How to prepare for an NHS Interview

How to prepare for an NHS Interview

May 14, 2020.

Your hard work has paid off and you’ve been invited to an NHS interview, brilliant! In this blog post, we’ll share how you can prepare for success, provide a positive first impression and what to expect during the interview itself!

Good luck!

Step 1: NHS Interview Preparation

An obvious, but essential step is to make sure that you thoroughly prepare for the day. Your first task should be to research the NHS trust itself, such as its geographical location, its values, missions and ethics – as each hospital is different and it is important you know the facts. The hospital will want to know why you specifically applied for their trust and what benefits you can bring to their team. So, going the extra mile and researching their own unique values will set you apart from other candidates.
Second, you’ll need to look into the job description and person specification. These should have been provided to you but if not, you should ask your Recruitment Consultant or HR Coordinator to provide you with copies. Try and study the requirements as much as possible, as these are essentially the ‘ideal’ candidate that the NHS trust are looking for.
Third, you should also prepare some interview questions to ask the panel at the end of the interview, this will show that you are extremely keen about the opportunity and you are taking it seriously.
Lastly, remember to practice NHS interview frequently asked questions – we’ll provide you with a blog on this soon. Stay tuned!

Step 2: Make a positive first impression

An easy way to make a positive first impression is to dress appropriately for the interview. If you’re a male, you could wear a shirt, tie and a blazer and if you’re are a woman, you could wear a blouse or dress and a blazer. Try to wear a complete formal outfit rather than just on the top half – as it will help you perform better and make a great first visual impression, too.
Next, you should always be ready for the interview a good twenty minutes before the scheduled time. This gives you time to mentally prepare yourself, gather your thoughts and avoid being late, of course! It’s normal practice for NHS interviews to not run to schedule, though; so, be prepared to interview before or after your dedicated time slot.
When you’re invited in for your interview, you should introduce yourself with a smile and try and show your full personality. You may well perfectly qualified for a role, but remember that interviewers will also be looking at how well you’ll fit into their department as a team member, not just as a medical professional.
Top tips – try and keep eye contact throughout the interview with positive body language, such as sitting upright, relaxed but open facial expressions, arms hanging relaxed and hands placed on your lap.

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Step 3: What to expect from the interview

The structure of an NHS interview typically follows in this order:

  • Introductions,
  • Background,
  • Why you want to work for the NHS at that particular hospital,
  • What your career plans are
  • To end, they will ask a clinical question and potentially an ethical one

The interview will most likely start with the NHS interview panel asking you to speak about your background, why you want to relocate to the UK and specifically why you want to work at their trust. You should always have your CV to hand in case the panel ask you to explain something from it.
After this, you’ll be asked why you want to work for the NHS. Of course, these reasons are all personal, so we cannot give you an answer for this! You may also get asked what your career goals are, and make sure to include the NHS trust in question in your answer. Examples could include, becoming a Consultant, research, teaching etc.
When it comes to the clinical and ethical scenario, it will not be a question out of your everyday practice of medicine. However, what they’ll be looking for is for you to stress the fact that you’ll always refer back to a senior if applying for a role below consultant grade. So, make sure you include that in your answer!
Top tip – have a glass of water next to you. If you get stuck with a question, you’ll have a moment to take a sip of water, pause, collect your thoughts and then answer in a methodical way.
Best of Luck from the ID Medical team!

We can support you with getting an NHS interview!

If you’re a doctor, nurse or midwife who is looking to relocate to the UK, we can help you secure a series of NHS interviews.
ID Medical works with over 95% of NHS Trusts and a number of private healthcare organisations across the entire UK – so, we’re the perfect people to help international medical professionals secure job opportunities in every specialty at every grade.
Not only that, but ID Medical will be there to support you through the entire relocation process. From the moment you secure your job opportunity, we will be there to guide you through the Tier 2 visa process, help secure your new UK accommodation to finding the perfect schools for your children. Relocating to the UK is a journey, and we’ll support you every step of the way.
Any questions? Or if you would like our help with securing an NHS job, please do send your CV to us at and you will be provided with a dedicated Recruitment Consultant who will help you secure your perfect role.

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