Essex interview feedback 2019

Discuss what to expect in job and course interviews, what topics might be covered, how to manage anxiety, and how to get the desired result!
mayakuhl23
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Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by mayakuhl23 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:14 am

Hi everyone

I applied to Essex and had an interview for the clinical doctorate course this year. I knew the interview didn't go well so I was not at all surprised when I wasn't offered a place. What did surprise me was the lack of feedback that I received. Firstly I had to request feedback and then received a 3 sentence email from them which I found to be incredibly vague and at complete odds with my perspective on my performance on the day. I requested some clarity on the feedback but never heard back. I've heard in previous years that they have offered proper feedback over the phone which leaves me wondering whether different candidates get differed levels of feedback which just seems downright unfair to me.....I was hoping to find out what people's feedback was like for those that interviewed this year?

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maven
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by maven » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:25 pm

Why would you be surprised at needing to request feedback or being given a brief email response? I'd have thought that is more than most courses offer. They interview a lot of people!

And why on earth would it be "unfair" if different members of the panel give feedback in different ways, or they gave feedback differently to the previous year?
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

Alex
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by Alex » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:16 am

I am surprised at the level of entitlement that you have - you have been given feedback albeit brief, which considering how overstretched many courses are with managing general running of course and high number of interviewees, it is a miracle in itself! Some courses have no given feedback at all in certain years - when resource wise it has not been possible. It would be best to tolerate these feelings of unfairness now, as there can be a lot on the doctorate course such as placement allocations!

ellie2603
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by ellie2603 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:43 am

Having been in this position myself I can sympathise, for a process where there is little direction or guidance throughout it can feel really frustrating to put so much into something, get so close and then still feel unsure on how to improve. It costs a lot of time, energy and money to attend interviews and, whilst I understand that courses are stretched, I think it is important to recognise how much it takes to put yourself through this. I believe it is respectful to applicants to give feedback on request after interview to help them understand their chances for the future. I don't think it necessarily needs to be long or detailed but a few pointers would suffice.
I have heard of courses giving phone calls with feedback and this suggests that it is possible to do. Obviously I am not privy to the goings on during selection but just wanted to suggest things from the applicants perspective.

PinkFreud19
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by PinkFreud19 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:09 pm

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that both perspectives hold merit.

I think it's important to acknowledge how frustrating it is for someone who has battled with all the anxieties and uncertainties associated with applying to the doctorate to get close to reaching that coveted goal but be rejected without really understanding why or how to improve. That is a horrible place to be, that many of us have shared, and I think it's understandable that you feel a little upset. I really do think it is important for courses to do everything that they can to provide helpful feedback to the people they reject. As Ellie said, it could just be a quick bullet point list, or even just an acknowledgement that they were close but just fell a little short on the day.

That said, the interviewers are no doubt incredibly stretched for time, and writing extensive feedback for 70+ people is no small task. These are often people who work as clinicians in a stretched and underfunded NHS, or have a huge pile of university marking to get through. In that context, I think we should appreciate that often a just a sentence of feedback is better than nothing.

I would follow Alex's advice of trying to accept the discomfort as we all need to learn to do, but also don't be too hard on yourself for how you're feeling. Perhaps the vagueness of the feedback suggests that you were not that far off and that it's perhaps just a case of trying again next year with a whole year's more experience and more interview practice under your belt.

mayakuhl23
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by mayakuhl23 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:32 pm

I was surprised as people who have interviewed at Essex before have had telephone feedback, so it went against my expectation. They had 5 separate interview panels with 3 people in each panel and each panel interviews 10 people maximum. So essentially if they divided it up, that would be 3 or 4 people to give feedback to.

I think it's unfair if different interviewers give feedback in different ways. The whole process of assessing applicants is designed to be as consistent as is reasonably possible and I think feedback should be a part of that. I think providing one person with telephone feedback and another with a vague email would give one person an unfair advantage for applications next year.

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maven
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by maven » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:14 am

Sure, just 3 or 4 people each, that's what you've worked out from your guesswork/maths, and is just a requirement you expect clinicians to do as an unpaid service when competing with other demands? And of course a brief email isn't good enough so you want them to each phone you and give you personal advice and accept follow-up questions via email? I'm inclined to say I agree with Alex. Your attitude of entitlement is coming through here, and it doesn't show you in a positive light.
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Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

mayakuhl23
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by mayakuhl23 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:00 pm

I developed some expectations about the process based on other people who went through the same process. I know 4 people who have interviewed at Essex in previous years, all of whom received telephone feedback. I have friends and colleagues who interviewed at Hertfordshire, Royal Holloway and Oxford, all of whom had telephone feedback. So yes, I predicted that the process would be the same for me based on that. What I have learnt from hearing people's comments below is that actually providing telephone feedback is not that common, I genuinely did not know this before writing the post, so thank you for enlightening me on this front.

Obviously a brief email of feedback after putting in a lot of hard work does feel disappointing. However, I completely understand that it may be all some courses are able to offer. The point where I feel it is unfair is if the same course on the same year offer people different levels of feedback. Most people don't get onto a course first time round, so feedback is a crucial part of the process. I believe that the feedback part of the process should be as consistent as the application and interview process to reflect that fact. I don't think that believing in consistency makes me entitled.

I have to say that I found your comments unecessarily attacking. You've developed a judgement about my attitude without considering the context of my expectations about the world. I felt entitled to something that I thought was standard procedure and everyone else got. So yes, I was ignorant about the process and I also thank you bringing to my attention quite how stretched the interviewers are for time, I do now have a deeper empathy for their position. I just feel that we could have gotten there without dismissing me as 'entitled'.
Last edited by mayakuhl23 on Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mayakuhl23
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by mayakuhl23 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:04 pm

Hi Pink Freud, thank you for your thoughtful comments, knowing how stretched the interviewers are and that often feedback is brief gives me a much more realistic picture. For some reason all the people I had spoken to about the interview process had gotten telephone feedback, so I thought I hadn't got what everyone else has, but now realise this wasn't the case :D .

Alex
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by Alex » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:25 pm

mayakuhl23 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:04 pm
Hi Pink Freud, thank you for your thoughtful comments, knowing how stretched the interviewers are and that often feedback is brief gives me a much more realistic picture. For some reason all the people I had spoken to about the interview process had gotten telephone feedback, so I thought I hadn't got what everyone else has, but now realise this wasn't the case :D .
My advice next time would be the ask the course directly what the feedback process will be for interviewees. Then you can be clear about what to expect. I would not rely on what other interviewees say as this is open to misinterpretations/misinformation.

PinkFreud19
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by PinkFreud19 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:58 pm

mayakuhl23 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:04 pm
Hi Pink Freud, thank you for your thoughtful comments, knowing how stretched the interviewers are and that often feedback is brief gives me a much more realistic picture. For some reason all the people I had spoken to about the interview process had gotten telephone feedback, so I thought I hadn't got what everyone else has, but now realise this wasn't the case :D .
Just for info, when I was rejected after interview, I received about two to three lines of written feedback. While short, it was quite direct and told me exactly why I did not get the post and certainly did not dress it up with any niceties. It hurt, but I talked to my supervisor about it, agreed to both learn from it and take it with a pinch of salt, and move on. Whether it's vague or harsh, it is indeed normally brief from my understanding, and anything more than that is a bit of a gift.

As I said though, I personally think you should not be too hard on yourself for your post; you've just been rejected and you don't feel you fully know why, which hurts and is hard to accept having invested so much into the process. You were a little naive as to what is customary in this process, but I think that's forgivable. You know now!

Fairytale
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by Fairytale » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:46 am

I'm really sorry but mayakuhl23 is unnecessarily attacked here! I don't think mayakuhl23 is being 'entitled' at all... In fact it's the qualified clinical psychologists who are coming across as 'entitled' with their bold statements.. especially when they are coming from a position of privilege and power. How do you think you would feel if were unsuccessful after a job interview that you REALLY wanted and in the end you just received 2-3 sentences in feedback?

I find the whole process unethical and abusive.... from the application process to the way our expectations are questioned by qualified psychologists who have lost their ability to empathise with our pain! We have a right to expect a decent feedback after an unsuccessful interview...and if they are that busy to not have the time to give proper feedback then they should not be part of the panel!

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Geishawife
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by Geishawife » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:08 am

So these abusive and unethical clinicians who give their time freely and without reward, whilst probably still having to fulfill their quota of face-to-face contacts during the interview period, have supervision commitments, may well have teaching commitments, admin commitments, might have to contact clients, will have home commitments such as child care or caring responsibilities, not to mention the "little emergencies" that can crop up in ordinary life, have to put all that on hold so that applicants can have feedback on their own terms? And if they can't organise their own lives to fit in with the applicants' demands they have no right to be there? And you don't think that comes across as entitled?

Yes, feedback is valuable but we can't demand it and expect it on our terms. The real world simply cannot operate like that.

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ell
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by ell » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:39 pm

I was contacted for the first time this year with a request to help with shortlisting. I am really passionate about helping aspiring CPs, and with the whole recruitment process. I would have loved to have been involved with shortlisting... But I had to turn it down because I didn't feel that I would have the time in my working week to do it. Thing is, I'm not the busiest clinician in the world, I work in a slow paced team, I have a smallish caseload, a flexible hands off team lead, and not a huge amount of big responsibility, compared to most CPs that I know. But I *still* didn't feel that I would have time to do shortlisting. You don't get paid for your time, you have to find it from your usual working week. This is the same for interviews and all the admin and follow up around the process. I could do lots of it in my own time I suppose, unpaid. But I work an average of an extra 2 hours on top of my paid work, just to keep up with what I need to do. Not sure it's fair on my family for me to do even extra.

A few months ago I advertised, shortlisted, and interviewed for an AP post. I read 36 applications mostly *in my own time*, so that I could give each the attention it deserved. After interview I phoned every candidate and gave them detailed feedback on how they did in the interview. There were only 5 candidates to turn down, so it was manageable, and I felt it was important. But during that whole process my clinical work suffered. Clients weren't seen as promptly as they could be. And clients are the priority for most of us, not job applicants I'm afraid.

I explain all this to provide a picture of the other side of shortlisting and interviewing. It doesn't mean that the process couldn't do with improving, and making easier on candidates. I just don't think that jobbing clinicians such as myself and the other qualified CPs here are the ones who are at fault. I do wonder what else we can do to help. For my part I support the people I know. If you're an AP working with me, then you are guaranteed a thorough read through of your application (done in my own time), a mock interview, and a shoulder to cry on if needed. But any other ideas welcome.

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Spatch
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Re: Essex interview feedback 2019

Post by Spatch » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:31 am

I am on both sides of the fence here, but I do think we need to consider the mental health of applicants more. I also think it's a false dichotomy for qualifieds to use the "It's either your feedback or someone elses therapy session" line. As I have become older I have increasingly realised it's incumbent on us to fight for the resources to do our job properly, and we should advocate for having the time to give decent feedback as part of the job. I think it's our right, and theirs.

I don't say this as a fluffy, feelgood want-to-be-everyone's-bestie type, although I do think there is always space for kindness and compassion. Even from a position of naked self interest, it doesn't do any of us any favours if we marginalise rejected DClinPsy candidates who go onto become a future commissioner of services, grant funder, health professional or NHS manager. At this time in our professions development, we really need all the allies we can get, and this is not the way we do that.
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