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How to Get a Job – Interviews with a Bang

Interview

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!

3 Things To Do Before Accepting That Job

before you sign the contract

There is so much advice out there on how to get that job. However, what you do between the time you are offered that job, and when you accept it, can shape how successful you are.

Especially when you’re desperate to leave your current job, or the new offer is the perfect next step for you, it’s all too easy to jump without having taken very necessary steps first.

Here’s my simple three-step list of things to do before you accept any job offer. [Read more…]

Weird Job Application Questions

“If you were a vegetable, what would you be?”

Recently, I’ve been paying attention to shop windows a lot more. I’m using the Job Spotter app to snap hiring signs to submit, and win Amazon credit. With each application you can get up to 150 points, with more being given to those rare, hand-written signs as opposed to mass produced company posters. I’ve made about 20 submissions and have got myself about a fiver… so don’t be thinking that this is going to get you rich!! [Read more…]

What it’s Like to be… an SEO Strategy Lead

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about what I want to be when I grow up* and I realised I really enjoyed making my How To Get A Job series last year – and that recruitment is a pretty interesting subject.

With this in mind, I wanted to go a little further down this rabbit hole and look into the different areas of work people can go into. I had a fairly rural upbringing and when I was a kid, everyone’s parents were very basic jobs – teachers, secretaries, police officers etc. I look at my friends now and realise that I have so many people doing really amazing things, so I decided to question them! [Read more…]

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