Trusted by NHS Trust and Health Education England. Proud provider of Consultant Interview courses to numerous trusts across the United Kingdom, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge University Hospital NHS Trust, Barts Health NHS trust (London) , Whipps Cross Hospital(London) , Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow) , Basildon and Thurrock University Teaching hospital, Northwick Park Hospital London and many more.

Transitioning from a Senior Registrar (SpR) to a medical consultant is a significant career milestone and requires meticulous preparation. Take it seriously and start planning early. You can follow our seven week to success if you are pressed for time. Ideally, you should start early. Here are some steps to help you get started:

Here are steps to help you successfully make this transition:

Plan Early: Start planning your transition well in advance, ideally during the latter part of your SpR training. This will give you ample time to prepare and position yourself for consultant roles.

Set Clear Goals: Define your career goals and objectives as a consultant. Identify the subspecialty within your speciality you wish to practice, the type of institution you want to work in, and your long-term aspirations. If you would like to have roles outside of clinical commitments, ensure that you CV has supporting experience.

Networking: Build a professional network within your chosen specialty and institution. Attend conferences, workshops, and meetings and engage with consultants and senior colleagues. Networking can open up opportunities and provide valuable insights.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Continuously invest in your professional development. Attend relevant courses, workshops, and conferences. Seek certifications or further qualifications if necessary to add to your CV and your sell value.

Curriculum vitae (CV): Create a comprehensive CV that showcases your expertise, clinical experience, audits, research, publications and any leadership roles you’ve held. Update it regularly to reflect your progress. Have different versions of the CV to showcase your sub-specialist experience. This way you can quickly modify/adapt as needed when completing your application form.

Research and Publications: If research is an integral component of your specialty, engage in research projects and aim for publications in peer-reviewed journals. This can significantly enhance your consultant application and make you stand out.

Leadership and Management Skills: Actively seek out leadership opportunities within your department or hospital. Participate in committees, lead clinical teams and get involved in quality improvement initiatives. Ask your consultants/educational supervisor to allow you to attend consultant meetings. Regularly attend departmental governance meetings and service management updates. This help you in understanding the direction service is moving or any new initiatives being launched locally/regionally or nationally.  Discuss how you have led teams, managed resources, and implemented change effectively

Teaching and Training: Demonstrate your commitment to education and training by engaging in teaching activities for junior doctors, medical students, or allied healthcare professionals. Keep a log and always get feedback.

Clinical Governance: Show your understanding of clinical governance principles, including patient safety, risk management and clinical audit. Emphasize your role in ensuring high-quality care and be ready to discuss how you ensure quality and safety in your practice.

Consultant Interviews: Prepare thoroughly for your consultant interviews. Tailor your responses to the specific requirements of the role and the institution. Practice answering common interview questions. Learn when and how to use different frameworks (e.g. CAMP, InSIST, STAR and our unique four quarter approach.

Application: Write a compelling application that highlights your achievements, skills and suitability for consultant roles. Do a thorough spell and grammar check or use  application review service or Comprehensive Consultant Interview program for full support. Online consultant interview is a good starting point to get you started. 

Seek Support: Find a mentor who is an experienced consultant in your chosen specialty. They can provide guidance, advice, and support in your preparation. Ask for practice interview and give you their invaluable advice on your CV/application process. Seek help and get practice interviews with colleagues or mentors. They can provide valuable feedback on your interview performance and technique and help you refine your answers. One to one coaching and mock interviews are an excellent means to self assess.  

References: Secure strong references from supervisors, consultants or colleagues who can vouch for your skills and potential as a consultant.

Persistence: Understand that securing a consultant position can be competitive and you may face rejections before finding the right opportunity. Stay persistent and keep refining your approach.

Regulatory Requirements: Ensure you meet all necessary regulatory requirements for consultant practice, including GMC registration and any specialty-specific requirements.

Application Process: Keep a close eye on jobsites. Search regularly and stay in touch with key people that you have worked in the past or networked. Be proactive in applying for positions that align with your career goals.

Interview Skills: Hone your interview skills by participating in mock interviews and seeking feedback from mentors or colleagues. Join one to one coaching or practice mock interview.

Review the Job Description: Carefully go through the job description and person specification provided by the NHS Trust. Understand the key responsibilities, skills and competencies they are looking for in a consultant. This will help you in completing your application form and in your interview.

Know the NHS: Understand the structure, values and principles of the NHS. Familiarize yourself with the NHS Constitution as it can provide valuable insights into the organization’s ethos. Stay alert for any recent changes, guidelines/protocols or controversies.

Research the Trust: Learn about the specific NHS Trust where you are interviewing. Understand its history, services, patient demographics and any recent developments or challenges. Lot of this information is available on trust website. You can ring people to ask questions (politely)!

Update Your Knowledge: Stay current with recent developments and guidelines in your specialty. Read relevant medical journals, attend conferences and consider joining relevant professional organizations. Be  aware of any scandals (Dr Baba Garba or Lucy Letby) as you can bring them in your responses in multiple ways.

Ethical and Legal Issues: Familiarize yourself with ethical and legal issues in healthcare, including consent, confidentiality and the Duty of Candour. Be ready to discuss how you handle these issues in your practice. Follow a structured approach.

Service Improvement: Showcase your ability to contribute to service improvement and innovation. Give examples when discussing any projects or initiatives you have been involved in to enhance patient care. What did you do, what difference it made and how it impacted positively in patient care?

NHS Values and Behaviours: Align your responses with the NHS values and behaviours such as compassion, respect and integrity. Provide examples of how you embody these values in your work. Be aware of the trust values of your future trust.

Questions for the Panel: You should have asked thoughtful questions at the time of pre interview visit. If you have any burning question in your mind, ask the interview panel though it is advisable to say” I have all the information I needed from difference sources and received invaluable information when I met several of you during my pre interview visit. At the moment, I have no further question but thanks for the opportunity.

Dress and Presentation: Dress professionally and appropriately for the interview. Arrive early, and be polite and respectful to everyone you encounter.

Remember that preparation is the key to a successful interview. Tailor your responses to the specific requirements of the role and the Trust, and be confident in your abilities. Remember that the transition from SpR to consultant is a significant career leap, and it may take time and effort to achieve your goal. Stay focused and persevere in your pursuit for your dream job you have worked so hard in your training.

Good luck with your NHS consultant interview!

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