GP interview questions and answers

Working as a GP

On a typical day, a general practitioner could look after 30 or more patients. They offer consulting and treatment services to patients with an array of ailments in only a short period of time so they need to be decisive and competent.

General practitioners (or GPs) will often have repeat patients so the ability to build rapport with patients, create a safe environment, and be a good listener is integral.

Unlike other specialties, many general practitioners are independent contractors. This means GPs need to have an understanding of how to operate a contracting business.

As a General Practitioner (GP), treating patients with the utmost care and professionalism is a critical aspect of your role. Preparing for your interview to secure a position as a GP is just as important. This comprehensive guide outlines key doctor interview questions you may encounter and offers valuable insights on how to respond effectively. By understanding these questions and preparing thoughtful answers, you will demonstrate your work experience, problem-solving skills, and commitment to patient care, setting yourself apart from other candidates.

First things first! Before you submit your application make sure your CV is up-to-date, and once you get an interview, make sure you prep your references. Every GP job interview is going to have different questions, however, below are some GP practice interview questions and suggestions for the answers that will help you prepare for your next GP job interview.

GP practice interview questions

1. Why did you choose a career in General Practice?

This common doctor interview question aims to uncover your motivation and passion for the medical profession, particularly within General Practice. When answering, discuss your interests in patient care, long-term relationships with patients, and the variety of cases you will encounter. Highlight any specific experiences or moments that led you to pursue a career as a GP.

2. How do you handle difficult or non-compliant patients?

As a GP, you will inevitably encounter challenging patients. Interviewers want to see your problem-solving skills and commitment to patient care in action. Describe your approach to addressing patients' concerns, empathizing with their feelings, and using effective communication techniques to build trust and encourage compliance with treatment plans. If possible, share a specific example from your work experience that demonstrates your ability to handle difficult patients.

3. Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a medical error.

Honesty and humility are essential qualities for any healthcare professional. When answering this question, demonstrate your ability to learn from mistakes and take corrective action. Describe the situation, the error made, and the steps you took to rectify the issue and prevent it from recurring. Emphasise your commitment to patient safety and continuous improvement.

4. How do you stay current with medical advancements and best practices?

As a GP, it's crucial to remain up-to-date on the latest medical advancements and best practices to provide optimal patient care. Explain your approach to staying informed, such as attending conferences, participating in professional development programs, reading medical journals, or engaging in online learning. Your answer should demonstrate your dedication to lifelong learning and professional growth.

5. Describe a situation where you worked as a team member to achieve a common goal.

Collaboration is an essential skill for GPs, as they often work with multidisciplinary teams to address patients' needs. Provide an example from your work experience where you collaborated with others to achieve a common goal. Highlight your ability to listen, communicate effectively, and contribute your expertise to the team. Emphasise the positive outcome that resulted from your collective efforts.

6. How do you handle time management and prioritise tasks in a busy practice?

As a GP, you must be able to manage your time effectively and prioritise tasks to ensure optimal patient care. Describe your strategies for staying organised, such as creating a daily to-do list, scheduling appointments efficiently, and delegating tasks when appropriate. Discuss how you prioritise patient needs and maintain flexibility to accommodate urgent situations. If possible, provide a specific example that demonstrates your ability to manage time effectively.

7. How do you approach discussing sensitive topics with patients?

Sensitive topics, such as mental health issues or end-of-life care, often arise in General Practice. Interviewers want to see your ability to approach these discussions with empathy, respect, and professionalism. Describe your techniques for building rapport with patients, using open-ended questions, and actively listening to their concerns. Explain how you ensure patients feel comfortable discussing their health concerns and understand the information you provide.

8. How do you handle patient confidentiality and privacy?

Patient confidentiality is a fundamental aspect of the doctor-patient relationship. Discuss your understanding of privacy laws and regulations, and how you maintain patient confidentiality in your practice. This may include secure storage of medical records, not discussing

9. Why do you want to work in this particular practice?

You’ll only be able to answer this question satisfactorily if you know a good deal about the practice and the surrounding area. Talk about the features that attracted you to the role; the clinic’s close-knit community or the ability to work in a new team. Avoid being negative – if you hate your current role, keep it to yourself. Negativity is a red flag for interviewers as a miserable attitude doesn’t always disappear with a change of scene.

10. How would complete your clinical and administrative duties on time?

Show your interviewer how valuable time management is to you and explain how you believe it benefits you in your career. Explain how you would plan your work when you have multiple conflicting tasks and how you would prioritise your duties.

11. What would you do if one of your patients could not pay the consultation fee?

Here an interviewer will be looking for you to showcase your interpersonal skills and communication skills. Some suggestions like issuing a bill that can be paid at a later date, suggesting financial hardship options, or letting the patient know that they will not be able to come back for another appointment until it is paid could be helpful.

12. What was it that made you choose general practitioner as your specialty?

A question like this may throw you if you haven't prepared, but the answer is actually really simple. Just be honest. Tell them what you love about working as a GP and why you decided to pursue it. Don't hold back. Let your passion show!

13. Why did you leave/why are you leaving your current GP job?

The trick to answering interview questions about why you're leaving your current GP role is to avoid talking about what you disliked about it. Instead, try answering this question in a way that focuses on the positives you see in a new position. For example, "I want the opportunity to learn new skills," "I want to try a new environment or new location," "I am looking to take on more responsibility"

These are some common questions that you can use to prepare for your next GP interview, if you are working with a medical recruitment agency, like Medrecruit, we will guide you through every step of the interview process and help set you up for a successful application.

To find out more about Australian general practice training, becoming a GP, or other relevant GP training programs visit RACGP and ACRRM.

Want more information? Register with Medrecruit and one of our dedicated solution specialists will be in touch. They can provide you with more information and help you create your dream GP role.

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25 April 2022Article by Julia Medrecruit Editor