As final-year students approach graduation, SRG members Cara Bernardini and Rebecca Francis share their experiences and tips for students looking for their first band 5 physio role while successfully completing their studies
Cara Bernardini, student at the University of Winchester; SRG event officer
A lecturer gave us some advice to begin third year: ‘it is very easy to drop the ball.’ It’s an exciting time, you’re on the countdown to finishing and friends are starting to interview and get jobs. There’s the highs of a job offer while having a dissertation to complete. Not dropping the ball is a challenge and one of the hardest parts is keeping the motivation up with the finish line in sight.
I’m grateful that I secured a job I really wanted, from enquiring whilst I was on a placement in the trust I hoped to join. Having the confidence to ask rather than wait has come from seeking out opportunities outside of my comfort zone such as the student reference group. Putting yourself out there is nerve wracking, but I’m glad I did and I’m really looking forward to qualifying!
Rebecca Francis, student at Edinburgh Napier University; co-chair of the SRG and SRG equity, diversity and belonging officer
When looking for a band 5 role, it’s an exciting time but don’t forget to consider what specific opportunities offer versus logistics like commuting. Register for job role alerts on the NHS recruitment website so you don’t miss roles you’re interested in. Research rotations if you want to explore different areas of physiotherapy, or consider a permanent role if you feel you know the area where you want to work.
You don’t have to accept a job offer if you find something more suitable or feel another trust suits you better. I was offered two roles and chose the one a little closer to my home with slightly shorter rotations and lots of variety.
The manager I turned down was completely understanding: they want the best for their staff.
Top tips for securing a band 5 post:
- Be happy, enthusiastic, and human. Most of us can reel off a generic answer, make sure to show personality.
- Remember the interviewer wants you to do well – they are not the enemy!
- Read the job description, especially the essential/desirable skills. Make sure you give examples of how you match these skills in your statement.
- Have a practice interview with an educator if possible and gain feedback.
- Be confident with your answers, you aren’t expected to know everything as a student and showing you are aware of your limitations is a good thing!
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