Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

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!
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LozLoz
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Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by LozLoz » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:12 pm

Hi all,.
I've been fortunate enough to be selected for a trainee pwp interview in a couple of weeks time. Understandably I'm over the moon and busy preparing, however the interview is face to face!
I've emailed the contact asking if this was a mistake and surely this could be conducted over Zoom or something, but no, face to face is still going ahead.
Do you agree with what they are proposing? Should I leave the house kitted with a mask and gloves because they have asked me to go on a journey which I wouldn't describe as necessary!

TIA

Stars444
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by Stars444 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:49 pm

Hi Lozloz,

Congratulations on being offered an interview for a trainee pwp position!

May I ask which location the IAPT service is for the interview and when is it for? As far as I'm aware, pwp's are presently working from home.

Did you ask the recruiter if the interview could be conducted over zoom? How do you feel about travelling for the interview?

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ell
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by ell » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:36 am

That seems concerning, as the guidance is clear about non essential travel and contact, and an interview can be done over video calling. If I was in your position I would contact the HR department to raise my concerns, though obviously it is up to you if you want to circumvent the interviewing team.

If nothing else, if you got stopped by the police I think you might get a warning from them for non essential travel. The police are not just monitoring motorways, they are also doing stops on main commuter roads.

LozLoz
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by LozLoz » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:15 pm

Thank you, it's for Birmingham Healthy Minds.
I too am working from home at the moment and the guidelines are very clear and I did feel alarmed that they are still willing to conduct this face to face. I'd be going by taxi, but like you said about a warning, I don't want that.
When I raised it to reply was - there are precautions in place. That's what I'm worried about - if I raise my concern would that raise a blemish against my name 😂 I hope they come to their senses and reconsider.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to me 😁

Alex
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by Alex » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:51 pm

It does seem a bit irresponsible when interviews can be undertaken online. All the courses for trainee clinical psychologist jobs have!

As Ell, said would it be worth contacting HR of Birmingham & Solihull MH Trust? But also, this must be part of a course, what university is sanctioning this too and would they raise concerns for you?

I understand your worry about blemish but when you have a valid and responsible concern you should be able to raise and if they react badly that's on them.

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ell
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by ell » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:12 pm

If you contact HR then perhaps they don't need to pass your name on to the interviewers, so that might alleviate concerns about it being counted against you. Though I would have thought HR must be aware of it, as they are usually the ones who send all the info out to candidates.

LozLoz
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by LozLoz » Fri May 01, 2020 8:38 am

Hey, I thought I'd give an update as to what's happened..... Well I spoke to a lot of different people who were equally horrified and concerned, so I finally plucked up the courage last night and emailed asking for a video interview instead, I kept it nice and simple, not mentioning the global pandemic and the fact they are breaking the rules and I can be at risk of being fined and now I have to put myself at risk by getting in a taxi..

They replied back to me this morning saying I couldn't have a video interview and it's face to face only. I'm not going to lie, I'm furious, and think this is raising a massive red flag for me. This is in the sense of - if they're not willing to be looking after the safety (and lives) of their applicants, what about the staff that they have!?

However, I have to go as this venue is closer. I'm not happy, however if I didn't ask I would have second guessed what would have happened otherwise.

The interview is on Tuesday, but to be honest I'm not looking forward to it.

Thanks for the advice you gave me, and for also sharing my concerns too 😁

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miriam
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by miriam » Fri May 01, 2020 2:23 pm

Well, to play devil's advocate a bit, many keyworkers are continuing to go to work, including in physical and mental health providers, and it might be that this organisation are. It might also be that they have thought a lot about social distancing, and adapting the interview in other ways. You can always tell anyone who tries to stop you that you are going to work as a keyworker, and have asked if it is essential and the employer has confirmed they consider it to be.

So the rest becomes about your choice (unless you have medical reason to need to shield that you can raise with them). If you want to attend, I'd recommend you wear a face covering for the journey, carry hand sanitiser gel to use at intervals, avoid public transport, and wash your hands and change clothes when you get home. The risks are quite a lot better now than they were a month ago - I read an article that says one sixth of the number of people are contagious now compared to the peak, and this might fall further by your interview date. So whilst I can understand your anxiety, there are a lot of people facing much higher risks every day by working in shops and delivery services, as well as health and social care roles, so hopefully your interview will be a very low risk experience.

Good luck with it.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

Esuma
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by Esuma » Fri May 01, 2020 8:31 pm

I work in a service that is fully operational still with a lot of staff putting themselves at risk every day, but we aren’t allowing any external visitors and conducting all interviews virtually. Fair enough if you have the job to be going in to work, but personally I don’t feel interviews in person are necessary especially when doctorate interviews are all virtual.

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miriam
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by miriam » Fri May 01, 2020 11:38 pm

Esuma wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 8:31 pm
I work in a service that is fully operational still with a lot of staff putting themselves at risk every day, but we aren’t allowing any external visitors and conducting all interviews virtually. Fair enough if you have the job to be going in to work, but personally I don’t feel interviews in person are necessary especially when doctorate interviews are all virtual.
Me neither, and I definitely wouldn't ask this of anyone, but I can understand that what makes me anxious as someone who has shielded for 6 weeks already might be very much par for the course for many people continuing to work in client-facing roles.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

Esuma
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Re: Face to face interview amidst pandemic!!

Post by Esuma » Sat May 02, 2020 11:40 am

I understand what you mean, and virtual interviews are really challenging especially when they would normally involve group tasks etc. I guess like you say if the service is just operating as normal it might not even cross their minds not to do interviews as normal whilst maintaining social distancing!

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