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    So, I've just moved back to the u.k after living in Australia for 9 years and I've been asked to schedule an interview with Boots that will last one hour and be a competency based interview, im really nervous since I no longer know the area well and I have no idea what to expect, so I was just wondering for those of you that already have this job or have been through the interview process, what's it like? e.g.
    - what should I expect from the interview?
    - what does the training involve?
    - what Is it like working for boots, what are your roles and responsibilities as a trainee optical consultant etc.
    sorry for all the questions, I just want to know as much as I can about this job so I know what's coming and don't feel so nervous haha

    Hey there Katie!
    I'm DJ (16) and I have just currently succeeded in my boots optical consultant "interview" if it can be called that and I have been there for about 2 weeks now but I only work 3-5 days so far :P

    The "Interview" is really informal and there is nothing to be scared/nervous about. They will tell your key roles which may be in the office, pre-screening, dispensing or just staying at the till helping out. They will show you around their store and make you feel really welcome. If you have any questions just ask. I asked and they loved that and the interviewer (now my manager) was happy to answer. Try to just relax and stay calm during the "interview". Yes, they will tell you a lot of information at first and you'll be thinking "WHHHAAAAT??? I do not understand... I do not follow... I did not catch all of that..." but trust me as you work more it all makes more and more sense and they will explain EVERYTHING in more detail. Remember to ask questions if you have a problem. The interview I would say is the easiest part. Just tell them why you are keen to join boots: maybe you could do a little research into optometry or ophthalmology and tell them about this - what you have learnt, what you like about it, how you think you could help/make a difference, even if that is just help the other optical consultants, dispensers and optometrists.

    So the training will involve you firstly filling some legal papers (your basic health and safety stuff and few other details of confidentiality for all boots staff). You should then move to do some e-learning on a free computer. This does not all have to be done at once but I did all my papers and my e-learning on one day so I could leave it to one side and start learning. You will be told codes to doors and computers in-case you need to use them of if you get locked out. I do not remember them all but write them on my hand hehehe But I am getting better ( 6 out of like 10 :P )

    In-store training will include being able to use **** **** (censored name for protection) a database system uses to manage all their clients and holds information for them. A login will be created for you and don't worry if you do not how to use it: you are not meant it. Some options are more obvious and if you hover over buttons, most give a subtitle of what they do. You will be trained to use this system, confirm someone's arrival, book/cancel/move appointments and other tasks which you can carry out at the main desk.
    As a newbie I have started my training on pre-screening as well and It is highly likely that you will start training on this. There are a series of machines which clients will experience (depending on their age). I do not remember all the machine names but I can tell you the functions:

    Non contact tonometer machine - This horrible one blows puffs of air (x3 on each eye) to check the 'pressure' of the eye. It has to be within a range. (I think from ?? to 20... maybe). There was a patient who had 57 or something so had to be taken straight to hospital!!!
    Autorefractor prescription machine - This is a nice machine which nearly all have to use. The patient focuses on a house as it goes in and out of focus. It is cool because the camera shows the patients eye contracting/dilating awesome! This simply gives the optometrists a rough idea of what the prescription should be.
    The Henson visual field scanner - This is a field check and identifies if a patient has any blind-spots. It also checks the patients peripheral vision.
    Lens machine - If ther patient already has glasses then we can take them and use this machine to check how strong they are. Different methods are used depending on if the glasses are for LD, SD, VF, BF, SF, reading, etc...
    Retinal photography - This takes awesome pictures of the patients eye, FROM THE BACK!!! search some google images

    I do not know about the other training as I am new myself but I have heard that I should be able to get more training in pre-screening and one day be able to do it on my own (for now I just watch or do it under supervision).
    I have also heard after you have been there for a while you are able to get training in dispensing. So this includes choosing the frames, talking with the customers for there needs, selling/ordering the glasses for the patient and also dealing with collections. I hope to do this after my 3 month probationary period. Some start training before.

    I have not specific training but my manager has briefly showed how to fix glasses: VERY BRIEF. I was shown maybe only twice how to tighten the frames properly if they are loose, how to replace nose pads, how to put a lens back in if it has popped out and how to level them out if the person has tripped over with/sat on/damaged the glasses and put them out of shape.

    SORRY KATIE!!! This has been such a long read for you I guess but it should help very. Also I am at the Milton Keynes branch so it may vary depending on where you are but many follow similar procedures/protocols. It's great working at boots. I am only doing part time (Fri evenings, Sat and Sun) but atm it is really fun and I learn a lot of things!!! You will not be forced to do anything at the start but if they do ask you to do something it is best you do it. Also do not lie to the customers or tell them something if you are unsure: it is best to get further assistant from another member who can help the customer further and help them FULLY!!! You're new so act and show that you are new. If you do not know just apologize and say "I am really sorry but I am new here so I am unsure. If I can take your name [and write their problem] I will be able to get someone to help you straight away" - or tell your colleague if they are standing next to you and are free. Do not put pressure on yourself or others. It is is best to stay calm. The job itself is fun so good luck and all the best for the future

    DJ, 16, Stantonbury Campus
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