Here at IMT Interview we recommend starting to prepare your portfolio early. It can take a surprising amount of time (plan for double what you expect at least) to collect and organise your portfolio in a way that scores maximum points and fits the desired layout. The IMT Portfolio Station is worth around 33% of the overall score in the interview and is the only station for which you can guarantee points prior to the day of the interview.
Prior to getting to the interview station proper 17 points are available for your application answers (weighted at 0.25%) and there are then a total of 28 points on offer on the day at the portfolio station with 16 for evidence and 12 for suitability. With only a few points between candidates, an extra point can make a significant difference to the outcome of your interview.
Given that your application score and 'evidence' score can make all the difference it is vital to spend time preparing your portfolio before you get anywhere near the interview room.
In your portfolio or 'Evidence Folder', as it is referred on the IMT Recruitment website, you will need to provide documentation which backs up the various claims made in your application form (qualifications, publications, etc.). The Evidence Folder must be prefaced with an Evidence Summary Form, which can be downloaded from the IMT recruitment website document library .
The time spent at the evidence station is relatively short so it is very important that you lay out your documentation clearly in the prescribed manner . If the interviewers are unable to verify that your evidence matches the achievements listed on your application form - including due to poor organisation - then you may be marked down on this basis. The main goal of your IMT portfolio is to make it as easy as possible for the interviewers to find evidence.
Evidence Summary Form
Claims made on your application form must be backed up with evidence in your evidence folder. Missing evidence will be treated as you not having the achievement. At least this could lead to loss of points at the worst it could lead to a probity investigation so it is vital that you are both honest and accurate with evidence presented.
Preparing Your IMT Portfolio
Given the scoring system it is vital that your IMT Portfolio/Evidence Folder is as structured and easy to follow as possible. The interviewers only have 10 minutes to review the portfolio and so the easier it is to find things the more points you are likely to score.
We recommend investing in a nice A4 faux-leather binder and spending time organising your evidence in keeping with the layout prescribed by the evidence form. Using sub-contents pages and tags to highlight key information and evidence will help both you and the interviewers find things quickly.
IMT Portfolio Points and Scoring
The portfolio is divided into 8 sections. Below we cover each one in detail. More general information on the IMT application process can be found in the IMT Interview Overview guide.
Section 1: Additional Undergraduate degrees
Section 2: Postgraduate degrees
Section 3: Prizes/Awards
Section 4: Presentations
'Presentations' referred to here are oral presentations, with or without slides, in front of an audience of healthcare professionals. These can be of anything related to medicine, typically a case or case series, research or other topic. It would normally be expected to include a question and answer session.
The options also allow for posters, if a poster is shown without an accompanying oral presentation you can still claim points in line with the relevant statement below. 'Shown' should be considered to mean a significant role in the production and content of the poster and attendance at any question and answer poster session during the conference/meeting at which it is displayed.
Key tips here are that it is often easier getting something accepted at a large conference rather than a small local meeting.
Section 5: Publications
Any item included under an option stating 'PubMed-cited' must be cited in PubMed, so as to demonstrate that it is both peer-reviewed and relevant to medicine. Where possible, you should include this PubMed reference when giving details of publications. Cochrane reviews can be regarded as equivalent. The only exception to this is in the case of published medical books, which do not require PubMed citation.
Whilst achievements not yet gained cannot usually be claimed, an exception to this are any articles/publications which have been completely accepted, but are just waiting to be published - ie 'in press'.
Section 6: Teaching
Teaching is splint into two sections: ‘Teaching experience’ and ‘Training in teaching’. It is difficult to be prescriptive about timescales as it will depend on the regularity and length of sessions. What is important is that a lasting commitment to a meaningful teaching programme can be demonstrated. Therefore you will need to use your professional judgement if your programme was less than three months on whether you can reasonably select this option and provide evidence accordingly.
Section 7: Quality Improvement
This section used to be called ‘Audits’; but now it’s QI and getting full marks is easily achievable. A quick QI project following PDSA Methodology and capturing two cycles can be done quite quickly and then presented.
Section 8: Leadership
Get yourself onto trainee-led committees and involved with organisations. Maximum points are scored at national level and national organisations such as the BMA or RSM are achievable.
Preparing For The Portfolio Station
Once you have organised your portfolio you will need to be able discuss and talk in detail about any evidence or information that you have included. You should not assume that the interviewers have seen everything in your portfolio in the 10 minute checking phase prior to the interview station and should be prepared to cover in detail all of your best bits backed up with evidence.
We provide our online IMT interview question bank with comprehensive breakdowns and model answers for dealing with any IMT portfolio questions that might be thrown at you.