Competency Based Interviews 

Competency Based Interviews  

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Many job search and promotion interviews are now competency based. Competency based interviews provide the interviewer with a quick way to assess whether you have the knowledge, attitudes and skills to do a good job. And competency consists of these three elements;

  • Knowledge – how much you know about something,
  • Attitude – how you approach something
  •  Skills – how good you are at applying your knowledge

A competency based question will usually ask you to take something from your Competency Based Interviews  own experience. This could be, for example, how you managed a difficult situation or how you showed leadership. You will then need to explain how that demonstrated your competency. And the easiest way to do this is to use the STAR format.

Competency Based Interviews  – using the STAR format

The situation, task, action, result (STAR) format may be used by the interviewer to gather all the relevant information about a specific capability that the job requires. But you can use it yourself to help you answer questions.

  • Situation: The interviewer will ask you to describe a recent challenge or situation you encountered. You will need to explain the context; your role and what the work was about.
  • Task: The interviewer will want to know what you needed to do and what you wanted to achieve.  Sometimes you may be asked about a “Target” that you set yourself rather than a “Task.”  This will illustrate the strength of your motivation and, for example, your commitment to self development.
  • Action:  You will need to describe what you did, why and how? Were there alternative actions that you could have taken and why didn’t you choose them.  Set out the steps you took in logical order.
  • Results: What was the outcome? What did you achieve and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn and how have you used that learning since.

Be concise, crisp and clear

Make sure that your answers are concise, crisp and to the point. Be careful not to meander away from the main points. Make sure the interviewer understands the situation and the action you took clearly. Be sure you don’t blame anyone for the problem you faced.

Competency based interviews give you a good opportunity to demonstrate what you can offer to an employer. And they are something for which you can prepare. Read the job specification carefully and identify the competencies required. Then, find examples from your own experience and think them through using the STAR structure above.

Good luck with your interview and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed at interviews and job search.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Job Interview Tips

Job Interview Tips

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Job Interview Tips – are you ready for that interview? This interview checklist will take you step by step you through everything you need to do to be a success!

What are you going to wear?

Job Interview Checklist
Job Interview Tips – are you ready for that interview? This interview checklist will take you step by step you through everything you need to do to be a success!

The first impression you make on a potential employer can make a big difference. So you need to dress appropriately for a job interview. Check out what passes for appropriate business dress in the organization you wish to join. Ask around among your contacts. But note, a business suit is usually standard. Have your interview outfit ready to go. That means you can be ready for an interview at very short notice. If you are being interviewed online with a camera switched on, think about how you will look. And make sure the background is business like.  Check how you will look before you go online

Review your response to the advert and job description

Take the time to remind yourself how you meet the requirement. Then make sure you have your list of competencies available for the interview. Show exactly how you meet the skills, knowledge and qualities required. Emphasize those most important for success in the job. Be ready to describe successes you have had that make you the perfect match for the job. The closer your qualifications and experience match the job requirements, the better chance you’ll have of going forward.

Research the organization and those interviewing you

How much do you know about the organization itself? Before you go to the interview be sure you are well informed. Do an internet search and use LinkedIn.

Job Interview Tips – Use your contacts

Do you know anyone who is working at the organization or who has worked there recently? Knowing someone can make a big difference. They might be able to put in a good word for you. Plus your contacts can help you with inside information about the organization, its people and, possibly, the recruitment process itself.

Prepare for Interview Questions

Take time to think through questions you are likely to be asked. This will help you to organize your answers and it will help to reduce stress.  Ask a friend or family or family member to help you practice your answers. If they are prepared to give you a mock interview so much the better.

Prepare for a presentation

Check whether a presentation is required. Then find out as much as possible about the subject.  If they don’t suggest a topic,  concentrate on showing how you are fitted and how you would approach the job.  Prepare your materials well in advance if you can. Have spare copies. Have handouts ready and to a good quality.  Take enough for the panel and some spares.  Check out what technology and other material will be available for your use.  If using your own equipment, make sure it is working properly on the day. Don’t assume you can use your own without making inquiries first. Ask about plugs etc. Run through your presentation, preferably in front of a friend, beforehand.

Job Interview Tips – Have Clear Travel Directions and Allow Plenty of time

It’s important to know where you need to go for your job interview. You don’t want to be late, so start in good time. Use Google Maps to get directions if you’re not sure where you are going.  Check on parking and/or public transport so you arrive with time to spare.

Time to relax!

Check out your appearance when you arrive and then use a simple breathing technique to help you relax. Here is a link to one.

Go in there and wow them.  I wish you every success. If you would like some more job interview tips or some extra help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Stand Out At Interview

Stand Out At Interview

Job Search: How to Stand Out From The Crowd

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

Stand out at interview if you want to be successful. If you want to be offered that longed-for job, these days you need to do more than simply prove you can do the work. It is likely that you will be one among several candidates who can provide evidence of that.

So what can mark you out as that special candidate – the one they want?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my experience as both interviewer and interviewee. I’ve come to the conclusion it all comes down to the three Es; enthusiasm, energy and engagement.

Stand out at interview – enthusiasm

It is great if a candidate shows they really care about my vacancy. I don’t want to feel that mine is just another on the long list they have applied for. If they are interested in my job, they will have done their home work and know about my organization, who our customers are and the sector we work in. They will be able to show me why they think this is a great opportunity for them.

Energy

I want to find a sense of resilience and energy. The successful candidate is going to be someone not likely to be daunted by the challenges ahead.

Engagement

Candidates who actively engage with the interviewer and the interview process put themselves at the head of the field. By that I mean someone who walks into the room with confidence and then takes part in a real discussion. Not someone who simply pours out information in response to the questions asked. Their body language will show real interest and they will keep up good eye contact. They will have high self-esteem without arrogance.

If you can show the three Es at your next interview, you are pretty much bound to make a good impression.

Other resources to help your job search

In the job market, there are always 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.

Stand Out At Interview
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 career resilience. 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 

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 

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

             

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 

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd

job search - standout from the crowd

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – This post is about applying for advertised vacancies for which you are in competition. Unfortunately, in the present climate, job seeking is intensely competitive.  There are usually many applicants for every advertised post.  That’s is why networking to find work is so important.

When you submit a written application, with or without a CV/Résumé, what matters most is that you convince the recruiter that you meet the criteria for the vacancy.  Include relevant keywords that will stand out like head lights – you can find out more about job search keywords at this link.

Once you get to the interview stage, you are up against others who havea lso shown on paper that they meet the requirements. The interview and your references will show whether what you have said on paper in valid.  And at interview stage you need to stand out from the crowd.

Standing out from the crowd is not without risks.

Job Search – Stand Out From the Crowd – Take into account the culture of the organization when deciding how to make your mark.  When deciding what to wear for the interview, for example, knowing the company dress code is important.  If it is casual then make sure you wear very smart casual attire.  No, you don’t want be so bland that you sink into the wall paper. Wearing, for example, a smart but distinctive tie, scarf or piece of jewellery, can help the interviewers remember you.  The “something distinctive “needs to be chosen with great care and very good taste!

The interview is also an opportunity to show clearly that you will bring added value beyond that required by the job specification.  Show that added value with care. And make sure that what you say is relevant to the questions that you are being asked and to the job.

You can stand out by showing your enthusiasm. Being actively engaged in the process and showing real interest in the organization impresses. Be interested in what the interviewers have to say to you.

Prepare well!

The impression you want to make is that you are intelligent, highly competent and likely to be an asset to the organization and to your future work colleagues.

Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep before the interview.  Do your best to arrive in plenty of time.  You want to be bright-eyed and relaxed – not red-faced and slightly out of breath.

You want to be remembered but for all the right reasons!

Make sure you do your home work. Find out all you can you can about the job, the organization and the people you are likely to meet. Treat them with courtesy and work hard to show evidence that you are the person best able to do the job.

If you would like support in your job search please get in touch.

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

         

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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