I have got my first interview !

Hi all,
Just got a letter through and I have my first interview after 22 years !
It is for an NHS trust as an Assistive Technology Installer. Can anyone please give me some hints and tips for the interview ?
I am fine with the mechanics of the job, just unsure, uneasy and inexperienced for the interview.

PS. any advice that says I should turn up as a clown to amuse the panel will be disregarded :)
Do what you would expect anyone you were interviewing to do, turn up early, dress smart rather than casual, speak clearly, ask relevant questions.

Do some background work on the NHS, the hospital you are working in and the particular unit/area. Think of some pertinent questions to ask.

Best advice, don't worry; you will be far better for the job and for them than most of the applicants. Be positive but don't come across as assertive or overbearing.
Disagree with the comment ref suits. An employer wants to see a smart turn out....and unlike dot com companies...this is the NHS...conservative as they come.

They may well ask...some so called trick questions ie. "Why should we employ you?" Good answer would be.....I believe with my experience and work ethic I would be an asset to the your department etc etc. Dont stumble over this one. Be ready for it!

A good way is put yourself in the employers shoes. What would you want to know. Think of the questions and have the answers ready.....and yes I employ a staff of some 25.

Good luck, dont cross your legs, if theyre pros they'll be looking at body language too. Let us know how it goes :lol:
Ha ha, this reminds me of interview practices we did for potential YofS before they set off for blandford.

I told one of the lads a good technique when facing an interview board was to move the chair forward so he would be closer to the group... he did.

QM went apeshite at him and blew his top... really messed with my mates head before he even managed to start. He did pass though.

Well it was funny to me!
Thank you strewth
I had every intention of turning up in a suit, I really can't think of any other way to turn up to an interview.
Dress smart, better to be overly smart than scruffy!
Be calm
Research like hell on the job, shows intuition etc
You will hit with the usual what are yr good & bad points etc.
If you dont know an answer right away, say can I have a moments, that is a difficult question.
And do not go on and on about the army, go on about qualities you will bring from the army, but be careful of army speak.
I cant add any more to the good advice already given, just good luck and stay focused, er in English , what is a "Assistive Technology Installer" please.

Do you have any mates whose jobs involve interviewing people?
If so (and you can keep a straight face), it is worth doing a few practice interviews with them, as like anything in life practice helps.

The people who have got jobs after being interviewed by me were the ones who came over as being intelligent, friendly and capable (even if part of me really, really wanted to hire the blondes with the low cut top and huge bangers).

Here's a few things that have led to people performing badly in a recent interview panel:
1. Not knowing their CV - this really sorts the wheat from the chaff
2. Wearing 'smart' clothes and shoes that would have been ok in a night club, but not in an interview
3. Not knowing anything about the post (read the job description) or organisation (hit the web)
4. Not smiling and having a handshake like a wet lettuce leaf
5. Stinking of fags (the tobacco ones, not the other ones)

There are plenty of websites with lists of possible interview questions: see here.

Many of these sites repeat the same questions. If you can prepare relevant answers to the questions you will be well on the way to being prepared.

You should also think of some questions you want to ask.

Good luck mate.


edited twice for Highland-Park fingers
There are a million things that can help, but you would need quite a few interviews to get them right so concentrate on the basics which have already been mentioned. Smart, punctual, good night's sleep and an active conversation with the interviewers. Don't just answer yes or no and stay within your limits. Some good questions for the end of the interview are:

What would be my objectives in the first 6 months/ 1 year in the post?

If it's a new post ask how they coped with the problem before.

Is there any re-structuring in the pipeline and where would this post fit in the new structure?

Good luck mate, just be yourself.
Dress and look like a winner. Look like someone they would be proud to have on board the organisation. Look on their website and if their top man wears a suit, so do you. Since it's a huge public sector organisation, definitely a smart suit, sober tie, normal socks without Homer Simpson on them, smart polished shoes, no scruffy watches like mine.

Research the organisation and the job, enough that you are confident to ask questions about it. If you show curiosity it shows you are intelligent and interested. Get there early. Think about real achievements in your career so far, ones where you have had tangible results and made a difference, particularly if you can make it sound relevant to the job.

Oh and take a couple of grams of speed, like Spud in Trainspotting! "Just trying tae get in the door like".
Remember an interview is a two way thing, ask lots of questions. If the person who will be your boss or manager is in the interview, ask them question about their style and experience. At the end of the interview if you want the job, ask what the next steps are, when will you know when a decision has been made, and if you don't get the position it is worth asking for feedback. Good luck.
As has been said before a suit is important regardless of how the CEO dresses RHIP and all that.
I have found over the years that mentally sitting back and relaxing helps even if you are physically sitting up straight!
The last few interviews I have had have been split into two parts, the first being the technical interview on the mechanics of the job, and the second being a personnel type interview. The latter tends to concentrate on career aspirations etc.
One of the weirdest questions I've been asked is who I would want to pack my parachute, followed by why?
If you can't think of anything to ask them, and they will ask you if you have any questions, just say that they have already answered them in their previous explanations. It's always worked for me!
This may be too late in your situation, but I worked with a guy in London who would apply for all sorts of jobs and go along to any interviews he was offered just for the experience. He was actually offered quite a few jobs too, including a stock trader whilst having zero experience or financial inclinations. His interview experience obviously paid off there.

Try businessballs.com also, it has worked very well for me in many situations.

Good luck.
As someone who spends a lot of time interviewing, thought I'd add my list of personal do's and don't's:

Look smart: wear a suit, polished shoes, no comedy ties/socks etc
A good handshake
Maintain eye contact with the interviewer(s) - we expect you to be nervous but still able to cope with stressful situations
Know your CV, the job, the organisation and the personalities such as the Chief Exec.
Be prepared to ask and answer questions on all areas including you, your past experience and future plans. Depending on the interviewer, there may be some daft one that they always like to ask... Don't mock it, just give a straightforward answer
Although it's good to practise, be careful that you don't end up sounding like a parrot and reeling the answers off.
Be confident but not cocky, be assertive but not agressive, be humourous but not glib.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!
Thanks for all the help guys :)

PS for the chap who asked, an Assistive Technology Installer, is someone who installs aids for the vulnerable in their homes , such as alarms that are connected via the telephone line.
1. Be careful if you've lied about hobbies on your CV - you can be sure that the interviewer will keep bees as well.

2. Don't have a coffee if offered - you will spill it.

3. Good luck.
First test .......................... initial impression. You won't pass an interview during the first minute but you can certainly fail it.

- If you are a smoker don't have a fag for at least an hour before arriving and your last one should be outside to blow the fumes away. Keep your clothes in a smoke free environment and only retrieve them last minute.
- Walk tall, big smile, bags of confidence.
- Appropriate handshake - personally I feel like vomiting when faced with a weak grip and the punter has lost before he started. However be careful here. Not everyone likes a firm handshake and no-one wants to be in pain during a greeting. You just can't tell. I know slight women with a better grip than me and rugby playing types with limp wrists. Read the handshake as it starts and replicate it.
- Eye contact - right between his/her eyes but don't glare.

The interview: Lots of advice already given, but:

- Don't lie unless you are water-tight.
- Copy body language if appropriate. Helps the interviewer feel at ease and makes a connection. They may do this for you, which gives you a bit of control.
- If you can do more than they are after, then make sure you let them know but don't appear over-qualified. This will help in the salary negotiation.
- Never say “we” when talking about what you have done. The interviewer knows that you will have belonged to teams or groups before and expects an introduction. But he needs to know what you did, so use “I” as much as you can.
- Have answers to the big questions “so why do you want to work here?” and “why should I employ you?”
- Don’t waffle. If you don’t know the answer then say so.
- When faced with the question “what are your biggest 3 weaknesses?” you need to provide a positive response. Focus on things like “work too hard”. Think about this one.
- Questions from you. If you genuinely know nothing about the organisation then ask. It is not always easy to find out unless you know someone on the inside but try. (eg “ I read this ……. am I correct? …… what does it mean? ….. how will that affect the department/job). Near term: “What would you want me to achieve in the first 6 months?” “What qualities/skills do you think would make an exceptional Assistive Technology Installer?” Then tell them how you can provide the goods. It is good to appear interested in the Long term too. Ask about promotion, training, future of the department etc.
- Research the salary range and make sure you know what you are after. Never raise the subject yourself, but some interviewers will throw the question at you. You need to put the ball back in their side of the court until you are ready to reveal your hand. (Good throw backs …… What exactly is it you expect me to do? Is there are salary range that you have in mind for this post?) Never tell them what your acceptable range is - they might not be able to afford you or the next punter may be cheaper. Once salary negotiations start make sure you cover all other benefits; car, pension, health insurance, bonus (not NHS!!!!)
Thanks Bigt116 , now I know. The chap that fixed my stuff up was called Fred.


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