How to Get a Job – Interviews with a Bang


Around 2/3 of my job is helping the teens do well in their apprenticeship interviews. I’ve always been really into giving careers advice so being able to use this in my work is really cool.

I’ve had a lot of interviews in my time. Some of them bad, some of them good and a few of them ridiculously bad. But I’ve formulated an interview structure that helps my students feel calmer, to get their strengths in the conversation, and to end on a high.

Step one: Prepare the opening

The first question you’ll be asked is usually “tell me a little about yourself”. While this sounds like a gentle ice breaker, it’s the perfect time to tell them your strengths without much interruption.

Firstly, take out the job description again, and a few highlighter pens. Highlight in colour one all the skills (things you can do) that they ask for, that you have. In a second colour, highlight all the strengths (things you are) that you have. In a third colour, highlight all the things which you don’t currently have.

Secondly, make a list of your skills that relate to the job. Include a few of the ones that they ask for as well, for good measure.

Thirdly, follow the structure of: intro – what you can do – what you want. Make sure to drop those skills and strengths into the second section! So, for example, this structure for me would look like this: “My name is Charlotte and I currently work in apprentice recruitment. Using my teaching skills and ability to connect with young people, along with my solid knowledge of the recruitment world, I am able to hit targets and help my candidates get excellent jobs. Moving forward, I would like to work more with teenage mental health and work with young people with such challenges.”

You can see that I waste no time – I’m giving details of my experience and my skills, being upfront about what I can do in the role.

Extra tip! For the things that you highlighted as you’re not able to do yet, phrase these as things you’d like to know more about. Obviously, if it’s a huge skills relating to the job then you’ll have to show initiative, like taking online courses.

Step two: Do your research

It seems a bit obvious, but people still do need reminding. Aside from looking at the company’s website, also look at their Twitter feed to get a good idea as to what’s important to them right now, and also the LinkedIn profile for the person interviewing you. Of course, they’ll be able to see that you stalked them, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Any info you can get could be useful in the interview.

Step three: Have questions planned

The last question they’ll ask you is if YOU have any questions! ALWAYS SAY YES!

Good examples of questions are:

“What challenges would someone in this role face?”

“What would be expected of me in my first three months?”

“How would you describe the team I’d be working in?”

If you feel that you made a good connection to the interviewer, feel free to ask them about their own career history (if you’ve LinkedIn stalked them, try not to sound creepy!)


Do you have any interview pro tips? I’d love to pass them on to my students!

Linkies May 21st

I have been MIA all week. Monday morning I woke with a groan, but I told myself that it would soon be Friday. How right I was, this week has gone by in a flash. I just had no time at all for post writing. I hope to be better next week…

But in the meantime, let’s linkie!

My friends who live in Germany will like this – things that suck about living there. (I put this on FB and a German friend shared it from me. His German friends weren’t too pleased with the post!)

I have a real fascination for things about NorthKorea. Bookworm By Design has some North Korea books that even I haven’t read!

I’ve found a really good careers advice blog – here’s a great post about what careers advice leading women have ignored.

I’ve not been a bridesmaid since I was a teen, but now my friends are in long term relationships, I can imagine I’ll be one again in coming years. If you need some tips on how to be an awesome bridesmaid, Nicole has it covered!

OK, I really wish I was in Manchester to be able to have these amazing-looking pizzas!

I’ll leave you with this (quite long) video about the differences between British and American numbers. (I too dislike the “hundred” method of reading thousands!)

Have a great Saturday!

Lazy Sunday (Not Friday 13th) Links

I had major tech issues on Thursday night – my photos wouldn’t upload for the sushi post, and Tumblr was down so I couldn’t get my photo for my links! So, I’m a day behind with everything.

I’m super excited because I have a comedy night! My comedy buddy Sean (the one from those podcasts we used to do but let’s not talk about that…) and I have a comedy evening, which will consist of pun contests, comedy and people reading things they wrote as teenagers. Search for Cambridge Happy Hour if you want to come and see the show!

Let’s linkie!

Last night I met up with a girlfriend who is moving back to the States. I’m really sad to see her go, but it is actually very handy to have long distance friendships! Although I miss my friends, it’s great having BFFs all over the world!

Calling all bloggers! There’s now a magazine just for us! How cool is that?

Pulled pork tacos. Nuff said.

These bedrooms, though.

I really need to get into supper clubs. If you’re in London, look no further!

Firstly, I need friends who can take photos. Secondly, why am I not on the next plane to NYC?

All Bar One is quite a popular chain bar/restaurant in the UK, and although I don’t usually like supporting chains, I really like it. It seems that the brunch there is pretty awesome, too!

This sakura festival in Brooklyn looks really pretty!

A wonderful post on being proud to be American.

What (not) to do if robbed on the street.

Some gorgeous old photos of Japan.

To leave you… Here are things bilingual people do. Yup, I’m on board with all of these – especially the subtitles one!

Have an awesome Sunday!!

New Restaurant: Sticks n Sushi Cambridge


Please note: I was treated to a preview evening at Sticks n Sushi Cambridge, however as always all opinions are honest.

(This was meant to be a Thursday post, but I had tech issues last night! Friday Links coming later!)

A quick look over Cambridge’s restaurant scene and it’s a bit slim on the Japanese front. Sure, we have Wasabi, Itsu and Yo Sushi (and you know how much I hate Yo Sushi!) but there seems to be very few actual authentic places.

And so, when I was invited to preview the menu of a new Japanese restaurant, Sticks n Sushi, in Cambridge, I jumped at the chance! I dragged along an old school friend of mine – we’d not seen each others in a decade!! [Read more…]

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