THE economy is on the up and firms are hiring again. But with an average of 25 people applying for each vacancy, interviews are key and you need to be able to impress a panel.
James Reed, chair of Reed Recruitment, explains seven common interview questions and how to ace your answers . . .
- TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. Real Question: Who do you think you are? And will you know what to leave in and what to leave out?Break it down, rehearse, breeze it. Make your answer sound natural by practising.
- WHY ARE YOU APPLYING FOR THIS JOB? Real Question: What can you do that we need? Do you know what we need? Reflect the job spec in your answer. Discuss their needs before yours.
- WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST STRENGTHS? Real Question: Do you really know yourself — and what our problem is here? Answer with the job description in mind. Go beyond adjectives such as “hard-working” and “trust-worthy”. Give examples.
- WHERE WILL YOU BE IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME? Real Question: Are you after this job or just any job? How soon will you need a new challenge? Do you have a realistic sense of what we offer you? If you do not know, calmly say so — it is only natural. “I want to be doing your job!” is usually a fail — it’s too confrontational. One honest reply is to acknowledge you are there to talk about the job on offer, not the job it leads to. Also, use the opportunity to detail your achievements.
- WHAT DO YOUR CO-WORKERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT YOU? Real Question: Do you sound calm or wary about this? Are you self-aware or just self-conscious? This catches out people not been telling the whole truth, so use true examples.
- HOW WOULD YOU MANAGE YOUR WORK IF NOT IN THE OFFICE? Real Question: The world is unpredictable. Can you handle the unexpected? Be specific about what you would do — that simple.
- HAVE YOU IMPROVED IN THE LAST YEAR? Real Question: Are you ready to be challenged and learn from your mistakes? This tests self-knowledge, resilience and ability to improve in less strong areas. Aim to convince the interviewer you are happy to accept a challenge and learn from the experience.
- See James Reed’s book Why You? 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again (Penguin Business).
A HOL LOT OF CAREERS
LOVE to be beside the seaside? Holiday firms Haven and Butlin’s are offering 600 new jobs as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme.
They are open to those aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit.
Positions include food and beverages, retail, leisure activities and HR, as well as at the central support office for Butlin’s.
Training is provided, no experience needed. All roles are for a minimum of 25 hours a week, over six months. Each recruit is supported by a work coach and gets skills support from specialists Lifetime Training.
Paul Flaum, head of Butlin’s and Haven parent company Bourne Leisure, said: “It is an exciting time to be part of the UK holiday industry, but wherever their work journey takes them this will provide the perfect Kickstart to their future.”
FARNELL JAGUAR LAND-ROVER is recruiting 27 apprentices for its six retailers.
WORKING ON YOUR MINDSET
MENTAL health troubles are the No1 cause of sick leave, with 70 million days lost each year.
- TAKE A DEEP BREATH: If overwhelmed, step back. Good breathing is a simple technique, but powerful.
- TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR WORKSPACE: Getting some exercise, or even stepping outside for some fresh air, eases stress.
- ORGANISE YOUR DESK: This can make you more productive, and calmer. Declutter and personalise – maybe with a picture or pot plant. Take pride in your space.
- SPEAK TO YOUR BOSS: Set up a short meeting to let them know how you feel. It is likely that they will like your honesty and want to help – the pandemic has improved mental health awareness. Most employers now offer support such as Employee Assistance Programmes and Mental Health First Aiders.
- GET A BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE: This is crucial. Two thirds of us work more than our contracted hours. But if you find yourself putting in excess overtime, it is time for a change. Do not be afraid to take time for yourself.
FREE digital skills training is being laid on to help small businesses shape up for the future.
Vodafone has partnered with support network Enterprise Nation to launch the online courses for 100,000 firms.
They will help with skills such as setting up a website, online commerce and protecting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their customers from cyber-threats.
The courses are live from May 27.
Andrew Stevens, head of small business at Vodafone UK, said: “We are providing a complete support service, that helps businesses identify the right tools for them, activate them, and make the best use of them.”