Interview Tips

20 Aug 10:00 by Ed Sobers

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There’s no question about it, interviews are scary. You have to go and speak to someone you’ve never met before and encourage them to give you thousands of pounds a year. Healthcare interviews are unlike any other industry, you’re not just there as a job, you’re looking after people and dealing with families in a stressed situation. It’s a very daunting task, but everyone has to do it!

Don’t forget that the hiring manager is also under a lot of pressure to hire the right person. They’re charged with the pressure of making the right decision and they only have an hour to decide if you’re the best person to look after the residents. Use these tips to let them know exactly why you’re the person they should trust with their residents, and make sure you finish the interview on a positive note as this will be their lasting impression of you. Follow up after the interview by thanking them for their time, reconfirming that you’re interested in the position and say how much you’re looking forward to hearing back from them shortly.

Here at HRN we’ve devised a few specialised tips and advise on how to best prepare for your upcoming interview, we hope it helps!


1. Show up on time

Arriving early is key to creating a good first impression, but arriving too early can throw the interviewer off. Aim to get there about 30 minutes before hand to allow time for traffic or getting lost on the way. If you are there too early, spend time to clear your head and go over the details of the company again, before going in.

2. Dress to impress

A very common question people ask before an interview in healthcare is ‘Can I wear scrubs?’. Typically, professional attire is preferable over scrubs as this is the first chance your interviewer gets to see you. Clothes should be pressed, tailored & ideally in neutral colours, try to avoid loud colours if possible. Make sure your hands are well-groomed especially your nails.

3. Do your research

Visit the company website when you get the interview offer. Make sure you look into the ‘’About us’’ section on the homepage and get as much information on the company as possible. Look into Social Media and have a look at how the company treats their employees, and how they want to be viewed by the public. Look up reviews on the company on Glassdoor, there’s also a useful tab where people can put what interview questions they were asked.

Brush up your skills – make sure to read over all of your training to remind yourself

Your recruitment consultant will have told the interviewer all of your top skills and experience, so make sure you brush up on your knowledge and go into the interview prepared to answer questions on your area of expertise.

4. Memorise your CV

It’s important to the interviewer that they know everything there is to know about you. Make sure your CV is completely up to date with all experience and training, and you need to make sure you know when it all occurred. Incorrect dates on the CV, or not knowing where you were through-out your career can lead to the interviewer not fully trusting you or your answers throughout the interview.

5. Be positive

Nothing can put an interview off track quite like openly insulting your current/previous employer. No matter the circumstances of you being on the market, mention the reason for leaving and follow that up with all the highlights of the company and role. Showcase what you have learnt from your previous employer, even if it is negative, turn it into a learning outcome for you.

6. Body language

All the simple things make a massive difference when sat opposite someone judging you. Strong handshake to say hello, maintain eye contact (but don’t be weird), sit up straight, smile when you’re talking and actually pay attention when the interviewer is talking. Practice ‘Active Listening’ before your interview which is the act of repeating what the interviewer said last, to show understanding.  80% of what people hear is actually from our body language, so make sure they’re reading the right signs!

7. Be prepared with questions of your own

Having pre-prepared questions demonstrates a high level of interest in the role. Write down 5 or 6 questions prior to the interview and write down the answers in the interview. This shows a high level of organisation as well as saving you the trouble of having to remember the questions as well as all of the other knowledge and interview prep you’ve got. Don’t forget that you’re interviewing them as well, so use the questions to make sure you’d be happy to work with them. Find out as much information as you can, including training schedule, shift patterns, company culture and progression opportunities.

8. Prepare for scenario based questions

Interviewers will want to hear an example of times when you have had to deal with an issue at work. This could be anything from a dispute with a colleague to major safeguarding issues. Make sure you demonstrate a good understanding of CQC/NMC compliance and work-place procedure with your answer. The interviewer will want to hear that you’re happy to do the right thing whilst going through a tough conversation.


What they might ask you

Why did you choose to become a nurse? & why did you chose specifically your line of nursing?

What is your proudest moment of being a nurse?

Give me an example of a time you have gone above and beyond for a resident/patient?

If you saw a colleague do something wrong or unsafe, what would you do?

What’s your approach for dealing with a family who want to talk about death?


Good luck for your interview, feel free to call us if you need any more advice – 0207 193 4003