Preparing for interviews and employment was made very clear thanks to Annabel Smoker’s Employability Week that she organised. She showed us insight on how to write out personal statements, C.V.s, and portfolios, and how to compete our online job applications.
I was also lucky enough to have gained so much experience within the University from both my roles as NAMSOC President and Faculty Officer (see my previous blog). These helped me gain the relevant skills for use in an interview such as clear, precise communication and also to act professionally at all times. It was useful to have the head of recruitment for University Hospitals Southampton and Queen Alexandra Trust visit the University, so that we could actually find out what is expected from us as newly qualified nurses.
Making the most of my placements
I definitely made good use of my placements by keeping in touch with my mentors, so when it came to deciding where I wanted to work, I had connections that I could ask for advice.
My first placement was on a surgical ward at Southampton General Hospital that specialised in Ear, Nose and Throat. I really enjoyed it and found the cases there very interesting. The staff were so friendly and helpful. So when I left I kept in touch with my mentor and few others.
When I also started my part time job with NHSP, I made sure to book some shifts there as a healthcare assistant, so that I could get myself known again and let them know that I was interested in a job there when I qualified.
What was the interview process like?
From the beginning, I found the application form and personal statement difficult as I really didn’t want to mess up my chances of getting an interview. So I followed the advice from the head of recruitment on how we should apply and what to put in our application for us to stand out and get an interview.
I took my time with the application and got people to proof read it for me, as I felt it was important not to have any mistakes. When I found out I had an interview, I was so happy, but so nervous at the same time. I prepared for the interview by reading the ‘commonly asked questions’ that Annabel supplied in the employability week. I also created a portfolio of all the things I have been involved in, testimonials from staff, certificates from all the conferences I have attended etc. So I felt organised and prepared, and ready for the interview.
When it came to the interview, I actually really enjoyed it. The panel were so friendly and I felt at ease with them, instead of being a nervous wreck, which I used to be like in past interviews. The questions they asked were based on their values or the ‘commonly asked questions’ I had prepared for.
Leaving university and actually starting a job!
I think I will find leaving University quite difficult, as I have got involved in so much here. It will be hard to just have a job without all those extra jobs and responsibilities I’ve had here. However, I am so excited about being a newly qualified nurse and what the future holds for me in this role.
I am definitely looking forward to earning some money too. Four years of college and university as a student has been financially difficult for me – although worth every minute of it. I have learnt so much in these last four years that I will never forget.
Being offered my first post
When I found out I had got a job I was so overwhelmed that I cried. I couldn’t have said “Thank you” enough times over the phone.
Then when I found out that I had been offered my first choice at Ear, Nose and Throat I was so happy. Ever since my first placement in year one I had wanted that job, as I saw some amazing cases and the staff were great. I just wanted to be part of a team that really made a difference… and now I am.