What is your most memorable interview experience (as the interviewer)?
Many, many years ago, we were interviewing for a clerical post. Unfortunately we couldn't find a room to conduct the interviews in, and on this particular day, we were also very short staffed. So my boss and I ended up interviewing candidates at the reception desk. It wasn't a particularly busy day, but the phone rang several times and people kept stopping at the reception desk. It was dreadful – for the candidates as well as the interviewers. Needless to say, we always had proper facilities for interviewing after that experience!
Which person dead or alive inspires you?
David Amos – he worked as a very senior manager in the NHS and at the Department of Health. I found his approach quite charismatic. He was a good communicator and able to bring people with different agendas together to find a way forward. Yet despite his seniority and considerable areas of responsibility, he always had time to speak with people in the most junior roles.
What is the best piece of advice given to you about your career?
Don't be afraid to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone now and again. My first boss helped me establish myself in my role as a careers adviser by doing just that. This helped me to gain confidence and be prepared to try new things and to get involved; to co-ordinate activities; to feel comfortable meeting people of all ages and backgrounds and develop my skills with IT.
What do you like most about working for NHS Health Education England?
It's great to be part of an organisation that is about training the health workforce of tomorrow. Sure there are less good times (as there are in any organisation), but I get to work with some great people and have the chance make a contribution to promoting the vast range of careers on offer in the sector. Visit www.healthcareers.nhs.uk to see what I mean!
What has been your most memorable work social event?
When I worked for a previous employer, we combined a team-building day with an evening social activity. None of us knew what the day was going to involve – we just had an address to turn up at. For the team building, we broke up into small groups of 5 or 6 and formed bands for the day. Each band had to learn a song and learn to play the instruments or sing. Each band then performed on a stage, in fancy dress costumes, to the rest of the team in the late afternoon. After that, we all went out for a meal. That was quite an unusual day - we certainly found out who the exhibitionists were!