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You’ve been invited to your first job interview as a speech therapist? Congratulations! Here are some tips and things that would be helpful to look up in preparation for your first interview. You can do this!

 

Things to know about:

  • Trust values 
    Action: Search up the trust website and read about its mission and values.  
    Every Trust has their own set of trust values. Make sure you relate your experiences to the trust values to demonstrate how you are able to fit into working with the Trust and the team. This is also a good opportunity to elaborate on why you want to work at this particular NHS trust, and how your clinical experiences demonstrated it!  

     

  • Clinical governance 
    Action: To understand what the 7 pillars of clinical governance encompasses and demonstrate how this can be applied to your clinical setting. 
    Don’t be shy to provide examples of how you have demonstrated this during your placements too!   

     

  • Updated guidelines that affects the setting you are interviewing for 
    Action: Think about what part of these guidelines are relevant to the responsibilities related to your banding, your setting, and the client group you are going to work with. 

    • Why do you think these guidelines are in place? 

    • Who does it protect? 

    • What did previous research show?

    • What implications do they have on your practice? 

    • Some examples include: 

    • RCSLT guidelines (e.g. bilingual assessments, telehealth, supervision)

    • NHS Long term plan

    • Bercow 10 years on

    • Mental Capacity Act

    • NICE Guidelines (SSNAP) 
       

  • Know yourself 
    Action: Read through the person specification and your supporting statement again. 
    Interviewers may ask you to elaborate some of your listed examples. Practise sharing your precious experiences aloud, so it comes out naturally and well-structured in your interviews! 

     

  • Research article/ updated reading 
    Action: Think back to a recent research article that you have read, and think about how does the content impact you as a Speech Therapist? 
    If you haven’t read anything lately, a quick flick through the Bulletin is usually very helpful! You may also find the CASP framework useful when critically analyzing studies.  

     

  • Current challenges within clinical practice/NHS 
    Action: Have a think about world events and briefly think about how this may affect the service you are applying for, e.g. COVID and teletherapy.


Things to think about/ practice talking about:

  • Strengths /weaknesses 
    Link your strengths to your job responsibilities. Essentially answering ‘Why You’. You can also try to relate this back to trust values to show how you are a good fit!   
    Food for thought: 

    • How do your strengths help you manage some of your job responsibilities?

    • What did you find easy that may be more difficult for others? 

    • What were some of the positive feedback that you received on placement? 

    • What are your weaknesses (Think about the ones that you’ve actioned upon during placement, or review your student placement feedback). What did you do to work towards them? 

    • What do your friends, previous work colleagues? say about you/ What do people compliment you the most?

    • What are you naturally good at i.e. unconscious competence 

  • Clinical placement examples Clinical questions are one of the main things interviewers will ask you to assess your competence. Practice talking through the steps of how you would approach specific cases, examples and your rationale (EBP, guidelines, etc). 

    • General 
      Give an example of a time when you demonstrated the following:

      • Interdisciplinary working

      • Continually improving

      • Time management skills

      • Communication skills (e.g. adapting language) 

      • Empathy skills

      • Negotiation/assertiveness 

      • Recognizing professional boundaries and remit

    • Paediatrics:

      • Differential diagnoses between social communication and language needs

      • Selective mutism

      • Universal, targeted and specialist support

      • Working with multicultural/ linguistically diverse population

      • How to deliver group therapy 

      • When would you use formal vs informal assessments, and why? Give examples 

      • What is auditory processing disorder? 

      • Prioritization 

    • Adults: 

      • How to assess and treat communication and swallowing in different settings and different populations?

      • How is working in A setting different from B setting? (E.g. acute stroke ward vs community rehab)

      • Have you had experiences with neuroprogressive patients? How would you manage them differently vs stroke?

      • What does risk feeding mean to you? 

      • Prioritization 
         

  • Challenges that you may encounter in different settings 
    Employers may want you to show insight in some of the anticipated difficulties that you may have/ come across/ experience. E.g. lone working in community; multitasking in hyperacute setting; differing opinions between parents, teachers and your own clinical decisions.  How will you overcome them? What are your thought processes? 

     

  • Your long-term goals 
    Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? What do you hope to achieve as a NQT? What specialism are you interested in developing?   

     

  • Managing stress 
    Working life in healthcare may be stressful at times. How do you manage stress effectively? How can you show your future employers that you can actively handle the stress and destress? What support did you find helpful previously? What support would you need from your supervisors? 

Things to prepare:

  • List of questions to ask the interviewer
    Don’t forget that an interview is also an opportunity for you to get a feel of how you like the team! 
    Think about:

    • Do you have any clinical interests that you would like to pursue? 

    • How can this team support you in pursuing these goals and interests? 

    • How has the team responded to recent events, e.g. Black Lives Matter movement, supporting mental health in their employees? 

    • How does the team support and manage the following areas, e.g. employees’ learning difficulties, visa sponsorship, employees who wish to pursue research, career breaks, flexible working hours, work life balance etc? 

    • If the interviewers haven’t talked about their team already, what else do you want to know about their team? How big is their team? Do they have an office base? Do they hot-desk at the office? How do they support their employees who need to purchase new resources or equipment in order to carry out your job roles? What supervision structure has been in place? 
       

  • Practice makes perfect
    Practice talking through and structuring your answers to a friend, to an audio-recorder, or to our mentors at STLinkscommunity! Ask them to give you feedback and confidence boost! You and your partner may find the following useful: 

  • Sending a potential list of questions beforehand

  • Asking what they have just heard and see if your message was discussed effectively 

  • Ask for constructive feedback (e.g. 2 strengths and 1 area of development)  

 

Practising it until you can talk about it naturally and confidently will help you a lot when you have to do the same with nerves during the interview! More importantly, enjoy and don’t be afraid to show the unique professional side of you! You are very welcome to reach out to us if you would like some feedback on your interview skills.

 

Good luck!

 

Last updated 15 Aug 2020

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