Application and interview

These helpful tips have been developed by our Clinical Leads to support you with your application and interview.

Helpful tips to assist you in completing your application form:

 Do your homework:

  • Prior to completing the application form, take some time to understand IAPT by reading up (for example, review the IAPT manual, relevant university course information, HPFT and the Trust values).
  • Read the role profiles on this site so you can gain a clearer understanding of what the job you are applying for involves.
  • Read the job description and the person specification so you can make an informed decision about whether the job is for you and that you meet all of the essential requirements for the post.
  • Ensure you plan to complete, review and return your application in time for the closing date.  It is a common error to rush completion the night before a deadline.
  • Proof read your application before submitting it, checking for any spelling or grammar errors, which may not be picked up by an automatic spellchecker.

Make it personal:

  • Do not submit a generic application form statement, it needs to be personalised to the criteria stipulated in the person specification.
  • When describing your responsibilities and/or achievements in your current and past roles, bear in mind the skills we are seeking for the role you are applying for. Try and relate your experience to the requirements from the person specification.
  • Read the person specification and address each point in turn, demonstrating how you meet the criteria. This is a crucial and important part of the application form and each point should be addressed, giving clear short paragraphs identifying how your experience meets the criteria from the person specification.
  • Make your answers personal by providing relevant, concrete examples of when you showed certain abilities and skills.

Showcase your skills:

  • Providing specific examples of your previous achievements or the positive impact of your day-to-work is essential.  Try to use examples which include where you have ‘transformed’, ‘delivered’, ‘produced’ or ‘organised’ as this will help you to demonstrate your action and its impact.  You may find that just describing a couple of situations or examples will meet a number of the criteria contained in the person specification.  
  • Place emphasis on the skills and experience that are most relevant for the role. How will these things stand you in good stead? Why do they make you a good candidate? And, how do they help differentiate you from the competition?
  • Please be honest about your skills.  The most important thing for staff working in IAPT is deliver  clinically safe and effective care; it is therefore very important that you are honest about the extent of your qualifications and experience.

Helpful tips to assist you in your interview:

Research IAPT and HPFT:

  • Pre-interview research is so important. If you’ve done your job interview preparation properly, you should be able to demonstrate your knowledge of IAPT and HPFT during the interview.
  • Google us, check out our website, social media and other relevant literature online to aid your understanding of the role you are applying for and us as an organisation.   This may seem obvious, but if you know little about us, you may not be able to answer our questions and this may give a negative impression. 
  • If you are attending an interview for a clinical post, you should research the treatment interventions that are offered by practitioners in the role that you are applying for.  For example, if you are applying for a high intensity trainee positions you may be asked about an appropriate Step 3 intervention for a specific disorder.
  • Consider contacting the service to ask to speak to someone who is already doing the role. 

Sell your skills and abilities:

  • We know that a lot of people find selling themselves an uncomfortable task.  However, your interview is your chance to demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the job.
  • Practice for interview questions beforehand and plan your responses accordingly.
  • The easiest way to highlight your skills is to give tangible examples of your experience or education that demonstrate why you would be successful in the role.
  • Try to keep in mind the role of IAPT and its values.
  • Each time you reference one of your skills you should support it with an example to prove to us that your skills are genuine. A popular technique for illustrating your skills is the STAR method (see below). Keep this method in mind and come up with a few go-to examples you can use in the interview.

Situation: Give some context to the story you’re about to tell, outline where you were and why you were there.

Task: Describe what you were doing and if you faced any challenges whilst doing it.

Action: Then explain the actions you took to complete the task and how you tackled any challenges you faced.

Results: Finally, reveal the outcome, this should demonstrate your skills, what you achieved and also anything you learnt from the situation.

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