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...BlogsOET Career Round-Up: Three preparation strategies for your next interview 
OET Career Round-Up: Three preparation strategies for your next interview 

 

Healthcare interviews often focus on both technical proficiency and interpersonal skills. Employers look for candidates who can balance patient care with teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability. It's essential to understand that healthcare environments demand a unique blend of soft and hard skills.   

This guide, enriched with insights from Dean Gimblett, Head of CapitalNurse and International Recruitment for the NHS, and Rebecca Bush, OET Education expert, with additional resources from the NHS and academic research, aims to equip you with the necessary skills and confidence for your journey – so you can stand out on interview day and set yourself up for success.   

  

Preparation is key  

Often interviewees will spend a lot of time preparing the role-specific answers, but being able to demonstrate to a panel that you have taken the time to learn more about their mission or values shows a commitment to contributing to the broader purpose and success of the organisation.  

Understand the role you’ll play in the organisation 

Thoroughly read and understand the position description and required experience. You will be asked questions based on the job description, so it pays to make sure you fully comprehend all the requirements and duties as you’ll need to formulate responses and examples to answer effectively.  

Do your research 

Learn about the organisation’s values, patient demographics, and recent achievements. This knowledge not only helps in answering questions but also shows your genuine interest in the organisation. The panel will want to understand why you’re looking for a job specifically at their organisation, so being able to show your interest and knowledge regarding the institution will help you stand out.  

  

Practise, practise, practise 

Time to put that research into play! If you’ve given yourself time to prepare you can dedicate yourself to anticipating questions and scenarios you may be asked – rehearse how you answer and get used to the terminology you’ll need to use and highlight your contributions, so that your potential employers can understand how you’ll fit in to this new workplace.   

Review common questions 

Prepare for questions related to clinical scenarios, ethical dilemmas, teamwork, values, and stress management. Think about other interviews you’ve done and how you may respond to those questions now if you were to sit the interview again. In our next guide we’ll provide some common questions and strategies to answer them.  

Reflect 

Reflect on your own experiences and be ready with specific examples. When you respond to questions you want to demonstrate the role you played and contribution you made to scenarios and workplaces, so think about successes and challenges you’ve faced.  

Role play 

Engage in mock interviews with friends or mentors and seek constructive feedback. This practice can significantly boost your confidence and response quality. You can provide them with a set of questions to ask, but it’s always a great idea to let them ask others that you don’t know – so that you can practice thinking and responding quickly and effectively.  

  

Make a good first impression  

When it comes to interview day set yourself up for success. In the same way that you will have prepared your answers and insights to demonstrate your capacity to succeed in the role, taking a bit of time to think about the setting of the interview or what you may need to bring will give you a boost of confidence and showcase your professionalism.  

Timeliness 

Arrive early, considering potential delays. Do you need to take public transport to the interview? Will there be parking? Ideally give yourself a bit of extra time to reach the destination ahead of time and avoid being late.   

Dress Code 

Dress appropriately, reflecting confidence and professionalism. Research the organisation's dress code if necessary. Lay out the outfit you intend to wear ahead of time and try to give yourself plenty of time to get ready, so you don’t rush and stress.   

Comfort 

It doesn’t matter if it’s the shoes you’ll be wearing or the chair you’ll sit in at home when you dial into the call – comfort is key. You need to focus on the panel and the questions, you don’t need anything that may distract or make you feel restricted or anxious. Wear an outfit that you know fits comfortably, sit yourself in a position that allows you to relax – give yourself the best chance to shine.  

Technical familiarity 

If your interview is online, make sure you are ready and comfortable with the meeting software. Check your mic and camera are working and consider your background. If you have difficulties with wifi connection, consider booking a space outside your home or at your local library so technology won’t sabotage your interview.   

  

You’ve got this! 

Simply being asked to interview in the first place is a great sign! It means that employers feel you have necessary experience and may be a great fit, so do your best to relax and lead with optimism – if you didn’t have potential to get the job you wouldn’t be interviewed.  

With that in mind, preparation really is the key to success on interview day. It’s about letting your knowledge and experiences shine, and helping you stand out as an ideal candidate who will deliver professional excellence and elevate the teams and departments you join.  

 

Stay tuned! Our next blog in this series will focus on acing the interview day.  

Want to explore top healthcare jobs in the US and the UK? Open up a world of healthcare careers with OET Career. Submit your interest now.

SOURCES:

"Managing the Interview." NHS Jobs, www.jobs.nhs.uk/candidate/search/advice/managing-the-interview. Accessed 13 Dec. 2023.

Koshy, Kiron, et al. "How to Succeed at Medical Interviews." International Journal of Surgery. Oncology, vol. 2, no. 6, 2017, e21. NCBI, doi:10.1097/IJ9.0000000000000021. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5673144/

"Capital International Recruitment + OET | Preparing for your interview." Vimeo, uploaded by OET, 2023, vimeo.com/891268396/77335f843f