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Are You Making These 5 Interview Mistakes In Your Healthcare Interviews?

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Interviews can be tough, we understand. We guide great healthcare candidates through interviews weekly, and while we always give as much information to the candidate as possible to help them prepare, there is still the curve-ball question or the moment your mind goes blank which candidates worry about.

But more often than not, it’s not the things that healthcare candidates forget to say that means they lose out on the job – it’s usually in these little common mistakes that they let slip.

We’ve put together this guide on the five most common interview mistakes we know can harm your chances of being offered the role you so badly want.

1. Not Researching the Organisation

As we recruit for several different healthcare organisations, we understand that each company has its own identity and values. Now it won’t be possible for you to understand everything about the company (save that until you are a fully-fledged employee!), but it pays to do your research.

Is this organisation a leader in one kind of field or research, do they have a new wing or department that recently opened up? Information can be gained by simply checking out the company or organisations website and you can dig deeper by researching the company and employees on LinkedIn, investigating if the company has any awards or merits or leading specialists in their field.

2. Displaying Low Energy

We hardly need to tell you that working in healthcare requires much energy! We know that you want to appear professional, but remember not to come across as overly officious or prim.

Healthcare hiring managers are looking for candidates whom they know will not be scared to get their hands dirty - or worse, afraid of hard work. Be engaging throughout your interview, smile and laugh whenever you feel it is appropriate and be relaxed and display open body language when you communicate – sitting stiffly in your chair will send out the wrong message.

3. Focusing on Yourself Too Much

Your potential manager will want to hear about your skills of course but bear in mind that they will be looking out for examples and signals that your focus is all about the patients under your charge. When answering questions about yourself, remember to be mindful of including how your actions and abilities affect others – your patients and the team around you.

You can achieve the right balance of being personable without being overbearing by mentioning personal ideas without delving too deep into them.

4. Blaming Mistakes on Others

Every healthcare organisation is acutely aware of the implications of a blame culture. In the medical world, mistakes can be costly both in terms of expensive accountability lawsuits, but more importantly the risk to human life.

It is so essential for companies to be safe in the knowledge that their employees are all able and comfortable with taking responsibility for their actions, even when things go wrong.

No-one likes to dwell on negative experiences at work, and especially in interviews! However, there will likely be a question surrounding a problem or difficult situation you have faced in your previous employment. The hiring manager is using this as an opportunity to find out how well you can handle yourself in stressful situations – it shouldn’t be a chance for you to vent about how incompetent your previous colleagues were.

5. Not Letting the Real You Come Through

You want to make a good impression, to say the right things but also show the real you. It can be hard to juggle all of these different elements and stay calm!

One of the biggest mistakes we see healthcare candidates make is in not letting your real personality come through. Sometimes when we debrief with a hiring manager, their description of the candidate is nothing like the person we have encountered ourselves!

To avoid this happening in your interviews, remember these key points -

Go into the interview with a positive mindset, and remember that no matter the outcome, and interview is a positive experience – being relaxed helps you to be more confident and better at portraying your true self.

Be personable, but don’t dwell too much on yourself – remember that the interview is about how well you are suited to this particular role.

Choose a pause in the conversation over trying to fill an awkward silence with babble — every time.


Beginning the search for a new healthcare role when you feel you have outgrown your current one can be tough – but you needn’t go it alone.

Talking to a specialist healthcare recruiter should be your first step. We’re here to help you find your next role, and we have access to the latest healthcare openings, including pipeline openings that get filled before they have been posted publicly. If you want to discuss your healthcare career options, get in touch with us today.





Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability. 

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial Nursing, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here

If you would like to download our latest interview checklist, you can do so here.

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