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Career Advice

Managing your NMNC NHS job interview

There are millions of pages on the internet about preparing for a job interview – however going for a position within the National Health Service brings about a number of factors that are truly unique.

While medical and clinical roles may have a highly-specialised interview, other non-clinical positions will require you to ‘do your homework’ before the big day. The nature and scale of the NHS makes it entirely different to anything else in the employment market, and the right preparations can make all the difference.

Show that you want to work for the NHS

There is a very good reason why Non-Medical/ Non-Clinical jobs in the NHS receive such a high number of applications – the organisation is a highly-desirable one to work for. While other positions involve being on the front line of patient healthcare, their work would be impossible without IT staff, drivers, porters, administrators and indeed any other element of ‘behind the scenes’ activity.

The importance of these jobs means that joining the NHS can offer multiple opportunities for career progression, a rewarding salary, a variety of benefits, and the satisfaction in knowing that your efforts are making a tangible difference to the lives of others. The upshot of this is that you must make your interviewer aware of your desire to join this unique organisation, and make it clear that you know how it differs from the private sector.

Maintain a flexible approach

Everything within the NHS can be subject to changes and alterations at the last minute, and the same can be said for job interviews and recruitment activity. Don’t be put off if you find yourself being interviewed by someone other than the person named in your documentation – this may even be a more general hospital recruitment manager who covers a number of departments and disciplines.

For the role itself, don’t be surprised if the job description needs to be altered to meet current demand, and you have to bear in mind that your chosen hospital may be reacting to sudden management decisions in their approach to recruitment. Embrace these little changes as opportunities in your interview and your interviewer will feel that you are NHS-ready!

Clarify your relevant experience and its relevance

This can be said for any type of interview, but in an NHS environment this means demonstrating your knowledge of the entire organisation. You can then show your interviewer how your public or private sector experience elsewhere can be easily translated into the Health Service. For example, if your desired NHS role involves adapting to current levels of increased patient demand, perhaps compiling patient data or ensuring wards are adequately stocked, you could show how your previous position involved reacting to regular customer demand.

Showing your respect for the NHS and demonstrating your desire to work for the organisation can have an impact on your application, but the same fundamentals exist as with other job interviews. If you can prove you have the required skills, show a willingness to adapt and meet any experience requirements, you have nothing to worry about. Go into your NHS interview well-prepared, with a relaxed, open mind and show you deserve the opportunity.

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