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

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

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

Job Interview – Say Thank You After

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         

Skype Job Interview

Skype Job Interview

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

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

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

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

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

Other resources for the job seeker

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

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

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

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

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

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

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

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

Rejection is part of job search

Rejection is part of job search

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         

Job Interview – Helpful Quotes

Job Interview – Helpful Quotes

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

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

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

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

             

Job 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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Fed-up with Job Search

Fed-up with Job Search

“I am unemployed and bored. I’m tired of applying for jobs and not getting any replies!”

Fed-up with Job Search – I heard from someone recently who is getting very tired Fed-up with Job Searchof the whole process of applying for work. He wants to work. But he is really fed up of making applications that don’t get replies. He is bored staying at home every day.

His routine is now to stay up late watching television and get up at noon the next day. Then he just hangs around the house.

It is all too easy for this to happen when you don’t have a regular routine. On top of that, constant rejection, or worse the feeling that you are invisible, adds to feeling down. Eventually it can lead to depression.

The slippery slope

My friend may need quite an intervention to get him moving again.

What about you?  Do you feel yourself slipping down into the well of despair? You need to act!

First, you need to establish a new and healthier routine.

Go to bed and get up at the same times as you did when you had a job. This doesn’t apply to those who had a long commute, obviously. If you can, stick with your previous sleeping pattern. Not sleeping? Talk to your pharmacist about trying a gentle herbal remedy to help with sleep.  If that doesn’t work talk to your medical adviser.

Fed-up with job search – now is time for a new routine

Make a new routine for yourself during the day and set some new goals.

How about going to the gym or taking a long walk first thing in the morning? During the day take pride in eating well but healthily.

Allocate a certain period each day for work at home on your job search but please don’t spend all day, every day on it! Make time for a hobby that has nothing to do with your job search. Make it something you really enjoy.

Now is the time to review and refresh your job search material, CV etc.  Could this be the time to widen your job search field?  Think about things you have enjoyed over the years. What have you not yet considered as a work opportunity?

If you have got to interview stage in any of your applications, what feedback were you given?  If you didn’t ask for feedback, there may still time to make a phone call to the recruiting manager.

Meeting people

Don’t forget to meet up with friends or contacts outside the house. Make a point of getting out and meeting people at least once a week. These meetings won’t be to ask for work but you can let them know that you are looking. Mainly this will be an opportunity to keep up with people and find out what is going on around you.

If you belong to a professional association, now is the time to go to meetings! It is important to keep up with what is going on in your field.  Make some time during your days at home to follow up developments on the internet. It is much cheaper than buying magazines.

Think as well about investing in a training course; either to refresh your present skills or to gain new ones. It could make you more valuable and give you some new contacts.

Think about taking on a voluntary role.  It is very good for self esteem and it helps to be able to show potential employers that you are using your time productively.

Fed-up with job search – now is not the time to brood or become that couch potato. Get up, review, revise, refresh and get out there!  Set yourself some new goals and move forward, there are still opportunities around – it is time to look for them in some new places.

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

         

Top Salary Tips

Top Salary Tips

Job Search – Six Top Salary Tips

Top Salary Tips – when you are looking for work there are all kinds of factors to take into account. Many we have covered here before. For the majority of us, the main reason we choose to work is so that we can earn money to support ourselves and our families.

These tips will help you get paid the salary you deserve and then help you to look after your money.

  1. What are you worth?

    Work out what your value should be to an employer. Research what other people with your skills and experience are earning and use that information to back up your salary negotiation. The same role can pay differently in different sectors and in different parts of the country so take that into account in making your calculations.

  2.  Learn to negotiate

    You will find lots of tips on negotiating on-line. You are in a much more powerful position before you accept a job. Think about the things you have to bargain with and, for example, how scarce your skills are. Use the information you have gathered about what other people are being paid for the same type of work. How far are you prepared to go? Know what will be unacceptable and work out your limits. Be ready to sit on your hands and wait for a response from your potential employer.

  3. Don’t forget benefits!

    Lots of people do not take into account the real value of benefits when negotiating a salary. If you get stuck on the amount of your salary try negotiating your benefits’ package with your potential employer – it may cost them very little to give you a better benefits’ package but it might make a big difference for you.

  4. Learn to manage your money

    Learn to make the most of what you get paid. If you don’t know about budgeting, then find out and learn to set your self a budget each month. Work hard to stay out of debt and don’t over use those credit cards. Remember loans have to be repaid and there is very little prospect of the economy improving quickly; what is borrowed now might put your future at risk. If you do borrow be careful who you do it from and learn about interest rates. Again use the internet to research money management.

  5. Start saving

    It’s never too early to start saving for the things you might want in the future and even for your retirement. Most large organisations now have to give you access to a pension scheme. Don’t forget that at sometime you might want to buy a house, Saving schemes can be started with quite small amounts.

  6. Think long term

    I’ve mentioned pensions and saving above. But think long-term in a broader way. When you are thinking about the salary for a role, don’t just think short-term about what you will be paid initially. Think about what the possibilities might be in your chosen field for future earning opportunities. Will your new employer be able to give you access to them. Don’t sacrifice the longer term for a short-term win.

    This is just general advice, you should always take advice from a properly qualified financial adviser when planning your financial future.

    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

             

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