The interview / assessment centre
The main stage of your application to IMT is the interview - sometimes referred to as the 'assessment centre' or 'selection centre'.
Here you will be asked a series of questions by clinicians at different interview stations, and will have your documentation verified and assessed to confirm your eligibility, and the validity of achievements noted in your application.
Click on the relevant tabs for more detail about the interview structure and content.
Consistent across UK
The structure and content of IMT interviews will be consistent among all regions; that is, regardless of where the interview is held, the interview will follow exactly the same format and cover the same areas of assessment.
Time required at interview
The exact timings can vary slightly by interview centre but typically this will involve the following:
- Arrival - most centres set the interview slot times that you book 30 minutes before you interview is planned to begin. This time is used to register your arrival and check your eligibility documents.
- Interview - there are three interview stations through which you will cycle and the time allocated to each is 10 minutes, with five minutes' transfer time in between. Thus the total interview time will be approximately 45 minutes.
- After interview - this can vary by interview centre but usually you will be free to go as soon as your interview ends. In some cases the clinical lead may need to speak to a candidate to clarify something from the interview but this is not usual.
- Total time - the advice is that you should expect to spend about two hours at the interview centre. In most cases this will be less but the schedule can often over-run. This is just a rough guide and it cannot be guaranteed that all candidates will be able to leave within two hours of their arrival time so please bear this in mind when planning your transport etc.
Each of the three stations will be staffed by two clinical interviewers who will assess different areas of your skills, knowledge and experience. This means that you will be assessed and scored by six different interviewers.
In station 1 there may be a third clinician to assist with the checking/review of your documentation and the application; however, you will only be marked by the two asking questions.
Lay representatives will be used to monitor IMT interviews. They will not be involved in candidate assessment; their role is to assist in the quality assurance of the interview process.
They will observe a selection of interviews so you may or may not see one during your interview.
Details of the areas of assessment in each of the three stations can be viewed by clicking on the tabs below.
Please note that candidates can progress through the stations in any order.
This is where your application form and training to date will be reviewed. This will include checking the documentation you have brought along to ensure all content on your application form is correct.
Normally your evidence folder will have been reviewed by the interviewers immediately prior to your arrival in the station. They will be:
- Checking that your achievements in your evidence folder match that claimed on your application form.
- Considering your career progression to date.
- Identifying areas about which they may wish to question you during the interview.
Areas for assessment
The two main aspects of discussion here, on which you will be assessed, will be your suitability for and commitment to training in the specialty, and your achievements and engagement with training and learning to date.
Scoring at the station
It is important to recognise that the scores awarded to you at this station will not purely be about your achievements, as this already contributes towards the scoring via your application form. Interviewers will be deciding upon scores via a combination of factors, for example: your responses to the questions asked, the breadth and quality of your achievements and your career progression.
Prior to arriving at station 2, you will be given a clinical scenario to review; upon arrival at the station, you will then be asked questions relating to this scenario.
Some points you should consider when reviewing the scenario:
what next steps you would take
any potential treatments possible
any further information you would gather
how you would go about communicating with any people (eg patients, family members, colleagues) involved in the scenario.
The clinical scenario will be relatively brief (a few sentences), so once you have seen this, the remainder of the pre-station time here will allow you to undertake some short preparation. (just mental preparation; this does not mean taking notes, etc.)
Areas for assessment
One mark will be awarded to you based on your suggestions and responses to the clinical scenario. The second mark will be on the communication skills you display.
This will be both an assessment of how you would communicate with patients, colleagues, etc. in the scenario, as well as of how well you communicate with interviewers at the station.
The two areas covered in station 3 are: an ethical scenario, and a professionalism & governance question.
The ethical scenario, deals with consideration of the moral, ethical, legal, etc. issues of a particular situation.
Prior to arrival at station 3, you will be given details of the ethical scenario to review (as with clinical scenario at station 2), and to prepare for further discussion at the station.
You will be assessed on your responses to the ethical scenario, as well as knowledge of the different considerations required.
Professionalism & governance
Following the ethical scenario section will be discussion of professionalism & governance.
This discussion will be prompted by a short question (often a single sentence) provided by interviewers; this will not be given to you before arriving at the station - this will be given verbally by interviewers once discussion of the ethical scenario is finished.
This section of the interview is designed to assess your demonstration and understanding of professionalism and governance in a given situation.
Familiarise yourself with Good Medical Practice
Please note - assessment at station 3 is underpinned by the principles of GMC Good Medical Practice. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with this prior to interview.
Good Medical Practice guidelines can be viewed on the GMC website.
Where applicants have dyslexia, it is common practice for reading time to be increased by 25%.
This is also the policy employed at IMT interviews; and where this comes into play specifically is where candidates prepare for assessment of 'scenarios'.
Stations 2 and 3 (see further down this page) will require you to consider a hypothetical 'scenario' prior to your arrival at the station (a clinical scenario at station 2, ethical scenario at station 3).
Here, during the five minute period between interview stations, you will be given a piece of text describing a situation, which will then be discussed upon your arrival at the interview station.
The actual text in the scenario is quite short - two/three brief sentences at most - and so the bulk of preparation time is to allow you to consider the scenario and the next steps you would take (eg diagnosis, treatment, further questions, etc.); rather than it being 'reading time' as such.
But should you have dyslexia and wish to request extra time here, this can be granted in line with the recommendations on your pyschological assessment.
If you have dyslexia and wish to request this adjustment, please add information to the personal page of your application regarding this.
If you have already submitted your application without adding a request for this adjustment, please email IMTrecruitment@hee.nhs.uk as soon as possible.
If you have booked onto interview, you can contact your interviewing region directly to request the additional time.
NB - should you request this, following submission of your application the region will request that you provide some evidence of your condition, so that adjustments can be made.
For further details on the scenarios at stations 2 and 3, please see the relevant sections below.
The British Dyslexia Association has a webpage dedicated to how the Equalities Act 2010 relates to dyslexia.