Applying Psychology
“Walking the talk”
Dr Rachel Bromnick, Senior Lecturer
Paul Charman, Careers Adviser
Leanne Moreland, Final Year Student
School of Psychology
Our starting place
• “We do a really good job at
developing skills in our students but
they can’t always identify, articulate
and apply these skills”
• Feedback received from employers
suggests that even very keen and
able Psychology graduates can
present themselves poorly at
School of Psychology
Previous Research
• After interviews with 60 Psychology graduates, Dr
G told us the following…"At least 15/60 were
unemployable. Most of the rest found it very hard
to show that they knew something about
academic psychology. By and large, candidates
were unable to demonstrate a disciplined,
scientific or even systematic way of thinking
through a problem. There was a significant
proportion who didn't listen to the question or
who were determined to answer a different
question. It made for a very frustrating week of
interviews, especially knowing how keen,
enthusiastic and well qualified the candidates
School of Psychology
Background at Lincoln
“The LearnHigher Award: Psychology”
• 15 credit point additional, optional, short course offered to all
level 2 Psychology students.
• Series of core and optional workshops run over the calendar year
• Students work on independent & group tasks within Learning
• A requirement of 40 hours volunteering embedded within the
• Assessed by portfolio and simulated job interview
• 61 students enrolled (about 1/3 of cohort, £80)
Careers Seminar Series for Yr3 Students
• Delivered through Semester A of final year
• Features range of psychology/non psychology speakers including
School of Psychology
Our Aim
• To provide a resource to be used by staff,
students and graduates in prep as well as
in workshop activities
• To focus in on how to make the most of
your psychology degree at interview
• To highlight how to do this in directly
related and related job interviews
• To help avoid the problems highlighted by
the feedback
School of Psychology
The process
• 4 students + 1 new graduate were interviewed
for either
– Clinical psychology assistant post
– Research assistant (any discipline: needing
skills gained from psychology degree)
• They were given the job spec and asked to
prepare as they would for ‘the real thing’
• Questions a mixture of typical interview questions
and some provided from clinical training
• All candidates were actually interested in careers
in the jobs chosen
School of Psychology
Feedback on filming
• Two experienced employers watched
some of the footage and were filmed
giving general tips to psychology
• This feedback will be incorporated
into the final package alongside that
of our Careers Advisers
School of Psychology
What we found
• A great learning process for us
• Obvious enthusiasm for subject
• Needed help linking degree
knowledge and job needs
• General answers – particularly on
dissertation and transferable skills
• Underselling experience – Specialist
degree, Summer Project, Voluntary
experience, Research project
School of Psychology
A students experience
• Preparation and research for the interview was a
valuable exercise. The project was also fantastic
practice for a real life interview.
• The tips and feedback given were very practical
and have helped me personally to improve my
interview technique.
• Finding information on the internet can be
confusing for students and new graduates, but
this resource will bring both simple and complex
questions into context.
• Focusing on particular questions with professional
feedback, will aid individuals in identifying their
strong and weak interview performance.
School of Psychology
The final product: Coming
• Web resource, featuring clips from the
filming with advice and feedback from the
• Available as one film or as bite size parts
focussing question by question
• With job specs provided
• Cover talking about: degree, experience,
research projects
• Focus on relating degree knowledge to the
School of Psychology
For more information on the
project or other projects at
• Dr Rachel Bromnick
[email protected]
• Paul Charman
[email protected]
School of Psychology