After going through many interviews in my life so far, ranging from a bar job interview where I was asked: ‘What cocktail would you describe yourself as?’ and of course the NHS Graduate Scheme interview, I have recently found myself on the other side of a few interview panels.
I work for a mental health trust and have been involved in the recruitment of a number of therapy roles. I remember the nervous feeling and anxious thoughts pre interview, but I actually felt anxious about being the interviewer! I wanted to make sure I allowed the candidate to feel at ease yet make sure I was consistent and fair across the board. The lead interviewer gave me a great piece of advice: ‘For us it might be the 8th time we have asked that question today, but for them this is their one chance of answering it and showing off their knowledge and skills in that area’. We had to keep our energy levels high to give each candidate the best shot.
I was shocked by how tiring it was, I was looking forward to the interviews; but after 2 full days, with 8 hours per day of interviews, often having no breaks and then staying afterwards for a feedback session, I was knackered! The graduate scheme is not a typical 9-5. There are days when you have to stay until the job is done, but it is worth it when you get the right candidate and you personally have contributed to that.
It was really interesting seeing how different candidates reacted to each question, seeing people struggle, come to a blank, but then recover and come up with a brilliant answer. There was a question around resilience which people seemed to struggle with, but it was one of the most important questions as resilience is so important in the current NHS climate.