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NHS Clinical Scientist Recruitment

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    Anyone knows what the next stage (interview) is about? Having potentially 100's of interviewees, Will it actually be the standard interview, 2 or 3 interviwers,30min/per interview?
    ...just wondering...
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    No cytopathology and immunology lol microbiology doesn't quite excite me as much as mammalian cells
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    (Original post by Mochi)
    I think your work will definitely improve your chances, and it seems that you don't really need postgraduate qualifications anyway. You're in a good position

    I was looking into alternatives in case I don't get this, and I don't know how much choice I really have. Are you a BMS? I don't have the accredited degree for that so I don't think that's a possibility, and it seems like the other roles I'm either over qualified for (MLA etc) or don't have enough experience.

    My masters is in biomedicine, and I've had nearly a year's worth of research experience spread over 2 projects which I hope will look good. One is in infection and the other is more immunology/vaccine based.
    I think that research experience puts you in a good position as they are relevant topics.

    I'm a higher healthcare technical officer, which although you don't need a degree, on the person spec it was desirable to have one. I did my degree in human biology and my disseration was a lab project in microbiology.

    My experience with NHS lab based jobs is they either don't require a degree at all or want you to have a masters aswell. So this training programme is pretty much the only career path in the NHS I have found that may accept just an undergrad degree.
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    I'm new to this, but I failed the tests after the numerical test. I only have a few months experience working in a lab but feel these tests are really unfair. I read back and some people have put 'it will weed out mostly bad ones'. Sorry but how is that fair at all? majority of the ones I have read on here that have failed do not seem like 'bad ones' and I feel even though I only have 10 months of NHS laboratory experience I would not have been a bad candidate. And for those that have failed, all I am thinking that it is their loss. Also med school does use these tests, but it isn't on a pass or fail basis, you get a result and just put that in your application don't you? Ye I understand why they are doing these and it may be more to see how people can deal with stress (which I am rubbish at), but why couldn't they have done a similar way to medicine in that everyone gets through after the tests but they score you on your tests results, experience etc. I know this wouldn't reduce the numbers for choosing who gets interviews but it would be a fairer process. And tbh I don't appreciate being referred to as a 'bad one' because I know I'm not and for all your know myself and others who have failed may have deserved this and be better candidates than you! I don't agree that performance in these tests correlate job-performance at all. People panic and can't deal with these sorts of things. My manager who I worked under at the NHS said that I would be an excellent candidate because how well I worked under pressure in a lab and being able to work well, so in my opinion it has nothing at all to do with correlating job performance. So everyone who failed cannot work in an NHS laboratory, when half of them have or probably still do because they are not up to the 'job performance'.

    Rant over sorry lol. I just hope they look at all the complaints and do alter it or give more advice to candidates for next year
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    Agree with post above (minnie). I heard today yet another one of my extremely qualified friends failed. AGAIN, PhD, Masters, lots of awards, prizes supervision AND even long NHS experience. Nope! She failed. She hadn't practiced either. I just don't think it relates well to how a job is done, nor it is like medicine tests. It's just not the same... And I will be sending my complaint soon. The strange thing compared to last years is that now all I hear is about qualified scientists being left out constantly but others like undergraduates or recent graduates pass them. Could it be related that the junior scientists now take similar numerical tests for practice while older ones (with postdocs etc) did not? (If they had in the past, it's not up-to-date).
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    I think the amount of practise you do for these types of tests has a lot to do with how easy you find them and how well you do. I have applied for other graduate schemes which required you to sit tests similar to these and to begin with I found them very difficult. The questions themselves aren't necesserily difficult, as I my maths is quite good, but the time limit makes them a lot harder. After a lot of practise, however, I managed to pass them.

    I think recent graduates may be in a better position with these tests as GCSE maths etc is fresher in their minds. And those who are more experienced, who have gone on to do post grad study may have not had to work with problems like these for a while.

    I don't know if others agree but that is my opinion.
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    I know it isn't fair. I have nowhere near that experience, I am in my final year of Biomedical Science and took a year out for NHS experience and yet they are missing out on such experienced people like your friends. And I think it may be partly to do with that, this is the first time I have experienced applying to jobs like this. I do know a lot of people who have gained experience of these from other NHS schemes and applying to med school. So i think it probably is the case of having experience of this. I put a complaint in because I also know of people who have got another person to do the test for them so they have not failed. I didn't tell on them lol, just made it clear that people are cheating and again how is this fair for not only people who have failed but who have passed but did the test themselves.
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    (Original post by 90minnie)
    I'm new to this, but I failed the tests after the numerical test. I only have a few months experience working in a lab but feel these tests are really unfair. I read back and some people have put 'it will weed out mostly bad ones'. Sorry but how is that fair at all? majority of the ones I have read on here that have failed do not seem like 'bad ones' and I feel even though I only have 10 months of NHS laboratory experience I would not have been a bad candidate. And for those that have failed, all I am thinking that it is their loss. Also med school does use these tests, but it isn't on a pass or fail basis, you get a result and just put that in your application don't you? Ye I understand why they are doing these and it may be more to see how people can deal with stress (which I am rubbish at), but why couldn't they have done a similar way to medicine in that everyone gets through after the tests but they score you on your tests results, experience etc. I know this wouldn't reduce the numbers for choosing who gets interviews but it would be a fairer process. And tbh I don't appreciate being referred to as a 'bad one' because I know I'm not and for all your know myself and others who have failed may have deserved this and be better candidates than you! I don't agree that performance in these tests correlate job-performance at all. People panic and can't deal with these sorts of things. My manager who I worked under at the NHS said that I would be an excellent candidate because how well I worked under pressure in a lab and being able to work well, so in my opinion it has nothing at all to do with correlating job performance. So everyone who failed cannot work in an NHS laboratory, when half of them have or probably still do because they are not up to the 'job performance'.

    Rant over sorry lol. I just hope they look at all the complaints and do alter it or give more advice to candidates for next year
    No one called you a "bad one", I and another poster said that it will unfortunately get rid of a some very good candidates, but it should mostly get rid of bad ones who are bad at maths and logic and/or can't cope with pressure. Those are obviously desirable qualities for a clinical scientist. No where has anyone said everyone who fails is a bad candidate or that everyone who passes is better. Yeah the medicine test isn't a pass or fail, but if you get a low mark you are instantly rejected from 90% of med schools before they even look at your application.

    I agree that they should take in to account the whole application rather than just these test scores, but I think to say the tests don't mean anything isn't really true.
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    If you're referring to my post, you've misunderstood. I didn't say that failing means you're a bad candidate. There is a higher likelihood that people who pass are suitable, just as there is a certainty that good candidates will get lost. The net result though would be a post test group with a higher proportion of suitable candidates than the pre test one.

    It's fair as everyone has the same chance, you do yourself no favours if you don't practise the tests. I've assumed in the past that as a Physics post graduate numeracy tests would be a walk in the park and got burnt. there's no room for checking, it's all about recognising the question quickly. Practise really does make a lot of difference.

    It is an infuriating experience but there's no way round it besides practise.
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    (Original post by 90minnie)
    I know it isn't fair. I have nowhere near that experience, I am in my final year of Biomedical Science and took a year out for NHS experience and yet they are missing out on such experienced people like your friends. And I think it may be partly to do with that, this is the first time I have experienced applying to jobs like this. I do know a lot of people who have gained experience of these from other NHS schemes and applying to med school. So i think it probably is the case of having experience of this. I put a complaint in because I also know of people who have got another person to do the test for them so they have not failed. I didn't tell on them lol, just made it clear that people are cheating and again how is this fair for not only people who have failed but who have passed but did the test themselves.
    I am almost certain that those who are successful getting to the assessment centre stage will be asked to resit the tests to make sure that they actually sat the tests online when they applied. So cheating will do these people no favours.
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    I can see that, but people who did cheat, they have from now until April to maybe practice so they have a chance of again passing those tests but by themselves. So they may still be at an advantage. I don't know how to highlight peoples posts lol to comment back, but neuneu, I was not referring to your post as I totally agree that they will get rid of incapable candidates. I failed and had practiced from the Kent website and panicked so it is partly my own fault, but I did practice for well over a week before I had taken the test.

    Laura130490, you did say that it would 'weed out mostly bad ones' and have just said that desirable qualities for a clinical scientist are numerical and not panicking. I partly do agree with this because clinical scientists work under pressure but I have a maths a-level so do know a lot about maths and am good at it. But isn't being a clinical scientist being able to work well with patients, analysing results to help doctors determine an outcome for patients? where in that will you have to calculate a percentage for a company or know what the next part of a logical pattern is?

    I didn't say the tests don't mean anything, I just don't see why they hold such an important place in the application for it. If i was applying to an accountancy job I could see that it did have a great influence in a persons application. But when we are meant to be scientists and have good laboratory skills etc some stupid timed test seems a little insignificant. When people with masters, phds and a lot more experience than mine have failed and can't continue it just doesn't seem fair.
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    (Original post by 90minnie)
    I can see that, but people who did cheat, they have from now until April to maybe practice so they have a chance of again passing those tests but by themselves. So they may still be at an advantage. I don't know how to highlight peoples posts lol to comment back, but neuneu, I was not referring to your post as I totally agree that they will get rid of incapable candidates. I failed and had practiced from the Kent website and panicked so it is partly my own fault, but I did practice for well over a week before I had taken the test.

    Laura130490, you did say that it would 'weed out mostly bad ones' and have just said that desirable qualities for a clinical scientist are numerical and not panicking. I partly do agree with this because clinical scientists work under pressure but I have a maths a-level so do know a lot about maths and am good at it. But isn't being a clinical scientist being able to work well with patients, analysing results to help doctors determine an outcome for patients? where in that will you have to calculate a percentage for a company or know what the next part of a logical pattern is?

    I didn't say the tests don't mean anything, I just don't see why they hold such an important place in the application for it. If i was applying to an accountancy job I could see that it did have a great influence in a persons application. But when we are meant to be scientists and have good laboratory skills etc some stupid timed test seems a little insignificant. When people with masters, phds and a lot more experience than mine have failed and can't continue it just doesn't seem fair.
    Yeah I did say that, but I said mostly, not all, and I also said it will unfortunately reject some very good candidates. No where did I say everyone who failed was a "bad one" and everyone who passes is a better candidate. Well I suppose the logical test is to test if people can spot patterns in things, I would imagine a clinical scientist needs to be able to spot patterns in results. The numerical test is just testing your numerical skills under pressure, the questions might not seem 100% relevant, but clinical scientists will have to calculate percentage differences, increases, decreases etc in test results, when I shadowed some clinical scientists I was surprised at just how many calculations they did, so they are relevant.
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    I have also shadowed clinical scientists for a few months, and they did not have 1 minute to work out an answer. Ye you didn't say everyone, but mostly, and all the people I have read on here did not deserve to fail by looking at their experience. I can calculate percentage increases, decreases etc but don't expect this to determine whether I can carry on to apply or wait another year to have the chance to apply. And with medicine it varies from uni to uni what the UKCAT scores is, what if people had one question wrong and now have to wait a year to apply. It is the same sort of area as doctors ie that clinical scientists work with doctors and aid in diagnosis so why can't they do it in a similar way to medicine. Maybe if you had failed you would see it from my point of view and be a little bit annoyed that most people that have failed have been referred to as bad candidates and only that have only lost a few good candidates when it is obvious this is not the case. Sorry for going on but it is annoying.
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    (Original post by 90minnie)
    I have also shadowed clinical scientists for a few months, and they did not have 1 minute to work out an answer. Ye you didn't say everyone, but mostly, and all the people I have read on here did not deserve to fail by looking at their experience. I can calculate percentage increases, decreases etc but don't expect this to determine whether I can carry on to apply or wait another year to have the chance to apply. And with medicine it varies from uni to uni what the UKCAT scores is, what if people had one question wrong and now have to wait a year to apply. It is the same sort of area as doctors ie that clinical scientists work with doctors and aid in diagnosis so why can't they do it in a similar way to medicine. Maybe if you had failed you would see it from my point of view and be a little bit annoyed that most people that have failed have been referred to as bad candidates and only that have only lost a few good candidates when it is obvious this is not the case. Sorry for going on but it is annoying.
    They give you the time limit to see if you can work quickly under pressure. I agree with you that they shouldn't just reject people based on the scores on these tests, it should be taken into account with the overall application. I would imagine that a lot of people who are coming on this thread to complain about the tests are doing so because they feel they are very good candidates and shouldn't have been rejected purely because of this, which is fair enough, I agree with them. But I would also imagine there are far far more people out there who have been rejected and were not otherwise good candidates. The people posting on this thread don't represent everyone who is applying. I highly doubt the majority of people applying (30,000 apparently) have years of lab experience, PhDs and published journal articles. Most people applying will probably have very little experience, be in their final year of uni, and have not done any or very little preparation for these tests. So when they fail they don't feel the need to complain because they know there will be a lot of applicants out there who are better candidates than them.
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    No one has been called a bad candidate for failing. You're understandably frustrated but you're misunderstanding me.

    I'm not coming out in support of the process, I'm just clarifying the nature of it.

    You talk of what is deserved, and what is fair. I'm afraid to say that's not a productive perspective. The employer is under no obligation to provide a fair application process, it's in their interest, but if making the process quicker easier and therefore cheaper, at the expense of losing some good applicants, then they will do it.

    The only way to work with this is to always prepare for the worst, even for a position you're well qualified for.
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    (Original post by 90minnie)
    I have also shadowed clinical scientists for a few months, and they did not have 1 minute to work out an answer. Ye you didn't say everyone, but mostly, and all the people I have read on here did not deserve to fail by looking at their experience. I can calculate percentage increases, decreases etc but don't expect this to determine whether I can carry on to apply or wait another year to have the chance to apply. And with medicine it varies from uni to uni what the UKCAT scores is, what if people had one question wrong and now have to wait a year to apply. It is the same sort of area as doctors ie that clinical scientists work with doctors and aid in diagnosis so why can't they do it in a similar way to medicine. Maybe if you had failed you would see it from my point of view and be a little bit annoyed that most people that have failed have been referred to as bad candidates and only that have only lost a few good candidates when it is obvious this is not the case. Sorry for going on but it is annoying.
    I agree. What I think happened this year is that, yes, they lost a lot of bad apples, but they also lost a LOT of GREAT apples (not just a few as people suggest). I think what they got now (apart form those who cheated obviously and who still have time to practice) is average-good apples. Not bad apples by any means but mostly average-good.

    Example: out of 50 people shortlisted for 10 positions, they could get, say, 45 who have a 1st class degree and 5 of them with higher qualifications. The 5 higher ones would possibly get a job. But then, the examiners would have to choose 5 more people from the rest of the 40 people candidate pool. Those 40 would obviously be very good candidates (but all of them are similar in good qualifications, so how would they make a great decision?). Had they allowed people using a different way, among those 40 people there would be extremely qualified specialists with years of experience, too. In other words, they may miss the most qualified people for some of the positions.

    Basically, I think this method was to make their selection job easier compared to last year, without caring so much about getting THE best out of the candidate pool but mostly those who are good enough.
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    (Original post by laura130490)
    I've been thinking about it and I agree with this post to be honest. It is a shame that the tests will mean some very good candidates get rejected, however I think overall it will weed out mostly bad ones. The thing is these tests aren't exactly unusual either, they are used in pretty much every graduate scheme out there and even in medicine. So there must be some correlation between performance in these tests and job performance. I suppose it is easy for me to say having passed them myself, but I suppose with the amount of people applying the NHS must feel that losing a few good candidates is no big loss. Like you though, I do feel for people who have failed, but sadly that is the nature of these types of schemes I suppose.
    This is getting confusing now lol. Neuneu I agree with what you said, I said that earlier and didn't say that you said people were bad candidates. Its the one I have quoted that got me angry and why I replied something on here. They did say that most are bad candidates, some people on here have got to the interview stages last year and then failed this year so they were good candidates. It may not be a few good candidates that have been lost and to say that you need these skills to be a clinical scientist I dont believe is completely true. I might be wrong but from what I have heard the previous years people have applied through NHS jobs and been shortlisted that way, but because so many people were applying they changed the system? I know these tests is a way of doing that, but people who were excellent candidates last year got interviews and have failed this year, this system of doing it is just does not fair. And even if I had have passed I would still believe this. I know applying to jobs isn't meant to be fair I know that, but some trainee clinical scientist jobs have been put on NHS jobs to apply directly so by that maybe some trusts don't agree with how it is being done? I don't know.
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    gazette, thank you, someone who agrees with me lol. I totally agree what you are saying. They seem to be more bothered with the scheme being cheap and easier to shortlist but may be losing a lot of excellent candidates and having more average candidates than maybe what they have had in previous years. And I'm not saying people on here are average but overall they may be because they are losing out on such good candidates who have excellent amounts of experience.
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    (Original post by 90minnie)
    This is getting confusing now lol. Neuneu I agree with what you said, I said that earlier and didn't say that you said people were bad candidates. Its the one I have quoted that got me angry and why I replied something on here. They did say that most are bad candidates, some people on here have got to the interview stages last year and then failed this year so they were good candidates. It may not be a few good candidates that have been lost and to say that you need these skills to be a clinical scientist I dont believe is completely true. I might be wrong but from what I have heard the previous years people have applied through NHS jobs and been shortlisted that way, but because so many people were applying they changed the system? I know these tests is a way of doing that, but people who were excellent candidates last year got interviews and have failed this year, this system of doing it is just does not fair. And even if I had have passed I would still believe this. I know applying to jobs isn't meant to be fair I know that, but some trainee clinical scientist jobs have been put on NHS jobs to apply directly so by that maybe some trusts don't agree with how it is being done? I don't know.
    Most does not = all :confused: I really don't understand why you think I am saying everyone who fails is a bad candidate, I clearly say a lot of very good candidates will be rejected.
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    (Original post by gazette)
    I agree. What I think happened this year is that, yes, they lost a lot of bad apples, but they also lost a LOT of GREAT apples (not just a few as people suggest). I think what they got now (apart form those who cheated obviously and who still have time to practice) is average-good apples. Not bad apples by any means but mostly average-good.

    Example: out of 50 people shortlisted for 10 positions, they could get, say, 45 who have a 1st class degree and 5 of them with higher qualifications. The 5 higher ones would possibly get a job. But then, the examiners would have to choose 5 more people from the rest of the 40 people candidate pool. Those 40 would obviously be very good candidates (but all of them are similar in good qualifications, so how would they make a great decision?). Had they allowed people using a different way, among those 40 people there would be extremely qualified specialists with years of experience, too. In other words, they may miss the most qualified people for some of the positions.

    Basically, I think this method was to make their selection job easier compared to last year, without caring so much about getting THE best out of the candidate pool but mostly those who are good enough.
    Unless I'm misinterpreting your post are you saying that everyone who passed is only average-good and a lot of people who have failed are great? Surely there are going to be a lot of great applicants who have passed as well? :confused:

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