What Was Your Most Memorable Interview?


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I applied for a position in a large GP Practice for the position of Reception Manager. Getting the position would mean a big step up in my career so I was obviously both nervous and excited when I got an invitation to attend an interview.

I did my research, prepared for the interview and arrived early and felt pretty calm. I felt the eyes of the Reception team boring into the back of my head as I sat in Reception. I imagined at that moment I was the topic of conversation behind the Reception desk.

The Practice Manager introduced herself and took me into the interview room. The Senior Partner introduced himself and the interview began.

I answered questions with confidence and asked many in return. I started to feel a bit more relaxed. The Practice Manager was lovely. She then gave an almighty yawn. She was mortified and apologised we laughed, we both looked over at the Senior Partner to see what his response was and to our amazement he was fast asleep in his chair arms crossed – with his mouth opened!

The look on the Practice Managers face was a picture, she coughed loudly, he slowly opened his eyes with that glazed look of “where am I” the room was silent. I wanted to laugh, mainly due to nerves, was I that boring?

He sat up, apologised and we continued with the interview.

I was told they would be in touch as they had other candidates to interview. I left thinking that for some reason I had blown my chances.

To my delight I received a call the following day asking me back for a 2nd interview. This time the Senior Partner kept awake and after a lengthy interview I was offered the job. I was delighted.

He was a great Senior Partner with a great sense of humour and we would often laugh at the time I impressed him so much he fell asleep.

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

 

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“Please Turn Off Your Mobile Phones”


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I attended a meeting today, and a pretty important one too. The weather was hot and sunny outside and no there was air conditioning in the conference room. There was no water on the table for the participants to drink; there were at least 100 people in the room.

The meeting started, the chairperson pointed to the door that we could exit when we needed to use the toilet – but no instructions in the event of an emergency. To my knowledge there were at least two people with sight problems in the room, one of them blind.

She asked everyone to switch off his or her mobile phones. During the meeting at least two mobiles rang, obviously not switched off.

I sat around a table of 7 and at least 5 out of the 7 were constantly checking and using their mobile phones.

I sat and watched a woman updating her facebook and twitter page, and constantly texting throughout the whole meeting.

I looked around the room and seen several other people with their heads bowed down their hands down low grasping their mobile phones tapping away.

It was not a meeting that would require facebook updates or even a Twitter feed, but what it did show that people might have switched off their phones, but they were still using them.

I wonder how many of these people actually knew what went on in this meeting today.

 

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

THE BEAVER #personality test – 6/6


The 5 minute personality test is written over 6 blogs – follow from blog 1 – 6 to see who you are most like!

Following on from the personality test here are the description of:

B = BEAVERS

Beavers have a strong need to do things right and by the book. In fact, they are the kind of people who actually read instruction manuals. They are great at providing quality control in an office, and will provide quality control in any situation or field that demands accuracy such as accounting, engineering, etc. Because rules, consistency and high standards are so important to Beavers, they are often frustrated with others who do no share these same characteristics. Their strong need for maintaining high (and often times unrealistic) standards can short-circuit their ability to express warmth in a relationship.

 

National Strengths

  • Accurate
  • Analytical
  • Detail-oriented
  • Thoroughness
  • Industrious
  • Orderly
  • Methodical and exhaustive
  • High standards
  • Intuitive
  • Controlled

National Weaknesses

  • Too hard on self
  • Too critical of others
  • Perfectionist
  • Overly cautious
  • Wont make decisions without “all” the facts
  • Too picky
  • Overly sensitive

 

Basic Disposition:

Slow-paced, talk-oriented

 

Motivated by:

The desire to be right and maintain quality

 

Time Management:

Beavers tend to work slowly to make sure they are accurate

 

Communication Style:

Beavers are good listeners, communicate detail, and are usually diplomatic.

 

Decision Making:

Avoids making decisions; needs lots of information before they will make a decision.

 

In Pressure or Tense Situations:

The Beaver tries to avoid pressure or tense situations. They can ignore deadlines.

 

Greatest Needs:

The Beaver needs security, gradual change and time to adjust to it.

 

What the Beaver Desires:

Clearly defined tasks, stability security, low risk, and tasks that require precision and planning.

THE GOLDEN RETRIEVERS #personality test – 5/6


The 5 minute personality test is written over 6 blogs – follow from blog 1 – 6 to see who you are most like!

Following on from the personality test here are the description of:

 

G = GOLDEN RETRIEVERS

One word describes these people: LOYAL. They are so loyal, in fact, that they can absorb the most emotional pain and punishment in a relationship and still stay committed. They are great listeners, incredibly empathetic and warm encourages. However, they tend to be such pleasers that they can have great difficultly being assertive in a situation or relationship when it’s needed.

 

 

National Strengths

  • Patient
  • Easy-going
  • Team player
  • Stable
  • Empathetic
  • Compassionate
  • Sensitive to feelings of others
  • Tremendously loyal
  • Puts people above projects
  • Dependable
  • Reliable
  • Supportive
  • Agreeable

National Weaknesses

  • Indecisive
  • Over-accommodating
  • May sacrifice results for the sake of harmony
  • Slow to initiate
  • Avoids confrontation even when needed
  • Tends to hold grudges and remember hurts inflicted by others
  • Fears change

 

Basic Disposition:

Slow-paced, people-oriented

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Motivated by:

Desire for good relationships and appreciation of others.

 

Time Management:

Golden Retrievers focus on the present and devote lots of time to helping others and building relationships

 

Communication Style:

Two-way communicator; great listener and provides empathetic response.

 

Decision Making:

Makes decisions more slowly, wants input from others, and often yields to the input.

 

In Pressure or Tense Situations:

The Golden Retriever gives in to the opinions, ideas, and wishes of others. Often too tolerant.

 

Greatest Needs:

The Golden Retriever needs security; gradual change and time to adjust to it; an environment free of conflict.

 

What the Golden Retrievers Desires:

Quality relationships; security; consistent known environment; a relaxed and friendly environment; freedom to work at their own pace.

What Does The Personality Test Mean – 2/6


The 5 minute personality test is written over 6 blogs – follow from blog 1 – 6 to see who you are most like!

 

Personality Test – What does it mean?

Now that you have taken the survey what does it all mean?

Each letter (L. O. G. B.) stands for a particular personality type. The column with the highest score is your dominant personality type while the column with the second highest scores reveal the most accurate picture of your natural inclinations, strengths and weaknesses, and how you will naturally respond in most situations.

The four personality types can be likened to animals

 

L   = LIONS

O = OTTERS

G  = GOLDEN RETRIEVERS

B   = BEAVERS

 

Read next blog on the complete descriptions of each one.

 

Previous blog:   The 5 Minute Personality Test (1) http://wp.me/p1zPRQ-vB

Staff Appraisals


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I had a friend contact me the other day – she wasn’t happy – her yearly appraisal was due and she had no idea what to write.

I knew how she was feeling as I too have been in her shoes – dreading the “meeting” and honestly believing it was a one-way process.

That was until I became a manager and had to hold appraisals for staff. Believe me it’s not that easy.

The worse is when you have a member of staff sitting in front of you with nothing to say, with very little on their form and not wanting to be there, that then can almost become one-sided.

As a Manager, it was my job to make this meeting work, to show the member of staff that it was a two-way process and their opinions did matter. Their input was important. So how did I go about this?

I always made sure that staff had plenty of notice that their appraisal was due. They were given a form to complete and asked to return it to me at least a week before their appraisal. That way I would be able to investigate and feedback at the appraisal.

On the day of the appraisals I made sure my diary was clear, that my secretary took all my calls and I was not to be interrupted. To ensure that this happened I would hold the appraisals in another room.

I would ensure that the desk was clear, a glass of water was available for the member of staff, as sometimes staff (especially new staff) can get quite nervous.

I always prepared for each and every appraisal. I allowed plenty of time for each appraisal and always allowed for an overrun in the event that a member of staff needed more time. Everyone deserved the respect and to be treated as an individual.

I would always start with what they were doing well. Praising them was important. Every step I would ask if they had anything to add, instead of asking at the end of the appraisal.

If I had to discuss ways that they needed to improve I would always get measurable proof. Find a way forward – turning a negative into a positive.

I would ask some open questions – what has been good in the last year / what have not been so successful?

It was important for me to get them talking, and to ensure that I covered everything there was on the form. If there were any blanks on the form (and there were often some) I would go over the question in the appraisal and together we would fill in the blanks.

At the end of the appraisal I would always make sure that I had covered everything. I would ask if they were happy with the appraisal, if there is something that I might have missed out, and how they felt that I supported them as a manager over the past year.

The most important thing is following up after any appraisal. If you said you would do something then make sure you do it. Don’t let the member of staff down, they would have every reason to dread next year’s appraisal. If the member of staff has highlighted something then its over to you – it could be training that they have said they would like to do, or perhaps be considered for promotion, or simply changing their hours.

If you use the appraisals right you can and will get so much more from your team.

A staff appraisal should be a two-way process.

 

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved

Disposing of confidential information / Staff Training


I have just read an article about a NHS hospital that has had medical records of several patients found “blowing around in the street”

here is the link

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Frenchay-Hospital-patients-records-street-40/story-20843243-detail/story.html

This story brings my thoughts back to a time in the surgery when I arrived at work early one morning to find several torn up pieces of paper littering the car park around the back of the surgery building.

On investigating what it was I was mortified to see that the litter contained  patient information – by sheer luck it was a wet day and the information was wet and had fact stuck fast to the ground and it was in torn up pieces – but I could still identify some patient information. I searched the grounds and by sheer luck there was only a few pieces that I found – I went over to the bin area and found that the lid to the bin had blown up, the bin was in fact full and the contents had blown out. The bin contained more patient information.

I made sure that every bit of patient information was removed from the bin and brought back inside and I investigated straight away why that information had found its way into the bins.

I discovered what had happened. We had a new member of staff join the Reception team the day before. She was working the late shift with one other Receptionist and the new Receptionist had not been shown where the confidential waste was to go so she disposed of the information in the normal office bin. The older serving Receptionist had printed off the next days surgeries (this was always done in case of a power cut and we would at least have a list of patients due into surgery the next day) That day’s list would then be destroyed.

There were numerous large marked containers around the surgery for all confidentiality waste to go into. The Receptionist gave the lists to the new Receptionist “thinking” the new Receptionist would know where it had to go – the new Receptionist had never worked in medical field before and had no idea of confidentiality and what it really meant,  something that we all take for granted.

Our cleaners were also excellent and if they were ever in doubt about putting something in the normal bins they would ask someone. This particular day we had another cleaner covering as our usual one was on holiday.

A team includes everyone even the cleaners. In my experience including the cleaners in certain training sessions and keeping them updated with certain changes in the Surgery definitely helps in many way.

I completed an incident report form and I discussed this with staff at our next Team Meeting.

A big error made and we were completely at fault. This incident highlighted we cannot take anything for granted, especially when it come to new staff – training is vital, and so in ongoing training for older serving members of the team, and if you employ cleaners perhaps they should be included in confidentiality training, and if you have contract cleaners ensure that they are fully aware of confidentiality. It might save a lot of problems if something like this should happen.

I have recently completed confidentiality training to a organisation (not healthcare) and used this incident in the training sessions  – several people over the two courses admitted that they didn’t destroy customer confidential information and just put it in the normal bins and agreed they would all be shredding all their confidential information from now on.

 

© 2011-2017 Reception Training all rights reserved