Guidance for your STP interview

It is natural to be nervous before and during the interview ‐ try not to let those nerves get to you by ensuring you prepare well.

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STP 2022 interviews will be delivered online by the employing trust. All interviews are designed to be fair, equitable and transparent and all processes will be applied consistently.

In accordance with the Equality and Diversity Act 2010, if you need any reasonable adjustments that relate specifically to an online interview, please email us at hcsapplicants@hee.nhs.uk immediately. Full guidance is available in the Disability Confidence policy.

If you are a non-UK/EU/EAA applicant, please email us at hcsapplicants@hee.nhs.uk as soon as you are notified of your allocation, with scanned copies of your:

  • Visa/Home Office documents
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination certificate or alternative evidence of English language proficiency

If you are relying on non-UK qualifications, you must also email us a scanned copy of your UK ENIC statement of comparability.

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How will the interview be arranged?

Once you have accepted the offer of an interview (the matched location) on Oriel, your contact details will be sent to the employer. The employer will contact you directly to arrange a date and time for the interview. This will either be via email, so please check your junk/trash folder, or by telephone which may come through as a withheld number.

You will be given at least two days notice wherever possible and we encourage employers to interview early. However, if you have an important event, such as an exam, you may ask the employer for an alternative date.

Your interview will be held using an online platform such as Microsoft Teams. The interview invitation will be sent from either the Trust holding the interview or from ‘MSC Recruitment’ and not through the Oriel application system. Make sure you check your junk/trash email folders in case the invitation is forwarded into one of these folders. If you do not receive the invitation by 4:00pm the day before your interview, please contact the Trust holding the interview.

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How will the interview be conducted?

The interview panel will consist of two panel members from the employer and possibly an observer.

The panel members will be qualified and experienced staff working in the department where you will be based, at least one member will be a scientist. Observers will be members of School staff or Lay representatives, auditing the interview to ensure standards are met and guidance is followed. The observer will not ask any questions and you do not need to refer to this person in your interview. All interview panels will have received training in the interview process and will have been briefed on the importance of consistent scoring. We have quality assurance mechanisms in place to ensure your interview is consistent with all other applicants’ interviews for your chosen specialty.

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Preparations for your interview

Here are some tips and things to consider before your interview:

  • 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 the requirements; remember that the interview panel will not have seen your application
  • think about what type of questions you may be asked and how you might answer them
  • you may wish to hold a mock interview with a friend or family member
  • prepare some questions to ask the panel if time allows – however, be careful not to ask for information that has already been provided or discussed during the interview
  • make sure you have a quiet space free from interruptions, for example children, pets and doorbells
  • be of a professional appearance, generally this means smart office-style clothing
  • have a glass of water available during your interview – if you need a bit of time to think while answering a question, take a sip of water which will also help to relax your nerves.
  • if you need a bit of time to think of the best answer, please do so
  • be aware of your body language
  • try to be as professional, motivated, interested and confident as possible
  • be open and honest, if you do not know the answer then let the panel know. The panel are experienced interviewers who will know if you do not know the answer
  • don’t worry if the panel are silent while they write notes
  • be enthusiastic but don’t constantly interrupt the panel

 

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Technology requirements for your interview

You will need access to a computer, tablet or smartphone with the camera and microphone enabled, together with a stable internet connection. We recommend if not familiar with the online platform being used e.g. Microsoft Teams that you do a trial with a friend, colleague or family member to ensure you know what to do on the day.

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Joining the interview

Please join the interview promptly – we recommend at least ten minutes before the interview time. Please introduce yourself to the panel members. Do not use the chat function during the interview unless you are prompted to do so, for example in the event of technical issues.

If there are any technical issues you may need to leave the meeting and re-join to solve any problems. If this happens, please do not panic. The employer and the School are aware that technical difficulties can occur and we will work with you to resolve the issue.

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At the start of the interview

At the start of the interview the panel members will ask you to confirm your identity. You will need to show, by holding up to the camera, your photographic ID such as a passport, driving licence, BRP, NHS ID card or university ID card. If you do not have any photographic ID you may show your birth certificate. Make sure you have these ready at the start of the interview.

You will be asked to confirm that you are alone in the room, and you will respond to the questions without referring to technology (e.g Google). The interviewers will ask you to sweep your camera around the room, to ensure you are alone for your interview. If you do have any assistance, then the interview will be stopped, and your application rejected. You are not permitted to refer to any notes or to make any notes during the interview. You are also not permitted to record the interview.

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During the interview

The interview can last up to 50 minutes. The panel will ask you 7 set questions taken from a bank of approved questions. The questions were set by members of the healthcare science profession and quality assured by the School. They align with the person specification for the programme. The interview questions will consist of questions about specialist science and leadership, values and behaviours.

You will need to answer each question within approximately a maximum of 4 minutes. Keep your answers clear, concise and focused. A panel member may ask you follow up or confirmation questions. If you go over time, a panel member may interrupt you so that they can move onto the next question. The panel may also conclude the interview early if they feel they have obtained enough information to assess you. Please do not refer to your application form when answering questions or assume the panel know the details on your application form. The interview is your chance to demonstrate the breadth of your knowledge and experience, and not to simply reiterate the information on your application form.

Once the panel have asked all 7 questions, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. If you do not have any questions than it is acceptable not to ask any. The panel will then explain the next steps. You will not have a decision given to you there and then and you will be asked to leave the meeting.

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After the interview

After you have left the interview the scores from each element are added up. For any of the questions, if an interviewer gives you a score of 1 or 2, for either the content of your answer or your communication skills, this will be reviewed. This may result in you being deemed to have failed the interview regardless of your total score. If two interviewers give you a score of 1 for any element, either content or communication skills, you will automatically fail the interview.

We will inform you of the outcome of your interview, via email, as soon as possible after the interview. All scores will be quality checked and reviewed before sending you the results. There is no need for you to contact the School or employers during this time.

If you pass the interview, this will be confirmed by email from the School’s recruitment team and copied to the employer contact. You will be given a short time to confirm your acceptance. If you accept the post, the employer will proceed with pre-employment checks. All further correspondence will then be between you and the employing organisation.

If you decline the post you will not be offered an interview for any other post. You will take no further part in the process for this year.

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Further queries

Good luck with your interview. If you have any further queries please email hcsapplicants@hee.nhs.uk.

Last updated on 15th June 2022