Interviews and selection processes Specialty Recruitment applicant guide

Most specialties recruit by means of a national process handled by a lead HEE Local Office/devolved nation Deanery on behalf of all appointing regions. These processes may therefore vary in arrangements.

The main recruitment methods are:

  • the Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)
  • verified self-assessment 
  • interviews

The Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA)

The Multi Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA) is a computer based assessment, designed to assess some of the essential competences outlined in the person specifications and is based around clinical scenarios. 

The MSRA is utilised by the following specialties: 

  • ACCS Emergency Medicine CT1 ST1 

  • Anaesthetics CT1 

  • Clinical Radiology ST1 

  • Community Sexual and Reproductive Health ST1 

  • Core Psychiatry Training CT1 

  • Core Surgical Training CT1 

  • General Practice ST1 

  • Neurosurgery ST1 

  • Nuclear Medicine ST3 

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology ST1 

  • Ophthalmology ST1 

Each specialty considers the MSRA differently as part of its selection process. It is recommended that you visit specific national recruitment websites to familiarise yourself with the appropriate guidance for that specialty. 

Information:

For detailed information about the MSRA process and content, go to the Taking the MSRA and What's in the MSRA? pages.

Verified self-assessment

Many specialties use verified self-assessment as part of their selection process. 

This requires you to select the appropriate response to a number of questions on the application form and then upload evidence to support your selection to the self-assessment portal. Guidance explaining how to upload evidence to the portal is available on the portal. 

You will be provided with login details to access the portal and will be given guidance on organising and uploading evidence from the specialty lead recruiter. 

Uploaded evidence will be reviewed and scored by an assessor. You will be provided with scores. If you are unhappy with the score given can request a review by another assessor in line with the policy in place by the specialty. No new evidence can be submitted for the review. The outcome of any review is final, with no further recourse for review. 

Information:

Find out more about verified self-assessment.

Interviews

For the duration of the 2023 recruitment process all interviews will take place digitally.  Digital interviews will normally have a minimum of two panel members, however, interviews can continue with one panel member, where necessary. In this instance, applicants will be asked to consent to the interview being recorded to assist with complaints and/or challenges. Recordings will be held by the specialty lead recruiter for a period of 12 months. Where applicants do not consent to the recording, the interview will still continue, unrecorded. 

You should be given at least 5 working days’ notice of any interview. Notice may be less if late interview slots arise due to other applicants withdrawing from the process. You will be informed of the reason for the late notice if this occurs.

The structure and content of interviews will vary across specialties and levels. Recruitment offices will normally inform you of the format of the interview, including the competences being assessed.

Interviewers may have access to anonymised application forms of interview candidates but will not have access to the equal opportunities or personal data.

Interview panel members will individually complete a scoresheet for each candidate and make any comments. The aggregate score given by all panel members, taking into account any associated weighting, will be the final score of the interview.

Planning for the interview

You will be given clear information on what will be required of you at interview. As a minimum, the following documents should be provided.

  • Proof of identity (passport or other photo identification).

In preparation for interviews/selection centres, you should ensure that you:

  • inform your current employer of potential leave requirements for attending interviews/selection centres in anticipation of being shortlisted and coordinate with colleagues wherever possible
  • discuss with clinical tutors or local consultants within the specialty about the types of areas the interviewers/assessors may seek to address
  • read and follow any specific guidance given for that specialty about how documentation should be prepared and anything else which may need to be provided in advance of the day
  • ensure that you test that you are able to connect to the technical solution that is being used for the interview process and that your webcam and microphone are working appropriately

Sharing interview questions with others

Once an interview has been completed, you should ensure that you do not discuss the interview process or share the interview questions with other applicants who are yet to be interviewed, either on the same date or on a future date.

If you are found to be sharing interview questions with others, you may be removed from the recruitment process.

Raising concerns

If you wish to raise concerns about the conduct of panel members during the interview/selection process or recruitment staff administering the event, you should be provided with an email address to direct the concerns to. Your concerns should be raised as soon as possible after the interview takes place and no later than 2 working days after. Concerns will not be considered where they are raised at a later date.

Once received, your concerns will be passed to the Recruitment Lead who will liaise with the Clinical Lead and decide if the issue requires immediate intervention and discussion.

Where a serious concern is raised, a formal investigation will be undertaken.

Information:

Find out more about interviews.

Page last reviewed: 15 September 2022