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

Listen carefully for interview success

 Listen carefully for interview success

Job Search: Are You Sitting Comfortably? Then I’ll begin!

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

Listen carefully for interview success. Many, many, moons ago there was a radio programme called “Listen with Mother.” It was meant for very small children.  As I remember it, there were songs, poems and always a story. And the story always started with the words; “Are you sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin…” It was a call to action and to our complete attention – we had to listen well. To be able to listen well is a skill.  And it is a skill that you need in job search at interviews.

What matters at interviews is that you really hear the question asked. It is all too easy to hear part of a question and jump to a conclusion about the right answer. If you listen carefully you will hear that whole question and it may be something different. You need to answer the question that was asked.

It is all to easily, particularly when you are nervous, to hear headline words – keywords in effect. Then those become the words to which you respond. You hear the word “experience,” for example! Then you don’t even stop to think, you just pour it all out.  You don’t take in that the question was about a particular part of your experience.  Or perhaps it was about how your experience as relevant to this role.

So, try to settle any nerves before you go into the interview room. There is relaxation exercise you can use at this link.  Then be determined to really listen carefully to all the words in each question.  Take the time needed to put together a response in your mind before speaking.  If you need to, ask for clarification.  As an interviewer I’ve had times when I didn’t understand the question a fellow panel member was asking either.

Listen carefully, pace yourself and then answer the question that was asked!  The extra time you take will make you a far more impressive candidate. Remember how you answer will tell the panel about your judgement and your decision making.

Career coaches and life  coaches like me are around to help you thrive and succeed in challenging times. We can help you prepare for that key interview. Get in touch at this link – I would like to discuss how I can help you.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

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 Seeking While You Are In Work

Job Seeking While You Are In Work 

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

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

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

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

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

Commit to

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

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

Job seeking while you are in work – be imaginative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         

Networking and your job search!

Networking and your job search!

Job Search Part 3: What networking can do for your job search!

Networking – this is the third and last post in a short series on Job Search. In the first at this link  we said that you have a decision to make! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful.

In the second post at this link,  I set out some options for you about where to look for work

Recruitment agencies
On-Line Job Sites
Contacting employers directly
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Local newspapers and bulletin boards
Graduate and Intern schemes
Word of mouth – Networking
I said that I thought networking was the most effective way to look for work; so that is what we are going to tackle to-day.

Most jobs, particularly in the private sector, are never advertised at all. You find out about those jobs through talking to people – networking.

Letting people you know, and people they can introduce you to, know what you have to offer, really does bring new opportunities. These contacts can offer advice from own their experiences of job search. They can tell you about the sector they work in and they can introduce you to others, so that your network expands.

But networking is more than just asking for help! You need to make it a two-way conversation. In order to receive, you should be ready to give.

So what have you got to share in this conversation? Well, you can be an attentive audience! You can listen with real interest, attention and respect to what they have to say. Plus you can share your own knowledge. You can talk about your own sector and you can share your own contacts. Sometimes people are really grateful for an opportunity to talk about what is happening to them at work. Play your part and offer support when it is needed.

Make it an ongoing and mutual conversation. You can become ambassadors for each other and connect each other with new possibilities.

You can network beyond your existing circle. For example at a meeting of your professional organization. If you don’t already belong to the professional organization for your sector, now is the time to join. It can be expensive but it is a really good investment. Your professional organization can help you keep you up to date with developments in your profession and in your market sector, It can give you early warning about possible changes legislation. Knowing about new trends helps you to keep up personal development even though you are out of work. Most importantly when you are out of work it provides a way to stay linked-in to the world of work.

You can network, as well, at events like job fairs which are intended to bring employers together with potential new employees. And if you are thinking of making a career change into starting your own business, lots of business networking events are held for you each week.

Networking is having a conversation

Remember, the keys to success on any networking occasion are establishing a relationship and having a conversation. It is about showing you are someone they want, but it is not about selling yourself in a way that embarrasses you or the people you talk to. Have a short description of who you are and what you do crafted before you arrive. But have a care with the traditional elevator pitch about what you have to offer at work. Have one ready but use it with care and discretion. Too many people at networking events treat them as opportunity to sell themselves rather than to make contacts.

Try to remember something particular about each of the new contact that you make. Find a quiet place to make a couple of notes after your conversation. Then follow up after the event in a way that shows you can add value. For example, if someone has a particular interest find a book or a newspaper article that you can send to them.

To network wel,l you need to understand the networking process and have the confidence to take an active part in it. If you would like one to one advice on networking email me. I am happy to offer readers of this blog a free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype

I know you can get that job you have hoped for and I would like to help you. My contact details are below

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

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

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

         

 

Where to look for work

Where to look for work.

Job Search Part 2: Where to look for work.

Where to look for work – in the first post at this link we asked about the kind of

where to look for work

work you are looking for! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful. I asked you to decide

  • Whether this was going to be a career or were you looking for work so that you can pay the bills and keep yourself?
  • What you really enjoy doing and what do you dislike?
  • What you are good at?
  • How do you want to work?
  • What kind of organization do you want to work for?
  • How much do you need to earn?

Now you have the answers to those questions, you are ready to begin your job search. Now we are going to consider where you should start looking. I am going to list your options and tell you little about each one.

Where to look for work.

The Best Method – Word of mouth – Networking

Most jobs, particularly in the private sector are never advertised at all. You find out about those jobs through friends, acquaintances and relatives – in other words through networking. For example keeping in touch with a former colleague who has also moved on to a new employer might mean you find out about a new post in their organization that is a good fit for you. Networking events, conferences and exhibitions can be a rich source of new contacts. Networking is such an important subject that I’m going to devote a post to that alone. it will be the next post in this series.

Recruitment agencies

These days most people sign up with one or more recruitment agencies. It is a good idea to make contact with several – you can find lots of them on-line. They are a good way to keep up to-date with what is going on in the job market. Many agencies will have a mix of permanent and interim/contract roles. Some agencies specialise in particular sectors so check whether there is one in your field. Register with the agencies you feel comfortable with – beware of scam agencies (such as, any that asks for a fee to join). A good agency will keep you up to date with their vacancies. Most recruitment agencies do a good job for employers and job seekers. Note that high levels of job searchers in the recent past has meant people without real ability have set themselves up as recruiters. Ask plenty of questions and ask friends and relatives for recommendations

On-Line Job Sites

On line job sites give you immediate access to all kinds of jobs and you can search them in your own time at home. More and more employers are using sites like http://www.monster.co.uk and http://www.reed.co.uk to find new staff. You will usually find these sites give lots of other resources to help you in your job search. Take time to browse and get a real feel for what is available. Before you search, think carefully about the key words related to your interests that you will use to find possible jobs. Use their user guides to make the most of the sites.

Contacting employers directly

As I say above most vacancies, particularly in the private sector, are never advertised. They are filled by people already known to the employer. So, of course, it is worthwhile making yourself known. There is no reason you should not ask about jobs available. If an employer can fill a job without advertising, it saves them time and expense. Even though they don’t have vacancies when you inquire, if you make the right impression, they may contact you in the future. Find out as much as you can before you approach them, then tailor your CV appropriately. Most people try to find out the name of person responsible for hiring new staff and write to them. Others have success by approaching a senior executive in the department where they want to work directly. If you have done your home work and show a real interest in the company, you can find this direct contact can be a good way in.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

Social networking is an incredibly powerful tool for the job seeker. LinkedIn in particular is a powerful business networking tool used directly by employers to find staff and by head-hunters and recruitment agencies. Keep your own profile clean, up to date and professional. Use social media as well as LinkedIn to help you research organizations in your job search.

Follow the organizations you are interested in, for possible recruitment activity as well as other news. Make sure that your social activity doesn’t weaken your opportunities. Remember everything you post is out there for a prospective employer to see – make it work for you.

Local newspapers and bulletin boards

Local companies still advertise with local newspapers and use their online bulletin boards. So don’t ignore them. Find out which day your local paper is published and, more importantly, which day they advertise jobs. Contact them and let them know the type of work you want, your skills and your experience. They may know of a suitable position or let you know if anything comes into the office.

Graduate and Intern schemes

If you are a recent university graduate (or about to become one) you should consider graduate schemes in your field of interest. They can be a fast track to the top but sometimes they have a high rate of attrition. Find out as much as you can about them and the history of the intern scheme before you commit. There will be information about how to apply on the organization’s website. They are usually very heavily subscribed so don’t take it personally, if you are not one of the very lucky few. But it is always worth giving it your best shot.

Internships are often very poorly paid. But they can provide valuable experience and a way into particular fields – for example, in the media, If you are young, don’t have work experience, and you can afford it, they are a good option. Again, you can research them on-line and you will find them on sites like Reed and Monster.

 

Organize Your Job Search

Where to look for work – be methodical in your approach. Make sure you keep track of who you have contacted and the stage you’ve reached with each one. This means you will be able to follow them up effectively and not duplicate your efforts. Keep a mini-file for each job application and record feedback if you are unsuccessful. Keep background files on the organizations you would like to work for . When you tailor your CV, keep a copy in your portfolio file for future use.

In Part 3 at this link, we’ll see what networking can do for your job search. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like some further help. Working with a coach does improve your chance of success. Email me at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype.

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 Kind of Work Are You Looking For?

What Kind of Work Are You Looking For?

Job Search Part 1: What Kind of Work Are You Looking For?

Are you looking for work? What kind of work are you looking for? The answer What kind of work are you looking for?is critical for success in your job search!  And you have some decisions to make!

So you are looking for work. But perhaps you are not entirely settled yet on the kind of work you want. But the clearer you become about what you want, and the more you know about that kind of work, the simpler your job search becomes. And the more likely it is to be successful.

Deciding on the right kind of role for you is a big decision to make. There is a lot to consider.

Is this going to be a career or are you looking for work so that you can pay the bills and keep yourself, and perhaps your family, afloat?

Some people take stop-gap work or decide that, for them, life outside work is where their real satisfaction comes from. They have chosen not to make the commitment that goes into building a career, usually because they have made a very strong commitment to something else. Others are committed to making a career. They want to build on their skills and experience and look for promotion opportunities. But, both may be looking for a new challenge at work or a new environment. Where are you?

What do you really enjoy doing and what do you dislike?

We all tend to work best at things we like – what do you enjoy doing? Think about your interests and the things that you have enjoyed doing in the past in both your work and personal life. What kind of environment suits you best? Now look in the mirror and think about what have you disliked doing and what environments have you disliked?

What are you good at?

Take some time to think about what you are really good at and what are your key skills? What do you bring to the party? Now, you need to be really honest with yourself – remember nobody is good at everything. What are you not so good at. It helps to be honest because taking a job that requires you to spend much of your time on things your are not good at, is full of risk, And this includes work which is done just to pay the bills.

Note. Taking a stop-gap role while looking for right opportunity may be a good idea. But if you hate the stop-gap work it may sap the energy and motivation you need to follow-up a possible career opening. Perversely, being frustrated and miserable in the day job isn’t always the best place to start a really productive job search.

How do you want to work?

It’s important to decide how you want to work to make sure your search is as accurate as possible. Consider,  for example, whether it is going to be a permanent, employed post or would you take on an interim role “temping” through agency or as an independent contractor? Could you take an internship or volunteer which would give you experience, but is likely to be unpaid. Then think about travelling and commuting. How far away from home are you prepared to work?

What kind of organization do you want to work for?

Think about the variety of organizations that are around – large or small, public or private? Then what about sector, such as, Finance, Education or Health?  Each will have its own culture and opportunities.

What kind of work are you looking for? How much do you need to earn?

When looking for a job it is good to have an idea how much money you are looking for. But you also need to know how much money you need. Work out a budget and be clear about the style of life you want to lead.  How much money is it going to take to support it?  In terms of what you aspire to,  it is worth considering roles both slightly above and those slightly below your target. But be realistic and remember that if an organization wants you, they may be prepared to negotiate.

What kind of work are you looking for?

When you have the answers to these questions,you are ready to begin your job search – you can find help in Part 2 at this link. If you need support getting to the answers email me  at the address below – it just the kind of help I give my clients

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

         

The next post in this series is at this link

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search

Refresh Your Job Search – Have you been searching for a new job for a while now?  Hard isn’t it to keep up that energy?  But there are new and exciting opportunities out there, if you can re-energise your quest. Here are some tips to help you refresh your job search.

Update your image and your attitude.

Give your confidence a boost – revamp your image!  How about a new hairstyle?Consider a new style of dress.  What kind of change could you make as an outward sign that something has changed? Make a change to represent the new you and your new approach.

Work hard on your commitment to positive thinking and your self-belief. If you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop in your tracks. Have a day when negative thinking and doubt is not allowed in your life. Give yourself a holiday from worry! Catch any negative thinking and flip it over in mind. Think of yourself not so much as looking for a job but, rather, looking for an opportunity to add value. You know that given the right opportunity, that is exactly what you will do. Think every day about the benefits that you will bring to your new employer.

Revamp Your CV/Résumé

An important step in every job search is to equip yourself with a CV that really demonstrates you, your skills and your abilities. How good is your CV?  Take time now to check it and remember this CV is just a baseline that you will tailor for each new role.  Show evidence of your ability to deliver. Get in touch with me if you would like some advice on re-vamping your CV.

Consider new options

Time to think about radical new options. Changing careers isn’t easy. Nor is it as hard as you might imagine. I’ve done it successfully four times in my life. I enjoyed each career at the time. But there came a time to consider new options. Changing this way has helped me to come to terms with a changing economic environment. Each new direction built upon the experience and knowledge gained in the last one. Get in touch if you would like some advice on things to consider when considering a career change.

Find New Ways to Network

Find new people to network with using social media.  Are you making the most of sites like LinkedIn?  Are you approaching social networking seriously? It can provide lots of new opportunities. Brush up both general and social networking skills  – there is lots of advice around.

Find yourself a coach

A Career Coach will work with you on all the practical aspects of applying for work.  The coach will help you to look at your achievements and results so far. You will learn how you can build on them to make your next career move work out well. A good coach will help you build your confidence and maximise your chances of landing the right job.

Looking for a new job is a big challenge. But with a positive attitude and the right tools and support, you can be successful. You will find lots of resources here on this blog. And I offer a free half hour consultation, so get in touch. I will be happy to show you how career coaching can make that essential difference to your job search.

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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