Whether you have 20 years’ experience nursing or you’re completely fresh to the field, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your interview skills when on a new job hunt. In this guide, we share everything you need to know about NHS nursing interviews!
The Interview Structure
Before you start your preparation, it’s always wise to understand the exact format of an NHS interview. Of course, each interviewer will take a different approach; but generally, the interview questions will be similar and the format goes as follows:
First impressions are everything! So make sure you’re early, smartly dressed, friendly and most importantly, try to act confidently (even if you are nervous!).
The Job Role
After the formalities are done, the interview will dive straight into the job role itself and what lead you to apply. Make sure you have a full understanding of the following:
- Main tasks and responsibilities
- Job role challenges
- What the first week/month/three months would look like
- How your experience, skills and knowledge will fulfil this role
Your Employment History
At this stage, the interviewer is trying to paint a full picture of exactly who you are, your previous career history and get a true understanding of the decisions you made when choosing a career in nursing! Our top tip – remember to talk positively about all of your previous roles and how you overcame specific challenges using examples!
Your Skills and Experience
This is the time to sell yourself and your abilities! Make sure you have read through the job description and ensure you have an answer for each responsibility listed.
Patient Safety / Safeguarding
The NHS is committed to upholding patient safety and ensuring all children, young people and vulnerable adults are protected. So, prepare to answer questions around doing so!
Clinical / Ethical Scenario
Typically at the end of NHS nursing interviews, they will finish with an exemplar clinical or ethical scenario to gauge your clinical knowledge and approach to difficult situations. Please click here for a great video on what to expect from this question!
NHS Nursing Interview Preparation
When it comes to job interviews, it really is true that by failing to prepare you’ll prepare to fail. But with the right preparation and practice, you’ll increase your chances of securing the job. Here are our top tips when preparing for NHS nursing interviews:
- Research the department/NHS trust
- Research the role and its requirements
- Identify gaps in your capabilities
- Prepare for frequently asked interview questions
- Prepare your own questions to ask the interview panel
How to Successfully Answer NHS Nursing Interview Questions
When it comes to answering your NHS nursing interview questions and securing an NHS job, before you do – take a second, breathe and ask yourself: what exactly do they want to know? And then apply the STAR technique. STAR is an acronym for: situation, tasks, action and result. So, essentially make sure to always provide an example after you’ve answered the question.
To demonstrate, here is an example:
Interviewer: Can you tell me how you cope in busy and stressful situations?
Situation – Yes, in my previous role our department was extremely understaffed…
TASK – …and on this particular day I was responsible for discharging patients within a safe but timely manner. I also needed to give my ward manager regular updates on progress, which added extra pressure.
ACTIONS – The actions I undertook were: spoke to each member of the team to find out what their workload was and their patients’ status. I then prioritised my own work list by order of easy discharges and then more complicated discharges that were pending results from the lab. I made sure to update each patient on their individual status and reported back to my ward manager several times a day.
My approach was successful and all patients were discharged in an efficient manner.
Our final tip before we sign off is to be completely charming to everyone you meet! An interview isn’t just to find out about your skills and competencies for the job but it’s also an opportunity to look at you as a person, your personality, drive and passion – so, make sure you act confident, you’re charismatic and social – after all, isn’t that the role of the nurse? To make people feel happy and smile in stressful times?
Best of Luck from the ID Medical Team!
Interviews can feel overwhelming but remember, it’s a two-way process and you should always view it as a specific formula – excellent preparation, excellent results. By simply believing in yourself, your skills and your abilities, it will take you a long way.