- 11 February 2020
- 6 min read
My General Practice Nurse interview and how I answered the interview questions
Do you have a nursing interview coming up? Read Claire's tips and how she successfully answered the questions put to her during an interview for a General Practice Nurse job.
Hello, my name is Claire Carmichael and I have just been offered my dream job of a practice nurse within general practice (GP).
I applied for this role and then heard back within a week!
I wanted to share what I learned about the interview process.
I'll set out all the questions you may be asked, and how you can answer them.
Because I got the job (yay!)
I must add a little disclaimer here; every practice has its own standards and they will vary from place to place, so what I experienced may be completely different to what you do.
This is because each practice is independent in the way they run their recruitment process.
So, my main tip is – look at their job description and person specification.
What were the requirements of the job (that I met and got me the interview)?
Essential criteria for this post was: wound care, phlebotomy, routine injections, basic computer skills, blood pressure, lifestyle and weight, team player, using own initiative / autonomy.
Desirable criteria was: Cytology, compression bandaging, chronic disease, women’s’ health, contraception, NHS health check, travel health, childhood immunisations.
What information was I sent ahead of my interview?
I was sent the job description and person specification which is what I used to prepare for the interview.
As I was new to the area, I was also offered the chance to go in and look around the practice and meet the team before applying.
This is how I prepared for my GP surgery interview
I used the job description and person specification, but I also researched the area.
As I had moved locations, I wasn’t sure what the sort of health concerns in the area were.
I looked on the local government and council pages for more information on the population information.
How did the GP surgery set the interview up?
My interview was by 2 people; the business manager and one of the practice nurses.
Both asked questions along the way.
It took around 30 minutes roughly and it was held at the main practice in the management office.
How did I find out I had been successful?
I had a very good feeling about this position.
From start to finish, I felt so positive about it all.
I’m not sure how many other candidates there were but I know they had interviews taking place all week.
I waited almost a week before I found out and they called me.
I actually missed their call and I had to ring them back. It was the most nerve-racking part of the whole process, (haha!)
The business manager called me, and she asked what I thought of the place and I replied, ‘I really love it!’
She then asked, ‘when can you start then?’ Which I was ecstatic with!
I was so chuffed!
Here are some of the interview questions I was asked - and how I handled them
• Why do you want to be a General Practice Nurse?
It was my second-year placement in GP that made me fall in love with this area of nursing work.
My mentor was amazing, and such an inspiration to me. I loved how autonomous you can be (you don’t tend to get that level of autonomy on the wards).
I loved that I saw the patient time and time again and built that rapport with the patient. It was also the first time, I felt like a real nurse – I was home. I knew this was the career for me.
• What have you done so far? Previous work etc
I have worked in healthcare overall around 12 years now, 5.9 years in sexual health and family planning, elderly nursing homes, a few months on orthopaedic theatres and a year with young adults with learning difficulties.
So, I have some experience that is transferable to GP nursing, such as the elderly population with their long-term health conditions, frailty, dementia and medications.
Sexual health and family planning I can use here in GP with the patients as well as my time with young adults with learning difficulties; I have gained great communication skills as a result of this.
• What do you know about our practice?
I did my research on their website to find their ethos, services, staffing, opening hours and referrals.
I also looked into the local prevalence of health conditions and age ranges.
• How well do you work under pressure?
Obviously, they were looking for examples. So be prepared with examples to help you answer everything.
Personally, I know I work very well naturally under pressure.
I genuinely do: there’s been a number of times where I have been put into an emergency situation and just calmly handled it and I drew on a couple of these as examples.
For instance, I witnessed a motorbike crash, I was first on the scene, stay calmed, kept the patient warm, still and talking whilst I called the ambulance services. It’s not in my nature to get stressed or panic luckily!
These are the essential and desirable skills they required me to have and talk about
(They asked if I had experience in them – I did, thankfully, in most areas.)
Essential skills I had to have
• Basic wound care
• Routine Injections
• Basic Computer Skills
• Lifestyle – BP
• Weight - diet
• Team Player
Desirable skills that they were ideally also looking for
• Chronic Disease (basic)
• Women’s’ Health
• NHS Health Check
• Travel Health
• Childhood Immunisation
• Ear examination
I hope you found this useful and good luck in your own nursing interviews!