Informal visits to departments prior to interview

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Informal visits to departments prior to interview

Post by maven »

It is often helpful to visit a service before your interview if you can, so why not ring the department and ask if this is possible if it isn't already part of the selection process. Prepare for your offer to be declined if you do ask, though don't let that discourage you from asking, as the logistics of allowing 60-100 applicants to visit a service mean this is usually not possible until after short-listing.

However, if they do let you visit, dress fairly smartly (trousers, shirt, probably a tie) and try to have a few ideas about what you want to learn about them, e.g:

- What kind of client group do you serve?
- What kind of services do you provide?
- Who is in the team?
- What models do you base your work on?
- Is there anything I could read that would be helpful? (either recommended books, or service documentation)
- What kind of things would the successful applicant do in the service?

I'd expect to visit for about an hour, and just have a look around and a chat, fairly informally. With some services it might be that a client or service user could show you round, or meet you as part of the intro.

Added by Workingmama: I'm interviewing for two posts in a fortnight and I'm aware of feeling a definite bias in favour of those who have contacted me to ask for a visit. I won't see anyone because I don't have time, but I really liked that they wanted to make that good impression and looked keen. I'll not let that sway our decision, but it's pretty hard to work against a good first impression.

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Content checked by Workingmama on 01/7/19
Last modified on 1/7/19

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