NHS interview expectations

Hello everyone, I would be going for NHS interview as HR advisor in couple of days time, can anyone with previous similar experience share what questions to expect in the interview. Thank you

  • Mostly the same as for any HR Advisor role. Competency-based and values-based interview questions that will mostly follow the template of "tell us about a time when...". Answers should abide by the STAR format wherever possible.

    Things that might be different, depending on your experience, will be about your experience with handling sensitive information, dealing with union representatives and managing multiple conflicting priority demands.
  • Thanks a lot , this is helpful.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    13 Jun, 2023 10:45

    Welcome to our Community,  Slight smile

  • Check out the relevant NHS Trust's Vision and Values webpage, and try to memorise what it says. We used to ask candidates this question to see if they'd done the research on our Trust. Eg, "We are caring, one team, listening to understand, open and honest, always improving, inclusive, team #UHD" .

    As others have mentioned, evidence-based answers are essential. Each question will be trying to find out something of your experience or character. You need to quickly decide what it is they are asking ... eg, "can you give us an example of when you worked under pressure?"
    This is giving you the opportunity to explain how you cope with stress, what methods you use to deal with multiple demands, what resources you implement, and at the end of a day, how you de-stress. You may even say you made a mistake while stressed, because you can then use this to your advantage and explain what you learned from this and how you now put this skill into practice.

    Don't forget that opportunity at the end of the interview when you're asked if you have any questions - one of my favourite questions to ask is:

    "In 3 -6 months time, how will you define whether I'm successful in the role?

    Good luck.
  • Welcome and good luck with the interview. It's a long time since I started my career in the NHS and I don't work there now. I think Robey's given you some great pointers.

    I also wonder if there will be some questions around your motivation for the role, any preparation you can do about the trust itself, what it specialises in, which you can weave into your answers to show research, commitment and interest.

    I also think it's a challenging time to be in the NHS or any public service. Cuts, austerity, the lack of a national workforce plan being published, strikes and the impact of Covid will all have an impact on staff turnover, recruitment, retention and mental health and well being so being able to demonstrate you have thought of this and how it might show itself in the HR function and what they need to do, I imagine, will be important.

    So as well as answer the competency based questions about your relevant experience, you can show an appreciation of the challenges.
  • In reply to Sharon:

    Great answer Sharon!
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    14 Jun, 2023 16:23

    Hope the interview went well,  !Slight smile

  • Thank you Wendy, this is very helpful.
  • Many thanks Sharon. This is helpful.
  • I work in HR for NHS.

    Each NHS Trust is different so the questions asked could vary. Typical ones may include: a difficult ER case you’ve dealt with (doesn’t always have to be a case that involved a dismissal but you should be able to recognise the nuances of ER casework and things not going to plan or in a different direction than previously anticipated); how you manage your time; what would you do if you gave some advice to a manager and they disagreed with your advice/approach; how you keep up-to-date with the latest developments in HR/employment law; they might test your knowledge of upcoming or recent legislative changes; they may ask what the fair reasons for dismissal are; test your understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion and ask you to give an example of a case or advice you have given in relation to those principles.

    My biggest piece of advice however - each Trust has its own set of values. Familiarise yourself with them and evidence in all your answers that you have behaved/behave in line with those values. If one of the values are being compassionate- give examples of a time when you have behaved compassionately in the advice you gave/approach you have taken/outcome delivered.

    Good luck!!