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CST Interviews

Turning candidates into surgical trainees

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Our 2020 Course Produced the No. 2 Overall Ranked Candidate
Our 2021 Course Successfully Placed 3 Candidates with Run-Through Numbers and Achieved Multiple Overall Top 10 Rankings
100% of our 2022 Candidates rated our Interview Course 10/10 in all aspects

Online Resources

Portfolio Station

Providing you with crucial tips to maximise your points on Portfolio, this resource is a must have.

Management Station

Providing you with key resources to help you ace the management station, including:

  • Station layout

  • Past Presentation questions

  • Over 20 mock scenarios

  • Gold standard answers for each scenario (as created and peer reviewed by our elite team) 


Don't miss out on all those nuances the examiners like to look out for!

Clinical Station

​Providing you with key information to tackle the clinical station, including:

  • Station layout

  • Over 30 mock scenarios

  • Gold standard answers for each scenario (as created and peer reviewed by our elite team) 


Help yourself stand out from the crowd with this must-have resource! 

Sample Question

A 78-year-old woman has presented to A&E with a 12-hour history of worsening severe epigastric abdominal pain.

She has vomited six times. The patient is found to be tachycardic and febrile.

The A&E registrar is keen for you to make a quick decision whether this is a surgical problem or otherwise.

  • How would you manage this patient?
    Assess and resuscitate using CCRISP algorithm, history and examination High flow oxygen non rebreather mask 2 wide bore cannulas with IV crystalloid resuscitation Blood cultures followed by IV broad spectrum antibiotics ECG Urinary catheter with fluid balance chart NG tube Analgesia "I would first like to assess and rescusitate the patient in accordance to the CCRISP algorithm. I would take an A-E approach to the patient, first assessing their airway. Once happy I would move onto Breathing, placing high flow oxygen 15L O2 via a non-rebreathe mask and asking the nursing staff to apply monitoring to gain basic observations such as Respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure. I would then move onto circulation and insert 2 wide bore cannulae, one into each antecubital fossa, taking blood from one cannula, including full blood count, urea & electrolytes, LFTs, amylase, CRP and Group & Save. I would also take a VBG which would provide me with a lactate result; I would ensure IV fluid resuscitation in the form of Crystaloid fluid was given through the second cannula. I would also take this oppurtunity to take blood cultures and start the patient on IV broad spectrum antibiotics in accordance with Spesis 6 protocol. Alongside the basic monitoring I would also like furtehr bedside investigations including an ECG, regular urine monitroing and as such I would pass a catheter and perform a urine dip. As the patient is vomiting I would like to also pass an NG tube and keep the patient Nil By Mouth. To ensure the patient is comfortable I would provide them with regular and PRN analgesia."
  • What investigations would you request in A&E?
    - Regular cardiorespiratory observations/ cardiac monitor - Blood tests with justification including Blood cultures FBC, U&E, LFT, amylase, CRP, G&S, ABG, lactate Imaging: - FAST scan in A&E - Erect CXR and AXR - CT abdomen with contrast if clinically and haemodynamically stable
  • What are your differential diagnoses?
    - Bowel obstruction/ pancreatitis/ bowel ischaemia - Intra-abdominal sepsis, perforated viscus, acute cholecystitis - Non GI: MI, lower lobe pneumonia, ruptured AAA --> Appropriate escalation to seniors (registrar or consultant) if not already performed. "My primary differential diagnosis would be bowel obstruction. I would also like to rule out other GI differntials such as pancreatitis, bowel ischaemia, a perforated viscus and subsequent intra-abdominal sepsis. It would also be prudent to consider non-GI differentials to exclude such as a ruptured AAA, MI and pneumonia. Considering the diagnoses I would like to inform my registrar regarding this patient and the management plan that I have started to implement."
  • What are commonest causes of small and large bowel obstruction in the UK?
    Small Bowel Obstruction: Adhesions > malignancy > Crohn’s > hernias Large Bowel Obstruction: Neoplasm (benign, malignant) Stricture (diverticular, ischaemic) Volvulus IBD Hernia Intussusception
  • You have initially resuscitated the patient, how would you now like the manage the patient?"
    Medical: NG tube IV crystalloids NBM Strict fluid balance chart Observe Surgical: To be considered in unresolving medical management, obstructing cancer or bowel perforation Diverting colostomy with or without resection of affected segment of bowel

Maximise your opportunity to get your first choice job! Subscribe today to gain access to our exclusive content and practice virtual interview with ongoing mentoring.

upcoming Courses

Saturday 8th January 2022

(Limited Spaces)

This course will be held virtually in-keeping with the real interview.

If you don't make it onto the course we will also be running a few 1-to-1 virtual mentoring sessions, in the style of our course and the interview. (Will be live once the course sells out - Limited Spaces)

Application Timeline

& Key Dates

Core Surgical Training Applications are part of a national process. The recruitment office for these positions is Health Education England - London and Kent, Surrey & Sussex (KSS). 

London & KSS are recruiting for all posts on behalf of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Timeline and Key Dates as outlined in the 2022 Core Surgical Training CT1/ST1 Supplementary Applicant Handbook, on the Oriel Vacancy.

Recruitment for Core Surgical Training (CST) follows the below timeline:

Advert appears
Tuesday 2nd November 2021
Applications open
At 10:00 on Thursday 4th November 2021
Applications close
At 16:00 on Wednesday 1st December 2021
Evidence upload portal opens
Friday 10th December 2021
Evidence upload portal closes
Thursday 30th December 2021
Results of evidence verification released to applicants and appeal windows open
Thursday 13th January 2022
Appeal window closes
Monday 17th January 2022
Invite to interview sent on
Tuesday 25th January 2022
Interview dates
Monday 7th February to Friday 18th February 2022
Preferences open date
Monday 7th March 2022 (Subject to change)
Preferences close date
At 9am Monday 21st March 2022
Initial offers released by London & Kent, Surrey and Sussex (on behalf of all regions)
By 17:00 on Thursday 24th March 2022
Hold deadline
At 13:00 on Tuesday 5th April 2022
Upgrade deadline
At 16:00 on Monday 11th April 2022
Interview scoresheet release date
By 17:00 on 5th May 2022

Application Window (Thursday 4th November - Wednesday 1st December 2021)

The application window opens in the first week of November, and is open for just under a 4-week period, closing at the start of December. 

Applications are all accessed and processed through the Oriel system. Signing up to Oriel is easy and can be done at anytime prior to the application timeframe. 

The CST Application focuses on key 'essential criteria' which are outlined within the Person Specification. The Person Specification also outlines 'Desirable Criteria' which can help differentiate you from other candidates.

Ensure to carefully read the wording of the eligibility criteria and ensure that you achieved the necessary examinations, courses and competencies by the specified dates. 

Evidence Window (Friday 10th December 2021 - Thursday 30th December 2021)

Applicants should ensure that they submit all relevant evidence in the requested format. Failure to comply with appropriate formats could see your evidence being rejected and subsequently losing vital points.

Appropriate evidence for each section of the Self-Assessment can be found in the Self-Assessment Guidance for Candidates.

Failure to submit evidence by the deadline may mean your application is withdrawn.

In previous years this was a 10-minute station within itself, that enabled you to discuss with the interviewers any discrepancy in scoring. Therefore you need to ensure the evidence you provide is CLEAR and CORRELATES with the appropriate Self-Assessment Score.  

Interview Window (Monday 7th February - Friday 18th February 2022)

Applicants need to book their Interview Slot using their Oriel Account. These slots are first-come-first served and so take note of the 'Invite to Interview Date' - Tuesday 25th January 2022, and keep a close eye on your emails/the Oriel System on this date. 

All interviews will be performed using Microsoft Teams (which can be easily downloaded here). Therefore, make yourself familiar with how this works well-before your interview date. 

Offers Window (Thursday 24th March - Monday 11th April 2022)

Initial offers are made via Oriel on Thursday 24th March. Once receiving an offer you have 48 hours (excluding weekends) to accept, reject or hold the offer. Offers made after the hold deadline (Tuesday 5th April 2022) can only be accepted or rejected.


After the 48 hour expiration period or for declined offers these are then released to the next suitable applicants. 

Our Vision

Female Surgical Trainee

We believe that everyone has the ability to do what it takes to reach their goals. Core Surgical Training Interviews are a key bottleneck in the progression of Surgical training within the UK.


At ‘CST Interviews’ we aim to provide key information, tutorials and highly rated courses to provide Core Surgical Training candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve their desired Surgical Training jobs.

Blog Posts

Our Process

Using an excellent Peer Reviewed process in creation of mock questions and answers we are able to provide our candidates with easy to remember and slick responses to questions thrown to them at interview. 

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