Category Archives: interviews

What’s Holding You Back? – Skills and Experience

Hi Everyone

Now that we have settled into the new year, you will probably have noticed a lot of posts about goal setting and how you need to take action in order to move forward with your life. These posts are an invaluable source of information and inspiration and they are absolutely right, if you want to achieve your desired outcome, you need to take the steps to get there by setting goals and then acting on them but in the next few posts I want us to take a look at what may be holding you back from setting goals in the first place.

Sometimes in order for you to move forward you must reflect on the past and assess the present to see what changes need to be made. If you keep doing the same thing then you will always get the same result. If you are not happy with the result then you need to change what you are doing and there is no time like the present, so what are you waiting for?

Let’s consider some of the things that may be holding you back.

Not having the right skills or experience

There is no easy way to say this, if you haven’t got the right skills and experience for the job role that you desire, in these difficult economic times, you need to either obtain them or learn to convert previous experience and learnt skills into transferable experience and skills and if you can’t do that then you probably won’t get a look in because the competition is so tough.

Do not be fooled by a job advert that states: “Previous experience is not essential as full training will be given for the right candidate.”

If the interviewer can get a person with previous experience who has the correct basic skills, the right attitude for the job and is the right fit for the team, then they will go with them instead of someone with little or no experience. When I was a retail manager I recruited my own staff  and I advertised for the experience and skills that I required and yes I still got applicants applying with little or no relevant experience and as time is money in business, usually I would sift theses applications out on first look as I had a large number of applicants. Of the applicants that were sifted out there may have been some that had the right attitude or were a good fit for the team but because I didn’t put them through to the interview stage I would never know this, so having the right skills and experience is essential.

When I wasn’t working, on the odd occasion I would apply for a job that was out of my sector and one that I had little or no relevant skills or experience in, just as I thought, I would get a reject letter or worse, nothing at all. Upon analysis, the reason I got a rejection letter was because I appeared on paper to have some of the skills and experience that were relative to the job and some transferable skills but obviously not as good a offering as someone who blatantly had the skills and experience in that sector and therefore I wasn’t surprised I was rejected and took it on the chin. When I received no reply whatsoever, it was because on paper there were barely any skills and experience relevant to the role for which I had applied, so why should the employer bother to reply to me when it looked like I had randomly decided to ‘give it a go’. An employer wouldn’t like this attitude and to be honest neither do I and when I became a manager I understood that and if I were to apply for a job now I would always tailor my CV and Cover Letter to the Job specification and that’s why I get responses when a lot of other people don’t, so if you are struggling to get responses, now you know the secret, why not try it for yourself?

If you want to gain the skills and experience to get a job you desire, you need to do voluntary work, work experience and you may need to take a course as well.

To read about what else may be holding you back be sure to read the next post, until then, whatever you do, stay positive.

Sandra Bellamy

C is for Confidence A-Z of Redundancy

Hi Everyone

It’s important whilst redundant, that when applying for jobs and going for interviews, you come across as a confident person.

Confident in:

  • Yourself
  • Your character
  • Your previous job roles
  • Your skills
  • Your experience
  • Your abilities

In interviews, you need to ensure you are displaying open and positive body language:

  • No crossed arms
  • No fists made
  • No stern looks
  • No leering

You should:

  • Smile – Creates warmth and approachability
  • Have arms by your side or on your lap with palms facing upwards – Shows openness and friendliness
  • Try to relax as much as possible – Will put the interviewer at ease

When you try to relax, pay close attention to your facial muscles, are they stiff and tight or at ease? What are your shoulders doing, are they hunched over or upright? You need to be constantly thinking about being calm and a good way to feel calm is to picture a time when you felt relaxed, maybe talking to a friend, then think of how your body felt at that moment and try to replicate it. This is hard but with practice can feel more natural and help you to get the job. If you are calm, this should make your interviewer feel calm and therefore you will appeal to them.

Remember when you speak, you are talking to a potential boss, so don’t feel so relaxed that you start talking to your  prospective employer like he is your mate in the pub as this would not be well accepted and you are not likely to get the job.

In interviews:

  • Maintain eye-contact but without staring – This can take several practices before getting it right

You have to be confident that your character (personality) will fit the job. For example, if you are a quiet person and don’t like being in crowds, then working in a pub would most likely not suit your personality. If you are a bubbly and chatty person and that’s what the job requires, you need to be confident enough to show this at your interview.

You need to be confident when talking about your previous job roles. Talk up your achievements and don’t mention negatives. If the interviewer asks you questions like – “What was your biggest obstacle in your last role and how did you overcome it?” Then you need to be honest from the employer’s perspective but change the negatives into a positive. For example, if you had a customer who was unhappy with the shoes they had bought but it was more about the comfort of the shoes rather than a manufacturing fault and company policy was not to refund just on a comfort issue as you can’t resell the shoes and the company loses money. You could say that in order to maintain good relations, you decided to exchange the shoes as a gesture of good will. You need to always add a positive outcome – The customer was happy and became a weekly regular.

Whenever you talk about your skills, experience and abilities. You need to talk about them in a positive manner with the interviewer and give examples of when you have used them in your past job roles to good effect and created a positive impact on the businesses you were working for. Then go on to say how you could use those in your new role for which you are being interviewed.

Always remember, if you are confident that you can do the job, then the prospective employer will be confident that you are suitable to work for them.

Stay positive

Sandra

What topics would you like to see on beatredundancyblues.com?

Take the full survey at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JP55K76

beatredundancyblues.com is now due to launch at the end of April.  Have your say about what you would like to see, by voting in our survey.

Thank you.  Stay positive.  Sandra Bellamy

Live on BBC Radio Devon

Hi Everyone

Some very exciting news.

I am going to appear as a guest speaker on BBC Radio Devon on David FitzGerald’s show, this Tuesday the 14th of February at 2.40pm, talking about being a Health Buddy for the CSV ’Stripping it Bare’ campaign.

The ”Stripping it Bare” campaign is run by CSV and takes on volunteers to speak about taboo health topics within their local communities.  Topics covered include Sexual HealthTesticular CancerBowel Cancer and Mental Health.

I have joined  Twitter under the username “beatredundancyb”

I will be tweeting regularly about redundancy and beatredundancyblues.com will be launched soon.

Write soon.  Sandra

Have you got S.E.X. appeal?

Hi Everyone

If you want interview advice, you have come to the right place.

Follow these interview essentials to pave your way to success.

S = Smiley:
Smile, be warm and approachable.

E = Experience and Enthusiasm:
Ensure you match the job specification to your experience and speak with enthusiasm. Make the interviewer believe you have all the skills and experience they are looking for, make them believe you are the one they should employ.

X = X Factor:
Stand out from the crowd. Be the best at everything. Write the best C.V. and cover letter. Dress the best way for the job and act like you are their best candidate.

Stay Positive.

Sandra Bellamy.

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