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Going for your first physio post?

26 April 2005 - 9:10am

Going for that all important first job interview is a nerve-racking experience. Do your homework and brush up on the required skills if you want to succeedÖ

Preparation is the key for students going for their first physiotherapy job interview.

That was the message from Christine Hayward and Suzanne Hogg at the recent Student Reps Conference.
The pair, of Portsmouth City teaching primary care trust PCT, warned delegates that going for their first job would not be 'an easy task'.
They emphasised that after deciding the location they wished to work in, students should consider attending an open day.
'If you have come along to an open day and have already spoken to us, you are streaks ahead of other interviewees. If you can't make the open day, try and arrange a personal visit so that your face is seen,' she added.
'I cannot stress enough how important it is that you find out about the trust to which you are applying. What rotations are available? Are they right for you?
'Read the job description and personal specification very carefully and practice your interview technique. Think about the specific requirements of the trust because it is not helpful if, when asked why you are suitable for the post, you say the same thing that you say to everyone else.'
Ms Hogg reassured students that a fair interviewer would not try to 'trip up' the interviewee.

'You need to look as if coming to this interview matters to you,' she said. 'Remember that if you have been sent an interview date you need to have an exceptional reason for not making it.

'Don't worry about taking time to think before you answer a question and there is nothing wrong with asking for a point of clarification.'
Ms Hogg added: 'Expect to be asked questions about core clinical areas, such as musculoskeletal or respiratory. It is key that you are able to talk about clinical areas that you enjoyed and interested you as a student.'

Those students who haven't covered all core placements (Neuromuscular, MSS & CVR placements etc) should stress the benefits of transferable skills and talk about how they gained this experience in other placements.  

Employers would also be looking for individuals who were 'people persons', she told the conference, which took place in Nottingham at the end of January. 'We want people who can demonstrate that they get on with others.'

'We also need to see evidence of flexibility when it comes to fitting into the NHS workplace. We want to get the impression that you are excited about the job but also that you know when to seek help after making the step from student to independent practitioner.'

Ms Hogg concluded: 'When it comes to your questions make sure you ask us about what the job involves and not what the local nightspots are!!

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