How to Prepare for a CAMHS interview?

Working in the area of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service is tough, demanding, stressful but overall, completely worth it. People who work under this heading have a variety of different job descriptions, from social workers and nurses, to psychiatrists and occupational therapists.

If you are hoping to do just that, there are some rigorous CAMHS interview questions you will have to go through as part of the application process. Find out all the hints and tips to help you impress at interview and hopefully, lead you into your dream job.

Know the job description and what the job involves

First things first, you need to know all the details of the job description and what will be expected of you in that role. Employers want someone who will be passionate about helping others in need as a whole, but also specifically in the occupation as a CAMHS worker. You should have a firm idea about what kind of work you’ll be involved in and be able to justify why you’ll be able to do it.

For example, you may be asked what kind of situations you expect to come up against and how you would handle them. To prepare for these kinds of general questions, be sure to research the role well and, if possible, read accounts from people currently working in that area to find out how they would recommend dealing with some of the tough situations you will face. It is also worth researching the employer you are applying with to show that you are passionate about working with them and that you would be a valuable asset to their team.


Talk about your past experience

It is all well and good to be able to tell an interviewer how you would expertly handle any obstacles you come across, but they will want to hear examples of you showing these skills and techniques in other aspects of your life or in previous jobs. It is likely that you will be asked about a time you have had to work to a tight deadline, or a time when you have taken the initiative on a project and acted as the leader, or a time when you have worked well in a group.

It will serve you well to go to an interview prepared with a list of times when you have displayed attractive traits and if you can pair this with a glowing recommendation from a previous employer, even better! Having some kind of proof of the implementation of your ideas having a positive outcome will show the interviewer that you can actually back up what you say.


Think about your flaws and weaknesses and turn them into strengths

A standard question asked in many job interviews and which you may not escape in a CAMHS interview is the dreaded ‘What is your biggest flaw?’/ ‘What is one negative thing about you?’ question. This allows an interviewer to see how honest you are and also to catch you out if you do have any bad traits you are willing to own up to.

Avoid the clichéd responses like ‘I am a perfectionist’ or ‘I work too hard’; your interviewer will have heard these before and will know these are not the worst thing about you. Equally don’t be brutally honest and tell them about your habit for turning up late or pulling a sickie. Instead think of something that sounds legitimate but can also be looked at as a positive, for example ‘One of the things I was really working on at my last job was being able to juggle many projects at a time’ and mention how it is something you have improved upon.

Another example could be ‘I’ve never been very good with numbers, I can get by but maths is not my strongest area’ as this is a less essential skill for the job you are applying for so will not be a big weakness in the position.


Show empathy and an ability to understand

Above everything else, you need to show that you understand that you will be working with vulnerable individuals and will have a duty of care to them. You need to be able to demonstrate that you will put their well-being before opportunities to make money or to benefit yourself, as you should be doing the job in order to help others, rather than to further your own goals.

If you have an anecdote as to why you are interested in working in CAMHS this will help the interviewers relate to you and see your dedication to the cause. If you can also back these claims up with stories of how you’ve helped others in the past, been compassionate and put others before yourself, you are sure to make a good impression.

Interviews can be very daunting so it is important to go in prepared. Remember these tips and remember not to sell yourself short; you may think a particular experience is irrelevant when in fact you could spin it in a certain light and it could actually be a very impressive achievement. Make sure you know your stuff so there are no awkward silences when a questions is asked and let your enthusiasm shine through. Remember these tips and good luck in your interview!


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