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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Networking Tips to Help Your Job Search

Networking Tips to Help Your Job Search

Networking – if you are a new job seeker it might surprise you to learn that 60% networkingof jobs are never advertised.  That means that most vacancies are filled by word of mouth. There are filled through networking.

Why are so few vacancies advertised?

Advertising costs a lot of money.  And then it takes a lot of time to sort through application forms and CVs and even more resource to interview candidates. All this can be avoided by promoting from within the organisation or by employing people who are known to them. Some organisations actively encourage their staff to refer friends with suitable skills and most are happy to receive introductions to, or approaches from, good people.

How do I begin?

Most people are anxious about networking if they’ve never done it before. Taking an organised approach and working to your plan can help you feel more confident.

Steps to networking!

  1. Make a list of the people you know – including the sector they work in and who they might know.
  2. Look out for contacts and networks that relate to your own sector – check out industry conferences, events and forums.
  3. Exploit the possibilities of social networking. Join business networking sites such as LinkedIn. Look for relevant groups and organisations on social networking sites including Facebook. You could consider establishing your own networking group on LinkedIn or Facebook.
  4. Plan your approach. Have a clear idea of who you want to talk to or make contact with at events and online. Think about why you are interested in the organisation and why you’re approaching them.
  5. Do your homework. When approaching an individual or organisation try to research what they do. LinkedIn and Facebook are great tools for researching people. Get to understand their culture and the language of the sector they work in.
  6. Focus on what you can offer. Before setting up a networking meeting, think about what you can do for them. Could you suggest a contact that might help their business or offer to help out with a busy project they are involved in? Do you have specialist advice to offer?
  7. Tailor your communication. Don’t send out the same version of your speculative application letter or CV to all organisations. Make sure they are tailored to the organisation and show how your skills are relevant.
  8. Keep records.  Keep an excel spreadsheet or a notebook listing contacts,to whom you’ve spoken or written.  And include their contact details and their position as well as how you are going to follow up. This record can be invaluable if your contacts get in touch at a later date.
  9. Be yourself. The most important parts of networking are to be yourself and to treat other people with courtesy and respect. You don’t have to have overwhelming confidence – just remember other people at networking events may be feeling just like you. Show a real interest in other people and start a conversation, and then follow up; you will become a good net-worker and it will pay dividends.
  10. Remember, networking is 60% about giving (your time, interest and energy) and only 40% about getting

If you need support in developing the confidence to network 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

         

Job Search Strategy: Who do you want to be?

Job Search Branding: Knowing Who You Are

Job search branding is an important part of your job search strategy. Having a clear brand/identity is important in job search. Here Wendy Smith, our principal coach, provides some advice.

When looking for work, it is important to think about Job Search Brandinghow you wish to appear to potential employers. “Branding yourself” sounds crude but it is a key part of job search. You need to think about the needs of your target audience and what you want them to know about you.

What is your story?

You have a unique story to tell and that story is what makes your brand authentic. Of course others can relate to your story because it may be similar, but it is never exactly the same. Each story is unique. Focus on those things that make you unique and capitalise on them. Perhaps the particular talents and experience that got you into your most recent role are those you need to focus on. But remember, times, and employer’s needs, do change. At the end of the day though, it is your character and story that will be compelling and mark you out from others.

What do you want to be known for?

Having an answer to this question defines what your target audience can expect from your contribution. Remember, this statement is NOT your title! It is also not your personal mission or life purpose. It is a memorable one to two sentence statement that shows the employer who you are and how you will meet their needs. Keep it focused on results and make it memorable.

If you need help preparing your job search branding, please get in touch. Remember, we offer a trial free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype.

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 – Planning Your Day

Job Search – Planning Your Day

Wendy Smith is a Career, Life and Business Coach and Life Coach helping helping clients improve quality of life as well as being successful at work and at home.

I advise my unemployed job search clients to treat job seeking as a full time occupation. They need a job search timetable for their working day. Sometimes, this can be quite hard to come to terms with, particularly if you are in a partnership with childcare responsibilities. Being the one at home is often seen as an opportunity for you to take more responsibility for domestic chores, picking up the kids from school etc. But successful job search does require a big investment of your time.

Establish your new job search routine

If you are used to working “conventional” office hours then those are the hours I would recommend you commit to looking for work. Establish a new working routine within those hours. In broad terms you have five main tasks,

  • Making yourself a good candidate
  • Finding opportunities
  • Applying for them
  • Going through the recruitment process
  • Maintaining your confidence and self belief

Recognising these five tasks can help you to think through how to structure your time effectively.

You should, for example, spend at least part of each day checking for new vacancies. That is better done fairly early in the day. It is wise to spend at least part of the day managing your networking campaign – identifying possibilities, preparing to talk to people etc. You might want to dedicate a particular day, or days, in the week for meeting people to save on travel expenses etc.

Spend part of each day on research and learning. Read everything you can get

timetable for job search
Important but keep it flexible

your hands on about job search in the current market and what recruiters are saying on sites like LinkedIn. Not all advice will be wise, nor will it all apply to you, but, it is all worth at least scanning for new tips.

Research your sector thoroughly, the very latest developments and who the key players are. When you have a vacancy in sight, thoroughly research the organisation and their senior people.

If you have some money to invest, then think about using it to update your skills or for coaching to give you the edge in a competitive market.

Keep in mind

Remember that staying healthy and confident matters too. Take some time each day to exercise and to get some fresh air.

Work on recognising your own competence and remembering the successes you have had already. That isn’t only so that you can tell your success stories to potential employers. They are also a great boost to your self-confidence.

With commitment and organisation, your job search is far more likely to be a success.

If you need help preparing your job search strategy, please get in touch. Remember I offer a trial free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search right now every success and if I can 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 the life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact Wendy at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com or find out more hereWendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Low Job Search Periods

Low Job Search Periods

Job Search at Holiday Time

By  Career Coach and Life Coach►helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career

Low Job Search Periods! Regular job hunters and those in the recruitment industry recognise two periods when there can be something of a lull in the job market. One is during the summer holiday period and the other is from the beginning of December until mid-January.

Yes, it gets tougher but this isn’t the time to take your eye off the ball. There are likely to be some opportunities around and who knows who you might meet over the Christmas period and what opportunities they may know about.

Having said that though, this might by the time to review and update your CV. Always think about what the recruiter wants to find out – and give it to them, clearly and near the beginning of your CV. Most recruiters scan CVs very quickly and what you say at the top of the first page is all important.

This might be the time as well to further explore social networking. How much do you know about using

lPhoto credit: Inmobiliaria Lares, Cangas)

Twitter and Facebook and are you fully exploiting the possibilities of LinkedIn? Advertising jobs is costly to companies, so many recruit through social media. That makes joining the big three (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) lots of sense. Make sure you keep any dodgy Facebook pictures private, though.

Why not showcase your capabilities on line as well. Now might be the time to write some guest posts. Lots of blog owners (including me) welcome a well written article at any time of the year. I’m always on the lookout for 300 to 500 words on leadership, management, job search or career development. Guest bloggers take the burden off me to produce good content several times a week.

Take part in LinkedIn discussions too. They will continue over the Christmas period. Show people just what you have to contribute.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And don’t forget about chatting to recruiters informally and keeping up to date with their companies. That is a great way to find out about jobs before anyone else. Get on Twitter or LinkedIn and connect with them; make sure you wish them the compliments of the season, too. You have nothing to lose and you may have plenty to gain.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search this week every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Remember I offer a trial free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype.

Warm regards

Wendy
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Your CV Summary for Job Search

Your CV Summary for Job Search

CV summary – you would be surprised how many CVs I see that do not include a short personal profile at the top of the first page. Instead they plunge straight into the work history giving the reader not a clue about the person doing the work.These kinds of CV are much less likely to catch a recruiter/future employer’s eye.

So what should you include in your short summary?

Your personal profile should summarise your;
• Skills and qualities
• Work background and achievements
• Career aims.

It should only be a few lines and must grab the reader’s attention. Try to avoid using terms that a lot of candidates will use, such as ‘reliable’, ‘hard working’, ‘team player’, ‘good communication skills’ etc. These general terms are heard so often they don’t help an employer to build up a real picture of you.

Instead, for example, if the job involves working with people, try to highlight relevant, specific people skills such as: negotiating, dealing with demanding customers, presentation skills, resolving conflict, or showing empathy. These help the reader build up more of a picture than saying you’re a good team-worker and an effective communicator. However, be brief – you can highlight examples of your skills in later sections.

Include keywords relevant to the kind of work you seek or are applying for. (When someone uses a search engine, they type in one or more words describing what they are looking for; eg ‘Facilities Manager’ or ‘Corporate Real Estate”. These words or phrases are known as keywords.) Many recruitment companies make use of software to sift job applications based on a keyword search.

When you’re summarising your career aims, think about the employer you are sending your CV to. It will hit home with employers if your career aims sound exactly like the kind of opportunities they currently have or are likely to provide in future.

Try to relate your summary to the job description or, if you’re sending your CV on spec, what you think the employer is looking for.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search this week every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Remember I offer a trial free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype.

Warm regards

Wendy
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Job Search – Please Write Those Important STAR Stories
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Job Search – Please Write Those Important STAR Stories

Job Search – Please Write Those Important STAR Stories

Today we republish an extract from an earlier post. But I make no excuses because I think writing STAR stories can make such an important contribution to your job search and to your career development, if you want to prove to your employer that you are ready for promotion.

STAR Stories Make You A Star

Writing STAR stories is a way to prepare not only to write your CV but also to answer questions at interview. This will be particularly important if the organisation you want to join, or contract with, is committed to competency based interviewing or wants evidence of what you have done so far! Your STAR stories help to give evidence of just how competent you are.

But preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self-confidence, particularly if you are going through a difficult period at work.

Writing your stories

The STAR method means that for each of your major achievements you will set out the;
  • S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
  • T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what was the problem you were trying to solve, you were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
  • A – Action, what did you do and what skills did you use? How did you behave? What obstacles did you meet and how did you overcome them? 
  • R – Result . what was the outcome? What happened and what were the benefits that you delivered. How could you measure them? Can you put a price or some dimensions on the scale of your achievement?  How did the organisation respond?

People like hearing a well told story. And telling your stories well will make sure you are memorable for the right reasons; so long as they are not too long, they stay positive and they are realistic!

You will not put all detail from your STAR stories into your CV, but it really helps to remind yourself of the past vividly when you write it.

When you start, think right back to the beginning of your career;

  1. Use your laptop or simply get a notebook and note down all the good things you have achieved. We are talking here about your personal successes!
  2. Don’t spend time on the things that you don’t feel good about! Remember, a whole programme or initiative doesn’t have to have been a total for your part of it to be something you are proud of!
  3. Now pick at least 10 achievements across your career. For job search, include at least five from the more recent past. But there is no limit to how many STAR stores you can produce.
  4. For each achievement, write a STAR story, setting out what happened and clearly explaining your contribution.
  5. Of course you can write as much or as little as you like about each success but for your portfolio record about one page of A4 for each is usually enough.
  6. Start with your early achievements and work forward.
  7. Do your research if necessary about times, places and events. You are building a portfolio to be proud of so make sure your stories are accurate!
  8. After you have completed each story take a pause and review! Enjoy your success.
  9. When you have completed five lay them out before them and feel proud – I bet you had forgotten how good your were!
  10. When you are ready, type them up and print them out on good quality paper! Then put them in a folder with your name on the front!

Your portfolio now has its foundations. You can references and recommendations as well as certificates you hold and any awards. From this material you can draw soundly based evidence of your competencies. It can be drawn on for your job applications and used as reminder of just how good you really are when you hit those career bumps that everyone has to endure sometimes

By the way STAR stories don’t have to be confined to paid employment. Have you had a voluntary role? Are there things you have done for your local community? Well write the stories and put them in! They will all serve to show just what a valuable and competent person you really are!

And I would love to hear how you get on and I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search every success. If I can help, 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

         

Job Search and Personal Values

Job Search and Personal Values

Sometimes these days job search seems to take such a long time that when you do find something that looks a good in terms of role, other considerations go out of the window. This can be dangerous.

So you’ve seen this advert for a wonderful job. It is just what you have been looking for the last three months.

It’s a global organization that is doing well in the current market and the part of the organization you are considering is expanding. You have the skills, knowledge and experience they are asking for.

So where is that doubt at the back of your mind coming from – why have you got reservations? Surely at this point you can’t afford not to go for it?

Please pause for a moment and take a few deep breaths. Now sit quietly and think about what is really troubling you. Might it by any chance be about fitting in?

You have been around long enough to know that getting a job is usually about more than simply demonstrating the right competencies. You know there will be some unwritten rules they will apply that have to do with what they regard as your “organizational fit!” Note; I’m not talking here about discrimination on grounds of race or sex, although I do think age discrimination is often an element.

This is about your compatibility and how their conception of the organization’s values and their mode of operation will influence the panel. You know that scrutiny at job interviews and possibly an assessment centre is going to give them lots of opportunity to find out about you and your values, and whether they think you are right for them. And of course if that doesn’t provide all they need what about the reference checks?

How can you prepare to make to make the most of the opportunity and get that job? Well, in my view you, unless you are an actor at Oscar standard, it really isn’t wise to try to fake it! Nor do I think faking it is ethical – but that is something for you to think about.

But, as you are a wise job seeker, you will be researching the company before you get to interview stage. You will look at what they stand for and how they interact with the environment outside the organization. You can also find out something about their operating model and how they treat their staff – this is where having a wide network of contacts is a real advantage.

Then spend some time thinking about what you need to help you succeed in a job. Most of us need to have some belief in an organization’s purpose and vision to feel comfortable. Moral compass sounds a very old fashioned expression but it really does matter that you understand your own values and what you stand for. Is your moral compass compatible with theirs? If not, what is working with them going to do your self esteem?

Do you now think this is truly a good fit! Has that uncomfortable feeling gone away or got stronger? Think very seriously about how much you want this particular job and what it really means to you! Clashing values can lead to lots of frustration on both sides.

When you have made your assessment and committed to the interview, think about how to articulate who you are and what you stand for – how to make your values clear in what you say.

Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

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Interview Preparation: Identify Your Strengths

Interview Preparation: Identify Your Strengths to show your Potential Career Performance

Interview Preparation – today’s guest post come from Tamara M. Williams who reads guides and books related to personal and career development and encourages you to do the same. Tamara publishes other articles, read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tamara_M._Williams

Identifying your strengths is very important for interview preparation. Interviewers always ask about your strengths and how they can be applied to the job. Strengths demonstrate your accomplishments in life. Accomplishments are directly tied to areas that are your strong points. In addition, knowing your strengths help you to decide other industries you should work in and other qualifications that you should seek. Determine your strengths by following the steps below.

Identify all your academic qualifications: First, make a list of your academic qualifications. These would include all your associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. These qualifications showed that you have the skills and knowledge needed in a particular field. For e.g. a BSc in Computer Science indicate that you have knowledge in creating applications using various programming languages. This also shows that you have Problem-solving skills.

Identify all your professional qualifications: Second, make a list of your professional qualifications. These were most likely obtained after gaining some work experience. These demonstrate that you have strengths in a particular subject, product or service in a specific industry. The qualifications are awarded by professional bodies. For e.g. the Associate or Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA or FCCA) is conferred by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. This indicates knowledge in using Accounting software such as QuickBooks or Sage. You would also have Book-keeping / Budget skills.

Identify all your academic experience:  Third, identify all the clubs and societies that you participated in while at college or university. For e.g. being a member of a Performing Arts Club would indicate that you have Organization, Project Management and People skills. In addition, you could have knowledge of the various works of Shakespeare.

Identify all your professional experience: Finally, list all the companies that you worked with, your job titles and specific projects that you worked on and what you achieved. This list would include summer jobs, part-time and full-time work, internships and volunteer work. Once again what you achieved during your work assignments would show your strengths. For e.g. in one project you created the Company and Product/Service brochures. Then you presented this information at seminars and conferences. This means that you have Writing and Reporting, and Communication skills. Besides that shows knowledge of a particular product or service specific to that industry such as the Food and Beverage Industry.

Now that you have completed this exercise you are more prepared to answer questions related to your strengths when interviewing for a new job, promotion or a raise. This shows that your skills and knowledge gave you great achievements in the past and are capable of doing greater in the future. Remember to give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work and good luck in your career! 

About the Author:

Tamara M. Williams reads guides and books related to personal and career development. She encourages you to do the same. Contact your college or university career center or a Life & Career Coach for more assistance. Tamara also publishes other articles, read more at http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tamara_M._Williams

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Tips for Successful Interviews

Tips for Successful Interviews

Job Search: 12 Top Really Practical Tips for Successful Interviews

Tips for successful interviews! This short video from PFJ media has 12 really practical tips that you can’t afford to ignore

If you would like some help getting ready for your interview – please get in touch – I offer a free taster coaching session by phone or Skype

Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

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