How to prepare for your interview


Here is some useful information and guidelines to help you to prepare for your interview for the Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy.

As part of the selection process, you will be assessed by a panel of two or three, which will typically consist of the course facilitators.

The places on the course are limited and eagerly sought after so you are strongly encouraged to think about why you wish to study CBT specifically and demonstrate that you are able to meet the high demands of the course and experience.

The interview is an excellent opportunity to display your commitment to your career path and experience to date, express your passion for CBT, and show the panel what you can contribute to the profession.

The interview will begin with a brief introduction from some of the tutors on the programme, which will provide you with an overview of the Postgraduate Diploma in CBT and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions.

You will then undertake three different assessments as part of the interview process - a group exercise, a written exercise and lastly, an individual interview.

Group exercise

Alongside other prospective students, you will undertake a “goldfish bowl” with one of our course facilitators who will be acting as a client and you will then individually take turns to play the role of the therapist, each following the train of previous person. The “client” will explain a presenting problem they are experiencing and the panel will observe your skills in exploring the presenting difficulty and demonstrate skills of questioning, formulation and, if appropriate, intervention within the time made available to you (approximately 5minutes).

Following the group exercise, we will ask you to discuss as a group things that you think you individually and collectively did well, as well as reflecting upon areas you think for yourself as a therapist you could improve upon and take forward in subsequent client work. The panel will observe this discussion for your ability to work within a team and reflexivity.

Case study and professional practice

You will be provided with a brief written exercise lasting thirty minutes, which will consist of two parts.

  • A short case study of a client presenting with a common mental health difficulty. You will be asked to present a simple formulation of the problem and explain how you would approach those difficulties within a CBT intervention with reference to the evidence base.
  • A short case study of a client which includes ethical dilemma/s. You will be asked to identify and consider the ethical dilemma/s and how you would approach it with reference made to policy/procedures and ethical practice as outlined by the BABCP and BACP.

From these exercises, you will be assessed on your knowledge and ability to practice ethically and safely and required to demonstrate knowledge of mental health difficulties and basic CBT formulation and interventions.

Individual interview

You will meet individually with a member of the panel and asked a number of questions that focus on:

  • The reasons for applying for this specific course. 
  • Your relevant work experience to date, what you have learnt and how this experience has informed your understanding of the profession and the role of a CBT Psychotherapist.
  • Your understanding of the demands of the course and how you plan to meet the necessary requirements.
  • Possible or confirmed placements.

Your response to these questions will give the panel a good insight into your motivations for applying for the programme and allow us to assess the relevancy of the knowledge and experience you hold to ensure that your knowledge and skill base are developed to meet the demands of the course.

The individual interview is also an opportunity for you to share with us any information which you think is important for us to assimilate into our consideration process as part of assessing suitability to practice and/or additional support you may need should you be offered a position.

All three elements of the interview process will be taken into consideration in arriving at a final decision regarding your suitability for the postgraduate diploma.