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Student Careers

Getting that job: The final offensive

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 01 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:0312458
  1. Anita Houghton, freelance careers adviser1
  1. 1London

In the final part of our series, Anita Houghton takes you through your strategy for getting the job you want

After reading the first two articles,12 you should be roughly in this state:

  • You know why you want the job

  • You are clear about what the employers want, and you have submitted an application which reflects that

  • You have some background knowledge of the job, department, trust, or practice where you are applying

  • You have some good up to date knowledge about medicine and the NHS that you have gleaned from scanning journals and newspapers

  • You have a list of likely topics and questions and a set of prepared answers.

You are now ready for the final offensive--developing your strategy (box 1).

Box 1: Developing your strategy

  • Be clear why this is your job

  • What is special about you?

  • What does the interview panel want to hear?

  • How do you want to behave and feel during the interview?

  • Beware of unwritten rules

  • Practise, practise, practise


Why is this your job?

First make sure you are clear as to why you should get the job. After all, if you are clear in your own mind about why the interviewers should give you the job it will be a lot easier to convince the panel.

Remind yourself

  • How you fulfil the essential requirements of the job

  • The areas where you are weak, and how you plan to overcome them.

What is special about you?

Then ask yourself, “What is special about me?” (box 2). What am …

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