What Happens After My Australia Doctor Job Interview?
If you're a UK doctor applying for jobs in Australia, you'll have to put lots of effort in getting to the interview stage with hospitals.
Many doctors are unaware of what to expect after the interview is done, and what they will need to do to turn a great interview into a formal written offer.
In this article, we break down the steps in the process, how long it might take and what documents you may be asked to provide. And, when the offer does come through, we let you know exactly what that offer letter will include.
Keep reading to find out!
🖥 After the Interview
Ahh, the stressful interview is over and now it’s all about playing the waiting game. However, there are several things you need to have ready while you anticipate your offer. Read on to find out what to expect after your interview and what you need to prepare!
👍 When will I get feedback?
You should hear back from the employer within a few days after your interview. Hospitals are very aware of how long it takes to get everything approved once you accept an offer, so they are keen to move the process along as quickly as possible.
However, in some cases, the employers will be extremely busy, or people who are involved in the hiring process are on leave. So, you may not hear back for a week or a little longer. But, don’t read too much into this. You did your part by participating in the interview, so now the next step is on the employer.
Although, if a week and a half have passed and you haven't heard back, sending a polite enquiry to check in or follow up is reasonable.
🗂 Providing Documents
There is a lengthy list of documents that the hospital will want to see before you are issued a formal offer letter. Some of these are very common (such as references), whilst others are only required by some hospitals. As in most cases, the rules vary from hospital to hospital.
Why do they want to see these? They want assurances up-front that you will be eligible for registration in Australia and for you visa, rather than only finding this out much later in the process. So they want to see things like your passport, GMC certificate and immunisation record to check these.
When you get feedback from the interview, that will typically include a list of what they require before they can issue your formal offer.
Here is a run-through of requirements you can expect to provide. Much of this will be familiar if you have done a compliance process with an NHS Staff Bank or a locum agency.
References will always need to be provided before a formal offer. This is a critical part of the process, as it determines your suitability for the job and thus will impact whether an offer will be made.
The other documents below are more procedural and don’t reflect your suitability for the job or your skills as a doctor.
As this is such an important topic, we’ve broken this down in a separate article here. Here you can explore who you can make as a suitable referee, what they will be asked to comment on, and tips to make this go as smoothly as possible.
✅ Immunisation history
In most cases, you will have to provide details of your immunisation history, which is very similar to the UK occupational health check. You will have to provide details of any immunisations and vaccines you have, any tests that have come back positive, and if you have done any travelling to high-risk areas.
It is always a good idea to have your vaccination history all in one place, so this can easily be sent to the hospital.
If you have any vaccines that are not up to date, you should consider getting these re-done. Or, if the vaccine is not necessary upon arrival, the hospital may be able to provide them once you arrive.
✅ Criminal history
There are multiple different criminal history checks needed throughout the application process for the hospital, visa and for AHPRA registration.
Thankfully, the initial check performed by the hospital is the shortest and easiest one. Here you will just have to provide your personal details and give consent for them to check your criminal history.
In most cases, the hospital will want to see a copy of your passport, usually a certified or a notarised copy. It is wise to have your passport certified early into your interview journey, or even while you are awaiting interviews, since sometimes this can take a while and it’s best to have everything prepared. You will also need a certified passport for registration later, so it’s best to get this done early so you have it all ready for the next stage.
Passport certification needs to be by a justice of the peace, commissioner of declarations, barrister, solicitor, or notary public, and will come at a cost. The simplest way to find one of these is through an online search.
As mentioned, certifying comes at a cost. But, some hospitals may include these costs in part of your relocation package, ensuring that you get all of the costs back once you arrive. So, keep all of your invoices at every stage of the process.
✅ Evidence of medical degree and GMC Registration
If you’re in your FY1 year, your medical degree certificate is required. If you are more senior, you will likely have to provide certificates of completion for each stage of your career. These will also need to be certified.
🎉 Receiving an Offer Letter
You've received an offer! Typically you will get an email from the hospital, which include a written offer letter as an attachment. While this is very exciting, you need to make sure that your offer includes the following so you can be set up for success.
🔎 What will my offer letter include? What should I look out for?
This will include:
👉 Your position title: You can check our article on junior doctor grades in Australia to understand this.
👉 The pay: This is usually quoted fortnightly, so don’t get confused by this! Multiply by 26 to get your annual salary.
👉 Hours: Also usually quoted fortnightly so don't think you're doing 80 hour weeks, that's every two weeks!
👉 Professional development assistance: How much time you get for this, and how much money you can claim for it.
👉 Contract start and end date (if a fixed-term contract)
👉 Any conditions: This is usually a list of procedural things like getting an appropriate visa, getting your registration with AHPRA in place, getting any vaccinations in place, etc.
💰 What can I negotiate in my offer?
In Australia, your pay is set by the state salary bands and is not negotiable. You are also unlikely to get any flexibility on your rota or working hours either at this stage (although you could negotiate this later once you have started working in the department).
However, there are two things which you can negotiate:
✅ Start Date
There may be some flexibility around this, within reason. So if you have commitments in the UK that you don’t want to miss, let them know about this.
✅ Relocation Expenses
It’s a good idea to ask about relocation expenses so that you know where you stand financially. Getting all the paperwork in order is quite pricey in itself, and adding on the visa, flight, and accommodation until you find something permanent can almost feel like a small fortune! It’s important to ask what their relocation package includes, as they can often be willing to reimburse most of the admin fees for all your paperwork, flight and even provide temporary accommodation for a few weeks. However, it does take a few weeks, or even a month or two, for this to eventually be reimbursed, so don’t count on this money straight away as you arrive.
😕 What can I do if I am not sure if I want to accept?
It is totally okay to not accept an offer if it doesn’t work for you, and normal to feel hesitant for a while before accepting.
Typically, you are given up to seven days to accept an offer. But, if you are still uncertain after seven days, you can ask for more time. But, be concrete about how much more time you need so everyone is on the same page.
If you are struggling with making a decision, it may be useful to speak to a doctor who is currently working at the hospital you have an offer from. Useful topics to ask about include typical rotas, work/life balance, making friends in the hospital, doctors mess and senior support, but you can ask about anything that's on your mind!
🥳 If I accept the offer, what happens next?
Once you accept an offer, the two next big steps are getting your registration with AHPRA and getting your visa. Both of these steps are very lengthy processes. Be sure to keep your hospital contacts up to date with your progress so they are aware and can plan accordingly.
📚 Continue Reading
🚀 This article is part of Messly's Ultimate Guide to Working in Australia. The guide covers all you need to know as a UK doctor to understand your options, research your move, find work, get registered and move out to Australia.
❓ If you are still weighing up whether a move to Australia is right for you, our article To Aus or not to Aus breaks down the pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision. Read this with Common Questions on Moving to Australia as a UK Junior Doctor.
🤔 Confused about how the grades work in Australia, and which roles you should be applying for? This article breaks down the grade system and explains which roles might be suitable for you.
✈️ There are four routes to finding a job in Australia. In this detailed guide, we explain how each works and the pros and cons of each, so you can kick-start your search for your dream job Down Under
📄 If you're preparing to submit applications for jobs in Australia, you'll want your CV to stand out from the crowd. This CV-writing guide will help you make an excellent first impression and get you through to the interview stage.
This article was written with input from Dr Solveig Hoppe, who moved to Townsville in Queensland after completing her F1 in the NHS.
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