Q1. Why have you chosen this course date?
We have specifically chosen our course dates to compliment the proposed interview period.
The course will take place after the application deadline, so hopefully you will have had the opportunity to really think about your CV, strengths and weaknesses, and be in the correct mindset for the interview, but will take place with sufficient notice that if the interviews are held early within the anticipated period, you will still have plenty of time for independent interview practice.
There will only be one course held per interview round.
Q2. What is the format of the course?
The Dermatology interview is extremely different to that of other SpR interviews, as it has a heavy focus on Dermatology specific elements. This is why we have designed this Dermatology specific interview course.
Our course is designed to familiarise delegates with the format of the interview, go through likely questions that will come up and highlight areas where revision or study may be required to improve your chances of success.
The course is divided into four sections: introduction (course format, interview style, hints and tips), station 1 (commitment to specialty & portfolio), station 2 (research and teaching) and station 3 (clinical scenario & ethics / communication).
For each section there will be didactic teaching, with some elements of interaction to keep things interesting, but you can be as involved or uninvolved as you like. We break down the likely questions and discuss how to approach each answer to address the interviewers objectives and give tips on how to make your responses individualised and memorable. Station 2 includes specific guidance on how to analyse an abstract, using abstracts that have previously been used in the interview process. For station 3 we use relevant clinical and ethical scenarios and provide advice on how to approach this challenging station with a formula so that on the day you can approach any scenario with confidence.
Q3. Will I be put on the spot to answer questions?
No! The aim of the course is entirely to provide you with knowledge and information to guide you so that you can independently practice (by yourself, using video recordings, or with friends or colleagues). You will not be required to answer any interview questions whatsoever. If, following the course, you feel that you would benefit from further practice with us then you are welcome to book a 1-2-1 interview session.
Q4. Will I have to interact with the other delegates?
The course is very informal, but some may find it a little intense meeting others who are potentially direct competitors. As course facilitators we are always around to provide a distraction during breaks and would suggest that during breaks / lunch you do speak with others on the course in a friendly capacity but do not discuss dermatology or interview related things. Ultimately this is up to you.
Q5. What is the dress code?
Please wear casual comfortable clothes, this is an informal course.
Q6. Will there be refreshments?
Yes. There will be unlimited snacks and drinks throughout the day, as well as a set lunch menu, so please do not bring any food or drink with you.
Please let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements prior to the course.
Q7. Should I bring my portfolio?
There is no need to bring your portfolio or CV. We will bring our portfolio and CV for you to have a look through if you wish.
Q8. I've already done the interview; will the course add anything?
Absolutely! In our Round 1 2016 course we had many delegates who had previously undertaken the course. The feedback from all groups was extremely positive (see Feedback). Many of these delegates were successful in this round, having previously been unsuccessful, sometimes on several occasions.
We advise that even if you have previously undertaken the interview process you still consider attending the course, as the aim is to help you structure answers for all of the stations and hone your skills. If you have previously been interviewed there will be some elements that you are familiar with, but there will also be a huge amount of new information; as an experienced delegate, the advantage is that you will likely glean information on a higher level than those who are attending with no point of context.
Q9. Will you be giving out course material?
Yes! From 2020 a course handbook is given out with all the courses slides in it.
Q10. Can I cancel my space if I don't get an interview or for another reason?
DermOwl's cancellation policy for the course is 2 weeks' notice for a full refund.
Q11. Do you have insider knowledge on what will be included on the interview?
DermOwl is not affiliated with the recruitment process and we do not have any information about the recruitment process which is not widely available on relevant websites. Unfortunately attending our course or coaching cannot guarantee success in the recruitment process.
Q12. I am not sure whether to attend the course or book a 1-2-1 coaching session. Which is best?
We recommend that you attend the course as the priority. The course covers the majority of information you will need and will hopefully guide your independent practice. If following the interview you feel a session with us on an individual basis is necessary or would add further to your confidence then hopefully there will be spaces to book at that time (see below for 1-2-1 FAQs). You could also book a 1-2-1 practice at the time of booking the course and cancel this following the course if you feel it is no longer required (see below for 1-2-1 cancellation policy, Q5).
We feel that those who have done the course take more from the 1-2-1 sessions than those who book directly into the individual slots.
Q1. What is the format of the 1-2-1 session?
The 1-2-1 coaching lasts 90 minutes and takes place virtually using either Facetime for Dr McSweeney or Skype for Dr Farrugia. The interview prep session will be held with Dr Michael Farrugia for general interview prep or Dr Sheila McSweeney for abstract only prep.
We need details of your mobile number and email at time of booking and will be in touch to send you information about your session. You will need to have the ability to access emails during the session so that we can send you a practice abstract(s) and practice clinical scenario(s).
Q2. What will be covered during my time allocation?
The structure we advise is to spend 30 minutes on each station, with mock questions for each, followed by constructive feedback, to enable you to understand your individual strengths and weaknesses to tailor your future practice. That said, the coaching can follow any format you prefer and if you would like to spend the entire 90 minutes on one particular station or on just two stations, we are very happy to facilitate this, though ideally let us know in advance so we have appropriately prepared for you.
Q3. Do I need to prepare anything specific?
To get the most from this session we advise that you have already practiced a little on your own / with friends or colleagues. If you have undertaken the course we feel this will also be to your advantage (see above for course FAQs; specifically Q12).
Q4. Should I book more than one session?
We would suggest that one session is likely to be enough, though this is entirely up to you . If you book more than one session but feel that you no longer require the additional sessions then you are welcome to cancel further sessions (see below for cancellation policy).
Q5. I have booked a 1-2-1 coaching session but no longer feel it is required. Can I cancel this?
DermOwl's cancellation policy for 1-2-1 coaching sessions is 72 hours for a full refund.
Q6. There are no more 1-2-1 slots available to book - what can I do?
Do not panic: please do get in touch and we will add you to a waitlist in the event of cancellation / new slots being added.