GuidelinesThe Ultimate Guide to NHS Interview Questions & Answers in 2024

The Ultimate Guide to NHS Interview Questions & Answers in 2024

Preparing for an NHS interview can be daunting. With competition fiercer than ever for roles ranging from healthcare assistants and nurses to doctors and management positions, you need to find ways to make your application stand out.

This definitive guide for 2024 provides tips, sample questions and model answers to help you thoroughly prepare for the NHS interview process.

Understanding NHS Interviews

Interviews in the NHS aim to determine if you have the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to be successful in the role. While qualifications and experience are important, the interview assesses your abilities beyond what’s on your CV.

The exact format depends on the role but most involve a panel interview with multiple interviewers. Questions will evaluate your communication skills, judgement, ethics, capabilities and cultural fit.Technical interviews are also used to validate clinical, specialist and management capabilities through scenario-based questions.

Preparation is key! Understanding the values of the NHS and expectations of different roles allows you to showcase your suitability. We explain how to do this below.

Key NHS Values & Behaviours

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Hospital employee interviewing for job position

The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. This includes:

  • Working together for patients
  • Respect and dignity
  • Commitment to quality of care
  • Compassion
  • Improving lives
  • Everyone counts

Showing you embody these values is crucial. For patient-facing roles like nurses and doctors, compassion and dignity are paramount. For corporate functions like finance and HR, highlighting a commitment to collaboration and integrity is key.

Researching the Role & Organisation

Thoroughly research the organisation and department you are applying to. Being able to discuss challenges they face and how you can help achieve their objectives leaves a great impression.

For patient-facing roles, understand the specific needs of the trust such as aging populations or high incidence of certain conditions. This shows your commitment to that community. For corporate roles, study their strategy and pinpoint how your skills can help deliver their goals. This strategic understanding is valued highly.

Perfecting Your NHS Interview Answers

Now we get to the detail you’ve been waiting for! Sample questions with model answers to help you prepare.We provide examples for various common NHS interview questions along with tips for structuring your responses…

Why Do You Want to Work in the NHS?

  • Focus on how you can help patients and communities
  • Link to wider NHS objectives around quality of care
  • Convey a genuine passion for public healthcare

Example response: I am committed to the principle that quality healthcare should be available to all. Having worked in private hospitals, I saw barriers to access for many vulnerable groups. The NHS’ purpose to provide comprehensive, universal access aligns with my personal ethos that everyone deserves exceptional care no matter their condition or means. I am passionate about working collaboratively with diverse groups to continuously raise the standards of care for all our communities.Nursing Abroad images 2024 01 08T153138.924

Why Should We Hire You?

  • Don’t just repeat your CV. Provide specific examples of when you demonstrated relevant abilities.
  • Structure using the STAR method – Situation, Task, Action, Result
  • Quantify your impact and achievements with facts and data

Example STAR response: During my previous nursing role, I was assigned a patient load with many complex discharge requirements meaning they were stuck in hospital despite being medically cleared (Situation). I was asked to help expedite discharges to improve patient flow (Task). I worked closely with social services to fast-track care packages for elderly patients and developed novel group physiotherapy classes which sped up recovery for hip surgery patients (Action). This allowed us to discharge patients 3 days faster on average, creating capacity for an extra 60 patients per month (Result).

How Would You Handle an Angry or Difficult Patient?

  • Express empathy and a commitment to compassionate care
  • Focus on listening and de-escalating conflict
  • Discuss options to understand and accommodate needs

Example response: When facing an angry or difficult patient, I would prioritise listening compassionately to understand their frustrations and concerns. Conflict often arises from fear or emotional distress, so the first step is always allowing them to express their feelings while remaining calm and non-judgemental as their care provider. I would then discuss options to address their needs and apologise for any misunderstandings. This patient-centric approach focused on empathy and problem solving has worked well for me in defusing tense situations and figuring out solutions.

This covers the fundamentals of how to succeed at NHS interviews. The key is understanding the NHS’ purpose and values, conveying your passion for the role through compelling examples and structuring professional responses focused on patient outcomes.

We wish you the very best with your upcoming NHS interview. Let us know if you have any other questions in the comments.

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