When The Interviewer Became The Interviewee

Having seen an advert for an engineering job with the NHS that paid twice what I was earning at the time I applied for the post and duly went along for only the second interview of my working career. There were four on the interview panel. The group engineer, a senior administrator, a personnel officer and an independent technical assessor.

After the introductions the administrator asked a few general questions about my work experience then handed over to the group engineer who started to ask a series of technical questions about various engineering subjects. Early on in my responses I mentioned that I had used many of my engineering skills to rebuilt a 1955 Francis Barnett Cruiser motorcycle. This triggered a complete change in the interview and we spent the rest of the group engineers question time discussing the problem of mending a split aluminum crankcase casting.

Eventually the administrator intervened and tried to get the interview back on track by handing over to the technical assessor. Unfortunately this did not work, the assessor would ask a question, I would start to answer when the group engineer would interrupt and complete the answer. How the panel ever managed to judge my suitability for the post I’ll never know, but I was offered the job and started a career in the NHS that lasted well over 33 years.


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