CST Interview Question Bank

CST Interview Qbank

Specialty training is becoming more competitive every year, with interviews being the deciding factor between many great candidates. We've recruited top ranking doctors to develop a set of dedicated model questions, notes, and videos to help you stand out and get your dream training post.


Select Your Plan

CST Interview QBank

£69.99/six months

Get Access
  • checkmark

    50+ Scenarios

  • checkmark

    Step-by-step question walkthroughs

  • checkmark

    Full Interview Question Coverage

  • checkmark

    20+ Model answer videos

  • checkmark

    Progress tracking

  • checkmark

    iOS/Android App

Developed by recent candidates who scored in the top 1-5% of specialty training applications!

CST Interview Question Model Answer

Core Surgical Training Interview

Interactive CST Interview Scenarios with detailed model answers

Developed by high achieving surgical SpRs, our Qbank provides a systematic collection of structured interview questions to drill your answers and dedicated model answer videos to help you phrase your thoughts for maximal impact on the day.

50+ Scenario Question Bank

Detailed CST Interview Question Bank covering all the possible Management, Portfolio and Clinical scenarios.

20+ Model Answer Videos

Gold Standard Model Answers that show you, step-by-step, how to answer each question type and shine at your interview!

Expert-developed questions to push your clinical decision making to the next level.


Frequently Asked Questions

CST is a two-year pathway that doctors who wish to pursue most surgical specialty training programmes at ST3 level must complete first. The time is spent rotating through surgical specialties within a hospital settling as a surgical senior house officer (SHO).

Some surgical training operates as a run-through training programme (RTT). This means that you do not need to complete CST first but enter at an equivalent ST1 level. This applies to Cardiothoracic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, and Oral and Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Many other surgical specialties such as Ear, Nose, and Throat, Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, as well as General Surgery, are piloting the development of run-through training programmes. You should therefore check job availability carefully before you apply.

Application to CST is via a national recruitment process on a website called Oriel.

There are generally two application windows per year, referred to as 'Round 1' and 'Round 2'. Round 1 usually runs in October-November, and Round 2 later in the year. If you are thinking about applying for CST, you should note that applications are only open for short windows so you should leave plenty of time for your application and check the online timeline so you do not miss your opportunity to apply.

To obtain an interview, candidates must score highly in the Mutli-Specialty Recruitment Assessment (MSRA). You will be invited to sit this exam after you apply.

Interviews are allocated after results are available, with only the top 1200 candidates being invited to interview. There is therefore no definite cut-off score to be invited to interview, but if you are applying in a year where your peers score much higher than you on average, you may miss out as slots are allocated based on ranking.

You will also be asked to provide an assessment of your portfolio, which makes up 30% of your total score, alongside your MSRA (10% of the total) and interview score (60% of the total). The domains for the portfolio are shown below and more details are published by Health Education England (HEE).

  • checkmark

    Commitment to specialty

  • checkmark

    Quality Improvement/Clinical Audit

  • checkmark

    Presentations and publications

  • checkmark

    Teaching experience

  • checkmark

    Training qualifications

The interview involves two stations:

  • checkmark

    A 10-minute management station

  • checkmark

    A 10-minute clinical station

The HEE website provides a breakdown of what is to be expected at each of these stations and how they are scored.

We have worked with doctors who have scored in the top 1% of CST applications to generate an extensive online interview question bank covering a range of scenarios that you may encounter on the day across each station.

Our question bank will give you plenty of opportunities to read model answers and to learn the structures and frameworks you need to navigate the tough questions you may face at interview.

Alongside our written knowledge library, we have also developed a number of instructive videos showcasing model answers so you can see how a top-performing candidate might perform face-to-face.

We also spoke to top-performing doctors who have been through the interview process and asked them for any other preparation tips, and this is what they suggested:

Plan a strategy and leave plenty of time

  • checkmark

    You should approach an interview like preparing for an exam

  • checkmark

    Don't leave everything to the last minute

Buddy up with a friend or someone who has been through it and get them to do mock interviews

  • checkmark

    It's helpful to try to do this with someone more senior or someone you know less well, to replicate the anxiety you may face of having to perform at interview

  • checkmark

    Put yourself out there and be uncomfortable - it's okay to make mistakes when practising

Come up with solid structures

  • checkmark

    It's useful to go through Quesmed's example videos and written content as it will allow you to see patterns in how best to approach any given question style

  • checkmark

    This will allow you to think on your feet if the question asked on the day is not the exact same one that you prepared

  • checkmark

    Remember, most questions can fit into a handful of well-known interview frameworks that are illustrated on our interview question bank

  • checkmark

    Rehearse these frameworks heavily so you can adapt them to any question thrown in your direction

Make a list of every possible question you could be asked and write the model answers down, personalised to you

  • checkmark

    Practice makes perfect - rehearse those answers until it's second nature

  • checkmark

    Remember to try and link your experiences and achievements back to why this may make you better at your chosen career path

Speak to those around you and learn from their experience of the interview

  • checkmark

    Sometimes, questions that you may have never thought would be asked have come up in the past

  • checkmark

    Learn from the mistakes that others have made around you