With 8 applications for every vacancy*, competition for jobs is tough. We look at the skills and tools that can help give you the edge at interview.
Career coaches look at your career, skills, experiences and interests and then help you figure out what you could be doing and how to get there. If you can’t afford professional coaching, it’s still worth talking to friends and colleagues and asking their perspective.
Finishing university is a great accomplishment. Three or four years of hard work, late night study sessions with deadlines fast approaching and nervous moments stood by the printer with your credits running low. However obtaining a degree is not the end; it is merely the beginning of your journey into employment. This comes with several challenges in itself, finding your ideal profession, competing heavily for each role and then surviving on entry level pay with some substantial student debt looming over your shoulder.
There have been a number of recent studies that were greeted with approval by the mainstream press for documenting a growth in graduate jobs. The figures coming out of these studies indicated an increase in the number of graduate jobs and an average graduate starting salary as high as £29,000, a promising sign for recent university finishers.
But a deeper look presents a much more diverse picture. While the total number of jobs increased, so did the total number of applicants. More people are studying at university, and more are choosing to go straight into work rather than taking on further study or post-university gap years. So what’s the reality for graduates today? In this article we’re looking at one key issue emerging from the recent studies: pay levels.
Following on from our assessment centre article last week we caught up with Tania Creavalle, a Talent Acquisition Associate at Aegis Media. Tania assesses candidates who will fill Aegis Media’s apprentice, intern, graduate and school leaver roles.
We spoke with her about the assessment process, and the right and wrong ways for candidates to ensure they stand out to an assessor. Continue reading “How to Succeed at An Assessment Centre: The Assessor’s Perspective” »
As we all know, competition for jobs is tough, in particular for young people with more than a million out of work. Assessment centres are used by companies in a bid to hire the best applicants, but a whole day of tests and group exercises can seem a daunting prospect to candidates.
In this post we’re looking at assessment centres and trying to answer some key questions: What do assessment centres involve? Do they give an applicant the chance to excel? And perhaps most importantly, how do you prepare for an assessment centre, and set yourself up as well as possible for an experience that can have such a great impact on your working life?
Choosing who is right for a position is a tough decision for a hiring manager, and assessment centres offer firms the chance to evaluate prospective candidates on scale and in a uniform fashion. Having a set structure in place which can put candidates against a list of values allows companies to further funnel down and sieve through a list of applicants – particularly at a time when the ratio of candidates to available jobs is increasing in many sectors. With every new academic year comes a fresh batch of bright-eyed graduates looking to enter the working world. This has resulted in the growing use of assessment centres to test multiple amounts of participants in one go, in order that skills, characteristics and personalities can be monitored and aligned with the company ethos. Continue reading “Testing the Nation: The Rise of the Assessment Centre” »
We’ve all heard rumours of those bizarre or surreal questions which totally stump and surprise interviewees. Most interviews stick to the tried and tested route of asking you to describe a time when you demonstrated certain skills e.g. working under pressure or overcoming challenges, but just occasionally, interviewers decide to get creative and things get strange. Heineken took that to a whole new level, with the video below, showing the most unpredictable interview a job candidate could face.
But regular interviews sometimes include curveballs too. Earlier this year, the American career guidance company Glassdoor analysed over 300,000 of them, and came up with a list of the most bizarre interview questions. While these come from across the pond, UK candidates sometimes face these ‘creative’ questions too (for example, a blog from UK IT consultancy firm Ribbonfish discussed this issue earlier this year). But what purpose do these questions serve? Here are six of them, the type of interview they were asked in, and what the interviewer might have been playing at… Continue reading “Could You Handle These Curveballs? The Strangest Interview Techniques and Questions” »