Are you gonna go my way? – NHS Graduate Scheme

In my previous blog I gave my best advice for the NHS interviews…by now those who attended the interviews will probably know whether or not they have gotten through to the next stage in the process. If you haven’t, don’t be disheartened – as I said in my previous blog, I know of several people who didn’t get through first time around.

If you have gotten through to the next stage, this means that in a couple of weeks you will be making your way to Leeds for the Leadership Challenge Assessment Centre! I can’t believe that it has been almost a year since I was there, and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

As you probably already know, the Assessment Centre is based on a day in the life of an NHS manager, and everybody does the same Assessment Centre, regardless of what specialism you have applied to. Of course, there is no such thing as a generic day in the life of an NHS manager, and with this in mind, you may prefer to think about what kind of skills and/or competencies you would need if you were an NHS manager, as opposed to trying to second guess the types of exercises that will take place.

As with the interviews, knowledge of current issues within the NHS, and how it works as a business are definite advantages, as is the ability to demonstrate why you really want to work for the NHS. Don’t worry if things go wrong…I have heard some real horror stories about assessment centre nightmares…all from colleagues currently on the scheme, which goes to show not to give up on the day if things aren’t going perfectly.

A final piece of general advice would be to arrive with plenty of stamina for the day. However tiring you are expecting it to be, it will be even more tiring! It is an intense day, and even during lunch you will be networking and getting to know each other (as potential future colleagues) and current trainees, which though fun, all adds up.

I was surprised at how friendly everybody was at my assessment centre, I found there was a real sense of team work, with everybody trying to help each other to do their best. Of course, I could have just been lucky, but I have heard others say they had similar experiences. So don’t be nervous, just be yourself and do your best.

– Apply for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme at



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