Selection Methods

The main method of selection is the face to face interview; however an interview alone will not necessarily help you to assess all of the criteria that you are looking for in a candidate, for example specific skills such as driving.

There are a number of other selection methods that can be used to assess the essential criteria shown on the Recruitment Profile / Person Specification. Assessment types can be found below.

All selection methods must be relevant to the job. Care should be taken to ensure that any tests do not discriminate indirectly through, for example, assumptions about candidates’ backgrounds, interests or prior knowledge of NHSBT.

TIP: Some roles have agreed selection method materials, for example Blood Production Assistants (HTO), Donor Carers. Ask your recruitment contact for advice.

Where possible the selection process should also include a tour or visit of the work area so that candidates are able to see this before deciding whether to accept an offer of employment. Remember, recruitment is a 2 way process!

Where a selection method is being used we would notify the candidates in advance of the selection day so please make sure that your recruitment contact is aware.

Assessment Types:

Work Based Tests

These will help you to assess a combination of skills required to do the role.  For example, in-tray exercises will assess the candidate’s ability to follow written instructions as well as prioritise and plan workload under pressure.

Skills Assessment

These are where candidates undertake specific assessments for particular skills such as driving, report writing, IT skills, laboratory practice.


If it is a requirement of the role, candidates can be asked to give a presentation usually at the start of their interview.  The subject for the presentation can be provided on the day of the interviews (with preparation time) or in advance of the selection day.  This tests presentation skills and subject knowledge and their ability to construct and deliver a presentation on a given topic.  If they are provided with the subject in advance of the interviews, due to IT security restrictions, you will need to ask the candidates to email their presentations to a named contact prior to interview so they are available on the day.

A scoring sheet for presentations is available from your recruitment contact.

Personality Tests

These are often referred to as psychometric tests. Personality Reports (Occupational Personality Questionnaires – OPQ), are used to identify personality traits in a working situation.  The tests are administered through the completion of a web based questionnaire through discussion with your recruitment contact.

Group Exercises

These are where candidates are asked to work together as a group towards a stated end goal.  Each individual may be given a different piece of information to ensure that the exercise provides stretch and challenge, as well as some background information to explain the activity and situation. Alternatively, the group may be given a business case to study, which has to be analysed and understood before making suggestions for subsequent action. 

Group exercises are useful for assessing behaviour, leadership and problem solving skills. This exercise usually takes approximately one hour and will require assessors.  It is recommended that the interview panel act as assessors/observers as this will contribute to their final decision making.

Assessment Centre

This combines various exercises, tests and interviews. This may include a group exercise, carousel interviews (when they move from one panel to another), personality tests, written report writing etc.

It may also involve the use of assessors to observe the candidates’ behaviour and leadership and problem solving skills.

Online Interview

Interviews can be held by Microsoft Teams.  You may choose to use this method where you have a long list of applicants and need to reduce this to a manageable number for interviewing or where it is logistically difficult to get the panel together for face to face interviews or you are interviewing someone from overseas. Your recruitment contact will invite candidates to choose an interview slot in the usual way via e-recruitment. Once the interview schedule has been finalised, you will need to send Microsoft Teams invites to the Interview panel and to your candidates for each interview timeslot.