“We don’t think you hold enough experience..”

Scenario – So, as I couldn’t take the job at Wigan Council I wanted to find a job that would suit my current situation. Money is not a factor for any specific job, more the environment and role. On 1st Sept I forwarded my CV to a medical practice to be considered for a role within the practice local to where I live. I receive a telephone call that same day inviting me to attend an interview on 3rd Sept which I duly did.

Arrived at the medical centre ahead of schedule, introduced myself then took a seat. Something takes my eye on the floor and when I look down it is a £5 note. I nudge the lady sat in one of the seats nearest it and asked if she had dropped it. She hadn’t so I handed it in at reception. That could have been someone’s last fiver….

So I was called in for interview and was lead into a doctor’s surgery. Two people ‘interviewed’ me, an area manager and the girl I would be replacing if successful. After the polite introductions it was straight down to what turned out to be more of a chat! I was informed the building hosted 2 practices and also informed of how wide spread their practices where. Following this, the first question directed to me was “Talk me through your CV”….. erm, it’s 2 pages long, it has my contact details at….. See where I’m going with this.

Me being the sensible person I am (I know, it was difficult) I mentioned the elements of my CV I thought relevant to the role applied for. I spoke about my years of experience in emergency and primary health care. I talked about the various levels of responsibility I had within each field as well as an example of roles within each category. I was then asked about my charity work which I duly spoke about. I obviously had to mention ‘the PTSD thing’ which slid passed without further comment. My initial thought was that perhaps it didn’t matter. How wrong was I…..

I think one more question was asked but then that was it. No questions on the expectations of the role etc, just…. “do you have any questions for us….”. I was in there for 6 minutes!!!! I’m not kidding, the shortest ‘interview’ on record. I left there completely bemused and all I could do on the way back is just laugh!! I was informed I would find out that day if I had been successful….

Phone rings and I pick it up. I think it was just over an hour but not much longer than that. “Thank you for coming in today, it was a pleasure to interview you but I’m afraid we won’t be taking you on at this time. Some feedback for you; the people we interviewed before you had much more experience. You came across really confidently and I think your charity work is amazing. We just felt you didn’t have enough experience. We would like to keep your CV on record though if that’s ok?”.

For some reason I started laughing but then managed to compose myself. I was going to leave it at that but then I was intrigued. I decided to ask why they thought I didn’t have enough experience having spent a whole career in the RAF Medical Services. Apparently “it’s not all about sitting on the reception desk, sometimes you have to go into the back office and maybe draft a hospital referral….”. Also “the other applicants new more, they knew about KPI’S and our targets….”. I was absolutely gobsmacked by this response. This was my bread and butter in the RAF so if I didn’t know that then I hadn’t learnt anything. Apart from that, I was never asked anything about the practice. Wasn’t asked anything about KPI’S or practice targets, or in fact any other questions of that nature. My reply to that statement was just that! I stated that if I’d been asked I could have told them that in my experience Key Performance Indicator’s (KPI’s) are a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving their objectives. They are used to evaluate the medical practices success at reaching their targets. I could have told them all about the roles and responsibilities expected of the successful candidate and even about their practice footprint….etc, etc, etc..

I could have gone on but it just wasn’t worth it. The mere fact I was only in for a few minutes and that I was never asked about the service the practice offers or any other questions, tells me they had no intention of hiring me; especially after I dropped the PTSD bomb!!! It really disappoints me that companies in this day and age don’t accept that just because you have a mental illness doesn’t mean you cannot function. It is especially disappointing that it is the medical profession who are discriminating on this occasion. Stigma has not gone away…..

I have been looking for a part time job that will keep me occupied in between others committments. It has been commented on that I’m not setting my sites high enough with the experience I have behind me. To be fair I want a job that creates very little stress because I don’t want to trigger any further symptoms now that I’m on the better side of things. I want something that will compliment my study and charity work. I cannot believe that my PTSD diagnosis is going to hold me back from any employment. It’s disgusting… but what this does is convince me to continue to stand up to the stigma surrounding mental health.

About mitsanuk

I left the RAF in 2015 following 20 years as a frontline paramedic. It has been an amazing career but then found myself suffering because of this. My blog exists as an outlet for me as well as a place for others to read and try to understand the mind of someone with PTSD. Please feel free to make comment on any post and lets raise some discussions on how we can help to end the stigma which surrounds mental illness. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please follow and share in the hope my experience will help others.
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9 Responses to “We don’t think you hold enough experience..”

  1. Kevin shore says:

    Michelle. It’s their loss. In future just pretend you are pregnant (and don’t mention it – like the PTSD). Do you have to declare it?


  2. Carl says:

    I know from experience of having 4 interviews for practice manager roles that civvi employers can’t always get their head around the RAF Medic role. The partners who interviewed me for the job I have now were in their words looking for something different and although some of the other candidates had more experience of the NHS and civvi GP practices than me I was fortunate that they choose me. PTSD aside I think they probably had little insight or vision and at worst had no interest in employing someone with a vast amount of experience. If anything it was good experience for you. They will be kicking themselves once they realise what they have lost. Xxx


  3. Greenie says:

    Often these place’s have someone already in mind when they interview for jobs like this and they are just going through the ‘process’. Therefore when they say you haven’t got enough experience, they mean just that – you haven’t worked for them, in a different role, for years! So it may not be the PTSD thing at all, although I may just be being naive, I hope not. Good luck mate, it is definitely their lose. xxx


  4. Life by Debs says:

    Michelle, thank you for sharing this.
    Have to say I’m amused at a Medical Practise appearing to discriminate against Mental Illness. I’m not amused at your situation, I’m amused by their fear. Or Maybe they fear your knowledge and experience. Either way your better than that.

    The right job will come your way.

    You have come so far in your recovery, there are exciting, fulfilling times ahead.

    You are inspirational.


  5. Phil Wood MBE MSc CPP PSP FSyI MInstLM AMBCI says:

    Michelle this is a real shame. Can I ask did you have your CV done by someone else (ie did you pay to have it done professionally? That may help in future: the thing is that with the current market you have to be able to sell them what they need in their language and on their terms – they won’t flex for you. How long was the interview scheduled to last? You should have insisted on a few more minutes!

    It all sounds like a really stressful and bad experience – I’m sure you’ll prevail.


    • mitsanuk says:

      Hello Phil, I did indeed have my CV professionally checked. I’m not sure how long the interview was scheduled for but you cannot conduct an interview in 6 minutes and not ask anything related to the role or the practice. It just wasn’t a professional interview at all sadly. However, it was an experience and a lesson in how not to conduct an interview.


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