Band 6 Nurse (NHS) Interview Questions & Answers

Job interviews for Band 6 within the NHS is based on scoring system, that can vary from one Trust to another. Most band 6 interview questions NHS predominately focus on managerial and leadership qualities within the form of a value based interview, therefore expect a lot of competency based behavioural questions as well as hypothetical strength questions. This applies to both within the NHS and other public sector leadership job interviews including the civil service.

This post addresses some potential interview questions NHS band 6 questions & answers. In general, you will need to demonstrate that you have the ability, expertise, understanding, and competence to satisfy the role’s demands in band 6 interview NHS. These tips are suitable whether you face band 6 nurse interview questions within the NHS or band 6 interview questions for mental health. Let’s dig a little deeper on NHS band 6 interview questions and responses.

NHS Band 6 Interviews questions & answers

1) What is the difference between a Band 5 and a Band 6 role?

Band 6 interview questions within the NHS are aimed to evaluate if you understand the role of Band 6 as a Band 5. The requirements will vary based on the position, but you must be able to showcase that you understand leadership, influencing, quality of care and communication over clinical skills. Emphasising the importance of day to day management of staff, including rota management, conducting annual appraisals, dealing disciplinary issues as well as staff training and development.

2) Why do you want to become a Band 6?

Although this appears to be a straightforward question, it can quickly get complicated. At this stage, you should not bring up income as a factor. Focus should be on two key areas the first your desire and motivation to make a difference and contribute. Secondly that you are ready to learn, face new challenges and take a step ahead in your career.

3) How would you manage an under performing staff member and help to improve their performance?

One of the main differences between a band 5 and band 6 is leadership, this usually means having direct line management responsibilities. At the heart of most NHS Trust values is compassion and empathy, and this is also expected in leadership. Also since many NHS interviews are Value Based Interviews, there would be a particular focus on you demonstrating these soft skills in the interview. This question is also one of the leading band 6 physiotherapist NHS interview questions. So when it comes to answering this questions, ensure that you integrate the following keywords in to your response, Listening, Empathised, Ownership, Solutions Focused, Buy-in, and Accountability. By integrating these keywords in to your process of improving performance will significantly improve your answers score.

4) Tell us about a key improvement that you’ve designed and implemented?

As soon are you enter in to a leadership post within the National Health Service, whether it’s NHS England or NHS Scotland, you’re going to be actively involved in improvement and change management projects. Therefore it’s very likely that a question based on a key improvement that you’ve led, will come up. Firstly this is a behavioural competency question there you have to using the Situation, Task, Action and Result method is required. The key to answering this questions is you clearly outline the steps you when through within the ‘Action’ phase of your response. The best way to do this is to sign post for example where the “first thing I did was to review our processes” Once you say this then you can discuss this heading in more detail, followed by the next sign post “secondly was a consultation with key stakeholders”. You will find that you’ll have far more structure and be able to clearly explain the improvement and demonstrate your leadership skills.

5 ) Why are you interested in this Trust?

You should conduct research before the interview. Investigate the NHS Trust history; this can help you stand out. In this type of band 6 nurse NHS interview questions, you have to demonstrate your own personal values that correlate with the Trust values. Therefore you should learn the Trust values to memory, as it will not only be valuable in this type of interview but also give you the ability to reference the values to in other answers you give, especially if the interview is behavioural and value based.

6)  Why have you applied for this Band 6 role?

In this type of question, you have to demonstrate your suitability for this job by demonstrating your drivers, motivators and personal qualities that match with the job role. You must discuss your experience and personal values and how they correlate the role.

7) Tell us about your biggest weakness?

This can be a tricky question if you are not prepared to answer it properly. The best approach use the strategy of mentioning the weakness that will affect your role the least. Based on your job role, you have to carefully answer this question if you are applying for a nurse role, you could say for example, public speaking. This weakness has the least effect on your job as you have to deal with patients and colleagues in this job. Likewise, you have to think about the weakness you possess that will not affect your job regardless of what type of band six role it might be.

8) Provide an example of a situation where a staff member is not following the staff guidelines, how did you respond?

In this type of NHS Band 6 nurse interview question, you have to follow the STAR methodology which makes it a competency based question. Firstly, you have to mention the Situation, by providing context and build a narrative by describing the situation did you faced, what rule they broke (either clinical, operational or trust values) and then based on the severity of the situation what actions you took. For example if the case was not serious, you have to show emotional intelligence and resolve the incident through informal means, such as a coffee conversation and if the case was serious, you had followed the correct HR procedure making sure that information has been noted and the Trust disciplinary process is followed. However in both cases what’s important to remember is that the has to be on working in partnership to find the solution. In this way, you will demonstrate your problem-solving, personnel management and leadership qualities.

Frequently Asked Questions for Band 6 NHS Interviews

What skills and experiences are required for a band 6 role?

The skills required for a Band 6 role which is different from a Band 5 is leadership and managerial. If you’re someone who hasn’t had any formal line management experience, it’s then important to focus on your informal experience where you’ve been put in charge of supervision or are leading an audit or small scale improvement. These are the types of areas that a band 6 interview questions NHS for physios will likely focus on.

What to expect from a Band 6 Interview?

Less clinical more managerial and leadership, this is because a band 6 role is in most cases the entry level role in to management and leadership within the NHS where you’re expected lead staff and service improvement and quality. Therefore they will be asking you a range of Behavioural questions and open-ended questions to assess your suitability for the role. Also don’t be surprised if they also ask for a 10minute presentation at the start of the interview.

Band 6 manager NHS interview questions

When you reach a band 6, it’s usually the beginning of your leadership journey within the NHS. So firstly it’s important to know what type of band 6 manager NHS interview questions are going to come up. Usually, these questions are as follows:

  • How would you manage an underperforming team member?
  • What would you do if there is conflict within your team?
  • How would you look to lead the team?
  • What are the important leadership qualities for a band 6 clinician?

The way to approach these questions is to first align your leadership philosophy with the Trust values. i.e. communication, Honesty, fairness and quality. Then you can these to build your response around these values, for example you could talk about the importance of being transparent and honest when dealing with conflict or an underperforming team member. If you’re interested in having some expert interview support you we provide NHS interview coaching services, so feel free to get in touch.

How to answer the NHS nurse leadership questions?

At the heart of answering any senior staff nurse leadership questions within the NHS is compassion and empathy, just as it’s the case with working and supporting patients. Therefore you really have you ensure that with any leadership question you mention keywords such as listening, understanding, root cause, collaboration, win-win and buy-in.

Farhan Raja

I'm Farhan, the Founder and Coach at, one of the world’s leading Career and interview Coaching specialists. Bringing over a decade of industry experience and a passion for guiding individuals in their career journeys. As an Interview and Career Coach, I've authored the eBook '10 Simple Steps to CV & Resume Success,' directed a leading UK CV writing specialist, and pioneered the iPREP interview coaching methodology.

My career and interview coaching has spanned over 10 years across diverse industries, from IT giants like Google and Microsoft to vital sectors like Civil Service & NHS, Pharma, Finance, Engineering, Automotive, Construction, Logistics, Banking, and Management Consulting. I've had the privilege of assisting professionals in presenting their best selves, and targeting roles at renowned companies like Amazon, GSK, EY, Shell, Rolls Royce and more.

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