Intended for healthcare professionals

Career Focus

What is the best way to respond to this interview question: why do you want to work in this hospital?

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 20 August 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:s82
  1. Shaaz Mahboob, health strategy consultant (IR and marketing)
  1. London Workforce Planning Office


Have a career or related problem that needs answering? Can't find the right person to point you in the right direction? Log on to the Advice Zone for reliable medical careers advice. You can post a question or see if one of our 300 advisers has already answered a similar question. Here is a selection of questions and answers posted on the site.

I was once asked a similar question to this at a medical rotation interview. I replied that the current post holders were very enthusiastic about the quality of the training environment, the rotation had a high success rate at postgraduate examinations, there was a good balance of service work and education, and it was a recognised centre of excellence in several areas that I found interesting.

There were of course other pragmatic (and equally valid) reasons why I wanted the job. I fancied a change of city and I wasn't quite sure what my long term career was going to be, and so I valued the idea of a two year post while I decided. I mentioned these too, but only after my main reasons.

The key to answering this (and indeed any interview question) well is to convey enthusiasm, honesty, and commitment, spiced with humility and light humour when appropriate. Finding out as much as you can about the post before interview will be invaluable. ■


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