Interview for Perinatal AP post

Discuss what to expect in job and course interviews, what topics might be covered, how to manage anxiety, and how to get the desired result!
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Interview for Perinatal AP post

Post by hannahgibbs91 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:21 pm

Hi everyone,

I hope no-one minds me asking for some help, but I'm a keen user of this forum and have found the info from it very helpful at times. But I now need to post something myself!
I have been given an interview for a band 5 Assistant psychologist post within the Perinatal services (NHS). Needless to say, I'm bricking it somewhat! I've only had one other interview for an AP position, which I didn't get and found incredibly anxiety provoking. The feedback was extremely helpful - She said that although she was very impressed with my research experience, I lacked clinical experience. The grumpy part of me (who had just been on a night shift and was woken by her phone call) felt like asking her why she had bothered with interviewing me in the first place when it was reasonably clear on my application that I had had no previous positions as AP, and thus lacked clinical experience.
Any hoo, her feedback was quite helpful, however I'm nervous that this may crop up again. No, I have not had experiences as an actual AP, but I understand how to do assessments (and have done some informally from time to time), and I also understand how to do formulations and what a decent one would entail. In addition, I'm going to have to do a role play scenario with a pretend patient! I have imagined in my head what kind of scenario's that I may be put through, such as taking an assessment, or perhaps managing suicidal/challenging behaviour, or perhaps trying to gain information from a person who wasn't willing to engage. I've scoured this website for information on what sort of questions I may be asked, and tried to think specifically about the ward/role/service I'd be in but I'm struggling a little!

So I suppose my question is, does anyone have any advice? Specifically with perinatal services? Possible role play scenarios?

I'd be grateful for any help! I REALLY want this post as I love working within Perinatal mental health and as opportunities go, they're limited in this area.

Thank you,

H x

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Re: Interview for Perinatal AP post

Post by NatJ » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:46 am

I don't have experience with perinatal services but I have lots of interview experience.
I would suggest making contact prior to interview in order to get a real understanding of the type of people you are working with. It may give you an idea what the role play may be like too.

Connecting with the interviewers prior has always worked in my favour-you build a little rapport on the phone and you get a better idea of what to expect going into the interview. I have often asked for a main outline of what the assistant will do (e.g is it assessment, intervention, research etc)... that way you can better gauge your answers.

Best of luck! You've got through to interview with no prior experience and they know that. They aren't looking for the most experienced person just someone willing to learn and someone that would fit in. In my most recent interview in the middle of answering the question I acknowledged that I was aware the example I was giving wasn't directly related to this particular client group, but went onto say how the skills I have are transferable and how I could use my current experience to my advantage. I got the job and it made me realise how important is for them to see you are teachable and not the finished and most experienced person.

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Re: Interview for Perinatal AP post

Post by miriam » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:40 pm

I can't answer your specific questions (and even if I could, I wouldn't, as I don't believe in undermining the interview process) but the key thing for me that doesn't come through in your post is knowing your own limitations. If there is a suicidal patient that is blatantly not within an APs remit to manage, so your priority is to tell someone else ASAP. Formulating, again not within the AP remit, so unlikely to be an expectation in job or interview. Trying to say you can do an assessment when you've had no clinical experience sounds like over-extending. So I'd start with admitting the limits to your current skills and your readiness to learn and fill those gaps, rather than trying to oversell yourself.

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Re: Interview for Perinatal AP post

Post by ChipChip » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:08 am

In terms of role plays I wouldn't be too hung up on what the specific task might be, they probably want to see how you relate to patients and that you are supportive/ask open-ended questions. Whenever I've had a role play I've pretended it's been an actual patient/person (rather than being self-conscious and thinking 'they think I'm an idiot') and I find that works for me quite well. I work in a company that loves role plays in training and interviews and although they still aren't my favourite thing I'd personally prefer a role play over a presentation any day!

Good Luck, just be yourself and show your passion for the client group.

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