Ah, Harry Sorry I’m late No, thanks for coming. It’s good to meet you. You too So, first of all, can you tell me about yourself
please? Well, my name’s Harry, 18 years old. Currently
doing my A Levels at the moment, I’m doing pretty well actually. And yeah I’d like to
be a doctor when I’m older. First impressions definitely count 100%. Interviewers
can sometimes make their decision and mind up on the person that they’re interviewing
within the first few minutes. So even if you are nervous or not feeling so confident, make
sure that your first impression does really count. Have a firm handshake, good eye contact,
and smile. First of all, can you tell us a little bit
about yourself please? Sure, my name’s Harry, I’m 18 years old and
I’m currently studying Biology, Chemistry, and Maths at school. As you are aware, I hope
to pursue a career in medicine. Anyone who is called for an interview has
obviously got to plan their journey, particularly if they’re coming from the Channel Islands,
to make certain that they’re going to be there in time. So if it’s in the morning, that they
flow over the night before, so they arrive on time, they have time to settle down, be
prepared, they dress appropriately. That particularly for some of the professional courses, which
is the majority of our courses that interview, somebody only has to walk in wearing completely
the wrong clothing and they’ll have made the worst impression. So why do you want to be a doctor, and what
would you like to achieve in medicine? Ah well everyone in my family is a doctor,
so I think it just follows on nicely that I am too really. I think I’d be a great doctor
to be honest. I’ve got great people skills. Be confident but try not to come across as
if you’re arrogant and a know-it-all. It is a fine balance because you have got to sell
yourself but you want to show that you’re a team player, and that you’re going to fit
in well, and that you are teachable. Yeah I’d also like to be a Director, have
a nice big salary for myself. Ok, thank you. People that are interviewing you want to see
that you’re committed to the subject, that you’ve got a passion for the subject, and
that’s the reason why you’re wanting to devote yourself to this period of extended study.
They wouldn’t want to place someone who’s doing it purely for money. And why do you want to be a doctor, and what
do you hope to achieve in medicine? Well I’ve done a lot of work experience in
many different areas, for example the local hospital radio, I’ve done some volunteering
on the wards there, and also at the Jersey Hospice and the Cheshire Homes, and everything
I did there, I saw patients in their environment and doctors working alongside them in the
multidisciplinary team that they have. It was absolutely fascinating and everything
I did there just really made me want to continue my research and be successful in getting a
place at medical school. When we see a CV if somebody has work experience,
even if it’s volunteering or is free, then it’s certainly goes a long way for us look
at the CV a little bit harder. We’re really looking for a student who has
undertaken work experience, not just so they’re just ticking a box to show us they’ve done
it. But they can really demonstrate to us what they’ve learnt, what they’ve gained,
how they’ve reflected on their experiences and it’s given them an insight into that profession. So apart from treating patients Harry, what
do you think being a doctor is going to entail? Well, it’s a lot of paperwork obviously, not
really looking forward to that at all to be honest, I think it’s a bit of a faff. But,
yeah there is a bedside manner part as well I suppose, yeah. The worst thing that we’ve seen at an interview
is negative language. The right attitude is key, we’re looking for somebody who’s enthusiastic,
who’s positive, who’s willing to learn, who can prove they’ve got the good organisational
skills, the good communication skills. Well obviously the treatment is a very important
part, but alongside that you also need to be very academic and very studious to keep
up to date with the constantly changing and evolving field that you are in. You also have
to be an excellent communicator with your team and also with the patients. If a students very clever when they’re actually
writing their personal statement, they could be scripting their own interview. Most of
the questions they’re going to be asked, particularly initially, are going to be based around information
they put in that statement. So if someone is unable to actually expand on questions,
there’s going to be real concerns that did they really undertake that experience? What steps have you taken to really find out
that you want to be a doctor? I’ve done a lot of work experience and volunteer
work, yeah. Vague answers are the same as no answer really.
You’re not giving anything. The interviewer is spending time to understand you, you’re
motivations. They want to get to know you better and therefore see what your potential
is. If you just give a vague answer, it’s very difficult for them to make that judgement. It’s really important to expand on your answers.
The interview is the time to sell yourself really. Ok Harry, moving on to more of an ethical
question. Do you think NHS doctors and staff should be looking after private patients? Uhh… umm… I’m not really sure actually.
Umm I dunno, maybe yeah. It’s really important to understand what’s
going on in the world because it impacts how every organisation is doing. It’s actually
a question that I specifically ask at the end of every interview is about what a candidate
has recently read that’s interested them about financial services. So it’s really important,
even if it’s from something you’ve read in a fashion magazine or that you’ve seen on
a website, it’s really important to know what’s going on out there. I’d expect someone to be aware of their environment,
to understand and know what’s going on. I wouldn’t necessarily ask for a political persuasion
or anything like that, but a general understanding of what’s going on within the community within
their environment, I think that’s important. Do you think NHS doctors and staff should
be treating private patients? Well it’s a very hotly debated topic. Is it
right for private patients to have priority over the NHS patients who are not paying?
That’s something which needs to be thought about a little bit. At current it seems that
the overall consensus is that yes, they are allowed to have precedence over the non-paying
patients. But however the NHS will benefit from this as they will receive the extra costs
that the private patients have to pick up then. We’re always looking for whole people. We
don’t assess the answers that we’re getting on more general questions, but it’s important
for people to show that they are interested, that they have got a general level of awareness
to what’s happening in the world. Can you perhaps tell me about some significant
advances you’ve read about in science or in medicine? Well there’s been a lot really hasn’t there,
umm lots of stuff, read every day in the papers. It allows us to get a flavour of them as a
person. So what is it that makes them tick, what are they really interested in. I recently have read a study on a cancer drug
named ‘cetuximab’ which is really a really interesting thing, just the action of it on
the body. However, it has been found that tumours actually become resistant towards
cetuximab and that is a very interesting field of research in oncology which has really interested
me recently. Can you give an example of a situation where
you have supported a friend in difficult circumstances, and what issue they faced and how you helped
them? Sorry, could you repeat the question? If you don’t understand the question that
somebody has asked you, it’s really silly to try and answer it not knowing what they’re
looking for. It’s much better to ask them to rephrase or to ask the question again in
a different way. Similarly if someone asks you a really tricky question, they might not
be expecting an immediate answer, so do take a moment to think about it and construct your
answer. It will make you a much more confident and strong candidate. Ok Harry, have you got any questions for us? Umm, nope, no I don’t think so no. For me that shows a level of disinterest.
When you’re preparing for the interview you could select questions at that point, but
also there’s general questions that you could ask at the end of any interview, and a really
good one that I always think is ‘do you have any reservations about me at this point?’,
because it gives you the opportunity to answer anything that they may be thinking. It is important to ask questions, this really
is your last chance to impress and it shows you’ve prepared for your interview. Even if
it is just one question. I was just wondering, do you encourage students
to take rotations abroad? The biggest thing to stand out for the crowd
is to be yourself because everybody is different so if you go in and show your own personality
and just relax into an interview then that’s how you’ll stand out. If you’re prepared you can anticipate some
of the questions that can be asked, and you can display confidence in your answers and
give a breadth of experience, then it shouldn’t be a really daunting experience, but it’s
all about the preparation.