Common Band 6 Interview Questions and How to Prepare

Lucam / Blog / Common Band 6 Interview Questions and How to Prepare

If you’re an experienced Band 5 Nurse looking to take the next step in your career progression or a newly qualified one who has the skills and experience to jump straight into Band 6 Nursing – preparing for the interview can be a stressful experience. 

The best thing you can do is prepare yourself. Taking time to research some of the most common band 6 interview questions and what employers are looking for in a band 6 nurse puts you in a fantastic position.

Of course, not all Band 6 Nurse roles are the same. Job titles for a band 6 nurse can include:

  • Team Leader
  • Lead Practitioner
  • Deputy Ward Manager
  • Charge Nurse
  • Senior Staff Nurse


Different employers will ask you different questions, but you can use our guide to answer most of the common band 6 interview questions no matter how they are worded. 

First things first, however, there are a few things you should know about Band 6 nurse roles to help you prepare for any curveball they throw at you.

Preparing For A Band 6 Interview

Band 6 is the first step into more senior nursing roles, and requires an increased level of responsibility, experience and leadership. Band 6 nurses typically have a few years of experience in the profession, working as part of a healthcare team successfully and efficiently.

There are a few things that will be expected of you before you become a Band 6 nurse. While these may change slightly on an employer or role basis, they will typically be within the estimates shown below.



Generally speaking, you’ll be expected to have at least one year to 18 months of experience as a Band 5 nurse before progressing. Most nurses in Band 6 have several years of experience working as a Band 5, but 1 year is typically the minimum

On top of this, you’ll be expected to complete several training courses to further your knowledge and understanding of the profession. This also shows employers that you are willing to go above and beyond the responsibilities of your current role.


Skills and Knowledge

With the step into senior nursing roles and management, you’ll need a wide array of skills and experiences to perform well on a day-to-day basis. There are quite a few specific skills that employers will be looking for during your Band 6 interview as well as your history as a Band 5 nurse.

The skills employers typically look for include:


  • Strong leadership
  • Decision making
  • Communication
  • Focus under pressure
  • Willingness to collaborate
  • Ability to train other nurses
  • Clinical skills
  • Organisation
  • Adaptability
  • Empathy
  • Support and Teamwork
  • Knowledge of the industry (key factors include the 6 cs of nursing, NHS policies etc)

Researching the Role

We’re giving this part its own dedicated section, as its importance cannot be overstated.

Before you head to your interview, you’ll need to research the employer, the role and Band 6 nursing in general.


The Employer

Understanding your employer will give you a considerable advantage during the interview. Look for key things such as their “Mission Statement”, their history within the healthcare industry, and what kind of services they provide.

A great way to find information about the employer is on their website. All NHS trusts and private providers will have key documents available online. You can find their recent developments, strategies, new policies and future plans.


The Role

Researching the role is also crucial. If you’ve worked as a Band 5 nurse in the same place, you’ll have a lot of experiences and unique insights into the role of Band 6 nurses in your place of employment.

If you’re applying for a new workplace, you may have to provide a more general understanding of the role. You likely won’t know the inner working of the role yet, but you can use some of the research you did on the employer as a whole in your delivery.


Other Band 6 Nurses

Spend time researching the experiences of other Band 6 nurses. If you understand what is expected of you and the typical day-to-day responsibilities of a Band 6 nurse, you’ll be more prepared to answer any unexpected questions thrown your way.

A great way to learn about the experiences of other Band 6 nurses is online. There are plenty of nurse-run blogs online where nurses share their experiences and tips such as

What to Expect from a Band 6 Interview

If you’ve been invited to an interview for a Band 6 nursing role, you will likely be asked to prepare a presentation on a topic chosen by a panel alongside a few interview questions. 

The panel you interview with can vary depending on the size of the employer and the role you are interviewing for. You can expect a few senior members from the employer as well as senior nurses. 

You’ll be asked several questions involving your experience, skills and overall suitability for a senior Band 6 role.

Being asked to do a presentation in front of a panel of your peers might be nerve-wracking for you, and it is for most nurses. We’ll tackle that first.


Band 6 Interview Presentation

The presentation is much easier than it sounds. It should generally take around 10 to 20 minutes (including any questions from the panel, you don’t have to talk the entire 20 minutes)

The panel will give you a topic beforehand, and it will relate to the role you are applying for in some way. Make sure to read the full explanation of what format they expect as well as the subject they want you to cover

The presentation is there to help demonstrate your communication skills as well as your knowledge of the healthcare industry. It’s a great way to show your nursing knowledge, your ability to take different perspectives on a topic and your awareness of the healthcare environment and the challenges in the industry.

You’ll have plenty of time to prepare something, so ensure you fully understand what they are asking from you and show off your knowledge and skills.

Common Band 6 Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

There are many different questions an employer may ask you in your Band 6 interview and very few interviews are the same. Employers typically aren’t looking for pre-written, pre-rehearsed answers to their questions. They want you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the profession as well as your ability to handle pressure. 

However, there are a few questions that pop up frequently. They may be worded differently on the day, but the general idea and direction of the question will be the same. 

Here are 6 of the most common band 6 interview questions we have noticed throughout our experience in recruitment. 


Why did you apply for this role?


With this question, the panel want to know that you have done your research about the role and give you room to prove that you are ready to progress. 

You can keep your answer to this one fairly short, just discuss how you feel that you are ready to take on further responsibility and that you have furthered your leadership and communication skills. 

An example answer for this question could look like this:

“I applied for this role because I know that I am ready to take on more responsibilities. I feel that the role of Senior Nurse would suit my leadership and communication skills, as well as allow me to develop my skills further”


What do you think are the main differences between a Band 5 Role and a Band 6 Role?


This question is designed for you to show you have an understanding of the additional responsibilities and requirements that come with a Band 6 role.

The exact responsibilities will differ based on the exact role you are applying for, but hopefully, you already did some research on this beforehand.  

Essentially, you need to demonstrate that you are aware of the responsibilities of leadership, governance, communication and management. If you can provide an example of a time you took the lead in a situation or managed your colleagues to work more effectively.

An example answer for this question could look like this:

“As a Band 6 nurse, I would be expected to take on further leadership responsibilities such as supervising and mentoring junior nursing staff. I would need to use my management and organisational skills to ensure that established care plans are executed without issue using a deeper understanding of complex conditions and treatments. 

With leadership in particular, I would be the person that junior nursing staff turn to for guidance and support. As a Band 5 nurse, I experienced a situation during a particularly busy shift in which I decided to take control of delegating treatment between my fellow Band 5 nurses. We had a significant amount of walk-in patients and were struggling to manage each one of these, due to my intervention, we established a clear plan to treat patients in the most effective and efficient way”

Of course, you should tailor your response to the specific role and your past experiences, the important thing is to show that you are aware that you will need to take a hands-on approach to leadership and management. 


A member of your nursing staff frequently arrives late to their shift, how would you address this?


This question in particular has a variety of different formats and choices of wording. It may not be about this specific situation, but another similar situation in which you would have to explain how you would deal with an issue.

This question is asking you to openly demonstrate your leadership skills on the fly. While you may have already discussed a situation you took control of, like the question above, the panel want to see how you can show leadership in unexpected situations.

Researching the staff policies beforehand is a great way to prepare for this type of question, as you’ll see how they expect staff to interact with each other and the measures in place to deal with issues.

An example answer for this Band 6 interview question could look like this:

“Firstly, I would check in with the member of staff in an informal situation to find out the reason for their lateness. I would prefer to talk to them informally because it would alleviate some of the stress and provoke open conversation about potentially sensitive issues. If the conversation was successful, I would try to resolve the situation with the staff member on that basis.

If the lateness were to continue, I would contact HR to find out what the policy for handling this situation was and come to a decision on what further action needed to be taken.

I would prefer to deal with the situation informally and provide support for the staff member if they had a legitimate reason to be late and provide solutions around that. However, if it needs to be escalated further, I would not hesitate”

What are the 6 C’s and why do you feel they are important?


This question is fairly straightforward, you likely will have a lot of experience with the 6 c’s of nursing. When applying for a band 6 position, you should have a deeper understanding of each of the 6 C’s and how to implement them in your care.

If you’re struggling to remember, the 6 C’s are:

  • Care
  • Compassion
  • Courage
  • Communication
  • Commitment
  • Competence

These ensure that patients are cared for effectively, are treated well and can build trust in their care providers. 

We have further information on the 6 C’s if you need a refresher. 

In your answer, you should list each of the 6 C’s, and explain why you think they are important for both healthcare professionals and patients.

We can’t give you much of a sample answer for this one, as your answer should be based on your own thoughts and opinions. 


How do you deal with the stress of being a nurse?


Another relatively straightforward question. The panel here expects you to say that you can handle the stress at work but also wants to hear your methods for handling it.

The panel needs to know that you are capable of handling stress and performing at your best at all times. As a band 6 nurse, junior nurses will be looking up to you and you need to set a strong example. 

For your answer, start off by acknowledging that stress is inevitable in the job and that you have strategies to manage it. You should describe the ways that you keep on track at work, such as organisation, note-taking, prioritising certain jobs etc. 

You should also mention anything you do outside of work, like going to the gym, gardening or anything else you find relaxing and allows you to take your mind off work. 

Try to be as genuine as possible and if you have one, give an example of a time you were particularly stressed and how you managed it.

This one also depends entirely on your own personal experiences, so an example answer won’t apply. 


Do you have any questions for us?


One of the most common interview questions for almost every job, and one that can very easily derail a successful interview. 

With this question, the panel wants you to ask questions that demonstrate your understanding and enthusiasm for the role.

Doing some research on trust beforehand can help you think about some potential questions. Look for information about their future plans and developments or some of the partnerships they are involved in. 

Alternatively, ask questions about career progression opportunities, the goals and priorities of the organisation or questions about the values, culture or mission statement. These show an interest in the trust as a whole and your commitment to staying long-term. 

One question you could ask is:

“Can you tell me more about the organization’s approach to staff development and opportunities for continuing professional development for Band 6 nurses?”

Extra Tips for Your Band 6 Nurse Interview

We haven’t covered every single question you’ll be asked, but it should help you prepare for anything the panel might throw at you. 

The most important thing to remember is to be calm, be genuine and be professional. If you can nail these 3 things as well as show off some of your knowledge and experience as a nurse, you should get through the interview with flying colours.

If you want the very best chance at being successful in your band 6 nurse interview, follow these extra tips.


Dress Appropriately and Arrive Early


Easy one, but dressing the part and arriving at the interview a short while before you’re needed is crucial. 

Chances are, any other interviewees will arrive early. You don’t want to be the odd one out. 

Arriving early also gives you a little time to prepare and compose yourself. Remember the research you did on the role and on the organisation. It might be helpful for you to take some notes on your phone that you can look over beforehand. 

If you aren’t sure what you should wear to the interview, smart is always the safe option. Any smart suit, skirt or pants will do, and a white shirt always works. Make sure they’re cleaned properly.


Bring Copies of Your CV and Other Relevant Documents


Be prepared by bringing multiple copies of your CV and any other relevant documents, such as qualifications, certifications, or references.

This shows that you are organized and proactive in providing the interviewer with the necessary information about your qualifications and experience. It also allows you to refer to specific details during the interview, which can help reinforce your suitability for the Band 6 role.


Show Your Enthusiasm and Passion for the Role


Express your enthusiasm and passion for the Band 6 role during the interview. Share your genuine interest in the position and how it aligns with your career goals.

Highlight your relevant skills, experience, and achievements that make you a strong candidate for the role. Showing genuine enthusiasm can leave a lasting impression and demonstrate your motivation to excel in the Band 6 position.



Submit Your CV

"*" indicates required fields

Max. file size: 1 GB.