December 1, 2020 | Internal

Interview advice

The interview is the most tried and tested method in the recruitment process – and the results can vary greatly. We’d like to share with you our years of experience in recruiting for positions across primary care, to offer some interview advice and hints and tips on how to give yourself the best chance of landing a job that’s perfect for you.

Many employers have a two-stage approach to interviews; an initial (informal) meeting, followed by a more in-depth interview. After this stage, the hiring decision is usually made.

Interview advice for the initial meeting:

The first meeting is designed primarily to give you the chance to find out more about the opportunity. But it’s also your chance to impress. As you never get a second chance to make a first impression, you should go into the meeting with a positive mind set – that you’re discussing a job you will want, with a practice you will want to work for. If you decide later that the position is not quite right, you can always change your mind – but if the practice picks up on reluctance, you are unlikely to progress further even if you are satisfied that the job is great for you.

Similarly, standard interview behaviour applies. Be punctual, smartly dressed, switch your phone off and don’t badmouth former colleagues or employers.

During this meeting, you will want to build on the information we’ve already given you. Preparing some questions about the role and practice is likely to impress the person you are meeting and enhance their perception of you.

Some questions you might like to ask (obviously tailored to your own situation).

  • What exactly is involved in the role?
  • Would there be an opportunity to have involvement in other responsible areas of the practice? (NB You may be asked what you mean and this will lead you nicely into a discussion about the kinds of things you’re particularly interested in doing)
  • What are the key attributes of the person you are looking to do this particular role?
  • Are there any opportunities to progress with the practice?
  • Would there be any opportunity to do extra sessions / clinics?
  • Is there any scope for gaining additional diplomas or furthering my special interest?
  • Do you have any plans for future growth and development within the practice?
  • How do you differentiate yourselves from other local practices?

Note that whilst the right questions are great, avoid asking about salary and benefits, or other “what’s in it for me” questions. If you would like to pursue this opportunity, you can ask about these at a second meeting.


Final meeting interview advice

If both parties are satisfied, the next stage is the final interview. In many cases this will involve a few practice representatives, some of whom will be new to you. The questions you will be asked will be much more challenging, as they are designed to thoroughly assess your abilities and motivation for the role.

Hints & Tips:


Even though you may know a reasonable amount about the role and company, you should still try and gather as much information as possible. If you were interviewing you, what might you perceive as a weakness? And what would be seen as a strength? Having this clear in your mind will not only help you to highlight your “selling points”, but will also give you time to practice your response to potentially awkward questions about those weaker areas.

When preparing these answers, make sure you quote real examples of when you’ve used certain skills. You should also not be afraid to sell yourself – as no-one else is going to!


Make sure you are punctual and smartly dressed – this will help you to relax for when the meeting commences. Also turn your phone off, so there’s no risk of distraction or interruption.

It’s natural to be nervous, but your research will have prepared you well. Remember that your body language throughout can be as significant as some of your answers – so don’t hide behind crossed arms and minimal eye contact.

Then once the questions begin, it’s crucial that you show yourself in each of your answers. For example, it’s far better to say “I organised” or “I coordinated” when talking about a relevant experience as this shows what you are capable of. Avoid using “we” wherever possible as this will not highlight your achievements. In the same vein, it’s important to point out your experience and training where appropriate, rather than assuming your application has spoken for you.

In addition, you are sure to be asked about teamwork and other transferrable skills. Remember to refer to specific examples, again making sure you answer as “I”; don’t undersell yourself in any team achievement anecdotes!

Projecting a positive and friendly attitude is vital, as is showing your enthusiasm for the role itself. Show that you are fully aware of what the position involves and that you’re eager to take it on. Don’t be afraid to refer to your previous research to strengthen your response.

Finally, your preparations are bound to have raised a few questions that aren’t addressed in the interview. Make sure you ask them at the end – not only will this confirm your interest, it is sure to leave a positive lasting impression.

Following these tips will give you the best possible chance of interview success.

If you have any further questions about your impending interview please do not hesitate to get in touch with your consultant or ring us on 01423813450 or email us at

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December 1, 2020 | Internal