Get on with the interview panel

Get on with the interview panel

How to get on with the interview panel – most job searches mean you have to deal with panel interviews.  Many large employers use panel interviewing as a part of their recruitment process.  It means a number of different people can be involved in the decision-making process.  They can be from different parts of the organization with an interest in the role. This gives a range of perspectives. Job interviews conducted by a panel are seen to be fair. There are seen as valid because a number of different opinions and views are taken into account..

Usually, each panel member will take turns to ask questions about your fitness for the role; your background, experience and interests.  It can be difficult to build rapport with each panel member . And sometimes, unfortunately, there might be one panel member that you find it particularly difficult to get on with.  This can happen at an interview, just as it can in other parts of your life.

Get on with the interview panel – tips

    • Knowing who the panel members are beforehand is a great help.  If you can, research people on the internet using LinkedIn, for example!  If this is not possible, use your knowledge of the company and the position to prepare to respond to questions from different parts of the organization. These could be human resources, line management, technical and finance.
    • Your introduction is important to creating the right first impression. This is a good opportunity to connect with each panel member on a personal level before the interview questions begin. Make initial eye contact with each panel member. Try to respond warmly and with interest.

When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked

  • When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Make sure you understand correctly.  It is important to answer the question that has been asked.
  • Make initial eye contact with the person who asked the question. And then include the other panel members in your answer. Scan from one face to the next, pausing briefly on each. Focus on speaking to each individual As you finish your answer, return your focus to the person who asked the interview question. Stay calm and answer each question thoroughly.

Keep it pleasant

  • If you do get into a discussion, or you are asked to consider an alternative point of view, again stay calm. Do not expect to be successful if you let anger or annoyance show. Take time to respond with a considered view. Watch your body language. You can show frustration without saying a word.
  • If there is someone on the panel that you really cannot get on with, then don’t ignore how they make you feel and why.  Is that person to be your immediate boss in the new organization, or someone further up the line to whom you will report? Think seriously about whether the role is right for you.  Do this even if you are successful and it is a generous offer. I have worked with a number of clients who sensed at interview that all was not well. They ignored those feelings, only to have regrets later.

With the right preparation and approach, I hope you will get on well with all the members of any interview panel that you meet. If you need advice, get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Taking A Career Break: Quotes and Resources

Taking a Career Break

Taking A Career Break: Quotes and Resources

Taking a career break! Lots of us think and may be dream about the idea of taking some time out from the daily grind. Here are some quotes on the experience. Plus I’ve included below details of two books to  help you on your way. And now the quotes…

  1.  It is energizing and liberating to turn down a road you have not traveled before. To reach toward what you cannot yet touch brings new passion and strength to your life. Ralph Marston
  2. Disconnect with your work self on a sabbatical, and you’ll reconnect with who you really are.  Corbett Barr
  3. It’s a time to immerse yourself in a different environment, try new things, reassess your priorities, and look at your life from a different perspectiveMarelisa Fabrega
  4. Give yourself the priceless gifts of new experiences, new skills, new knowledge and the confidence of knowing how quickly you can grow. Expand your horizons, again and again, and discover that every limit is there to be transcended.  Ralph Marston
  5. Getting away from it all might be the only way you can really reset or change course. If you continue around the day-to-day, making significant changes is tough. Taking a few months off will give you the space you need to figure things out. Corbett Barr
  6. Taking a sabbatical is the first step towards discovering whether or not I can take the leap of faith and do something fully on my own.  Do anything for a while, and it becomes increasingly harder to cut the cord. Sam Dogen
  7. Of Fortune’s best 100 companies to work for in America, 21 of them have paid-for, formal sabbatical programs. It’s a competitive advantage with regard to recruiting talent. Jaye Smith
  8. Almost everybody got back to some form of better eating and exercise, and they keep that up. And they say, “I didn’t realize what stress I was under. Now I can go back for my next five years with some balance” Rita Foley
  9. My sabbatical didn’t really recharge my batteries as I hoped it would.  Instead, the sabbatical helped realize my preference for freedom over a steady paycheck at this point in my life.  I’ve experienced what life could be like if I worked for myself and I must say that I’m extremely excited about the prospects. Sam Dogen
  10. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed in the things that you didn’t do than in the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Mark Twain

Books on Taking A Career Break

Escape 101: The Four Secrets to Taking a Sabbatical or Career Break Without Losing Your Money or Your Mind by Dan Clements and Tara Gignac  

“What’s your dream escape? Relaxing on a palm-studded beach? A year off to write your novel? Missionary work with the needy? Exploring ancient ruins or saving the rainforest?

Whether you’re an adventurer, a poet, a volunteer or you just need a break, Escape 101 provides you with a step-by-step system to take as much time as you need from your job, career or business, without losing ground.”

A Gap Year for Grown Ups by Susan Griffith

“A guide for grown ups wanting to take the trip of a lifetime, containing information on specialist schemes and opportunities for professionals and mature travellers. Covers everything from what to pack to paying the mortgage when away, as well as advice from adult gappers who have been there and done it.”

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Coaching Online: Advantages and Disadvantages

Coaching Online: Advantages and Disadvantages

coaching online

Coaching online has advantages but also some disadvantages. I was asked a little while ago about providing coaching online. So, I thought you might be interested to read my answers

Interviewer: How do you communicate with clients online? What are the strengths and limitations of each approach?

Wendy: I use three different ways of communicating with clients on line. So, I use phone/skype, email and instant messaging.

Phone or Skype

The strengths of telephone coaching include convenience and comfort for the client. They are able to receive coaching where they choose.  For most, this will be at home or somewhere else familiar to them. So, they do not have to add travel to a coaching location to the end of a busy working day. Phone can also provide privacy for those who feel shy and exposed sharing intimate feelings.  The disadvantage of the phone is that we have to work without visual clues. Therefore we are not able to see each other’s body language. So, authenticity and trust is important.

Email

The major disadvantage of email is that it is asynchronous. It can take time to get a reply.  With coaching online, both coach and client need to achieve agreement about when replies can be expected. Also, how privacy will be managed. The initial relationship can be much harder to establish. It requires patience from both coach and client.  As well as being able to choose the location and time for talking, there another a major advantage for email. Both the client and the coach have a record they can refer to. Plus you can take time to reflect on what you want to write.

Instant Messaging

Communicating by instant text messages is quick.  Again, the client can choose location they write from. But there can be issues of privacy if other people have access to the same computer or phone.

In my own coaching practice, the phone is my main method of communicating with clients.  I usually combine this with email between sessions. Plus I use a little instant messaging.

Interviewer:  In your opinion, what elements need to be in place in order to create a coaching relationship online? In what ways does this differ from face-to-face coaching?

Trust

Wendy: Coaching online or off requires an agreement between the coach and client about the service to be provided. And, for on line coaching this is a priority. Both coach and client need the right environment in which to work! They need privacy and the opportunity to develop trust. This is in each other as well as in the medium. Confidentiality of information shared is very.  Both need to understand the risks. Plus what coaching on-line cannot provide.

The coach and client are rarely in the same physical space.  Both need to be comfortable. And they need know that they will not interrupted. This can be difficult with a computer on the kitchen table. The coach and client both need to know they cannot be over-looked or over-heard. Plus, they need to be confident in using the machinery. The equipment needs to be reliable with good security cover.

Agreement

With phone coaching, you need to agree not only what time you will ring but also who calls whom and on what number. Before beginning a conversation, a coach needs to move very quickly into active listening.

In using email, there needs to be clear agreement about turnaround times. The client needs to understand that messages can sometimes go astray. Special arrangements need to be made for the coach’s absence. For example, when the coach goes on holiday.

With instant messaging the use of language needs to be particularly careful. The culture from  which the client  communicates may be important – for example when working with young clients. The coach may have to learn a whole new language.

For me the advantages vastly outweigh the disadvantages massively. I’ve run a successful coaching practice online for several years now.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search – Verbal Skills Important

Job Search – Verbal Skills Are Important

Job search requires you to demonstrate your communication skills. And verbal skills are the most important of the communication skills. This means successful job search is more likely if you can speak clearly, concisely and fluently. A new survey has shown that employers identify strong verbal skills more than written, visual, or electronic communication skills. So such skills are essential.verbal communication

Verbal skills in the study included interpersonal communication, presenting and listening skills. This was as well as team or group work.

Electronic skills, while growing in importance, ranked second in the study. Visual communication skills were rarely mentioned, although body language is important when you wish to influence others.

Students enrolled in a business communication course in the US had been asked to contact potential employers in their fields of interest. They requested information about important communication skills in those fields.

The employers identified 165 different communication skills for job search. The result appeared in  Business and Professional Communication Quarterly. But you can read more about the study in non-technical language at this link.

Lack of confidence sometimes inhibits the ability to speak fluently. Working with a coach can help you learn to express yourself more clearly and with confidence.

Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search. If you would like some help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career, life and business coach with depth of experience in 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 discussion with Wendy about your coaching needs and your personal development at this link

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

         

How to handle a jealous boss

How to handle a jealous boss

Bosses, like all of us, come with the whole range of human emotions and one of them can be jealousy. So here is some advice on how to handle a jealous boss.

jealous
How to handle a jealous boss

Jealousy is usually shown in quite subtle ways in the early stages.  Hence, you might find yourself relegated to the dreary corner. You might be given little interesting work or, sometimes, just too much work. Perhaps, you might be subject to sarcastic comments. Your manager might just find fault with everything you do or start to niggle away at a few small faults you do have. In these circumstances you need to know how to handle a jealous boss.

Steps to take!

First, directly confronting a jealous boss rarely works. Go carefully, particularly if you need to keep the job. It is sad, but in most organisations, unless there is a clear case of bullying, reporting your boss rarely turns out well. The benefit of the doubt will usually be given to the more senior party. Calling on the support of senior contacts against your boss might well rebound. They may not thank you for the information. They may value your boss for his/her technical abilities and your boss may have an othrwise good record.

Hard as it sound, the best approach is usually to make your boss feel you are on their side. They need to believe that, even though you might have it in you to upstage them, you will never do so. They need to feel that you really will support them.

Show your boss that you respect their expertise and ask for their advice. It might be difficult for you at first because you feel that you too are an expert. But it will help to build your relationship.

Make sure you try to make your boss look good. Be ready to share your ideas and even sometimes have your ideas presented as theirs.  If you have contacts higher up the office, be ready to share them with your boss. And, if your boss has unsung talents, make sure your senior contacts know about them.

Overall!

Keep your dignity but turn yourself into an asset for your boss, and not a threat.

If you do find yourself relegated to the dreary corner, see what you can do to brighten things up. In most kinds of work , there is some opportunity to make a positive mark if you look for it.

I hope this advice on how to handle a jealous boss works for you. But if it doesn’t you need to take action. Working with such a person is likely to have a long-term effect on your confidence.  You may find your reputation is at real risk and this could effect your future career opportunities. So why not take advantage of my offer a free half hour coaching session to discuss how to go forward. Book a discussion here.

How did your boss get this way?

So, imagine it! There is your boss, a senior manager who has worked hard to get to that level. He/she is good at what they do and they know it. But they are not always sure those above appreciate them. Then, along comes this bright, often young, team member. Sometimes this new team member might be popular or attractive. It might appear to the boss that for them everything comes effortlessly. Those parts of the work that the boss finds difficult, the newcomer might find easy. Plus the boss’s own boss might have begun already to notice the new person. Can you see how a jealous boss might begin to emerge?

So what happens?

Here’s how the boss might start to think:

  • Should we put him/her to work in some obscure corner on something that will give them no opportunity to shine?
  • Should we find fault with everything they do, so that in due course their confidence is destroyed?
  • Should we start to niggle away about the faults they do have being bright but young or inexperienced?
  • We could sow the seeds of doubt couldn’t we?

Of course, all these are risky strategies for the boss and make the whole team feel bad.  But, sadly, there are bosses around who make these kinds of bad choices.

Advice for bosses who might be just a little bit jealous!

Why not take your bright young team member and put them to work on the area of work that really challenges. Praise and encourage them because they will help to make you look good. Why not you make sure your boss knows that you spotted a new  talent. Then you have a good chance of being known for your incredible management abilities. Isn’t that a better option?

Wendy Smith has written a little eBook on How to get on with your boss you can find it here 

Wendy is a career, life and business coach with depth of experience in 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 the life’s more challenging personal issues.Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Book a discussion about your coaching needs or
Email info@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring 020 8123 9146 to find out more

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives! Looking for work means you are in a process of change. And all change comes at a cost. Even changes for the better come with loss – something gets left behind. 

Looking for work is tough. Even if you are looking while you are employed you will have doubts and uncertainties and you do need confidence. It is tough at any level and at any stage in your career. But in some ways I think it gets tougher as you move further up the professional or management hierarchy. The reputational risk is higher. You have more to lose even though you usually gain confidence as you rise.

For most of us changing roles has implications for those close to us. For example, you may earn more but perhaps the family have to cope with you travelling a lot more than you did and working longer hours. Some families may feel the extra money doesn’t make up for losing you. But how do you reconcile their wishes with your own professional ambitions and the kind of work you always dreamed of doing?

And then of course life circumstances can change. Suppose someone close to you suddenly becomes much more dependent on you. Say they develop a long-term illness. Yes, you can now pay for their physical needs to be met. But how do you now make time to meet their need for emotional support as well as dealing with work?

Personal/ life coaching can help you explore just the kind of situations I describe above. Those are the kind of things that challenge you to find your own solutions that best enable you to achieve the balance you want.

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives! I provide a coaching service to help executives, senior managers and senior professionals to deal with family issues and life’s more difficult events at the same time as handling a busy workload.  If you find yourself getting stuck in your job search or career development, or need just the kind of support I describe, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

When You Make A Mistake

When You Make A Mistake

When you make a mistake – well – we all mistakes! There isn’t a human being alive who doesn’t  – we all do. That is why, when people do work where accuracy is critical, systems are usually put in place to inspect and assure it.

We make mistakes in all parts of our lives, not just at work.

So, when you make a mistake, what do you do next?

When you make a mistake the first big step is to accept you made the mistake. Most of us are very good at coming up with excuses. Underneath we usually know the truth.

Once you have admitted to yourself what happened, you need to make sure that your mistake causes no further damage. Do whatever you can to put things right or at least make sure that what you did doesn’t cause any further harm. That can be difficult when the mistake is to do with wrong choices in a relationship at home or at work. At times like that it often helps to talk to a friend or to a coach like me.

Part of putting things right often means being ready to go on record and admit what you did.

Now, if you made a mistake you can put right quickly with no real damage, perhaps you won’t need to tell anyone. But what about the people you who deserve an apology, or those who need to learn from your mistake? Remember hiding a mistake at work that is later discovered is not the best career move.

When you make a mistake, being ready to say sorry is really important. A sincere apology for an honest mistake makes a huge difference to the injured party and to your own self-esteem.

Usually, the most important part of handling mistakes is understanding why they happen. Mistakes can occur because you are tired, or perhaps you were distracted. Sometimes it is because you don’t really know what you are doing or because a system or a piece of equipment doesn’t work properly.  All those things can usually be understood easily and put right.

Sometimes, we make mistakes because we are unhappy. We might make bad choices at work or in relationships for reasons deep within us to do with our emotions. And some of us just go on making those kinds of mistakes.

If you keep making the same mistakes, it is a good idea to seek help. There lots of counsellors and coaches around who will be happy to work with you. Take action now, your life is too precious to waste it going round in the same circle.

If you need support in a particular situation please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Sending Mixed Messages

Sending Mixed Messages to Potential Employers

Mixed messages are all too easy to send in these days of part-time working and portfolio careers. Lots of us do more than one thing to earn money. But this can mean we send confused messages to potential employers and customers.

For example, I work as a career and life coach. On top of that, I am a creative writer and poet.  So how do I describe myself? If you are looking for a coach, knowing that I write novels may not always inspire confidence. Things can become even more problematic when you are looking for work.

Be clear about the message you are sending

You need to be clear about the message you send in any particular situation. While some potential employers may see the benefits your complex experience may bring, others may not. Make sure you send very clear messages about what you can do for a particular employer or customer.

Focus on how you can deliver real value to that particular employer, at that particular time. Demonstrate how you will bring your complex skills set to bear to meet their needs. And don’t be tempted to brag too much about past achievements not relevant to what their needs.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Writing Your CV

Writing Your CV

Writing Your CV! You’d be surprised how many people have never had to write a CV! It can be a daunting task!

How do you begin to put your career history on paper?  And what is the right balance of skill, experience and achievements to record?

If you get it wrong your CV can look unbalanced. Or, even worse, become unreadable!

You want to show a successful career progression. It should make the next opportunity (the one you have just decided to apply for) look like a logical move! Making it look like a natural fit can put you ahead in the job’s market.  It marks you out as the candidate they want.

Your resume needs to be a well written, clear and concise!

So format is important! Please don’t go for complicated designs with tables and fancy fonts.  Use a simple, clean, format that is well organiser and easily scanned. That will attract both the recruiter’s eye. And, these days often more important, it is easy for the recruiter’s software to process.

Produce a baseline CV. Then be prepared to adapt it to each job that you apply for. That way you can target your qualifications, skills, and key strengths. You should include relevant “keywords;” again with the sifting software in mind. You want to appeal to the person advertising the job at first glance!

Grabbing the recruiter’s attention is all important. You probably have 30 seconds or less to make an impression! So put the most relevant information upfront in your headline. Again, include keywords relevant to the advert or spec.

Make sure you CV is simple to read. And concentrate in terms of experience on the last 10 years.  Summarise anything earlier.  Focus on your achievements and the benefits you have delivered.  Show the benefits you will bring!

One of the major advantages of working with a career coach should be that you get your baseline CV in good order. And you learn how to adapt it. If you would like help with your CV, get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link

         

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search

Is it time to refresh your job search? Have you been searching for a new job for a while now? Then right now is a great time to re-energise your quest. Here are some tips to help you refresh your job search.

Revamp Your CV/Résumé

An important step in every job search is to equip yourself with a CV that really highlights you, your skills and your abilities. How good is your CV? Take time now to check it and remember this CV is just a baseline that you will tailor for each new role. Here is some guidance on preparing a CV to be proud of; Writing that winning CV!

Find New Ways to Network

Social media in particular gives all kinds of new ways to find people to network with. Are you making the most of sites like LinkedIn?  Are you approaching social networking in a professional way? Remember that anything you say on the internet becomes part of your brand and that social networks are about conversations rather than broadcasting. But you can use social networking sites to build new relationships that can help your job search.

Update your image

What would really give your confidence a boost? How about a new hairstyle or should you considering a new style of dress?  You could make a change to represent the new you and your new approach!

Update your attitude

Work hard on your commitment to positive thinking and your self-belief.  If you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop in your tracks, catch that thought and flip it over in mind. Think of yourself as not so much looking for a job as looking for an opportunity to add value. You know that given the right opportunity that is exactly what you will do. Think every day about the benefits that you will bring to your new employer.

Find yourself a coach

A Career Coach will work with you on all the practical aspects of applying for jobs, changing career or going for promotion. A coach will help you to look at your achievements and results so far and how you can build on them to achieve what you want in the future. A good coach will help you build your confidence and maximise your chances of landing the right role.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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 her books on Amazon at this link