Careers Countdown

Careers Countdown  

Specialty Applications 2014

 

Careers Countdown … 1 …

Prepare to be interviewed!

Practice makes perfect every time, so practice with your peers, your seniors and your educational supervisor. You will find a list of possible interview questions at the bottom of this webpage below:

stfs.org.uk/doctor/careers-guidance

It is good to think of a few examples of clinical scenarios, team working situations, and to think about how to answer questions about what motivates you. Below is a useful technique:

Think about STAR when giving examples:

 

Concentrate approximately 50% on the A – Action part of the answer, as it shows what you actually did. You should aim to talk about what you did, rather than using ‘we’. Using ‘we’ demonstrates your team-working skills and it is fine to mention it occasionally, but using ‘I’ will demonstrate that you were acting autonomously.

You should spend approximately 20% of your answer on R- Result part. Here you can reflect on what you have learnt from the situation.

Watch some interview videos

The STFS site hosts some short videos on interviews behind a password protected area. These videos consist of real F2 trainees being interviewed by real NHS consultants. Several possible interview stations are covered:
http://www.stfs.org.uk/password-protected-area-stfs-website%20 (Your username will be your GMC number and if you don’t know your password you can request a one electronically).

In addition you can watch some new videos which contain tips from STFS foundation doctors who were successful in selection into their chosen specialty: tinyurl.com/selectioncentre

This is the 5th of 5 countdown messages from the STFS Careers team, should you have any questions about the above content please contact the STFS Careers team.

Careers Countdown … 2 …

Most specialty applications are opening this week.

It’s application time!

Make sure you allow enough time to complete the application form; it usually takes longer than you would think. It is also good to complete it in a few sessions, so that you can review it with fresh eyes. The STFS careers team have written some tips on filling in application forms. You can download the application form tips:

www.stfs.org.uk/doctor/careers-guidance

Make sure that you have the person specifications to hand when you complete your application form. These can be found here: http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/specialty-recruitment/person-specifications-2013/

Should you have any questions about the above content please contact the STFS Careers team.

Careers Countdown … 3 …

Specialty applications will be opening from 12th November. Until then we are sending you regular suggestions about how to maximise your chances of success.

Person specifications

Person specifications for 2014 have now been released: http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk/specialty-recruitment/person-specifications-2013/ . The person specifications tell you what the recruitment panel are looking for. On the selection criteria page there are essential and desirable criteria columns.

  • Can you meet the essential criteria?
  • How many desirable criteria do you meet?
  • What could you do to make yourself more desirable?

Having a Plan B

The applications to specialty will be opening very soon, so you need to decide how many specialties to apply to. It is good to have two or three options. Choose one of these as your Plan A, but keep the others as Plan B or C.

Research (Borges and Savickas, 2002) has found that no one personality is suited to any one specialty i.e. you may be equally happy in any of your shortlisted specialties. Even if you are certain of the specialty you wish to pursue, it is still recommended to have a Plan B. For some Plan B may be considering what you to do if you don’t aren’t successful in your specialty application first time.

  • How can you make yourself more competitive next time?

If you are unsure of which specialties to apply to, try out the decision making exercises on the medical careers website:

tinyurl.com/careerdecisionmaking

Reference: Borges, N. J. Savickas, M.L. (2002). Personality and medical specialty choice: a literature review and interrogation. Journal and Career Assessment, 10, 362-380)

Should you have any questions about the above content please contact the STFS Careers team.

Careers Countdown … 4 …

Specialty applications will be opening in November, 1 month away. Until then we will be sending you regular suggestions about how to maximise your chances of success.

Plan Ahead – get your CV ready

One thing that it is useful to do is prepare your portfolio and CV. Although you do not submit these at application time, many of the specialties require you have these ready for the portfolio station interview. You can prepare these early and then use them to help you answer the white space application questions.

Some guidance can be found on the medical careers website:

Should you have any questions about the above content please contact the STFS Careers team.

Careers Countdown … 5 …     

Specialty applications will be opening in November, only 2 months away. Until then we will be sending you regular suggestions about how to maximise your chances of success.

Have you arranged a taster?

Organising a one week specialty taster helps you with career exploration, and demonstrates your commitment to a specialty at interview.  For help on how to arrange one discuss with the foundation administrator or manager in your postgraduate centre.

Assess where you are in the 4-stage career plan:  

 

You want to make sure you have spent adequate time on stages 1 and 2. There are over 60 specialties within a medical career, so have a think about what’s right for you. The medical careers website www.medicalcareers.nhs.uk  can help you with these first two stages.

This message from the STFS Careers team (Should you have any questions about the above content please contact the STFS Careers team).