Eligibility for Interview Panels

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BenJMan
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Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by BenJMan » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:45 pm

Afternoon all,

I've just run afoul of a rule in our Trust that I find rather pequliar and wondering what other people's experiences, qualified and non qualfieds, of this have been.

We are currently recruiting for two new Assistant Psychologist posts to work alongside me (all band 4) and the plan was for me to be part of the short listing and main interview panel. However a member of the department raised a concern about this on the basis that people who will be on equal / lower banding should not shortlist/interview potential candidates as they will be future peers.

This was later checked with our HR department who confirmed that their policy is people of the same/lower banding should not interview.

I have a number of issues with this the primary ones of which are:

1. Surely a staff member currently doing the role will provide a valuable insight into what might be wanted / needed in candidates

2. What does banding have to do with how well someone can judge interview candidates? (excluding interview experience or training, neither of which were a factor here)

3. I have been interviewed by people on the same banding as the post before and I know of several other agencies that use same band staff members as well, is it just my trust??

4. Our own trust policy states:

The Trust recommends a three person
panel consisting of:
 The appointing Manager, who will be chair of the panel.
 Team Supervisor or Leader.
Team member or a user of the service or department recruiting.

Surely in many teams a 'team member' will be of equivalent banding to posts being advertised?

I'll admit to being slightly miffed that I have lost the opportunity to participate in something that I have a strong vested interest in (given I will be training and basically providing operational supervision for the two new AP's for the next year or longer) but it just doesn't seem to make sense to me? My replacement is planned to be a band 5 staff nurse from another area of our department who works 1 day a week with the AP's and has an equivalent amount of time/experience in mental health practice to myself.

Anyone run accross it before?
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by miriam » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:54 pm

I would let an AP set and evaluate a task related to the role, and comment on how they found a person, but never be part of an interview panel or making decisions about their peers. There is a difference between contributing to the process of selection, and being a selector, and I think the trust policy is absolutely correct.
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by R@chel » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:00 pm

I have been interviewed by someone who was currently in the role, would in the future be a work colleague and of an equal banding to me, didn't seem to be problem. That was for an NHS post and they were one of a three member panel. As already mentioned I think it makes sense, as they probably have the best sense of the role in terms of qualities needed and relevant questions to ask, as well as being a good source of information for any questions the applicant might have at the end.

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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by Borrowed Cone » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:11 pm

It is a common policy across many NHS Trusts that same/lower banded staff cannot be present in the interview.

I think this is entirely correct, especially if you are going to be working along side them.

I realise you are disappointed by a potentially "exciting" or "useful" experience for you; however I think you need to take a step back and perhaps reflect on the power issues and how it would be for that person working along side you, having been "interviewed" by you.
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by tarasian » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:00 am

i would probably agree with the other comments. I do sympathise though. When i handed in my notice as a ward clerk I was allowed to interview for the new ward clerk largely because i was taking a HCA post on the same ward. Although this job was at the same banding the job roles with obviously very different.

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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by captain artichoke » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:59 pm

I agree with your Trust policy too. I had a band 7 interview with an Assistant Psychologist on the panel and found it hugely off-putting. Became very distracted by whether she was thinking "how on earth did you get on training, let alone finish it?!". :lol: No idea why she'd be anymore likely to think that than anyone else in the room.

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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by Chalice » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:52 pm

Just to offer an alternative perspective. I have been interviewed by a peer before (for a band 4 GMHW post) and have interviewed for the same post and a Band 5 AP post as well (who was to be my replacement). Obviously I was not responsible for the ultimate decision but was very much part of the panel, which - although I may of course be speaking out of line - I believe was appreciated by the other panel members as well, as I (obviously) knew what the role was about.

When I was interviewed by my peer I certainly did not feel unduly uncomfortable - in fact I found her presence hugely supportive, as she knew exactly what the role entailed and what kind of answers to expect from me (it felt a bit as if she was on "my side"). I hope that the people I joint-interviewed along the line felt similarly. I certainly think that it was helpful for them to ask questions in the interview about what exactly the role would entail.
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by BenJMan » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:18 am

Really interesting points from a range of perspectives! I guess I’m still left with a few questions..
miriam wrote:I would let an AP set and evaluate a task related to the role, and comment on how they found a person, but never be part of an interview panel or making decisions about their peers. There is a difference between contributing to the process of selection, and being a selector, and I think the trust policy is absolutely correct.
I’m really curious as to why you make the distinction Miriam? And why it is inappropriate in your eyes for someone of equal banding to contribute to a decision about a potential peer? It’s interesting to hear different perspectives; my own consultant psychologist and the other psychologist on the panel were very keen to have me on the panel but ended up hand tied by the policy.
Borrowed Cone wrote:It is a common policy across many NHS Trusts that same/lower banded staff cannot be present in the interview.
I think this is entirely correct, especially if you are going to be working along side them.
I realise you are disappointed by a potentially "exciting" or "useful" experience for you; however I think you need to take a step back and perhaps reflect on the power issues and how it would be for that person working along side you, having been "interviewed" by you.
The disappointment has subsided somewhat and I’m just left with curiosity about something I don’t understand or really agree with, I suppose for me your point is a matter of perspective and personal feelings… I personally wouldn’t have any power dynamics issues beyond those that already exist when a new staff members works alongside someone who has been in post 2-3 years, were I in the reverse position.
captain artichoke wrote:I agree with your Trust policy too. I had a band 7 interview with an Assistant Psychologist on the panel and found it hugely off-putting. Became very distracted by whether she was thinking "how on earth did you get on training, let alone finish it?!". :lol: No idea why she'd be anymore likely to think that than anyone else in the room.
This is interesting as its almost the other spectrum, with my issue sitting in the middle. This is someone of significantly lower banding interviewing for a higher position. I’m curious as to why wondering what an AP thought of you was more intrusive/disruptive than thinking what your potential manager/supervisor would think of you? Though you did say you’ve no idea why that is :D But again this feels more of a personal thing than a professional one? Maybe if it’s a wide enough personal issue it becomes a professional one, I guess I’d have to survey everyone who has ever had / will have an interview to find out :D
Chalice wrote:Just to offer an alternative perspective. I have been interviewed by a peer before (for a band 4 GMHW post) and have interviewed for the same post and a Band 5 AP post as well (who was to be my replacement). Obviously I was not responsible for the ultimate decision but was very much part of the panel, which - although I may of course be speaking out of line - I believe was appreciated by the other panel members as well, as I (obviously) knew what the role was about.

When I was interviewed by my peer I certainly did not feel unduly uncomfortable - in fact I found her presence hugely supportive, as she knew exactly what the role entailed and what kind of answers to expect from me (it felt a bit as if she was on "my side"). I hope that the people I joint-interviewed along the line felt similarly. I certainly think that it was helpful for them to ask questions in the interview about what exactly the role would entail.
This kind of reflects some of my feelings towards it and what I would hope came out of participation.


What I’m finding very interesting is that asking AP’s etc about whether this would concern or a help to them the majority of opinion I’ve heard has been positive, and the reverse true for higher bands, outside of the psychologists in my service. I wonder how band 7-8 psychologists would feel about being interviewed by a potential band 7-8 peer?
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by Goats » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:20 pm

I am on the interview panel for my own job in a few weeks time.

I have fairly extensive experience of interviewing in my previous career and also quite a bit in mental health circles having been on the panel for support workers, OT assistants, service user researchers etc.

I am looking forward to it and feel that I have a really important view within the panel, as the other panel members (who include people I have interviewed and people who have interviewed me) also see it :)
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by Ruthie » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:41 pm

BenJMan wrote:We are currently recruiting for two new Assistant Psychologist posts to work alongside me (all band 4) and the plan was for me to be part of the short listing and main interview panel. However a member of the department raised a concern about this on the basis that people who will be on equal / lower banding should not shortlist/interview potential candidates as they will be future peers.
That's interesting because as CPs we may be interviewed by team managers who are on the same or lower banding as we are. Not a problem imho because we have different roles and I think team managers should definitely have a say on who they would like to have in their team.
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by BenJMan » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:46 pm

Goats wrote:I am on the interview panel for my own job in a few weeks time.
When did your job go up for advert?? Oh noes :( I was waiting for it to go up :P Was under the impression it was going up in October.
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by Goats » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:49 pm

BenJMan wrote:
Goats wrote:I am on the interview panel for my own job in a few weeks time.
When did your job go up for advert?? Oh noes :( I was waiting for it to go up :P Was under the impression it was going up in October.
Hi BenJMan, any people who meet the criteria internally (within our trust etc) have to be interviewed before the job goes public :)
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by BenJMan » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:52 pm

Ha, damn, I never did stand a chance then :D Make sure they get classed as not appointable. I did my person spec way in advance any eveeeerything :D I blame Naomi..
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Re: Eligibility for Interview Panels

Post by Goats » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:55 pm

Dont give up on it, I wasn't an internal candidate and I got the post which says there wasnt anyone suitable internally last time around. Job would be starting in October btw :)
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