The STP: Application, Interview and First Year Structure – Medical Physics

My name is Holly and I’m a first year Medical Physics trainee specialising in Radiotherapy, across Suffolk and Essex. I first heard about the STP in a careers lecture during year 1 of my undergraduate degree and began preparing to apply virtually as I left the hall. Hopefully this post will give a little insight (and hope) for entrance to the STP and what to expect once you reach the flip side

Before too much waffle I just wanted to say when I began my application to the STP, I felt like I may as well have been applying to be an Olympic sprinter (I reckon I’ve ran successfully about a 2km total in my entire life). I applied with an undergraduate physics degree from a smaller university, and my work experience was serving chips, so it goes without saying if I can do it, you certainly can.

Application and Interview

For anyone who is a skim reader, here are my main tips beyond your long-listing:

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STP Applications | Top Tips – 2022

STP Applications – Advice from an STP Graduate

Like most people, I was not alone in thinking that I would never get onto the STP. After hearing how competitive it was and how few places there were available, I was not optimistic about my chances. This feeling was only made worse by the fact that it was my first time applying and I was applying for a discipline that I had very little experience in. So you can imagine my surprise when I got told I had an interview and was further surprised when I actually passed the interview stage. The STP application can seem quite daunting, especially on your first go, so here are my top tips.

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STP Applications | What to expect from the STP recruitment process in 2021

The STP applications process has had to maintain pace with the drastic global changes that have occurred in the last year and has adapted the recruitment process for STP applicants to match this. If you have started doing research into applying in 2021, you may already be familiar with some of the changes that will be taking place. I will outline the key changes and then draw on my parallel experiences after applying in 2020, during which the interviews were cancelled and reformulated at the height of the pandemic. There are certainly positives in the new application system, and I will try my best to get this message across to you!

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STP interviews | Preparation

Editors note: This post was valid for the 2019 application process and might not be accurate for future years.

I cannot stress enough how important preparation for these interviews is. Everyone talks about how competitive the STP is, so if you want to be in with a chance of getting one of those coveted places, then preparation is key. The National School has some pretty good resources that cover the format of the STP interviews, but I know what you really want to know is “what the hell are they gonna ask me?!”. And I bet your google searches are coming up blank- I know this because I was there 2 years ago; frantically scanning the internet to find any hint or example of the questions I might face in any of the 4 stations. Well, I’ve heard that the questions asked at the interviews are pretty similar year on year so specifics are kept notoriously hush hush. I’m sorry to tell you that I’m not about to change that. Mostly because 50% of the interview is specialism specific so I wouldn’t even have a clue for anything other than bioinformatics. But – before you stop reading and vow never to visit this blog again – what I will do is give you some tips on what I think are the best ways to prepare for each station that I hope will help.

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How to: Ace your interview

Congratulations, you have made it to the STP Interviews. Be proud of yourself, this is a great accomplishment! But even if you didn’t, if you are on the reserve list, don’t lose hope there’s still a chance, if not that, there’s always next year.

Editors note: This post was valid for the 2019 application process and might not be accurate for future years.

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