Guidance on STP direct entry interviews

STP 2024 interviews will be delivered online by the recruiting organisations. All interviews are designed to be fair, equitable and transparent and all processes will be applied consistently.


Reasonable adjustments

In accordance with the Equality and Diversity Act 2010 if you require any reasonable adjustments for the interview you will have needed to indicate this on your application and have provided evidence to support the requirement. All adjustments are requested through the School and not the interviewing organisation. If you are invited to interview and have not received notification of whether your adjustment can be accommodated, you must email Full guidance is available in the Disability Confidence policy.



Interview offers

Applicants with a status of ‘interview’ and ‘shortlisted reserve’ will be considered for the allocation of interviews. Interview offers are allocated based on the applicants:

  • Shortlisting score and rank – in the event of two applicants being ranked at the same level, tiebreakers are applied based on individual score criteria.
  • Preference for location/employer – if an applicant has not chosen any sub preferences then will not be interviewed.

Applicants will choose and rank sub preferences (locations) between 10am on Thursday 9 May 2024 and 4pm on Tuesday 14 May 2024.


What's changed for 2024?

  • Interviews will be competitive. There will be approximately two applicants interviewed for each post.
  • The panel/hosts of the interview will be an organisation that is recruiting for the STP as part of national recruitment. The recruiting organisation may not be one that you have chosen as a preference, this is because the purpose of the interview is assess suitability for the programme.
  • Offers onto the programme will be based on the outcome of the interview and location choices.

We will contact you, via Oriel, from Friday 17 May 2024 to inform you of which recruiting organisation you will be interviewed by. The recruiting organisation will then contact you to arrange the interview.

If an applicant withdraws or applicants are not successful at interview the next two highest ranked applicants from the shortlist reserve pool will be interviewed. This will continue until all posts are filled or the pool of applicants has been exhausted.


Interview notifications

The recruiting organisation will contact you directly to arrange a date and time for the interview. This will either be via email, so please check your junk/trash folder, or by telephone which may come through as a withheld number. Those that have a status of shortlist reserve may be contacted later in the process if an interview becomes available and they are the next ranked applicant.

You should be given at least two days notice wherever possible and we encourage recruiting organisations to interview early. However, if you have an important event such as an exam, you may ask the employer for an alternative date.

Your interview will be held using an online platform such as Microsoft Teams. The interview invitation will be sent from the recruiting organisation holding the interview and not through the Oriel application system. Make sure you check your junk/trash email folders in case the invitation is forwarded into one of these folders. If you do not receive the invitation by 4pm the day before your interview please contact the recruiting organisation holding the interview.

You will only have one opportunity of an interview.


How the interview will be conducted?

The interview panel will consist of two panel members from the recruiting organisation and possibly an observer on behalf of the School. The panel members will be qualified and experienced staff working within a training department and at least one member will be a scientist.

Observers will be members of School staff or representatives. The observer is only there to ensure standards are met and guidance is followed, they will not be judging or assessing your performance.

All interview panels will have received training in the interview process and will have been briefed on the importance of consistent scoring. We have quality assurance mechanisms in place to ensure your interview is consistent with all other applicants’ interviews for your chosen specialty.


Preparing for the interview

Here are some things to consider before your interview.

  • It is natural to be nervous before and during the interview, try not to let those nerves get to you by ensuring you prepare well.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the job description and person specification available on the School’s website.
  • Remind yourself of what you wrote in your application on how you meet the requirements.
  • Think about what type of questions you may be asked and how you might answer them.
  • Prepare some questions to ask the panel if time allows, however be careful not to ask for information that has already been provided or discussed during the interview.
  • You may wish to hold a mock interview with a friend or family member.
  • Make sure you have a quiet space free from interruptions, for example children, pets and doorbells.
  • Be of a professional appearance, generally this means smart office-style clothing.
  • Have a glass of water available during your interview. If you need a bit of time to think while answering a question take a sip of water which will also help to relax your nerves.
  • Be aware of your body language.
  • Try to be as professional, motivated, interested and confident as possible.
  • Be open and honest, if you do not know the answer then let the panel know. The panel are experienced interviewers who will know if you do not know the answer.
  • Be enthusiastic but don’t constantly interrupt the panel.
  • Don’t worry if the panel are silent while they write or type notes.

Technology requirements for your interview

You will need access to a computer, tablet or smartphone with the camera and microphone enabled, together with a stable internet connection. We recommend that if you are not familiar with the online platform being used e.g. Microsoft Teams that you do a trial with a friend, colleague or family member to ensure you know what to do on the day.


The interview

Joining the interview

Please join the interview promptly, we recommend at least 10 minutes before the interview time. Please introduce yourself to the panel members. Do not use the chat function during the interview unless you are prompted to do so, for example in the event of technical issues.

If the panel does not start your interview promptly at the interview time, please do not be alarmed and be patient. If your interview has not begun within 10 minutes after the interview time, please email

If there are any technical issues you may need to leave the meeting and re-join to solve any problems. If this happens please do not panic. The recruiting organisation and the School are aware that technical difficulties can occur. If you do experience technical problems please contact the recruiting organisation; make sure you have these details to hand before the start of the interview.

At the start of the interview

At the start of the interview the panel members will ask you to confirm your identity. You will need to show this by holding up to the camera, your photographic ID such as a passport, driving licence, BRP, NHS ID card or university ID card. If you do not have any photographic ID you may show your birth certificate. Make sure you have these ready at the start of the interview.

You will be asked to confirm that you are alone in the room and you will respond to the questions without referring to technology e.g. Google. The interviewers will ask you to show your camera around the room to ensure you are alone for your interview. If you do have any assistance then the interview will be stopped and your application rejected. You are not permitted to refer to any notes or to make any notes during the interview. You are also not permitted to record the interview.

During the interview

The interview can last up to 50 minutes. The panel will ask you questions taken from a bank of approved questions. The questions were set by members of the healthcare science profession and quality assured by the School. They align with the person specification for the programme. The interview questions will consist of questions about general science, specialist science and leadership, values and behaviours.

You will need to answer each question within approximately a maximum of four minutes. Keep your answers clear, concise and focused. A panel member may ask you follow up or confirmation questions. If you go over time a panel member may interrupt you so that they can move onto the next question. The panel may also conclude the interview early if they feel they have obtained enough information to assess you. Please do not refer to your application form when answering questions or assume the panel know the details on your application form. The interview is your chance to demonstrate the breadth of your knowledge and experience, and not to simply reiterate the information on your application form.

If time allows at the end of the interview, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. If you do not have any questions, then it is acceptable not to ask any. The panel will then explain the next steps. You will not have a decision given to you there and then and you will be asked to leave the meeting.


Interview outcome and allocation process

All scores will be quality checked and reviewed which will take some time. There is no need for you to contact the School or recruiting organisation during this time. After all the interviews in the specialty have taken place offers will be run via Oriel. You will have 48 hours, excluding weekends, to accept or reject the offer. You do not have an option to hold the offer and only one post will be available to you. If this expires or you reject it, you will not be allocated another post. This will be the end of your application for this year.

If you are successful your details will be sent to the employer. They will then start their employment processes. References will be requested during this process by the employer and not by the School. You will need to send your qualification certificates to the School’s Recruitment Team.

Subject to successful pre-employment checks you will be an employee of the training centre, and you will stay in their employment for the full three years of training. Once your details are sent to your new employer the School’s involvement ceases.

If you are unsuccessful you will leave the recruitment process. You will not join the reserve interview list and there will be no opportunity for a further interview with a different recruiting organisation.

Good luck with your interview. If you have any further queries, please email


Interview feedback

Any requests for feedback cannot be processed until every interview is completed.

Last updated on 10th May 2024