- 24 August 2017
- 7 min read
21 top tips when interviewing for radiography jobs
Are you a radiographer in the making, or are a radiographer and are looking for a new job? Alice O'Mahony, a Diagnostic Radiographer, gives us her top tips when preparing for interviews.
1. The first thing I would say to anyone who has been called to interview is well done and don’t panic! You’ve obviously impressed prospective employers with your job application, and your previous experience and skills, so use the interview as an opportunity to build on this.
2. Regularly check the email address that you used when you applied for the job, as many applications require candidates to give an email address. It is a common way for employers to contact you regarding upcoming interviews.
3. Check the post regularly as you may receive a letter, or a phone call.
It is really important that you read any email or letter carefully, as it will normally give details of where and when to attend, what to bring (such as I.D and graduation certificates or proof of professional registration), parking instructions, and oftentimes, the details of the interview panel (such as names and job titles of who will be conducting the interview). This is all essential information that you need to take on board and read carefully.
4. Many employers ask you to confirm your attendance at interview before a certain date. Failure to do so may mean that your interview is cancelled as you haven’t confirmed your attendance.
If you cannot attend for any reason, I would advise getting in contact with them as soon as possible to request an alternative date. If you’re no longer interested in interviewing for that particular department, let them know as soon as possible.
5. Be polite and professional in any correspondence, as the contacts are often on the interview panel, and may even end up being your boss if successful at interview!
6. If you aren’t familiar with the department that you are interviewing for, contact them asking if you could have a tour of the department at a time convenient to you both, either before or after the interview.
This shows how keen you are, and if your interview is at a later date, at least you’ve already had a tour of the department so you are somewhat familiar. You’ll see if you would like to work there, and you may also meet potential colleagues to see if you would like to work in that environment.
7. Prepare as much as you can. Apart from organising a tour of the department, find out as much as you can about the place you are interviewing for. Many hospitals or organisations have websites where you could find out useful information.
If you know anyone working there already, ask them about the department and the interview that they had, as it is likely that you may have one of a similar format.
8. Ask others to do a mock interview with you and get them to give you feedback on your answers and how they think you could improve. Ask others about what they were asked during their interviews, and prepare for these questions.
9. If you aren’t familiar with where the hospital is, find out ideally before the day of the interview. This is one less stress to worry about, and it will save you time on the day as you know exactly where you‘re going.
10. On the day of the interview, arrive in plenty of time allowing for unforeseen circumstances such as traffic or public transport delays. Being late is not a good start!
11. Remember to bring any requested documents, such as identification details or qualification certificates. Many potential employers ask candidates to bring their continued professional development (CPD) portfolios with them, and I would definitely advise people to bring it anyway even if they did not specify it.
It is highly likely that they will ask you about CPD during the interview, and you could show them your portfolio as evidence of undertaking CPD activity.
12. Dress for the occasion. It will make you feel more professional, smarter and more confident.
13. Prepare for questions relating to your professional role. In healthcare roles, they often ask you scenario based questions of what you would do in certain circumstances.
For example, for Radiography Jobs, it is common to see an image interpretation section where you may be asked to comment on various x-rays and asked if you would do any further views.
14. Be familiar with common definitions, especially for healthcare roles. Based on my own experience, it is common to be asked about a range of topics and scenarios, such as what you would do if a patient refused treatment, or what you would do if a patient was violent or aggressive.
15. Familiarise yourself with common NHS policies and procedures if you are interviewing for the NHS, as you may be asked about certain policies relating to your role.
16. Be prepared to talk about yourself and your background and experiences. If you are a newly qualified professional, draw on your experiences from student placements as these are relevant.
17. Highlight your strengths and particular skills that you have. Everyone dreads that all important ‘do you have any weaknesses?’ question, but you can definitely turn this around and use it to your advantage by highlighting that you are aware of your own limitations, and that you need to focus on gaining experience in a certain area or task.
18. Be confident during your interview! Smile and don’t forget to breathe. Try and make eye contact with the panel when answering questions, and take your time.
19. Remember everyone interviewing you has been through the process and they remember what it feels like.
20. Be positive in your answers, drawing on your own clinical experiences and skills. Normally you will be given an opportunity during the interview to ask the interview board any questions, and I would definitely recommend having a few questions relating to the role and the department prepared. It shows your interest in the role.
21. After the interview, they will normally advise you when you will hear back from them, but if they do not tell you this, you can ask. If you are rejected for the role, ask the employer for feedback on your performance.
Most employers do not mind giving feedback, and this will allow you to build on your interview technique and experience and lead to success in the future. If you are offered the role, congratulations!
See my other blog post,11 top tips when applying for radiography jobs.