Interview tips for offender health professionals
As an offender healthcare professional or prison nurse, you could be asked any number of questions at interview. Here’s a few pointers on the type of questions you’re most likely to be asked and what makes a good answer.
How do you feel about providing care for offenders?
This is a good question to thoroughly consider before any interview. The secure estate is challenging, and the employer will want to be sure you’re able to cope with all scenarios. Acknowledge the difficulties working within the environment brings but always follow your observations with how rewarding you find the work. Remember, most people who thrive within the secure estate are keen to see positive change in those they care for.
Why do you want to work in the secure estate?
Develop a positive answer that expresses your desire to work with other professionals to support offenders in making informed choices about their care. You will also want to be acutely aware of the employer’s specific offender demographic. Choose one or two reasons why you want to work in that particular environment.
Describe your career history in nursing and why it’s beneficial to the role of a prison nurse.
Working within the secure estate includes administering medication, patient education, rapid response, therapeutic support and an increased likelihood of supporting those with complex mental health needs and addiction. Reflect on your nursing experiences and have two or three examples that could be directly transferable to the role of a prison nurse.
Nursing in the secure estate requires specialist skills and knowledge. Can you describe these?
For this question, it helps to make a list of your skills and then have a short real-life example to accompany each one. Skills could include objectivity, calm response during a crisis, understanding of addictive behaviours, identifying and dealing with coercive control, and managing the administration of medication.
Describe how you would educate an offender on managing their lifestyle?
The ability of offenders to maintain their own wellbeing is important. Especially if they have an ongoing health condition to manage such as diabetes or epilepsy. You might want to talk about how you help those remanded to custody manage their conditions within the confines of their environment.
These are just a few key questions. You could be asked several non-role specific questions too.
Our interview guide will tell you everything else you need to know...