The Core Surgical Training interviews for England, Scotland and Wales normally take place at the end of February each year. In 2021 they were held from 22nd February to 5th March and were conducted online using the Microsoft Teams platform. Prior to this they had always been held face-to-face in a selection centre in London.

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. The interview consists of one 20 minute interview divided into 2 x 10 minute sections which will be delivered back-to-back by the same interview panel. Candidates will get an opportunity to test their internet connection prior to the interview.

The two sections of the interview are as follows:

Clinical Section Management Section
This assesses your ability to apply sound clinical knowledge and judgement to a variety of scenarios. The interviewers are looking for candidates who can act well under pressure, recognise an unwell or deteriorating patient, prioritise clinical need and act safely with minimal risk. This looks at your capacity to think on your feet and to solve problems by working effectively in a multi-professional team. The interviewers are looking for candidates with good communication skills and the ability to show empathy when dealing with sensitive situations.

General tips for the day:

  • Give your self plenty of time to prepare
  • Ensure you are using a reliable device (that you have tested) with good internet speed
  • Avoid interruptions/background noise during your interview
  • Have a blank background or wall behind you
  • Dress smart – suits and ties or formal tops (avoid club ties/sports ties)
  • Smile – you may not feel like it but it makes all the difference!
  • Be courteous and polite to everyone
  • Each scenario/section is a fresh start – whether the last section went amazingly or terribly, forget about it and concentrate on the next question

Please note the exact format and set up of the interview changes every year. Particularly in 2021, the new online format of the interviews has not been used before. The information above is based on previous years’ experience and what is available from Oriel publications.

To sign up to the CoreSurgicalPrep mailing list and be the first to hear about our mock interview and updates for the 2022 application and interview round, click here.