Cardiff University Nursing Interview Questions & Tips
Cardiff’s A Level requirements are not overly stringent, and perhaps indicative of a more hands-on, practical ‘student profile’ than Edinburgh and Glasgow. You’ll need BBB or BBC, with no particular subjects required. Additionally, you’ll need four GCSEs at a grade C including Maths and at least one science. Cardiff helpfully give some detail of what they expect in your personal statement, which will mirror their demands at interview - an understanding of the profession, an insight into the course itself, and relevant work experience. They then use the personal statement to decide who will receive an interview - ‘if you meet the minimum entry requirements, your application will be given a numerical score based on your personal statement. Eligible applicants will be ranked… and the top ranking applicants invited to interview.’
Cardiff now uses an MMI (which stands for Multiple Mini Interview) format for its interviewing. This constitutes a range of short, timed interview sessions. You will move through the sessions over the space of about 40 minutes. They will be taken by a range of different people at the university - often a mixture of practicing nurses, lecturers, senior students and even patients.
Each session will be designed to cover a different topic. Cardiff give some detail of what they are looking for: the ability to think on your feet, evidence that you have thought about issues important to the profession, evidence that you can critically appraise information, and the ability to communicate ideas effectively. They will also focus on ‘exploring the personal qualities and attributes that are important to your future career development.’ There may well be some crossover between stations - so don’t expect each station to neatly fit one of these themes.
From previous students, the normal MMI format is six stations, each of five minutes, with a two minute break between each of the stations.In previous years, Cardiff have relied heavily on assessing your personal statement prior to interview. However, this will have lessened with the introduction of the MMI.
What Stations to Expect
From their own information, you would do well to expect some combination of the following stations:
- Knowledge of Nursing
- Work Experience
- Comprehension or Information Appraisal
- Role Play
- Personal Statement
- Qualities of a Nurse
Cardiff does state that they don’t use the MMIs to ‘test the amount of prior knowledge you have about the subject or the profession’ but this should be taken with a pinch of salt. Don’t focus on revising intricacies of the profession, or the NMC code of practice - but ensure that you are up to date on news and issues surrounding the profession.Ensure that you are able to talk in detail about your work experience, and show some reflection of it.
Learn your personal statement thoroughly, and think about any qualities or attributes that you touch on in it. Focus on these, and revise in some detail the characteristics that make a successful nurse (notably team working, empathy, resilience, communication skills and a dedication to lifelong learning).
Innovative, Hands-On Teaching
Cardiff is proud of their use of technology in learning - they deploy augmented reality for anatomy and physiology classes, and have state of the art clinical skills facilities to prepare you for placements. This is an important part of their course, and worth highlighting at interview if learning practical skills is something that you are particularly looking forward to. You could also focus on their use of technology as being of interest - its use in a learning environment mirrors its increasing use in healthcare settings. Portable monitors, smart beds, and wearable health devices are all changing the way nurses are able to look after patients.
Some Key Questions for Cardiff Interviews
- Tell us about one of the character traits that you believe is essential to Nursing.
- What are you most looking forward to about being a nurse?
- What experiences can you tell us about that made you want to become a nurse?
- Can you tell us about a time that you had to work in a team in a high pressure situation?
Some MMI Format Questions
- Please look at this piece of information and assess it. Can you tell us what it means?
- Study the paper you have been provided with, and explain what it says to the patient. Then, answer any questions that they may have.
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