Your Health Career Resource
Sanctuary Health is committed to helping you carve the career you want. Our careers hub is a central resource for people at every stage of their healthcare career. We hope you find it helpful.
Highly engaging, our healthcare blogs delve into the world of healthcare careers. So, whether you need some CV pointers, want to ace your next interview or simply want to explore what it’s like working in a related profession, our blog is a great resource.
7 common OT interview questions
Although you can never be totally sure what will come up at your occupational therapy job interview, it's still really important to prepare. We have pulled a list of frequently asked questions together and have shared some tips on how to respond to these.1. What motivates you as an occupational therapist?This is not about you and your career goals. It's about showing that occupational therapy is a vocation for you. For example, you may get job satisfaction from making a real difference to another person's life, and perhaps the lives of their family members. You can even draw on a recent example of where you feel you made a real difference, although try to keep the example short for this question.2. Tell me about a time when you felt most proud as an occupational therapist...Try to avoid generalising; it's not enough to say that you feel proud whenever you helped someone have a better quality of life. Give a specific example, perhaps talk about a particularly challenging situation which required all your skills and extra effort to achieve a successful outcome. If you can show creativity yet due diligence in your approach, even better.3. Describe two key skills required by an occupational therapist...Make sure you talk about the 'why' as well as the 'what'. If you choose 'excellent communication skills', explain why. For example, you could say 'you need excellent communication skills to engage effectively with patients and their families, as well as with colleagues'... And remember, being a good listener is just as important as being able to convey information clearly to others.4. What's the worst thing about being an occupational therapist?This is a tricky question. You need to show that you're realistic without sounding negative. If you acknowledge the negative, say how you avoid it being an issue. For example, you could say, "it can be a challenge to find the exact assisted support for an individual in the current financial climate where resources are harder to come across. I have to think outside the box and come up with a solution where the patient still receive the support they need”. Here, you might wish to talk about how you have built solid relationships with other professionals and departments to help assist you in taking this approach.5. How would you deal with a patient who is being confrontational or aggressive?This is a common interview question for many healthcare professionals, but is particularly relevant for occupational therapists. You'll need to show that you're patient and understanding, but also firm and in control. Think about ways you can make the patient feel reassured and relaxed, such as chatting with them about non-health-related matters or putting on some background music. Try to give a specific example from your work experience.6. How do you stay informed about new techniques and technology?Make sure you're properly prepared for this one with chapter and verse. For example, don't just say, 'I use the Internet." Be ready to quote specific resources, such as professional forums and networking sites.7. What's the role of an occupational therapist in a multi-disciplinary team?Don't just reiterate your core skills. Think about how you can use these in context, cooperating effectively with doctors, nurses, other allied health professionals and social care staff to provide joined-up care. To discuss any queries you may have ahead of your interview, get in touch with your Sanctuary consultant.
Working in a permanent role
With healthcare professionals being in such high demand, as a candidate, you are perfectly placed to make your choice between being a locum or opting for a permanent position.Working as a locum will give you more freedom to work in completely different environments at your choosing, but if you don’t crave the independence and prefer to work somewhere permanently, what do you need to do and how can a resourcing agency benefit you?Firstly, let’s look at the plus points of a permanent role:Guaranteed hoursIn a permanent healthcare position, you'll be contracted to work a minimum number of hours each week. It's not just about having job security and peace of mind. It also makes getting a mortgage or loan more straightforward. A sense of belongingYou'll feel part of a team in a familiar environment. You won't be regularly facing the challenge of getting to know new people, systems, processes and protocols. CPDContinuing Professional Development (CPD) is important for your career and necessary for revalidation. As a permanent member of the team, you're more likely to have access to CPD training and advancement opportunities funded by your employer. Career progressionAs a permanent employee, you'll be well placed to apply for internal nursing job opportunities and progress your career in a familiar organisation and setting.All these plus points are possible to replicate within locum work, it’s just different.What should you look for from an agency?With frontline healthcare roles in such high demand, it’s not difficult to identify permanent job opportunities online. But these can sometimes be old vacancies and you must fill out application after application; it takes time, and lots of it! Registering with a reputable health and social care recruitment agency makes light work of the application process. With Sanctuary Health, for instance, you simply register, upload your CV and a dedicated healthcare resourcing consultant specialising in placing permanent candidates will find you suitable opportunities. What’s more, they’ll only ever present you with permanent roles that are an exact fit and handle the entire onboarding process so that all you need to do is prepare for interview.
Enjoy the flexibility of a contract healthcare job
Anyone who has chosen a career in healthcare, will have many of the same aspirations and duty of care. But it can be hugely rewarding and demanding in equal measure. For many of our candidates, working as a locum provides just the right balance between meeting your career aspirations and having a healthy work-life balance.Plenty of scopeIn most practice areas, there are plenty of well-paid locum opportunities for suitably qualified and registered healthcare professionals.With demand being so high, it is a great time to consider becoming a locum healthcare professional. If you are thinking of making the move, you’ll want to know more about how the process works and what your options are.Getting startedMaking the decision to go locum is the hardest part. The rest involves following a few basic procedures to make sure you are employable as a locum.Firstly, you need to make sure your finances are in order. You’ll need to register with HMRC to inform them that you will be reporting your income directly to them. Many choose to work as a limited company.Creating a limited company is a straightforward process and usually takes no longer than an hour online . You simply contact Companies House to let them know your intentions and provide some basic information to register. You will be responsible for keeping existing records up-to-date and filling the relevant documentation.You might also decide to work through an umbrella company or agency, who take care of the vast majority of administration for you. Usually you complete timesheets and they will invoice the end-client (employer) on your behalf and make the necessary deductions before paying you. In this instance, always look for an organisation that abides by IR35 rules .Finding workIf you’re making the jump from a permanent position to locum work, you’ll want to be sure working for yourself doesn’t jeopardise your job security.There are several things you can proactively do to feel assured from the start. Firstly, and most importantly, register yourself with a recruitment agency that has plenty of roles in your specialist area of healthcare.Look for an agency that is on framework to supply health professionals within your specialised area of practice. You can be confident they adhere to very strict rules to supply to the NHS. It’s also a good indicator that they have the best interests of you and your employer at heart.As a on framework agency ourselves, Sanctuary Health, concentrates on meeting the integrated needs of hundreds of healthcare organisations in the UK.Take a close look at how your chosen agency supports candidates. You are more than a number. An agency that looks after its locum healthcare professionals will find you highly suitable roles, guide you through the interview process and check in on you once in post. They’ll also be proactive in identifying future roles as your contract nears it end. You should never feel out of place.The benefits of working as a locumRates of pay depend on several factors; not least of all your grade, training and experience, but they are usually very attractive compared to permanent employment.Although greater earning potential is a significant pull-factor, there are plenty of other benefits too. If you want to experience working in different departments to broaden your career prospects, contract work is ideal. It also gives you more flexibility. You can choose the contracts that suit you best. This enables you to better balance family and social commitments.You can improve your CV with a more varied work profile. You can choose to work either in the public or private sector. And if you are fairly early on in your career, it’s a great way to test the waters and decide which direction you want to take your career.If you want to explore international opportunities, you can also do this on a contract basis. Some agencies, including Sanctuary Health, place qualified staff in international positions. So, if you want to find out what it is like to work in other English-speaking countries, you can.A long-term optionFor many healthcare professionals who enjoy the flexibility of locum work, they never look back. They choose to continue to work in roles that interest them and keep them motivated. They enjoy the freedom. At Sanctuary Health, for example, we have a he number of candidates entering their double-digit years as locum workers.How Sanctuary Health helpsIf you are thinking about leaving permanent employment to become a locum healthcare professional, we can help take the guess work out of your decision to leave.The first step is always to register with us and a dedicated healthcare consultant working within you specialised discipline will be in contact to talk about your prospects. We always aim to present you with opportunities based on your exact criteria.Interested in finding out how Sanctuary can find you a locum healthcare job? Register today.
Consider how much easier it would be if securing your next role was simply a couple of clicks away. That once registered, you only ever hear about jobs that tick every box. Where you can relax and even enjoy the process. At Sanctuary Personnel, we pair our candidates with roles we know are a direct match to their skills, knowledge, experience and future aspirations.
Created by our healthcare resourcing specialists, our careers advice pages and guides will give you the lift you need. Just putting a few top tips in place, you’ll be closer to landing your ideal role.
Health CV Writing Guide
If you’re thinking about looking for a new healthcare role, you’ll want to make sure your CV is in good health; that it showcases your experience and achievements. That’s why we’ve pulled together this guide to help you.By following our top ten tips and weaving in all the important keywords and phrases, you’ll find it a breeze to secure your next position.Please fill in the form below to begin the download:If you require further help with structuring your CV, please give our specialist team a call.
Health CV Template
Your CV is the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills, experience, knowledge, and qualifications. You’ll want to stand-out from other candidates and hone-in on the attributes that make you the ideal person for the role. You’ll need to be clear and concise in what you write and know the order in which to present the information. Please fill in the form below to download our free CV template:For any further help in writing your CV, please contact your Sanctuary consultant today.
Health Interview Guide
So you've landed an interview for the perfect healthcare role. That's great news. It means, on paper, you're just the right match. Now it's time to impress at interview. But what do you need to do ahead of the big day? Our guide will tell you everything you need to know...Fill in the form below to begin the download:If you need help in preparing for your interview, contact your Sanctuary consultant today.
We know you spend a lot of time supporting others. From the moment you register with us, we'll support you throughout your career. We’ll help you make important decisions with unbiased person-centred advice.
Interview Guide - Physiotherapists
Have you been invited for a physiotherapy job interview? To help you prepare, here are a few questions that commonly crop up, along with our tips for dealing with them effectively.1. Why did you become a physiotherapist?This is a real favourite with interviewers. Try to avoid generalisations. It's fine to say something like "Because I have a passion for helping people". However, you should support this statement with specific examples which show how you have made a real difference to people's lives.2. Why do you think you're good at your job?You need to strike the right balance here. You shouldn't undersell yourself, but equally you don't want to come across as over-confident. Key attributes include strong communication and time management skills, good health and physical fitness, empathy, tolerance and patience. Refer to one or two examples from your work experience where these skills were particularly relevant.3. How do you manage your time effectively?Good time management as a physiotherapist is not just about being super-organised. It's also about using the available time productively and not over-stretching yourself, which means having realistic and achievable goals. Key things to mention are forward planning, time allocation and reviewing how you have performed to learn lessons for the future.4. How do you go about devising a treatment plan?This is a very important part of any allied health role. Person-centred care is at the heart of the NHS strategy, so you should show how you make sure each treatment plan is tailored to the patient's needs. Talk about questioning and assessing the patient, taking into account their overall health and lifestyle. Also mention how important it is to review their progress and make any necessary adjustments to the plan.5. Are you familiar with the NHS Employers Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF)?The KSF is commonly used as a benchmark in staff appraisals, so you should make sure you understand it and what it means for you in your job as a physiotherapist. The new simplified KSF can be adapted by NHS trusts to meet local needs, so try to find out how your prospective employer uses it in physiotherapy roles. Find out more about the KSF here.6. How do you stay informed about new techniques and technology?This is an opportunity to show you are committed to continuing professional development (CPD). You should talk about any courses you have taken or are taking, and how you stay up-to-date with physiotherapy news and views e.g. through professional forums and networking sites.7. What's the role of a physiotherapist in a multi-disciplinary team (MDT)?Obviously, your professional expertise is important. However, this is also about showing you're a real team player and can work effectively with doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals. Give one or two examples of collaborative working, showing you understand the dynamics of the MDT approach and the various roles that all participants play in providing joined-up care.Our interview guide will tell you everything you need to know...If you’re looking for your next position, take a look at our wide range of physiotherapist roles.
Prepare for your Occupational Therapy Interview
Your next Occupational Therapist role is within reach! The position is ideal. It is in the right area with the type of cases you like. All you need to do now is secure the role at interview. The good news is, if you have been offered an interview through Sanctuary Health, you’re more than half way there to securing the role. Your individual Sanctuary Health consultant will be able to give you information about your new employer, but there’s still plenty of scope for you to hone your interview techniques. Depending on the location and nature of the Occupational Therapist role, there’s still a great deal of competition, so how do you make sure you are chosen over another professional? Being prepared for some of the most frequently asked questions helps. Tell me about your experience of standardised assessmentsThe employer is looking for evidence of your ability to promote the use of evidence-based outcome measures. They’ll want to hear to how, through assessments, you provide credible and reliable justification for the intervention that is delivered. Be ready with one or two examples but keep your answer short (ideally no longer than two minutes). What do you know about our care models?This question tests two things; your knowledge of them as an employer and of the model/s they adhere to (e.g. model of human occupation). Research the organisation and ask your Sanctuary Health consultant if they are privy to information on certain models. Once you’ve established what the models are, research them and make sure you understand the basic principles and how you would apply them. What makes an effective Occupational Therapist?You will need some real-life examples to draw from. Discuss examples that show you enable patients to recover or change; through listening to individual needs and give clinical advice on supporting them to make decisions about their care. Remember, employers are looking for Occupational Therapists who are reflective. What do you do if a patient complains about a member of staff?It’s not uncommon for people to feel frustrated with the pace of care, which can be influenced by many factors. Something you’ll know all too well as an Occupational Therapist. You might well find yourself in this very situation, where a patient wants to make a compliant or raise their concerns. In your answer, you need to make it clear you are aware of the procedure for reporting anything considered to be wrong or unsafe. Explain, step-by-step, what your approach would be. Try not to throw in too many hypothetical possibilities though. Keep it simple. What’s the value of an OT in a multi-disciplinary setting?This is an interesting question. Really, the interviewer is asking you ‘how do work with other people from other healthcare departments?’. Increasingly, both NHS and private employers are realising the benefits of co-located teams. Not just across healthcare either; within social care and criminal justice too. In giving your answer, provide examples of where, as an Occupational Therapist, you’ve jointly aided the recovery or care of a patient. If you’ve been involved in a team piloting a new way of working, here’s your chance to shout about it!Our interview guide will tell you everything you need to know...Whether you are looking for a position within the NHS, private healthcare sector or with a local authority, we have plenty of vacancies.Interested in finding out more? Register with Sanctuary today.
Interview Guide - Biomedical Scientists
If you’ve landed an interview for your next biomedical scientist role or are thinking about applying for a position, you’ll find our interview guide helpful. It’s based on the questions we know Health Science Services (HSS) employers ask. Of course, you’ll be asked some of the obvious questions such as why do you want to work here? and some competency questions about your ability to perform within the role. A biomedical scientist candidate interviewing for a role in phlebotomy, for example, might be asked about the Vacutainer blood collection system, or about which anticoagulants are used in phlebotomy, together with what the latest research shows.Preparation is key, so you’ll want to rehearse your responses to common questions beforehand.Why did you choose to become a biomedical scientist?This is a specific question that requires you to talk passionately about your area of specialism, biomedical science. Share a personal story that connects your motivation with your clinical skills. If you can remember the first time you ever wanted to pursue your chosen career and link this same feeling to how you feel and act today, you’ll resonate with the employer. Why should we appoint you?Despite popular belief, many healthcare professionals struggle with this question. After all, it’s not within most people’s nature to think they are better than their peers. A good way to approach the answer is to look back at the feedback you’ve had from line managers and patients – what have they said about you? Look for consistent values. Plus, you’ll be able to reference specific perceptions and be ready with real-life examples to back-up what you are saying. demonstrated work on committees will help strengthen your organization’s commitment to active internal leadership.”Talk about a time you disagreed with some clinical findingsThe interviewer is interested in how you deal with conflict. As a biomedical scientist, you will work with several related healthcare professionals and may occasionally be challenged on your findings or research. Some might disagree with your research or findings altogether. Try to use the STAR method (situation, task, action, result) to explain how you would approach any objections. If a biomedical mistake happened in the lab, what would you do?Discuss how you would assess the situation and decide whether you can deal with the issue alone, with a colleague or if you need to escalate to somebody more senior. Depending on what the issue is, you might need to inform the relevant person within your department, most likely the laboratory manager, and complete an incident form. Be clear on exactly what you would do but try not to add too much detail to the scenario, especially if it is hypothetical. Can you explain your understanding of ISO 15189?This is a frequent interview question for biomedical scientists. The interviewer is not expecting you to know everything about ISO. They just want to feel confident that you have enough knowledge to be an effective member of the lab team in maintaining compliance. Focus on a couple of ISO areas where you know you can add real value and describe this clearly. Tell us about your approach to new equipmentAdapting to new equipment is a key aspect of any biomedical scientist position. Explain how you would learn about the new technology. You’ll want to go above and beyond saying you’ll attend the relevant training sessions. A strong answer shows willingness to explore the technical manual in depth and read recent research papers where the technology has been used for research. You could even use this as an opportunity to explain how you also make recommendations for equipment updates or replacements in your current role. What do you see as the future of healthcare?This is a nice question. It’s often asked towards the end of the interview and gives you the chance to be philosophical. Biomedical Science is changing rapidly, and employers want passionate, innovative scientists to help facilitate that change. Highlight the work you’ve been involved in to date and how it has helped current and previous employers stay ahead.The chances are, your answer could be enough to inch you over the finish-line just ahead of another viable candidate. Our interview guide will tell you everything you need to know...Start your healthcare job search today!
Interview Guide - Mental Health Nurses
Interviewing can be a tricky process, especially if you work in mental health where the work is complex. To help you land your perfect job, we’ve pulled together some frequently asked questions asked of mental health nurses at interview.1. What do you know about our organisation?This is an extremely common question in any interview, not just those in the health sector. It’s important that you show you’ve taken the time to research the organisation – you can do this by looking through their website or checking for any recent media coverage. If you know that the employer has piloted a new approach to mental health nursing or is a specialist in a field of work, don’t be afraid to bring it up in conversation. It demonstrates your interest in them as an organisation and as a prospective employer.2. Why do you want to work for us?This follows on from the question above. If there is a specific department you will be working in, look at any organisational achievements, and state how your skills will fit in. This is also your opportunity to learn more about the employer – don’t be afraid to ask any questions that you may have about the organisation.3. Give an example of something you are proud of as a mental health nurse?This is your chance to really sell yourself and your skills. We recommend showing how innovative and resourceful you can be; after all, mental health nursing can be challenging. Perhaps you managed to help somebody make positive changes to their mental health, or you have been involved in an innovative project or service.The key here is to really sound enthusiastic about what you are talking about. Make sure you smile and maintain eye contact with all members of the interview panel. I would also recommend being aware of your body language – remember to have a confident posture. 4. What are the skills in patient care that you view as essential?Prospective employers will be keen to find out as much as possible about your patient-care skills and specific experience in supporting patients with mental health issues. They will be looking for an employee with empathy and patience, who can work safely and effectively. For those working in mental health, it could be beneficial to talk about how you are able to deal with potential confrontation or conflicting views from relatives – think about how you would handle a hypothetical situation as well as maintaining your legal responsibilities.5. Can you tell me about your professional values?NHS Employers are now using Value Based Recruitment (VBR) methods. This means that they are looking for prospective employees, whose personal values align with the NHS values described in the NHS constitution. Think about how your behaviours can fit in with your potential employer.Make sure you have some concrete examples of how you have previously put your core values into practice – for example, if you work well in a team and are easily adaptable to alternative ways of working, this is your chance to sell yourself.6. What do you understand by the term ‘diversity at work?’This isn’t just about treating everybody the same. Employers want to know how you ensure that you treat colleagues with support and respect. It is also about understanding how your work can be affected by your own background and personal beliefs; something mental health nurses must be acutely aware of.7. How do you keep on top of your Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?It is important that you keep on top of your CPD; it demonstrates how you have regularly broadened your skill set. Any prospective employer will want to know how they will benefit from your training, and they may ask how you document your learning. I would recommend having a few examples of how a specific activity has helped with your CPD. With research into mental health being released all the time, you might also want to detail how you include such learnings into your CPD. Also use this as an opportunity to show how you can interact with colleagues and learn from others. Sharing best practice is a highly-valued skill, and employers would be impressed by peer-based networking or mentoring.8. Name a national initiative in healthcare that you feel passionate aboutBy this, we do not mean a discussion about the latest cuts or other political discussions, rather knowledge of any developments that are most relevant to mental health nursing. Interviewers are impressed by those aware of the most recent research, so you may wish to focus on any training which could be beneficial for any future changes.”Our interview guide will tell you everything you need to know...If you’re looking for your next position, take a look at our wide range of mental health jobs.
Prepare for your Nurse Interview
Your next nursing job role is within reach! The position pays well, is in the ideal setting with the perfect shift pattern. All you need to do now is secure the role at interview. The good news is, if you have been offered an interview through Sanctuary Health, you know the hiring manager will already know you are the right fit. Your individual Sanctuary Health consultant will be able to give you plenty of information on the role to help you gauge the interviewer’s expectations, but there’s still plenty of scope for you to perfect your interview techniques. For certain nursing roles, there’s still a great deal of competition, so how do you make sure you are the ideal candidate on the day? To put yourself a good chance, you might want to carefully consider and practice your answers to the following questions. What three strengths do you bring to the role?Try to bring your answer in line with the 6Cs (Care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, commitment). The NHS England website provides a useful summary of these. Try to structure your answer based on examples of at least three of these. Make sure you acknowledge the 6Cs. Can you provide an example of how you manage tasks?It’s always good to have an example here. Start with a short statement that describes you approach to managing and prioritising tasks. Then follow the statement with a real-life example. If a colleague did something wrong or unsafe, what would you do?You may or may not have experienced this as a nurse. Whether you have or not, you need to make it clear you are aware of the procedure for reporting anything considered to be wrong or unsafe. Explain, step-by-step, what your approach would be. Try not to throw in too many hypothetical possibilities though. Keep it simple. What’s your understanding of compassionate care?You might get this question in reverse. You could be asked "has there ever been a time where you have felt unable to give compassionate care?" You need to think carefully about your answer. Perhaps you could talk about how you always try to remain focused on providing the best care to the patient and how you manage to stay objective. What makes a good shift and how would you contribute to this?Use this question as an opportunity to talk about delivery of safe, effective care and collaborative working. The best answers talk about the value of multi-disciplinary working and finding answers to pressured situations. Be prepared with some real-life examples though. It’s much easier to elaborate on something that you’ve experienced. These are just a few of the more common questions asked at a nursing interview. Remember though, whatever the question, to:Be concise and structured in your answer. Keep your answers to just a couple of minutes. You can always ask the employer if they would like you to expand on your answer.For competency-based answers, adhere to the STAR formula; situation, task, action and result. Our interview guide will tell you everything you need to know...Whether you are looking for shift work, a locum or permanent position, we have nursing roles available throughout the UK.If you’re looking for your next position, take a look at our wide range of nursing jobs.