Before you attend interview it is very important that you have prepared properly; failure to prepare properly could result in you being unsuccessful at interview so it is vital you familiarise yourself with the guidance. Preparation areas include:
- Eligibility folder - which contains the documentation showing how you meet the essential person criteria in the person specification
- Evidence folder - which contains the evidence of the achievements claimed on your application form
- Other preparation - such as how to dress and travel arrangements
- Probity - ensuring your evidence folder meets GMC Good Medical Practice guidelines
- Structure, content and scoring framework for the interview - which can be found in each specialty section.
There is a substantial amount of preparation needed and it needs to be presented in a very specific way so please familiarise yourself with this early.
We have produced a short document about the preparation of interview documentation which you may find useful to print off when compiling your folders. This is available from the document library.
You will need to take documentary evidence with you to interview so as to demonstrate that you meet the essential entry requirements listed within the ST3 person specifications; this evidence must be organised in a specific way.
For each of the essential entry criteria, listed below are examples of documentation that can be used.
In each case, it is necessary to include an original version of the document where possible, along with a photocopy. The photocopies will be retained by the recruitment team, with the original documents returned to you.
If there are any additional requirements for the eligibility folder to that detailed below, you will be notified in advance of interviews.
How to organise your Eligibility Folder
Use a lever-arch folder
You should use a standard lever-arch folder to hold the original versions of each document. This should be labelled clearly, with dividers used to allow each item to be located quickly and easily.
Please make sure this folder is marked clearly with your name , application ID number (PIN) and GMC number (if you have one).
Keep photocopies separate
Document photocopies should be kept separately, as these will just be handed over for the region to retain.
We would suggest adding these photocopies to another folder (possibly a cardboard folder/wallet), and again marking this with your name, application ID number and GMC number, for easy reference.
Click on the headings below for more information on preparing your documentation:
Overlap between folders
There may be some items/achievements you have included in your application which are required in both your eligibility and evidence folders - eg qualifications, degrees, etc.
Should this be the case, please include the original copy of the document in your Eligibility Folder, and also make a copy for the region to retain as part of your eligibility documentation.
Then make a second copy of the document, which should be included in your Evidence Folder; this copy should be appended with a note, to say the original version of the document can be found in your Eligibility Folder.
What to include in your Eligibility Folder
You will need to provide:
- one form of photographic identification
You should also provide a photocopy for the region to retain.
Photographic identification - use passport if possible
You must bring your passport where possible. If you do not hold a passport, then you should provide a photo-card driving licence. If you hold neither, please see the NHS employers website for further guidance.
Please note that when photocopying your passport, the relevant pages you need to photocopy are:
- outer cover,
- inside front cover
- photo and signature page; if your passport has the photo and signature on different pages, these are both needed
any additional pages of relevance within the passport - eg giving information on immigration status.
If you are a candidate of UK/EEA nationality, you should provide your passport or birth certificate - plus, if relevant, any naturalisation papers.
If you are a non-UK/EEA candidate, you should provide your passport, containing evidence of your current visa status with dates, as well as any other appropriate documentation such as your biometric card/residence permit and/or a letter from the UK Home Office.
Again, it is necessary for you to provide a photocopy of any documents used here, for the region to retain.
Even if you have used your passport and accompanying photocopy as a personal ID document (above), please provide another photocopy of this.
If you are (or, at time of interview, will be) registered with and licensed by the GMC, please bring evidence that you are currently registered and have a licence to practise; please note this should be evidence of your current status and not necessarily your original GMC certificate.
If you do not have original copies of these documents, you can bring a print-out of your record from the GMC List of Registered Medical Practitioners; a letter can be downloaded from the GMC website when logged in.
For further information on this, please visit the GMC website.
As with other items, please take with you a copy of any GMC document, as well as the original where available.
Please take the original 'version' of your primary medical degree certificate, along with a photocopy of each document included here, for the region to retain.
If applicable, you will additionally need provide an English translated version of your primary medical degree certificate. It is not permitted to translate this document yourself. You must submit an original and an authenticated translation undertaken by an official translation service. A fresh inked stamp must be used to verify the authenticity of the translation. You must also confirm the details of the translation service used.
Additionally you should include copies of any qualifications or completion of training courses which are an essential criteria in the person specification; this includes evidence of Advanced Life Support training and MRCP(UK) or recognised alternatives. You may therefore need to include such evidence in both your eligibility and evidence folder.
If you have not completed these courses by the date of interview, this is not an issue, but should you go on to receive and accept a post offer, you will need to submit your evidence to the region prior to taking up employment.
The most common methods used by candidates to demonstrate their English language skills are either an IELTS certificate, or a letter from a supervisor attesting to their satisfactory English skills.
Whichever type of documentation is used, candidates should, as ever, bring the original document along with a photocopy for the region to retain.
Please note - if you undertook your undergraduate training in English, you do not need to provide any evidence of English language skills here.
The necessary documentation which can be used to demonstrate your achievement of core competence will depend on your past training and particular circumstances.
For more information on this, please see the core competences page of this website.
Whichever documentation you are required to bring (if any), please bring the original versions - signed and stamped, where appropriate - as well as one photocopy for the region to retain.
The above items are the main documents which regions will require you to provide to demonstrate their eligibility; however, if further documentation is required, you will be notified of this in advance of the interview.
For more specific information on the eligibility criteria themselves, please visit the am I eligible? section of this website.
As well as showing you are eligible for an ST3 programme, you also need to provide documentation which backs up the various claims made in your application form (achievements, qualifications, publications, etc.). These should be collated into an Evidence Folder, which must be prefaced with an Evidence Summary Form; the form can be downloaded from the document library on this website.
The time spent at the evidence station is relatively short so it is very important that you lay out your documentation clearly in the prescribed manner. If the interviewers are unable to verify that your evidence matches the achievements listed on your application form - including due to poor organisation - then you may be marked down on this basis.
Claims made on your application form must be backed up with evidence in your evidence folder. Missing evidence will be treated as you not having the achievement. This could lead to either:
a reduction in the score awarded by interviewers
your application may be deemed unappointable
in serious cases it could lead to a probity investigation (see the Probity section for more information).
As your Evidence Folder is a very structured and important part of the process, we cannot overstate how important it is that you organise it in the manner specified here.
For further guidance click on the headings below and then following that you can view a presentation, giving pictorial guidance of how to go about preparing your folder. You are strongly advised to go through it before putting your folder together.
Use a lever-arch folder
As with the eligibility folder, you should use a standard lever-arch folder to hold your evidence documentation.
Again, this should be labelled clearly, with dividers used to allow each item to be located quickly and easily. Please make sure this folder is marked clearly, with your name, application ID number (PIN) and GMC number (if you have one).
Preface with an Evidence Summary Form
All folders must start with an 'Evidence Summary Form'. The next section contains more detail about this.
Content of the folder
All claims made on your application form must be supported by a piece of evidence that can be verified by recruiters at interview.
So any claim made, such as a published article, a prize awarded, etc. needs to be backed up by a piece of documentation that you can include in your Evidence Folder.
Include items in application form order
You must put each piece of evidence into your folder in the order of the Evidence Summary Form, which is structured to the order in which achievements appear in your application form.
If you have gained further achievements, not mentioned on your application form, you may add these to your evidence folder but they must be indexed on the evidence summary form and filed in the appropriate section.
Unlike the Eligibility Folder, it is not necessary to include photocopies of any documents in your Evidence Folder; just the originals should be included.
Once your evidence has been checked by interviewers, your folder will be returned to you before you leave the interview centre.
The Evidence Summary Form (ESF) is a list of the sections from the application which could be included within your Evidence Folder.
It acts as a contents page for your folder, allowing interviewers to find and view each document quickly and easily; but this will also be used as proof you brought all required evidence to interview, and as such, will be retained by interviewers.
When using the ESF, please bear in mind the following:
it must be the first page included in your Evidence Folder
it must indicate every section where you have included a document in your Evidence Folder
when adding documents to your Evidence Folder, they must be added in the order of the ESF; which is structured to the order in which they appear in your application form.
Use the current Evidence Summary Form
Please make sure you use the up to date version of the ESF; this can be accessed/downloaded from the Document Library. If you have applied in a previous year, please do not use that version of the form to ensure you are using a correct version.
Completing the ESF
When completing the ESF you need to:
- Add your name and Oriel PIN to the top of the form.
- Indicate against each area where you have evidence included in your folder. If you are using numbered dividers for your folder, please quote the relevant section number(s) on the form.
- If you have no items to include under a particular category, just add 'n/a' in the corresponding box of the form.
- Leave the areas shaded grey blank; this is for interviewers to complete.
You will see on the main body of the ESF, a section saying 'other evidence - please list below'. This allows you to include any items which are outside of the main categories listed at the top of the form.
When adding information to the 'description of evidence' column, ensure this matches the divider on your folder so interviewers know where to find this when reviewing your folder.
Should you have any additional achievements to which you would wish to draw interviewers' attention, but which were not included on your application - for example, any you have gained since completing your application form - you can include them in your Evidence Folder, so you can make interviewers aware.
The ESF contains a section for you to highlight these.
Beyond readying your documentation, there is some other preparation you can undertake ahead of ST3 interviews.
It is not really possible to 'revise' before the interview, although of course it is always sensible to review your application form, experience and skills to date, achievements, etc. in advance, and to prepare yourself more generally as you would for any interview.
Interview format and content
It is important to familiarise yourself with the interview format and content which is available to view from each specialty's page.
Certain specialties require you to prepare a presentation prior to the day and therefore it is very important to check whether or not this applies to you. In addition some questions involve discussion of particular (brief) scenarios, but information on these will be provided to you on the day.
Guidance has been produced on appropriate dress code for all candidates attending medical interviews. This guidance can be downloaded from the document library section of this website.
Travel and venue
When you book into your interview slot, the region at which you will be interviewed will provide details of the interview venue.
As it is essential that you arrive on time, we advise that you plan travel to the venue in advance, with plenty of time allowed for travelling, parking (if applicable) and contingency (in case of any difficulties en route).
Please bear in mind the GMC's Good Medical Practice guidelines on probity (point 66), as below:
'You must always be honest about your experience, qualifications and current role.'
Any instances of candidates found to be making claims on the application form which they cannot substantiate will be taken extremely seriously and may be reported to the GMC.
Information governance regulations state that you must not allow any patient-identifiable data (PID) to be moved away from the designated (usually clinical) area.
As such, you must ensure none of the documentation you use at interview (eg details of case reports, audit, etc.) contains information which could be used to identify patients, as this would be a breach of patient confidentiality; this includes hospital or NHS ID numbers.
All such patient-identifiable data must be redacted.
If patient-identifiable data is found, it is likely that your employer, supervisor and region (as relevant) will be notified, in order to take further action.
Where applicants have dyslexia, it is common practice for reading time to be increased by 25%.
This is also the policy employed at ST3 interviews; and where this comes into play specifically is where candidates prepare for assessment of 'scenarios'.
For specialty specific interview content please refer to each specialty's page.
As part of your interview you will be required to consider a hypothetical 'scenario' prior to your arrival at the station.
Here, during the period between interview stations, you will be given a piece of text describing a situation, which will then be discussed upon your arrival at the interview station.
The actual text in the scenario is quite short - two/three brief sentences at most - and so the bulk of preparation time is to allow you to consider the scenario and the next steps you would take (eg diagnosis, treatment, further questions, etc.); rather than it being 'reading time' as such.
But should you have dyslexia and wish to request extra time here, this can be granted in line with the recommendations on your pyschological assessment.
If you do have dyslexia and wish to request this adjustment, please add information to the personal page of your application regarding this.
If you have already submitted your application without adding a request for this adjustment, please contact the region where your interview will be held as soon as possible to request this additional time.
NB - should you request this, following submission of your application the region will request that you provide some evidence of your condition, so that adjustments can be made.
The British Dyslexia Association has a webpage dedicated to how the Equalities Act 2010 relates to dyslexia.