Help and advice about NHS interviews please!(8 Posts)
I have worked as a secretary in a GP surgery for over 8 years and I'm desperate to leave for too many reasons to go in to. I have an interview on Tuesday for a band 3 secretary post at the local hospital. I've had a lot of band 4 interviews but never been offered the role because of a lack of experience with hospital systems - feedback is usually ' nothing wrong with me, just someone more experienced was offered the role'... I would really appreciate any help or advice you could give about how to add this interview. I can do the job stood on my head but I'm don't interview well, I forget words, struggle with snappy responses and feel like I ramble a lot!!!
Explain what you can do, what you do now and how it fits with the job description, point out similarities. Imagine you have not done an application form, state everything as though those interviewing you have no knowledge of you whatsoever. If you can do the job standing on your head, show how you can do so. If you have good computer knowledge and experience state that. If you are quick to learn new software, point that out. If there are any key words or statements in the job description or personal specification, try and fit that into an answer (e.g. if they say there may be a need to travel between sites, if possible say that you drive and are happy to travel if needed, if you have travelled between sites in your current job say so).
Look at the trust website. Does it have values or aims or something along those lines listed? Make yourself aware of what they are, you may be asked questions to do with them (e.g. how do you show you respect your colleagues) - not every trust does this, but some do.
Don't worry too much about rambling, (it seems to work for me ), do try and show what you can do.
Good luck for Tuesday.
Thanks very much, that's really helpful. I tend to go in assuming they know all about me but of course they don't! I have a copy of my application as a prompt and I've been going through the website for their trust values etc.
They may have seen your application, but they will have seen a lot. And even if they have, if you don't say it, it doesn't get written down and thus doesn't get scored (IME, which is ?7 interviews in 3 different trusts). And then you don't get the job.
I will say I cannot guarantee you the job. Obviously you do not have experience of their software BUT you have knowledge and experience of the NHS. You have had patient contact, you know how to respond to upset patients and their families on the phone, you understand prioritisation, you know about the CQC and CCG's. Think about everything you do know about the NHS and secretarial work in the NHS and state it. You may not get the job, unfortunately they are highly sought after and so each job has many applicants. However you are getting interviews which is a great start, treating the interviewers as though they know nothing will build on that.
Just out of curiosity, you aren't close to the Welsh border are you?
Not that close! I am close to a lot of hospitals though! I have find down a band in the hope that I'm more suitable and more qualified than the rest of the applicants. I am going through it all in my head and will try to remember everything you've told me, especially about repeating everything in my CV. They are interviewing me for a reason and I just need to remind them of that.
Yes, I know how sought after every job is - I've seen it from the inside when we advertise but I have to say, the applicants chosen are not always the best people for the job!
Nervous but feeling a lot more prepared. Thank you.
Well they can train you on their systems. I think someone more experienced is NHS speak for "we offered one of our people the job". One thing good about the NHS, we you apply you normally get an exhaustive job description and specification.
Go through it with a fine tooth comb and as you read it where they say good at organising (or similarly worded) imagine you are telling somehow how good you are at this - they will probably ask for examples-
you can perhaps talk about the filing systems in the surgery and how it has to be organised etc etc. Always think of examples of what you do and how well you do it. You will certainly have communicaiton skills, hopefully good. If you can think of examples where you went an extra mile to help someone (patient or doctor) and also where you had to deal with something bad like an upset angry patient or how somthing went wrong and how you coped. Even if you couldn't at the time sort it out, how you would do it right next time (if they ask this which sometimes happens).
Basically they just want to know you can do the job, are organised, able to do the work in a timely fashion (get it done on time), get on with people etc etc.
We now use values and competency based interviewing in our NHS Board - might be useful to google that to get a sense of how they might structure the interivew if they use this approach (esp google for band 3 posts). We would interview using level 1 questions for that band.
It's also useful to think about your responses using STAR - Specific situation and what it was, Task/s you did in the situation and why, did you Achieve what you set out to achieve, and what were the Results.
visit the department beforehand call and ask if you can come in to see the department and find out more about the role.
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