NHS Blood and Transplant People First

Interview/Selection Old

An interview panel must include at least 2 people although a 3 person panel is recommended.  Ideally all of the panel members should have completed NHSBT’s recruitment and selection course but as a minimum there must be at least one of the panel who has completed this.

If you know or are related to one of the candidates you must alert your contact who will be able to advise you.  However, it’s fine to interview internal employees, but you should consider inviting an independent panel member.

Your recruitment contact will explain what documents your candidates have been asked to bring to interview and what you need to do with these.  We will contact internal candidates to agree what documents they need to provide when an offer is made.

If the candidates you’ve interviewed are not appointable please discuss the next steps with your recruitment contact.

All information relating to candidates must be kept secure and only shared where there is a genuine need.

Interview questions should be written in advance based on the Recruitment Profile/ Person Specification, taking into account the other selection methods used to be sure that all of the criteria are assessed.  We also recommend that the manager include values based questions (Including Diversity Questions) in every interview.

Preparation prior to Interview/ Selection Day

It is useful to plan the arrangements for your selection day at least a couple of days in advance of the selection day taking place.  You may wish to consider:-

Planning your resources

If possible, you should allocate the responsibility of completing the Candidate Interview Checklist and Outcome Form and carrying out any other selection methods (e.g. tour, test etc) to someone other than an interview panel member in order to prevent delays.

Ensure all panel members have copies of the interview pack and schedule so they can prepare for the interviews.  Instructions on how to do this are set out in Accessing Interview Packs and Schedule

Contact reception to make sure they are aware of your interviews and have a schedule for the day and know who to contact when candidates arrive

Preparing interview Questions

You will need to meet with the other panel members to prepare your interview questions and decide who will ask the questions and the role that each panel member will take on the day e.g. chair, note-taking etc.

Your questions should be based on the candidates past performance (behavioural) as this is the best indicator of a candidates future performance. e.g. tell me about a time when……… etc.

Sample interview questions are available.  Your recruitment contact will be able to email you a copy on request.

You will also need to choose a question on each value to ask all candidates from the Values Based Interview Questions (Including Diversity Questions).  Please ask all candidates the same questions.

Read the application forms and identify any questions specific to each candidate paying particular attention to any gaps in employment history that you will need to explore with the candidate

Presentation Scoring

For presentations you may chose to use the presentation assessment form to record your scores.  This is available here.

Interview/ Selection Day

Interview Assessment Form

Please see Guidance on how to complete the Interview Assessment Form

It is only necessary for the Chair to complete and return one form on behalf of the panel. 

Taking Notes

The panel members need to take notes as you may forget important information and candidates are reassured that their answers will be remembered

Good notes make the selection decision easier and provide evidence to back up your decision.  Please be aware that candidates may request copies of your notes.

Decide in advance of the interviews how notes will be taken.  It is useful to allocate the note taking to the panel members that are not asking the questions so that the candidate can focus on the person asking the questions.

Candidate Interview Checklist and Outcome

The Candidate Interview Checklist and Outcome Form needs to be completed for each candidate to ensure the authenticity of their documentation either before or after their interview.  See guidance Guidance on Checking Documentation for Authenticity.

The person completing the Candidate Interview Checklist part of the form will also need to photocopy the original documents and sign and date all photocopies and keep these with the Candidate Interview Checklist and Outcome Form.

It is essential that you try to obtain these documents as it will enable us to be in a position to make a final offer of employment more quickly.

Choosing the successful Candidate

The panel should offer the appointment to the candidate with the highest score on the Interview Assessment Form.  If necessary the panel can reconvene for a second stage of interviews before reaching their final decision.  Where the candidate with the highest score is not appointed, you will need to provide justification to your recruitment contact so that this can be held with the recruitment file.

Where candidates with disabilities require ‘reasonable adjustments’ to enable them to undertake the post, they should be considered for appointment on the basis of their abilities with reasonable adjustments, against the criteria on the recruitment profile / person specification and in comparison to other candidates.

After the Interview/ Selection Day

Initial Contact with Preferred Candidate(s)

Once you’ve selected the candidate(s) you want to appoint you will need to contact them to offer them the post and check that they are still interested.  You will also need to make them aware that we will send them a conditional offer letter outlining the main details of our offer and the pre-appointment checks which must be satisfactorily completed before our offer of employment can be confirmed and a start date agreed. 

Please inform them that they must not hand in their notice until you confirm that you are satisfied with all of the pre-appointment checks.

You must explain to them that we will now be taking up references, one of which must be their current or most recent employer, so it is important to check that these details are recorded accurately on their application and that personal email addresses are not used for employment references. We do not automatically request references for internal candidates but we would recommend the recruiting manager requests these via their recruitment contact if the candidate doesn’t currently work for them.

You may find it useful to retain a copy of the application form of your preferred candidate and any reserves for your reference until satisfactory pre-appointment clearances have been received

Returning Documentation

Please scan and email the following to your recruitment contact immediately after the selection day (after making the verbal offer):-

  • For the Successful Candidate(s) - both sections of the Candidate Interview Checklist and Outcome Form with signed and dated copies of the identity and qualification documents.
  • For any Reserve Candidates -  Candidate Interview Checklist only, with signed and dated copies of the identity and qualification documents.
  • Interview Assessment Form together with the panels notes for ALL candidates, including any test/presentation scores.

If you do not have access to a scanner you can take photo’s using a smart phone / I-pad.

Please set the documents on the Certified Copy of Identity Documents template available to use when copying / scanning / photographing identity documents such as passports

If you are unable to scan and email these you can return them by special delivery. Please do not send copies of personal documents in the internal post.

All copies of identity documents or qualifications belonging to unsuccessful candidates must be confidentially destroyed.

Commencing Salary and Higher Annual Leave Entitlement

New employees would normally start on the minimum of the salary scale however it is possible to recognise previous relevant experience and appoint higher up the salary scale by submitting a Higher Starting Salary Form as set out in Starting Salaries on Appointment.

If you want to talk to someone about the benefits package NHSBT can offer, including how to progress a higher starting salary, please ask your recruitment contact for details.

Providing Feedback

You should provide feedback to all internal candidates who have not been successful and to external candidates where requested.

When providing feedback, refer to the recruitment profile/person specification and explain any criteria that the candidate did not satisfy.  Start with the positive, be specific, refer to behaviour that can be changed, offer alternatives and own the feedback. Please refer to the top tips for giving feedback as part of the recruitment process.

Reserve Candidates

Please let your recruitment contact know the names of any reserve appointable candidates so that this can be recorded in NHS Jobs in case your preferred candidate withdraws or in case you need to recruit to this post again within the next few months.

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