Guidance for applicants and employers on HSST shortlisting and interviews

Last Updated: 19th February 2021

This guidance provides details about the process of HSST shortlisting of applicants and interviews.

How does shortlisting work?

Direct entry applicants

Your application will go through a shortlisting panel, who will score it against each of the criteria in the person specification. Shortlisters do not have access to your personal data, or the equal opportunities, fitness to practise and employment history sections of the application form. All applications are ranked in order of their total score.

In the event of tied scores, an algorithm is applied and the highest scoring applicants go through to interview. There are normally three interview places for each post. There is also a reserve list in case any shortlisted applicants withdraw.

In service applicants

Although you apply through the same process as direct entry applicants, your application will not go through shortlisting because you are not competing for a post. Once you have submitted your application, you will proceed to interview.

You will find the shortlisting dates on the ‘Important dates for HSST 2021 applicants’ page.

What are the shortlisting outcomes?

When shortlisting is complete, your status on Oriel will change to one of the following:

  • Shortlisted – you will be invited to interview
  • Shortlisted reserve – you will be invited to interview, possibly at short notice, if a candidate in your chosen specialty withdraws
  • Shortlist unsuccessful – your application will not progress any further

You will have 48 hours from the date of receiving the notice for interview, to confirm acceptance of the interview by booking a time online.

Choosing your training location

Direct entry applicants

In the period between your invitation to interview and allocation to a training place, you will be asked to specify where in the country you want to train. The term used in Oriel for these choices is ‘sub-preferences’. Your interview score will be ranked and this will be used with your sub-preferences rank to determine the training location to which you are allocated. You can view the advertised training post locations and specialisms on our website. They may change during the recruitment process, so keep checking the website for the latest position.

You can make only one application per vacancy. If you try to submit more than one application for a single vacancy, you will be removed from the recruitment process.

In-service applicants

You do not have any choice of specialism or location. You can apply only for the training post for which you are being sponsored by your current employer. You will need to provide evidence that you have obtained permission from your employer to apply, and we will also ask for evidence of your qualifications.

The interview

If you are shortlisted you will be invited to interview. Interviews for 2021 will be conducted online via a video-conferencing platform.  You do not have a choice of interview date, and it is for you to ensure when you apply for the programme that you will be available on the date advertised.

You will have a single interview divided into a number of sections, each one evaluating a different aspect of your knowledge, skills and experience.  The interviewers score your interview, and the score is provided to us for verification.  You will not receive your outcome on the day.

Interview outcome and allocation process

After your interview your Oriel status will change to ‘interview complete’. We then check all interview scores, which can take over two weeks. When we are ready to notify you of the outcome, your status will change to one of the following:

  • Offer made
  • Interview unsuccessful
  • Interview complete – your status stays at ‘interview complete’ if you are appointable, but not ranked high enough to be allocated to a training centre at this stage. You will be placed on a reserve list.

Direct entry applicants

If your status has changed to ‘offer made’ we allocate you to a training centre. Only one training centre is offered to you, and once you accept a post your acceptance is final.

Once you have accepted an offer of allocation to a training centre we send your details to them, and they undertake their employment processes.  We do not employ trainees; you will be an employee of the training centre you are allocated to. You will stay in their employment for the full five years of training. Once we have sent details to your allocated employer, our role in the recruitment process is over.

In service applicants

If you score over the minimum threshold at interview, you are on the programme. We will email you and your manager with the next steps.

Interview feedback

You can obtain your interview feedback, free of charge, by emailing and attaching photographic ID. This normally takes about a month, but we cannot start to process requests until all outcomes have been released. Feedback consists of the interview station outcomes and any additional comments.