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GP Trainee Interview Tips: Your Essential guide

Going for an interview is always an intimidating process, no matter if you’re an experienced GP or fresh out of training. It’s a process you never really get used to because (hopefully) you’re not doing it regularly! This is further compounded by the fact that due to the way GP Training is set up, you may not have been for an interview for many years, maybe even since you qualified as a Doctor.

GP Practices are independently-run businesses owned typically by the GP Partners, and as such, every interview process will differ massively ranging from a one-on-one interview to a panel interview with a presentation, though thankfully the latter is very rare these days!

Here are some top tips I’ve picked up through over 6 years in GP recruitment:

Preparation

As the old saying goes, fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Preparation is absolutely key to any successful interview process. You always want to make a good first impression, no matter how competitive the interview process.

The more information you have to hand prior to the interview, the better. You’ll want to know everything from list size to patient ratings, workload to CQC rating. Use this information to form multiple questions you’d like answers to; being inquisitive gives the appearance of having done the research and seeming keen too!

Anticipate obvious questions – While the practice will have some more in-depth questions for you, it’s sensible to prepare for some obvious ones too. What can you offer the practice? Why this practice? Do you have any questions for us?

Finally – Make sure you know your CV inside out. The practice will want to ask you questions around your CV. They may well know your Training Practice and Trainer, General Practice is a very small world! Knowing your CV is key to showing understanding of your learning from each previous training post you’ve had. Make sure you tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for too, and a cover letter can help you stand out too!

Plan some questions to ask

Remember that the interview is not all about you – this is also your opportunity to find out more about the practice you may be working in. So, ask questions! This will give you more information, and also shows interest and engagement as a candidate.

Certain aspects you could enquire about are opportunities for career development within the role, examples of the work culture in the practice, specific community outreach projects the surgery runs, and, of course, when candidates can expect to hear back about the next step in the hiring process.

The Process

As referenced above, the days of a presentation-based interview in front of a large panel of Partners is (thankfully) dying out. An interview process nowadays is a much more informal affair generally.

The first stage of an interview is typically a casual meeting with a Practice Manager/Partner, mainly for a look around the building and to ask any questions you may have. Although informal, this is just as important as an official ‘interview’ as first impressions count. At the first stage, try and avoid ‘What’s in it for me’ questions, such as money and benefits etc.

The second stage is generally a more formal sit-down with several Partners, typically comprising of some interview-type questions around Clinical Scenarios, how you work in a team, your motivations and interests etc.

On the day

Be on time! One of the worst things you can do on the day of an interview is be late, don’t turn up 15-minutes late with a Starbucks cup in your hand (this actually happened to a Practice of ours once).

Dress smart. If in doubt, always dress on the smarter side. Suits are always the safest option, there’s no such thing as dressing ‘too formally’

Be confident. The beauty of a GP interview, which can’t be said for many other professions, is if you’re invited for a meeting then you know you’re qualified for the post – this is fairly black and white. Your qualifications speak for themselves, so make sure you come across as confident (but not arrogant). Keep your head high and keep good eye contact with the interviewers – this is the basis of good rapport.

Next steps? Contact us!

If you are ready to start looking for your ideal GP role, speak to us today. We will listen to you, and gain an understanding of what you are looking for. Then, we will then proactively search for your ideal role.

We support you through each step of the process, all you need to do, is contact us today!

Complete our contact form here, and we will call you back.

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