3 Steps To Your #Goal Of Giving A Great Job Interview

An Interview Can Bring You Closer To Your Goal – Picture Credit Pexels Dot Com

It’s that time of year. The time when you start thinking about your next goal.

Maybe your heart is set on getting a new job, or starting a college course. Assuming your initial application has been successful and you have been chosen for interview the tricky part is ahead. 30 minutes marketing yourself to someone else.

So, your interview clothes are pressed.

Your shoes are clean.

You’ve practised smiling and shaking hands at the same time.

What’s your next step toward your goal?

How Do You Market Yourself?

Just recently I helped some interviewees practice their self-marketing skills. The candidates turned up looking like they wanted to impress (professionally dressed, heads up, smiling).

They were prepared, as they knew how the interview helped them toward their ultimate goal.

Each candidate brought a different set of skills and experiences to their interview too. They told their stories well. The ability to respond thoughtfully to three basic questions really let some interviewees shine

Preparing Your Answers

Here are the questions. What answers would you give? Feel free to Leave A Reply, Like and Share

First, What Attracted You To Apply For This Job / Course?

This open question allows you to start showing the interviewer why they should consider you an ideal fit for their opportunity.

You can use examples which show the strengths you have which make you perfectly suited to be a good performer if you join the organisation quite quickly and a great one in the longer term.

When you are presenting your examples use the STAR method to explain your Situation the Task you tackled, the Action you took and the great Results you produced. Extra credit if you describe the obstacles you overcame and the lessons you learned.

2. What Qualities Do You Bring To The Team?

More often than not you will be involved with other people in a business-as-usual or project team. How have you worked with others to solve problems? What skills do you bring to a team? If you have led a team, how have you motivated others? Use the STAR process to tell your story.

3. What Is The First Thing You Do When Your Plans Don’t Work Out?

Here’s your chance to shine. Everyone knows that plans don’t always work out. If you have a good example of how you handled a problem which came up out of the blue, use it. It is important to spotlight what you did in the situation though, even if others were involved. The interviewer will want to know about the difference you made to the end result.

Your Preparation, Evidence And Answers Matter

If you have thoughtful answers to these questions (and you tell your story well) you will stand out in the interviewers mind. If she or he has seen five or six candidates you want to be the first person they think about when they imagine selecting a new team member. Good preparation and presentation will help you stand out.

What Is Your Next Move? 

So, good luck if you are a starting out, or moving on in your career. Use the comment section to say how you prepare for interviews where you are marketing yourself to strangers. You can be sure others will appreciate what you have to say.

Finally, thanks for reading. Feel free to Like and Share these ideas if you found them helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

Goals 2014: 3 Ideas To Help You Stand Out In Your #JobSearch

It is that time of year.  Your goals set last January have been accomplished.  Your summer break is a fading memory and you are back into the familiar rhythm of the working week.  Hopefully you are ready to take decisive action, rather than staring out of the window at the leaves changing colour.

Your Top 3 Job Search Suggestions

If you are looking to change of your job role, or place of work you might find you need to polish up your CV / Resume and covering letter.  The information in the Tweeted link helps you do just that.

Basically the Guardian’s Job Goddess suggests that jobseekers should remember to:

  • Start their letter by talking about the fit between their experience, their skills and the role for which they are applying
  • Specify how much impact they have had in similar roles (How many customers did they have? How much revenue did they generate?)
  • Demonstrate their continuous learning strategy by mentioning what recent qualifications or experience they have gained.

Who Will You Share These Suggestions With?

If this isn’t the right time for you to be moving on who do you know who would benefit from this information?  How will you share it with them?  When are you going to do it?  I’m sure they will be grateful that you passed these ideas on.

Tweet your feedback to me @RogerD_Said or use the Comment section here.   I would love to know how these ideas help in practice.

Goals 2014: 2 Questions To Help You Distinguish Yourself At Work

image of a latte

A Latte – Good For Creativity, Reflection And Patience

Is your local coffee shop your ideal third space, away from work and home? Do you reach your goals more easily with a cup of your favourite coffee in hand? Or maybe you mooch about with a Mocha when you want to refocus your work and life?

If you answered ‘yes’ just then, you may want to learn more about the BBC’s collaboration with the Open University. The first episode of Business Boomers sheds light on the subject of the rise and rise of the coffee shop, a thriving part of the hospitality sector, even after the global economic crisis of 2007-08.

Coffee Shops As Places To Change Your Life

As Chris Ward’s book ‘ Out of Office’ suggests, the wifi enabled coffee shop is a place where you can change your life, or have the big ideas which can change the world around you.  Here’s a link to the Business Boomers Open University mini site: if you are very curious you can also click on a programme summary here – Business Boomers Coffee Shop Pdf

Despite the new types of working venues and the new technologies to support that work times are still tough.  The focus remains getting the best possible results from limited resources.  How much of your To Do list gets done, or thought about outside office hours?

What Is Your Third Space?

One of my local third spaces – Cafe Le Delice – attracts customers for work and leisure by offering an attentive quality of service; handmade food; and flexible usage (reserving a private room for a voluntary project meeting for instance).  This makes it the kind of venue where work  can still get done, after the 9 to 5.

There’s an analogue to the coffee shop as third space destination of choice.  How does an individual stand apart from his or her more prominent peers, when their offer seems similar?  How do they retain the work-life balance they want whilst giving their best performance?

Your 2 Questions To Help Distinguish Yourself At Work

Here are two related questions to work on:

  • What is your unique offer and how does it stand out in quality terms from everyone else’s?
  • What actions will you take in the next 12 weeks to further differentiate your brand from others; improve your prospects; and enjoy your free time?

Help yourself to the further ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here, on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or you can go to LinkedIn and View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: 3 Questions To Help You Advertise A Vacancy Or Select Your Next Job

Is searching for a new job on your Spring To Do list?  Perhaps you are a recruiter whose goal is to fill your post with the ideal recruit.  Neither goal is easy, is it?

Cufflinks For Work

What Are The Essentials For Your Job?

As an applicant you have your check list of what you want (which might include a role that is a good match to your skills; the right salary; a workplace culture you like; a happy work -life balance).

Meanwhile the advertisers are picturing their ideal candidate, someone with the Essential Qualities for the vacancy. They might have in mind someone: aggressive about getting results; assertive without being cocky; independent yet a team player, where necessary.

Here’s the thing. The language used in adverts themselves may be off putting to some potential applicants.  Why?  Time magazine’s online edition shared some German research this week, suggesting that women do not apply for male sounding jobs.

Some terms, like ‘aggressive… assertive… independent’ could be sending unattractive signals out about the vacancy.  They could also be saying something unintended about the organisational culture too.  As the global economy starts to recover from the shock of 2008 there is strong competition to secure the right talent.  Getting it right promotes business growth.  Letting applicants know you are a good organisation to work for is a quick win.

Unappealing language is easily fixed, if advertisers take a few minutes to think about the most appealing / inclusive wording they could use, before signing off their recruitment text and posting their vacancies.  That simple adjustment might broaden their reach and result in a better hiring decision at the end of the recruitment process.

As you are thinking about the psychology of changing your job here are 3 questions for you to respond to.  They are ideal whether you are seeking a job, or advertising one:

  • What language in the advertisement attracts your interest / best represents your vacancy?
  • How many of the Essentials Qualities do you have to offer / do you really want candidates to have?
  • How will this job help you achieve your personal goals once you get it / how will filling this vacancy help your organisation’s goals?

Good luck taking action which moves closer to your recruitment goal.  Feel free to nose around the Archives here and look at ideas I refer to relating to your work and life goals on Facebook and Google+ too

Goals 2014: 5 Practical Questions To Improve Your Work & Family Life

Work & Family Show 2014 - Interviews: How To Shine
Work & Family Show 2014 – Interviews: How To Shine

 

This is the first of two posts about last week’s very first Work & Family Show at Excel, London.

Is one of your goals improving some aspect of your work, personal or family life?  Then you would have been in good company at the Show, had you joined the audience of women on Maternity Leave, or taking a Career Break; people searching for their next job after redundancy and those looking to work flexibly.

I thought this was a positive event, at which sponsors My Family Care and their partners put on practical, personal, and plenary sessions looking at the advice, inspirations and solutions that contribute to peoples’ ideal life balance.

More details of the Work and Family event are set out here .  You can follow the feedback from the show on Twitter using the hashtag #wfshow

Practical points for your goal setting sessions

Meanwhile, here are the five practical insights I noted from the range of ideas offered by speakers last Friday.  I have added some bullet point questions for you, which you can use as a starting point when you work on your coaching goals:

In an employers’ market it is important to show in all your self-marketing materials how you will add value to your new employer’s organisation:

  • What else will you do, from now on, to market your unique skill set to prospective employers?

Social media makes it easier than ever to research prospective employers and their values:

  • What is your strategy for finding out which firms you would like to work for?

Using social media, on your own behalf, leaves a footprint which potential employers can follow:

  • How do you go about managing your own social media presence?

In the present jobs climate gaps in a CV are acceptable to enlightened employers, if the gaps can be explained:

  • What more will you do to ensure any gaps in your CV are accounted for, so your CV content presents your best self?

There are some items on your To Do list which can be delegated to others:

  • What criteria do you use to work out which tasks to delegate and to whom?

Remember to watch out for the second post, with personal pointers you can use in your job search.  Feel free to check out my Archive section for more inspiration.  There are further ideas On Facebook and Google+ too

Your Feedback is always welcome, you can reach me via the Contact page here or on Twitter @RogerD_said

Graduate Employment: Against All Odds

More Than 80 to 1 Odds On Getting A Graduate Job (c) R Dennison August 2013

More Than 80 to 1 Odds On Getting A Graduate Job (c) R Dennison August 2013

As some school students nervously await their exam results their elder graduate siblings are looking for work.  The good news is that there are graduate level jobs available.  The not so good news is that competition has never been more fierce.

 

As the BBC noted in a report from the Association of Graduate Recruiters there are more than 80 graduates after each vacancy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-23247176

The challenge is twofold, scale down unrealistic expectations of new entrants and then encourage realistic appraisal of their skills.  The coaching approach would then be to ask questions to:

 

–      clarify what the job seeker wants from the jobs they are pursing  (an adequate income; the opportunity to use their skills; room for development into a long-term career)

–      support the development of a confident; approachable presentational style on paper and in person, to ensure their CV becomes one of the half dozen sifted in and they shine during their interview.

–      Encourage reflection if the job search does not make the hoped for progress – what else could be done to present the candidate in the best possible light?

 

Keeping the candidate’s confidence up would also be part of the coaching programme, since the odds are their search for their elusive first job might take them beyond the end of the summer.

 

 

‘Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?’

John Lewis DAF LF

John Lewis DAF LF (Photo credit: kenjonbro)

Nothing is certain in the world of work these days.  Staff are hanging on to their jobs to see whether the economy picks up over the next couple of years.  They certainly aren’t chopping and changing jobwise (to try something new), as they might do in less harsh times.

The Guardian reports that in the commercial sector at least one bouyant employer, the John Lewis Partnership, is able to award 17% bonuses, reflecting the good year they have just enjoyed.  I wonder how many staff there are likely to have itchy feet and to be looking for other jobs?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/mar/07/john-lewis-bonus-17-percent-2012

Equally, in the legal field at least one employee is looking to spread their wings, the Guardian’s work-blog confirms.  The employee has been head hunted through a recruitment firm.  Admittedly there have been redundancies in their existing firm, so they may be motivated to move away from an uncertain atmosphere, even though it features a good salary, flexibility and enjoyment too.

The advice offered to the would-be escapee below the article is varied.  Some comments basically say ‘stay’, some suggest the employee ‘go’.

My contribution is near the foot of the page (see comment from RogerAD).  It is based on:

–  the coaching adage that people are more motivated to move toward what they want, rather than away from what they don’t want.

– An element of Brian Tracy thinking too (the idea that successful people plan their lives and attain the goals they focus on).

– A bit of personal curiousity, as I also wondered to what extent the job-change  reflected the escapee’s key work values (salary, flexibility, enjoyment).

What advice would you have offered?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/work-blog/2013/mar/08/take-new-job-or-stay-safe-role