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The purpose of the consultant interview is appoint someone that has the skills to carry out clinical work. One question that is guaranteed to get asked and is the opening question of the interview is to explore the depth of your experience. This could be asked in multiple ways. “Take us through your CV” or “Tell us about your experience relevant to the post” or “Tell us about your experience in the speciality” are just few examples.

When answering a question about your experience in an NHS consultant interview, it’s important to highlight your relevant accomplishments and showcase your skills and expertise. Whilst it is important to show consistency and experience try not to talk about your trust grade or SHO time! The panel is interested in knowing your experiences from recent past. A safe point to start is usually from the start of your specialist training. This still gives you 5-8 years (depends on time spent in research/academic post or out of program) and should give you plenty to talk about.

Much talked about CAMP framework is a perfect fit in this situation.

Using the CAMP framework, here is a suggested approach to answering such a question:

Start your response by giving a brief overview of your training and experience of working in the speciality. Cover all aspects of your clinical work.  If the job description shows that a special skill is mandatory or is an essential criterion, highlight that part of your experience (give specifics, where, how long, why and what have you gleaned from this). Mention your specific roles and responsibilities, and any notable achievements or areas of expertise.

Highlight your accomplishments: Discuss specific accomplishments or projects that demonstrate your expertise and the impact you’ve made in your area of expertise. This could include research contributions, quality improvement initiatives, or successful patient outcomes.

Example: “One of my significant accomplishments was leading a research study that resulted in the development of new treatment guidelines for [specific condition]. Additionally, I have been involved in several quality improvement projects aimed at enhancing patient care and safety. One such project resulted in a 20% reduction in hospital readmission rates within our department.”

You must emphasize your skills and expertise. Give details of your experience as specialist registrar or as consultant (if any). Discuss the skills and expertise you have acquired throughout your career that make you a valuable candidate for the consultant position. Highlight any specialized training, certifications, or advanced techniques you have mastered.

Example: “Over the years, I have developed strong skills in [specific skills relevant to the role], enabling me to provide comprehensive care to my patients. I have undergone advanced training in [specific procedures or techniques], which has allowed me to offer cutting-edge treatments and improve patient outcomes.”

Showcase your teamwork and leadership abilities: Highlight your ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues, multidisciplinary teams, and other healthcare professionals. Discuss any leadership roles you have held, such as mentoring junior staff or leading departmental initiatives.

Example: “Throughout my career, I have been actively involved in interdisciplinary teams, fostering a collaborative approach to patient care. I have served as a mentor to junior staff, helping them develop their clinical skills and providing guidance in complex cases. Moreover, I have been entrusted with leadership responsibilities, such as leading departmental meetings and spearheading quality improvement projects.”

Connect your experience to the role. You should know this from job description, person specification and your pre interview visit. Relate your experience to the specific requirements and responsibilities of the NHS consultant position you are applying for. Show your understanding of the role and explain how your experience aligns with the needs of the department or organization.

Example: “Based on my experience and expertise, I believe I can make a significant contribution to the [department/organization]. My clinical skills, research background, and commitment to patient-centered care align with the goals of providing excellent healthcare services to the community we serve. I am confident that my experience in [specific areas] will enable me to excel in this consultant role.”

Remember to tailor your response to your own experience and the specific requirements of the NHS consultant position you are interviewing for. Be concise, confident, and provide specific examples wherever possible to demonstrate your abilities. 


Learn about different frameworks to use in your consultant interview in our online consultant interview course

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