1 April 2020

QI data team ‘tests’ virtual assessment centre & interviews

As with other areas in the trust we must rapidly adapt to the current situation. So, on Wednesday 25th March the QI department conducted our first virtual assessment centre and virtual interviews. Applying improvement methodology enabled learning from this experience, important not only for the department but also the whole trust.

Our theory was that we would be able to successfully conduct a virtual assessment centre and interview for pre-existing candidates scheduled for interview and appoint a successful candidate.

In our test we asked a series of questions and made predictions

How did we do this?

We used the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) approach which informed our learning

Plan: Plan the test, including the plan for collecting data

We want to conduct assessment and interviews virtually and tested for one-episode assessments for seven candidates and interviews for three candidates.

We predict that candidates would accept invitation and that method would be well received. In addition, that the interviewers would find it an effective way conduct the recruitment process.

  • Who: Data team and candidates
  • What: Inform, prepare and invite the eight candidates; conduct assessment for all candidates and shortlist at least two for interview. Using WebEx as virtual platform
  • When: 25th March for 4 hours
  • Data: Number of candidates accepting invitation; feedback from both interviewers and candidates; review of technical issues; successful appointment of candidate.


Do:  Run the test on a small scale

What happened?

  • Seven out of eight candidates accepted the opportunity to attend the assessment centre.
  • All but one candidate connected easily but a call from tech team enabled connection, also background noise was initially an issue but resolved with a discussion.
  • The interviewers provided an introductory ice breaker to test connectivity and use of the technology and to put candidates at ease.
  • The interviewers realised that the interviews took less time and therefore adjusted their timings half way through.
  • All seven completed the assessment centre successfully and three candidates were shortlisted for interview of which one was successfully appointed to the position.


Study:  Analyse the results and compare to the predictions

  • All candidates were assessed and interviewed successfully
  • There were minimal issues with technology
  • We appointed a successful candidate
  • Established key learnings (Figure 1)
  • Positive feedback from candidates reporting a smooth process:






Act:  We can adapt, abandon, adopt – plan for your next test

We will adapt and use our key learnings in figure 1 will inform our next PDSA cycle.






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