Questions in General
As a consultant, you will be expected not only to function as a safe doctor, but for the first time, to take responsibility for and leadership of a team at a high level - all this whilst working in harmony within an already established team.
This includes taking a proactive stance towards teaching, a logical and safe approach to resolving problems and conflicts, a good understanding of the environment in which you will work, etc. This is a big step from your SpR job interview, where interviewers might have been mostly concerned with your ability to be an effective trainee.
It is for this reason that consultant interviews tend to have a more informal style and contain questions of a more personal and managerial nature, which will help them understand your motivations in more depth and gauge whether you will be a good fit for the team.
Questions tend to be subdivided:
This involves asking you to summarise your training or particular aspects of your experience or perceived deficiencies. For these questions there is no substitute for spending time analysing your past experience and training so that you are well prepared.
Your interpersonal and other non-clinical skills.
This would involve questions on team playing, leadership, communication skills, ability to deal with stress, etc.
You managerial skills and ability to resolve difficult situations.
As a junior doctor, your duty was mainly to report problems to a senior colleague. Now, as a consultant, you will actually be required to deal with it. No more passing the buck, you must take responsibility. Whether you are dealing with an underperforming colleague, a colleague or junior under the influence of drugs or a consultant who is breaching protocols or guidelines.
You will need to demonstrate that you are able to consider all aspects of the issue including the patients'perspective, the reporting and legal aspects, and not forgetting the colleague's perspective.
Your interest in Clinical Governance and quality assurance.
Clinical governance and Good Medical Practice are crucial aspects of being a doctor. As a senior doctor, you will have personal responsibility to make sure all aspects are implemented and applied consistently.
You will need to demonstrate a good understanding not only of the topic discussed but also how they impact on your job from a practical perspective. This would include questions on NICE guidelines, NSF, risk management, research and its important, audits etc
NHS issues and politics
As a senior doctor, you will need to form opinions about current issues in order to determine how your unit should react to them. For example, how will MMC affect you, what about Choose & Book / Patient Choice? ISTCs? Darzi report, Polyclinics, PFI etc.
Depending on the specialty that you are applying for, the topics will vary, but you will all be required to demonstrate a good understanding of the main issues and how they affect you and your specialty.
Teaching, presentations, audit and research
These are very important topics. Perhaps more sothan you think in the modern NHS
Remember, assessment will be made from ALL answers in terms of:
- Clarification as necessary
- Clarity and value of response
- Appropraite humour