Recognizing that traditional interviews are two-dimensional and do not effectively test a candidate’s clinical competency, ability to provide patient-centred care or screen candidates to ensure they are the ‘right fit’ for the organization, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) adopted simulation-based interviewing into its clinician recruitment process. 

Simulation based teaching is widely used in some industries and in healthcare education to develop a learner’s clinical competency and critical thinking under pressure. Once healthcare clinicians leave the academic setting they are no longer tested using simulation scenarios. Scenario-based questions are sometimes used by interviewers, but it is impossible to determine if what is said and the values espoused will actually be evident in the way an individual practices. 

MGH clinical interviews now have three components – traditional interview, simulation and a post-interview reflection paper.  

The simulation presents the candidate with a scenario where a patient partner acts as patient and witnesses how the applicant performs. Scenarios are designed to test for different competencies including technical skills, non-technical skills and fit with MGH values. Patient partners bring a unique perspective regarding a candidate’s ability to provide patient-centred care and have a voice in recruiting clinicians who provide their care. 

Finally, candidates are asked to write a reflective piece to provide evidence of their insight and self-awareness in terms of their simulation performance. 

Evidence suggests that using simulation scenarios and involving patients as partners results in the selection of clinicians who value reflective practice and an ongoing learning culture.

← Back to Search Results

Leading Practices are submitted by health organizations from around the world. The contents of the Leading Practices library do not reflect opinions or views of HSO or its affiliates. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions please email us at