Monday, 14 May 2012

Interview Part Two

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 26th April 2012]

Guess my eagerness outweighed the nerves - I was phoned up on Tuesday morning and invited to spend a morning at the practice, observing and getting a feel for the work I'd get to do (if offered the job).

Needless to say, I was chuffed to bits and we made arrangements for me to come in Thursday morning.

Initial joy wears down a smidge and I go to bed willing myself to wake up dead on time. I'm not known as an early riser by any stretch of the imagination. I'm mentally setting an alarm for 7am ... I proceed to snap awake at 6am. That's not so good when you're on the late shift at work that evening. After an hour of dozing I get out of bed, get dressed, and head off allowing about 50 minutes to get there - whilst I'm very familiar with the route I've never taken it early in the morning so I'm uncertain as to the traffic conditions - better to be early than risk being late.

Thankfully, in spite of a bit of slow moving traffic, I make it in good time and head inside at 9am. The arranged time was 9.15am but that can show that I'm more than punctual and considerate of their time.

I'm shown into the staff area, get a nurses shirt to wear and get the tour.

It's much larger than my own dentist's practice (which is a small converted house) with several surgery rooms, a big waiting area, own car park (free - bonus!) and a reasonable sized kitchen/staffroom.

I spend the morning with the head dentist, observing a new patient getting a checkup, someone enquiring about tooth-whitening, another with a broken tooth getting repaired, an elderly lady with an abscess beneath her tooth needing advice having come from another practice feeling dissatisfied with her treatment. It was quite varied with several x-rays taken, I watched the computerised charting system (my own dental practice still uses the paper version) and some of the terminology was familiar from the textbook, and I got to try out using the suction tool on the dentist himself.

I think it was clear to him that I was a lot less nervous than during my interview.

However I didn't do very well when he threw some mental arithmetic questions at me. I'm terrible at mental maths - give me paper and a pen and I'll work it out before too long, but in my head I find it very difficult to visualise numbers and solve an equation. I don't know how much of a stumbling block that is but I made it clear that I really wanted to improve my maths.

He also mentioned that whilst some older more experienced nurses had applied (whether he meant for this position or in the past generally I'm unsure) because the practice is so modern and computerised, a lot of them just didn't have the computer skills necessary to do the job; a few apparently had hardly touched a computer. Not ideal for a modern practice. But then I suppose there's little to stop them going on computer courses to learn; certainly in my area there's plenty of introduction courses for adults wanting to learn.

My view is that regardless of whether you tick all the boxes, you can still have a good chance if you can prove that you're keen and willing to learn. My CV includes my attempts at learning a foreign language, various university level courses, plus obtaining the textbook and the Hepatitis B vaccinations - it all works in my favour, showing the effort I put in to learning and wanting to get into the profession.

All in all, I have mixed feelings about the day. It was insightful but I just wish I'd come up with some intelligent questions or at least been able to get the maths right.

I was told that there were a few other candidates to see and that I should find out one way or the other by the end of the week or else early next week.

Granted, this is the closest I've come so far to securing the job I want yet I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high because I know how upsetting it'll be if they chose someone else.

My next post will obviously let you know the result one way or the other.


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