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How to succeed at your nursing job interview

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Our most recent Nursing Times Careers Live in Leeds revealed a lot of fascinating insights from the speakers about job seeking and presenting yourself well in interviews. Here are our top five nuggets of advice to come from the sessions

1. Ask the best question at interview

When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions at the end of a job interview, don’t shuffle in your seat and try to avoid asking about pay and car parking. There is one good question you can ask that will impress any interviewer, says Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers. “Ask them what concerns they have about you,” he said. “It’s a really good way of bringing out any issues or fears they have, and gives you a chance to answer them before you leave the interview, so they can’t worry about it afterwards.


2. Speak your mind

Dame Elizabeth Anionwu was at the event to sign copies of her book and also talk about some of the struggles she faced as she was forging her career as a black woman in a world dominated by white managers. Her advice to students and nurses who gathered at the event to hear her speak was to always speak up when they saw poor care. “You know when you see something that is not right,” she said. “So make sure you tell someone about it. That is your responsibility.”


3. Consider a career in the private sector

Several of our delegates were impressed by the presentations and stands of independent providers, and considered careers outside of the NHS for the first time on the day. “I learnt a lot,” one delegate told us. “I did not think how this sector can work with the NHS, and how it might benefit my career to step outside of the NHS for a while.”


4. The community is a great place to start a career

“People think that being a GP practice nurse is something you do when you are a female nurse and nearing the end of your career,” said our speaker Helen Radlett, GP practice nurse at York Street Medical Practice in Cambridge. “But in fact, it is a really good place to start your career at the point of qualification. It’s just many students don’t get to do placements in the community. But I love it, I can really help families and really talk to and get to know my patients. I have given babies their vaccinations, and soon I will start giving those babies’ children their vaccination as they are grown up. It’s incredible to be able to spend time with them, and not just have to discharge them and never see them again.”


5. Nurses love a freebie

At each of our Nursing Times Careers Live events, we give away four £100 Love2Shop vouchers, four £50 Ticketmaster vouchers and four £25 Amazon vouchers. If you attend an event and enter our prize draw, you could be eligible to win up to £700 of vouchers. Plus if you register and refer a friend and you both attend, you could win a £10 voucher. And if you take a selfie in our Nursing Times selfie booth on the day, you could win a £50 Love2Shop voucher. Now that’s got to be worth a visit to a Careers Live?


If you want to win big, get free careers advice – and free pens, chocolate and sandwich lunches, then sign up for free at Our next events are on 8 June in London and on 12 October in Birmingham.

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