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What to do when you're waiting to hear about a job application?

By Dr Marianne Trent, Clinical Psychologist

This article has been amended from Episode 59 of The Aspiring Psychologist Podcast. If you'd prefer to listen to it then you can here. You can also watch it on YouTube here.

Welcome along to the Aspiring Psychologist Blog. If you're reading this when it goes live, then you might well know that it is currently January, 2023. If you are yourself an aspiring psychologist, you might also know that January, 2023 is quite an important month in terms of timeframes. Now, if you are not an aspiring psychologist, please don't tune click away as there's gonna be loads of useful content here for you. And you might be like, what? Not an aspiring psychologist. What do you mean? This is the Aspiring Psychologist podcast, but everybody's welcome here. Let's be inclusive, let's be friendly. I know that I've got lots of other disciplines listening as well. People who want to upskill their knowledge about working in mental health settings. So I've got people that work in social work, people that work in mental health, nursing, people that work in care settings, in education settings.

Anybody that wants to have like a little insider sneak peek or to help think about some of these complicated and important issues that we discuss in the podcast. So do stay reading cos as you know, there's always useful stuff here. But if you are an aspiring clinical psychologist or educational psychologist or someone else that's got interviews coming up for their specific sphere of psychology in springtime, then this is gonna be particularly useful for you. So I know already I've seen on Twitter come on, follow me on Twitter, @DrMarianneTrent. I've seen people talking about having been offered interviews for educational psychology, but currently it's too early for NHS funded places to have been offered for interview. What we do know is that the 31st of January, 2023 is the deadline for clearinghouse who sought out all the applications for the NHS funded.

And I think even some of the self-funded options that you will know what you applied for they sort out the applications and it's their job to have released all of the applications on or before the 31st of January, 2023. So that means that the courses will definitely have your form to review by then if you have indeed applied. However, of course it may already have happened, but by that point, I think if I was in your position and when I was in your position, it would feel like a new level of oh, it's like another step along with the process. So whilst we're talking dates, let me take you through the other key dates that we're going to be covering in this cycle of applications. So if your chosen university is using selection tests, then I would imagine that you would be invited for those selection tests at any time from the start of February until March.

The deadline for the course is to have let you know whether or not you have been shortlisted for interview this year is St. Patrick's Day, the 17th of March, 2023. Now of course that might mean that you are offered an outright interview. It might mean that you are offered a reserve place interview. They don't always give you what place you are on the reserve list for interviews. Or it might mean that you are given thanks but no thanks and I believe largely gone are the days that you get much information about why you weren't shortlisted. So that date is the 17th of March. So you will know either way by the 17th of March. So it's not super distance away, but of course if you are applying to somewhere with selection tests, you might want to think in more detail about this. So there's more information coming up about those shortly too.

This year the interviews across all of the courses for the NHS funded places for clinical psychology start from the 20th of March and finish on the 26th of May, 2023. Now, across all of the courses it's staggered. So not all happening at the same time. Some courses offer one week, some courses offer two weeks, but there might even be some offering more than that. But they're usually staggered and they're usually pretty well staggered across geographical areas too. So I have never heard of anyone being offered interviews on the same day. Different courses. I have heard of people being offered interviews in the same week for different courses, which wasn't necessarily so problematic when they were all Zoom. I know a lot of them were in person last year too. So yeah, it'll be wait and see time. I think there's some degree of organisation in what might look like chaos in the background to make sure that they're not calling candidates on the same day.

Once all the interviews are released, you've been invited or not invited, there will be some compassionate Q&A sessions coming up from me too. First of those will be happening with me on my socials and will take place on Monday the 13th of March, 2023 starting at 7:30pm. The easiest place for you to find me there is to come and hang out on the Facebook group, the Aspiring Psychologist community with Dr. Marianne Trent. So that's how you can guarantee you won't miss that one. That's the first one. And the second of those will take place on Monday the 17th of April, 2023 at 7:30 PM And then in a change from our usual routine, we have the third and final one of the season on a Tuesday because we've got a bank holiday scheduled for Monday, the 1st of May. So, we're having Tuesday the 2nd of May at 7:30 PM So in case you want to get those dates in your diary, I'm giving you them early now.

So the final dates to bear in mind is that if you are in the position, I think a lucky position, but you might feel quite lucky. But if you are in the position where you are offered DClinPsy places, I don't think you are lucky. I think it's your time, you are ready for the next step. It's your time you've done well. It's not luck, it's judgement , it's you know, capability, it's achievement, it's accomplishment, it's confidence. It's, I dunno, eating your Weetabix, <laugh> before you go your interview, making sure you're not hungry. It's making sure you don't don’t need a wee in the middle of <laugh> what you're saying so that you can think calmly. It's finding your, you know, your comfortable zone in your window of tolerance so that you can perform optimally. It's not luck. It might be a sprinkling of luck in there.

It's about feeling comfortable in what you are wearing. It's about, it's about so many things, but I don't think it's about luck. So yeah, let's not, let's not invalidate ourselves by thinking it's all luck cuz it's not. You know, even to get interviews, you've worked your bottom off to get there. So if you are in the position where you are offered places to train on one or more dec inside courses, although you can only do one at a time, then you need to have confirmed or declined those places by the 9th of June, 2023. So other than reserve list places dropping in, if people drop out that we should know where we're at by the 9th of June, 2023. So what are we gonna do now that we have an idea of the dates? How are we gonna take this board? How are we gonna roll with it?

How are we gonna run with it? How are we gonna find our comfortability? How are we gonna find the energy to get through this recruitment phase, which may end for you in March, which may end for you in June, which may, you know, end happily or with, you know, lots of complicated feelings. What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do? So by now we're just gonna take a breath. We are going to tolerate that idea that this is coming, this is happening. And also we are gonna perhaps have a little look at the application that you submitted. We're not going to look at it with horror, we're just going to look at it and observe. Just see what you said about yourself. You might well have burned it since you submitted it or you know, put it in a drawer never to be looked at again.

But it's useful to just think about how your skills might have changed, how things might have become strengthened, whether things haven't changed in the way that you imagined by this stage when you applied. Just have a little look, just have a look. Just be curious and notice as we say in EMDR, and we're gonna tolerate the idea that others are going to be looking at that others who do not know you personally, who don't, you know, don't know anything about you other than what you've put on your forms. They won't see your name. I believe that's redacted, but we're just gonna tolerate the idea that people are going to be accessing that and reading that and just, just do our breathing and just tolerate that stay in our window of tolerance whilst knowing that that's out there, your baby is out there. And we're also gonna have a think about whether there are any areas where you could develop between now and when the interviews start.

Could you think about strengthening your skills in research? And that might look like practicing some on paper. It might look like getting involved with research. It might look like going to research meetings. What could you do between now and depending on when your interviews for your courses are mid-May to strengthen your skills as a candidate. But of course we're not just thinking about between now and Mo because these things that you change, that you do, that you strive for right now will be with you forever. The things that I did at that point are still with me now. So they stay with you like little golden nuggets could practice thinking about creating, discussing, holding in mind formulations for people. Could you do that? So let's pond that as we go for a quick break here. So have a listen to this little jingle and I'll be back on the other side to give you more top tips for what we could be doing between now and May to really help you bring the best possible chances of success.

Welcome back. Thanks for listening. So we were thinking before the break about whether you can strengthen your skills, knowledge and expertise and confidence in formulating and talking about formulations, something really key in psychology. And so that's something really useful that you can do and this is something that might feel a bit cringey this next one. Can you practice developing your skills and confidence in talking about yourself out loud without cringing? And this is where your zoom camera or your video camera or your phone camera comes in useful. Can you talk to yourself about yourself without wanting to run away and hide in a cave? I struggled with that actually. I think the first time I really tried to do that was a mock interview with my then supervisor and I was just cringing and dying a thousand deaths inside. But had I been more used to that earlier on then I think that would've been a good thing.

So yeah, give it a go. Nothing bad will happen if you say good stuff about yourself. You know, I think good stuff will come from that. Let's not have any the apprentices on currently. We don't want any apprentice CV ripping to shred moments where we've said things are just not true, you know, so we wanna be staying within our zone of competencies and stay accurate about what we're saying and what we've done. But it's, it's okay to talk about things in a client confidential nature that you've done and the evidence why you are gonna be a great psychologist and why you are a great currently unqualified psychologist. And next if you are applying to a university that does have selection tests, they might be logical sort of deductive reasoning tests, there might be situational judgement tests, then could you start thinking about planning out and practicing some of those?

So there are some free ones available on a website, on a website called S H L. I know they're there cuz I've seen them, but they are quite tricky to find. So if you want to check out the details on the show notes, it will take you right there. You can look at the example ones. But if you actually want to take some yourself, you will need to register and I believe you need to register a new email address each time if you want to do multiple attempts. There's also another way that you can practice tests. You can get some for free through a website called What that has is free resources available where you can practice and where it scores you and gives you your score. There is also an opportunity to be able to pay and access more tests too.

And there's an exclusive coupon code available for my audience of aspiring psychologists. And the code you will need to get 30% off is Aspire Psych all in upper caps, A S P I R E P S Y C H. And I did the situational judgement test and thought that it was a useful test and kind of useful to know what sort of score I was getting. So do check that out with that coupon code, aspire Psych, which is exclusive to my audience.

Last but not least, if you wanted to get a feel on all of the areas that I have covered, the research, the talking about yourself, the formulation, the learning, different skills and strengths and thinking about tests, then have you considered coming on board to the Aspiring Psychologist membership because this is what we do, this is what we do well, and I can also answer your questions very much in the way that I do within the free Q&A, but with more time and sometimes face to face too on our zooms.

So every week we have lunch with Marianne where I answer your questions. And if you

haven't asked me any questions, I think with you more broadly about other concepts that are going on currently. But yeah, it's 30 pounds a month, there's no minimum commitment. You can leave anytime and people find it's really, really useful in helping them develop their skills and their confidence. So do please think about coming on board. If you do enjoy the podcast and you aren't in the position where you are able to or want to join the membership, please do consider making a donation, buying me a cup of verbal tea via the donation option, which is on my link. It says say thanks and support me by donating. So this podcast does cost me a few hundred pounds a month to put together. So if you've valued any of the content, any donation that you might be willing to make is so greatly appreciated cuz the costs do come out of my own pocket.

And yeah, that's it from me. That's it today. As ever. If you've got anything you'd like me to talk about in the podcast on the blog, then do go along to and fill in your details on the form there to let me know whilst you're there, why not leave me an audio testimonial either for the podcast or for any of the three books, the Grief Collective, the Aspiring Psychologist Collective, and the Clinical Psychologist Collective. Heck, if you're a member for the membership, you could leave me one there too. Thank you so much and I hope this content is really useful. I love providing it for you, but as I said, any donation that you can afford is so gratefully received. Thanks for being part of my world and I will look forward to catching up with you for our next episode of the Aspiring Psychologist Podcast / Blog, which will be coming to you from 6:00 AM on Monday. Thank you again. Take care. Be kind to yourself.

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