Introduction

Are you ready to experience some truly life-defining moments? Take this quick test to find out.

Our trainees experience some uniquely fascinating situations and inspiring encounters on this scheme. They get to see the many ways in which the NHS works to support and care for, a diverse range of people from all kinds of backgrounds, with all kinds of health and wellbeing needs. As you’ll see, this is no ordinary graduate scheme.

However, it’s not for everyone. The issues faced by the NHS can make working here highly challenging, and emotionally demanding. But, for those people who’ve got what it takes, it is always incredibly rewarding.

Throughout the quiz, you’ll find out more about what life is like with us. It will also give you more information about the working environment, what your role could involve on a day-to-day basis, and the types of challenges you might face.

Don’t worry - you don’t need to have any knowledge of the role at this stage. Just tell us how you’d respond, and we’ll let you know whether you’re suited to the scheme. You don’t need to register your details to do the quiz, and all of your responses will remain anonymous.

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Question 1

What’s your main motivation for joining the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme? Please pick one statement below which you agree with the most.

Answers

The scheme’s immediate and long term benefits, such as the salary and pension scheme, are particularly appealing to me.

Consider the extent to which you’re motivated by other key aspects of the role. You might not be working directly with patients but we’ll all be working together towards the ultimate vision of improving patient experience and safeguarding the NHS. You’ll also complete at least one formal qualification alongside working full time.

I’d like to join a graduate scheme and have heard this scheme is one of the best out there.

You’re right; we’ve won awards for being one of the top Graduate recruiters. However, our scheme is a bit different to other graduate schemes out there. Working within the NHS means we’ll all be working together towards the ultimate vision of improving patient experiences and safeguarding the NHS. You’ll also complete at least one formal qualification alongside working full time.

Think about whether these two aspects will motivate you on a day-to-day basis. We’d encourage you to explore our website further to find out exactly what the scheme will involve.

I want to join the Scheme as the learning and development activities will improve my career opportunities.

If you’re motivated by learning and developing, you’re like to enjoy the role. As well as the formal academic qualification, you’ll also go through a number of training opportunities to improve your skills.

However, consider the extent to which you also value improving patient outcomes and safeguarding the NHS. You might not be working directly with patients but you’ll need to keep them at the centre of everything you do.

I want to work in an organisation where the ultimate goal is to provide a world-class healthcare service, as well as help patients and NHS staff.

That’s great! Regardless of which specialism you’re working in, we’ll all be working together towards the ultimate vision of improving patient experience and safeguarding the NHS. You might not be working directly with patients but if you’re motivated by this you’re likely to enjoy the job. The academic and professional learning opportunities will also be a strong focus in the role, so think about how much this will motivate you.

Question 2

You’ll be able to tailor the scheme towards your own career path. You’ll have autonomy and can put yourself forward for different projects within each placement. We’re looking for proactive individuals who’ll actively seek out new experiences to make the most of their opportunities on our Scheme.

Previous graduates have worked on projects like improving the quality of care in specific hospital wards or analysing how to keep costs down when running an ambulance service.

Does this sound like you?

Answers

Yes, I relish the opportunity to hunt for new challenges.

We’re looking for individuals like you to make the most out of the scheme. Sometimes you may be asked to volunteer to work on projects, or put yourself forwards for additional learning and networking opportunities. If you’re proactive and want to stretch yourself, you’re likely to enjoy the scheme.

No, I prefer to be assigned tasks to complete.

The more you put into the scheme, the more you’ll get out. Sometimes you’ll be asked to volunteer to get involved in projects or put yourself forward for additional learning and networking opportunities. If you’re proactive and seek out opportunities and challenges you’re more likely to stretch yourself. Ask yourself how you’d maximise the experience you could gain from the scheme.

Question 3

Working on the scheme won’t be your typical desk job. Some weeks you may find yourself in the office for only a couple of days, as you’ll have meetings or your course in healthcare leadership to attend. There’ll also be some travel involved.

For example, you could find yourself working within hospital wards or shadowing staff to gain an understanding of what it’s like to work on the front line in hospitals.

How do you feel about this?

Answers

I like variety so I think I’ll enjoy this.

If you enjoy variety, you’re likely to enjoy the scheme as you’ll be able to easily adapt to different working hours and environments.

I prefer routine and structure, so I don’t think this is for me.

On the scheme you’ll find yourself having to adapt to different schedules and working environments. Think about how comfortable you’d feel with this.

I’m not sure, but I’ll try to adapt once I’m in the job.

On the scheme you’ll find yourself having to adapt to different schedules and working environments. How comfortable would you be with this variety?

Question 4

As part of our Graduate Management Training Scheme, you’ll balance a busy workload with completing a professional qualification. You’ll be allocated some study days during office hours but you’ll probably find yourself devoting some evenings and weekends to working towards your course and revising for exams. You’ll also attend additional training courses. You need to be prepared to work hard, both inside and outside of the workplace. How do you feel about this?

For example, you’ll complete a CIPD, CIPFA, Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership or Health Informatics.

Answers

This sounds challenging, but I’ll probably get used to it.

You’re right; this is a challenging but vital part of the scheme. Think about how you’ll manage working full time, studying and also maintaining a healthy work life balance. Our Finance stream is the most academically demanding, so if you’re interested in this stream, think carefully about how comfortable you’ll be with this part of the role.

I’m really keen to learn new things so I’m excited for the challenge.

Studying a professional qualification is a core part of the training scheme. If you’ll enjoy stretching yourself academically while working full time, you’re likely to enjoy this part of the role. Our Finance stream is the most academically demanding, so you might be particularly well suited to this stream.

I’m not sure this is for me.

All our graduates will need to complete their professional qualifications. Studying while working full time can be challenging and you’ll need to be comfortable managing multiple conflicting priorities. Ask yourself how you’ll manage this and what impact this might have on your social and personal life. In particular, our Finance stream is the most academically demanding, so you may not be well suited to this stream.

Question 5

You’ll complete a number of placements, which means you’ll work in different organisations for a few months at a time. The complexity and vastness of the NHS means that every organisation will be really different in terms of the teams, office culture, challenges and tasks to complete. You may also be working in a placement outside of the NHS. You’ll need to be comfortable with change and adapt quickly to new organisations and working environments. How do you feel about this?

Answers

I enjoy change so I’m comfortable with this.

That’s great! If you’re open to change you’re likely to enjoy the scheme. As the NHS itself is also constantly changing, your openness to change is likely to help you further in the long term.

I find change a little uncomfortable so I’m not sure how I’ll find this.

Change is a large part of the role, so being open to change is critical for success. It may be worth thinking about situations where you’ve been faced with change and how you found it. As the NHS itself is constantly changing, have a think about whether dealing with change is something you would enjoy in the long term.

I think I’ll probably get used to this once I’m in the role.

Change is a large part of the role, so adapting to new environments is critical for success. It’s worth thinking about whether you’d enjoy this part of the scheme. As the NHS itself is also constantly changing, have a think about whether this is something you would enjoy in the long term.

Question 6

Imagine you’re working in your second placement. Your placement manager has been very busy for the last week and hasn’t given you much work to be getting on with. Do you:

Answers

Call your mentor and see if they can ask your placement manager to organise more work for you.

Your mentor will always be available if you need any support or advice. However, if you were to demonstrate a proactive approach and ask your placement manager if you could attend some meetings, you’d learn more about the organisation. Putting yourself forward for different opportunities will widen your development and experience on your placement. If you’re inquisitive and eager to learn, you’ll get more out of the scheme. At times you may have to be self-motivated and actively seek out the next challenge.

Use your free time to start studying for your academic qualification during work; you don’t want to disturb your placement manager as they are clearly very busy.

While you’ll need to study for your qualification, remember that during your work hours you’ll be required to complete your day-to-day tasks. If you were to demonstrate a proactive approach and ask your Placement Manager if you could attend some meetings, you could learn more about the organisation. Putting yourself forward for different opportunities like this will widen your development and experience on your placement. If you’re inquisitive and eager to learn, you’ll get more out of the scheme.

Approach your placement manager and ask if you can attend some meetings with her to learn more about the organisation.

By demonstrating a proactive approach like this and putting yourself forward for different opportunities, you’ll be able to widen your experience and learning on the scheme. It sounds like you’ll be self-motivated and actively seek out the next challenge, which is great! If you’re inquisitive and eager to learn, you’ll get more out of the scheme.

Question 7

You’ll find yourself working with a diverse range of individuals both in the NHS and outside of it. These individuals will differ in terms of their backgrounds, ages and ethnicities. You might also find yourself working with people from different organisations, such as local authorities and consultancies. In order to work effectively with them, you’ll need to adapt and be open to understanding different perspectives and needs. How do you feel about this?

Answers

This would make me feel uncomfortable.

On a day-to-day basis you’ll be meeting with many different people, from patients, to doctors, to the chief executive of the organisation you’re working in. The NHS is a diverse organisation and you’ll need to promote this diversity through an understanding of individual differences. As this is a key part of the role, have a think about how you’d manage this and how you’d try to understand others’ perspectives.

I’ve done this before and I’ll really enjoy it.

Perfect! The NHS is a diverse organisation. You’ll be meeting different people on a day-to-day basis; a typical day might see you meeting with patients, doctors, and then the chief executive of the organisation. Having an understanding of different perspectives will help you when you’re meeting different people in the role.

I’ve not done this before but I’m sure I could adapt to this.

You’ll be meeting different people on a day-to-day basis; a typical day might see you meeting with patients, doctors, and then the chief executive of the organisation. The NHS is a diverse organisation; take some time to think about how you might try to understand different perspectives and needs of others.

Question 8

Imagine you’re working on a placement for the first few months. You notice that one of the processes is highly inefficient. You’ve identified a way in which this process can be improved. However, when you discuss this with some of the team you’re working with they seem to be less enthusiastic. They’re all long standing employees within the organisation and are reluctant to take your suggestions on board. Do you:

Answers

Understand that the team have been in the organisation for a long time, so they’ll probably know best. Leave the processes as they are.

Our graduates will all be future leaders; so we’re looking for you to think outside the box and improve what we do. Sometimes others may not be as enthusiastic or positive about these changes. However, you’ll need to demonstrate resilience and confidence to lead improvements within the organisation. Have a think about how you’ll get others on board to help us drive and embrace change.

Listen to their advice and concerns; clearly outline the benefits of your improvement and how changes or efficiencies might help them in their day-to-day jobs.

Great! Taking an approach like this will help others get on board with any changes you suggest and lead improvements within the organisation. We’re looking for forward thinkers who will be the future leaders of the NHS. We want our graduate trainees to drive forward change and improvements, and increase savings.

Disregard their reservations and take it upon yourself to go straight to the board; present your suggested improvements for their immediate review.

If you take this approach, you’re likely to come across even more resistance from others on the frontline and could experience difficulties in your placement. While we want you to look for ways to drive and embrace change, you’ll need to be more collaborative in your approach in order to create a vision for others and gain buy-in. Often you’ll be working with others who will have valuable knowledge and you’ll need to be humble in your approach to get them on board.

Question 9

You’ll find yourself having to work with limited resources (for example, limited budget or staff capacity) which can be difficult. In these situations, you will need to be self sufficient to achieve the best possible outcome. How do you feel about this?

Answers

I’ll probably find this frustrating.

Resources can sometimes be scarce or limited, but you’ll need to work with what you have available to achieve the best possible outcome and deliver quality outputs. Have a think about how you might feel when faced with limited resources and how you might work around this to deliver the outputs required.

I’ll try to make the most out of the resources available.

Resources can sometimes be scarce or limited, but it’s really positive if you’re willing to work with what you have available to achieve the best possible outcomes and deliver quality outputs.

Question 10

You’ll need to be comfortable working independently and will be expected to take responsibility for difficult decisions and tasks. How do you feel about this?

Answers

I would prefer to have very close support on the scheme.

On every placement, you’ll have support from a placement manager who will be working with you. You’ll also be paired up with a mentor and a buddy who will be available for any advice you might need. However, you’ll have a great deal of autonomy on the scheme, and will need to take responsibility for your own work. Have a think about how you might feel working independently on the scheme.

I’ll thrive on the challenge of working independently.

Perfect! Of course you’ll always have support on the Scheme. You’ll have support from a placement manager who will be working with you. You’ll also be paired up with a mentor and a buddy who will be available for any advice you might need. However, if you’re comfortable working independently and taking responsibility, you’re likely to enjoy the role.

It sounds quite challenging, but I won’t know for sure until I try it for myself.

On every placement, you’ll have support from a placement manager who will be working with you. You’ll also be paired up with a mentor and a buddy who will be available for any advice you might need. However, you’ll have a great deal of autonomy on the scheme. Think about how you might feel when having to work independently or taking responsibility for difficult decisions on a day-to-day basis.

Question 11

You’ll need to be comfortable meeting new people and networking with a range of individuals, like your fellow trainees and stakeholders within the organisation you’re working with. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be an extravert; we’ll put you through training to equip you with skills for networking effectively. Are you comfortable with this?

For example, if you network with others, you can develop contacts and build relationships right from the start, which can help you get the most out of the Scheme.

Answers

Yes, I’m comfortable networking and meeting new people.

Perfect; networking is vital for the Scheme and will really help you. You may not see other graduate trainees on a day-to-day basis but if you can establish a strong network with them, you can share knowledge, experiences and advice. Also, building contacts means that you gain exposure to interesting projects, to give you the best possible experience.

This doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’m willing to have a go.

Networking with others is vital for the Scheme and will really help you. You may not see other graduate trainees on a day-to-day basis but if you can establish a strong network with them, you can share knowledge, experiences and advice. Also, building contacts means that you gain exposure to interesting projects, to give you the best possible experience.

I’m not comfortable with this.

Networking with others is really important for the Scheme. You may not see other graduate trainees on a day-to-day basis but if you can establish a strong network with them, you can share knowledge, experiences and advice. In addition, building contacts means that you gain exposure to interesting projects, to give you the best possible experience. Have a think about how you’d feel about this aspect of the role on a day-to-day basis.

Question 12

The NHS is Europe’s largest employer. We employ over 1 million people to provide healthcare across England, so there are many sites throughout England where you could be based. You can specify your preferred region in your application and most of our roles are based outside of London. You’ll also be required to travel around the country with occasional overnight stays. Are you comfortable with this?

Answers

Yes.

Our placements are based across the country and whilst individuals often get their first choice location, this is not guaranteed. To get the best possible experience you may need to work elsewhere. You’ll also need to travel frequently on the scheme. So, if you’re flexible on location that’s great. For more information on regions you can specify, please see our map.

No.

Our placements are based across the country. Individuals often get their first choice location but this is not guaranteed. You’ll also need to travel frequently on the scheme. Think about whether you’d be comfortable with this. For more information on regions you can specify, please see our map.

Question 13

On the scheme you’ll be required to think and act like a leader and will be challenged every day. You will be joining an organisation under constant pressure and fierce public scrutiny. You’ll also have to take responsibility for making tough decisions which could involve individuals, jobs or services. Are you ready for this?

Answers

Yes.

Fantastic! The role may be challenging at times but remember you won’t be expected to know everything from the start and will have support in place to help you along the way. If you’re willing to challenge yourself you’re likely to develop more and start a fantastic career.

I’m not sure.

The role may be challenging but you won’t be expected to know everything from the start, and will have support in place to help you along the way. Sometimes the best way to learn and develop is to put yourself in challenging situations. Have a think about how much you’ll enjoy this aspect of the role, what you’ll find challenging and how you might overcome these challenges.

No.

The role is likely to be challenging day-to-day. Of course you won’t be expected to know everything from the start and will have support to help you along the way. However, it’s worth thinking about how you might deal with challenges you’ll face every day in the role. If you’re not comfortable with this you’re unlikely be suited to this scheme.

Result

It’s important to us that our scheme is well matched to you, as well as you being well matched to the scheme.

Your responses suggest that there are a number of areas where your approach may not fit the environment and role in the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. Based on the responses you’ve provided you’re unlikely to enjoy certain aspects of the scheme.

Now that you’ve learnt more through our quiz, we’d encourage you to think hard about whether the scheme is the right match for you. Don’t forget that it will be demanding and you’ll constantly be faced with challenges. Ask yourself whether you’d want to deal with these on a day-to-day basis and think carefully about what you’d enjoy or what you might find more difficult before applying.

While you may not be suited to our graduate scheme, there might be other jobs within the NHS you could be a better fit for.

The Graduate Management Training Scheme is only one way to use your degree with the NHS. For more career inspiration, have a look at whatcanidowithmydegree.nhs.uk

You can also talk to current trainees via our Facebook app, if you have any questions.

Your responses suggest that your approach is moderately well suited to the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. You may enjoy some aspects of the role but there could be some areas which you’re more suited to than others. You may want to take some time to think about what you would and wouldn’t enjoy, as well as how you might approach any challenges you think you’d face before applying. Remember, it’s important to us that our scheme is well matched to you, as well as you being well matched to the scheme.

We’d strongly encourage you to spend more time researching the graduate scheme and thinking about what you’ve learnt about it from our quiz, before applying. Continue exploring our website as it contains lots of detailed information including a blog so you can follow our current trainees on their journey through the NHS. You can then come back and take this quiz as many times as you’d like.

You can also talk to current trainees via our Facebook app, if you have any questions, or read their blogs here.

Your responses suggest that your approach is well suited to the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and that you are very likely to enjoy the role. We’d encourage you to go ahead and apply. Remember, it’s important to us that our scheme is well matched to you, as well as you being well matched to the scheme.

If you’d like to find out even more, continue exploring our website as it contains lots of detailed information about our scheme.

You can also talk to current trainees via our Facebook app, if you have any questions, or read their blogs here.