Reflections on 4th application and not on training

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Adski
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Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by Adski » Fri May 22, 2015 4:10 pm

Context
4th application for Dclin
This year I had 3 interviews

Reflections
So I thought I might get this down on here just in case it could help someone else. The overwhelming feedback I have got this year is "Your answers were great, some of the best we have had ... but you scored lower on communication and empathy".

In a nutshell I have focused so much this year on preparation and getting "The best answer", that I became a robot in the interviews and forgot to just be me. Ironically I did better in previous years because I was just "Me" but with less knowledge base.

Take away learning point: Above all else the courses are wanting to see what you are like as a person, would they want to come and talk to you if they were in distress?

It is important to be yourself, be human, be you. :D

Hockeygirl
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by Hockeygirl » Fri May 22, 2015 4:16 pm

Thanks for posting this- I too have a tendency to over prepare and I have to wonder (As I can't get feedback yet from my courses), if this is something that has worked against me this year, especailly in clinical role play! Sometimes it's so hard to find the balance between prepared and "robot".

I don't know if you are applying next year- but chin up- it's a super tough process. :)

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moonbeam
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by moonbeam » Fri May 22, 2015 4:25 pm

I have to agree with you both - that's what I've always been told "Just be yourself". Which seems hard in a way and I always thought 'But how am I?', and of course you'll want to prepare by going over theory, research or NHS issues etc and you never really know how much is too much prep until you've had your interview.

Motto: Don't be a robot

It's such a tough and horrible process, well done on your interviews and well done getting through them :)
There may not always be a solution to the problem, but there is always another perspective...

Bobgirl
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by Bobgirl » Fri May 22, 2015 4:39 pm

I completely agree with this thread and wanted to share my experience. I had my first interviews last year. Prepared loads and the best I got was reserve. This year I had one interview, minimally prepared and got on. I couldn't even answer one of the questions! BUT because I had minimally prepared I was reflecting on each question rather than spirting out all my knowledge. My personality came across as well as my own views.

It's really hard to not do loads of studying because you want to give it your best shot but I think overpreparing can cause its own difficulties xx

anniecat
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by anniecat » Fri May 22, 2015 5:23 pm

I would completely echo all that's been said so far (plus what has already been said on the thread on interview 'failures')

My experience was that I fell down (again 3 interviews and not even a reserve offer)absolutely through not being myself - partly due to nerves and partly due to trying to be 'what I thought they wanted me to be'.

I agree it is very hard when you want something very badly and know it is super competitive not to throw everything at it but next year (if I do try again and providing I get an interview obviously!) I will definitely do the bare minimum of prep (it's all there already - it's just allowing it to surface on the day) and just take a far more 'well if they want me they want me, if they don't they don't attitude'. Of course far easier said than done but that is definitely my take home message...

Adski
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by Adski » Fri May 22, 2015 5:59 pm

I don't know if you are applying next year- but chin up- it's a super tough process. :)
I am going to be applying next year. I am just looking at it like a driving test, I'll pass it's just how many times it's going to take haha! I know in my heart I am ready and I have not always been able to say that. It is just being me and not trying to construct the perfect answer. It is a big lesson to learn, not just for interviews ... <- me positively re framing the process.

The thing I love about this profession of ours is that even though I am not on training this year I am still going to be doing what I enjoy doing. I have applied for a few AP jobs recently so hopefully Ill have the opportunity to work in a new environment with new challenges.

Ill leave you with some words from one of my favourite people in history ...

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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enid
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by enid » Fri May 22, 2015 6:11 pm

Bobgirl wrote:minimally prepared and got on. I couldn't even answer one of the questions! BUT because I had minimally prepared I was reflecting on each question rather than spirting out all my knowledge. My personality came across as well as my own views.
Yeah can relate to this - not that I didn't read a bit and reflect before interviews, but the main prep I did was for the presentations I had to do. On the day of my successful interview I didn't use a single pre-prepared example, just took a - genuine - thoughtful pause before answering each question, and answered with whatever was in my head. And incidentally didn't give any reflections on my clinical experience in the end - more negotiations with colleagues/supervisors etc., in the end - it was more natural and just what came in to my head and out of my mouth.

I did concentrate on just being the 'nicest', most personable version of me though - but again, a nice panel bring this out naturally. I think empathic skills and a personable nature is key (IME anyway). I also said I don't know to a lot of questions! Esp for the research vignette - it's just too hard to really answer I think sometimes! (& I have a lot of research exp.!) Maybe it's about 'how' you say you don't know. Weirdly in my feedback (I asked for feedback anyway, despite getting on) they said I performed well across all panels - listed my best bits, but which included intellectual ability (or something) - a big surprise! So knowing all the answers is definitely not required!

In a way I think it's best to just prep over time (through work and journalling, rather than in run up to interviews), then when you get interview offers, just find ways to relax as much as you can. If you have to do a presentation then of course you need to prep for this - time-keeping being key. In my group task I got the vibe from some people that they were trying to show off how much they knew - I know that must be tempting, as people are so nervous - but even in the moment I had a strong sense this wasn't what the observer was looking for. I said a few things, but didn't talk loads, as there were quite a few of us.
Last edited by enid on Fri May 22, 2015 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sparklepants
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by sparklepants » Fri May 22, 2015 6:18 pm

Absolutely loving this thread, Adski. You and I can be multiple-timer with no drop in enthusiasm buddies! 2 reserves offers, 2 no after interview this year for me. I'll definitely just keep doing what I love, keep learning from experiences, and work on how to structure answers in interviews :)

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Bubbly
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by Bubbly » Fri May 22, 2015 6:34 pm

enid wrote:
Bobgirl wrote:minimally prepared and got on. I couldn't even answer one of the questions! BUT because I had minimally prepared I was reflecting on each question rather than spirting out all my knowledge. My personality came across as well as my own views.
Yeah can relate to this - not that I didn't read a bit and reflect before interviews, but the main prep I did was for the presentations I had to do. On the day of my successful interview I didn't use a single pre-prepared example, just took a - genuine - thoughtful pause before answering each question, and answered with whatever was in my head. And incidentally didn't give any reflections on my clinical experience in the end - more negotiations with colleagues/supervisors etc., in the end - it was more natural and just what came in to my head and out of my mouth.

I did concentrate on just being the 'nicest', most personable version of me though - but again, a nice panel bring this out naturally. I think empathic skills and a personable nature is key (IME anyway). I also said I don't know to a lot of questions! Esp for the research vignette - it's just too hard to really answer I think sometimes! (& I have a lot of research exp.!) Maybe it's about 'how' you say you don't know. Weirdly in my feedback (I asked for feedback anyway, despite getting on) they said I performed well across all panels - listed my best bits, but which included intellectual ability (or something) - a big surprise! So knowing all the answers is definitely not required!

In a way I think it's best to just prep over time (through work and journalling, rather than in run up to interviews), then when you get interview offers, just find ways to relax as much as you can. If you have to do a presentation then of course you need to prep for this - time-keeping being key. In my group task I got the vibe from some people that they were trying to show off how much they knew - I know that must be tempting, as people are so nervous - but even in the moment I had a strong sense this wasn't what the observer was looking for. I said a few things, but didn't talk loads, as there were quite a few of us.
I can second this!! I did everything that enid said, and that helped me to be successful. I did prep a lot (I always do!), however I didn't use any prepared answers, I was myself, I laughed and smiled, I asked them to repeat questions, I asked them if I could have a moment to think about it, I was honest about not knowing an answer to a question (if that was the case), I thought of it has a supervision session and a chat with colleagues which made me feel calm. In sum, I showed I was human that can make mistakes, and open to learning :)

Adski
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by Adski » Sat May 23, 2015 1:06 pm

Absolutely loving this thread, Adski. You and I can be multiple-timer with no drop in enthusiasm buddies! 2 reserves offers, 2 no after interview this year for me. I'll definitely just keep doing what I love, keep learning from experiences, and work on how to structure answers in interviews :)
Sounds good to me Sparklepants. The next choice is where to apply for next year. This year I had:

Lancaster: Interview
Liverpool: Interview
Glasgow: Interview
Leeds: diddly squat

I think I'll switch Leeds out but I am not sure what to.

Since starting this thread I have chatted to some of my colleagues and friends who are on training / have finished training. One of the themes was "I felt that I could have done with more exp before training". Again for my fellow multiple timers, the more exp we gather before starting training the more comfortable we will be on training.

Next year will be my 5th application, however looking back at my first two I was really just figuring out the process. I think the idea around how many times someone applies is interesting too. It can be difficult going again for a 4th 5th 6th time. I think in general people are encouraged to apply straight away on the "Off chance" of getting on. Reflecting on this, is this more likely to create more fellow multiple timers? Instead of applying when you are ready?

Eg. One of my colleagues who has got on this year has applied twice vs my four. This could have easily been their 4th application however they waited to apply when they "Felt ready".

Final word
What I am trying to say is that the number of applications you make before getting on training is like passing your driving test. It doesn't matter how many times you try once you have got it.

(Stay strong my fellow multiple timers!)

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dancinbee
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by dancinbee » Sat May 23, 2015 1:44 pm

I have applied three times. The first time I had 2 intervieW's but it was all new and I probably wasn't ready to play the game. The second time I only had one and was blown back by the fact the first two did not invite me back - at the time I presumed that would be a given. This year I also had three. The first didn't go so well- I was so nervous, I felt sick that morning. The second went better but obviously not goodrop enough.

My last interview went really well for the research part (wwhich is usually the worst ) ....
Alol the sacrifices, money, time, evenings spent revising or working on assignments for another course to keep me going...
I am just fed up really and would like to be rewarded for my efforts, skills and abilities.

But I totally get it- so does everyone else. And there are plenty of people in the same boat. What to do though...kkeep trying in fear my self esteem and mood are ever more plunged into negativity or find some hope and try again. I'm wondering if it's a sign this is not for me... I know I am good at the role and colleagues tell me I am working absolutely well enough to do themail job but it's getting on the bloody training.

Rant over.

Elizabeth I found your words very helpful and encouraging.
B

sparklepants
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by sparklepants » Sat May 23, 2015 2:18 pm

Elizabeth,

I felt just like that last year. Like you, I had an interview the first year I applied, which was not a good idea at all in retrospect. This year, I decided to go for some personal therapy. I knew my reaction was stronger than it had to be, especially given that I'm lucky to be in a job I love that pays me well while I "wait" to get on. I think a lot of us are high achievers, and my relationship to success is what I worked on. While I didn't get on this year (unless those reserve lists shift!), I don't feel anywhere near as discouraged, and am already thinking of plans for the coming year. i hope this will be the case for yourself, and I' certainly not saying you need therapy - just that it was a good move for me.

Be kind, allow yourself to feel sad (it's bloody tough), and take care of yourself.

xxx

Adski
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by Adski » Sat May 23, 2015 3:33 pm

My exp:

1st year - 2 reserve list for interview
2nd year - 2 interviews
3rd - diddly squat (Twas an odd year)
4th - 3 interviews
5th - TBC haha!

In my first interviews I was "Me" but with no knowledge base, in my 3 this year I was the total opposite. Next year I need to find the goldilocks conditions. I have been an AP / RA / PWP for the last 5/6 years. I am doing what I want, I'm just not on training.

Ill be honest after last week finding out I have nothing from 3 interviews I was devastated. However I was determined to not let a bad day, turn into a bad week, turn into a bad month, turn into a bad year. I got the upset and hurt out of my system with my family and friends, now we try again next year. If anything it is something to talk about in next years interviews, showing resilience (or madness) and commitment to training.

Getting my thoughts out on here has helped too, which is why I thought this could help others too. :mrgreen:

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Beth
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by Beth » Tue May 26, 2015 10:55 am

Hi,

I've just come across this thread, and I think its really good for multi-timers.

This year was my fourth application, with three interviews and I got one reserve place, one no and one place.

The last year I have had people say to me "just be yourself" "they are looking at who you are as a person". I never really knew what people meant by this, but I think now I get it. I think for Salomons (my reserve place) I over prepared, I thought I knew what they wanted, what they wanted to see and in that I think I had decided (unconsciously) the side of me I wanted them to see. I came out knewing the best would be a reserve place and I learnt not to over prepare - mainly practicing too many questions and being quite specific in what I thought they wanted and focusing on these areas (having interviewed there before) - big mistake. So I took a different approach for my next two. Thought about my experiences I had and how that shows who I am and how I have got to where I am now. I think for cardiff I somehow got this very wrong as I got a no. But my staffs interview was very different, and I may well be repeating what Bubbly and Enid have already said. I genuinely stopped and thought at the beginning of the questions, then when I realised I had been quite a while I apoligised and told them I was just working things out in my head, I also answered honestly - on one of my questions I gave a very honest answer which I was adament would have gone against me, but talking to others afterwards I think it was the right thing to do. I also gave some slightly fragmented answers due to trying to think about all the different areas, and previously I would have thought that would go against me but I think it helped to think I was continuously thinking about different aspects there were to the answer, and showed my thinking further, which I guess is also more realistic to what we do at work we don't generally just say one thing and then stop thinking about it. I also made a joke or two or a little comment if it was appropriate again as I felt this showed who I am.

My advice would be to not over prepare. To think about your expereince, and a few cases that really stand out to you, what you learnt both personally and professionally, I would think about the not so obvious things you do day to day, with the team you work in and helping the team to think psychologically - again this is often very subtle. I really thought about how the experiences had shaped me professionally and how personal experiences had brought me to this point. also think about the things you do which is not group or 1:1 work, e.g. leadership skills, communication skills show how your aware of all the different roles a CP does.
I think it is worth reminding yourself of just a couple of models to draw upon - but they dont need to be ones we explictly use every day, and I'd see the interviews as a chance to show them your way of thinking and working as a clinican as well as who you are. but yes I would be careful about "preparing" answers. I drew on things I had thought about a head of the interview and I had given myself to reflect and think about the experiences but certainly in my successful interview i was thinking on the spot about making the experience i had fit the questions (which I think for salomons I really didnt do!)

I think the thread about what to prepare that was done before interviews this year is really helpful - I remember thinking "thats not enough to prep" but having compared my successful and unsuccesful interviews I really think it is a goo guide of what to prep.

Also I think multi-timers, your experience will speak volumes at interview - you have so much experience to draw upon to really show your thinking, sometimes it about showing that wide aray of experience you have. I'm always explicit about where the experience I am talking about has come from, e.g. "while working in X blah blah I had this experience", as i feel it really highlights how much experience I have, and I tried to really think about which experience would highlight that question the best.

Also something I had to remind myself that some people who get on first time will apply several years after graduation, not everyone applies straight out of uni like i did - I dont know if that helps, but it helped me this year to remind myself of that.

I hope what I've said is of some help. Its just my thoughts comparing my unsuccessful to successful interviews, but in no way do I think I have the "answer" or know what the "trick" is to getting on.

lisa1
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Re: Reflections on 4th application and not on training

Post by lisa1 » Wed May 27, 2015 11:17 pm

I can totally relate to this, especially to what Anniecat said. This year I had three interviews and was unsuccessful in all of of them, and I can see how some people (myself included!) fall into the trap of saying what they think the interviewees are expecting to hear and fail to just be themselves. I'm still not sure how I can be myself and what this really means, but the way I like to see it is that I can use this experience to improve.

And I guess that for me getting on the doctorate became such a "mission", something like a target I HAD to achieve, that I ended up missing the whole point, which was doing something that would improve my quality of life, make me happier and inspire me to become better as a person and as a professional. I think that I focused so much on my personal ambition, that I almost lost myself. No wonder why I can't be myself in interviews... :roll:

I think it is important to not forget that there are other things in life, worthy of our time, love and devotion, and that career is just one of them. I know that this is a hard thing to do when you're a high achiever and you're trying again and again and you feel like all your efforts go to waste. But if this is what you really want to do in life, then it will happen. If it doesn't, then another door will open and one day you'll look back and be grateful for having been though all this.

Lisa

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