Discussing cases - interview question advice

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Bubbly
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Discussing cases - interview question advice

Post by Bubbly » Sun May 11, 2014 2:59 pm

Hi clinpsy users, I have a quick question that I would like some advice on. I am currently preparing for my upcoming clinpsy doctorate interview, and was wondering how much information you share in regards to a question on: tell us about a clinical piece of work/case that went right and one that went wrong.

I have prepared an answer on a case that went well, that is really really long and includes the referral/assessment/formulation/intervention/evaluation/outcome and the decisions surrounding these, as well as what I've learnt from this, and why I thought it went well. But this takes like 15 mins :shock: Where am I going wrong here?

Thank you.
Bubs

Frey12
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Re: Discussing cases - interview question advice

Post by Frey12 » Sun May 11, 2014 3:18 pm

Hi bubby

When I've answered these questions I've given a very brief overview of the case, like the main presenting problems and any other really important info that might be relevant for why you worked in a particular way. I'd maybe mention if I was using a particular model, so something along the lines of 'I was working with a service user who had depression using a cbt model. He also had some physical health problems which needed to be considered'. I'd try and keep background info brief then just concentrated on reflections. Also try and focus on the things you did that you feel made that case a success rather than what the team did. Although it can be useful to acknowledge other's contributions you don't want it to be the focus of your answer. These are just my musings but hope it helps and good luck!

CuppaT
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Discussing cases - interview question advice

Post by CuppaT » Sun May 11, 2014 3:32 pm

I am at the same stage of interview prep and have been just today having exactly the same issue Bubbly. So this is not something you alone have been wondering about/struggling with. Thanks very much Frey12 for your answer.
I think prioritising the important points and summarising the rest is the only way anyone can structure such an answer without running out of time.
.

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Toria
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Re: Discussing cases - interview question advice

Post by Toria » Sun May 11, 2014 3:33 pm

Hi Bubbly,

I agree with Frey12 about reflecting on what made it a 'successful' piece of clinical work rather than summarising everything you did. Was it 'successful' because of the outcome, or because of a process issue (eg. did you engage someone who has not engaged in previous interventions? How did you do this?), or because of something else? Has what you learned impacted on how you would approach work with clients in the future?

Also, I think thinking about how you would answer questions is great prep, but I'd warn against trying to memorise a prepared rote-learned answer as I think this can seem less genuine to interviewers, and it can be harder to get a sense of 'you' across. Sorry if this isn't what you're doing, but just wanted to flag it up for you/others.

Best of luck for your interview :)

Toria
You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf - Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Bubbly
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Re: Discussing cases - interview question advice

Post by Bubbly » Sun May 11, 2014 3:45 pm

Thank you Frey12 and Toria - you two have been a massive help :) So keep it brief as much as possible and mainly focus on reflections. I think I'm just over-preparing now and need to stop and reflect. CuppaT - thank you for sharing this, and Good luck with your interviews x

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Loula
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Re: Discussing cases - interview question advice

Post by Loula » Sun May 11, 2014 4:05 pm

I would always think about what you want interviewers to take away from your answer- is it that you are really good at describing and recounting a case or is something to do with how you worked with the person or what you learnt from it?

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blue86
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Re: Discussing cases - interview question advice

Post by blue86 » Sun May 11, 2014 4:28 pm

Bubbly wrote:Hi clinpsy users, I have a quick question that I would like some advice on. I am currently preparing for my upcoming clinpsy doctorate interview, and was wondering how much information you share in regards to a question on: tell us about a clinical piece of work/case that went right and one that went wrong.

I have prepared an answer on a case that went well, that is really really long and includes the referral/assessment/formulation/intervention/evaluation/outcome and the decisions surrounding these, as well as what I've learnt from this, and why I thought it went well. But this takes like 15 mins :shock: Where am I going wrong here?

Thank you.
Bubs
Hi Bubbly,

First of all congrats on the interview!
I think it's great you're taking the time to go over cases and prepare thoroughly. You've received some great advice but I'd like to add some thoughts of my own. I'm no expert by any means but maybe it might help.
It's not a bad thing that a whole case can contain as much info that it takes 15 minutes. You probably won't have that much time to talk about it in an interview, but it's good to have everything covered and get a chance to reflect on it.
At the interview, you'll probably have to tweak your answer on the spot to answer their questions and this is what they will probably observe - how you are doing at presenting an example to match their question instead of offering a prepared answer.

Also what you should keep in mind is that not all questions are as open-ended. I mean you might get something like "tell us about a client that was not complying with homework". I've encountered at interviews both the general "tell us how a case went bad" but also more specific questions. I know my example was very narrow and only for specific interventions, but I wanted to point out that they might expect you to link your experience to something in particular. This is a case where having a prepared ready-to-go answer might not hit the spot, since they will expect you to synthesize and answer the question they are asking you, not the one you prepared. Since you have already reviewed referral/intervention/outcome, etc, it will be easier to just provide examples from that section that is relevant.

I think that as long as you have some examples fresh in your mind you should be able to adapt easily to a question, than trying to make the question fit your answer if that makes sense.
I know this might not fully answer your question but please try not to tire yourself out by over-preparing. I know it's easier said than done. I wish you best of luck with your interview! :)

midas
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Re: Discussing cases - interview question advice

Post by midas » Mon May 12, 2014 4:16 pm

Just throwing in my hat to this one, I had a mock interview with 2 very nice and helpful CPs in my service and they asked me this both ways, ie tell us about a case that went well then one that went not so well. I didn't get this one in the actual interview (and kinda knew my interview was vignette based anyway but hey ho, practice is practice!) but what I learnt from the mock was to structure the response so I wasn't just coming out with a bundle of ideas from all over the place. So something like:
Referral: who it was, age, presenting concerns.
Assessment: options appointment if thats how you do it. Semi structured interview. Baseline measures, self rating scales.
Formulation: how you incorporated the 5Ps (if that's your method of choice!) and chose model of working to suit client
Intervention: what you did, how long for, reviewing progress
Evaluation: post intervention outcomes, how you knew when to close, feedback from client
Communication: how you ended with client and reported back to referrer (this isn't vital I suppose but it covers core competencies).
Then you can go onto reflecting how that case has influenced your practice, eg what went well, how you learnt from it, for example I have learnt not to assume level of functioning either way, because someone may be more capable than a letter would suggest them to be! And for cases that perhaps do not go so well, you can try to say why - wrong time? Wrong approach for the client? Unrealistic expectations? And to be mindful of these issues in the future.
Hope this helps. Best of luck, hope you can come back to the forum with good news soon!!

CuppaT
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Discussing cases - interview question advice

Post by CuppaT » Mon May 19, 2014 4:08 pm

Good luck Bubbly! :-D

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