IMT training is usually held in January and February, so if you are applying for IMT this year, it’s important to start preparing for the interview as soon as possible. This can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to begin. However, you should not disregard how much time this preparation takes. You need to start a good few months in advance and have an effective schedule by going through potential questions and assessing medical situations.
The IMT interview in itself is highly competitive in nature. With this reason, students need to prepare adequately so that they can get in their chosen medical specialty. If you’re a beginner and not sure how to begin, here’s a list of things to prepare before taking the IMT training.
Preparation areas include:
• Eligibility documents – what you need to bring to interview to prove your identify and eligibility to work in the United Kingdom
• Evidence folder – which contains the evidence of the achievements claimed on your application form
• Other preparation – such as travel arrangements
• Probity – ensuring your evidence folder meets GMC Good Medical Practice guidelines
• Structure, content and scoring framework for the interview – which can be found in the interview section of the website.
Prepare eligibility documents
You will need to take some documents to demonstrate elements of the eligibility criteria. It’s necessary to bring an original version of the document where possible, along with a photocopy. Photocopies will be taken by the team in the CV station while the original documents will be given back to you.
Prepare back-up documents
You will need to provide documentation which backs up the various claims made in your application form (qualifications, publications, etc.). These should be collated into an Evidence Folder, which must be prefaced with an Evidence Summary Form. Your documents can be downloaded from the document library.
The time spent at the evidence station is relatively short, so it is very important that you lay out your documentation clearly in the prescribed manner. If the documents are poorly organised, interviewers won’t be able to quickly verify the achievements you’ve listed on your application form.
All interviews have standard questions like asking you to tell more about yourself, why you are suited to medicine, what work experience you have done etc. You should know every detail of your personal statement, and be able to talk in detail about any area that you are asked about.
The key skill with answering these questions is learning to highlight your strengths. All the experiences mentioned in your statement should also be in the forefront of your mind. This includes the patients you have met as well as the things you have learnt on your work experience. Read each question, and answer the question yourself, before you practice with someone else, and well in advance of your interview.
Read each prompt at least twice
Make sure you take your time to read each prompt outside of the interview room at least twice. If you rush, you are more likely to miss key information and wind up delivering a poor or even judgmental response. Remember, you only have ten minutes before each station. You can take your time understanding the medical scenarios for five minutes and use the rest of your time answering the question.
In practice, an organised and concise response should take no longer than 3-4 minutes. This means you’ll have extra time inside, and can afford an extra minute or two outside the room to make sure you understand the question even after the buzzer sounds. If you do enter the room late, make sure you briefly apologise for the delay, and explain you wanted a bit more time to gather your thoughts before delivering your response. That would actually put you ahead of your competition, because it shows careful thought and deliberation even in high stress situations.
Learn to manage your stress
Nothing is worse than feeling so nervous when you walk into the interview room that you can’t even formulate a coherent response. Most applicants fail the interview because they don’t know how to cope up with stress. Recall that you are being rated on your communications skills, and unless you have your stress levels in check, you won’t express yourself articulately.
Remember to smile
Unless the topic you’re discussing with the interviewers are serious or sombre, always wear a smile on your face. Smiling in an interview is a sign that you are in control, and are confident in yourself. You may feel confident and calm, but if you do not smile and make your calmness known to the interviewers, they may find you serious, sombre and not an all-rounder.
Preparing adequately for the IMT interview takes a lot of hard work and commitment. Some candidates are lucky enough to have supportive peers and mentors who can help them through the application. In order to prepare well, an aspiring medical practitioner must find a helpful guide to improve their performance and chances in getting into the IMT training.
The aforementioned things above are some of the measures that you can take while preparing for the actual the IMT training interview. Make sure you remember all these to raise your chances of getting selected. Now that you know what the IMT training entails, it’s up to you how to prepare for it.