GPST Stage 3 Interviews

Annette Lewis | Job Interview Advice

How to Excel in GPST Stage 3 Selection Centres; Simulation Exercises (Role Plays) and Written Exercises

Recruitment into GP Specialty Training has traditionally been highly competitive and this year is no exception. Candidates must pass through a tough 3 stage assessment process and while most can get through the Stage 2 – MMT relatively easy it is always the Stage 3 assessment that is most difficult.

Applicants who have passed Stage 2 will be invited to a Selection Centre and asked to participate in a series of exercises as follows:

  • Simulation Exercises (Role Plays)
  • Written Exercise

Based on the results of these exercises candidates will succeed or fail in their attempt to get a Training position.

Tips for Success in GPST Stage 3 Selection Centres

The most common mistake that can lead to failure

Surveys suggest that between 80%-90% of candidates in any interview fail to prepare adequately. They take the view that their clinical skills are good enough to see them through and this attitude can very often lead to failure.

Skills being tested in GPST Stage Selection Centres

In GPST Stage 3 interviews, your clinical skills are not being tested. To practice effectively, a GP requires a variety of skills, some clinical of course but others relating to the ability to conduct a consultation with a patient in an effective and empathetic manner.

GPST Stage 3 process is concerned with the candidate’s communication and personal skills, the ability to show empathy, to deal with a patient in a sensitive and appropriate manner, to solve problems and to think conceptually.

Professional integrity is also being tested usually within the written exercises and the ability to work with others effectively.

Proper Preparation is the Key to Success

For many GPST candidates these exorcises are very new and can be a nightmare to conquer. The good news is that it is possible to excel with proper preparation and training.

Here are some tips to help:

– Firstly review the Person Specification in depth and detail all of the key competencies, personality skills and clinical skills required

– Practice conducting a patient simulation with a friend or colleague and ask them for feedback. Did they feel listened to? Did they think you understood them? Were they clear on the information you gave them?

– Similarly practice a role play relating to topics which can be raised by the patient’s family member or by a colleague in your practice. Most topics will require a decision to be made and while it is good to reach a decision, it is not essential. What is under scrutiny will be your ability to engage, to listen and to contribute.

– Practice answering questions relating to difficult Patient Scenarios and Prioritisation Exercises

– Revise the principles contains in the Good Medical Practice Guide which details the duties of a doctor alongside professional ethics. Some of the topics can relate directly to the guidelines contained

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