Behavioural interviews are a critical component of the job application process for ambulance services in Australia. They involve role specific open-ended questions that are designed to test an applicant’s skills, eligibility and experience. It is a process that is standardised and can be practised to increase familiarity and performance. Existing literature supports the benefits of practice interviews ahead of real interviews to improve applicant performance and subsequent employment success. The objective of this study was therefore to examine paramedic graduates’ perceptions on the value of participating in practice interviews before seeking employment with an ambulance service.
Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic) at Monash University in Victoria took part in a cross-sectional pilot study. Three paper-based surveys were created to assess the value of practice interviews. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used.
Fourteen (n=14) students participated. All participants agreed or strongly agreed that practice interviews would help them gain employment. All participants perceived that practice interview helped improve their confidence and preparation for their actual interview.
Practice interviews were found to be a positive and worthwhile undertaking. They increased confidence and improved preparation through practise and feedback. Participants agreed that they were valuable and perceived that they led to improved performance in their real interviews and subsequent employment success.
Weber M. On the purpose of a university rducation. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 2013;9:223.
Linsley I. Causes of overeducation in the Australian labour market. Australian Journal of Labour Economics 2005;8:121–43.
Ambulance Victoria. Qualified ambulance paramedic recruitment and selection process information. Doncaster (AU): Ambulance Victoria. 24.
NSW Ambulance. Graduate trainee paramedic recruitment and selection. Rozelle NSW Australia: NSW Ambulance; 2016 [updated May 2016]. Available at: www.ambulance.nsw.gov.au/media/docs/Graduate%20Trainee%20Paramedic%20Guide%202016-68731929-db58-4fdc-8772-c12ab45df806-0.pdf [Accessed 23 January 2017].
Queensland Ambulance Service. Graduate paramedic applicant information kit. Queensland: Queensland Ambulance Service; 2015. Available at: www.ambulance.qld.gov.au/docs/gpip-AIK.pdf
Bowers D, Kleiner B. Behavioural interviewing. Management Research News 2005;28:107–4.
Barclay JM. Employee selection: a question of structure. Personnel Review 1999;28:134–51.
Health Governance Report. If recruiters don’t ask appropriately, they don’t have to tell (behavioral interviewing, recruitment of physicians, healthcare industry). April 2007.
Barclay JM. Improving selection interviews with structure: organisations’ use of “behavioural” interviews. Personnel Review 2001;30:81–101.
Waxman A, Williams B. Paramedic pre-employment education and the concerns of our future: what are our expectations? Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care 2006;4:10.
Hansen K, Oliphant GC, Oliphant BJ, Hansen RS. Best practices in preparing students for mock interviews. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly 2009;72:318–27.
Smith L. Are you ready for your job interview? Nursing 2010;40:52–4.
DiMola M, Maiorana J. Enhancing your career: preparing for job interviews. Inside Case Managment 2003;10:12.
Black M, Cadet-James Y, Minniecon, D. Preparing for a job interview. Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal 1999;23:29–30.
Tremayne P, Harrison P, Moriarty A. Evaluating an interview preparation process for student nurses. Br J Nurs 2007;16:552–5.
Ryan AT, Ewing HP, O’Brien RC. Practice interviews for final‐year medical students. Med Educ 2014;48:528–9.
Multerer S, Patel PD, Ziegler C, Rowland M, Davis CW. Senior medical student mock interview program in pediatrics. South Med J 2016;109(2).
Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol 2006;3:77–101.
Bénabou R, Tirole J. Self-confidence and personal motivation. Quart J Econ 2002;117:871–915.
I’Anson J. Research and preparation are keys to interview success. Computer Weekly 2006:48.
Qenani E, MacDougall N, Sexton C. An empirical study of self-perceived employability: improving the prospects for student employment success in an uncertain environment. Active Learning in Higher Education 2014;15:199–213.
London M, Mone EM. Designing feedback to achieve performance improvement. The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Training, Development, and Performance Improvement: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2014. p. 462–85.
Hueston W, Holloway, RL. Medical student mock interviews to improve residency interviewing and match success. WMJ 2016;115:86–9. Available at: www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/_WMS/publications/wmj/pdf/115/2/86.pdf