Moonbrains
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Hello!

I have found out today I have been successful in getting a job interview as a HCA within the NHS which will take place next week! I am looking for some advice bearing in mind that this is my first NHS HCA job interview, I don't have any experience working in a hospital or care setting (I am a first aid volunteer and have done a placement in a residential home for individuals with challenging behavior though).

I was wondering if;

There was anyone out their who has had a recent NHS HCA job interview who can give me a heads up on what some of the questions might be?

If anyone who has worked or is currently working as a HCA knows what some of the interview questions might be?

Part of the interview is a patient role play, has anyone had this before in an interview? What happened and do you have any tips on how to wow them during the scenario?

And generally if anyone has any advice for me going into this interview, what to wear, important things to talk about etc it would be very welcome!


Also... I am currently studying a BTEC level 3 in health and social care. If I were to be successful in this job interview I would most likely have to drop out of my second year coming up in september. I am not sure how wise a move this is though... on one hand I know what I want to do, I want to work in a HCA role and possibly work my way up to assistant practitioner level or a more involved position working as a HCA in a GP's clinic. I would benefit greatly from this job and the training I would get more then getting the the full BTEC qualification, but on the other hand it really is good, and looks good to finish something you have started! Also if I ever wanted to go to UNI in the future and do nursing or ODP then this qual gives me the UCAS points. Or could I still go to uni and do nursing or ODP with half a BTEC and healthcare experience (plus NVQ's)?

Sorry for so many questions! Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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Moonbrains
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Ok! Well I managed to get another HCA interview before my NHS one which takes place on thursday! This wasn't an NHS job thought it was for a HCA position in a private dialysis clinic.

Thought I would post some of the interview questions incase anyone is interested! I will find out next week if I have been successful

Tell us a bit about yourself?

What skills do you have to offer?

How would you deal with a difficult patient?

What do you know about the company?

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What do you know about dialysis?

How would you use good communication to benefit the team? (or something along those lines which totally stumped me!)

In your previous employment/work experience have you ever had any problems with other members of staff/mentors and what did you do about it? (struggled with this a little too!)



Those are all the questions I can remember so far! If I get the job i'll let you know how I answered them haha
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cpinner
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Hi moonbrains!

Wish I had seen your post earlier! I am a CSW (HCA) for the NHS. I do bank work only as I start Uni as a mature student in Adult Nursing in September.

I was very similar to you as I thought I could rise up the ladder a bit by becoming an AP but my hospital couldn't offer the mentoring. I also studied Health and Social Care (CertHE) with Open University before that. Personally I would continue your education while you can. Being an HCA will be an essential experience for future careers in NHS but you can't go any further without your ucas points.

It may be worth talking to your future employers to see if they could provide a secondment if you decide nursing is the way for you (earn while you learn!!).

I hope to work as a PN :-)

Good luck for your interviews if this is what you decide!

Cass
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Moonbrains
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Hi Cass!

Thank you for your reply and advice and congrats on your nursing degree place

I had my interview today and it went really well! I find out tomorrow if I have been successful! I had a chat with the interviewers about training! They did ask me if I planned on studying nursing, which I said I wasn't sure and wouldn't rule it out in the future.

They said there are opportunities to study a foundation degree whilst you work, but there are only a limited amount of places so you have to stand out and impress your manager in order to get on or get recommended for further training! They mentioned that there are opportunities to train in phlebotomy, taking ECG's (as well as the foundation degree) which can get you up ladder and into the role of a AP! So it sounded very promising!

See I am "interested" in doing a nursing or ODP qual in the future, but I really want some experience in a health care role to determine what I do in the future. The thing with the course I am doing is, I haven't really enjoyed it and I am not looking forward to doing another year. Not because of the content, but because of the way the course is taught, I don't feel as though I am getting much out of it. The lessons feel pointless, we hardly get taught a thing and most are just "computer room" sessions, so it is virtually a self-taught qualification. I might as well study an A level at a time long distance whilst I work (looking into this through oxfordcollege.ac) to get UCAS points!

Earning whilst I learn as you said I think is the best path for me! Trudging through a course I am not enjoying or getting anything out of whilst earning zilch and getting no experience isn't a very appealing prospect to me! I will talk to my college and ask if I can come to an arrangement with them whereby I study part time instead of full time so as to fit it around my work but my tutor hasn't been very supportive and has been a bit of a horror to be quite honest so I don't think that will work out.

Oh! By the way when you say PN do you mean Pediatric Nurse (pardon my ignorance of abbreviations just trying to get to grips with them )

Best of luck to you!

(Original post by cpinner)
Hi moonbrains!

Wish I had seen your post earlier! I am a CSW (HCA) for the NHS. I do bank work only as I start Uni as a mature student in Adult Nursing in September.

I was very similar to you as I thought I could rise up the ladder a bit by becoming an AP but my hospital couldn't offer the mentoring. I also studied Health and Social Care (CertHE) with Open University before that. Personally I would continue your education while you can. Being an HCA will be an essential experience for future careers in NHS but you can't go any further without your ucas points.

It may be worth talking to your future employers to see if they could provide a secondment if you decide nursing is the way for you (earn while you learn!!).

I hope to work as a PN :-)

Good luck for your interviews if this is what you decide!

Cass
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Moonbrains
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For anyone interested in the interview questions I got asked for the NHS HCA position


Tell us about yourself

How would your boss describe you?

What things do you least like about work?

Relative rings asking for test results, what do you do?

What do you think this job involves?

Talk about a time where you have had to deal with a difficult customer/patient and what do you do?

A patient is very angry, what do you do?

A patient keeps ringing the buzzer in the middle of the night, what do you do?

Why might a patient be struggling to eat their food and what would you do to help them?

How do you feel about confidentiality?

How do you feel about equality?

How would you make a difference in a team?

What skills do you have?



These are the ones a vaguely remember even though it has only just happened haha! :rolleyes:
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AnnaGlypta
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Good luck! Let us know how you get on!
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cpinner
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(Original post by Moonbrains)
Hi Cass!

Thank you for your reply and advice and congrats on your nursing degree place

I had my interview today and it went really well! I find out tomorrow if I have been successful! I had a chat with the interviewers about training! They did ask me if I planned on studying nursing, which I said I wasn't sure and wouldn't rule it out in the future.

They said there are opportunities to study a foundation degree whilst you work, but there are only a limited amount of places so you have to stand out and impress your manager in order to get on or get recommended for further training! They mentioned that there are opportunities to train in phlebotomy, taking ECG's (as well as the foundation degree) which can get you up ladder and into the role of a AP! So it sounded very promising!

See I am "interested" in doing a nursing or ODP qual in the future, but I really want some experience in a health care role to determine what I do in the future. The thing with the course I am doing is, I haven't really enjoyed it and I am not looking forward to doing another year. Not because of the content, but because of the way the course is taught, I don't feel as though I am getting much out of it. The lessons feel pointless, we hardly get taught a thing and most are just "computer room" sessions, so it is virtually a self-taught qualification. I might as well study an A level at a time long distance whilst I work (looking into this through oxfordcollege.ac) to get UCAS points!

Earning whilst I learn as you said I think is the best path for me! Trudging through a course I am not enjoying or getting anything out of whilst earning zilch and getting no experience isn't a very appealing prospect to me! I will talk to my college and ask if I can come to an arrangement with them whereby I study part time instead of full time so as to fit it around my work but my tutor hasn't been very supportive and has been a bit of a horror to be quite honest so I don't think that will work out.

Oh! By the way when you say PN do you mean Pediatric Nurse (pardon my ignorance of abbreviations just trying to get to grips with them )

Best of luck to you!
Hiya

Fingers crossed for the job!! And to get a training opportunity is brilliant :-) If you feel your course is getting you nowhere there is no point. My experience of long distance courses (2 open university) is brilliant... loved them both, and good tutors... :-)

Good luck on the job. If it doesn't turn out successful, I believe in fate... ;-)

Fingers crossed x
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cpinner
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(Original post by cpinner)
Hiya

Fingers crossed for the job!! And to get a training opportunity is brilliant :-) If you feel your course is getting you nowhere there is no point. My experience of long distance courses (2 open university) is brilliant... loved them both, and good tutors... :-)

Good luck on the job. If it doesn't turn out successful, I believe in fate... ;-)

Fingers crossed x
...and PN is Practice Nurse (at a gp surgery) x
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Figroll97
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Heyy i am interested in nursing and would like to know what A levels everyone did? Would it be fine if i do biology sociology and BTEC health and social care?? Please i need help for people that went through this
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cpinner
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I needed 240 UCAS points and level 2 maths and English. I have A Level Sociology (E!!), A Level English Literature (D!!), AS Level English, and a CertHE Health and Social care (Distinction), GCSE English (B) and Functional Skills Maths Level 2 (got a D in GCSE Maths... twice!!).

There is a conversion chart, poss on UCAS website, to find points on certain courses. Don't think vocational courses count... but may be wrong!

Good luck!!
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AnnaGlypta
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Cpinner,

I have Functional Skills Maths Level 2 as well. I thought they didn't accept this as an equivalent for nursing courses so I'm due to start my GCSE Maths evening classes in September. What uni are you going to and did you have to sit a maths test at the interview?

Thanks,

Shib x
(Original post by cpinner)
I needed 240 UCAS points and level 2 maths and English. I have A Level Sociology (E!!), A Level English Literature (D!!), AS Level English, and a CertHE Health and Social care (Distinction), GCSE English (B) and Functional Skills Maths Level 2 (got a D in GCSE Maths... twice!!).

There is a conversion chart, poss on UCAS website, to find points on certain courses. Don't think vocational courses count... but may be wrong!

Good luck!!
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cpinner
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(Original post by siobhancait)
Cpinner,

I have Functional Skills Maths Level 2 as well. I thought they didn't accept this as an equivalent for nursing courses so I'm due to start my GCSE Maths evening classes in September. What uni are you going to and did you have to sit a maths test at the interview?

Thanks,

Shib x
Hiya
I'm off to Uni of Bedfordshire and yes, I had to take a maths test! They all do :-/ It was mainly percentages decimals weights and measures. Functional skills level 2 maths was their suggestion after I got a D in maths last year. Quite a simple exam ;-) You may find it at your nearest college and may even be able to apply for any march intakes if you get your skates on!!! :-)

Good luck xxx
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AnnaGlypta
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When I went to do the test to get onto my GCSE course I didn't do so well they tried to suggest I do functional skills, I was like I've got it :P haha. I want to try and get my C and will see where I go from there!

How was the uni maths test? x
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nadzworldz
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Hi I would definitely stick to studying your qualifications as they are really important as well as work experience. I have completed my btec Applied Science level 3 qualification and unfortunately I'm holding no offer. looks like I will have to take a gap year. I was thinking about working as a health care assistant and reapplying, when you applied didn't they require people who have experience?
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AnnaGlypta
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(Original post by nadzworldz)
Hi I would definitely stick to studying your qualifications as they are really important as well as work experience. I have completed my btec Applied Science level 3 qualification and unfortunately I'm holding no offer. looks like I will have to take a gap year. I was thinking about working as a health care assistant and reapplying, when you applied didn't they require people who have experience?
I think getting experience as a HCA will be an advantage for you when you reapply. What grade did you get and what uni's did you apply too?
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nadzworldz
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I had achieved a D*D and an E for my AS in health and social care and B for my ICT AS, I have applied to Bradford, huddersfiled, Leeds met. I looked at job vacancies for a healthcare assistant it said in the specification that they want highly experienced health care assistant. Did it say that when you were searching and applying for the job? Also do you think I should still apply, I mean how else am I supposed to become one?:confused:BTW I had applied to both nursing and ODP if that will help you in anyway you can ask me questions

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AnnaGlypta
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(Original post by nadzworldz)
I had achieved a D*D and an E for my AS in health and social care and B for my ICT AS, I have applied to Bradford, huddersfiled, Leeds met. I looked at job vacancies for a healthcare assistant it said in the specification that they want highly experienced health care assistant. Did it say that when you were searching and applying for the job? Also do you think I should still apply, I mean how else am I supposed to become one?:confused:BTW I had applied to both nursing and ODP if that will help you in anyway you can ask me questions

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Joining the bank pool could be something for you to consider. Usually you don't have to be qualified and you get training before you start.
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Moonbrains
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(Original post by siobhancait)
Good luck! Let us know how you get on!
Hey! Thank you so much and I am so happy I got offered both jobs yay! Its both extremely pleasing but also been a little challenging choosing which job to take!

After thinking about it, I decided to take the private HCA job working in a hospital dialysis clinic rather then the NHS HCA hospital OAP wards. My reasons being; How highly impressed I was with the dialysis clinic and the members of staff were so warm and welcoming during my interview, I can fit this job around my studies if I go part time on my course meaning I will get a diploma rather then the extended diploma (which is equivalent to 2 A levels rather then 3), training opportunities available in this job, its much closer to where I live, I won't have to work weekends or nights and because the NHS have yearly annual intakes of HCA's... meaning I could apply for the same job again in the future, where as this other post is more of a unique opportunity.

Anyways if anyone has any questions feel free to ask!
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AnnaGlypta
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Congratulations!
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Moonbrains
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(Original post by nadzworldz)
I had achieved a D*D and an E for my AS in health and social care and B for my ICT AS, I have applied to Bradford, huddersfiled, Leeds met. I looked at job vacancies for a healthcare assistant it said in the specification that they want highly experienced health care assistant. Did it say that when you were searching and applying for the job? Also do you think I should still apply, I mean how else am I supposed to become one?:confused:BTW I had applied to both nursing and ODP if that will help you in anyway you can ask me questions

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The jobs I applied for didn't require any care experience, this would only be advantageous so I think I was lucky I found two jobs like this because you are right, a lot of HCA jobs want people with at least 6 months or 12 months experience and sometimes they particularly was hospital experience, not just residential or other. I do however volunteer for the red cross as an event first aider. This is worth looking into because I really used my red cross experience to help me in my interviews more then anything and I think I have this experience to thank for my success.

I would also say as the other poster did, look into bank work if you are thinking of going into nursing. When I had my NHS interview the first thing they asked me was if I wanted to study nursing and that if I did I should apply for a bank position. Im guessing this is because on none-bank positions they want people who are going to stick around longer then a gap year! Worth bearing in mind.
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