The core surgical interview has a format much closer to that of an exam than a job interview; therefore, those who revise and practice their answers to the common interview questions/scenarios will score the highest on the day. Never undermine how much time this preparation takes. You need to start a good few months in advance and provide regular studying periods to going through past questions and practicing the delivery of your answers.
Practice answering questions with a study partner on your surgical knowledge and search some of the common interview scenarios that come up year after year. You can look for sample questions of core surgical interview to enhance your knowledge and prepare you well for the actual interview.
Practicing for the interview is always important. You must put in the time to develop any skill, and interviewing is no different. Start by reciting answers to common questions. Move on to having others practice with you and perform mock interviews.
Finally, one resource that is very helpful is your university’s career centre (or analogous service). These centres generally offer mock interviews which can be scheduled. Do this. You will not regret it. Treat it like a formal interview. It will help come interview day to have gone through the motions and practiced interviewing with a stranger who is experienced with the process.
If possible, be sure to practice mock interviews with real doctors who have already conducted hundreds of medical school and residency interviews – it’s as real as it gets.
Prepare a few examples of experiences
It is important that you list down important experiences that you have faced in your workplace or school. You can share instances of personal growth, times when you were pushed to make a difficult decision, and so on — all these can be applied to a multitude of questions. A general key for interviews is to provide examples/experiences for questions rather than giving vague or abstract answers. By having a stock set of significant experiences, you can make it easier to answer unexpected questions.
Use other peoples’ praise
You need to showcase your qualities but don’t want to sound arrogant. In practice, this can be tricky. For instance, the interviewers might ask you about your best trait. You can answer this question but avoid sounding arrogant by citing what others have said about you in your core surgery interview.
Be aware of body language
After you enter the room during core surgery interview, make eye contact and introduce yourself. Shake hands if the set-up allows it. It is crucial to make eye contact whenever speaking to the interviewers. If you are facing a panel, always include all the assessors in your answer delivery. Don’t be too fidgety, but equally don’t sit completely still. Be natural. Try filming yourself practicing. You will quickly notice your little quirks! Finally, don’t be afraid to smile!
See both sides
This is particularly important for ethical scenarios. Every scenario is designed to make you think. You should never commit yourself to a definitive answer immediately. If the first word out of your mouth is a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’, does it really look like you’ve weighed the debate properly? Perhaps not. It can be tempting to blurt out an instinctive response, especially if it’s something that you feel strongly about. However, make sure that you can give them an emotional response. A better course of action is to first discuss arguments both for and against, before coming up with a balanced conclusion that appreciates the nuances of the scenario.
Preparing adequately for the core surgical interview takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Knowing about the structure and format of the interview can help you to prepare. Some candidates are lucky enough to encounter supportive peers and consultants who can mentor them through the application, giving them the informal information needed to do well, based on their experience. Unfortunately not everyone has access to this informal service, and it is through luck that one candidate has more information than the others.
In order to prepare well, an aspiring medical practitioner must find an incredibly helpful core surgical interview guide to improve their performance and chances in getting into their dream training. The aforementioned things above are some of the measures that you can take while preparing for the actual interview.