In my previous blog I focused on the importance of team work and collaboration, complete with my own tips for preparation and a handy video link. This was something that was very apparent to me just before Christmas. On the other (worse) side of the festive season, I am now balancing an increasing caseload and work projects with my university commitments. Being HR I have two qualifications in the first year which has equated to me frantically revising for an exam I have next week, as well as to complete the practical and written parts of 2 assignments due at the end of the month. It is rather intense. However, during this time I have also managed to move house, and actually have Christmas as a holiday. Sleep is very important to me, and I make sure I get a good night’s kip ready to face the world tomorrow. If you are applying for the HR stream the pressure of TWO university deadlines on top of a brand new job may seem overwhelming. However, there I hope, and that hope is your wonderful time management skills.
Quite simply, backtrack your deadline dates. For myself, I knew that I would be more productive revising if I had the other 2 assignments done and dusted, so I had them finished around mid-December. My general management cohort are now getting to grips with it, so it is nice to sit back and relax knowing you’ve done it. Your ability to prioritise would be something to consider for your interview prep. As my peers have mentioned, use the STAR method. It’s a brilliant structure that helps be concise with your answer, but also provide a quality response. This is important as the interviewers have a limited time to speak to you, so you need to make the biggest impact in the smallest time.
Another thought – don’t underestimate the information you can glean from the media. Whilst the Leadership Model may have your full attention right now, it is important that you understand the context in which the NHS works in, and the challenges it faces. By being aware of this you can demonstrate a holistic understanding of your role, which will only be strengthened once you are on the scheme.
Lastly, take the day in your stride. I managed to walk in the wrong entrance and sat in the interviewers’ conference room. I was literally about to eat their lunch before I realised I was in the wrong place. I like to think that adrenaline rush gave the edge!