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How to Prepare for an Interview

How to Prepare for an Interview

Preparation for a job interview can unnerve almost anyone. The thought of it is worse than actually doing it. It can cause a sleepless night before the meeting. Preparation is important to help overcome any feelings of anxiousness. Many people find that once the meeting begins, the nerves calm and the brain refocuses again to give a good performance.

These simple tips can help to achieve a greater level of ease and confidence to undertake any interview:

  • –  Research the organisation, including their products/services, staff, history, etc.
  • –  Know the job specification in detail. Fully understand what each requirement entails.
  • –  Interview questions will ask about experience relevant to the role details in the job advertisement – so prepare some examples of how skills were put into practice.
  • –  Use a framework such as ‘STAR’, which can help to answer questions the following questions. What was the Situation? What was the Task being presented? What Actions were undertaken? What Results were achieved?
  • –  Practice a trial interview with a close colleague. Ask them for their constructive and honest feedback, particularly on communication skills, posture and appearance.
  • –  Plan an appropriate outfit for the meeting. Visualise being dressed for the role.
  • –  Prepare examples of past experiences, relevant to the role, including answers that highlight key strengths and weaknesses.
  • –  Keep answers brief and relevant to the questions, don’t ramble.
  • –  Delete any social media content that may damage the application. HR professional can browse online to find out more personal details.
  • –  Research frequently asked questions in an interview, relevant for the job.
  • –  Plan the route at least the day before the interview. Know where the car-park is and where the location of the interview is within the building. This will ease further stress, and ensure that there is time to relax and breathe before for the meeting.

Show the panel of interviewees plenty of interest and motivation toward the potential new role, and personal commitment to continuous learning on the job by being prepared. First impressions count, so make a strong start and even stronger finish. 

The Importance of Updating Your CV

The Importance of Updating Your CV

Did you know that updating your CV can significantly improve your chances of succeed in getting that interview? An out-dated CV can weaken a job application, possibly resulting in the CV being dismissed at screening stage by the HR software or the HR Administrator, as they are looking for key roles and experience.  This can leave us with a sense of failure or at worst rejection. It makes sense, that as we are going to the effort of applying for the job in the first place, putting time and effort into creating a smart updated CV can significantly elevate the rate of success of the CV being screened fully for the job.

The task of fine-combing a CV, with the help of colleagues and professionals, is a necessity in today’s competitive job market. Matching current skills and experiences to each job application is necessary to be in with a chance of succeeding on respective endeavours. Providing relevant examples validates, to the HR department, that skills were previously applied to other jobs effectively and provides a much better picture.

When a business goes into liquidation, it is a stressful time for employees as they are facing unemployment. They may be out of work for months or years. A mother may decide to return to work as a nurse, once her children have left home. Employers know this and so by taking the time to update gaps in our career history provides a much clearer picture for the reader.  Offering details on gaps in work experience is the same as putting a jigsaw together; it starts to make more sense when the recruiters are getting a more complete picture.

It can be daunting to know where to start. Up-skilling may be necessary in order to re-enter the workplace. Newly acquired skills, temp employment and gaps in work experience will need to be added to the old CV. The experienced eye of a professional HR recruiter can glean over a resume, and quickly pick out the relevant information to match the job specification. From this knowledge, they have greater certainty if the candidate is suitable for the role. There are also a lot of resources online to review and get a CV looking its best.

Stand out from the crowd, of the many job applications, and give each application the very best effort. Reduce the possibility of not gaining a seat on the panel for an interview. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all. At the very least, the HR department may hold the CV on file. This can result in a future call for interview, for a similar or superior job with the organisation. Additionally, requesting feedback from the company is positive, once the CV reflected the skills and experience outlined in their job advertisement, and can be invaluable to improve performance on future interviews.

Click here to find out tips to update your CV.

How to Effectively Negotiate During a Job Interview

How to Effectively Negotiate During a Job Interview

The very thought of an interview is unnerving, not to mind negotiating with HR recruiters around the salary or terms for the impending job. The interview itself can be demanding enough on mental capability when considering the rigorous questions that may be asked throughout the interview.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Typically the conversation of salary, holiday days, terms and non-financial package will be talked about toward the end of the final interview. By this stage, fatigue may have set in which can impact mental capacity to negotiate more assertively. At this stage of the process the assistance of experts in negotiation can be the ideal solution to achieving satisfactory results.

Recruitment Agency professionals can be more adept with negotiating terms on behalf of the potential candidate for the job. They practice this technique regularly for their client base, which can involve a lot of ‘toing-and-froing’ in the consultations between the HR recruiter and the Recruitment Agency. Enlisting the expertise of this profession can be invaluable. If dialogue with the recruiter is clear and terms are confirmed in advance, then it can mean the difference between securing a satisfactory job contract and terms versus taking what was offered.  Some people turn down jobs they have really wanted because they did not negotiate the right salary and package.  

The terms and conditions being sought need to be discussed and agreed in consultation with the agency recruiter, prior to the interview. This can provide the jobseeker with increased confidence that the package being offered will be in line with personal expectations.  It can also save time and money, by choosing not to attend an interview if the salary is inadequate.

It must be said that since the day we started talking, we were learning the art of negotiating with our parents. Without realising it we were skilfully crafting favourable outcomes for ourselves – as toddlers, tweenies’ and teenagers. We might have said to our parents: if I eat all of my dinner can I have some treats after.

The ideal situation of any negotiation is to create a ‘win-win’ scenario, resulting in a favourable outcome for both parties involved. Of course it has to be realistic and fair. Investing in our self-development is important in this area, if we prefer to act on our own behalf. Improving these skills can significantly help us to negotiate salary and terms of employment or in any other endeavour in life.

Tips to Prepare for a Job Interview

Tips to Prepare for a Job Interview

Preparation is essential to improving any application for a new job interview. It will certainly increase chances to make a good impression. We have listed some tips to help prepare for succeeding in getting a call for an interview.

Image by hudhummy from Pixabay

They include:

  1. 1.  Research the company. Know who they are and what they do, and other relevant information to the job required for the interview.
  2. 2.  Review the details of the CV, including; dates, achievements, etc. which can enable a more confident approach when talking about previous experience.
  3. 3.  Practice a pre-interview rehearsal with family or a supportive friend. This can provide useful insights into personal behaviour, answers and body language.
  4. 4.  Dress smart. It can help to dress similar or slightly better than existing employees.
  5. 5.  Arrive at the car-park 30 minutes prior to the interview time. This will allow time to re-read any research notes and the CV. It can also provide an ideal opportunity to settle any last minute nerves and ensure a timely arrival.
  6. 6.  Arrive 15 minutes early for the interview. This sends out a positive signal interest in the job. It can also provide a few moments to collect last minute thoughts.
  7. 7.  Tips for the interview:
  • –  Give each interviewee a firm handshake, while greeting them with good eye contact.
  • –  Be honest and clear on all communications, during the interview.
  • –  Ask questions, if unsure at any stage of the conversation.
  • –  Show enthusiasm throughout the discussion.
  • –  Impress them with new-found knowledge on their organisation.
  • –  Assert a positive posture.
  • –  Have at least one closing question to ask the company about the job.
  • –  Thank the interviewees for the opportunity of the interview.
  • –  Follow up with the point of contact that arranged the interview, thanking them for the opportunity and express an interest in hearing more from the company.
  1. 8.  Following the interview make a note of personal performance – evaluate strengths and weaknesses. This can help to improve future performance on job interviews.

Remember that good preparation is important to create a higher chance to positively impress the interviewees. Preparation can display motivation and interest for the job. This insight can increase the success rate of achieving the dream job.

For more tips, click here.

The Benefit of Applying the Pomodoro Technique in Your Career

The Benefit of Applying the Pomodoro Technique in Your Career

If time-management isn’t your forte, then this simple method can help to achieve a more effective output in shorter time, in almost any career. Developed in the 1980’s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique was designed to break tasks into 25 minute intervals (known as Pomodoro’s), with short interludes in between each Pomodoro.

Courtesy of Yummymoon

The technique facilitates with realising increased completion of jobs, ahead of deadlines. It also eliminates any potential for procrastination, panic, stress and optimises daily pre-scheduled work flows.   

Follow these simple 5 steps, to accomplish more jobs and success in the work day:

  1. 1.  Select the first task, from the pre-scheduled list of jobs. Choose the biggest task at the start of the day, when energy levels are higher.
  2. 2.  Set a manual timer for 25 minutes. It is important to eliminate any distractions during this time. The use of the timer on a mobile phone may cause us to become distracted with checking emails, etc.
  3. 3.  When the timer finishes, assess if the job is completed or if there is further work needed. If completed, tick the list.
  4. 4.  Take a 5 minute break, which is not work related. Stand up and get the body moving; take a brisk walk, do some squats followed by deep breathing or simply look out the window and reflect or day-dream for this time. Solutions for other jobs can become apparent during this time.
  5. 5.  Following the completion of 4 Pomodoro’s, take a 15-30 minute break.

Time-management is an important concept to apply in almost any work related environment. Additionally, scheduling daily jobs, with the biggest tasks at the start of the day, is vital to ensure staying on track. If it is an initial struggle to start with the 25 minute method, then adding an extra 5 or 10 minutes may help until the suggested time can be attained. Set a goal to try it for 4 weeks. It may take a while for the brain to adjust and accept the new routine, which can radically transform the working week and career.

Further resources on this approach are available on-line if the approach interests you, including this link

Chef Jobs: How to De-Clutter Your CV before Applying for a Job

CHEF JOBS: HOW TO DE-CLUTTER YOUR CV BEFORE APPLYING FOR A JOB

De-cluttering your CV is important, particularly if you haven’t applied for a job recently. For instance, when deciding to change employer after years of service working as a chef with a local hotel, in order to advance your career. The old CV is most likely out-dated, and in need of fine-tuning to apply for a new job, with a national or international hotel. 

Chef Job - How to De-Clutter Your CV before Applying

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

CV’s share insight into the story of the applicant, and their skills and experience gained to-date. HR professionals can garner the necessary information in a CV to identify if the potential candidate is suitable to the job, and worth considering for an interview.

The following techniques can help with re-designing a new CV:

  • – Prior to updating a CV, do a little research online. There are many well designed templates available to download that can create a CV that will stand out from the other applications.
  • – Look at the job advertisement. Fully understand what the organisation is seeking. Is it evidenced throughout the CV?
  • – Keep each section brief and relevant to the job specification.
  • – Narrow career goals, displaying a clear understanding of what is being sought and the direction of the new career. This can help HR with knowing if the applicant matches the job requirements. Recruiters are adept on understanding if skills and experience match their job specification.
  • – If adding a personal statement or summary at the top of the CV, condense it to a few lines, including job title, years of experience, sectors worked in and some proud career achievements, and appropriate strengths that can be offered to a new employer.
  • – Update recent work experience, to apply to the current job application.
  • – Consolidate academic achievements, and include internships, external project work and any additional activities within college.
  • – Edit work experience in sequential order and provide a list of accomplishments.
  • – Include clear headings on all sections.
  • – Bullet point for easier reading, ex. academic modules or skills.
  • – Ask a colleague to proof-read it prior to submitting it. This can help to strengthen the job application, by eliminating grammatical errors.

HR personnel will have a predetermined list of questions before receiving the application for the job. They may ask: what can this candidate do for our company? What sets this application higher than the others? What story is their past experience highlighting, and is it relevant to this job? Can this candidate complete this job for me again? Do they have potential to learn? Is this individual motivated?

Step into the shoes of the potential employer. Reflect: is the cover letter and CV easy to digest, in a simple and clear format. Make their job easy. Demonstrate to the recruiter, through the application, that this position is the next logical step to advancing personal career goals. There is only one chance to make a good first impression, make it a good one!

Interview Tips for Beginners

You may not have done many job interviews if you are in an early stage in your career. For this reason we will look at some fundamental elements of the job interview for you to prepare for and give some simple advice that will help you avoid making some basic but common mistakes!

 

 

Know your CV

You might think you know your CV perfectly well, after all, you did write it. And it took a while to draft, edit and re-edit until you got it perfect. If you’ve scanned through it tons of times looking for errors and areas to improve, you probably think you know your CV like the back of your hand! But you have to understand more than the words on your CV. In an interview, the story of your CV is important to know. The strengths, weaknesses that your CV reveals and the overall story of you as a potential employee is something you have to be aware of. If you know this you can preempt questions that will be asked in the job interview so you need to prepare how you speak about important areas like your work experience, education and achievements.

 

Prepare answers on common questions

This brings us to the next point – prepare answers to common interview questions. If you are relatively inexperienced in job interviews or haven’t had an interview in the career you are applying for, you will have to do some research to identify these questions. Thinking up answers on the spot will not look good. Interviewers will undoubtedly prefer if you have prepared and can communicate your best answer to their questions. One thing you can depend on in a job interview is interviewers will always want you to show evidence of certain traits such as the ability to work under pressure, when you’ve had to manage multiple tasks or how you dealt with a problem. You can look up how to answer competency based questions here: https://www.jobs.ie/job-talk/its-time-to-love-competency-based-interviews/

 

Research the company so that you can tailor answers to company

Remember, in the job interview, you are selling you and your skills to the company. In sales, it is essential that you know what your customer’s needs are. Doing some research into the company and the industry will help you tremendously towards understanding what they want their new hire to do.

 

Ask questions

If you spent a few hours prior to your job interview doing research on the company and industry, you will have naturally come across things that have peaked your interest that you can ask about. Asking questions in the job interview is extremely important as it shows that you are interested in learning more, you have studied the company and you are willing to ask more questions as an employee.

 

You’ll have done a great job interview, if you can discuss your CV strongly, prepare answers to common questions, tailor your answers to the company’s needs and ask specific questions.

 

Three Q’s commitment to Helping Job Seekers

Our recruiters volunteer their time and expertise to job seekers every month by conducting mock interviews and follow up calls with our CSR Partner Jobcare. Have a look at our CSR strategy which puts focus on donating our skills and time to helping unemployed people find work: http://www.3qrecruitment.ie/csr_corporate_social_responsibility/

 

Also in our Starting Out In Your Career series, we discussed how to write a CV when you have very little work experience, getting experience when you don’t have enough and what employers want in an employee.  You can read these here:

What Employers Want in an Employee: http://www.3qrecruitment.ie/what-employers-want-in-an-employee-and-why/

CV Writing When You Don’t Have Experience: http://www.3qrecruitment.ie/cv-writing-when-you-dont-have-work-experience/

How To Get Work Experience When You Don’t Have Enough: http://www.3qrecruitment.ie/how-to-get-work-experience/

How To Fall In Love With Your Job Again.

Love your job

How To Fall In Love With Your Job Again.

Remember when you started working at your current job?
Like in any new relationship, the beginning is always exciting. Every little interaction left you thinking about the next one. Even early Monday mornings were exciting, you just wanted to get stuck in.

Unfortunately, for a lot of people, with time comes comfort and suddenly it’s a lot harder to drag yourself out of bed in the mornings.
You’re left thinking “ugh! Do I really have to go in?” You come up with a few excuses to stay home and none of them are sufficient.. So, you trail into work and hate it a little more every hour for the rest of the day.

Nobody should be unhappy in work, and in some cases, it’s just the fact that you’ve forgotten why you started.

So, it’s time to fall in love with your job again! Here’s how:

1. Take a break

Take some time to consider your options. Ask yourself questions like “What makes me unhappy?”, “What would make me happy?”, “Is it my job or my workplace?”
Use some of your holiday allowance or choose one weekend that you have no plans and just make a list of things you need to consider.

2. Be honest

Everything you vent to your friends over coffee you can put onto paper. Think them through and then talk to your manager about what you want.
Ask for more, or less responsibility, a new project. Whatever it is that you think will re-ignite that spark. Remember, your boss probably doesn’t know that you’re unhappy, so tell them.

3. Switch it up

Consider your surroundings. Your desk, your work space. Of course, this is important because it’s where you spend most of your time! Re decorate if you can or declutter and rearrange your surroundings. Add some plants to brighten the office a little, re paint if you have the option. Little things like this can really make all the difference to your mood.

4. Remember why you started

Reflect on what you want to get out of working at your job. Why did you pick that job to begin with? What was your plan and where are you with it?
Sometimes we get lost in ourselves. We forget that every action we take is part of a bigger picture. What’s your end goal?
Regroup with your thoughts, start your next phase in your plan and let today be the start again.

 

If you’ve followed these few tips and decided that a new career path or job is for you then contact us today and let’s begin that next step together!