What’s Unconcious Bias and Do You Have It?

Cambridge Botanic Garden

As many of you know, every Sunday I run a Japanese speaking group for bilinguals wanting to chat. A week or so ago, we decided that we’d like to go to Cambridge’s Botanic Garden for an outing.

We usually have around 8 or so members each week, but this time we had 12. Not a problem; we were the first through the gates, and had our own picnics to eat half way around.

We decided to sit for our lunch after we came out of the gorgeous greenhouses, half of us sat at a picnic table and half of us on the grass. [Read more…]

Apparently Young People Want Office “Chill-out Zones”

chill out zone

There seems to be a really tricky situation in recruitment right now, whereby companies are complaining that young people don’t have the skills (both technical and social) to be attractive hires, and at the same time young people are complaining that companies just don’t look very good places to work.

Last year it was reported that we had a record number of new businesses; it could be that young people disgruntled with working life just up and make it on their own instead. Why morph to fit into a working culture made by previous generations when you can start alone and make the rules yourself? [Read more…]

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…]

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!

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