How to prepare for your job interview

Following last weeks post, I have received many questions about the interview process and how I prepared for my interview so I thought I would share with you my tips in the hopes that this may help you. Like most things in life, preparation is key.

1. Print off the job description and person specification for the job you have applied for. From my experience using the NHS Jobs website, these should be available to you before you even apply. Make yourself familiar with what will be expected of you in that role. It is likely they will ask you in the interview what your responsibilities will be and what experiences you have had that would make you suitable for the role. Therefore, I tried to think of a scenario for each person specification listed that was evidence that I had that skill or value.
2. Look up the Trust Values. Each trust will have its own Values and Core Behaviours. Learn these and, again, perhaps think of an example of when you have displayed this value/behaviour. Also think how each value or behaviour is important to the patients, relatives, friends or carers, yourself and your colleagues.
3. Research the ward or area that you are applying for. Get to know its size, the size of the team, the shift times, what type of patients you will be nursing etc.
4. Read their latest CQC report and see what they did well on and what areas required improvement.
5. Write out some possible answers for the questions you are most likely going to be asked. For example, your strengths, weaknesses, an area you would like to improve, what you would bring to the team, and back these answers up with evidence.
6. An area which will come up but is harder to prepare for is the questions based on a scenario. However, remember you have nearly three years of experience so remain cool, calm and collected and think! Don’t forget to mention the obvious things that you would do in the scenario they give you.
7. They may ask your understanding of a certain illness or condition. One way to prep for this section is to research certain conditions or illnesses that are currently being talked about in the news for example or that are most relevant to the practice area you are applying for.
8. Prepare some questions for the panel. This is your chance to gather more information and also show your interest.
9. Once you receive an invitation for the interview, they will tell you what you will need to take with you to the interview (documents etc). Pack these ready so you aren’t rushing before the interview! Also pick out a smart outfit that you feel comfortable and confident in and get this ready the night before.
10. If you are applying for a job somewhere you haven’t worked before ask for a tour of the ward/area. I did this prior to my interview so I could introduce myself, ask any questions and become familiar with the environment and after I was successful, I spent a day there!

Get a good nights sleep, know where you are going for the interview so you arrive on time, smile and breathe! This is your time to show that all of your hard work has paid off so enjoy it! Good luck to anyone who has an interview coming up!


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