Hip bone connected to the back bone… – NHS Graduate Scheme

For those who applied for the 2015 scheme, interviews will be approaching and this comes with a mixture of feelings: excitement, nervousness and probably confusion.

So let me ease the nervousness and give you my tips for the day (I like a good list).

Do your research!

  • It can be quite easy to go into an interview and talk about yourself, but what will stand you out of the crowd is what you know about the NHS and where you can fit in it. Believe me, there are lots of places for those wanting to make a difference!
  • To give you a few hints: read the Health & Social Act (2012) and the NHS constitution – the Act is long, but if you can pick out a small detail of the document, it just could impress the right person. Who are the major players within the NHS? What are their roles, and what does this mean to patients? Look at Monitor, TDA, CQC, NHS England and CCGs/CSUs in particular.
  • Do not forget the end user! The very reason why we choose to work in the NHS are for the patients


  • This may sound obvious but it can all be easily forgotten in the pressure of the day, you never know who may overhear you!
  • Forget the slang! Again, obvious. However, when having a conversation and getting comfortable in a situation, it can be easy to slip into your normal vocabulary. Please no YOLOs.


  • Use the most appropriate examples for the question – do not try and adapt a story to the question. Be honest.
  • The example can be a positive or negative experience as long as you can show where it relates to that specific competency
  • Try and use different examples for each question – this means having prepared several beforehand! Keep up a back-up too just in case.

The Actual Interview

  • Do not be hesitant asking for water – mouths can get dry very quickly during the interview.
  • Take your time in answering the question – this is the time for you to shine, so think about how will approach your answer.
  • Body language – if there is anything I’ve learnt during the Scheme is that people can make judgements in the way you sit and listen.
  • Don’t forget to ask questions to the trainees or assessors. The best insight you’ll ever get into what it’s like on the Scheme and NHS.

Be Yourself! (the most important)

  • Do not be scared to show off your personality – it will warm others to you, and allow assessors to see what you are about
  • Network/interact with others during the day. Alternatively, don’t feel pressured to ask questions either. Just do what you are comfortable with, but the day will be the best opportunity in getting information.
  • Enjoy the process – it can be a nerve-wracking time, so don’t let it get the best of you.
  • Show the assessors what you got! Show what skills and traits you have and how you see this fitting into the role and NHS.

Best of luck with your interview. I’ll be seeing a few of you in London, so don’t be shy to say hi.

– Interested in the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme? Apply here www.nhsgraduates.co.uk


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