Joan  (Clinical Nurse Manager 2 in an acute setting) had gone for promotional roles (CNM3) on numerous occasions over the past 5 years and on each occasion was unsuccessful at the interview.  As a result, her confidence was at an all-time low and when another CNM3 post was advertised she was considering not applying as she felt she could not face the “ordeal” of another interview.

Interview Coaching was suggested to Joan by a colleague as a way to understand and overcome her interview challenges.

Joan had an initial discussion with me where she shared the results of past interviews and we looked at her preparation process as well as the patterns of feedback from her previous interviews as well as getting a sense of the source of her nervousness at the interview.

On reviewing her preparation process, we were able to identify two common issues:

  1. Joan overwhelmed herself with learning off large texts from Health Service strategies, policies, and procedures, leaving little time for other key elements of preparation
  2. The examples she prepared for the competency-based questions were vague and left her open to her tendency to ramble at interview


There was a consistent pattern of poor scores in two competency areas and the feedback comments she received stated she did not demonstrate enough evidence in those particular areas (aligning with point 2 above)

Joan engaged in 3 hours of interview coaching.  Over the three hours we:

  • Reviewed the job specification in detail and identified what policies she should focus on and to what level of detail
  • Reviewed the competency areas in more detail and the protected time allowed Joan to reflect on the best scenarios for each competency area
  • Identified an answer framework that would help Joan remember her examples for competency-based questions and support her with managing her tendency to ramble
  • Conducted a mock interview where Joan could get constructive feedback on all aspects of her interview performance
  • Identified the source of Joan’s nervousness and drew on tools to help her manage this on interview day

During our time working together, Joan developed her understanding of the purpose of competency-based interviews as to how to ensure she attracted the highest scores and this helped develop her confidence and manage her anxiety.

Joan was successful at interview and was delighted to attain 1st on the panel.