Career Advice

Preparing for an NHS interview

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An IMGs guide to preparing for an NHS interview



The structure of an NHS interview

Usually, an NHS interview will last for 30 – 45 minutes and will be formatted as below. The interviewers are usually a mix of clinical and HR personnel.

  • Introductions: The interview will open with introductions from those present.
  • Your overview: You’ll be asked give the panel an overview of yourself – This can include any details about your employment history, career goals and qualities which make you suitable for the position.
  • Your speciality: Questions may consist of why you work in your speciality, what drew you to that speciality, your experience and skills in your specialty etc.
  • Maintaining good practice: There may be discussion about the areas which you would like further training and support in, as well as how you maintain good practice in your current post.
  • Training and teaching: The interviewers may ask about your training and teaching experience.
  • Management experience: You may be asked to discuss your experience in management, or your management skills.
  • Clinical scenarios: It’s likely that you’ll be given at least one clinical scenario where you’ll be presented with the symptoms/details for a patient. You’ll then need to make a diagnosis and plan of action for that patient – Note that for junior doctors, this will most likely be a general scenario but for senior doctors, this is likely to be specialty specific.
  • Interviewee questions: The panel will give you the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have prior to the interview finishing. This is an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions about the hospital, the team/department, job role and to clarify any queries that you may have.

Pre-interview preparation

We recommend that prior to your NHS interview, you:

  • Research the hospital: You can find out information about the hospital, the services that they deliver and their values by visiting their website. It’s also a great place to find and read about any exciting news happening in the trust.
  • Research the interviewers: In addition to researching the hospital details, you should also research the members of the interview panel that you will be meeting with. This will give you a better understanding of the department and team that you may be joining and will show the panel that you’re thorough.
  • Check your CV: Prepare to be asked questions about your experience and skill set based on the information on your CV.
  • Evidencing your suitability: Re-read the job plan that you’ve received prior to your interview and make notes of the areas highlighted by the hospital to be of importance. Refer back to your CV and list the reasons why you’re suitable for the role.
  • Practice interview techniques: Familiarise yourself with the interview format and practice answering questions on the spot. You may want to ask a friend or family member to do this with you so that can then help you highlight any areas for improvement.
  • Prepare questions to ask the interview panel: Prepare at least 3 questions to ask the interview panel at the end of the interview. Try to focus these on different areas such as clinical procedures, technology, training, department goals etc.

Preparing for your video call

There are several online platforms which are used by NHS hospitals for interviews (i.e. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, Webex)

Once your interview has been arranged and you know which video conferencing platform will be used, we recommend that you familiarise yourself with it (this blog may help!).

Here are some other tips to help you prepare:

  • Have the meeting link and details ready for your interview so that there are no delays in you joining the meeting.
  • Check that your computer is fully updated on the day prior to your interview. This will help you avoid any unexpected delays or technical issues.
  • Have your computer set up in a bright, clean room with as few distractions as possible.
  • Do a test call with the team at Doctors Relocate. This will help you check that your account is working without any issues.
  • Keep an hour either side of your NHS interview free. This will allow for any last minute changes or delays on your side or the hospitals.

Interview day – Things to remember

Here are some things to remember on the day of your interview:

  • Be friendly in your introduction: You may be nervous, but introducing yourself in a calm, friendly manner will break the ice and help you feel more relaxed.
  • Smile: Smiling during your interview shows that you are confident, warm, friendly and enthusiastic. It’s a great way to show the panel that you have the potential to be a fresh, new addition to the team.
  • Body language: Your body language can speak volumes in an interview. Be sure to sit up straight, be positive, remain focused and keep calm.
  • Speak with all members of the interview panel: It’s important to speak to and maintain good eye contact with the whole interview panel. Many people advise interviewee’s to maintain eye contact with the person who just asked the question as they answer. Alternatively, others advise that interviewees should make eye contact slowly from one end of the panel to the other, looking at each person in turn as they answer.
  • Display your strengths: Demonstrate to the interview panel that you have the knowledge and experience required to be successful in the position that you are interviewing for.
  • Dress smartly: Be sure to dress comfortably but smartly for your NHS interview.

If you’re interested in working in the UK and would like to discuss the positions available in your specialty, and how we can assist you, please contact our team.