Critised in job interview for having temp jobs ?!

shawn michaels
shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
Yes as the header speaks. I had a job interview with the NHS yesterday and they were very critical of me having 10 temp jobs in 4 years and wondered why I'd ever want a permenant job. I highlighted my skills from each of the jobs but the panel remained unconvinced and said are you really commited to working here ? In the end I did not get the job. I've temped to stay out of unemployement so why are employers like the NHS so critical about it ? Of course I want a permanent job, I sold all my skills, will be AAT qualified in 3 weeks and quoted their values and it still did not sit well with them. Do people in perm jobs work in bubbles and believe theirs no such thing as the dole or temping ? Neither is nice but what the hell can I do ?
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Comments

  • Mikeb111
    Mikeb111 Registered Posts: 8 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    Like you say,what can you do - it's a no win situation. I had an interview with the NHS not so long ago. I didn't get the position, but was given feedback. The reasoning for not getting the job was that I did not have the requisite experience for the job (it was a trainee position - I'd assume experience would be less of an advantage) and they had decided to go with someone with previous experience, they even advised getting some temp work. Unfortuantely, I think it's horses for courses.
  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415
    My first gut instinct was that you were interviewed by a geriatric bunch of high salaried but lowly social skilled plebs. Then after considering it for a few more minutes, I decided that my initial gut instinct was probably still right.

    Scant consolation I know but take heart in that fortunately not all potential employers are that absurdly blinkered.
  • SandyHood
    SandyHood Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034
    Interviews are just as much about you checking out whether you would want to work for an employer as they are about prospective employers looking at prospective employees.

    Would you want to work for someone who disregards a series of temporary jobs?

    I don't think this is any more than a quirke of the panel who interviewed you, I certainly don't think this is widespread within the NHS.
    Sandy
    [email protected]
    www.sandyhood.com
  • shawn michaels
    shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
    blobbyh wrote: »
    My first gut instinct was that you were interviewed by a geriatric bunch of high salaried but lowly social skilled plebs. Then after considering it for a few more minutes, I decided that my initial gut instinct was probably still right.

    Scant consolation I know but take heart in that fortunately not all potential employers are that absurdly blinkered.

    Though it never came to my mind, I actually agree with you here. The panel of 3 were all senior accountant and like you say they were definitely on good numbers. Not that makes it any better for me but still I've got a bitter taste in my mouth after that interview. One question they asked was "What is a return on purchase ?". I have never heard of this term so my instict said well I know Return on Net Assets = Revenue/Net Assets so I said its the revenue generated for each pound of every purchase made. Bet I was wrong though! I will ask for feedback and see where I went wrong.
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    I dont know what it is about NHS recruitement people at the moment have they all fallen on thier heads or something?????

    To offer a person a job working in creditors who has 20 years experience in finance but then only to tell them they have to go because they dont have 5 GCSE's but then to keep them working as agency? hmmm all a bit sus to me
  • shawn michaels
    shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
    A-Vic wrote: »
    I dont know what it is about NHS recruitement people at the moment have they all fallen on thier heads or something?????

    To offer a person a job working in creditors who has 20 years experience in finance but then only to tell them they have to go because they dont have 5 GCSE's but then to keep them working as agency? hmmm all a bit sus to me

    A-Vic I agree, I can tell something was up in that interview. Here's some of the questions I was asked:

    Please state if you've have experienced being in a meeting room of 20 or more people and what role did you play

    What is the role of a PCT ? I answered this using the companies missions statement.

    What is meant by an SLA contract ?

    What is meant by payment by results ?

    What is the role of the management accounts section in the PCT ? I reflected on performance and KPI reporting for the PCT.

    What is your weakest point of the job description ? Then later in the interview I was asked what is your biggest weakness ??! Reasonable but I thought they were the same questions !

    Describe a time when you dealt with a very difficult team member.

    What is meant by health inequalities ?

    If the office is full of distractions what can you do to focus on your work ?

    How do you prioritise your own and team goals ?

    Give an example of when you used communication effectively ?

    Some of these were reasonable to be fair but I found a lot of the questions negative. I thought someone must be lined up for the job or they would not ask so many technical questions on contracts surely. The role was titled "Management Accountant".
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    I thought someone must be lined up for the job or they would not ask so many technical questions on contracts surely.

    Got to agree with you there. A lot of the people on my course were NHS, they were only doing AAT so that if a promotion came up and which was advertised "outside" they had the qualification as well as the experience.

    I did once apply for a job with my local PCT (Primary Care Trust). The interview wasn't bad, but I wasn't too surprised when it went to someone in another branch.
  • shawn michaels
    shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
    More questions asked :

    What is meant by diversity ? I had a complete mind blank here.

    If a budget holders cost centre was severly overbudget then what would you do ? I said talk to the budget holder and possibly freeze the cost centre, run exception reports to identify large variances then investigate them quickly especially if it's due to incorrect journal costings, or a large commitment outstanding.

    No matter what I said in that interview I knew I had no chance whatsover but endured the humiliation of it in front of a panel of 3 just to learn and move on to the next interview hopefully. Ah well, next job application I suppose.
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    Ah well, next job application I suppose.

    That's the spirit, put it behind you and onto the next. Sounds like it's their loss not yours.
  • Andypandy
    Andypandy Registered Posts: 526
    I think they have to advertise jobs externally, but most often have somebody already in mind from their own offices - mostly those who are already familiar with their systems. Good luck with the next interview.
  • shawn michaels
    shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
    Jan wrote: »
    That's the spirit, put it behind you and onto the next. Sounds like it's their loss not yours.

    Thanks for the support Jan.
  • Andypandy
    Andypandy Registered Posts: 526
    The cost centres are always massively over-budget, all that can be done in public sector is keep folks informed..........then the managers responsible get a nice fat golden handshake & on to the next trust!
  • messedup89
    messedup89 Registered Posts: 1,281
    that sounded like a really tough interview. Hope i never get anything like that! :ohmy:
  • neuroticprincess
    neuroticprincess Registered Posts: 56 ? ? ?
    I work in Management Accounts for the NHS and I can completely understand the questions you were asked. When I did my interview I had no experience but had funded my AAT myself which in the end got me the job. I did not think my interview went well at all so when they rang to offer me it I was very suprised.
    I have to say Im suprised by the comment that most people only complete AAT in order to have the qualification to get the promotion. I have had the most incredible support from my employer for the AAT. I was given day release from my 3rd week of employment when college started and they are keen for my to carry on to Cipfa or Cima.
    They are also employing me in a higer role at the minute although I don't have the necessary qualification (I am not however being paid they higher band til I complete AAT) but at least it is guaranteed when I get there and I understand that I am not able to be paid the higher role as I am still training atm.

    With regards to the questions...

    Please state if you've have experienced being in a meeting room of 20 or more people and what role did you play - this is because you will be expected to attend budget meeting with some very senior members of staff and you will be required to explain budgets and reports to them. These are OSMs and General Managers who basically run the hospitals (of course this is from the point of view of my organisation)


    What is the role of a PCT ?
    Obviously to see if you've done some background research and are interested in the role.

    What is meant by an SLA contract ?
    What is meant by payment by results ?
    These 2 questions are linked as the NHS is now changing over to payment by results as its more accurate - basically we are funded for exactly the procedures we carry out on each patient i.e. if a patients has 3 sets of bloods @£5 each and a scan @£15 - we will recieve £30 in funding (or something along those lines - like I said Im still learning!!)


    What is the role of the management accounts section in the PCT ?
    Again to see how much you know already - this is also why a lot of NHS roles go internally imo.

    Describe a time when you dealt with a very difficult team member.
    If the office is full of distractions what can you do to focus on your work ?
    How do you prioritise your own and team goals ?
    Give an example of when you used communication effectively ?
    These I would say are general interview questions anyway??

    Just thought I'd give my view on it as I find the NHS incredibly good employers but I do agree it can be hard to get into the NHS.
  • shawn michaels
    shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
    Thanks for the reply neuroticprincess. Some of your comments are very useful and I will certainly take heed should I get another interview with the NHS. I actually got feedback on my interview today and they said I did a strong interview with good competencies but I did not get the job due to my lack of knowledge of the technical NHS terms. Still I was please they let me know and went over my application so I will certainly apply to the NHS again should another vacancy arise.
  • Andypandy
    Andypandy Registered Posts: 526
    If you apply for another public sector job let me know & I'll send you a list of TLAs (three letter anagrams) which I've got in my work notebook. I work alongside the NHS & am still learning.
  • Jan wrote: »
    Got to agree with you there. A lot of the people on my course were NHS, they were only doing AAT so that if a promotion came up and which was advertised "outside" they had the qualification as well as the experience.

    I did once apply for a job with my local PCT (Primary Care Trust). The interview wasn't bad, but I wasn't too surprised when it went to someone in another branch.

    Ditto
  • ajames
    ajames Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    More questions asked :

    What is meant by diversity ? I had a complete mind blank here.

    Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970
    :lol:
    ajames wrote: »
    Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.
  • shawn michaels
    shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
    ajames wrote: »
    Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.

    Now that is a great answer for a job interview. :laugh:
  • angeltastic
    angeltastic Registered Posts: 11 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    Weren't diversity on Britains got talent?!!

    SLA = service level agreement
  • shawn michaels
    shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
    Weren't diversity on Britains got talent?!!

    SLA = service level agreement

    Indeed. Another most excellent answer. :laugh:Thanks for the acronym buster.
  • jorja1986
    jorja1986 Registered Posts: 210 ? ? ?
    Sounds like that PCT were Spanners.

    My interview was nothing like that. It may be that I was going for a lower level than what you were applying for as I do know that there are different skills levels required for each band, HOWEVER they choose YOU knowing that you had little working knowledge of acronyms etc and then expect you to know the answer? Somethings in the NHS really don't use common sense so you can not really guess!

    In my interview one of my answers was no word of a lie - "I would hide under a table and hope it went away" - :blushing:

    I have been working in NHS for over a year now and I still have no idea what some of the terms mean!
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    In my interview one of my answers was no word of a lie - "I would hide under a table and hope it went away" -

    And what was the question????
  • Esme
    Esme Registered Posts: 711
    Jan wrote: »
    And what was the question????

    What would you do in an earthquake?
  • AK002
    AK002 Registered Posts: 2,492
    Jan wrote: »
    And what was the question????

    What would you do if something didn't balance :lol:
  • Aaron C Rescue
    Aaron C Rescue Registered Posts: 76 ? ? ?
    Shawn,

    I had a recent interview similar to yours. They are called 'Competency based interviews', and are being used more often when the job is a trainee role with a stated minimum qualification.

    Don't be too disheartened, it was exactly this sort of interview style, and the point scoring system, which resulted in my local council telling me that I wasn't successful in securing the role I had been temping in for the past 2 and half year because the admin assistant 2 grades below me, and from the Housing department, apparently had "more direct and relevant experience".

    I subsequently found out I was beaten at interview by someone who had been so unsuccessful at her past promotional panels/interviews, that she received coaching from HR in how to pass 'Competency based Interviews', and has now jumped two grades.
  • Aaron C Rescue
    Aaron C Rescue Registered Posts: 76 ? ? ?
    PS Diversity will always appear in interview questions for public sector bodies, and it will almost always relate to what you understand to be meant by the term. i.e. your definition.

    A Diversity question is basically Equal Opportunities, and is designed to get you to express your understanding of anti-discrimination etc.
  • Ponder
    Ponder Registered Posts: 97 ? ? ?
    Andypandy wrote: »
    a list of TLAs (three letter anagrams) which I've got in my work notebook. I work alongside the NHS & am still learning.

    hehe thats a great one!

    i find it funny that there are the game anagrams i.e Clint Eastwood turns into= Old West Action. and then all the Anagrams and the like which Andypandy says of the TLAs that we all memorize for all the different processes and ways of calculating different thing's!

    Good luck with your next interview shawn michaels.
  • shawn michaels
    shawn michaels Registered Posts: 52 ? ? ?
    Had another interview with the NHS today and unfortunately rejected on the same day. The reason this time was the other candidate had more NHS experience than I did. For feedback, I was told I gave a strong interview and not to do any differently in my interview. But I am a bit angry because I think this job may have also gone internally highlighting whether it's even worth applying to the NHS anymore despite being AAT qualified with albeit 4 years temp experience in public sector organisations. Plus I wasted money on petrol for a 42mile trip for my efforts.:cursing:
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