1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The job hunting support thread

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by Cloo, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. chilango

    chilango *shrugs*

    Job/industry specific - Education.

    And I suppose I have two specific problems.

    First my practice (and thus examples I use of stuff I've done) is sometimes at odds with the dominant paradigm in mainstream education). I can produce evidence of it working (I am good at what I do, and can show that), but it scares the shit out of some managers I feel. But, *shrugs*, it's an easy way to find out whether I'd fit in a particular workplace and/or enjoy the role anyway.

    More crucially I guess is my tendency to ramble when talking away from my areas of experience and expertise.
     
  2. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    Hmmm this is a tricky one. Lets face it most people like to think they are embracing of new ideas and forward thinking but when push comes to shove opt for tried and tested or at least uncontroversial and safe. But if you modified your approach you'd likely end up is an unsatisfying role. Tough one.

    Yeah this is common and probably easier to fix. Its the whole 'keep it simple' thing so beloved by us sales types. I had an old boss who was very Brent-esque in his love of a bizarre analogy, one absurd one that stuck with me was about this sort of thing. If you were to be asked by the police where you were on the night of the murder, you'd answer "at home, watching TV with my housemates". You wouldn't say "Ah, the 4th October, I remember it being a chilly night, the first real night of Autumn. I had decided to take the long route home because I had some thinking to do, on my way home I passed new cafe............. etc etc".

    I guess if you stumble into an area you're not familiar with you are probably best to fess up to an extent. Don't say "I don't know anything about that" its more of a "I've not yet been exposed to that but I am keen to find out more and learn". To an extent you can fudge (bullshit) your way through standard interview questions but specific ones about expertise in areas is where it is easy to become unstuck.
     
    chilango likes this.
  3. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    This issue of rambling.

    The answer is simple, answer their question and then stop. Don't feel you have to cover any silences, unless you have something substantive to say then when you have answered their question just stop.
     
  4. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    A question you don't have to answer is what is your current salary?

    If you are asked this and you would rather not say, for whatever reason, just reiterate what salary you are looking for, you don't have to tell them what you are paid.
     
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  5. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    My g/f had an interesting negotiation over this recently. She went for an interview, they wanted to make her an offer but insisted she told them what her current salary was. Three times she declined explaining they know the role better and know what its worth, three times they came back asking to know. In the end she walked away and they then made a random crap offer.
     
    Mr Smin likes this.
  6. chilango

    chilango *shrugs*

    I ramble precisely when I can't answer their question. That's the problem!
     
    weltweit likes this.
  7. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    I know what you mean, I seem to get interviews ok - but no new job yet and I've been looking for ages and only apply for jobs I really want and am well qualified to do. Can we talk more about interview practice stuff - so we can be well practed for all the usual questions.

    For a start what are the usual interview questions?
     
  8. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    I tended to ramble far too generally (eg. yes I've been doing that sort blah blah task in differnent roles for 30 years blah...) until I wrote down all my 'examples' in the STAR format (which was a right pain in the ass to do)
    eg a time I did task xxxx,
    what exactly I was required to do,
    how 30 years of experience gave me the skills to do the task and how I did the task,
    how well the task was completed.

    Still hasn't got me a job yet though.

    What sort of questions can't you answer?
     
    A380 likes this.
  9. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Here are 4 ..
    1. Tell me about yourself? (TMAY) you need to have an answer to this that isn't rambling but touches on the key points of your CV. You should be able to talk for about a minute.

    2. What is your biggest weakness? A trick question which demands a trick answer - don't whatever you do actually tell them your actual biggest weakness!

    3. What do you know about our company? You should be able to answer this from your pre interview research.

    Do you have any questions for us? Signals the interview is coming to an end from their POV. You should have some interesting questions which don't relate to holidays :).
     
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  10. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    I don't think they are 'usual' interview questions in the universal sense. they differ loads, according to the job/industry/sector
    Public sector jobs would have different questions to those above, apart from maybe the first, and even in the public sector, they will differ wildly
     
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  11. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    yes but I still need to practice!
     
  12. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    It can be very interesting to try to practice competency questions.

    Ones that start "tell me about a time when you ..... "

    You can google for some suitable ones from your sector. Recommended answers follow the STAR method which stands for Situation Task Action Result format.
     
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  13. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    you can't google for personal experiences though!
     
  14. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    That is always my worry about competency based questions, am I going to be able to think of a time like that in order to answer their question.

    I did recently have an interview where they used a lot of such questions and luckily it went ok, but I suppose it will not always be so.
     
  15. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    you should have those rehearsed from the application form though
     
  16. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Perhaps that is another difference between our sectors, I only rarely get an application form.
     
    Orang Utan likes this.
  17. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    ah ok - in my experience, all the competency specifications are on the application and you have to address every single one, providing an example each time (best to rehearse a few more examples too though)
     
  18. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I have only had application forms from the largest private sector organisations, and they sometimes made me do online tests also. I have never got to the interview stage with one of these either, even though I thought in a couple of cases that I was quite well suited to the role.
     
  19. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    All the jobs I've applied for in the past fifteen year or so have been exclusively online application forms with CVs seemingly a quaint thing from the past
     
  20. strung out

    strung out (",)

    Lots of questions that I will be asking when I do interviews next week. They're the generic interview questions for the majority of interviews within a large organisation.

     
  21. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Questions I've come across in recent interviews:

    Tell us about a time when you dealt with conflict with a co-worker.

    Tell us about a time when you dealt with a difficult situation

    Tell me about any volunteering you have done.

    What are your strengths and weaknesses?
     
  22. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Interview is looming and I'm feeling very down about myself. I know can do that job, its ideal for me - but I'm fed up with not getting jobs, whats the matter with me? I'm so miserable at work right now and I feel I'll never escape.

    winge .... moan....
     
  23. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    [​IMG]
     
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  24. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Thanks Puddy_Tat.
     
  25. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    I know it's really hard but try and find a way to enter the interview with confidence (even if you're faking it, that'll do as most of us are). Try and remember you belong there and its a two way thing, you are interviewing them as well. You have a lot to offer them.

    Keep everything positive and top line. Don't let on that you're feeling a bit down or you're utterly miserable at your current job, unhappy with it is fine but not miserable.

    Good luck.
     
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  26. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Thanks - I'm trying to concentrate on all the positive happy stuff and not dwell on the rest. I've read and re read the job spec, my application, all my STAR format examples and their web site. I've polished my shoes and ironed my clothes and planned my outfit. Plan on an bath and an early night, thinking about kittens.
     
  27. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    Good luck chuck. Knock em dead!
     
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  28. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    hope it goes well
     
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  29. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    thanks. Phew I think it went ok though there were loads of things I thought I could have said as well, after I'd come out Still hopefully what I did say was enough.

    There HR dept really fucked up. I'd booked an 2pm afternoon slot as I work in the morning and they had confirmed and sent 3 email reminders and a text reminder. Then this morning one of the interveiw panel called at 10am - they thought the interview was this morning, and they weren't all available this afternoon eek! Fortunately we rearranged for 12.30. Thankfully it was very near were I work. So I didn't have time for lunch and a last read though of everything as planned - but I'm glad its all over.

    I've sent a thank you email via HR to them as you suggested Ruby. They should let me know on monday.
     
  30. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    Fingers crossed! It's so hard not to take it personally when you don't get a job, even though a lot of it is just statistical probability. We had this conversation with my niece when she got an audition for Junior Bake-off.

    And it's much worse when you've had an interview than when they just tossed your CV on the no pile, even though you got much further. The human brain is weird.
     
    friendofdorothy likes this.

Share This Page