Ask Yourself These 5 Questions Before You Speak in Your NHS Consultant Interview

Hello Reader,

We need to talk about diarrhoea.

The verbal type, not the medical type.

It's a common problem in interviews.

I know because it was my problem too.

The interviewer finished asking the question and without even taking a breath, I used to launch into answering.

Silence is AWKWARD, right?

I know I'm not the only one who has this problem.

I've seen other versions.

The classic:

"That's a really good question, thank you very much"

Or worse:


Over the years I've had to force myself to embrace the dreaded....


Use the silence wisely. Instead of being awkward it'll be your golden nuggest to deliver a 10x better answer.

And when you're in that silence...

...that gap between when their question finishes, and when you start to talk...

...ask yourself these 5 questions:

Question 1: Why Are They Asking Me This Question?

Every question in your consultant interview is chosen for a reason. The panelists are trying to find out something about you, something about the team dynamics, the organisation, or likely the politics of the department.

Think of it as solving a mystery. Each question addresses a concern or goal. For example, asking about a tough project might test your problem-solving or pressure-handling skills.

Why It Matters:

Understanding the underlying purpose of each question is key to acing your NHS consultant interview. When you understand the underlying purpose of each question, you can tailor your answers to address the interviewers' concerns.

Next Steps:

Take 20 minutes to review common interview questions for NHS consultants interview. Jot down what you think each question is trying to uncover.

Ask yourself: What fear, anxiety, or challenge is driving this question? What do the interviewers hope to learn from my answer?

Question 2: What Do They Want to Hear From Me?

Imagine you are on the interview panel. What would you want to hear from a candidate when you ask that question?

Put yourself in the shoes of the interview panel.

Why It Matters:

By thinking from the panel’s perspective, you can provide an answer that is more targeted and relevant.

You want to hear a candidate's thoughts on how their skills align with the job requirements.

You want to know if they've done their homework on the department.

You want to be convinced that they're genuinely interested in the job.

Next Steps:

Go through those questions again, and write down a few points that you think would impress you if you were on the panel.

This will help you tailor your answers to be targeted and relevant. Ultimately this will score you more points in the interview.

Question 3: How Can I Showcase My Skills?

Your Unique Selling Points (USPs) are what set you apart from other candidates. Highlighting these effectively is crucial. Be as specific as you can.

Why It Matters:

Giving a generic answer doesn't make the panel want to give you a job. Imagine walking into a job interview and answering to every question with a generic, "I'm a hard worker" or "I'm a team player."

Clearly articulating your USPs ensures that your key strengths and achievements are front and centre. This makes it easier for interviewers to see your value.

Next Steps:

Go through those questions again. Think about how you can weave one of your USPs into each answer to showcase your strengths.

Question 4: How Can I Offer What the Team Needs?

Use your understanding of what the team needs to answer each question. Think about the info you've gathered through research, pre-interview meetings, and conversations with current team members.

Why It Matters:

If you can tailor your answer to show you understand the team, you're onto a winner. This is your chance to prove you've done your homework.

Next Steps:

Research the team or department you’re interviewing for. Google them, talk to someone who works there, trawl their Intranet (yeah it's deadly, but you've got to do it).

Think about three specific needs or challenges they face. Now work out how you can address these in your interview answers.

Question 5: Do I Know How I’m Going to Structure My Answer?

A well-structured answer is more enjoyable to follow. It'll keep the panel's attention and more importantly makes it easier for you to score points.

The simplest and most effective structure is my 3-Point Structure. This structure helps you convey your message clearly and concisely, ensuring that you stay on track and avoid rambling.

With a clear structure, you can relax and focus on delivering your answer confidently.

Why It Matters:

Structured answers help convey your message clearly and succinctly. You won't lose the panel, and you won't feel like you are rambling.

Without a structure, your answer will lack direction, making it difficult for the panel to understand your message and score you points.

Next Steps:

To put the 3-Point Structure into practice, pick a random interview question and start your stopwatch. Challenge yourself to come up with three clear points that answer the question

By asking yourself these questions and taking the suggested actions, you’ll be better prepared to deliver strong, focused answers during your NHS consultant interview.

Good luck with your prep!


P.S. My Academy doors will be opening again in a couple of weeks. Last time we sold out all the spots in 3 days. If you want to be the first to hear when the doors open, join my waitlist here:

P.P.S. If you can't wait that long because you have an interview in the next few weeks then send me an email because we have a Fast Track option for you too.

Finchley, London, N3
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