NHS Interview Questions With Example Answers

In need of some NHS interview help? Firstly, congratulations! We’re here to help ease your pre-interview anxieties with the 8 most common NHS interview questions asked and how best to answer them.

8 Common NHS Interview Questions & Example Answers

What do you wear? What are they going to ask? Do you arrive 10 or 15 minutes early? Whatever you’re worried about, we’ve got the answers to all the most popular NHS interview questions.

Question 1: How would you respond after witnessing a distressing medical situation?

First and foremost, as a healthcare worker, you will be working in a fast-paced environment where various medical situations will arise. Therefore, you will need to be prepared and ready to handle anything that is thrown your way.

Here is an example answer:

As a healthcare worker, I am committed to helping those that are in need. Therefore, in distressing situations, I think the best thing to do is remember you are here to help the individual. Remaining calm will not only help the situation, but it will help my team remain focused. In moments of crisis, you can’t turn off your emotions. Compassion and empathy are vital qualities of any healthcare worker. Instead of allowing my feelings to prevent me from carrying out my job, I would seek support from my team and additional help if needed.

Question 2: How would you respond if you were faced with an aggressive patient? 

This is a common NHS Job Interview question, as it allows the interviewer to understand how you would react in particular circumstances. Remember, as an NHS employee, you will have to deliver the best service possible – especially in challenging and unforeseen circumstances. So remember to take time to answer the question. 

Here is an example answer:

If a patient were to be aggressive with a member of my team or me, I would remain calm and understanding. However, in most cases, the patient is angry because they are frustrated and want to be heard. Therefore, I would take time to listen to the patient so I can help resolve their concern.

Question 3: Please describe a situation where you have given quality care?

The NHS primary goal is to provide quality care to all of those who use the service. Therefore, to be a successful candidate, outlining cases where you have given quality care will be crucial.

Here is an example answer:

“I am the designated first aider at my current place of work, so I have responded to the needs of both staff and members of the public. 

One day during my shift, a member of staff slipped and fell on a wet floor. I urgently aided my colleague who had fallen. The individual appeared to have injured her ankle, so I asked another colleague to call for an ambulance. During this time, I’d relay information while continuing to comfort my colleague.”

Question 4: Can you describe a situation where you’ve had to resolve a work-based conflict?

The health sector can be a stressful working environment. Staff face immense pressure on a day-to-day basis, and in some cases, this can resolve tension and conflict. As an NHS member of staff, you would be expected to try and resolve any disputes that arise. During the interview, providing a clear example of a time when you demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills and conflict management will be beneficial. 

Here is an example answer:

“In my previous job role, I had a group-based project where myself and several colleagues had to work to a tight deadline. Naturally, we shared responsibilities between the group, but one day, a conflict abrupted.

One colleague was frustrated because they felt a particular individual wasn’t carrying out their tasks in the allotted time frame. To overcome this, I called for a team meeting to discuss the situation, resolve the matter at hand and create a plan to overcome the issue. We came to understand after having a conversation that our colleague was burnt out, so we created a new plan to share our responsibilities as a team to help them handle the pressures of the group project.”

Question 5: Can you tell me how the NHS and how it operates?

The interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate a clear understanding of primary and secondary care. Also, they will want to know how much you understand of NHS trusts, foundation trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

You should take time to read and familiarise yourself with the various NHS Trusts and Foundations as well as the NHS Long Term Plan. It’s a document published in 2019 that clearly outlines the goals and properties for the next ten years. Also, it is worth learning about the structural differences across the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Before your interview, it would be worth reading the NHS Core Values document. The document outlines what the NHS expects, what it stands for, and its aims to improve.

Question 6: How do you deal with pressure?

As an NHS staff member, you will face workplace pressures and stress. Within your interview, the interviewer will most likely ask how you work under pressure and will ask for an example!

Here is an example answer:

“During my time as a university student, I had a part-time job that helped me afford my education. During this time, I learned how to handle pressure and stress throughout my degree, especially during my final year. 

Thankfully, I work well under pressure, so I made a plan of action to get as much university work completed as possible. I would split my time between work, assignments and downtime to ensure I was on target.”

Question 7: What qualities do you have that would make you an excellent fit for the NHS?

The interviewer will be looking for crucial qualities to determine whether you will be an excellent fit for the NHS. So make sure that you use meaningful and key phrases in your response.

Here is an example answer:

“I have a wide variety of qualities that I think would be extremely useful as an NHS staff member. Firstly, I work well in high-pressure environments, and I have a strong desire to provide the best service possible. In addition, I am a compassionate, hardworking and empathetic individual who believes everyone deserves access to the same level of treatment, regardless of their background.”

Question 8: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Where do you see yourself?” is a common question that pops up in almost every interview. Outlining where you see yourself in 5 years allows the interviewers to understand your ambitions as an NHS employee. 

Here is an example answer:

“In 5 years, I hope to have progressed professionally and continue to be a strong, consistent and supportive team player. Through natural progression, hard work and dedication, I hope to progress to a higher position with the NHS and continue my journey as a proud NHS staff member.”

Additional NHS Job Interview Help & Tips

Interview Preparation is Key:

  • Prepare and practice interview questions with a friend or family member.
  • Research the business and the job role ahead of time.
  • Understand the job and specifications involved prior to your interview.
  • Research the different NHS trusts. 

First Impressions Count in the NHS:

  • Dress professionally.
  • Make sure you’re on time – Ideally, 10 to 15 minutes early.
  • Have a positive mental attitude.

We hope you have found these top questions of use. Remember that preparation is essential, and remember to breathe. You’ve got this. Best of luck with your interview!

When you smash your NHS Job Interview and become an outstanding member of the NHS, don’t forget to come back and check out our incredible discounts. With hundreds of deals and discounts, you could get an NHS discount at your favourite brands!

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