Eating disorders interveiw

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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Ruth2417
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Eating disorders interveiw

Post by Ruth2417 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:55 pm

Hi,

So I have an interview coming up for an assistant post in a community based eating disorder service. I’m not sure whether to go or not... and would like some advice.

I myself had an ed for many years and recently recovered- all my knowledge is based on my own experience .. but I cannot say that at an interveiw can I ?

I feel this would be a great opportunity for me in that I have a good awareness of the area- but also know that it may be emotionally challenging. I had considered not going due to concern in case I’m impacted on my health but feel It would be more likely to support and highlight my own progress over the years.

Can anyone advise me on how to approach the team or should I just keep quiet.

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Esuma
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Re: Eating disorders interveiw

Post by Esuma » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:13 pm

If you were to work in the team it would be very important they were aware in order to appropriately support you. Whether that’s in the interview or through Occupational Health I’m not sure. I think no one can know about how you’ll feel working there, that’s a very personal thing but don’t feel pressured to not pass up a good opportunity - your health is much more important. Perhaps the interview will be a good way of testing the water in how you feel being in the environment. Personally I’m not sure I could work somewhere that hit ‘so close to home’ unless I was 100% sure it would not negatively impact me

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miriam
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Re: Eating disorders interveiw

Post by miriam » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:11 pm

I'd think it is an important thing to raise during the interview for a number of reasons.
1) it gives you lived experience which can be a real strength
2) it will give you a feel of whether you can maintain professionalism whilst reflecting on your own experiences, and a sense of whether this still feels emotionally vulnerable that will inform your decision about whether you are ready to work with this client group
3) it will give you a feel of whether the team view lived experience positively and can be supportive to you about the personal/professional issues that might come up.

Good luck with it!
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

Ruth2417
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Re: Eating disorders interveiw

Post by Ruth2417 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:49 pm

Esuma wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:13 pm
If you were to work in the team it would be very important they were aware in order to appropriately support you. Whether that’s in the interview or through Occupational Health I’m not sure. I think no one can know about how you’ll feel working there, that’s a very personal thing but don’t feel pressured to not pass up a good opportunity - your health is much more important. Perhaps the interview will be a good way of testing the water in how you feel being in the environment. Personally I’m not sure I could work somewhere that hit ‘so close to home’ unless I was 100% sure it would not negatively impact me
Yes, that was my thoughts also. It would be a great opportunity and would support the professional development in an area where I am currently in the process of starting a charity support group. I think if I can manage my own health my insight would be valuable within the team. But I guess I wouldn’t know until I tried!

Ruth2417
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Re: Eating disorders interveiw

Post by Ruth2417 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:54 pm

miriam wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:11 pm
I'd think it is an important thing to raise during the interview for a number of reasons.
1) it gives you lived experience which can be a real strength
2) it will give you a feel of whether you can maintain professionalism whilst reflecting on your own experiences, and a sense of whether this still feels emotionally vulnerable that will inform your decision about whether you are ready to work with this client group
3) it will give you a feel of whether the team view lived experience positively and can be supportive to you about the personal/professional issues that might come up.

Good luck with it!

I got told before that I should raise personal experiences in interveiws? I had thought I might drop the consultant an email and discuss prior to interview.

I honestly think I would find it easier to keep professionsal- the emotional side will always be there I think but it doesn’t affect me, I think it will me having the understanding from the patient and professional viewpoint.

It’s interview experience anyhow !

Thanks for your help

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miriam
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Re: Eating disorders interveiw

Post by miriam » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:46 am

I think it is fine to raise a personal experience in interview, if it is relevant, and if you are emotionally regulated enough about where the conversation might take you. We always ask a reflective question at interview to try to people thinking about the personal-professional interface.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

Ruth2417
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Re: Eating disorders interveiw

Post by Ruth2417 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:05 am

miriam wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:46 am
I think it is fine to raise a personal experience in interview, if it is relevant, and if you are emotionally regulated enough about where the conversation might take you. We always ask a reflective question at interview to try to people thinking about the personal-professional interface.
That’s good to hear!
I guess it’s with a shot! Your advice is much appreciated Thankyou!

lingua_franca
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Re: Eating disorders interveiw

Post by lingua_franca » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:12 pm

I have also experienced an eating disorder. Personally I would be very, very cautious about ever working in an ED service in any capacity, not only for my own sake (I still feel competitive when I'm around low-weight individuals), but for the sake of the patients.

When I was receiving treatment myself, I was conscious that there were a few staff members who had their own problems with food and who now saw themselves as being in a rescuer role, preventing other people from going where they had gone. One counsellor said as much to me explicitly. There were a few others who didn't say it, but I distinctly got that vibe from them. As a patient it made me profoundly uncomfortable and at times I wondered if they were working in an ED service because they had built an identity around eating disorders (whether having one, or saving others from one) and they wanted to stay immersed in the 'subculture', for want of a better word. I know other patients felt similarly. I'm not suggesting that these are your motives, just pointing out that having formerly ED'd staff around is not automatically received positively.

I do think personal experience can be valuable, but it can be a stumbling block as well. Another reason why I would hesitate to work in an ED service is the risk of too much sympathy clouding my judgment. I was once sent over to the EDU when working in a different adolescent ward to help administer a naso-gastric feed, and I found that the experience made me feel very angry with my colleagues, because I was over-identifying with the poor girl who needed the food. That was not a helpful mindset to have at all. I think I have a good ability to self-reflect, but whether I could sustain that level of reflection day in and day out in an ED service is another matter. Another concern is that my experience with anorexia is just that - my experience. It doesn't give me some privileged insight into how other people with AN think, but it's easy to start forgetting that and extrapolating far too much from my own past. It can actually get in the way of my ability to listen to others' experiences.

Of course, it might be completely different for you. I think you just need to be able to look honestly and compassionately at what draws you to working in this particular service, and if you're confident that you're not being driven by some kind of rescuer mentality or a desire to 'stay in touch' with eating disorders, and you are able to listen to others without your personal experience intruding too much, then go for it.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

Ruth2417
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Re: Eating disorders interveiw

Post by Ruth2417 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:22 am

Thanks so much for this! It’s really helpful hearing your perspective- I have considered many of your thoughts.

It’s a difficult one really isn’t it !
I have emailed the team just to gauge there stance. I think it’s one of those you’ll never know until you try situations. But also a risk in itself- although I tended not to be influences by others motives so don’t feel like the environment would affect my own health. I guess I’d see it as any other therapeutic role but be more cautious.

But I also regonise where you are coming from- sometimes people do have a need to stay attached to the subculture in some way. I don’t think I’d ever see myself as a rescuer, as ultimately the individual has to rescue themselves , I think just having the skills and compassion to support there journey would be how I’d see it. Planning on attempting the interview just as practice anyway.

Best wishes

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