How to apply

Searching for a Job

The NHS, along with other health and social care providers, is a major employer in Hertfordshire and West Essex. There are many benefits to living and working in this location: 

  • Proximity to London, making it an attractive option for those who want to enjoy city lifestyle. With commuting to and from London being relatively easy by car or excellent public transport links.

  • Picturesque countryside, charming towns, and vibrant communities; the area offers a high quality of life with access to green spaces, cultural attractions, and excellent schools, making it ideal for families and individuals alike.

  • While housing costs in the area can vary, generally, it offers more affordable housing options compared to central London. This makes it appealing for those looking to buy or rent property without compromising on quality of life. 

  • Excellent transport links, including major motorways (M1, M25, A1), railway connections, and bus services. This makes commuting within the county and to neighbouring areas convenient. 

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There are over 350 different jobs roles within the NHS, something for everyone! This easy to complete questionnaire looks at your skills and qualifications, then suggests roles which may align with them Take our careers quiz | Health Careers or Home - 350+. More information can also be found here Working in health | Health Careers.

It may be useful for you to familiarise yourself with the different settings and roles to figure out where you might see yourself fitting in when searching for jobs. 

Health and care opportunities are advertised through the Health Jobs website which is the official online recruitment service for the NHS in England and Wales. Here you can find a comprehensive list of job vacancies across different NHS organisations. You will need to create an account to apply for jobs online, this will also allow you to set up job alerts based on your preferences. NHS Jobs have created a series of videos to guide you through how to search for a job.  

There are many different health and social care settings to work in for example; hospitals, hospices, clinics, social care providers, community locations, laboratories, and administrative sites. Our key NHS trusts are:

For roles in Primary Care click here.


Applying through NHS Jobs is a slightly different process to applying to jobs elsewhere. Instead of providing a covering letter or opening statement and CV, you need to complete an online form with emphasis on detail within your supporting evidence and Personal Statement section. 

Give yourself enough time to complete all parts of the application, be aware that if there is a high level of interest some adverts may close early. Proof reading your application is recommended to make sure your application is professionally written with no spelling or grammatical mistakes. Advice and support may be available from; employer careers development service, educational establishment career service (universities usually offer help for 3 years following graduation) or local job centres. Double check that your contact details are correct as you will be contacted by email to inform you about the next stages of your application. 

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  • View the Job Description and Personal Specification – highlight any essential or desired criteria. This means each job application will be different. 

  • Demonstrate how your skills and experience align with each of the criteria specified in the job description and personal specification. You can use examples from 

    • education and qualifications 

    • employment and work experiences,

    • clubs and societies, 

    • sports teams, 

    • volunteer work, 

    • Continuing Professional Development (CPD), courses and workshops, 

    • caring responsibilities 

    • other opportunities that provide learning experiences and skills development. 

  • Each piece of evidence you provide should be linked to the specific requirements of the role you are applying for.  

Additionally, it is important to provide references, ensuring they are relevant to the job you are apply for. Familiarising yourself with the reference requirements and providing the necessary information is essential. At this stage you do not need to let your current employer know that you are looking for jobs. 

As many organisations utilise values-based recruitment processes, you may be asked to complete a questionnaire as part of the application process. Familiarise yourself with the trust or organisation values, as this may be tested and therefore require you to pass to proceed to the next stage.  

Regarding disclosure of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) information, it is at your discretion, although certain fields may be marked as mandatory. Your protected characteristics will not affect your employability. The NHS is committed to ensuring equality for all employees regardless of their characteristics such as age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, etc. This means that everyone should have equal access to employment opportunities. The NHS acknowledges that a diverse workforce, composed of individuals with varied backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, which enables it to better meet the diverse needs of patients and communities.   


Shortlisting is the process where employers assess how well applicants match the 'person specification' for a specific role. Those who closely aligned with the specification are more likely to be selected for an interview. To increase your chances of being shortlisted, demonstrate your skills and experience as outlined in the person specification, providing clear examples in your application. 

 When applying for positions, never submit identical applications, the employer will be looking to see you are showing genuine interest in the role they have advertised.  

In the context of NHS Jobs, shortlisting involves selecting candidates for interviews from the list of applicants.

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  1. Job Listing Closure: Shortlisting begins once the job listing closes, some may close early if there is a high level of interest. 

  2. Scoring Applications: Evaluate all applications based on predetermined criteria to assess suitability for the role. 

  3. Set up interview: Establishing a date, location (in person or virtual) and interview panel 

  4. Successful applications will be invited to interview via email:  

  • For those unsuccessful, an email will also be sent post-shortlisting. 

  • You can also monitor this through 

If you are not successful and do not get invited to an interview it may be useful to reflect on where there are gaps in your skills and experience, then look at opportunities to fill these gaps. You may like to speak to a careers service or mentor. It may also be useful to consider looking out for work experience opportunities to find out more about specific careers. A variety of local work experience opportunities are listed here Work experience (

Interview Preparation

It is important to dedicate time ahead of an interview to prepare. You want the people who are interviewing you to see the value you can bring to the role being advertised. Allowing yourself time to prepare helps you get in the right mindset ahead of the interview so that you can confidentially showcase your suitability for the job.  

Research the employer

  • Make sure you understand and can demonstrate the employer values how you align with them. These values often include compassion, respect, dignity, and patient-centred care. 

  • Know the organisation/company, what geographical area it covers and patient demographics, is it a specialist centre or centre of excellence, any recent CQC reports. 

  • If possible, learn more about the interview panel and their areas of expertise. Interview panels may include patients (sometimes known as experts by experience), which is an important consideration when thinking of how you communicate answers and any technical ‘jargon’ language, abbreviations, or acronyms you may use. 

  • Keep yourself updated with local and national current healthcare trends, policies, and practices. Familiarise yourself with the organisation/company latest news, initiatives, challenges, and priorities. 

Review the Job Description

  • Have an informal conversation about the role with the key person or department listed on the job advert.  

  • Carefully read the job description to memorise the role's requirements, responsibilities, and desired skills. 

  • Refresh yourself on your application where you hopefully have given some examples of skills or experience which you can repeat and further expand on during your interview. 

Prepare example answers

  • Be ready to discuss clinical scenarios or experiences relevant to the position you are applying for. Practice thinking through these scenarios, how you can demonstrate your competence and explain your decision-making process. This can be an opportunity to show your expert knowledge especially when applying for a specialist position.  

  • Expect questions that assess your values and behaviour in various situations, such as teamwork, conflict resolution, and handling stressful situations. Think of a time when you have used these skills and how best to showcase them linked to the required criteria. 

  • Have in mind any relevant professional development, certifications, or training you have undergone that are pertinent to the role which you can draw attention to in your answers. 

  • Consider your vision for the role and the wider strategic context. You may need to be able to articulate clearly what your key priorities would be over the next 12 months and what impact you would hope to have if appointed.  

There are frameworks you can utilise to structure your answers so that you are able to best demonstrate your skills, experiences, and alignment them with the job requirements. For example, you could use the STAR model (Situation, Task, Action, Result). 

You will be asked if you have any questions

Prepare 2-3 insightful questions to ask the interview panel. This demonstrates your interest in the role and the organisation as well as providing you with an opportunity to find out more. 

Mock Interviews

Consider doing mock interviews to gain valuable feedback on your answers and technique. This can help you practice articulating your skills and experiences linked to the requirements of the role. You may link to ask for feedback on your body language, speed of talking and how you present yourself. Support with this may be available from; employer careers development service, educational establishment career service (universities usually offer help for 3years following graduation), local Job Centre or friends' family and colleagues.  

  • Getting time off: Make sure you have discussed getting time off work with your current employer within a reasonable time and allow for travel time.  

  • Dress Appropriately: Dress professionally for the interview. First impressions matter! 

  • Plan Your Journey: If the interview is in person, plan your journey in advance to arrive on time. Look up public transport or driving routes allowing for unexpected delays, is there parking available and how long will it take you to walk to the interview location. 

  • Arrive early: Aim to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early for the interview. This allows you to settle in, calm your nerves, and mentally prepare. 

  • Read over your notes: Checking over your notes immediately ahead of the start can be a valuable last-minute refresher. 

  • Visualise success: Imagine yourself performing well in the interview, this can help reduce anxiety and increase confidence. 

  • Accept nervousness: It is normal to feel nervous before an interview, and interviewers understand this. By preparing thoroughly and using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, you can effectively manage your anxiety and present yourself in the best possible light during the interview. 

  • Speak slowly and clearly: Maintain eye contact with your audience and engage with them throughout. Confidence and enthusiasm can go a long way in making a positive impression. 

Find out more about Managing the interview - NHS Jobs 

Watch some useful videos on interview preparation here- Modern Interview Guide - YouTube 

You may need to give a presentation during your interview. If this is required, it will be stated in your interview invitation. You may like to contact the person whose details are provided on the job application if it is unclear. 

Preparing for an interview presentation requires careful planning and attention to detail. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you: 

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  • Understand the Topic: Ensure you have a clear understanding of the topic you are presenting on. If you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to seek clarification. 

  • Research: Conduct research on the topic. Gather relevant information from credible sources such as medical journals, NHS guidelines, government publications, and reputable websites. Make sure to stay updated with the latest developments. 

  • Organise your content: Structure your presentation in a logical and coherent manner. Outline key points you want to cover and decide on the flow of your presentation. Consider using headings, subheadings, and bullet points to make your content easy to follow. 

  • Highlight key messages: Identify the key messages or takeaways you want your audience to remember. Make sure these are clear and emphasised throughout your presentation. Use visuals such as charts, graphs, and diagrams to support your key points. 

  • Practice: Practice your presentation multiple times until you feel confident and comfortable delivering it. Time yourself to ensure you stay within the allotted time limit.  

  • Seek feedback: If possible, ask someone to review your presentation and provide feedback. This may be from a careers service, a friend, family member, tutor, colleague, or mentor. They can offer valuable insights and help you refine your presentation before the actual interview. 

  • Anticipate questions: Think about potential questions that may arise during or after your presentation. Prepare thoughtful and well-researched answers to address these questions. 

  • Prepare backup: Have a backup plan in case of technical difficulties or other unforeseen circumstances. Bring printed copies of your presentation slides or any handouts you plan to distribute. Be prepared to adapt and improvise if necessary. 

  • Stay calm and confident: On the day of the interview, try to stay calm and composed. Remember to talk slowly and clearly. Maintain eye contact with your audience and engage with them throughout your presentation. Speak with confidence and enthusiasm. 

Reflection following interview 

Every interview provides a valuable chance to learn and develop. If you do not get the role, do not let it discourage you. Below is a guide on what to do following your interview, including seeking feedback and making the most out of opportunities even if you were not successful in getting the role. 

Immediately afterwards reflect on what went well during the interview and what you could improve upon. Interviews may cause you to feel anxious, so give yourself praise for what you have accomplished. Take a brief moment to stop and decompress before continuing your day. During the interview you will be told how soon you are likely to hear back from the interviewers. 

 After an interview, it is always beneficial to request feedback, regardless of whether you were successful. This shows your commitment to learning and improving. When asking for feedback, be specific about the aspects you want feedback on, such as your communication skills, technical knowledge, gaps in skills or experience. Aim to leave a positive impression. Thank the interviewers for the opportunity, express your continued interest in the organisation, and ask if there are any future opportunities to stay connected or involved. 

 When you receive feedback, see it as an opportunity for growth. Reflect on the feedback provided and consider how you can incorporate it into your professional development. Consider seeking support from the Health & Care Academy or mentors, career coaches and career services. This might include guidance and advice, exploring learning opportunities such as work experience, volunteering, courses and workshops. Career planning | Health Careers 

For information on your Right to work in the UK, please follow the link below: 

Prove your right to work to an employer: Overview - GOV.UK ( 

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  • You will receive a conditional job offer via email and on Trac. 

  • The employer will contact your references. You may like to inform them if you have not done so already.  

  • You will be asked by the HR and Payroll department to complete several forms ahead of your start date. 

  • Once these checks have been completed you will receive an unconditional job offer. 

  • If you are currently employed, then it is advised you hand in your formal resignation letter after you have an unconditional job offer. 

  • Your start date will be based on whether you have a notice period to work as per your contract. 

  • It is important to keep in contact with your prospective employer with any updates. 

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