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How to make an impact during your NHS interview

  • November 26, 2018

You have worked extremely hard to obtain a Royal College Qualification or pass the PLAB exams and then go on to pass IELTS or OET. You have moved on to the next stage of the process, started applying for NHS jobs and you have been invited to your first interview! Preparing for your interview in the right way will enhance your application, set you apart from other candidates and hopefully secure you the position.

An NHS interview is not only an opportunity to talk through your qualifications and experience but for the Consultant to decide if he wants to work with you. In today’s post, we provide you with six tips on how to leave a lasting impression on the interview panel during your NHS interview.


1. Your personal qualities

When preparing for your interview you should ask yourself ‘What qualities do I want to demonstrate?’ It is vital for doctors to demonstrate certain qualities such as compassion and professionalism – but do you have any qualities that will set you apart from others? Such as leadership skills, adaptability, confidence, trustworthiness – where appropriate try and provide example scenarios to demonstrate these skills.

2. Practice your answers

NHS interviews tend to follow a particular format and questions are often repeated.  

Visit our NHS Interview Guide blog post where you will receive a list of standard NHS questions. Try and prepare an answer for each question and a real-life scenario of how you can evidence this, this will save you thinking time during the interview itself.

You should also prepare a response for a question you may not know the answer to straight away, you could say “Please may we come back to that question, I would like a little more time to gather my thoughts”.

3. Turn the interview into a conversation

Although the purpose of the interview is for the hospital to find out more information about your skills and experience, it is also an opportunity for you to inquire about the position available. You should attend the interview with some insightful questions prepared, such as opportunities for training, teaching, further information on your duties and responsibilities or if there will be a chance to get some experience in an area of interest.

You should also read up on the hospital’s website, their CQC rating, their location in the UK – as you may get asked why you want to take up a post in that specific hospital.

4. Remember short and succinct answers are the best answers

As a result of feeling nervous, some people overcompensate by talking too much.  However, it is important to tell yourself that sometimes questions only need a short response and so it is important for you to learn the ability to be concise.

Before you answer each question, you should summarise in your head what the interviewer has asked before you answer. And then if your answer requires depth you should signpost your response by saying “firstly, secondly etc”. This will help your answer remain structured and for your most important points to be conveyed.

If you vary the length of your answers it will also help the interview appear more of a natural conversation.

5. Ask for feedback

When the interview is coming to a close, it would be useful for you to ask if you could receive some feedback on your performance (if this has not already been offered).

Try and do this in a professional way without looking too pushy.

6. Continuously emphasise patient safety

The most important thing an NHS Employer wants to know from an international doctor is that they will be able to “practice safely”, so when answering their questions it is fundamental to speak of patient safety being paramount and provide solid answers to clinical scenario questions.


Email your CV to apply@bdiresourcing.com and one of our Specialist Advisers will be in touch.

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