7 Interview Questions You Can Pinch From the NHS

7 Interview Questions You Can Pinch From the NHS

Whether you’re hiring a temp care assistant or a nurse, there are a lot of things you can learn from the NHS.

After all, the National Health Services has been running since 1948!

To find a top care professional, there are particular traits you need to look out for, including being strong-minded, patient, happy, personable and kind.

To prize this kind of information out of a candidate while getting to know their experience, you should seriously consider using some of these fine interview questions asked by the NHS.

What appeals to you about working in the NHS?

This first common interview question asked by the NHS can easily be rephrased to “Why do you want to work here?”

It’s designed to establish a candidate’s motives for choosing the company and testing their knowledge of the company culture.

The NHS has a rich history and its employees are proud to be a part of such a positive organisation.

Have you illustrated your ethos and beginnings on your company website or in the job ad?

This includes core values.

These insights will give care candidates the material to get to know your company and form a proper answer.

And at least it’ll make it easier to identify which candidate hasn’t done any research!

What are the current challenges facing the NHS?

The NHS use this interview question to see whether a candidate is keeping up-to-date with current affairs.

Are they truly interested in working in the work of care?

A top care candidate will be able to answer this with ease and give you a relevant issue surrounding the industry or topic.

Again, you can tweak this question.

This time, focusing on the industry, job role or topic, instead of the hirer.

For instance, “What are the current challenges with mental health/working with the elderly?”

What qualities make a good NHS employee?

This next interview question is a direct way of seeing whether candidates know what’s required to do a good job.

As mentioned earlier, you need a care worker who is strong-minded, patient, happy, personable and kind.

They also need to be great at working under pressure and have top listening skills too.

While each role is different, the fundamentals of caring remain the same.

Before you start the interview, write down these traits and see how many of them a candidate mentions.

Describe a time you’ve coped well under pressure

A classic, yet essential, competency-based question.

It’s designed to test which candidates can identify the nature of the role and find relevant examples.

It doesn’t matter whether they have any prior experience in a care role or not.

They should still be able to showcase their transferable skills.

Bonus points for any care candidate who references any personal coping mechanisms, as this shows they’re able to take a proactive approach to stress management.

Tell me a time when you’ve resolved a work-based conflict

The NHS is a high-pressured environment where things go wrong and situations get out of hand.

Staff are required to work efficiently while dealing with delicate situations.

A sign of a top care candidate is someone who can demonstrate their ability to stay calm and discard personal feelings in the heat of confrontation or pressure.

These qualities are just as important in the care industry as a whole too.

If you ask this interview question, take note of the candidate’s demeanour.

Do they appear calm and friendly? Is there a nice tone to the way they speak? And are they finding the positives out of tricky questions?

Providing they can demonstrate these qualities and give you a good example of a real-life situation, you’ve found a winner.

Describe a situation when you’ve had to adapt your normal approach to keep people happy

This interview question asked by the NHS is a test of how adaptable a candidate is.

Are they able to give you specific examples?

In any care job, there will be hostile patients, family members and even colleagues.

How has the candidate tweaked their approach to keep everyone happy?

Can they give you examples of a time when they’ve gone above and beyond?  

How would you deal with seeing a distressing medical situation or death?

Unfortunately, bad things happen in the care industry – especially when working with the elderly.

This interview question covers a lot of roles and will give you a flavour of how candidates will handle sad situations.

Again, have they got any personal coping mechanisms?

If they’re new to the industry, can they give you a similar scenario or provide a positive answer?

For example, they could say:

“I appreciate deaths and hard situations will happen in this industry. But I’m a very focused individual.

So, while I’m extremely compassionate towards every patient, I understand the importance of remaining positive and channelling my dedicated approach into helping other patients.”

Need more inspiration?

You’ll find an array of useful recruitment and HR tips on our care blog, including:

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Good luck!

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