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Aug/18

17

5 Things You Should Never Say During an Interview

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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again; interview preparation is essential! Often, we focus on all of the things you should be saying during the interview. In this week’s blog, we’re going to look at some of the things which you should *never* say during an interview.  Had an interview nightmare? Let us know in the comments below!

We get it. Interviews are scary and even the coolest of cucumbers can be subject to a few nerves on the big day. One of the ways nerves can come across is by talking quickly, or perhaps by speaking too much. We’ve all had that feeling when perhaps something hasn’t quite come out as you intended it to! Whereas it’s been said that people who come across well at interview are able to provide quality, meaningful answers in a succinct and considered way.

So as part of your preparation for your next interview, in addition to thinking about the things you do want to get across, take a few minutes to make a note of the following topics or phrases to avoid!

In our opinion, these are the biggest turn-offs for interviewers, and in some cases, could mean the difference between getting the job and not. So, take a deep breath, and read on:

  1. My last job/employer/boss was rubbish

A potential employer does not want to hear negativity towards your previous role. After all, they’ll be wondering if you’ll be saying these things about them next time around and in the worst cases, they could deem you as being emotionally immature.

An interview situation is never the right time to bad mouth or complain (even if it’s true!); some things are better left unsaid. Focus on why it’s right for you to seek a new opportunity.

  1. What’s this job again? What does this company do?

You might have applied for several roles and it is easy to lose track. However, do not walk into any interview without being clear on what the role is. Find the original advert, and/or ask if the company have a job description available.

It’s also essential to have researched the company so you’re prepared for any questions, or even better, you’re able to drop in some of your knowledge while answering the interviewer’s questions.

  1. How much holiday do I get?

It’s definitely something you’d want to know before accepting a job offer, but an interview is not usually the right time to raise questions over holidays or other benefits.  Tread carefully, you don’t want to appear like you’re just there for the pay packet and can’t wait to be jetting off at the earliest opportunity.

  1. I’m not sure what I want to do in the future / I want to be CEO in 5 years

If you’re asked any questions about your long-term plans, the interviewer is going to be looking for someone who sees themselves staying with the company, but also for someone who is realistic about their career aspirations. By sounding unsure, the interviewer might suspect that you’re not going to be committed to the role. By sounding over ambitious, your confidence could be misconceived as arrogance.

  1. A lie!

Last but definitely not least, never ever lie to your interviewer! Honesty is always the best policy. If you know there’s something in your background that you are concerned about (perhaps your school grades or a reason for leaving a job), consider beforehand how you can best overcome this at interview and try to frame in a positive light, for example, by saying what you have learnt from a situation.

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Aug/18

10

What Does Brexit Mean For EU Citizens

We know that many of our followers are EU citizens living in the UK, and many of you are worried about your future when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. The UK Government has now released details of the application system for those who wish to remain in the UK after June 2021. Read our latest blog for more information.

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We know that many of our followers are EU citizens, and many of you are worried about your future when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

The UK Government has already reached an agreement with the EU, so although the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019, nothing will change until 1 January 2021. The Government have announced that a new EU Settlement Scheme will open later this year, where you’ll have until 30 June 2021 to make an application to stay here.

So firstly, it’s important to say that you don’t need to do anything at the moment, you can continue to live and work here with the same rights to public services as you do now.

Anyone who moves here between now and 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for settled status.

Here’s what we know about the scheme so far:

It’s simple!

The system will be very easy to use to use. You will only need to type in personal details, prove your identity and prove you have no serious criminal convictions. The system will verify everything else using employment and benefit records.

It will be cheap to apply

If you have lived in the UK for 5 years, it will cost £65 to apply for ‘Settled Status’, and £32.50 for children under 16. Alternatively, if you already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, you’ll be able to exchange it for free.

In addition, your existing close family members (spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependent child or grandchild, and dependent parent or grandparent), will also be eligible for the scheme, even if they’re not currently living in the UK. You will need to apply on behalf of your child.

If you have a child after getting settled status, they will automatically become a British citizen if they’re born in the UK. You will not need to apply for settled status on their behalf.

Pre-Settled Status

If you have not lived in the UK for 5 years when the scheme opens, don’t worry. You will be granted ‘pre-settled status’ which can be swapped for full ‘Settled Status’, using the new system, after 5 years.

You don’t need to do anything now

You do not need to do anything just yet. The scheme will open later this year, and the deadline is 30 June 2021, so you will have plenty of time.  Your application will only be refused on security or fraud grounds, or if you have serious criminal convictions. There will be no limit placed on how many people can successfully apply.

Please note that Irish citizens will not need to apply. Rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are currently being negotiated.

If you’re currently working for us and would like any further information or guidance, please don’t hesitate to speak to a member of the team who will be glad to help.

We will keep you updated as we learn more about the Brexit process.

You can sign up for email updates and also find more details by visiting the following website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/status-of-eu-nationals-in-the-uk-what-you-need-to-know

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Aug/18

3

11 Types of Co-workers You’ll Want to Avoid

Blog Photo - Funny or Light Hearted

Have you ever experienced a nightmare colleague? Take a look at this week’s light-hearted blog and see if you recognise any of these (or yourself!). Have we missed anyone or do you have a funny story to share? Let us know in the comments below.

  1. THE SLACKER

The one who has mastered the skill of looking busy without actually doing much at all. Not a team player, they’re happy for everyone else to make up for their lack of productivity.

  1. THE CHATTERBOX

You’ll hear them before you see them. Easily identified as they’re usually talking about anything and everything to anyone who’ll listen.

  1. THE GOSSIPER

This person lives for office scandal, they know who’s dating who and who’s getting fired next. Don’t tell them anything in confidence or risk the whole company knowing within 5 minutes.

  1. THE SINGER

The wannabe popstar; singing along to the radio or just humming to themselves. Either way, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to concentrate whilst someone sounds like they’re auditioning for the ‘X-factor’ across the office.

  1. THE COMPLAINER

Nothing kills a good vibe like a negative person constantly complaining about their workload, management, colleagues, the weather, or anything they can use to spread misery round the office.

  1. THE OVERSHARER

That colleague who has no filter and will happily share their embarrassing health issues, intimate relationship details through to family dramas (whether you asked for it or not!)

  1. THE TEMPERATURE CONTROLLER

A source of contention in most workplaces, there’s always someone too hot or too cold. Like a ninja, no one is ever sure exactly who whacked the heating up or down, but all you know is that there doesn’t ever seem to be a happy medium.

  1. THE NOISY ONE

With a lack of self-awareness, a noisy colleague will happily chew, chomp, sniff and slurp their way through the day. Once you’ve heard it, there’s no going back.

  1. THE KNOW-IT-ALL

Can be useful, but mostly annoying. The know-it-all seems to have experienced every situation going, and their favourite phrase is ‘I told you so’.

  1. THE OFFICE COMEDIAN

Got a joke for every occasion. Can be funny, but usually isn’t.

  1. THE FOOD OFFENDER

Whether it’s that person following a faddy diet and only eating fish for a week, someone who leaves their dried on food stuck to the microwave or someone who forgets they’ve left their food going mouldy in the fridge for weeks, creating a pungent smell in the office kitchen is unforgivable.

 

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Jul/18

30

Temp of the Month – July 2018

Temp of the Month - July 2018

Piotr Fryzowski has worked for us for the past 3 years, he has always been a hard-working, reliable and loyal candidate who has fitted into many different roles through our agency. We always receive excellent feedback from our clients regarding his work. He is currently a very valued member of the team we have at Eaton Production in Worksop and has just been offered a direct contract through his hard work and dedication to the job.

As a prize, Piotr was presented with a £25 one for all voucher, good luck with your career at Eaton Piotr!

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Jul/18

25

Psychometric Testing; How Can You Prepare?

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Psychometric testing, in various forms, has been around for some time. It has been widely used as part of the recruitment process for graduate schemes, but many other employers (particularly larger organisations) are now also introducing a testing element within their onboarding process for all types of roles; from entry-level to executives.

Psychometric testing comes in two forms; ‘competency’ and ‘personality’.

Competency

Competency or aptitude tests are similar to a traditional exam, often with multiple choice questions where you are usually marked against a benchmark score or pass rate. The content of the test could depend on the type of role you are applying for, such as numeracy for an accounts role, or a language based test for a marketing role. Some aptitude testing can also be more generalised to look at your skill set as a whole; such as verbal reasoning tests which measure how well you can extract information and analyse the data in order to form conclusions.

The best thing you can do to prepare for a competency test is to practice as much as you can using examples online. There are various free resources available on the internet, which may at least help get you back into an exam mindset, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve been in a test situation!

Our top tip is to make sure you take the time to read the questions carefully. Beware; they can be worded to try and catch you out!

Personality

Personality testing is totally different, there is no pass or fail, or even traditional right or wrong answers.  You’ll usually be presented with various statements about how you would feel or act in certain situations and asked to answer by marking on a scale where you would put yourself (i.e. 5 for strongly agree, or 1 for strongly disagree).

Companies use them to find people with the behaviours and attitudes that are necessary to perform the job and who are going to fit into their culture. The idea is to create a completely objective way of comparing people, and to gain insight into some of the personality traits which may be difficult to ascertain through traditional questioning.

In our experience, employers are unlikely to base any recruitment decisions solely on the results of a personality test, and is more often used in conjunction with other methods of selection (such as a face to face interview).

One piece of advice is to avoid missing any questions or selecting a ‘don’t know’ answer. This shows a level of indecisiveness and will not score highly.

The key to these tests is to answer completely honestly. Take time to read the question then go with your gut instinct. If you try and second guess yourself, and answer with what you think they want to hear, the system will show that your answers are not consistent which will go against you. Be yourself! After all, if you’re not a fit for them, then maybe the job isn’t right for you!

Lastly, good luck! We’d love to hear what testing you’ve encountered within a recruitment process, let us know in the comments below.

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Jul/18

13

How to Ace a Group Interview

Blog Photo - Candidate Advice

Group interviews are an extremely common part of the recruitment process.  As well as there being multiple candidates to contend with, they’ll often be multiple interviewers too; whose purpose it is to observe and assess from a distance.

Increasingly, many recruiters are ‘surprising’ their candidates with a group interview, to see how prospective employees interact with people they don’t know and how they can work as a team. Whatever the exercise the group is set is irrelevant, it’s not about getting to the right answer; the interviewers are looking at how each individual performs and how they contribute to the team.

We’re very experienced in prepping candidates in group interviews so we’ve come up with our top tips to help you ace your next one.

Before any kind of interview, it is essential to do some research into the company. You never know when the information may come in use and it will demonstrate that you have a genuine interest in the role.

Be Friendly

Try and be as affable as possible when faced with those you are interviewing against. The last thing recruiters are looking for is someone who is confrontational.  Being polite and approachable are qualities that any employer expects from its staff. It may also help you in the interview, chatting to others in the same situation could calm your nerves before the start, whilst also ensuring you have a better understanding of the group dynamic.

During the assessment, including others shows your capacity to build relationships, for example using phrases like ‘I agree with…’ and ‘following on from what… said’ will only help you.

Listen

A key skill in group situations is the ability to listen. Lots of people go into these situations being as loud as possible, hoping that by being the dominant voice they will gain more credit when the decision is made. But recruiters are looking for someone with the ability to take on other people’s opinions and make a balanced judgement. By following the conversation and staying engaged you will be able to speak with more purpose. What you say will have more impact, and be more memorable when the interview is analysed.

As an extension to this, don’t be afraid to praise the ideas of the other interviewees. Being able to spot and commend good ideas demonstrates leadership skills, and will show you are able to put the benefit of the group above anything else.

Be Yourself

It may be clichéd, but the most important thing is to be yourself. Trying to be a different person will come across to the interviewers. They might see you as overly loud or trying too hard, and they will quickly spot someone who is being insincere to their colleagues, for example. It is much better to be genuine, having an appreciation of those around you, and ensuring that you’re balanced and respectful.

It might be worth sending a thank you letter, or at least an email to the interviewers the day after. This will help you stand out, particularly if you reference a part of the conversation. It is another way of showing how much you want the role, and standing out from the crowd.

If you have a group interview or think that you may have one soon, we hope that this advice helps you. Let us know how it went in the comments below.

 

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Jul/18

5

How to Dress to Impress for an Interview

Blog Photo - Candidate Advice

We can all agree that interviews are nerve-wracking enough without having to contend with any outfit worries!  First impressions count, and like it or not, your interviewer will form an initial judgement based on how you look, so by following our simple guidance on how to tackle that ‘what to wear?’ conundrum we hope you’re able to feel your best when you step into the interview room!

Whether it’s a formal interview or a relaxed and informal chat, the same consideration and effort should be made when selecting your outfit.   In most cases, it’s unlikely an interview will be the best place to test out the latest fashion trends; aim for a look which is classic, conservative and comfortable.

Even if your new potential employer takes a casual approach to business dress, it’s usually best to stick to professional attire for an interview. If you’re unsure, choose smart over casual; you’re unlikely to be marked down for being too smart.  Or, if you’re still in doubt over the dress code; just ask.

For men, a suit is usually the best option. Your interview suit should fit well and be in a traditional colour (black, navy or grey). A smart suit doesn’t have to cost the earth; there’s plenty of choice on the high street, and look at it as an investment.  A tie is essential, choose something that compliments your suit and shirt, and ensure your shoes are polished for the occasion.  Pay attention to the smaller details; avoid brightly coloured or novelty socks! Aside from your outfit, it’s important to either be clean shaven or have well-groomed facial hair, nails should be clean and trimmed and avoid overdoing the aftershave.  If you do have the go-ahead for a more casual outfit, smart chinos and a shirt will work well.

For women, a tailored dress, skirt or pair of trousers can be elevated by the addition of a tailored blazer. If choosing a skirt or dress, make sure it’s not so fitted that you can’t sit or move around comfortably, and that it’s not too short; especially when you sit down.  If you have to question whether something is inappropriate or too short, it probably is! Stay away from bright colours, animal prints or anything sheer or low-cut.  A classic court shoe, low heeled ankle boot or smart pump are usually the best choices for an interview, ensuring they are clean and smart.  Think about your overall look, including accessories, hair, nails and makeup, avoiding anything too garish or unusual.  Fashion doesn’t have to go out of the window, just think more Kate Middleton than Kim Kardashian.

Whatever you decide to wear, get it ready the night before and make sure you’ve tried it on in advance; the last thing you need is to discover a missing button or broken zip on the morning of the interview which could lead to an outfit malfunction! Whilst your outfit is an expression of your personality, you want to be remembered by the interviewer for the right reasons i.e. why you’re perfect for the job!

Don’t underestimate the impact the right outfit can have on your overall mood and confidence, when you know you look good, you feel good and this can only help you in an interview situation.

If you’d like some more of our interview tips, just follow this link www.ambitionspersonnel.com/candidates/interviewtips.php

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Jun/18

25

Ambitions Personnel in Cluj-Napoca

Team Photo 2

 

Something new for Ambitions this week, as four members of the team are visiting Cluj-Napoca this week. They will be based in the city centre, evaluating exciting potential opportunities for the business. Have a good trip, we look forward to hearing all about it when you get back!

 

Team Photo

 

 

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Jun/18

22

World Cup Star’s Unbelievable Previous Jobs

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The World Cup is in full swing and naturally, it’s the talk of the office. This got us thinking about how we can tie the blog into this month-long Fiesta of Football. So we’ve been trawling the internet for stories of some of the stars at this summers’ tournament who’ve had some unexpected career paths.

Jamie Vardy

The most famous example of this is England striker Jamie Vardy, who had a variety of jobs in his early 20’s as he plied his trade in the Non-League, as low as Division 8. Most notably whilst at Halifax, he would work night shifts in a local factory producing medical splints. Handing his notice in to concentrate on Football he was offered a professional contract at Fleetwood Town a week later.

Nick Pope

Sticking with England, uncapped Burnley ‘keeper Nick Pope worked 4am shifts as a milkman as a 17-year-old after being released by Ipswich Town. He used the extra money to commute to training with Bury Town, now 26 he could be set for an appearance at the World Cup, after starting the season without a Premier League appearance.

Gabriel Jesus

Manchester City and Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus is likely to be one of the standout players of the tournament, and whilst only 21, he has also experienced a career away from Football. Whilst a youth player at Palmeiras he worked painting the streets of his local neighbourhood in 2014, in preparation for the last World Cup. He now has a mural on the walls of a housing block in the same district, which you can see here.

Carlos Bacca

The Colombia and AC Milan striker is now one of the most reliable goal scorers in Europe. Having signed his first contact with local side Atletico Junior he needed extra work to help support his family. He worked as a fisherman in Puerto Colombia and as a Bus Driver’s assistant, before a move to Belgium in 2011 allowed him to focus solely on Football.

Hannes Thor Halldorsson

Iceland’s number 1 goalkeeper nearly gave up Football at the age of 20 to focus entirely on being a Film Director. He has worked on TV and Cinema and even won awards for his productions, which he is still involved with to this day, despite being professional since 2014.

Iceland are undoubtedly the kings in this department. For instance, manager Heimir Hallgrimsson, not content with overseeing the fortunes of his nation in their first World Cup; is still a practising Dentist in his local village. Right Back Birkir Saevarsson has been working as a Salt Packer in the off-season, to stop himself ‘getting lazy’ just before the World Cup!

We hope you enjoyed some of the unusual careers that some of the players have had, let us know if you’ve heard any others during the tournament.

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Jun/18

14

World Cup 2018 – Getting The Office Involved

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It’s a football fan’s dream month and every employer’s worst nightmare. 64 games in 30 days may prove to be a little distracting for even the most dedicated worker. So there are many businesses quite rightly worried about a slump in performance, and potentially attendance, during this feast of football.

However, the best advice is to embrace the month (if England sticks to recent tournament form you will only need to cater for 3 or 4 games anyway). So things are already looking up, or down, depending on your perspective. The reality is that most of the country will be hooked if England do make it to the Knockout stages, so here are some ideas to ensure your office is fully in the spirit from Day 1.

Office Sweepstake

The easiest way to promote the football fever is through a sweepstake. There are loads of templates online to help with the time-consuming aspect. The sweepstake can promote friendly competition throughout the office and provide those with little interest an incentive to keep abreast of the scores, (and not be completely bored when the talk of the office is last nights’ riveting 1-1 draw between Sweden and South Korea, for example).

It may also provide some humour, the unfortunate soul who bags 1000-1 outsiders Panama will certainly be under no illusions of their chances. They’ll have the last laugh if Roman Torres scores another last minute winner, we’ve all been warned.

Here at Ambitions loads of us are taking part in an in-house prediction league throughout the tournament. There is a prize for the eventual winner, and the potential of 2 years’ worth of bragging rights, so plenty to play for.

Decorate!

Any excuse for bunting generally goes down quite well. In 2014 some offices around the world went all out for the event. Perhaps people can bake cakes and decorate in a football theme, or dress down Fridays can be based around football. There are plenty of ways to make the office environment befitting of the occasion.

If you can’t beat them…

Join them! If your workplace is full of England fans then the opening game against Tunisia on Monday 18th June at 7pm is perfectly scheduled. You and your colleagues can go and cheer on the Three Lions and hopefully work better afterwards. If you’re an employer it may provide a very affordable and effective team building exercise. If your workplace is backing someone else during the tournament then all the fixtures are available here.

Good luck to whoever you’re backing, let us know how your office is getting involved!

 

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