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Career Advice

5 NHS interview questions you should prepare for

If you’re interviewing for a non-clinical NHS role you may be wondering what you can expect from the process. After all, the NHS is a huge organisation with many different strands to it.

It would be unrealistic for interviewers to expect you to know everything about the NHS, and indeed they won’t. However, in our experience there are questions that tend to crop up regularly when NHS organisations are searching for non-medical staff.

Here are just a few questions to prepare for:

1) Why do you want to work in the NHS?

This is a fair question. Why do you want to work in the NHS? You have skills that would be transferable across a great many industries and organisations, so what is it about the National Health Service that makes it stand out?

You’ll find that this question has likely been asked to see if you are a good fit for an NHS role. Displaying your passion for healthcare would be a good strategy here, as this will highlight you as someone who would match the culture that many NHS organisations are looking for.

2) Do you have any NHS experience?

Previous experience is a plus no matter which sector you’re looking to work in, and the NHS is no different.

All the roles listed on our site are ideal for those with NHS experience. Simply outline what you’ve done previously, state why you enjoyed it and elaborate on the skills you picked up that will be useful in your new role.

Much like the first question, your interviewer is fishing to see if you will be a good cultural fit for an NHS role. As such, there may be some overlap here with your answer to question #1, in that there may have been an event in your life that has inspired you to pursue a role in the NHS. Let the interviewer know you care!

3) What qualifications do you have?

Don’t assume that putting your qualifications on your CV will mean you won’t need to talk about them during your interview.

The NHS likes to recruit well qualified staff, so you should be ready to go into detail about your academic achievements and demonstrate how they’ll help provide value in your role. This is especially true of management roles – for example, project manager candidates will be expected to have completed the Prince2 qualification.

Talking about qualifications is a particularly useful strategy for applicants with limited NHS experience. It’s another key subject you can use to impress interviewers and prevent the discussion from focusing too heavily on your work history.

You can even bring your qualification certificates with you, just to reinforce the point and provide a visual representation of what you’ve achieved and the skills you’ve acquired.

4) What do you know about us?

As we’ve already said, the NHS is a large organisation, so it’s important you arrive clued up on what your particular niche entails. Broad insights into the NHS as a whole may not be enough. Your interviewer will want to know whether or not you have knowledge of their specific medical facility or area of specialism.

Knowing this information will not only mean you are better able to answer the questions put to you, it will also likely result in you being able to ask more insightful questions yourself in order to further stake your claim for the role.

5) Do you have any knowledge of our systems/processes?

This is a bit of a follow-on from Question 4, and applies mainly to candidates seeking an analytical, data-led sectors such as administration, clinical coding, finance and procurement.

Essentially, NHS data is likely to be more complex and wide-ranging than most UK employers. If you do have prior NHS experience and can go into detail on the systems and processes you’ve previously used, this is the time to say so.

We can help you stand out from the crowd

At GoToJobBoard, we do more than simply provide you with a list of vacancies. When you find an opportunity that appeals to you, there are plenty of resources you can use to make sure your application is the best it can be.

In addition to interview tips, we also provide a handy guide on writing your CV. Remember, the NHS is different from any other organisation you will work for, and our knowledge could give you the edge you need.

If you’d like to hear more about how we can help you, feel free to get in touch with the team today.

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