The Consultant interview process

Have you ever wondered how the application process works for Consultant Interviews?

After submitting your application the short-listing process occurs. Each candidate is assessed according to the person specification that was published with the job advert. Essential and desired criteria are awarded points with varying degrees of importance. Each candidate’s application is scored and the score allocated by each member of the appointments advisory committee is averaged to rank the candidates.

This process normally takes in the region of 3 to 4 weeks. You will be informed by the Human Resources department either by telephone, email or post, of your invitation to attend interview. Invitations for interview are often sent with no more than 10 days’ notice.

If you have never worked in the hospital or department before it makes sense to find out more about both and therefore you should arrange to have a look around the department during a “pre-short listing visit”.

You will need to arrange this appointment before you plan your journey. It is common to have many applicants for an advertised job and the department will make a decision about whether to allow candidates to visit before the shortlisting process.

The interview itself doesn’t formally start at this point but impressions made by you during your visit will stay with you if you decide to apply.

The pre-interview visit is a formal part of the job application process. It gives you an opportunity to meet departmental team members and gives them an opportunity to assess how you might fit in. The interview process formally starts during the pre-interview visit.

You should prepare for this visit with the same degree of effort as you would for your AAC panel interview. Details of how to prepare, dress, communicate, and more are discussed in detail in the Oxford Medical Consultant Interview Guide.

You should make appointments to see the Clinical Director, Medical Director and Chief Executive and whilst you are there it will do you no harm to say hello to as many prospective consultant colleagues as you can. Once you receive your invitation to interview it is not a bad idea to get straight on the phone and arrange your appointments to hopefully be accommodated within one day, thereby saving you having to make multiple journeys.

Dress as you would for the interview itself and take several copies of your CV on good quality paper, as it is common that these managers will see you between meetings or clinical commitments and may not have your CV to hand. Do not attempt to contact the Chairman, the Royal College representative or the University representative before the interview as this is considered canvassing and is not allowed by the AAC panel. Whilst visiting try to investigate what the strategic, topical and management issues are in the department and trust, possible future direction of the trust and the department’s clinical interests. These can then be brought into discussion during interview demonstrating informed knowledge and enthusiasm for the Trust.

Find out more about the Consultant Interview itself on our Consultant Interview Course page or downloading our Consultant Interview Guide.