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Does your company have scheduling flexibility?

I want to make sure I am asking the appropriate questions for a future interview. I plan on asking these questions when applying for a psychologist position.

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Martha’s Answer

Good for you, Gabriella, for preparing carefully for interviews! I think you might find this article helpful:
https://www.themuse.com/advice/51-interview-questions-you-should-be-asking

I like the tips, such as only ask about what you care about. Also, try to ask in an objective manner. For example, another of your questions in CareerVillage was about expected hours of work. In this context, "flexibility" is considered positive and not being flexible is considered negative. By just asking about hours of work, you remove the potential judgement.

Another helpful tip is to ask about initiatives or goals of the team you are joining. This does two things: 1) shows that you care about the team as well as yourself and 2) gives you an opportunity to show how you would contribute to the team's success.

Good luck!

Martha recommends the following next steps:

Read The Muse article - https://www.themuse.com/advice/51-interview-questions-you-should-be-asking
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Martha! Gabriella
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Hwal’s Answer

Gabriella,

It looks like you may be interested in a career in medicine as well as psychology specifically. Regardless, questions about scheduling generally come up naturally. Advertisements for positions often list hours and/or days of work, including whether there is flexibility on the employer's part. If this information is unknown, you could wait for the representative of the employer to bring this up, or ask an open question, i.e., what the work schedule is.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck!

Hwal
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Gabriella !

I'd like to share my personal advice with you about questions during a job interview for a Psychologist position. Let's talk first about the questions you've asked about work environment and schedule flexibility. Although they may be acceptable questions for discussion in some type of interviews, I don't believe that a professional psychologist would be asking those questions. I would not advise using those for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, as a psychologist, you will have had experience in various places which will already be familiar to you, therefore, you would not be unfamiliar with the work environments of hospitals, nursing homes, mental health clinics, social service agencies, adult homes, etc. To ask what the work environment is like would be indicating that you have no experience and you wouldn't want the employer to think that. You will need to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of a wide range of therapies that you've used, the various populations you have worked with and you will be asked questions that will require specific professional responses. A good way to get an idea of what a prospective employer's place may be like is to go to their website beforehand or visit in person to get a first hand knowledge and idea of what it looks like and if you think it is a place for you.

Your question about schedule flexibility is also something that I would advise a Psychologist not to ask in a job interview. Sometimes the schedule and hours are definitely mentioned in the employment notice already. Many times odd schedule arrangements or hours you are needed is mentioned in the notice, too. It would usually mention the salary, whether it is per diem or if you need to work weekends, so asking in an interview is usually not done. The employer usually offers that information in most interviews. If not, they will let you know when they offer you the job. I would stay away from letting them know that you are concerned about when you would like to have time off as the question implies. If you want temporary per diem part time work, that's the work you should apply for. If you want a full time permanent job, only apply for that type of job. You never want to have the employer think you're concerned about other things you may want to do and a concern about flexibility is more about you, not about the company. I think you'd be able to obtain any schedule you would want as a Psychologist if you apply for the type of work where you can organize your schedule the way you want. But to gain good experience when you start out, you may need to work full time somewhere.

For a career as a Psychologist, I would ask questions more on the statistical side such as what percentage of your patients have depression or drug addiction or are Autistic. Keep the questions centered on specifics of human behavior to get an idea of their patient/client base and how many clinical therapists are there, do they have a group therapy or any special programs. Questions of that nature. If you get hired anywhere and some technical questions about work or workplace are still unanswered, ask the Human Resource Director those questions.

I hope that this was of a bit of help for your job interviews as a Psychologist and I hope that you obtain a job that you will really love ! Best wishes to you !
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