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Advice for NHS interview

(8 Posts)
Belgianbuns Thu 07-Nov-19 23:02:18

Help! I have an NHS job interview coming up and have been notified I will have a tray assessment. Any advice for preparation? Thank you 🙏

OP’s posts: |
EstherMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Nov-19 21:23:17

Can anyone help OP with this?

doublebarrellednurse Fri 08-Nov-19 21:27:17

What role are you applying for?

Elmer2028 Fri 08-Nov-19 21:31:56

What's the role?

catswhiskers15 Fri 08-Nov-19 21:45:37

BelgianBuns, for an in tray/e-tray exercise. this website link might help:

Alpacathebag Fri 08-Nov-19 21:53:53

Guessing it’s admin or secretarial if there’s an In tray exercise?

I’d say to make sure you have solid examples of time’s you have actively managed a work load, how you prioritise and your team working skills. It’s also worth reading up the specific trust’s core values and think about how they apply to the job you’re applying for; do you understand how important they are to the patient and how they relate to National mood with the NHS too? How being efficient, saves money and keeps wait times down etc.

maxelly Mon 11-Nov-19 10:56:12

In tray exercises are quite popular in NHS recruitment particularly for admin roles, they usually consist of a 'sample' of the types of tasks you might encounter in the job on a day to day basis (read the job description for clues about what these could be), it might be things like emails requiring a response, requests for help from colleagues or patients, problems with staffing, facilities or supplies that need to be resolved, setting up meetings, preparing papers, articles or presentations or basic admin/filing tasks. Usually part of the point of the exercise is that there are more tasks that you can (easily) complete in the time allowed, so that they can test whether you remain calm under pressure and have the judgement/experience to form a sensible priority order. You might be asked to rank the tasks in priority order and/or discuss your thought process with the interviewer later on. I tend to categorise things into 1. Urgent and Important 2. Important but not urgent 3. Urgent but less important 4. Not important and not urgent and do tasks in that order (although I might do a 3 before a 2 if it is a quick and easy one). You should always ensure that anything that affects patient care is categorised as 'important' and otherwise use your judgement/common sense...

In tray exercises are kind of hard to prepare for but I would ensure you think through what kind of tasks/knowledge you would expect to be using in the job (e.g. email management, diary management, people/HR management, finances) and brush up on anything you are less confident on, and then otherwise focus on preparing for the interview section as that typically pays more for solid preparation as you can predict and prepare answers for questions more easily.

Good luck!

anonnancy Sun 17-Nov-19 17:12:48


An in-tray exercise will literally be a sheet of paper with a list of scenarios on it - you'll probably be asked to prioritise each scenario and write how you would solve the problem. They may challenge you on some of your choices in the interview, I.e "why did you put this task 3rd?" It's not that it's the wrong choice, they just want you to explain your thinking so they can get more of an understanding of how you work.

Don't worry - I've worked in the NHS for 2 years and previously worked in private healthcare for 4 years, and been so LOADS of NHS interviews. You'll be fine!

I've always found just being super honest and transparent in interviews has been a positive thing rather than saying the generic answers that everyone else says to try and score points.

Good luck! X

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