Jamie puts his interviewing skills to the test

2nd July 2021

Jamie loves karaoke and going out to socialise. And he did a brilliant job recently when he helped us interview potential staff at FitzRoy’s Nottinghamshire support at home service.

FitzRoy support at home enables people with learning disabilities to live as independently as possible in their own home, while being supported by our staff to do the things they love.

Deputy manager Nicola said: “We have supported Jamie in his own flat for about six years now, and we help him to live an independent life and support him to to get him set up for the day and ready to go to his day service. Jamie also has a part time job at a local recycling centre which he enjoys, he loves keeping busy.

“Before the pandemic we would always involve the people we support in our interviews. Now that restrictions have eased, we wanted to make sure we are using their skills once again.

When Jamie came in to visit me in the office recently I asked him if he was available to help me with an interview the following week. He jumped at the chance and was really excited – I suggested he prepare his own questions based on what he thought was important when looking for a new support worker.

“On the day, Jamie came in suited and booted with his five questions prepared which were all brilliant. He asked ‘how is your timekeeping’ and ‘are you reliable’, which really helped the interview. He also asked “when making a cup of tea, do you put the milk in before or after?” Jamie said this was the key question so kept it for last!

“One of our interviewees said being interviewed by Jamie really put her at ease, I think it is so important that we involve the people we support in our interviews so people can have a better understanding of what we do. When people hear that we provide care in the community they automatically assume it is all tasks such as preparing meals and housekeeping – it is so much more than that.

We support a variety of people who have so many different interests, it’s just a hugely varied job. You are supporting someone to live the life they want, and every person is different.

“We support people with mental health conditions who may need us to just go and sit and have a chat and a cup of tea with them, whereas other people may need support in getting ready for their social activity for the day. There aren’t two days the same, and I think having Jamie on our panel to help interview gives a sense of that to applicants.

“After the interview Jamie helped me to score the candidates based on their answers, and we were pleased to be able to offer one of the candidates a support worker role.”

Jamie said: “I was nervous before the interview but by the end, I really enjoyed it. I liked writing my own questions and I would definitely do it again.”

Nicola said: “We are always looking for new people to join us, and to me there isn’t just one type of person who could do the job, because the people we support themselves are so different in personalities. As long as you have the values we are looking for and are adaptable to different situations, you could be perfect for our team.”

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