Prospective trainees in radiology should fully research their chosen career. Reading the information provided on this website is a good start, but candidates are also advised to seek advice directly from radiologists in training in their locale. There are currently 22 approved Radiology Training Schemes in the UK. Further information about the individual schemes can be obtained from the appropriate heads of training in each department. The training administrator at the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) will send out a general Information Pack out on request. The Regulations for Training in clinical radiology are also available on the RCR website.
Most radiology posts start on 1st October or thereabouts. These posts are usually advertised anytime from January the same year, and will appear in the careers section of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The BMJ Careers Section is also available on-line. All applicants will be required to submit an application form and curriculum vitae (CV) with at least two referees. You must choose your referees carefully but they will only be asked to supply a reference if you are short listed.
The approved method for short listing candidates is by a pre-agreed points system. Applications are scored by the short listing panel on the basis of the anonymous application form (personal details having been removed), not on your CV. If possible, these should be neatly word-processed rather than hand-written. Bonus marks are awarded for postgraduate qualifications, publications and audit (particularly radiology publications), administrative activities (BMA / STC / JDC representative, etc), knowledge of the training scheme applied for and extended computer skills. Marks can be deducted for a prolonged clinical career without further qualifications, hand-written applications, unexplained career breaks and lack of obvious commitment to radiology.
Short listed candidates will be invited for interview. Some schemes may extend an invitation to visit the main department. You should also take time to discuss any issues or questions you have with trainees already on the scheme. You may ask how the interview panel is comprised, but the names of in individual interviewers are not usually disclosed. In any case, direct canvassing of the interview panel is forbidden and may lead to disqualification of the candidate. Pre-guessing the interview questions can be as rewarding as spotting for exams, and we have therefore provided a list of Sample Interview Questions you should feel confident to answer on the day.
Candidates should arrive in plenty of time for the interview. There are no strict dress regulations but cross-dressing is best avoided! If there is any delay before the interview, have a cup of tea and relax away from the other candidates if possible. At interview, you will be made welcome and introduced to the panel. Don't worry, no one ever remembers all their names! One of the interviewers will then go through your curriculum vitae with you, mainly for the benefit of the rest of the panel. If you have done any research, have a concise summary prepared; you don't want to bore them at this stage. One or several of the interview panel will then ask you questions, most of which you should have prepared answers for. Nevertheless, there will almost always be a question you are not expecting. Remember to smile when this happens!
To be fair and equitable, the interview panel may well ask the same questions to each of the applicants in turn. It is in your best interest therefore, not to discuss the questions asked with the other candidates when you leave the room. If during the interview you are asked whether you would be prepared to take the job if offered, your answer should be YES. Once offered the job you can then accept, or explain if you have another interview to attend before you finally make your decision. If all applicants are interviewed on the same day, the successful (and unsuccessful) candidates will usually be announced at the end of the session.