Portfolio Station

The portfolio station will be led by two interviewers. One may focus on asking questions whilst the other may focus on checking your physical portfolio for evidence. They will have your previously completed self-assessment form for reference and they will use this as a guide to navigate through your portfolio. You will be asked to justify the points you have awarded yourself in each category.

Prior to the interview, ensure you are familiar with the contents of the portfolio so that you are able to navigate it quickly and smoothly. 10 minutes pass quickly, and the interviewers will appear in a rush to get through all the required sections. Do not feel discouraged by this, remember that they want to award you as many points as possible.

Following your invitation to interview, you may be sent further information about suggested portfolio categories. In 2020, candidates received the following guidance.

  1. Research into a career in Imaging
  2. Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and qualifications
  3. Clinical Governance, audit and quality improvement
  4. Teaching and training experience
  5. Research activity and Publications
  6. Evidence of discretionary effort/achievement

You will also be advised that other evidence may be reviewed at the interview. This is a guide, however, try to use this as a template for the main bulk of your portfolio contents.

A key point is that, aside from the categories listed on the self-assessment form, points were also awarded in this station for:

  • Evidence of discretionary effort
  • Examples of reflection
  • Examples of feedback on clinical practice
  • Written communication (i.e. portfolio presentation)
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication

General tips for the portfolio.

  1. Follow the category recommendations above as much as possible. This will make it easier for interviewers to navigate your portfolio and award you the points you deserve.
  2. Include reflections on as many things as possible! Examples include taster weeks, teaching courses, teaching programmes you have organised. Interviewers like to ask about reflections.
  3. Include evidence for your taster week(s) in the form of a letter signed by the consultant or department you worked in.
  4. Include letters from named supervisors to confirm your involvement in projects, audits, and so on. 
  5. Purchase a good quality folder and plastic pockets. It does not need to be embossed and engraved, for example, but presenting all your hard work in an old, worn folder will not do you any favours.
  6. Include tabs to mark important achievements, particularly ones that give you points on the self-assessment. This allows you to quickly turn to them to show the interviewers when required. Examples include, a tab for a first author publication, radiology audit, radiology teaching programme feedback, or your taster week letter.
  7. Use highlighters and coloured pens, post-it notes to highlight important comments on multisource feedback forms or other things you want to bring to the interviewers’ attention.
  8. When preparing for the interview in the months ahead, aim for at least 1 point in each category, if not 2 points. Radiology is a competitive programme, and many applicants are likely to score very highly in this station. However, do not feel disheartened if you do not, for example, have any postgraduate exams or do not have a first author publication. Try to ‘sell’ what you do have to the interviewers.

As an example, the categories I used in my portfolio were as follows:

General tips for the portfolio station:

  1. Do not be thrown if you are asked a question you have been asked in the commitment station, or one you feel relates to that station. The interviewers do not communicate between stations and will not know you have answered a similar question already. Answer to the best of your ability.
  2. Once you have put together your portfolio, study it! Make sure you know how to navigate it quickly and smoothly. Do not be afraid to use tabs to help you quickly reach key parts. Practice with a friend, and know how to navigate your portfolio ‘upside down’ whilst it is facing the interviewers.
  3. Be honest, and do not by any means lie about your experiences. But fight your corner! Do not be afraid to discuss or sell your experience to gain maximum points. As an example, you may discuss the fact that a teaching programme you have devised and delivered to medical students in your GP placement was ‘regional’, as you had participants attend from nearby GP practices. Ensure you have the feedback forms and supervisor letters to back up your claims. If the interviewers agree, they may award you maximum points. Worst case scenario is that they deduct a point, however you know you have given it your best shot. 



Portfolio station – Example questions

 

In the portfolio station, you will be asked questions directly relating to the self-assessment questionnaire you complete at the start of the interview.  You may also be asked to display examples reflective writing (make sure to include examples in your portfolio), feedback from colleagues (such as multi-source feedback) or to simply choose a ‘proudest’ or ‘best’ achievement. 

 

You will be expected to quickly navigate your portfolio in order to demonstrate you ‘deserve’ the points that you have awarded yourself. 

 

Questions may be very direct and may include:

 

1)    Show us evidence of your radiology audit.

2)    Have you completed any taster weeks in radiology?

3)    Do you have evidence of teaching?

4)    Show us an example of where you have reflected on a teaching opportunity.

5)    What is your proudest achievement?

6)    Have you attended any radiology courses?

7)    Do you have any additional degrees?

8)    Have you undertaken any postgraduate examinations?

 

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