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What are selection interviews?

Selection interviews are part of the application process for RTOs. These may be conducted as MMI’s (Multiple Mini Interviews), panel interviews or remote panel interviews. This year due to COVID-19 GPTQ will be conducting remote panel interviews. The interviews are designed to find out more about you and why you want to become a GP. Here are twelve tips to ace your selection interviews for South East Queensland.

  1. Know what to expect

The remote panel interviews consist of between five and six interview questions. You will be interviewed by 2 interviewers on the Zoom platform. You will have two minutes to view and think about the question and after the bell rings, you will be given eight minutes to answer the question. The interviewers may ask you additional prompting or probing questions to help you provide your best answer to the question. Once the eight minutes are up, the bell will ring again and the next question will appear on screen. This will be repeated until you have answered all questions. You do not move rooms in this form of interview. The whole process will take a little over an hour.

  1. Reflect on why you want to become a GP

The interviews are designed to ascertain your suitability to general practice. Take some time to think about why you want to be a GP and your motivations. Write them down.
You might ponder the following questions to assist your thought process:

  • What does it mean to be a good GP?
  • Why do I want to be a GP over and above any other specialty?
  • What did I do during medical training that helped me decide to become a GP?
  1. Memorise some examples from your work experience

When answering the interview questions, you will need to think about your past clinical experiences and come up with a variety of examples depending on the question you need to answer. Keep these up your sleeve and use them to add weight to your answers. These will mostly come from patients who have had an impact on you during your working career.

  1. Practise time management with mock interviews

Pacing yourself while giving your answers is vital to ensure that you cover all the ground you want to within the allotted time. Ask a friend, relative, or colleague to run some mock interview questions with you so that you get comfortable with timing your answers.

  1. Practice mindfulness or relaxation techniques

Anxiety and stress on the day can make those answers you thought you had memorised fly right out the window. The best way to combat this is to practice mindfulness and relaxation that you can draw on at the time of the interviews. Allowing your mind to be clear and focused allows you to bring your best answer at the time.

  1. Know the difference between Interviews for RACGP and ACRRM

No matter which college you’ve applied to train through – RACGP or ACRRM – the interview process is similar. However, there are some key differences in the number and type of questions you might be asked.

For RACGP, you will answer five questions. For ACRRM, you will need to answer six questions.
The panel members for RACGP and ACRRM may also differ. For RACGP, members are sourced by the RTO, are all doctors and many are GP supervisors and educators.
The panel for ACRRM could include an RTO doctor, an ACRRM representative, and a rural community representative who is not a doctor. This is important to remember as you may need to adjust your communication to suit a non-medical professional.

  1. Reflect on the questions you might be asked

Unlike objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), there will not be a real or role-played patient presenting to you for a consultation or any elements of a consultation. The questions are designed to find out your motivation for undertaking GP training and to assess your abilities and outlook. Patient scenarios may be used as a backdrop for interview questions.

Examples of interview questions you might get include:

  • “Describe a time when you were faced with a challenging diagnostic problem. Why was it so challenging and how did you develop a management plan for the patient?” (This question looks at your analytical and problem-solving skills)
  • “Tell us about a patient you saw who had complex health needs and required follow up by other health professionals after leaving your care.” (This question looks at your organisational and management skills)
  • “Why have you decided to undertake GP training?” (This question assesses your motivations)
  • “Describe a time when you disagreed with advice from another doctor you were working with and how you went about resolving this issue.” (This question looks at your conflict management skills)

Other areas that may be assessed include clinical knowledge, whether you are a leader or team player, and how well you can communicate and express yourself.
Review the ACRRM and RACGP websites and look at their curriculum documents that outline the priority areas that each college is looking for as graduates from their programs.

  1. Eat breakfast on the big day

While it might be the last thing you feel like doing, eating a healthy breakfast on the morning of the interviews will ensure you don’t become lightheaded or distracted by a grumbling stomach halfway through the interview process.

  1. Dress for the job you want

The panel will be assessing your professionalism, so the best bet is to dress smartly like you would for any other job interview.

  1. Make sure you really understand the question and listen to any prompts

When you first see the question, take time to fully grasp what it’s asking you. Read it at least twice. Only then can you start formulating your response.
As you start the interview it can be quite easy for stress to take over your logical brain. If this happens, the examiner will prompt you.
Listen very carefully to these prompts, because the interviewer will never lead you astray. They are a good guide. If you go off track, a panel member will bring you back. They are genuinely looking to find out what you are thinking.

  1. Remember to breathe

The best thing you can do for yourself before starting your interview is to take three deep breaths. Breathe in for three, hold for three and exhale for three. This will reduce your anxiety and feed oxygen to your brain to ensure you remember those answers.

  1. Follow up

Keep an eye on our website for upcoming dates, times and locations for the RTO Interviews.
Both GP colleges – ACRRM and RACGP – should also have this information on their respective website and in their applicant guide.
If you have been successful in securing an RTO Interview with GPTQ, you will receive an email from us containing all the vital information.

In the meantime, get busy preparing your example answers and remember to breathe!