How to prepare for an interview in health and social care

Preparing and succeeding in health and social care interview

If you have finished your health care training, chances are you are looking for your first entry-level position. Looking for employment within the health and social care industry. It is not as difficult as you might be expecting.

This post would give you insight on interviews in health and social care.

Our useful tips will give you guidance on searching for opportunities in health and social care. They will also help you prepare for an interview.

The job search

Before undertaking a search for a position within the healthcare industry, you need to possess relevant qualifications and practical skills. Additionally, you should have an eagerness to continue learning and provide excellent care.

Having the relevant qualifications and practical skills is not enough for graduates to land a position in the healthcare industry. They should also remember that their attitude can make a difference in setting them apart from other candidates. Being polite and charismatic can show that you are an excellent care provider.

Preparing for the interview

After finding a position you wish to apply for, you will likely have to fill out an application form. This form, along with an updated CV, should be submitted either through email or post.

Having a professional email address is crucial when applying for a job via email. It is because it is often the first thing a future employer will see.

The company will take a look at all applications. If your skills match the job, you stand a high chance of being called for an interview.

Phone conversations

In many cases in health and social care interviews, you will speak to the interviewer on the phone before being invited into an interview.

To prepare for this ensure you have a professional voicemail on your phone, should you not be available. But, if you are expecting a call always try to ensure your phone is nearby and well charged.

When you answer the phone, find a quiet place and answer with a smile. Smiling on the phone can make you appear friendly, happy and a bubbly person. So, make sure to smile during phone conversations.

The interviewer will feel the warmth in your voice and it will help the conversation flow.

What to wear

If you are lucky, you will be invited in for an interview. One of the first things to consider when preparing for the day is your attire. You should think about how you will present yourself.

Try to present yourself as you would for a typical day at work. Tie back long hair and keep nails clean and short.

If you regularly wear jewellery try and keep this to a minimum, small stud earrings and a plain wedding band are acceptable. Employers are not hiring you for your fashion sense, so wear smart, professional clothes in colors such as dark blue, gray, or black.

Your shoes should also be professional in style, with a small heel and closed toe. During your interview you may be asked to enter a ward wearing scrubs, so bringing a clean pair of appropriate shoes with you will show you are prepared.

Try to display that you are a clean and professional worker, so avoid smoking before the interview as the smell could cling and ensure you remove any chewing gum before entering the building.

Preparing for the interview

Take some time to prepare answers to the questions you will probably be asked to ensure that your interview runs smoothly. If you look through the job description, there is a high chance the company will have listed the qualities an ideal employee would possess.

By making a list of likely questions and preparing answers that show you have these qualities will give you a boost. Write these things down and read them just before entering the building, it will reduce your nerves and improve your confidence levels.

You should bring multiple copies of your CV with you to the interview too. Printing five copies is a good number, as you should have enough for each person interviewing you and one for yourself, in case multiple people interview you.

During the interview

Presenting yourself as a polite, professional and knowledgeable care provider is key at interviews for health and social care jobs.

Always arrive around 10-15 minutes before your interview time and introduce yourself to the receptionist. Be friendly and mannerly – people in buildings talk and the interviewer may discuss potential employees with anyone you meet in the building.

Once your interviewer calls for you, shake their hand firmly and be confident in your greeting. You should thank them for taking the time to interview you during their busy schedule.

Wait until you are invited to take a seat before sitting down once you reach the office. Once you sit down, sit up straight and avoid slouching as this will make you seem lazy.

Try to stay focused and maintain eye contact, it will show that you are serious about the position and respect their authority. At the end of the interview you should thank them again and shake hands.

It can be beneficial to send a follow up email thanking them for the opportunity, and you could also ask when you should expect to hear back from them.

Waiting to hear back

Any role within health and social care can take a long time to process because of the wide number of background checks required. You should allow 2 weeks from the day of the interview before sending a polite email or calling the reception.

The interviewer should not hesitate to ask any questions they may have about start dates, attire, pay and hours, for example, if the position is offered. If you are unsuccessful you should always ask for feedback.

Although this time may not have gone so well, you can learn from the experience. They will be able to let you know why, so you can prepare better for the next opportunity.

Try not to let the knock back get you down, remember every interview is bringing you one step closer to your dream health and social care position.

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