Interviews for nursing, midwifery and social work courses

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If your application to study nursing, midwifery or social work at Anglia Ruskin meets our requirements, we'll invite you to come to an interview day.

Interview days take the following formats.

Nursing and midwifery

Interviews are divided into two phases. Phase 1 is a numeracy test and a literacy test. Phase 2 involves mini multiple interviews (MMIs).

For nursing applicants, if you're unsuccessful in the literacy and numeracy tests you will not be able to proceed to the MMI stage.

The literacy test

The literacy test is generally a question, such as ‘How do the media portray midwives?’ or ‘What is social work?’, which you respond to with a short, essay-style answer. The test is checking that you can demonstrate understanding of a written task, and use grammar, spelling, punctuation and clear sentences to respond in a given time. 

One of the most important things when preparing for your interview day is to do your research. If you were to get a question that touched on the media, like the example above, you may not be able to answer it accurately if you hadn’t done some reading. Useful information to scan through before the day are the topic pages on the BBC and Guardian websites.

The numeracy test

The numeracy test (see a sample) initially consists of 18 questions. These range from working out percentages, to converting decimals from fractions, to metric to imperial conversions. You won’t be allowed a calculator for this section, so it’s crucial to do some homework beforehand and make sure you’re comfortable with the different sums. This part of the numeracy test lasts for 25 minutes and is based at grade C GCSE level (so fairly painless).

You will then be given two questions for which you can use a calculator, and you will have five minutes to answer these. Therefore there are 20 questions in total and the overall pass rate is 50% – it’s achievable!

Saying that, please don’t let these factors make you too relaxed – remember in a modern world we don’t often have to use the maths skills we once could do in school, so don’t rely on the fact you did well at GCSE. The way to succeed and not become stressed on the day is to prepare for each assessment.

Mini multiple interviews (MMIs)

If you successfully complete the literacy and numeracy tests, you'll be invited back for another interview. This will be in the MMI format and consist of three interview 'stations'.

  • You will attend three 'stations' that look at your understanding of an aspect of the NHS constitution through short scenarios.
  • Each station will also consider your interpersonal skills.
  • Each station will be led by either an academic from ARU, a practising nurse from a local NHS Trust or a service user (someone who has been a patient or the relative of a patient).

Remember, it's perfectly normal to be nervous about the interview day, but as long as you prepare well, there's nothing to be worried about.

Social work

If we shortlist your application to study social work, we'll invite you to join us on campus for a written task, a group discussion and an individual interview. 

On the day, we're looking to see if you're the right candidate for the course and that you can communicate and cope well in a variety of situations. Interview days typically start at 9am and include a welcome from our tutors, a written test, a group exercise and individual interviews. 

Written test

Our written test lasts for 30 minutes. You'll be asked to give a short, essay-style response to a question such as 'What is the role of a social worker?'

Group exercise

After a short break, you'll move into the group exercise, which lasts for 30 minutes. Again, you'll be given a relevant question to discuss. This helps us to assess your communication, decision-making and team-working skills, as well as your ability to respect other people's opinions.

Individual interview

The day will finish off with an individual interview, where the focus is on you. We'll ask you what it is that attracted you to this course and what has inspired you to pursue a career in social work. This is your final chance to sell yourself, so it's key to prepare for what you may be asked. Alongside your answers, you'll also be assessed on areas including professionalism, values and ethics, and knowledge.

Both the group exercises and individual interviews are evaluated by a panel of academics and clinical placement representatives, so it's important that you do your research. Reading newspapers and magazines as Community Care and The Guardian's Society section will help with this.

More information about interviews 

See 'Getting the most from your interview' for general interview tips and information.

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