This section of the website gives guidance on the stroke medicine interview process. Covered in this section are five main areas:

  • Invitation and booking - should your application be assessed as eligible, and score highly enough to progress through shortlisting, then you will be invited to interview. Information is given here about how invitations to interview will be sent and how you can book your slot.
  • Interview preparation - there are very specific requirements for the documentation which you will need to bring with you to interview. Please carefully review the information before attending your interview. 
  • Structure and content – what to expect on the day and what will be covered in the interview itself.
  • Appointability and scoring – how interviews will be scored and ranked, and what is the criteria to be deemed appointable.
  • After the interview – information about the next steps, including how and when you will receive feedback.

Invitation

Once shortlisting is complete, invitations for interview can be sent. As soon as interview slots are released for booking, you will be sent an email notification; this will be no later than Friday 21 December.

There will be a stated deadline by which you must book your interview slot, otherwise the invitation will be withdrawn.

Candidates who are not initially shortlisted will be allocated if possible should higher ranking candidates not take up their invitation.

Booking

Once you have received your invitation to interview, you will be able to book into an interview slot via the Oriel system.

Upon logging in you will be able to access the remaining vacant timeslots to make your choice. Slots are allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis so be aware that your preferred timing might not be available. It is possible to change a booking to another vacant slot at any point up until the booking deadline should need arise.

Once you book a slot, you will receive an email confirming your booking and will be able to see details of this in your Oriel account.

If you encounter any difficulty booking your interview, contact the lead region as soon as possible before the deadline.

In the event you are not able to attend your interview at the scheduled date/time, you should cancel the booking via Oriel as soon as you are aware of this. If you no longer wish your application to be considered, you should also withdraw your application, again via Oriel.

This may allow your interview place to be offered to another candidate.

Interview preparation

Please remember that the requirements are very specific for the documentation so please carefully review the information before attending your interview.

You will need to bring two sets of documents to interview:

  • Eligibility documents -  this includes your identification and evidence of your right to work in the UK
  • Evidence folder -  which contains the evidence of the achievements claimed on your application form.

Eligibility documents

For each document type you will need to bring the 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.

The boxes below detail what is required in each case.


Evidence folder

The information for ST3 recruitment largely applies to stroke medicine, so please review the interview preparation section there for details. 

The only difference is that some sections which are included in the ST3 application form are not included for stroke medicine, these include:

  • additional undergraduate degrees
  • prizes/awards
  • MRCP(UK)

While you are welcome to include this in your folder, there is no requirement as you have not been scored on these areas.

Evidence Summary Form

Your folder must be prefaced with an Evidence Summary Form. Which acts as a contents page for your folder and will be used as proof that you brought all required evidence to interview, and as such, will be retained by interviewers.

Please use the stroke medicine specific document which can be downloaded below. The document contains guidance for completion.

Arrival and registration

On arrival at the centre you will register with the recruitment team and they will check your eligibility folder, take the copies supplied and pass your evidence folder to the interviewers.

Normally your interview will start approximately half an hour after the time you are asked to arrive; although please note that it is common for interviews to run behind so this should be used as a guide. You should expect to spend up to two hours at the interview centre.


Structure

The interview process uses a multiple station format. You will progress through two separate stations, each of which will be staffed by two consultant-level interviewers who will test and review different areas of your skills, knowledge and experience.

The two interviewers in each station will both award you a mark on two different question areas. This means that you will be assessed and scored by four different interviewers and receive eight separate marks; the ‘Appointability and scoring’ section contains more information about this.

One of the stations requires you to prepare a presentation prior to the day, details about this are found in the ‘interview stations’ section below.


Interview time

The time allocated to each interview station is 15 minutes, with five minutes' transfer time in between. Thus the total interview time will be approximately 40 minutes.

Interview stations

Details of the areas of assessment in each of the two stations can be viewed in the boxes below.

Please note that you could progress through the stations in either order.

Station 1

This is where your application form and training to date will be reviewed. This will include checking the documentation you have brought along to ensure all content on your application form is correct.

Station 2

Prior to arriving at station 2, you will be given a stroke service and research question to consider. You will be able to read and think about how to answer this question during the 5 minute changeover time between stations. You will be asked to discuss this question in the second half of the station.


Lay representatives

A lay representative will also be present to monitor interviews. Their role is to provide independent quality assurance of the interview process, ensuring that agreed processes are followed, robust records kept and issues are managed appropriately.

To carry out their role, they will sit in some interviews, and you may or may not come across one during your interview. They play no part in the assessment of candidates.

Raw interview score

The interview is designed to assess a number of different aspects of your candidature, with interviewers independently awarding scores for different areas before these are compiled.

During interview, you will be assessed on four independent aspects of your candidature. For each aspect, you will receive two marks - one from each of the two interviewers assessing you on each aspect; thus giving 8 marks in total.

Each of these marks will be between 1 and 5; so with 8 marks awarded, your score will be between 8 and 40. This score is referred to as your 'raw interview score' (RIS) - ie the score awarded to your interview as a whole, before any weighting is applied.

Details on how such weighting is applied to scores can be found below.

Scoring framework

The score of 1-5 an interviewer will award you for each assessment area is judged in relation to how well you perform against an expected level. Below is the framework used to award scores at interview, as well as interpretation of what these scores represent:

  

Mark

  
  

Rating

  
  

Assessment

  

1

poor

not considered appointable

2

area for concern

performed below the level expected; possibly unappointable, subject to discussion and performance in other areas

3

satisfactory

performed at the level expected to be suitable for entry to a stroke medicine programme

4

good

above average ability; suitable for entry to a stroke medicine programme

5

excellent

highly performing trainee; suitable for entry to a stroke medicine programme

As shown in the table, for each of the question areas at interview, 3/5 is considered a satisfactory score; and reflects the level of performance that would be expected of a trainee ready to progress to a stroke medicine programme.

Should your performance go above and beyond this expected level, interviewers can award marks of 4/5 or 5/5 as appropriate.

Conversely, should your interview performance not reach the expected level, then interviewers can award marks of 1/5 or 2/5, as reflects their level of concern over your performance.

Appointability

From the eight scores awarded during your interview, an 'appointability' status will be calculated to determine whether or not you can be considered for an offer.

The intention is to ensure successful candidates can display competence consistently across all areas of assessment covered at interview; rather than allowing outstanding achievement in one or more areas to make up for sub-par performance elsewhere.

Appointability is awarded automatically, and is based on two factors: individual interview scores and the 'raw interview score'.

Appointability criteria

To be classed as 'appointable', you must meet three criteria below:

  • none of your 8 interview scores can be 1/5
  • no more than two of your 12 interview scores can be 2/5
  • your RIS must be 24 or above.

If you meet all three requirements, your application will be assessed as  appointable, and can progress to be considered for post offers.

However, if you fail to meet any of these requirements, your application must then be assessed as  not appointable, and it will progress no further in that round.

Total score

After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as your application score.

These scores are then combined to give your total score which determines your ranking, which will in turn be used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, is detailed in the table accessible through the link below:

  

 

  
  

 Interviewer 1

  
  

 Interviewer 2

  
  

Weighting

  
  

Max score

  

Station 1

evidence

/ 5

/ 5

x0.8

/ 8

suitability for stroke medicine

/ 5

/ 5

x1.6

/ 16

Station 2

presentation / research

/ 5

/ 5

x1.2

/ 12

stroke medicine service and research

/ 5

/ 5

X1.4

/ 14

Raw interview score

/ 40

Interview score (w weighting)

/ 50

 Application score

/ 50

x0.20

/ 10

 Total score

/ 60

Feedback

As with your application, once your interview has been completed, feedback on your interview assessment and application status will be available.

Once scores are confirmed and processed, you will be informed by email in one of three ways:

  • you will be made an offer in accordance with your rank and preferences
  • you will be notified that your application is not appointable and will progress no further in the round
  • you will be notified that you are appointable but cannot be offered one of your programme preferences at that stage and so have been placed on the reserve list should higher ranked candidates reject their offer.

Interview scores

Feedback will be released to you via the two different methods below; this is expected to happen on the upgrading deadline .

  • The scores for each of the four questions, your 'raw interview score’, weighted ‘total score’ and ranking will be released to Oriel.

  • You will be emailed the mark sheets from interview which included the comments made. Interviewers will be using tablets to score candidates and make notes and so this will be a word for word transcription of the comments written by each one.

At this time, a graph detailing the distribution of scores across all interviews in the round will be published to the data tab of the about stroke medicine page of this website. This will include average scores and the ratio of appointable candidates.

You will be sent an email when this feedback is released.

Additional documents

In some cases you may be asked to provide some documentation to allow your application to progress.

At interview you may be asked to supply something specific, if so you will be told on the day what is required and when you must return it. In many cases there will be a form given to you clarifying this information.

It is very important that you meet the deadline required; failure to do so could result in your withdrawal or you being unable to take up a post.

Travel expenses

You may be eligible to claim reasonable expenses for your travel to interview, based on the cheapest mode of transport available; unreasonable expenses will not be reimbursed.

For more information on the provision of expenses - handled by Thames Valley - please visit their website and/or contact their recruitment helpdesk.

Website links and helpdesk email addresses can be found in the who do I contact? section.