Interviews and medical specialty training selection centres

On this page you will find details of the different types of interview and assessment exercises you can expect to find at a specialty selection centre. There are also tips on how to prepare for these and be successful at interview.

Key tips

You can expect to be assessed on:

There are a number of different types of interview or assessment exercises you can expect at a selection day. You may be interviewed at a number of different stations – rooms set aside for different types of assessment:

Portfolio interview

You are asked to talk through your portfolio, to show how you have developed both clinical and professional skills. Interviewers have access to your portfolio prior to interview. Your portfolio should include your CV and have a contents page. NB: GP recruitment doesn’t require that you go through a portfolio interview.

Check with the lead Royal College or local HEE/deanery websites for the specialty to which you are applying, to see if any specific evidence should be included.



The interviewer will want to know how well you prepare at short notice, think on your feet and get your point across. You will usually be given a choice of topics, and then around 15 minutes to prepare a five minute talk. The interviewers may then ask you questions afterwards, including why you chose this topic.


Structured interview

This is an interview with a time limit. All candidates are asked the same questions. Questions will be about you, the specialty you have chosen and healthcare in general.


Clinical scenario

You are presented with a clinical case, given some time to think about it and then asked questions. The aim is to assess:

Mock patient consultation or communication station

You are given some patient notes and a short time to prepare and then have a mock consultation with an actor. Interviewers are particularly looking for:

This may be used in GP and in some other specialties eg paediatrics.

Make a comment or report a problem with this page

Help us improve Health Careers