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How are Professional Registration interviews handled during lockdown, and what advice can we give for 'remote' interviews?
Question
As a PRA I haven't heard anything special about Registration interviews, and suspect that they are in abeyance for the moment (Older interviewers may be "shielding"). But I do expect that it's likely that there will be interviews by teleconference as we release from lockdown and get processes in place.

Are there any tips and tricks for candidates for preparing for a teleconference type interview, or handling the delays that Covid has created, so that they are able to present themselves well?

Philip, Scotland.
4 Replies
Hi Guys

Quite busy with the Skype/Zoom interviews. Tips for the candidates - make sure you know how to use the system adopted - sharing screen etc get your presentation loaded on to RPS as soon as you are able , gives the interviewers time to review. It's not the same as face to face but it is working fairly well. Both Karen Fox and Tina Chudasama work very hard to keep everything going - Karen with a number of laptops keeping all in order.

Yes it does save travelling down to Savoy Place and you have to get your own lunch but it works and that's the most important thing.

Good luck to all, stay safe

Regards Jim w
Hi,
I can also confirm that it works. A colleague of mine had his interview on-line in mid-May, and I sat through his practice presentations (plus posed a few questions afterwards to keep it realistic). The practice was with Teams, as this is what we have at work, but I think the actual interview was with Skype. While they are different programs I think that they are all similar enough that it doesn't make too much difference. He heard last week that he has been awarded CEng so I agree that it does work.
Alasdair
Hi Jim,
Were there any extra little tips about what, not so much 'goes wrong' , but doesn't go as well as face to face, and any tips about managing the misaligned expectations.

I'm guessing that the voice clarity and delay can be an issue, along with needing to allow for 'thinking time' (because you can't see instantly whether the listeners are nodding in agreement, when on delayed multi-screen), etc.

Especially interested about anything that comes out of the interview situation that's different from on-line advice about either conferencing or training presentations (i.e. the expectation of an unresponsive audience, e.g. sneaking off for a cup of tea, and other urgent needs, during a webinar...).

I've a couple of candidates who are likely to be interviewed soon.

Philip
Hi Phil

You can't sneak off to get the essential cup of tea - that's easier in Savoy Place - because it's all in the room and on Skype etc if your not there - your not there! The only time the delay kicks in is when you want to interrupt the presentation to ask a question, that can get a bit messy. Also recently my co interviewer wanted to get the candidate to stop say "we did..." and use "I did..." etc that threw the candidate a bit. The odd freezing doesn't help but I will usually live with it unless it gets too bad then I would get the girls to reset etc.Karen and Tina tend to monitor what is going on so you're not on your own. As for sound quality I suppose I am fortunate as the PC I use has a high quality Kenwood HiFi surround sound system linked in (part of my hobby of music) so the sound is usually fairly good. I also use my iPad to have the RPS site running so that I can refer to the documents if I need to - that works very well - until you get timed out!

I must admit that on face to face it is easier to interrupt presentations to ask questions - I will admit I tend to let them finish without interrupting and just make notes of what I want to ask them afterwards. The communication between the interviewers is severely curtailed - no nods or winks etc. You almost have to pretend that you're the only interviewer - but listen to all that is said so you don't repeat questions..

I have tended to link up with the girls and co interviewers for 20/30 minutes before hand to discuss what we have learned from the documents on RPS - The presentation usually turns up a bit late for me as I like to review them before we get started. We have a couple of interviews tomorrow and one of the candidates has yet to post his presentation.  I know that doesn't happen on face to face, you don't see them before hand, which is something that could be addressed for the future.

Without doubt it isn't the same as face to face but I don't think we have missed very much detail, in fact one candidate who looked (on paper - RPS style) very weak and we had discussed before hand that this was going to be difficult - then about 40minutes in he made a comment about a particular process he had been heavily involved in (not in his application) and all of a sudden - so to speak - the heavens opened and we cleared all issues we had on A&B in about five minutes - that was strange. I'm sure had that interview been at Savoy Place the same result would have been realised.

Overall providing the candidate knows how to use the system adopted then it's not too bad and I'm sure that the technology will improve over time - the Broadband element is clearly a major contributor - again we're lucky, where we are, the BT exchange is across the road behind the Pub and the green box is on the grass verge 50yds along the road so we do get a very good signal strength.

One last comment I must admit that a couple of applications have looked very weak and I am surprised that the Pre PRI Panel hadn't asked for more information. Tomorrow we are being asked to check on both C&E - my opinion is that if it isn't in the application then it should be asked for - the interview is there to confirm all 17 competences without having to dig deep in any category - I though "probing requests" had been scrapped. Never mind I'm sure we'll sort it out.

The only other problem is that you do have to get your own lunch - no waitress service here!!

Good luck with your interviews.

Regards Jim W

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