Get to know the kit that you may be asked to use (i.e. DHS and AO small frag kit), including diameter of drills/taps/screws and how to put together the drill/screw and set the triple reamer.
- Read the op tech and/or ask a friendly scrub nurse to take you through the kit after a case if you are unsure about anything
- Know which drill/tap/screw/suture material to use and why – you may be offered more than one option
- Understand principles behind techniques and materials used- you will be asked questions as you perform the practical skill.
- Consider safety when handling sharps/power tools
On the day:
- Get there with plenty of time to spare
- Look smart: wear a suit, (but remember that you will have to take off your jacket for the practical station, so whatever is underneath has to be appropriate)
- Be polite to everyone you meet at the interview centre
- Don’t get intimidated by any apparent bravado displayed by other candidates
- This is more like an OSCE than an interview – and you need to prepare for it.
- It isn’t all about your CV, but how you perform across the board.