Accessibility Links
Quick Send CV
Cookies on our website
By continuing to use this website we will assume you are happy to receive cookies as outlined in our cookie policy
Accept Policy

Interviewing can be a tricky process. To help you land your perfect job, we’ve asked Lee Emmett, Sanctuary Health Contracts Manager, and Luke Aldred, Head of Sanctuary Mental Health for their advice on how to successfully answer a few of the most commonly asked interview questions. 

1.What do you know about our organisation?

Lee: “This is an extremely common question in any interview, not just those in the health sector. It’s important that you show you’ve taken the time to research the organisation – you can do this by looking through their website or checking for any recent media coverage. If you know that the employer has piloted a new approach, or is a specialist in a particular field of work, don’t be afraid to bring it up in conversation. It demonstrates your interest in them as an organisation and as a prospective employer.”  

2.Why do you want to work for us?

Luke: “This follows on from Lee’s point about researching the organisation. If there is a specific department you will be working in, look at any organisational achievements, and state how your skills will fit in. This is also your opportunity to learn more about the company – don’t be afraid to ask any questions that you may have about the organisation.”

3.Can you give an example of something you are proud of in your career?

Luke: “This is your chance to really sell yourself and your skills. We recommend showing how innovative and resourceful you can be. Perhaps you managed to help somebody make positive changes to their health, or you have been involved in an innovative project or service.”

Lee: “The key here is to really sound enthusiastic about what you are talking about. Make sure you smile and maintain eye contact with all members of the interview panel. I would also recommend being aware of your body language – remember to have a confident posture.”

4.What are the skills in patient care that you view as essential?

Luke: “Prospective employers will be keen to find out as much as possible about your patient-care skills. They will be looking for an employee with empathy and patience, who can work safely and effectively. For those working in frontline roles, it could be beneficial to talk about how you are able to deal with potential confrontation or conflicting views from relatives – think about how you would handle a hypothetical situation as well as maintaining your legal responsibilities.” 

5.Can you tell me about your professional values?

Lee: “NHS Employers are now using Value Based Recruitment (VBR) methods. This means that they are looking for prospective employees, whose personal values align with the NHS values described in the NHS constitution. Think about how your behaviours can fit in with your potential employer.”

Luke: “Make sure you have some concrete examples of how you have previously put your core values into practice – for example, if you work well in a team and are easily adaptable to alternative ways of working, this is your chance to sell yourself.”

6.What do you understand by the term ‘diversity at work?’

Luke: “This isn’t just about treating everybody the same. Employers want to know how you ensure that you treat colleagues with support and respect. It is also about having an understanding of how your work can be affected by your own background and personal beliefs.”

7.How do you make sure you are on top of your continuing professional development (CPD)?

Lee: “It is important that you take your CPD seriously; it demonstrates how you have regularly broadened your skill set. Any prospective employer will want to know how they will benefit from your training, and they may ask how you document your learning. I would recommend having a few examples of how a specific activity has helped with your CPD.”

Luke: “I would also use this as an opportunity to show how you can interact with colleagues and learn from others. Sharing best practice is a highly-valued skill, and employers would be impressed by peer-based networking or mentoring.” 

8.Finally, name a national initiative in healthcare that you feel passionate about.

Lee: “By this, we do not mean a discussion about the latest cuts or other political discussions, rather knowledge of any developments that are most relevant to your area of clinical expertise. Employers would be impressed by those aware of the most recent research, so you may wish to focus on any training which could be beneficial for any future changes.”

To help you prepare for interview, you can also download our interview guide from the careers section of our site.

Email a friend

Meet the Head of Healthcare

Michael Leslie Henry, 14 April 2016, 07:42 PM
Very informative and thought-provoking material,
practical in outlook and desirable for prospective employees.

Sanctuary Health, 15 April 2016, 11:54 AM
Hi Michael,

Thank you for your comments - we're glad you found the advice insightful. This blog marks the start of a series of blogs aimed at providing useful careers guidance for our candidates. In the next few weeks our consultants will be taking a look at CV presentation, how to handle tricky questions, and what candidates might wish to ask the employer in an interview.

With regards,
Sanctuary Health
Add new comment