March 23, 2022, by hayleychipman
The School’s interns take part in admission interviews
This month we will be reflecting on supporting staff with admission interviews. We feel so lucky we got to be a part of this. It’s a huge step for anyone who’s considering a career in healthcare – we remember not so long ago being in that nervous position ourselves!
Every year, hundreds of applicants are interviewed at the University of Nottingham, School of Health Sciences, not just for Nursing courses (which we applied to) but for Midwifery, Sports Rehab and Physio too. As Health Science interns we got to support with interviews for most of them. Candidates were asked a series of questions which included why these professions called out to them specifically? What does it mean to be an adult nurse as opposed to a child’s nurse? What are the core professional values of physiotherapists?
Frankly, sometimes candidates came out with really moving responses. It was amazing to listen to them discuss what mattered to them about health care and why they were considering committing themselves to these professions. This felt particularly poignant considering the pandemic and the coverage of its impact. Some of the candidates were stepping up to help because they felt their skills and commitment were needed. Some had experience of care, some didn’t, but all were interested in understanding how to look after others and build a career around that.
An experienced member of academic staff and service-user lead the interviews via Microsoft Teams. Compared to conducting the interviews in person (which is how we were interviewed), we noticed how different the online interview process was for example, ensuring there was a good internet connection and that the interviewers and candidates could hear and see each other clearly were very important points to run through before even starting the interview!
Furthermore, we noticed how the digital format required a unique approach to presenting the professional attitude expected at an interview. As an interviewer, you couldn’t read so much from the other person’s body language or presentation and much of the assessment of the candidate was based squarely on the value of the conversation. Perhaps this is not a bad thing. Having online interviews can help reduce anxiety as well as avoiding the stress of travel. It will be interesting to see if this format replaces in person interviews altogether.
As well as being in the interviews to understand how they’re conducted, we were also able to answer any questions that candidates had about being a student at the university. Some of them were interested in the internship and happy to learn that they would be able to apply for it too! We were also able to share our own experiences with students and chat around what being a health care student is like, which was great.
Overall, it was eye-opening to be able to see this process from the other side and have discussions with lecturers about what they were looking for in candidates. This deepened our understanding of the role of the academic and increased our appreciation of the fact that they do so much more than teach!
It was great to be involved in this admission process. We’ve learnt a lot.
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