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We would like to share our knowledge and experience with you and hope our blogs help you find an ideal employee or secure your dream job.

  1. Interview Mistakes; Part Two

    Did you miss part one of this blog last week? You can read it here.

    Never have first impressions mattered more than when being interviewed for a job. It is essential to use this opportunity to showcase your best qualities and ensure that you are memorable for all the right reasons. Nerves do play their part in the interview process and everyone has areas that they could improve upon. However, it is often the most common errors that can mean the difference between getting the job and not getting the job!

    Our advice? Avoid these common interview mistakes:

    Criticising previous employers or colleagues

    Complaining about colleagues and drawing attention to the negative aspects of your previous or current job is a huge no-no! This can give employers the wrong impression about you and could make them question what you would say about them in similar circumstances.

    No matter the reason for you leaving your previous or current employment, always be diplomatic. Instead of highlighting the mistakes of others, emphasise the positive steps you took to overcome them. This shows how proactive you can be.

    Failing to ask questions

    As the interview comes to an end, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions you would like to ask them. Never say no! This is your opportunity to get answers to your queries about the role and the company. Asking a couple of relevant questions shows your interest in the role; ask about any current major projects your team is working on, progression opportunities or where the company sees itself in five years’ time.

    Avoid asking how much paid leave you are entitled to and how soon you can book holidays or if you can work from home. Also avoid asking a question if the answer has already been covered during the interview. Prepare at least four questions; that way you have always got a backup!

    How to succeed at interview

    Try to relax and show your natural personality; the employer will get a much better feel of how you will fit into their team if you do. Take comfort from the fact that if you are being interviewed, the organisation is already impressed with what you have to offer.

    Enthusiasm and a positive attitude go a long way and instantly make a more appealing candidate. Throughout the interview, reiterate your motivation for the role and the company. Employers like forward thinking people, who can commit so talk about the future of the company and your role within it.

    Lastly, observe the basics. It can be easy to underestimate the power of good manners, regular eye contact, a firm handshake or a smile. Be polite to everyone you meet, as you never know who might be on the selection panel!

  2. Interview Mistakes; Part One

    Never have first impressions mattered more than when being interviewed for a job. It is essential to use this opportunity to showcase your best qualities and ensure that you are memorable for all the right reasons. Nerves do play their part in the interview process and everyone has areas that they could improve upon. However, it is often the most common errors that can mean the difference between getting the job and not getting the job!

    Our advice? Avoid these common interview mistakes:

    Arriving unprepared

    Preparation before an interview is crucial to arriving confident and ready to answer the interviewer’s questions. Read up on the company’s background, its place in the market and its competitors, and familiarise yourself with its key team members. Make sure that you fully understand the job role, as failing to do so will make you look uninterested.

    Prepping for an interview can take many forms and research into the organisation is just one of them. Being prepared also means figuring out how you are going to get to your interview, planning your route and factoring in any delays you may encounter. Sometimes delays are unavoidable and if the circumstances are out of your control, they should understand. Take the details of your interview contact with you, so you can let them know if you are going to be delayed.

    Wearing the wrong clothes

    Being well presented is a must, so choose your outfit carefully. Knowing the type of company, you have applied to should give you an idea of the expected dress code. However, if in doubt always go too formal than not formal enough. You need to make sure that you look the part and feel confident.

    The balance of talking too much or not enough

    Learning to get the right balance between talking too much and talking too little can be a challenge. Taking part in practice interviews with family or friends can really help to ensure that you give the right amount of information. It’s important to sell your skills and experience without ‘waffling’.

    When the interviewer asks a question, pause for a couple of seconds, take a breath and gather your thoughts before responding. If you’re talking too much or too fast, you also run the risk of talking over or interrupting the interviewer.

    Employers understand that nerves play a part in the process, so if your mind goes completely blank politely ask for a couple of seconds to gather your thoughts or ask if it’s convenient to come back to the question at the end, once you’ve had some time to think.

     

    Make sure you read Part Two next week!

  3. Telephone Interview Questions; Part Two

    Did you miss part one of this blog last week? You can read it here.

    A telephone interview is a pre-scheduled job interview. Popular with recruitment agencies and employers alike; they save time and help to keep interview costs down. However, telephone interviews do have their challenges. In most cases, you will be answering questions under a strict time limit and this can increase nerves. Not being able to see the interviewer also presents its own difficulties, as you’re unable to make a connection.

    Tips for telephone interviews

    Pick a suitable location – Avoid noisy, public spaces and instead choose a private, quiet location such as your home. If you live with family or friends, warn them in advance of the call that you need some peace. Unless your mobile is charged and receiving full reception, use a landline. Turn electronic devises to silent to avoid distraction.

    Dress to impress – You shouldn’t treat telephone interviews any differently than face-to-face interviews. Dressing for the part helps to put you in a professional frame of mind and boosts confidence.

    Smile – Smile to ensure that the interviewer hears the enthusiasm in your voice from the start. To covey energy and confidence, think about taking the call standing up.

    Refer to your notes – Being able to have application documents and your notes to hand is one of the main advantages of a telephone interview, but don’t rely on them too much. Use concise bullet points as prompts, rather than pages of possible answers.

    Have a glass of water ready – Interview nerves and lots of talking can lead to a dry mouth, so have a glass of water – the same as in a face-to-face interview.

    Ask for clarification – If you miss a particular question, do not try to second guess what it might have been. Apologise and politely ask the interview if they can repeat it.

    Take notes – If you’re able to multitask, write down any useful information provided by the employer and the questions you’re asked during the interview. These notes could be a valuable resource if you’re invited for a second interview.

    Following up an interview

    Just like in face-to-face interviews, employers expect you to have questions of your own. These could be about the role or the company. Stay away from questions about salary, holiday entitlement or start dates. It’s also perfectly acceptable, if the interviewer hasn’t mentioned it previously, to enquire about the next stage of the process and when you should expect to hear from them.

    If you don’t hear back within a week, give them a call or send a short email to follow up. Reiterate your interest in the role and thank them again for their time. If you’ve been unsuccessful on this occasion, use this as a chance to ask for feedback on your performance so you can use the lessons learned in future applications.

  4. Telephone Interview Questions; Part One

    A telephone interview is a pre-scheduled job interview. Popular with recruitment agencies and employers alike; they save time and help to keep interview costs down. However, telephone interviews do have their challenges. In most cases, you will be answering questions under a strict time limit and this can increase nerves. Not being able to see the interviewer also presents its own difficulties, as you’re unable to make a connection.

    How to prepare

    Just like in any other interview scenario, you need to research the industry, organisation and job role. Visit the company website, competitor sites and read relevant news articles. Do this in advance, so you are well prepared. You can also plan your responses to frequently asked questions by preparing a list of examples of when and how you’ve demonstrated each skill or quality listed in the person specification.

    A confident phone manner doesn’t come naturally to all and some candidates may feel uncomfortable talking over the phone. To increase your confidence when talking over the phone, ask family or friends to call you for a mock interview. Use your research and planned responses to answer their questions and treat this practise as the real thing.

    Telephone interview questions

    When answering the call, you need to be professional and positive. If you’ve pre-arranged an interview time, make sure you are ready when the phone rings. Answer with ‘Good morning/good afternoon, (your name) speaking and maintain this professional tone throughout the interview.

    When answering questions. be aware of the pace of your speech. Time is limited but don’t rush or mumble, despite your nerves. Your responses need to demonstrate your knowledge of, and enthusiasm for the role.

    One of the main challenges to telephone interviews is that without visual clues from the interviewer, it can be hard to gauge how you are doing. In a face-to-face interview, you’re able to take direction from the employer’s body language and visual responses, but this is not possible over the phone. When you’re being interviewed in person, you are also able to smile and show the interviewer that you’re engaged. Make sure you smile during your telephone interview; it really does come across!

    Make sure you read Part Two next week!

  5. Questions You Can Ask at a Job Interview

    Having a list of questions to ask a job interview makes you look interested, enthusiastic and engaged; all the qualities that an employer will be looking for. Not having any questions to ask will give the possible impression of a lack of interest in the role.

    Our advice? Try to come up with at least four questions. By being prepared, if one or two of them are answered during the interview, you have more questions in place. Save questions about salary, holiday allowance and working hours for when you have been offered the job! Also, while it is okay to ask your interviewer to clarify certain points, avoid asking about anything that has previously been covered; you do not want them to think that you haven’t been paying attention.

    Here are some good questions you can ask at your next job interview:

    Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?

    Asking this question enables you to learn as much about the role as possible. The interviewer’s response will provide insight into what specific skills and experience are needed and it will also help you decide if the role is right for you. The answer should give you an idea of what the employer’s expectations are, so if you’re offered the job, you will be fully prepared.

    How could I impress you in the first few months?

    This is a good question to ask at the end of a job interview, as it shows potential employers that you are keen to make a positive contribution to the organisation. Pay close attention to the recruiter’s response, as it will tell you how they want you to perform and will highlight particular areas of the job you should be focusing on during the first few weeks of employment.

    Are there opportunities to progress within the company?

    Asking about development opportunities demonstrates to the interviewer that you are serious about your career and committed to a future with the organisation. Asking this question will help you to assess whether a long-term career with the company is a possibility.

    Where do you see the company in the next five years?

    The response you receive will give you an insight into the company’s progression plans and its place in the market, while giving you a general idea about job security. Asking about the future of the company shows a real interest in the organisation and reiterates your commitment to the job role.

    Can you describe the working culture of the organisation?

    Asking this question is a great way to assess the working environment of the company and it gives you the opportunity to discover whether you will fit in. Understanding the organisations priorities is essential; whether it be employee happiness, of any benefits on offer and what the work-life balance is like.

    What do you enjoy about your job?

    This question will allow you to see the passion of your interviewer. It requires a personal response and you could learn a lot from their answer. You will get an insider’s view of the company culture and working environment, discover how your interviewer got their start in the business and how they progressed.

    Does the organisation offer regular performance appraisals?

    This is a great question! It not only shows your interviewer that you are keen to develop, but also that you take your development seriously and would like to have regular opportunities to discuss your future within the organisation.

  6. Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Business

    LinkedIn is not just for job searches. In fact, LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing social media platforms today and with good reason. If you know how to use it, this popular networking platform can be an extremely powerful tool to build and promote your business.

    For example, did you know that LinkedIn has 467 million users? 467 million! Which means, there is not only a lot of people to connect with, but there is a lot of business on LinkedIn.

    So, if you’re looking to build up the presence of your business, as well as showcasing yourself as a thought leader in your specific industry and to reach more people, here’s a few tips to use LinkedIn effectively:

    Create a company page: LinkedIn Small Business is a great starting point, as is their article on creating a company page where you can just follow the steps and advice to set up your business page.

    Your company page needs all the required information; including contact details, a description of your business, and branded images like your logo and a personalised banner. Keeping your company page updated and consistent with the rest of your brand is really important, as it shows continuity. For example, if your website and Facebook page have your company logo showing and a blue colour scheme, ensure your LinkedIn page matches that.

    Use video and presentations: Videos are huge in the use of social media and marketing! A video might sound like a lot of work, but it really will help you stand out from the crowd. It can also mean the difference between a potential connection or not. People are looking to learn more about you and what your business can offer.

    You can create a video bio on your LinkedIn page, where you tell people who you are and how you can help them. Another thing you can do is to embed presentations on your LinkedIn business page. This is a great way to share interesting information about your business and offering your area of expertise.

    Post valuable content: Many professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners use LinkedIn without offering anything of value. This is a mistake that many people make.

    If you want your business to be seen on LinkedIn, you need to regularly post high quality content that your audience is interested in reading. Think of content that is useful, relevant and can help solve problems. You can also ask people to engage with the content you post; try asking questions or ask for feedback on your content. There may be room for improvement and if you need to ask anyone, it’s your audience!

    Providing valuable content and information is by far the most effective way to increase your following.

  7. Working from Home; How to Avoid Feeling Isolated

    Working from home has many benefits, but it can also have considerable challenges. The most challenging being becoming isolated. We are social creatures and love to be around people. Even if you enjoy your own company for long periods of time, you may not realise just how much you draw on outside stimulation until it is no longer there.

    Working alone is great for concentration in short bursts, but if there is no one around you to bounce ideas off, have a tea break with or to simply chat to between work, it can become very lonely.

    If you work from home, the most important priority is to plan in your diary, every week, the contact you need with other people and the outside world. Getting out brings all kinds of benefits, including fresh perspective, new ideas and a renewed passion for what you do.

    So, how can you vary your routine to get the input you need?

    Phone calls: Make business calls first thing in the morning so you are immediately engaged with life outside the house. It can also help you plan priorities for the day.

    Skype: If your clients are too busy to meet you, use Skype to catch up with them. Having a good conversation can improve your overall wellbeing.

    Social media: A brilliant way to connect with likeminded people all over the world and get fresh ideas, but do use it in a disciplined way with a goal in mind and log off when you need to concentrate.

    Get out of the house: Do it at least once a day, even if it’s just a walk to the shop, and enjoy the time out instead of rushing back. Walking has been proven to decrease depression and exercise is also brilliant for your wellbeing. It’s a win win!

    Attend events: Conferences, networking events and training days are great ways to engage with like minded people. Go along to networking events not with the thought of getting more business, but to meet people and build a support network.

    Work outside: Take your laptop, tablet or a notebook and spend time outside the house. This could be in a local coffee shop, hotel lobby, library or any public space with free Wi-Fi. Arrange to work regularly in a co-working space, where groups of home workers, freelancers and small business owners work alongside each other for the day.

  8. Google for Jobs

    Google is one of the most powerful tools of the 21st century. People say every day, “Just Google it” and “How did we ever live without Google?” From events in history, to your nearest coffee shop, you can literally find anything on Google and soon, you will even be able to use it for finding a new job.

    According to Google, the API “uses machine learning to understand how job titles and skills relate to one another and what job content, location, and seniority are the closest match to a jobseeker’s preferences.”

    Google has created a jobs search page called Google for Jobs. People using Google to search for new job vacancies will be able to enter their position and location; then be presented with a list of relevant job results. Google has outlined Google for Jobs in a blog post, which states the new feature has been designed for “helping both job seekers and employers”.

    Where searches are clear and precise, Google will pull in job results and allow them to be clicked to show more details. According to numerous sources, Google for Jobs is rolling out in America on the Google app, desktop and mobile devices this November 2017. It is planning to expand the feature to other countries later in the year, but no date has been confirmed as yet.

    The jobs displayed in the search results will also be pulled from some of the biggest job sites on the internet: these include LinkedIn and Monster. The result is a streamlined job search engine, that sorts and collects listings from all over the web.

    Why Google Believe It Works: Google’s new search presents a more practical and efficient approach to the job hunt. By working with major job sites like Monster, Google allows users to see job listings from these sites and others as soon as they’re posted, while eliminating any duplicates. Which means checking for jobs is now as simple as a Google search.

    If you don’t find what you’re looking for on your search, you can choose to turn on email alerts for that exact search. Google will send you an email whenever new jobs are listed in relation to that category. However, one of their biggest challenges is the inconsistencies between industries and organisations in job titles and keywords used in job descriptions. What one industry calls an account manager may be completely different in an alternative industry.

    Only time will tell how Google’s new jobs feature will affect the job market and competing recruitment sites. But if it delivers as promised, it could mean a major shift; for both employers and candidates alike.

     

    Content for this blog post is used with many thanks from Google.

  9. How to Set & Accomplish Your Goals!

    Our lives are getting busier and busier. We all have things that we want to do and dreams to conquer, but sometimes, it can be overwhelming – Where do you start? How do you fit it all in?

    If you are able to successfully set and achieve goals, you will experience many benefits. Setting goals has many benefits including providing direction, clarity in decision making, providing motivation, giving you a sense of personal satisfaction and giving you control of your future. Without goals, what do you aim for and how?

    So, how do you set and accomplish your goals? Here are my top tips to help you set and achieve your goals:

    • Evaluation: Assessing your past and present situation is key to setting goals tailored to you. Ask yourself the following questions; What worked before? What didn’t? Based on these, what do you want to achieve and how can you make improvements?
    • Make it SMARTER: Your goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evaluative and Revisable.
    • Write it down: Write down your goals into small and manageable steps, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. It could be a little list you keep on you at all times or something next to your desk.
    • Be disciplined: By setting attainable goals, this should provide you with the discipline to stick to the time line of your goals. If you have given yourself too much to do, change the time line but never the goal! Effective systems and habits make it easier for you to accomplish your goals.
    • Reward yourself: Rewarding yourself will provide you with a ‘big well-done feeling!’ Treating yourself for all your hard work will make all your efforts worthwhile.
  10. Top 100 Instagram Hashtags

    If you want to utilise Instagram to its full potential, it is important to know what the most popular hashtags are and how to use them. Here are the top 100 Instagram hashtags (in no particular order) that can be used to make your photos visible to a greater number of people who search for popular hashtags:

    1. love
    2. instagood
    3. photooftheday
    4. tbt
    5. cute
    6. beautiful
    7. me
    8. followme
    9. happy
    10. follow
    11. fashion
    12. selfie
    13. picoftheday
    14. like4like
    15. girl
    16. tagsforlikes
    17. instadaily
    18. friends
    19. summer
    20. fun
    21. smile
    22. igers
    23. instalike
    24. likeforlike
    25. repost
    26. food
    27. instamood
    28. follow4follow
    29. art
    30. style
    31. amazing
    32. family
    33. nature
    34. nofilter
    35. life
    36. instagram
    37. vscocam
    38. followforfollow
    39. fitness
    40. swag
    41. sun
    42. f4f
    43. l4l
    44. beauty
    45. pretty
    46. music
    47. sky
    48. beach
    49. hair
    50. photo
    51. lol
    52. vsco
    53. cool
    54. dog
    55. girls
    56. travel
    57. party
    58. sunset
    59. تصويري
    60. iphoneonly
    61. night
    62. webstagram
    63. funny
    64. baby
    65. cat
    66. foodporn
    67. ootd
    68. followback
    69. makeup
    70. hot
    71. instasize
    72. instapic
    73. my
    74. iphonesia
    75. black
    76. instacool
    77. pink
    78. instafollow
    79. blue
    80. yummy
    81. instalove
    82. model
    83. healthy
    84. likes
    85. igdaily
    86. photography
    87. gym
    88. wcw
    89. red
    90. work
    91. awesome
    92. motivation
    93. sweet
    94. nice
    95. birthday
    96. new
    97. eyes
    98. all_shots
    99. throwback
    100. blackandwhite

     

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