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Make sure you ask this in your NHS interview! | questions to ask and questions not to ask!

  • August 03, 2022

The journey to obtaining full GMC Registration with a licence to practice requires hard work, determination and passion. So, when the time comes to interview for NHS posts, it is a rather exciting time. However, it is essential that you are prepared so you can demonstrate to the hospital that you are the appropriate doctor for the job available.

An interview is not just about reciting well-rehearsed answers to common question, it is an opportunity for a conversation between you and your prospective NHS Trust, a chance to build rapport, impress and gather essential information.

When you are preparing and sitting your interview, consider the following:

  • Research into the hospital, the department and the local area
  • Make a good impression
  • Positive body language
  • Sound upbeat and positive
  • Handle questions with confidence
  • Correctly answer the clinical scenario
  • Finish the interview on a confident note

If you are working with an agency to secure your position leave the salary negotiations to them. Try not to ask about pay in your first interview; ensure you portray your true interest in the opportunity instead. Your recruiter will be able to give you the salary scale before your interview so you should already know what to expect in terms of salary - use this opportunity to dig deeper into the job role itself.


Example questions to ask at the end of an NHS interview:

  1. Can you tell me more specifically about your department and why you have this opening?

This question provides the department with the opportunity to tell you about the size of the department, the number of doctors and nurses working within it and the volume of patients seen. This will help provide you with an indication of the responsibilities and whether that meets your expectations.

  1. What will a typical day/a weekly rota look like?

Here you can get an indication into your hours, patients you will see, on-call schedule and weekend schedules and how the department is generally run.

3. What are the ultimate goals for this medical institution?

It is important to first consider your own personal goals: What drove you into medicine? Why do you enjoy being a doctor? Then during the interview, you can find out the department’s goals and if your goals align, how you can help work towards those goals.

  1. Will there be an opportunity to progress?

This will show the department your ambition to succeed, it emphasises that you are conscious about your future career in the UK and that you indend to within that NHS Trust. It is always a good idea to be aware about progression opportunities as you do not want to later realise that there is no scope to move up.

5. Is there an opportunity for an induction? How will my performance be measured?

Asking this will show that you want to develop your skills and you are striving to succeed within your new NHS role.

6. What are the next steps of the process?

Some HR departments take a while to get back to you, so by asking this it can give you a rough idea of when you should expect to hear by and save you from excessively checking your emails. It is also a good neutral question to end on as it is a good way to draw the interview to a close.

7. What will my first three months look like?

By asking this question, you will get a great insight into the induction period and it will allow the department to discuss the job role with you with specifics such as the supernumary rora.

8. How will my job change over the first year or so?

If you are a senior doctor with CESR secondments as part of your job, this will usually happen after the first 12 months and so, it gives the hospital a chance to mention this. Depending on what the hospital offers you, it will usually help you decide whether this opportunity is for you.

9. Will there be an opportunity to take part in formal training?

Most doctors are ALS/BLS providers and you will need to have the required qualification. Some doctors have a true passion for it and hospitals will give those docotrs the chance to explore this. If not, this question could be interpreted as "Could I take these courses as a student?" so, the hospital will see it as something positive. either way.

How can we help?

If you would like help with answering the questions asked by the NHS department, have a read of our blog post here where we provide example NHS interview questions with answers.

If you are an international doctor who has decided that you would like our support in securing an NHS service post, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS job and on your journey to the UK today.

Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 100 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!


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