Assessment centres – how to do well

Assessment centres – how to do well

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Assessment centres are daunting for most candidates. There are lots of different views on their value. But I think they can provide a very good opportunity to show a potential employer just what you have to offer. I’ve set up a run assessment centres. Also I’ve been through a number as a candidate. Here are some tips based on the advice I give my coaching clients.

Here are my top tips for handling assessment centres

  1. Be Yourself! Work on the basis the assessors know what they are doing. They will be able to see through an act. Keep your wits about you and show your best but try to relax enough to let the real you shine through. You may want to use a simple relaxed breathing technique during the odd break.
  2. Know the criteria. Usually, the assessors will be assessing you against a predefined list of qualities and competencies for the job. For most public sector jobs, you’ll probably know what these are before the event. In the private sector, openness can vary. But you should try to find out the criteria before the assessment centre. If you applied through a recruitment agency they should be able to help. At the very least, the job description will usually give you an indication of the qualities they are looking for.
  3. Manage your time carefully. Many candidates at assessment centres fail to do themselves justice because they run out of time in the exercises. Where you have to read a brief and then do an exercise afterwards, start by skim reading to get an idea of the issues. Then go back and study important points more carefully. Keep an eye on your watch and allocate your time carefully.
  4. Don’t put other candidates down. Remember at an assessment centre you are unlikely to be measured directly against each other. You are being measured against the criteria for the role. Scoring points off others in group exercises doesn’t make you look good. It makes you look like a non-team player and that is not likely to make the assessors warm to you. Your best strategy is usually to support, not to compete.
  5. Practice if you can. It really helps if you can run through possible exercises with someone you trust as preparation for the centre. You will find organizations that offer paid-for practice online.
  6. Listen carefully to all instructions. Know what you are doing and show you are doing it. Listen carefully to all instructions and show you are listening through your body language.
  7. Interact with the assessors. If there is an opportunity to interact with the assessors, say at lunch time, then make the most of it. But don’t be a nuisance and certainly don’t hog the limelight. You want to make an impression memorable for the right reasons.

Your job search – other resources to help you

Stuck in your job search? Have you have been out of the job market for a while? There are new techniques to learn and some you need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing them at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in Wendy’s handy little pocket book.

assessment centres
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

You can find more help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL .

Remember working with a career coach can really help your job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype. Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can book a free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy at this Link  

 

The Hidden Job Market

The Hidden Job Market

Finding the Hidden Job Market; Contacting Employers Directly

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

The hidden job market – most vacancies, particularly in the private sector, are never advertised. They are filled by people already known to the employer or known to a contact of the employer. So of course it is worthwhile making yourself known. There is no reason you should not contact an employer to ask about jobs available. If an employer can fill a job without advertising, it saves them time and cost. Even if they don’t have vacancies now and you make the right impression, they may contact you in the future.

 

Find out as much as you can about the organization before you approach them

You’ll need to do your homework. Find out as much as you can about the organization before you approach them. Identify a suitable senior manager or professional and address your letter to them. Look for someone in a position of influence. Provided you have good experience relevant to their business, you can look for a senior manager outside HR. If you are looking for a first job, an internship or a trainee post, then it is better to approach HR. Find a name. Then tailor your letter carefully to show your interest in the organization. Tell them why you would like to work for them and what you can offer. Show how you can might meet their needs. Ask for an opportunity to talk to them to learn more about the organization and future opportunities. Offer to send your CV. Keep you letter simple, straight forward, polite and on one sheet. Check it very carefully for accuracy and typos.

If you have done your homework, have good skills to offer and show a real interest in the company you stand a very good chance of finding a way in.

Your job search – other resources to help you

If you have been out of the job market for a while, there will be new techniques to learn and some you need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing them at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips on this blog, Try this link.”

The hidden job market
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

You can find more help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL .

Remember working with a career coach can really help your job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype. Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

Job Seeking – Conflicting Priorities

Job Seeking – Conflicting Priorities

Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Job Seeking – Conflicting Priorities – when working with clients looking for a role. I usually ask them to work out a basic budget which covers how much money they would need to feed and house themselves and those who depend upon them. I ask them then to consider what resources and options are available to them to meet their financial commitments. Is there enough? If not, then earning more money quickly becomes the top priority. This might mean taking a part time or interim role in the short-term while they work on their career aspirations outside work.

But these conditions do not provide the optimum for successful job search.

Job Seeking – Conflicting Priorities – Looking for work is best treated as a full-time occupation

Looking for work is best treated as a full-time occupation. And it needs to be at the top of your agenda. Sometimes even for those with enough financial resources can find this a challenge. While friends and family accept the priority you give to your job when you are in work, they are less likely to accept that you have the same level of commitment to looking for a job.

“Why can’t you come along to support my charity event now you are at home all day?”

But if you want to have the best chance of finding that special new job that is just right for you, or even one close to it, taking time out to please friends and family may not be your best choice.

If you do have to compromise make sure it is for the very best of reasons. Yes, that does include your kids’ sports’ day. But recognise that anything less than top billing for your job search gives you a lesser chance of successful job search.

I wish all those starting out on or a continuing a job search every success. Remember working with a career coach can aid your job search success. If you have been out of the job market for a while, there will be new techniques to learn and some you need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing them at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips on this blog, Try this link.”

Job Seeking - Conflicting Priorities
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

You can find more help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL .

Working with a coach really can help you find job search success. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

Job Search Success – What Does It Take?

Job Search Success – What Does It Take?

Job search success –  what is it that marks out the successful job seeker?

My experience with clients has shown that successful job hunting today takes commitment, confidence, flexibility, resilience and technique. And you’ll find tips on all those things in what follows.

Commitment to job search success

You’ll need to commit time and energy to your job search. Many successful job seekers spend 36 to 40 hours a week looking for work. Sounds just like work doesn’t it? But keeping a regular routine and having structure pays great dividends.

Confidence

If you are not already a very confident person, or the experience that brings you here has knocked your confidence, the work we will do to help you understand and appreciate your past successes can help you to feel confident again.

Flexibility

Being willing to adapt and to accept change opens up all kinds of possibilities. This is certainly easier with more confidence. You’ll explore flexibly meeting the needs of a potential employer in the pages that follow.

Resilience

Resilience, like confidence, is something you may have to work hard at. Finding work may take longer than you expect and you will probably have to bounce back from some knocks on the way. You will be in good company, though. Lots of good people have suffered the same kind of knocks only to bounce back and be very successful at their next attempt, or the one after that.

Technique

If you have been out of the job market for a while, there will be new techniques to learn and some you need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wowing them at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips on this blog, Try this link.”

job search success
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

You can find more help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL .

Working with a coach really can help you find job search success. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

job interviewJob Interview – say thank you after by email, letter or even by text but you can’t avoid it.  It has become so much of a custom that some employers think less of you, if you don’t do it.

Send your thanks within 24 hours of being interviewed, if you can, and you need to tailor your letter it to suit the organization!  The style should reflect the kind of organization and the type of interview you’ve had; a formal process requires a formal response.

If you are not sure what to write, then you can use a thank you letter template as a guide.

Your letter is a chance to emphasize what a good fit you are for the job.  Even, if you have decided the organization is not one you want to join, still send polite thanks. Who knows what the future holds?

You can use the letter to reinforce what a good fit you are for the job, now that you know more about it.  And your letter is a good opportunity to flag up things they need to know but didn’t ask at the interview. You can add what you didn’t mention or make something clearer.

If you have some information that might be useful to them or thoughts on helping to solve an issue they raised, that can make you to stand out from the crowd.

Some people recommend writing to everyone you spoke to in the organization. But, personally, I prefer to write to the person who is leading job search within the organization.

Remember to proof-read your letter carefully – nothing is more off-putting than reading a letter from a candidate that includes typos. If you are not sure of the spelling of names and the correct titles, then ring the organization to check.

Timing comes before creative brilliance – get your letter in as soon as you can – most organizations make their minds up about interviewees pretty quickly.

Working with a coach really can make your job search zing! Get in touch at the email address below.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Skype Job Interview

Skype Job Interview

How to do a job interview on Skype – Tips for success

Skype Job Interview – are you preparing for a Skype job interview? This video is packed full of tips to make your interview a successful one!

Jade from Learn English with Jade  shares her years of experience working on Skype to answer all your questions, and end any doubts you may have about your upcoming interview. She covers everything you need to know — from avoiding technical issues to preparing so that you can give your best performance during the interview.

Find out about:
Skype job interview best practices
Who calls whom, and when?
Best camera angle
Advice for sound issues
How to avoid any technical problems
How a Skype interview is different from a face-to-face interview

Best of luck for your Skype job interview! Wishing you success!
You can take the quiz on this lesson here: http://www.engvid.com/how-to-do-a-job…

Other resources for the job seeker

As a job seeker, there are lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.

job search networking
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

Rejection is part of job search

Rejection is part of job search

Rejection is part of job search. Buttress yourself up against it and keep it in perspective. It hurts, though, when you don’t get thejob that you prepared for so carefully. But a job interview really isn’t a measure of your personal or professional worth. What it is about is an organization matching people against the criteria they have chosen to apply.  And they didn’t think you were the perfect match on the day.  That doesn’t mean you are not an outstanding professional with great ability. It just means they think they were not looking for you.

Interviews are not about personal or professional validation. But sadly that is how many of us end up thinking. It is dangerous. If you need personal validation you may need to work on your confidence. Job interviews are too risky to be part of the process.

Unfortunately not getting the job can lead to ruminating on what just happened and on past failure. That makes you feel miserable. So try to stay in the present and look forward.  Focus on what you are good at and what you really care about. But recognize that no one is perfect.

You can use the experience for learning though. Make sure you get as much feedback as you can.  Ask the recruiter and press (politely) if you have to get good information. And then evaluate. Don’t take criticism personally and don’t assume automatically that it is valid. It is just an opinion on that day and in that context.  But do listen and read carefully any feedback you are given.

Accept reality – rejection is part of job search. Buttress yourself up against it and keep it in perspective.  Don’t start blaming them or yourself for what has happened. But do accept responsibility for your own performance. Accept valid and reasonable criticism, given in good faith.

Know that you are not alone. Every day countless others will be sharing your experience. Sometimes it helps to seek out others and share support.  You can also share contacts and job leads.  You could find a local job club.

Stay healthy, eat, exercise and spend part of everyday doing something you really enjoy.  Upwards and on-wards the right job for you might be just round the next corner.

If you need support from a coach in your job search, I’ll be happy to help.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Career, Life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Interview – Helpful Quotes

Job Interview – Helpful Quotes

Job Interview – helpful quotes if you have one coming up shortly

  1. Remember why you are going! “You go to a job interview to discover whether your talents, abilities, interests and direction are a good fit for the job, the company, and the company’s mission.” Susan M Heathfield
  2. Research the company ahead of time. The more you know about the company, the easier it will be to respond to questions. Alison Doyle
  3. Use Your Contacts! “Who you know at the company really does matter. ….use your contacts and connections to get an insider advantage so you can ace the interview and impress the interviewer.” Alison Doyle
  4. Check the Job Requirements. Before you go to an interview, check the job requirements listed in the job posting you responded to. Make a list of the skills you have that match those requirements. Review the list prior to the interview and if you need a “cheat sheet” jot down the list on the notepad that you bring to the interview with you. Alison Doyle
  5. Dress for success! “Before job interviews, I think: What colour tie best represents me as a person this company would be interested in?
” Jarod Kintz,
  6. Walk in confidently. It’s important you look as professional as possible from the outset. As soon as you walk into the building you’ll begin to be judged on your behaviour. There are even instances where recruiters watch from their office as candidates arrive, to see how their body language changes. Reed.co.uk
  7. Watch your Body Language “Remember: recruiters will only see how you behave; they won’t see how you’re feeling. By getting an interview, the prospective employer already thinks you can do the job on paper. Now it’s up to you to show your confidence and use body language to your advantage.” Reed.co.uk 
  8. Keep your pitch simple and direct: This is what I can do for you. Scott Reeves
  9. The interviewer’s stock question “Tell me about yourself” isn’t a request for childhood memories or a run-down of academic prizes won, but a call for a brief overview of what you bring to the table. Scott Reeves
  10. If they ask “Why were you fired?” try this! “Being cut loose was a blessing in disguise. Now I have an opportunity to explore jobs that better suit my qualifications and interests. My research suggests that such an opportunity may be the one on your table. Would you like to hear more about my skills in working with new technology?” Joyce Lain Kennedy.
  11. Think before you speak! “Sometimes I start a sentence and I don’t even know where it is going. I just hope I find it a long the way” Unnamed unsuccessful candidate.
  12.  Good Luck. You dreamed, you believed and you worked. Now, go and achieve!
    Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
    Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

    Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

    Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

             

Job Seeking While You Are In Work

Job Seeking While You Are In Work 

Job Seeking while you are in work does not necessarily mean you are unhappy in your present job. People who are very happy in their Job Seeking While You Are In Work present roles, loyal to their present employers and serious about career development, do look round. What else might be out there?

When you start a new role, you often have a three-part cycle in your mind;

  1. In the first period, things are fresh. You are learning about the new organization and its customers/users. Getting to grips with office politics, you make yourself part of the team and build your relationship with the boss.
  2. The second period is spent making your mark/ Time to excel in the role. Now, you become invaluable to the boss. You start to innovate. This is the time to bring in your new ideas.
  3. You move  on to the last period. Time for a move perhaps? This could be moving up in the same organization; or sideways to extend your professional experience. But if there are no opportunities for career development where you are, you start looking round outside.

If all is well, your boss will not want you to go and an opportunity might be made for you. If there are no possibilities and you are serious about career progression, start looking round.

This is healthy. However, you need to handle this third stage with care. You do not want to find yourself being forced to move because the boss has doubts about your loyalty.

Commit to

  • Continuing to deliver good quality of work in your present role.
  • Nursing and developing your relationships within the organization.
  • Making it clear you would like to develop your career further but will stay loyal. 

If your employer values your contribution, there may be more they can do for you. For example, they may not be able to pay for more training. But they may be able to give you some time for study while you pay the fees.

Job seeking while you are in work – be imaginative

Be imaginative and be flexible. Continue to learn and continue to look for new ways to innovate in the work you are doing. Help your present organization to survive and thrive while you do so too.

Don’t lose your ambitions and your wish to develop your career.

Yes, do keep your eyes open for other possibilities. Have a well planned exit strategy if something does come up. Don’t dump on your present employer. Look after their interests as well as your own. It will pay dividends in the future and who know what else that may hold.

If you would like support in developing your career, get in touch. My email address is below.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

What to wear for the interview

What to wear for the interview

Job Search: What to wear for the interview!

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Here is a tip from my book; The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book; How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.

What to wear for the interview – according to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look. So, yes, of course it makes a difference what you wear to the interview.

Like so many other things you do to get work, dressing right needs research and preparation. You need to research the organization you are hoping to join.

In general it is best to dress conservatively. In some organizations, for example in the Arts, that will still mean smart casual. And smart casual means what it says, smart. Generally for interviews go for the mainstream.

For most organizations, what will be required will be smart office wear; a suit in one dark colour with a coordinated blouse or shirt in a light colour – white if you can wear it.

As for shoes, for women keep to a dark court shoe with a moderate heal and for men go for dark socks and professional shoes. Ties with logos are best avoided – again be reserved.

Go for a limited amount of jewellery and neat, clean hair. Nails need to be clean and manicured. Go lightly with the scent/aftershave. If someone on the panel starts to sneeze they will not be concentrating on you and what you offer.

You want the panel to concentrate on you, and on what you are saying, not on how you have dressed.

It should go without saying that your clothes should be clean and freshly pressed. If you have to travel a long way to get to the interview then consider using a suit bag and changing nearby.

If you do need to eat and drink in your interview clothes before the interview then do so with care and make sure crumbs are brushed off.

If possible leave travel bags outside the interview room. If you carry anything into the room it is best for it to be a portfolio or a brief case. Make sure you can get access to a clean tissue just in case, with all the tension, your nose starts to run.

Just like most other things you do to get a job, dressing for the interview is about research and preparation. But dressing well and appropriately really will help keep up your confidence on the day and it will certainly help you make your best impression.

Other resources for the job seeker

As a job seeker, there are lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.

Your first day in a new job!
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link