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hse competency interviews- advice please

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  • 11-01-2010 5:31pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 24


    hi all, have an interview shortly for the national social work panel, the interviews are competency based, has anyone done these or have any advice? thanks.


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,129 ✭✭✭Nightwish


    Yes they are. The competencies will be listed on the job spec for you to prepare yourself. Were you not supplied with a document that outlines the format of a competency based interview?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,442 ✭✭✭Firetrap


    I'm assuming here that you've not done these sort of interviews before and that you've not submitted the form yet. Ideally, getting professional help with the form or even running it by a friend who works in the public service and who's done them before will help. Anecdotally, people who've gone for help with their forms have tended to do better in the interviews.

    The main thing is to spend time with the form. Read the descriptions of the competencies and underline what you see as the important words. Then make sure that your competency example includes most if not all of them. Be aware too that if the competency mentions something like 'demonstrating effective listening skills', that the interview panel are quite likely to ask you what exactly you did to display this. If you bear the STAR thing in mind - Situation, Task, Action, Result in mind and structure your form around these, you're well on the way. Be specific about what you did and don't start using the Royal 'we' rather than I. Anyway I'm sure if you go looking online, you'll find sample answers on the internet. Perhaps there are even ones in the documentation you got. Don't write too much waffle on the form either - try to keep it relatively concise. Don't get bogged down either too much in the specifics of certain things you did that aren't relevant to the competency. When you're doing out the form, keep reading the description so that you don't wander away from the topic.

    Don't make up examples because they'll most likely find you out in the interview. Also, have a second example for each one as well because you never know when they'll ask for another one. I also strongly recommend bringing your original form into the interview with you with the main points you want to make highlighted so that you don't forget them. I'd also suggest you do out and print up your second examples and do them in the same style as you did the first examples just in case they ask you

    Edit: I forgot to mention (it's been quite a few years since I sat one of these sort of interviews) that interviewers like to know what you learned from what you did. Would you do things differently if the situation arose in the morning and you had to deal with it again? They will also try to look for hitches in what you did. E.g. did others resist what you were suggesting? That kind of thing. So be prepared for that.

    Another thing that might help is for you to practice saying your examples out loud. Depending on what sort of interviewers you have, you could find yourself retelling the entire scenario you've written on your form and it can sound a bit odd to your own ears if you know what I mean. On the other hand, they might just cut to the chase and start asking questions straight away.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 697 ✭✭✭chocgirl


    Is it staff grade? I did the panel interview not for social worker but clinical profession none the less, they're all basically the same format.

    Preparation is key!

    Like already mentioned if you can get professional help, do. They're the experts after all.

    Know the competencies inside out and the breakdown of each. Don't forget communication is scored as much as the other competencies even if it isn't clearly stated.

    Have at least 2 examples of each. Be able to talk through them from what the task was to the intervention and the result. Remember it's what you did not what was done.

    Don't just repeat the form verbatim, they may ask for another example straight away instead of what you written. They also frequently change your example (particularly if it's a good one). They might say what if this was the case instead, what would you have done then? Apparently this can really throw people.

    The obvious questions re. conflict with a patient and colleague also came up for me.

    I'm not sure if this is true but certain words seem to carry weight, i.e. MDT in my case.

    Have a question ready for the end, it's hard to think of something on the spot when you're under pressure. Asking about interview feedback is good, it shows interest.

    At my interview the clinical questions were just thrown in at the end and didn't seem to carry much weight. One scenario was particularly easy and the other was very tricky. I heard a couple of people failed on these.

    Best of luck, don't freak out too much!:)

    Oh at the beginning everyone was asked about work experience and basically what they were doing since finishing college, more of an icebreaker.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24 Prettylady


    thanks guys, that info really helps. I have alot of work to do!


  • Subscribers Posts: 5,766 ✭✭✭girl_friday


    Prettylady wrote: »
    thanks guys, that info really helps. I have alot of work to do!

    How did you get on?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24 Prettylady


    woohoo, i was successful, jus got a job too!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,442 ✭✭✭Firetrap


    Well done :D Can I ask if you got any help with the form or did you manage ok by yourself?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24 Prettylady


    Firetrap wrote: »
    Well done :D Can I ask if you got any help with the form or did you manage ok by yourself?


    I managed it grand after, i did loads of practise interviews with someone the week before and this helped as they asked quesions i hadnt thought of from the form. also refreshing myself on relevant theories was key as these were aksed bout in the inerview. my expereince was limited so i focused on what I had done effectively and how I did it. it was very tough. at the time i found it so hard but actually I did quite well when I got the score from the interview.
    thanks 4 de advice. :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 697 ✭✭✭chocgirl


    Congrats!Well done:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 36 Bambi88


    Can I ask, how do you find out when these panels are taking place? Im currently in final year social work!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 36 Bambi88


    Hi, can anyone tell me how I find out when these interviews take place and how/where are they advertised?? Thanks :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 440 ✭✭bisset


    I have heard that there will be a new competition and panel for Social Workers happening in the very near future


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 OYSTERLADY


    bisset wrote: »
    I have heard that there will be a new competition and panel for Social Workers happening in the very near future

    HI BISSET

    CAN YOU OFFER ANY MORE INFORMATION RE THIS NEW COMPETITION? IS YOUR SOURCE RELIABLE.
    IM AN OUT OF WORK SOCIAL WORKER......CONSIDERING MOVE TO UK.

    THANKS


  • Registered Users Posts: 440 ✭✭bisset


    CPL are recruiting social workers for short term contracts in Kildare and Wicklow to start immediately. It does seem likely that there will be a new panel in the next few months but given the speed (lack of) Manorhamilton move at the best option is probably go to CPL if you want a job in Ireland in the near future. Good luck


  • Registered Users Posts: 907 ✭✭✭Bassfish


    I'd seriously doubt there'll be a panel opening this year. There are tons of people on the 2010 and 2011 panels who have come nowhere near getting called up for a job. All the agency staff in Dublin North West were recently let go so CPL jobs are looking increasingly precarious.


  • Registered Users Posts: 440 ✭✭bisset


    My information from the union is that HSE said that there would be new panel after Christmas. HIQA have now started assessing child protection teams. It is possible that they will find out that standards are not being met due to staff shortages and recommend the more staff are recruited. The changeover to the new agency makes things more complicated as the left hand does not seem to know what the right hand is doing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 440 ✭✭bisset


    HSE will be announcing new recruitment panel for social workers after Paddy's Day


  • Registered Users Posts: 907 ✭✭✭Bassfish


    bisset wrote: »
    HSE will be announcing new recruitment panel for social workers after Paddy's Day
    That's good to hear :) pm me if you need any advice for the application and interview.


  • Registered Users Posts: 138 ✭✭layviae


    bisset wrote: »
    HSE will be announcing new recruitment panel for social workers after Paddy's Day

    Thanks for the heads up,

    anyone have any ideas about this video interview part? they didnt do it last time

    one of the default question is 'Any feedback on your experience of this video
    interview in general?' but they seem to be putting it in section 1 before you complete the interview so im wondering what there looking for?


  • Registered Users Posts: 38 SeanC320


    deadline for application is 2nd april 2013, need to get cracking!!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 33 spacelucy


    layviae wrote: »
    Thanks for the heads up,

    anyone have any ideas about this video interview part? they didnt do it last time

    one of the default question is 'Any feedback on your experience of this video
    interview in general?' but they seem to be putting it in section 1 before you complete the interview so im wondering what there looking for?

    I did the video interview for the OT panel, that question was just on the practice version of the video, which doesn't go to the interviewers, it's just for the Sonru people I think. In the actual interview it was strictly business, all clinical questions!


  • Registered Users Posts: 38 SeanC320


    anyone have any idea as to what questions are likely to be asked???


  • Registered Users Posts: 138 ✭✭layviae


    SeanC320 wrote: »
    anyone have any idea as to what questions are likely to be asked???
    I read on the website of the company that organises the video interview that they get the hse to give a list of questions and they generate 3 or 4 random questions so no 2 interviews are the same


  • Registered Users Posts: 38 SeanC320


    layviae wrote: »
    I read on the website of the company that organises the video interview that they get the hse to give a list of questions and they generate 3 or 4 random questions so no 2 interviews are the same


    ah i was actually wondering how they were going to mix it up, im not sure about yourself but for myself and a good few i know its not giving us much time to fill out application, we are in the middle of essays and disertation at present. Anyway i suppose its good that it has opened up again. i see the geographic area choice is limited, not sure about that!


  • Registered Users Posts: 138 ✭✭layviae


    SeanC320 wrote: »


    ah i was actually wondering how they were going to mix it up, im not sure about yourself but for myself and a good few i know its not giving us much time to fill out application, we are in the middle of essays and disertation at present. Anyway i suppose its good that it has opened up again. i see the geographic area choice is limited, not sure about that!

    Just remember only half the applicants are in the position of trying to finish college or exams, for the other half this is the most important thing in the world that they've been waiting a year for.

    Use your time in college to your advantage, your peer group will be able to help discuss questions and answers, also see if the carrear advisory service will do a workshop with you either around the application or the video interview. No harm in asking and in most cases they would be delighted.

    Around the areas, at least they've limited us to areas that jobs actually come up in, so we have a hope of getting one, there's quite a lot of Dublin choice which is lucky enough for us dubs!

    Good luck with the application


  • Registered Users Posts: 907 ✭✭✭Bassfish


    Hello,
    A few people have messaged me so i said i'd just throw a post up instead of replying to everyone.
    I did my interview in the last round of recruitment, April 2011 and there was no video interview so i'm afraid I can't offer any advice there.
    If the application still involves writing about a piece of work where you used X Y and Z skills or demonstrated competency, keep it concise, DO NOT go over the allocated space as it's also a test of your ability to write clearly and concisely like you do every day on the job. Divide each answer into three sections: 1. the task/situation 2. the steps you took/the work you did 3. how it turned out/the result.

    For the interview:
    For each of the sections you wrote about in the application, be able to tell them why you felt that was the appropriate course of action and be able to say what you could have done differently. Also, I was told to have another example other than the one you wrote about for each competency which i prepared but they never asked me for.

    Be able to demonstrate your knowledge of theory. I mentioned something about attachment theory which they asked me to expand on so I was able to talk about that for a minute or so.
    Know your legislation, most importantly the Child Care Act. I was asked 'what legislation is used when a child has to be placed in care?'
    You need to know Section 4- Voluntary Care, Section 12- when the Guards take a child into care when they are in immediate danger, Section 16- Emergency Care Order, Section 17- Interim Care Order, Section 18- Care Order.
    N.B- There is no such thing as a Voluntary Care Order, it's a contradiction in in terms and section 18 is just called a care order, NOT a Full Care Order.

    The interview lasts about 25 minutes and feels like 5 minutes. As Roy Keane said, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Do your homework and they'll be happy with you.

    Those are the main things i remember and they served me fairly well, working 18 months now :-)
    Best of luck to everyone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 38 SeanC320


    thanks for the tips folks its great to have some idea, in relation to the area of choice to work in, would it be advisable to tick all the boxes if so does it increas the chances of getting a job?


  • Registered Users Posts: 907 ✭✭✭Bassfish


    SeanC320 wrote: »
    thanks for the tips folks its great to have some idea, in relation to the area of choice to work in, would it be advisable to tick all the boxes if so does it increas the chances of getting a job?
    Ya, no sense narrowing your options to specific areas at the start of your career. Keep the options open.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 k_t11


    SeanC320 in the addditional info it says if you don't want to narrow your options don't choose any care group and you will then be considered for all.

    Im stuck on this geographical area decision. I called manorhamiliton to see if there was any indication as to which areas move faster but they dont have that information apparently!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 38 SeanC320


    k_t11 wrote: »
    SeanC320 in the addditional info it says if you don't want to narrow your options don't choose any care group and you will then be considered for all.

    Im stuck on this geographical area decision. I called manorhamiliton to see if there was any indication as to which areas move faster but they dont have that information apparently!

    thank you for that, i really dont know what to do, my area would have fallen under dublin NE but now as you are aware its all changed, i think im going to stick down my own region and hope for the best!!


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