The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!
I’ve been in Birmingham today to interview people for jobs as scientists in the NHS. The interviews were held at St. Andrew’s stadium in Birmingham at the home of the mighty mediocre Birmingham City football club. I’ve been to a few football matches in my time but I’ve never been to St. Andrew’s although I’ve been past it on the bus. I know it’s not quite the same but with Birmingham City being placed mid-league in the Championship, just above Leeds, it is probably a similar experience in terms of the level of excitement it brings.
Actually, I’m quite a fan of football. I’ve supported Everton ever since my two older brothers made me choose a team from their football sticker books when I was seven. So I’ve followed the results and listened in to the commentaries on the radio on and off for quite a number of years. Therefore, I was quite excited about the prospect of going to a football stadium for the interviews. I’ve never been to a stadium when there isn’t a match going on so it was a bit weird. It did look great though viewing the pitch from one of the boxes. Pity I can’t afford a box at Goodison Park to see Everton really.
The interviews were similarly weird. There were four sets on interviewers asking questions about different aspects of the job. My co-interviewer and I were asking specialist questions. We only had 10 mins with each person. The whole thing was a bit like speed dating, made all the more surreal by the fact that the candidates appeared from behind a screen. It was like the moment when the guys or gals on the TV show, Blind Date, appeared from behind a screen to finally come face to face with the person that they might or might not be going on a date with. I half expected Cilla Black to turn up at any moment.
We did our best to maintain an air of professionalism but about two thirds through the interview process we got a touch of the giggles because, in order to tell us when to start and finish the interview, a bell was rung and this made us laugh. The bell had exactly the sound as the bell used in boxing and we wouldn’t have been suprised if some scantily clad girl had come round holding a sign saying “Round 3.” It was difficult not to expect the candidates to come out from behind the screen gloved and ready for the fight.
All in all, I think it went quite well. The quality of the candidates is high and it was a pleasure to interview them. Also, I felt that the process was fair, in spite of the somewhat unusual set-up. I expect that our own personal preferences for different candidates will be evened out across the different interviewing teams and we should end up with some very good scientists to offer jobs to.
The sun even came out for us and I managed to catch an earlier train than expected home so not a Blue day at all really.