Interview tasks

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Interview tasks

Post by escapee »

This thread is relevant to clinical courses and to assistant posts. Assistant post assessments tend to be shorter and are often limited to a short interview and/or one other task (e.g. written or presentation). Also (in my experience), questions for assistant posts tend to be more straightforward, and relevant to the post applied for. More information on assistant posts here. Clinical course assessment ranges from a single interview to a day long assessment with a variety of tasks.

Written tasks
These often involve critiquing a paper, research vignette or clinical vignette.

Often a percentage of the marks are awarded for presentation and style of writing. Plan your answer in advance, use subheadings, if handwriting try to be neat/legible. Spread your time evenly over the questions. Read and reread the questions.

There are two components to presentations, what you're going to present and how you're going to present it.

Initially, state what you’re going to look at, if using slides or powerpoint, have a summary slide. This will keep you focussed and let your audience know what to expect. If using slides or powerpoint, try to use as little text as possible, and as many diagrams and pictures as you can. Reams of text won’t stick in anyone’s minds and looks so uninteresting when you see it. At the end of the presentation, give a brief summary of what they have covered, and ask if they have any questions. More tips here

With regard to presentation; smile :) ; look at your audience :shock: (if you can't look at their eyes, look in the middle of their nose; breathe :o ! People have different styles for presentations, some prefer to have a basic idea of what they’re going to say, whereas others need to have practiced several times in advance, either style is fine. Try to learn what is best for you, if you get very nervous giving presentations, you may prefer to have practiced it in advance. More ideas here

Role plays
Although these can be fairly stressful, remember that you are being assessed on your skills working with the person, so remember to use active listening skills.
Think about what the purpose of the task is, and the other person's agenda. If they're angry, why are they angry, what's caused them to feel like this? Are they at risk, what can you do to ensure their safety?

Generally you are shown a video clip, or read a report and asked to produce a formulation. There are lots of different formulation models to work from, a good example is here.

Group tasks
These usually involve being asked to discuss a topic or complete a task in a group. Some things they are looking for include;
Basic responsiveness (body language, comments, etc.)
Reflectiveness -ability to think about own role in the group.
Leadership, which could involve - managing the time or task, summarising, facilitating and opening new aspects.

Some general/usual pointers re group tasks:

- Contribute, but do not dominate the proceedings.
- Listen to others, feedback, but do not interrupt.
- Involve others, particularly if they have not said much.
- Refer to and build on what others say.
- Help the team to stay on track.
- Concentrate on the task without worrying about what the assessors may or may not be doing/thinking.

This is an overview of the types of questions asked. Specific questions are here

Relevant to post
Think about practices within the post, i.e. advantages and disadvantages of; group work, home visits, etc.

These seem to be broken down into vignettes and personal experience. Vignettes often give an overview of a case or scenario, then ask you what else you would like to know or find out.

e.g. You receive a referral for a young woman, Loiuse, who is 24. She presented to her G.P. two weeks earlier saying that she feels tired all the time, is having difficulty sleeping, has no motivation and is often tearful. Louise said that she was finding it difficult to be patient with her young son, Thomas (age 2), and often finds herself shouting at him, she worries that she is a bad mother. The G.P. has prescribed antidepressants following a two week follow up and has referred Louse to you for facilitated self help.

- What type of things would you want to know at assessment?
- What do you think is going on?
- What might the difficulties working with Louise be?
- How would you assess risk?

During your assessment session Louise tells you that she is having fleeting suicidal thoughts but that she doesn't want you to tell her G.P. as it is further evidence that she isn't coping and Thomas could get taken into care.

- What do you do?

Personal experience ask about your experience of working with someone. What model did you use? Think about a couple of clinical cases you've worked with, one that went well, and one that didn't go so well - or had teething problems!

How you cope in different situations, how you react to stress, how you would help someone finding it difficult to talk, deal with an out of hours phone call, etc.

Research questions
These are usually simple research vignettes or questions about research you have been involved in. Think through your research before you go for an interview, what was the rationale for the study, how did you do it, what were your main findings, what were the strengths and weaknesses. But also remember, they don't know your study, you are the expert.

NHS questions
I haven’t been asked any questions about the NHS – perhaps someone else could summarise this?

Final Point
When considering these points think about what you have learnt from you're experiences. What would you do differently, what did you do that was good.

Service users in interviews
Service users are increasingly part of the selection process, key things to remember are that although you’re nervous;
Treat them with respect (they probably feel quite nervous too)
Be honest
Acknowledge their point of view
Try to keep language simple/not too psychological

Please edit and add to this, this is only my perspective from going to interviews, additions from other perspectives are more than welcome.

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Content checked by qualified Clinical Psychologist on DATE and ell (Team member) on 27/02/12
Last modified on 27/02/12
Last edited by escapee on Sun Jul 29, 2007 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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