Human Resources

An NHS Graduate Scheme Interview

Posted by Callum Bennett, 14 Dec 2017

Hello again!

This will be my last blog before the interviews for the Scheme start so I thought that I’d write this blog to give some advice about ways to prepare for the interview.

1) Prepare your body:

This first point is very important. Try to get your sleeping pattern right a few days before the interview, as it’ll help you keep sharp.  You don’t want any unnecessary stress on the day, so I’d advise planning out your interview morning a couple of days before, making sure that you know what time you’re getting up, that you’ve definitely got food in for breakfast e.t.c.

2) Research NHS Values, and remember that the patient comes first:

The NHS values play a large role in the interview. Be sure to research and understand the meaning of those values. The interviewers will be looking for someone who is passionate about them, so keep this in mind when answering questions. Remember also that the patient comes first and, when appropriate, link your answers to that principle. This should be easy for you, you’ve probably applied because you care about the NHS values, you just need to make sure to show that care. 

3) Think about your motivation:

A large part of the interview will focus on your motivation, so you need to be clear on this. There are so many different forms that these types of questions can take that you can’t plan for them all. What I would advise is thinking about why you want to work for the NHS, and why you want to join the Scheme. Maybe write down a couple of your thoughts about this, so that your reasons are clear. Doing this should also help you recall those reasons in the interview itself.

4) Prepare examples of the competencies:

As part of the interview pack you will have been told that you’ll be tested on some competencies. Make sure you know what these competencies mean. I’d also think about some examples from your past of when you’ve demonstrated those abilities. Personally I’d advise thinking of four or five well worked examples of when you’ve shown a variety of skills and competencies, such as collaborative working, or developing capability, that you can recall in the interview. I used the STAR method to help me remember my examples, and I think that having a structured way of thinking about your past experiences can help you to express them in a cogent manner during your interview.

I hope that this helps anyone reading. I’m sure that you will be stressed going in but my experience was that the interviewers were very helpful and understanding. At the end of the day all you can do is try your best. Even if it doesn’t work out then it’s a learning experience, and that extra experience will help you in the future.

Good luck.

Callum Bennett

Callum Bennett

2017 intake

Hello, my name is Callum, and I'm a HR trainee on the scheme. I studied History at the University of York, and joined the scheme immediately after I finished my degree. I joined the scheme because I wanted to be in a position where I could help a large number of people over a sustained period of time. I also felt that NHS values aligned very closely with my own. This is my first job, so this is all a very exciting adventure for me!

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