Going to an interview can be stressful, but don’t panic! We are here to help. There are lots of things you can do to increase your chances of success at interview. Often very small things can make a big difference.
Know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. If you plan to drive then make sure you take into account traffic and parking time. If you are travelling by public transport, make sure you know how long the journey is likely to take and how to get from the train station or bus stop to the interview location. If possible, you should practise the journey so you know precisely how long it will take and exactly where you are supposed to be going.
Find out as much as you can about the hospital. Read their website. Make sure you know something about the services they provide, who their patients are and the types of conditions they treat. Google them to find out if they have been in the news recently. Read CQC and Monitor reports. You could even ask your recruitment consultant to arrange for you to visit the hospital and have an informal chat with them prior to your interview. Most hospitals will be happy to oblige and will be impressed at your proactivity.
Find out who will be conducting your interview and how many people will be interviewing you. Ask your recruitment consultant what the person who will be interviewing you is like. Do they have any particular likes or dislikes?
Think of all the likely questions you could be asked and consider how you would answer each one. Think of examples that you could use to illustrate your answers.
Prepare questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview. Ask questions that show you are interested in the hospital and the job. You could ask about training and promotional opportunities, for example.
Remember you can always ask your recruitment consultant to help you prepare for the interview. Any good recruitment consultant will be happy to help.
On the day
First impressions really matter. Often a decision will be made within the first 10 minutes of an interview.
Be on time. Or, better still, 10-15 minutes early. Being late gives a very bad impression. If the interviewer already has a bad impression of you before the interview even starts, it will be hard for you to change that opinion.
Dress smartly (even if it is a Skype interview). Ideally wear a suit. If you don’t have a suit, wear a smart pair of trousers or a smart skirt and a shirt. Men should wear a tie. Don’t wear jeans or trainers!
Be cheerful and upbeat. You are not only trying to convince the employer that you are capable of doing the job, you are also trying to convince them that you really want the job and that you are a nice person that they would enjoy working with.
Be honest, but not negative. For example, if you have had a bad relationship with your boss, don’t say you hated your boss. Instead say you found working with your previous boss challenging. Ideally you should also say how you overcame or managed this challenge!
Don’t be afraid to ask for a question to be repeated or rephrased, if you are not sure what the interviewer is asking you. And don’t be afraid of silence. You will give a better answer if you give yourself time to think.
Be concise in your answers and stop when you have answered the question. Don’t waffle! If the interviewer wants to know more, they will ask you.
Finally, at the end of the interview, remember to thank the interviewer for their time. It is also perfectly acceptable to ask when you might get feedback from the interview.
After the interview
Do ring your recruitment consultant to have a chat about how the interview went.
Don’t contact the employer directly. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your recruitment consultant who will be happy to help you and will contact the employer on your behalf, if necessary.
How a recruitment consultant can help
A good recruitment consultant can give you lots of help and guidance when preparing for an interview. They really know the employers and can give you specific advice about what to do for that particular interview.
If you are a nurse or an allied healthcare professional and would like us to help you find your next nursing or healthcare role please take a look at our jobs page, call Maureen for an informal chat on 0845 259 0320, or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to download a copy of this factsheet, please click here.