Valentine’s Day is typically known as a day for you to shower the people you love with affection. But instead of chocolates and roses, we think one of the best gifts Valentine’s Day can give you is job search advice! Don’t believe us? Read on and find out! Research, Research, Research Whether it’s your first date or a first interview, you need to prepare by researching. For a date you might to find the perfect location and things you have in common to discuss. However, for an interview you will probably be researching the company, their values and the job you could be doing. If you want to find out more about researching before a job interview, check out our blog here! Dress To Impress For a date or an interview, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to want to dress well to make a good impression. This will mean you need to find out the dress code beforehand to be sure that you will come across well. For an interview this will mean asking the person who has invited in what they would like you to wear. It may vary depending on the job role. Follow Up After a date you follow up with the usual, “I had fun, let’s do it again” message. After an interview you want to do something similar letting them know you are definitely interested in working for them and there if they have any questions. If you need some ideas, check out our blog with templates on this here. Even if the interview went badly, it is worth following up to explain that you don’t think you came across as well as you would like. So remember; you need to prepare, dress well and follow up. If you do these three things then you give any interviews or dates the best chance of success! If you’re looking for a new job then check out our jobs here.
How do you answer, what is your biggest weakness? This is another of those questions that seems to scare people in interviews. When answering this question, bear the following points in mind: Choose a weakness which does not directly relate to the role you are applying for. The weakness must relate to a the workplace but if the job advert said they wanted someone who is highly organised then you say your weakness is being disorganised then they may not feel you're suited to the job! Show awareness of the weakness and how it affects you by saying how you will overcome it. You could even include ways you are working to overcome it already and how they are helping. Don’t be a cliché. Don’t answer with “I’m just such a perfectionist”. This shows a lack of self-awareness and will not go down well with a hiring manager. Do not avoid the question. How would you answer this question now? You can search our blog for more of our “how to answer” series to discover other interview questions and our top tips for answering them! If you’re looking for a new job, then get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch.
Are you a hard-working, multi-tasking, highly-organised superhero of a candidate? So why are you panicking when the interviewer asks “why should we hire you”? Well don’t worry, we all do it. It can be hard to be put on the spot and asked to sell yourself. After all, what are they really asking here? They want to know what skills and experience you will bring to the company. How do you stand out in comparison to other candidates? Here are our top tips for how to answer, why should we hire you: Research, research, research Make sure you have looked up everything you can about the company. Know who they are and what they do well enough that you know how you will fit in and benefit them. If you’re not sure how to research a company, check out our blog here. Know your USP Chances are the other candidates you’re up against have similar qualifications and experience to you. So how do you stand out? What is your unique selling point? Try to emphasise this in your answer. Problem solving Did you notice a problem the company is having during your research? Talk about how you could help to solve this and explain your solution. This will give them an idea of how you work and how you can help them. Be concise You want make sure your answer is no longer than a minute or two. Whilst it is good to practise beforehand you need to make sure you leave room for changes to highlight or emphasise skills that the employer suggests are more valuable throughout the interview. If you’re looking for a new job then get in touch with your local branch today.
Many people struggle with the question “where do you see yourself in 5 years” because on the surface it appears to be simple but there are a few traps. You need to show ambition without going overboard. So with this in mind here are our 5 top tips on how to answer, where you see yourself in 5 years. Show commitment. It’s important to make sure you show that you plan or would like to stay with their company. Show realistic plan for personal development. You need to stress your long term career plans and how this company are a part of that. Show how your values link to the company’s. Try to understand their growth plans and how you and your potential role might fit into them. Don’t say “in your job” to whoever is interviewing you. It might seem “cute” at the time but it’s not going to go down well if they think you’re out to steal their job from the start! Don’t lie. Whilst you may not plan to stay with a company long term, it is not in your best interest to mention this in your interview. Try to be honest about where you would like to be professionally. If you’re not planning to stay with the company then you will need to think and prepare your answer for this before the interview so you can word it well. If you’re looking for a new job, then call your local Swanstaff branch or check out our current jobs here.
If the thought of a work appraisal makes you worry then you probably aren’t doing them right! Depending on the size of your company will depend on the number of appraisals you will be going to get a year but typically you will have at least one. Appraisals usually have a set format or form that must be filled in during the meeting to guide the discussion. The main purpose of an appraisal is to review your progress, achievements, and goals. The information gathered will help you and your manager to decide development opportunities to help you improve. Although you will be told what you need to bring to an appraisal, there are a few things you can do to prepare: Write out your achievements. It can help you to keep them fresh in your mind so that you feel comfortable discussing them and don’t have to come up with something on the spot. Think about something that challenged you that you would like to do better next time. An appraisal is a great opportunity for self-reflection and evaluation. Get details. Though your manager will have time to prepare they may have more than one appraisal to do. You can bring along evidence of work that you did particularly well to discuss. Pick 3 career goals. Decide a few goals that you want to achieve to discuss. These could be a project you want to complete, course you want to take, skill you want to learn or even new responsibilities you would like to take on. What do you want to get from the meeting? Prepare questions that cover these things to make sure that you get what you need. Some good questions to ask would be: How can I progress for next time? Is there any training I can take that will help me move forward? Are there any additional responsibilities I can take? What weaknesses do I have that you would most like me to work on? With this all in mind, our top tips for an appraisal are: Be upbeat Try to focus on the positives, even when discussing weaknesses. Weaknesses are an opportunity to grow so when you mention them, it is worth also saying how you plan to avoid or overcome them in the future. Practise If you’re feeling nervous then practise answers. You can ask for a copy of the form or questions they will be asking beforehand so that you can think about the answers ahead of time. Be realistic Try to set realistic plans and goals. It can help to come up with both short term and long term ideas to give you things to constantly aim for. If you’re looking for a new job then get in touch with your local branch of Swanstaff today.
So you’re reaching the end of the interview, and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” At this moment you have a couple of options. Option 1, say “No, thank you, I think you’ve answered all the questions I had already today!” Option 2, ask some of the following questions if they haven’t already been answered: How would you describe the company culture? What do you love most about working here? Will I be working with a team? Could you tell me a bit about them? What would a typical day look like for this role? What opportunities are there for training and progression within the role? Where do you see the company in 5/10 years’ time? What are the next interview steps? When can I next expect to hear from you? It is important to make sure that you prepare for an interview thoroughly. If you think of any questions during the interview, try to save them for the end, just in case they are answered later in the interview. If you’re looking for a new job, get in touch with your local Swanstaff team today!
How would you describe yourself? It’s one of the most popular interview questions but your response is still very important. You need to try to plan your answer in advance. Try to take keywords from the job advert to inspire your response. If they are looking for someone who is “Driven and self-motivated” you could say something like the following: “I am comfortable working both in a team and alone. For example when I did _____at ____ I proved that I was able to motivate myself to stay focused on the task and complete it independently before the deadline.” Another example could be for the keywords “organised and a team player”. “I am organised and reliable. Whilst working for _____ I worked on _____. For the project we had to hit a number of deadlines and work collaboratively to achieve this. This meant I had to be highly organised and be clear on who was dealing with each part to make sure it was a success.” Other words you could base your description of yourself on would be: flexible detail oriantated reliable communicative creative Try to include examples of when you showed these qualities to justify them. However you don't want to make it all about the keywords, be sure to personalise your answer to really show who you are. So how would you answer the question “how would you describe yourself” now? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking for a new job then give your local branch a call.
When preparing for an interview you should go over the job description carefully. Make sure that your experiences and qualifications match up and if there are gaps, prepare an answer to cover you for this. However, there will still be a number of typical questions that you will likely be asked and need to prepare for. Here are the 3 most commonly asked nursing interview questions and how you can answer them. What made you choose to become a nurse? Possibly the most common question nurses will be asked (both in and out of an interview) but it is still important to have an answer prepared that you have tailored to the role you are going for. Don’t be afraid to be personal, especially if you have story behind your choice. If you don’t really have a story or something you are comfortable sharing then you can say something like the following: I have always loved caring for people, even from a young age. As I have grown I realised that nursing is a way for me to turn my passion into a career where I can really make a difference to people’s lives. What do you find rewarding about nursing? There will obviously be a number of rewards to any job you are going for but they are looking for an answer that tells them about the type of nurse that you are, so try to offer an experience you have had which shows them the part you find most rewarding. You could share a story about a particularly grateful patient and their family, or about a patient that inspired you through their strength. Try to avoid talking about money or how easy the commute will be. That’s not what they’re looking for here. What do you find is the hardest part about being a nurse? This question is not asking you to tell them about how much you hate working nights because it affects your social life. It’s asking you to talk about how the job role affects you personally. You could discuss how hard you find it to deal with feeling helpless and wishing you could do more to help a patient, or how you find it hard to speak to the families of a patient as you genuinely care about people and find it difficult to give them news when there is nothing you can do to help them. These are just a few of the questions nurses are often asked in an interview. If you’re a nurse looking for work then we have jobs both permanent and temporary across the UK. Get in touch with your local team today or see some of our current jobs here.
Leaving a job you’ve been in, no matter how long it was for, can be difficult. However, talking about why you are leaving in interviews with potential new employers can also cause issues. You need to avoid being negative about current or previous employers, whilst also explaining as honestly as you can why you don’t want to work there anymore. You should be careful with the wording you use and the way you approach this question. Here are some ideas of what you can say for a variety of different reasons: “I’m not going anywhere, I feel stuck.” “Although this job has allowed me to develop my skills at a comfortable pace, I am now looking for a role that can offer me more progression and opportunities to learn.” “I’m bored.” “My current workplace has allowed me to gain a number of useful experiences but I am now looking for a more challenging role in a faster paced environment to give me the chance to learn and develop my skills further.” “I want to do something else.” “Whilst I have enjoyed my current workplace and learnt a lot of new skills I have revaluated what I would like to do moving forward in my career and can really see myself flourishing in a ____ role, like this one.” “I was overlooked for promotion.” “I realised that the opportunity to grow in the company was not available to me and in order to continue to improve professionally I needed to move onto another role.” “I don’t like my boss/colleagues” “Whilst at ____ I learnt a lot. I would like to move into another role now where I might find a better company culture fit for myself so I can continue to grow in an environment that suits my personality.” Are there any other reasons for leaving a job that you can think of a good way of wording an answer to? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking for a new job then check out our current jobs here.