Preparing for an interview

As an organisation we recognise the contribution of our people and the significant difference that all their roles make to our patients.

We are also clear that we need to improve the employment experience that our staff have. Our commitment to our people is making our organisation even better. One of the ways we’ve looked to improve employee experience, staff involvement and engagement was through the introduction of our Trust Values. Our Values were shaped by our staff and patients, to ensure we got them right. After all, values represent the way we want to be.

We are delighted that so many of our staff took the time to help us shape our Values and to support us to begin our journey to becoming a Values-driven organisation. What’s also lovely to see is the way that, in what is a relatively short time since they were launched, our staff have shown they have really embraced them. If you were to stop a number of staff to ask them what our Values are, we are confident most would know.

Our Values are not just words on a page, they represent what we are about here at SaTH. They represent the behaviours and attitudes that we expect each of us as staff to display when we’re at work AND representing our organisation. They are recognised monthly and annually in our Values in Practise Awards which are given to staff who have displayed the Values.

The Values are also the foundations for how we are delivering change in our hospitals through programmes such as Our Leadership Academy, The People’s Academy, and the Transforming Care Institute.

As you will have heard colleagues say, you can’t experience values; what you actually experience is behaviour and attitudes. That’s where this guide comes in, and we are delighted to share it with you. The guide highlights the behaviours and attitudes we expect each of us as staff to show. We hope you find it useful. 

  • Partnering - working effectively together with patients, families, colleagues, the local health and care system, universities and other stakeholders and through our improvement alliance.
  • Ambitious - setting and achieving high standards for ourselves personally and for the care we deliver, both today and in the future. Embracing innovation to continuously improve the quality and sustainability of our services.
  • Caring - showing compassion, respect and empathy for our patients, families and each other, caring about the difference we make for our community.
  • Trusted - open, transparent and reliable, continuously learning, doing our best to consistently deliver excellent care for our communities.

This guide also contains information about our values based interview process, which will give you the tools to fully prepare for your interview.

However much preparation you do beforehand, going into an interview is usually slightly nerve-wracking. Do not make the mistake of thinking that, after entering the room, the situation is out of your hands. There are still a number of techniques you can use to make sure the panel sees you in the best possible light. Preparing for an interview

 If you would like to practise and perfect your interview technique, there are a set of videos from leading industry professionals. IT will provide you with valuable and practical advice to prepare you for the toughest questions and interview scenarios you may face

View videos

Interview Preparation

It might appear obvious but it is important that you prepare for the day.

  • Make sure you are familiar with the job description and person specification.
  • Remind yourself of what you wrote in your application on how you met those requirements.
  • Learn about the organisation itself – what makes it different from others and whether those differences will have an impact on your work.
  • Think about what type of questions will be asked about yourself and write down some thought on how you might answer them.
  • Prepare some questions to ask the panel. Be careful not to ask for information that has already been provided or discussed during the interview.
  • Study our Trust Values as you may have a ‘Values-based’ Interview.

We undertake 'Values-based Interviews' - what are these?

The Trust now recruits all members of staff via a Values, behaviours and attitudes interview (also referred to as Values-based interview or VBI). The purpose of a values, behaviours and attitudes interview is to measure whether your attitudes and behaviours align to the Trust’s. We only want great people.

The interview will be split between a skills-based interview and a values based interview – this could either be a combined panel, or a separate values-based and main panel. All questions within the values-based interview have been developed around our four Values.

The questions will ask for real life experiences, so we advise that you have a think about how you have demonstrated our Values in the past. For example, where you’re been proud of the care or work you’ve delivered or maybe where you haven’t been as proud and the circumstances which surrounded your experience. 

First Impressions

There are a couple of simple steps to take to create a good first impression:

  • Arrive in plenty of time and allow for contingencies. Remember some organisations can be quite diifficult to navigate round. Have a 'Plan B' for how you will get to the interview. If you do get delayed, make sure you notify the appropriate person within the organisation as soon as possible.
  • Dress appropriately making sure that you send out the right signals about your confidence, self- discipline and judgement. It might be useful to check the dress code of the organisation by looking at pictures of staff on the organisation's website or asking around.

During the Interview

  • Make eye contact with all members of the interview panel. Do not just focus on the person who has asked the question you are answering. It is important to engage with all.
  • Smile! It suggests confidence. • Be clear and concise in your responses.
  • Structure your answers with 3 or 4 main points of examples from your own experience.
  • Do not assume that the panel know the detail of what is in your application form or CV. 
  • Sell yourself - give real examples of 'how' you have achieved a positive outcome, specify what these were and the benefits. Be clear about what your personal contribution was. 
  • Remember to use 'I' rather than 'we'.
  • Make sure you understand the organisation's mission and can talk about why it is important to you.
  • Be aware of your body language. You want to convey that you're enthusiastic, positive and energetic.
  • Remember to ask questions as it helps demonstrate that you are keen and want the job.
  • Be positive at all times.

Good luck with your Interview!