Sharing of Interview Questions

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!
Ruthie
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Sharing of Interview Questions

Post by Ruthie » Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:25 pm

Guidance for asking about interviews

Asking for (or sharing) questions asked by any particular clinical course interview is not permitted on www.ClinPsy.og.uk. The sharing of questions by course makes it very hard for the courses to distinguish genuine wide-ranging knowledge and enthusiasm from learnt answers to their questions.

However, you are welcome to discuss every other aspect of the interview process. Discussion about typical questions asked and tasks given at other interviews (eg for AP, RA, GMHW, NA and other posts) is permitted, as are questions about methods of short-listing, interviewing and other selection tasks. However, again we would discourage sharing of actual interview questions (rather than broad topic areas) from the interview for a particular post with other applicants to that post (eg a current post-holder telling questions to new applicants to the same organisation). We would also prefer those anxious about interviews to ask questions about topic areas and forumulate their own answers, rather than ask "what should I say if they ask X?"

We would like to remind all posters in this section that your answers at interview should be based on your own knowledge, experience and views, and should not be rote responses learnt from others. As such, we would encourage posters to do their own research as much as possible (search this forum, or use google) before asking questions about interviews.

Please remember that we would all want interviews to be a fair process where the best candidate is selected, rather than a lucky candidate who has learnt all the answers from someone else. Therefore please think carefully about whether a question is reasonable to ask others to answer before posting it, or responding to it.

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miriam
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Post by miriam » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:58 pm

I think there is a general issue about when to give explicit answers and when to give general advice about how to reach your own answers. I know I have personally had a steep learning curve in not letting other people take advantage of my willingness to offer help.

There have been several key exampes I have learnt from. The biggest of these was a person who was a volunteer at the time I was an assistant doing research (just before I started my clinical training). She did some data entry for me for a few days, and we got on quite well. Later she asked me to give her a reference for a summer job in my NHS trust, which I did. Then she asked me to coach her for the clinical interview at a course I had input to, which I did. I even let her live in my house (rent free) over the summer. I later found out that she had been fired from the job due to repeated problems with attendance and punctuality, that she had presented part of my research (that she had done the data entry for) as her own at her clinical interview - without even acknowledging me, and that she had re-used my reference to apply for another job telling them the site on which she had worked had closed so that she didn't have to say she had been fired. I felt really stupid and used when I realised what she was doing and I hope that I have been less gullible since then!

I've had several people who are keen for me to "read and edit" papers for submission to journals, or application forms for clinical training. It has taken a lot of time and thought to set appropriate boundaries for that. My general rule now is that I am happy to read (once) anything written by someone I know who I feel has put in sufficient work themselves. I will point out any silly mistakes I notice, and make general suggestions about how to improve things, but I am very clear that it is not my form or paper, and should not reflect my thoughts but those of the author. I get frustrated if people ask for advice but then get offended when you give it - so please only ask me if you want a genuine straight talking view of things that you could improve!

I try to keep the same principles on here. So I have tried to share general advice and ideas without giving explicit answers - for example when I wrote about how we selected who to interview for my assistant post, and how we conducted the interviews. If I feel someone needs to do their own work first then I say so (often with some links to start them in a good direction). I try to tell it exactly how I see it, without trying to dress it up in more comforting or encouraging language. If that is frustrating for some people then I hope I will accept my dose of criticism with good grace.
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Post by kronikle » Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:58 am

I think both posts are an excellent and ethical premise for preparing for interviews. To be honest, I would prefer to be interviewed without knowledge of exact questions anyway - for some reason I'd find their disclosure more unnerving that helpful. If I knew what I was going to be asked, I wouldn't respond as "myself" - and ultimately it is my "self" that 's the most important feature to promote at any interview, not just a clinical training one. Giving answers to rote learned questions would squash that.

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Post by escapee » Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:25 am

Yes when I have an interview and they ask me a question I've already thought about, I find myself trying to remember what I thought rather than thinking about the question, and it throws me.

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Post by Bella » Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:16 pm

I agree with you in theory, but in practice its quite different!

From holding 3 AP/RA posts now I have been to many Assistant meetings in different parts of the country (quite a few of which were actually facilitated by CP's) and at this time of year all the meetings focus on interview questions. People go through the exact questions that they were asked the previous year, and trainee's come to talk about their interviews and what they were asked to do (questions, group tasks, vignettes etc).

This means that (rightly or wrongly) I know most of the questions/vignettes asked at many, many universities over the past few years! This will also be the case for many people currently in AP posts where they can meet other AP's/trainees. Of course what you do with the information is up to the individual - but its there.

I guess my point is that this does happen - frequently. I understand that questions should not be posted here - on this forum, but I just think that there may be some people in posts that do not have access to AP groups etc and so do not have the opportunity to go through interview questions, are these people at a disadvantage? - its just a thought!

:D

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katyboo
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Post by katyboo » Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:36 am

It's true- it's happening all over i think...
In some places i don't think it matters too much as the uni's change the questions each year and the nature of the questions mean you can't really learn answers- but it just gives you an idea perhaps of how widely you should be thinking ie current issues, professional issues, personal issues etc etc

In other cases though they tend to keep the format the same and it must be a disadvantage for those who for what ever reason will be clueless as to the format. However, that said, it's a competitive world out there and i guess if you don't have access to assistant groups etc you have to be more creative and pro-active in seeking out people to ask their advice.

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Post by ryan » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:37 pm

I really support not sharing interview questions on here. I think people should get a place on a course because they would make good clinical psychologists, not on the basis of how well they revise particular questions. It seems a lot fairer for everyone to be in the same boat (and a lot better for the selection process). I have found that reading up on key topics and reflecting on my work is much more valuable than revising questions - I have learnt this from bitter experience!!!

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Post by psych_lad » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:38 pm

I agree that it is unfair as in many AP groups people share interview questions and are told from which courses they are from.

I wonder if courses are able to recognise parrot learnt answers?

I know that from the feedback I got from my current AP post that the reason why I was offered it was because I was myself and my answers where spontaneous and thought of on the spot rather the route learnt.
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Bella
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Post by Bella » Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:20 am

Its interesting - I know of lots of people who have had time of before interviews and gone through past questions and worked out how they would answer them - I think all of them got on so there's something in preparing like that.

Furthermore many people (not me as this scares me) have mock interviews - and some post-graduate courses actually hold fake interviews as part of the course - you can choose if you want an AP or Doctorate interview.

Ideally everyone would be in the same boat as Ryan commented - but that's not the case.

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Tessica
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Post by Tessica » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:53 pm

I understand your point of view about not sharing questions - but...
Is there not something in revising samples questions - to fight back the anxiety.
At uni, we were always offered previous exam questions - if they are used in the correct way they can be useful. They help you to reflect on particular scenarios and they help to confirm whether or not you have grasped the relevant understanding/competencies.
However on a negative side, they can be used inappropriately i.e. learning an exact reponse to a specific question.

It's down to the individual...

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Post by sarahjessica » Fri May 07, 2010 11:28 am

I think this is terrible, sucessful psychology graduates should share their experinces with others as I am sure much of them would have recieved a helping hand when they started out job hunting after completing their degree!!

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miriam
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Post by miriam » Fri May 07, 2010 4:42 pm

I'd like to know what you think is 'terrible'? This whole site is nothing but 'a helping hand' for people aspiring towards a career in clinical psychology. To make the questions explicit sabotages our relationship with courses and employers, and means that people can (often unhelpfully) prepare rote answers which undermines the fairness of the selection process.
Miriam

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AdamC
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Post by AdamC » Fri May 07, 2010 4:56 pm

I think the very nature of someone being a 'successful graduate' suggest that they will perform best by letting their knowledge, understanding and reflection shine through.

I also think that any 'successful graduate' will already have a very good idea of what questions to expect at interview and how performance will be assessed, across 1:1 clinical, academic and research interviews, group work and service user assessments; therefore there is little value in sharing exact questions, and could instead do more harm than good.

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Post by kelebek » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:29 pm

There is nothing wrong with sharing interview questions as far as I am concerned. The panel is wise enough to understand whether the candidate is giving them studied/ copied answers or genuine answers that is reflected from indivudual's personal experience.

As sarah jessica pointed out universities always provide past exam papers for people to get a feeling of the questions.

Each interview panel is asking different type of questions anyway. There is never routine questions.

Plus some people are lucky that they already work in an environment where clinical psychologist is available. It is also common that some people receive mock interviews from friends/ colleagues. People can't be stopped from revising in different ways.

Sharing interview questions is a way of preparing yourself, it reduces intw anxiety and it also increase confidence. I am still not sure why sharing questions is such a big deal on this forum.

If we are doing all these discussions to help each other, then sharing the type of questions is a way of helping. To get a position is ultimately up to a person's ability to perform well on that interview.

It is not about how right your answers are, it is more about how you answer/ handle the questions. What you make of the question , how you shape that question and fit it to your own experience.

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miriam
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Post by miriam » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:56 pm

I don't think you have understood kelebek. We have a general list of interview questions and many threads on helping people prepare. We even discuss possible answers to possible questions people are anxious about.

The only rule we have is that we do not allow people to share specific questions they were asked for a specific job. So, we don't let people list the questions they were asked by a specific course for a doctoral interview, or what they were asked last year when they were interviewed for a post that has been re-advertised (eg "I've got an interview for the AP post in Northampton with Miriam, can anyone who was interviewed last year tell me what she asked" or "I've got an interview for the Leicester course tomorrow, can anyone who was interviewed yesterday let me know what the task was"). That encourages pre-prepared answers and stops it being a level playing field.
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