Making a good first impression

Your application is the only information we use when deciding who to invite for an interview.

To help you get it right and make a good first impression, please read and follow the guidance on this section.

Completing our application form

Once you have searched our vacancies and found a job you would like to apply for, what do you do next?

  • To apply for a job, you must complete an application form. This ensures that everyone gives information in the same format and allows us to assess your application in a standard way
  • Please ensure that you fill in the form as fully, honestly and accurately as possible as it will be used to assess your suitability for the role and to undertake pre-employment checks
  • Fill in all parts of the application form. If some parts do not apply to you, write N/A (not applicable) in the spaces provided
  • Please make sure you provide your correct email address as all our correspondence with you will be by email
  • Please try to complete your application as quickly as possible – sometimes if there are a high number of applicants for a particular post we will close the advert before the official deadline for receipt of applications
  • We will not take into account any previous applications that you have sent us or anything we already know about you

Important Information

Disclosing information about you 

We ask you to declare:

  • whether you are related to an existing member of staff
  • if you have ever been dismissed by a previous employer
  • if you have any criminal convictions. 

Where jobs may involve working with patients or in patient areas regularly, if we formally offer you a job, we will apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on you formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). ELHT is now passing the charge for undertaking a DBS check on to candidates in the event they are successfully appointed into the post for which they have applied.

Candidates can choose whether to pay this in full or in three equal installments over three months. By applying for a post with ELHT you are agreeing to this undertaking in the event you are successfully appointed. 

For staff invited to join the staff bank register, you will also need to pay the cost of the DBS check which is currently £44 for an enhanced check or £22 for a standard check.

Education and training

You will be asked to produce any qualifications any you have listed on your application form that are deemed essential to your ID check.

Supporting information

Do not ignore the supporting information section of the form. It is an important part of the application, because you can tell us in more detail about your skills and experience and how these are relevant to your application.    

Work permits

If you need a work permit, please visit the Home Office website for information (Please click here for further information) on work permits and visa status before you fill in the application form. 

Job descriptions

Each job we advertise is based on a job description and person specification. The job description lists the main types of duties and responsibilities of the post. The person specification outlines the skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications that you will need for the job.

Read these documents thoroughly, including the Trust vision and values (please click here for further information), as well as any other information provided, so you understand what the job involves and that you can match these in terms of your skills, abilities and knowledge. We assess your application against these documents, so give examples to explain how your skills are relevant to the job you are applying for and how and where you have used them. 

Provide information on any relevant experience from your present or previous jobs. You can include skills and experience gained from community or voluntary work, work experience, leisure interests and activities in the home.   

Trust vision and values

Our values help us to define and develop our culture, what we do and how we do it.  It will be important to you as an applicant to understand and reflect these values throughout your application.  It is also important as an employee that you understand and agree with the values of our organisation and are happy working with us.

Pay Scales 

Each job with us is banded at a particular level of pay. See the pay scales chart (link to NHS employers and agenda for change, medical staffing pay scales), which shows the current payscales for each band.


No one is legally obliged to provide a reference, unless there is a specific contractual agreement. Therefore, it's a good idea to ask permission from the people you wish to be your referees. 

Make sure you have accurate contact details for them and let them know if a reference request is being sent to them. Please be aware that we can only accept references from company email addresses and not personal email accounts such as yahoo, gmail etc.

Getting these details right speeds up the process and avoids unnecessary delays to you starting your job as we cannot start anyone until the relevant pre-employment checks are completed.

You will need to give us their names, a contact address, telephone number and email address.  Please note that most of our communication is done by email so email addresses will speed things up considerably.

One referee should be your current employer if you are in work and the other should be from a previous employer/school/college.

If you have not worked for some time or have never worked, use referees who can comment on your ability to do the job, e.g. a teacher, course tutor or charity organiser.

Please do not give the names of family members or friends.

Occupational Health Checks for Internal Applicants - Work Health Assessment Forms

Please answer all the relevant questions.  If you fail to complete the questionnaire there will be a delay to your health assessment and subsequent starting date.  To complete the Work Health Assessment form click here and save the file / download on to your computer.

This questionnaire gives us information which helps us to:

  • Advise on any adjustments to your work or workplace which may be necessary to ensure that any health condition you may have is not made worse by your work. 
  • Identify any medical condition which could pose a safety risk to you, your colleagues, patients or members of the public.
  • Check that you are not particularly vulnerable to any hazards that your job may contain.

You may be contacted by an Occupational Health Professional who is dealing with this questionnaire.  They will either telephone you to get some more details or make an appointment for you with a nurse or a doctor to discuss matters. 

The medical details you type on this form remain confidential to the Occupational Health Service of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust.  This means that the medical details you put on the questionnaire will not be disclosed to anyone else without your explicit consent.

Occupational Health Checks / Immunisations

The Trust has a duty of care to protect patient safety and provide all workers with a safe and healthy workplace. 

Immunisation standards are determined by the Department of Health (Green book) and are regularly reviewed. The standards are based on an individual's risk of exposure to common communicable infections and biological hazards in the workplace.

If the role you are applying for means you will 

  1. Have direct contact with patients or work around patients you will be required to

    1. Have immunity against Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR); Chicken pox, TB and the annual seasonal Flu vaccination. 
    2. Have evidence that your childhood immunisations – Tetanus, Polio and Diphtheria - have been completed. 
  2. Have exposure to bodily fluids including blood, clinical or infectious waste you will also require immunity to Hepatitis B.
  3. Undertake exposure prone procedures (EPP) work you will need to confirm you do not have HIV, Hepatitis B and C infection on the confidential occupational health questionnaire. 

To assist with ensuring that your application is processed as quickly as possible you are advised to check with your GP and/or your previous employers Occupational Health Department to gain the above required information together with documented evidence of your full immunisation history as soon as you apply for a role with us.   For candidates invited to a volume recruitment open day type event you will be asked to bring this information along with you on that day.   For other recruitment you will normally be asked to bring this with you once an offer has been made and you are invited in, to your one to one employment checks interview.     If you are unsure of anything your recruitment advisor will be able to offer help and guidance.

Certain workers will not be able to undertake work until a validated blood test is taken by Occupational Health to confirm they do not have a Hepatitis B, C and HIV infection.

Workers include:

  • Workers starting their first EPP Nursing, Midwifery or Medical job
  • Workers entering training for a career that relies on EPP
  • Workers that have been working in a ‘high risk’ area outside the NHS

Please note all testing/vaccinations involves the workers informed consent.

However it should be noted that withdrawal of consent to essential testing/ immunisations may result in termination of your contract of employment as they are an essential requirement of the job.   

Equal opportunities

Equal opportunities

Please remember to fill in the employment monitoring form, which is towards the end of the online form.

We remove this from the main application when we receive your completed form, so the staff shortlisting the applications do not see the monitoring forms. This means that when they make their decisions about who to shortlist, they will not be influenced by age, ethnicity, sexuality or any disability.

The employment monitoring form helps us to see how effective our policies on promoting equal opportunities and valuing diversity are.  It is not used to decide who will be offered the job.


We are committed to increasing employment opportunities for disabled people and encouraging all people with a disability to apply for a job with us. 

If you need special arrangements to get to the interview or selection test, please give us details in the space indicated on the form.

Submitting your application

Once you have completed the form, please remember to proofread it and check that you have answered each section as fully as possible. 

Submit your application and keep a copy, to help you prepare if you are shortlisted for an interview.  

We look forward to receiving your application.

Congratulations, you got an interview!

If your submitted application meets the criteria for the role then you may be invited to come to an interview or assessment centre. Below gives some tips on how to prepare and what to expect at your assessment:

Preparing for your interview

It may sound obvious but do your research about our hospitals and the department you are being interviewed for.  The more comfortable you are with this information the more you can tailor your skills and experience and relax in the interview.

Your interviewer/assessor will be looking to understand how well you fit the job description and person specification for the role that you have applied for and so will tailor their questions to explore this at the interview.  We therefore recommend that you read both these documents carefully and have a think about what you may be asked and prepare your answers accordingly. There will be opportunities to ask any questions that you may have about the role, the Trust and its services so also think about some questions you want to ask.

You may have been asked to bring some documentation along to the interview with you – proof of identity and eligibility to work in the UK, proof of residency and qualifications that you hold.   Try and bring as much as you can with you as it can be copied/scanned on the day.  If you are successful, it will help to reduce the time between your conditional offer being made and you starting with us.

Think about your appearance, it's not just what you say that makes an impression; it's also how you look. Make sure you are dressed smartly for your interview.

Switch off your mobile before you enter the room. 

Travelling to your interview

Plan your journey. There can often be delays, so leave plenty of time so you don't get caught out. If you're early, you can always spend the time going through your notes. If you are delayed for any reason, make sure you call ahead to let your interviewers know.

Your interview will usually take place at one of our sites.  Please check where your interview is being held. 

For more detail on our locations click here. 

At the interview/assessment

  • First impressions count. Smile, even if you're nervous inside – it helps you to relax and makes you look more approachable. It also gives the impression that you're enthusiastic! Shake hands with your interviewers firmly, but friendly. 
  • Be aware of your body language. Make eye contact, but don't overdo it and make sure you address everyone in the room.  Avoid pointing or using gestures too much to emphasise a point, which can distract the interviewers from your answer. 
  • Don't fold your arms as this can be seen as you appearing defensive or uninterested.

Interview questions

  • Most of our interviews are structured, with each interviewer having a number of questions to ask.  Think about how you answer your questions.   Try to keep focussed and succinct but don't be so brief that the interviewers have to continually prompt you for more information. 
  • Try to keep to the point and make sure you are actually answering the question. 
  • If you do not have relevant experience of a situation, don't be afraid to say so, but suggest what you would do in that situation or think of another way to demonstrate your ability or the skills they are looking for.   Equally if you don't understand a question, ask for clarification. It is better to do this than ramble.
  • The interviewers may ask you questions about the information you submitted on your application form.  If your last role was more senior, the interviewers may want to understand why you are applying for this role, or may ask about any gaps in your employment.
  • Don't forget that this is also your chance to see if the role is suitable for you.  Don't be afraid to ask questions, for example about the role or development prospects.

After your interview

Try to remember the questions and your responses, as this may help you to improve your performance in the future. 

Whether successful or not, ask for feedback so you can learn from the experience and prepare for the next step.   

Remember, if you are not successful this time, you may want to apply again, so use feedback constructively.  It's not a reason to argue with the hiring manager.

Interview success - what's next?

Great, your interview went well. Once the interviewers have considered their notes and any assessment results, they will decide who to appoint.

The next steps involve:

1 - Offer

If you are successful, you will receive a phone call with an informal offer. Assuming you want to take the role, you will then receive a provisional offer. A letter, forms and document requests will be sent to your email address for you to complete whilst we seek references.

2 - Start Date

We cannot agree a starting date with you until we have your references and the documents we need. 

If you are currently in work and have received an offer, we ask that you please do not hand in your notice until you have an agreed starting date.

3 - References

We are required to obtain references covering a minimum of three years and will contact those listed as referees on your application. Naturally, we hope they will provide glowing references about you. If not, please see below to find out what the referee can provide.

4 - Documents

We need to see original documents 
which we copy. Photocopies will not be accepted. If you have not already provided relevant documentation at interview, you will receive a booking request with the recruitment team to undertake the necessary checks.

Worried about what your references may say?

If a referee feels that you have performed at an unacceptably low level, or you have been dismissed for something that would cast doubt on your suitability for the post, the person giving the reference can provide:

  • no reference at all
  • only a basic, factual reference, giving the dates of employment and the job title or
  • a detailed account, including references to any negative issues.

If a reference is not positive, it is up to you to establish that the information they have provided is misleading or that your previous employer was negligent in giving such a reference. If you can prove this and the reference harms your employability, you should seek legal advice.

For identity checks relating to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) - these are required for posts working with vulnerable groups and documents must be produced in person. 

For information on immigration and visa checks, please visit the Home Office website.