HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT

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At GradConnection we are often asked questions about the graduate application process, how to write cover letters and CVs, how to handle interviews and assessments and much more! This year we decided to partner with our friends at Development Beyond Learning (DBL) who are experts in graduate training and development to deliver “How To Get The Job You Want”. This is a free e-book to help YOU get an ‘edge’ over other graduates. If you find this book useful then please forward it around, and if you have any questions please head to this forum so we can help you out further: http://www.gradconnection.com.au/forums/thread/1093/ If you have received this e-book from a friend and you don’t have a GradConnection account, make sure you get one at www.gradconnection.com.au . We will then keep you up to date as graduate programs open and close! Dan, Dave and Mike

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Development Beyond Learning Pty Ltd (DBL) is proud partner with GradConnection to help you get the job you want by sharpening your graduate edge. The Graduate Edge is the extra skills, knowledge and development the best graduate employers expect the best graduates to have. How do we know? Because DBL develops graduates during their graduate development programs at some of the best graduate employers and organisations in Australia. These include Accenture, General Electric, Australian Bureau of Statistics, CPA, Insurance Australia Group and many, many more. Hopefully we’ll see you in YOUR graduate program soon! To introduce ourselves to you, we have put together “How to get the job you want.” This free 36-page e-book is jam packed with tips, information and skills to help you get the job you want. All the big questions answered in one place. As a bonus, please go to www.e3edge.com now to download the “Top 10 Tip for Graduates” 10 free short videos for the next 30 days. Or check out the back page of this e-book for more free opportunities for you and your friends to get The Graduate Edge. Good luck! Gary Lear and Josh Mackenzie www.developmentbeyondlearning.com

HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT

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table of contents
Introduction Chapter 1 Targeting the ideal job for me Why do I need to work? Why am I going for this job? What do you want to wear to work? And where do you want to work? What hours do you want to work? What environment do you want to work in? What benefits do you want and need? What growth do you want to pursue? Summary i 1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 6 7 8 8 9 9 10 11 11 12 12 12 13 17 18 19

Chapter 2 What do I put in my curriculum vitae (CV, Resume) and cover letter? Should I tailor my resume and cover letter to every application? Your resume Summary for your resume Layout & design Resume final thoughts Summary for your cover letter

Chapter 3 Getting the best out of the interview? What Will We Talk About? Commonly Asked Interview Questions Some frequently asked questions Questions about your qualifications for the position Questions about your ability to work for the organisation Difficult to answer questions How to answer questions using the STAR structure Closing the Interview The final close The Do’s and Don’ts of Your Interview

Chapter 4 The what and why of Psyche tests Aptitude or ability tests Work style questionnaires (personality/motivation/emotional intelligence) Can I pass or fail psychometric assessments? Can I prepare for a psychometric assessments or aptitude tests Tips to remember before the Psychometric Assessment Tips to remember on the day and while doing the Psychometric Assessment Chapter 5 The assessment centre process Before you arrive At the assessment centre Group exercises Helpful tips to remain confident Useful links and resources Chapter 6 I have an offer should I accept? You Have a Job Offer. Now What? Does the Offer Add Up?

20 20 20 21 21 22 22 22 23 23 24 24 26 26 27 28 28 28 28 31 31 34 35 36

Chapter 7 I got it, what now? Summary 9 Secrets to getting the job you really want Final thoughts

So let’s spend some time in thinking about what you would love to do before we explain how to do it. you are able to choose the work you want to do for the pure joy and pleasure of it. “Why do I need to work?” Imagine with me for a moment. is knowing what that job is. • Work to leave a legacy. See yourself as unbelievably wealthy and debt-free. What interests you? What is your passion? What do you love doing for other people? These things. Because you aren’t concerned with the amount of your pay cheque. • Work to break a sweat. we have made one of the smartest. talents and gifts. Don’t limit yourself to the degree you have completed. • Work for a cause you feel deeply about. We can answer this question. Focus on the work you want to do. “Why work?” in a number of different ways. Here are some suggestions: • Work at something you love doing. you do work. as much as your degree. but still. While this is understandable. Therefore don’t limit yourself. they pick the best person they think will fit the job. will be important to your perspective employer and will make your job much more satisfying for you. • Work to fulfil your personal mission. people give lots of reasons they need to work. • Work to create a better future. and to get dirty and gritty and real. • Work to feel the satisfaction of good hard work. something that brings you joy. most of them financial. Passion cannot be overrated. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 1 . In our surveys. What would you choose? What would you do? Do you have an answer in mind? When we choose work that brings joy to our lives. the important question is. You don’t have to work for the income it brings you. Employers don’t just go by qualifications or degrees alone. of intentional effort. most lifeenhancing choices we can possibly make. Don’t let the degree dictate the direction you take. The following questions will help you to determine the job you want Why do I need to work? Why am I going for this job? This is an interesting pair of questions. Think about what you want to do and how your degree relates to that job. • Work to deliver a gift to humanity. • Work in celebration of your natural strengths. • Work to make your weaknesses irrelevant.chapter 1 Targeting the ideal job for me The first step in getting a job you want.

While your first choices may be dressing casually and working remotely. and serve your spirit for giving. some opportunities may still exist for you to work remotely or dress casually when you go to work. I am quite sure you can add a multitude of other reasons to plunge yourself into the pleasures of work. these optional may not always be best for career development. • Work to learn what you don’t yet know. • Work to make a difference. The question of where you want to work also includes the question. remember that some jobs will require that you attend the same office or workplace every day. Just consider that they are not always as glamorous as they first seem. Some jobs can be highly interactive. The electronic age has made working remotely also a possibility. • Work to help someone you believe in. You need to answer the questions for yourself “What do you want to wear to work?” and “Where do you want to work? 2 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . In fact. nationally. and mentor others as only you can. • Work to support someone you care about. or even overseas. no longer is it necessary to wear a collar and tie in some workplaces. coach.” • Work to serve others well. locally. to feel fulfilled. to “make meaning. It can also enhance social possibilities. While a number of employees will want you to work with a group early on in your career to gain experience and pickup the culture of the organisation.• Work to show your agreement with another’s mission. “Does the job involve travel?” When thinking about your job. while some will involve movement. In deciding where you want to work you also need to consider the type of interaction you want to have with other people. Travel can quickly become monotonous with the typical view being the inside of offices and airport terminals. What do you want to wear to work? And where do you want to work? The job market has changed dramatically. while others can be desk bound with very little communication taking place during a day. The ability to work with a group of people and gain from the experience of others is usually beneficial to the career. to some people this can even be quite destructive. travel can become tiresome and damaging to your home and social lives. I’m not trying to discourage you from taking jobs that involve travel. While jobs that involve travel may appear attractive at first. • Work to teach. going from one meeting to another.

can help narrow your focus and bring you one step closer to the right job. including options for working late at night or weekends. Others are more flexible. the kind of schedule you want. Others offer only part-time work. Then. What environment do you want to work in? While working environment is a major factor in career success and in worker happiness. and long weeks take the fun out of the writing? If you handle stress well. combining a love for writing with experience or a degree in marketing could qualify you to work for an ad agency. in a general sense. it is often overlooked. What kind of hours do you want to work? Time of day may be a factor. fields. Really! Your work environment is just as important as the kind of work you want to do. You might want to work in an urban environment. You may want to stay in a small town. Decide where you want to work. or industries appeal to you. Others are freelance opportunities with totally flexible timeframes. Others consider those long hours to be a major deterrent. factor in your time and schedule. field. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 3 . high stress. You may prefer suburbia. Some jobs are actual jobs where required engagement with others demands a set timeframe. Combining that with what you want to do. but the size of the city does. So. and industry for you. Knowing the kind of schedule you can tolerate. For example. fast-pace work environments that provide you with a daily adrenaline rush? Or do you prefer a slower environment that provides regular down-time? Maybe you prefer big organisations with multiple layers over smaller organisations? What is important to you? Perhaps the size of the company doesn’t matter. Some jobs come with mandatory overtime. Would the long hours. Do you prefer flexibility or the discipline of a rigid schedule? The type of job you choose will determine the hours you work.What hours do you want to work? Some jobs come with rigid working hours. Some people gladly work long hours to be involved in such a volatile and lucrative field. what do you want your work environment to be like? Are you a highly social person who wants to be surrounded by co-workers who are all working together? Or would you rather fly solo? Do you like busy. Think creatively about your background and different ways skills and interests can be combined. but so could duration of work and flexibility. maybe the higher pay and access to better benefits outweigh the stress and long hours. and recognising the gap in between can help you select which jobs.

Think about the opportunities that are available to you now and the opportunities you want to be available to you in the future. Is there a stepping stone that’s just right for you? Summary I meet new graduates every week.What benefits do you want and need? For some people. The right job for you might be more about the opportunities it opens up than about the work you really want to do. salary and benefits are an essential consideration. the biggest challenge that I come across is they have achieved their goal of getting a degree. they let the job shape it for them. Have you got clear in your mind? What and why are you applying for this particular job? 4 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . But. So. then the job you work now is more than just a job—it’s a stepping stone along your career path. “If I was trapped in a lift with a person who could possibly give me my ideal job and had thirty seconds to describe that ideal job to this person. “Do I really need my employer to provide them? Maybe a job with no benefits and a much higher salary would allow me to purchase my own benefits and have even more left over. Yet. how would I describe this job in such a way that I am the best person for it?” Here’s your challenge: Write down the words you would use now. Try this. Applying for your first job can shape the rest of your life. What growth do you want to pursue? If you’re trying to develop a career. For many people. the job they need is determined by factors other than what they enjoy. Ask yourself. they have not planned for the next part of life. Rather than planning and shaping their own life. how much do you need to make? What benefits do you need? What employers provide the benefits you need? You just narrowed down your possibilities to those types of organisations. too many people select the first job that comes along.” It often pays to do some out-of-the-box thinking. Think about your career track. Then again you might ask.

A well-written cover letter can help you to make a strong first impression with an employer. a well-written resume is still important because many employers use it later in the recruiting and hiring process. Job seekers who are well-known or well-connected. The discussions I’ve had with many employers indicate that many resumes just simply miss the mark and are discarded after the first or second paragraph. However. Employers tell me the hardest part about selecting a candidate is reading the resumes. or adept at networking can often get an interview without a resume. the primary goal of your resume is to get you an interview. Your resume In order to have a successful resume. clearly. They must present your information quickly. Due to the number of resumes a recruiter receives daily. and leaves them wanting to know more about the individual that is applying for the position. Your resume should be between 2-5 pages long and include the following sections: HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 5 . This is your thirty-second commercial. It is therefore important to have a resume that is targeted at the job you are applying for and that grabs the reader’s attention in the first paragraph. Until you meet with a recruiter or potential employer. and in a way that makes your experience relevant to the position in question. recommended by a friend. Your resume should compel the recruiter to pick up the phone or email you to schedule a phone screening or an interview. one interview is granted for every 75 resumes that come across a recruiter’s desk. In all other cases. this is all they know of you. On average. Resume) and cover letter? Should I tailor my resume and cover letter to every application? Your resume and your cover letter are your personal selling tools. they typically know within about nine seconds of receiving a resume if a candidate will be called for an interview. Recruiters want to see a resume that is simple to understand.chapter 2 What do I put in my curriculum vitae (CV. it is vitally important to recognise what your resume is and isn’t. It is an excellent opportunity to summarise your key attributes and experience and convey information that is specific to the position you are applying for.

This is how excited I am by the opportunity of being able to help your company achieve their goals and this would be the skills I can provide to help you achieve these goals.” The best resumes do more than get an interview. When your resume contains compelling information. and other differentiators that will get called in for an interview and set-up a memorable interview. To that I would say you are probably right but the consequences of being caught are not worth the risk and may rule you out of that job that is just perfect for you. Mention special awards. “Facts tell. or team player be sure to capture those critical characteristics. Why this is the job for me. and “implemented” to help you stand out. including volunteer work if appropriate • Detailed employment history • Hobbies and interests • Referees In your resume you want to display the skills and work ethic that you will bring to the organisation. so tell the truth.” You are selling yourself and the resume is part of that process. • Personal details • Qualifications and education • Key skills / strengths. stories sell. Take a line from the sales industry. you’re probably saying everyone has padded their resume at some point in time. People seem to have little or no idea about knowing what a company wants to see from their staff. Interesting stories can help you “make the finals” in the recruiting process. is they make the search for the job all about themselves. Facts are important. I want to hire someone who is passionate about working in IT and wants to see the company do well. They also help guide the interviewer.• Impactful opening statement. but easily forgotten. this is the job I want. If you are a natural leader. What I can do for you. and ask how are you going to give it to me? Rather than promoting themselves as assets to an organisation by saying things like: This is what I can do for you. It goes without saying a good recruiter checks the resume. not someone who wants to just come in and do a 9-to-5 day. “facilitated”. it begs certain questions that allow you to tell your story. Avoid phrases that sound like you were merely an observer when something important happened. accomplishments. They tell the person recruiting. 6 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . company records. A senior IT entrepreneur said recently to me “The reason people are not getting the jobs they want. Reemphasise what I can do for the employer • Career summary. I know. recognition. Use strong action-oriented words such as “directed”.

Summary for your resume Even if you are not applying for a job in journalism.e. To avoid a premature exit from the recruiting process. • Customise your resume for each job by focusing on previous experience or skills that are relevant to the advertised role. launched. • List your employment history and education details in reverse chronological order (ie. Too little space makes it appear crowded. • Be aware of space. Layout and design offer the greatest opportunities to create a unique and memorable resume that gets attention. and what you can do for them.. Say what you have done that is relevant. Unless you are a skilled graphic designer use a template or get help from an expert. However. • Use high quality paper. you’ll be a C statistic of the nine-second rule. I. achievements and results for each position. positive and action-oriented language (e. Choose a colour and texture that don’t interfere with the text.. • Use no more than 2 fonts. Using numbers and percentages will help to E illustrate your successes or the impact you made. negotiated. accomplished. Unless you are a highly experienced writer avoid the temptation to invent your own rules and/or be too clever with your writing style. • Keep it honest. Too much empty space makes the resume look hollow. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 7 . rather than a narrative style (it will also help you get to 2-5 pages). One is safer. Write in plain English so that you are understood.g. • nsure results are specific and quantifiable. There are rules and there are preferred styles. • Ensure that you spell check and then proof read your resume thoroughly before submitting it to each role.. etc. Layout & design The final look and feel of your resume is ultimately a personal preference. Have a qualified person proof read it. making sure you provide the months as well as the years.) • Write your resume in the third person and keep pronouns (i. created. disorganised and unattractive. • Use bullet points. your writing is important. concise. Here are some design considerations: • hoose fonts and size with readability as the first priority. we. Don’t exaggerate your experience as you may be asked more detailed questions which bring out the truth. read. too. start with the most recent). • When listing your employment history. with opportunity comes risk. include responsibilities. • Change font sizes for headers and titles only. If it’s hard to read. they) to a minimum or avoid them altogether. • Reread the advertisement and make sure you have covered all the requirements. understand and adopt the following resume best practices: • Use clear. • Avoid acronyms and jargon.

• Be concise. Your cover note must still be business-like and free of errors. reference number and where and when you saw B the advertisement. In matters of artistic preference. Keep your cover letter to one page and your introduction brief. • e relevant. Don’t be seduced by the more casual method of corresponding via e-mail. It has the advantage of fewer rules and constraints. Have someone review and critique your resume. at least as far as the message is concerned. How you believe you can contribute to achieving what they are looking for from the role. but it will also be the first step in getting the job you want. • Be correct. • Be direct. • Be complete. If you want to break the rules. Demonstrate an upbeat and enthusiastic attitude to work. The cover letter is the perfect opportunity to tell your story. Review the advertisement and reply specifically to what you see are the main B requirements. but sparingly to make certain words of phrases stand out. Then. Nothing will get a resume pushed to the bottom of the stack faster than a resume with spelling and grammatical errors. • Be positive. • e specific. Even if you reply to the advertisement electronically or via email. Summary for your cover letter The cover letter is your best opportunity to make a good first impression. Reread the advertisement and make sure you have covered all the requirements. Outline the reason for your interest in the role/company. A good design will draw the reader’s eyes to the most important parts in the best possible sequence. • Be personal. • Be purposeful. your resume will benefit from objective input. 8 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . include a cover letter. by name where possible. Here are some guidelines to follow when creating a cover letter. Be very positive. know why and understand the risks.• Use bold and italics strategically. • Bulleted and numbered lists are effective if not overused. Refer to the advertised job title. Having a winning resume will not only unlock the doors to countless opportunities. • Be professional. Resume final thoughts Like anything in life. Try to keep the information to one screen of text and remember to attach your resume and cover letter. Customise your cover letter for each job you apply for. rules were made to be broken. Address the letter to the relevant contact listed in the advertisement. Write your cover letter in the first person. proof read your cover letter thoroughly before submission. Use spell check.

Interviews are also to help you determine whether you like the job as well. It is important that you can show the employer how you will be an asset to the company. They are looking for an individual who is confident. and the products and services the company offers.chapter 3 Getting the best out of the interview? Well you’ve made it this far. and interests there is a good chance that the employer will remember you. and to see whether the job is a good “fit” for both parties. Because the job interview is one of the most important parts of the job search process it can be the most daunting. The interview will give you a chance to convince the employer that you are the best person for the job. review and remember the information to use in your interview. Congratulations! Unlike probably 75 other people. if you have a sales background. If the company has. Study their mission and vision statements. that you can successfully help the organisation achieve its goals. background. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 9 . it’s not all one-sided. be aware of your performance figures. So don’t blow it. It will impress the interviewer. Now is the time to make the best impression possible so that they will say this is the person for us. you have been selected for the all-important interview. Search for articles about the company to see how it is portrayed in the news. Review Refresh your memory regarding important facts and figures of your own employment history. Think about your greatest achievements so far in both your work and personal file. If you can impress the interviewer with your communication skills. Think about what skills might be required for the role and examples from your history that you could talk about to demonstrate these core competencies. and positive and is an effective communicator. However. Perhaps it has won awards or is engaged in public service. Employers do not usually hire on merits or qualifications alone. Research Visit the company’s website. experiences. Familiarise yourself with facts and figures. The goal of the job interview is to show the employer that you have the skills. Showing these qualities are all vital to the job interview process. For example. The fact that you were requested for a job interview is very encouraging and suggests that the employer has seen something in the resume that he/she likes. enthusiastic. The job interview is a communication process. and that you will be a perfect fit for the organisation and its work cultures. Look for the annual report and job descriptions online or call and request a copy. enthusiasm and ability to do the job. It’s your turn to shine. Your interview may well include competency based questioning. so be prepared.

• Be yourself. For males. a suit is the preferred attire. Look the interviewer in the eye. Important tips • Be on time. • Be positive. but don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. When practicing avoid terms such as “like” and “you know” and don’t sound too rehearsed. There is no worse way to begin an interview than by arriving late. Pay attention to non-verbal behaviour. If you are asked why your grades are low. Don’t talk about your bad feelings or give any excuses about a negative experience. For females. Rehearse to make sure your answers are clear and succinct. location and who you’ll be meeting. Wear your best work outfit. It is often the X-factor that will have you perform better than your competition. The work you do before the interview is arguably the most crucial part of the whole process. Instead. Do not chew gum or smoke anywhere near the interview location. as though you have memorised each answer. • Be a good listener. You may also have a job description. don’t give excuses. sit up straight with both feet on the floor.Make sure you know the details of interview time. a suit or skirt and blouse or classic dress are preferable with appropriate stockings and shoes. focus on stating the positive facts and lessons learnt from your experiences. Be professional. Speak clearly and enthusiastically about your experiences and skills. There is nothing worse than asking a question at the end of the interview that the employer has already talked about. The combination of listening and being prepared will help you answer questions in context with the job you are seeking. You should practice answering with a friend or with your family members. Prepare well in advance. plus some information about the company you’re interviewing with. be less nervous. • Be poised. • Be dressed appropriately. simplicity and no strong or ‘loud’ colours. 10 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . An interview is like an exam . The things to remember are cleanliness.preparation is paramount. and make your answers more focused and relevant. You should also control nervous habits such as fingernail biting and giggling. but a long-sleeved shirt and tie with long trousers may also acceptable. Rehearse Don’t wing it. An interview is an audition.

and why? How would your friends or people you’ve worked with describe you? Have you applied for other positions? If so. your posture. When you are being interviewed by a panel normally they would have decided who was going to ask what question. Also ensure that you make eye contact with every panel member at some stage during the interview. your mannerisms and the like. the interview isn’t just about the questions and answers.What will we talk about? Remember. However. Commonly asked interview questions We have talked about some of the things to do before the interview. The whole process also takes account of your appearance. listen carefully and answer questions directly to the panel member who asked. These questions are usually structured and most questions have an application to the job or the culture of the person they are looking for. So. Panels can be a little daunting. Some questions you’re likely to hear are listed in the table below. You know what to wear. There are a set of commonly asked questions you need to think about and a few you should be ready for. what type? Have you been successful? If not. Be prepared! Some frequently asked questions • • • • • • • • • • • What are your immediate objectives? What are your future aspirations? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What interests you in the position and/or our company? What do you know about our company? What are your hobbies or interests? What do you do in your spare time? What have you enjoyed most/least about your previous job(s)? What are your greatest achievements? What kinds of management style and team structure do you prefer. the questions and answers are a crucial part. why not? • Why should we hire you? • How hard are you prepared to work? • What are the most important rewards you expect in your business career? HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 11 . three or more. be prepared to give well thought-out and clear answers. but don’t be distracted. but what about the questions. More than likely the question is being asked by the person who really wants to know the answer. how to walk. The questions you will be asked have more than likely been prepared beforehand by the interviewer or the interview panel. You may be interviewed by one person or you may find yourself interviewed by a panel of two.

or community).) How do you handle conflict? What major problem have you encountered and how have you dealt with it? How competitive are you? What do you expect from your supervisor? Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and those reporting to him or her. work. Tell me about your most significant work experience. Why are you the best candidate for this position? Have you ever supervised anyone? Questions about your ability to work for the organisation • • • • • • • • • What qualities should a successful manager possess? In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable? What criteria are you using to evaluate the organisation for which you hope to work? Are you a team player? (Offer an example and anticipate a follow-up question.• What do you do in your spare time? • Are you willing to relocate? Questions about your qualifications for the position • • • • • • • • How do you think a friend or someone who knows you well would describe you? How would someone who dislikes you describe you? Can you summarise the contribution you would make to our organisation? What was your most rewarding university experience? Please tell me about the greatest professional assignment you’ve ever handled. Difficult to answer questions • • • • • • • • • Tell me about a time when you experienced a failure and how you reacted to it. If you could have any job in the world. • Describe a situation where you did not agree with something your superior asked you to do and how you resolved the problem. what would it be? What motivates you? Why should we hire you over everyone else we’ve spoken to today? How do you go about deciding what to do first when given a project? Tell me about an experience you have had in a working environment (school. Tell me about a time when you were under considerable pressure to meet an important goal. 12 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . Give me an example of how you are a risk taker. Describe a situation where you had to resolve a problem and explain how you resolved it.

How to answer questions using the STAR structure We recommend preparing your answers to the questions by shaping them using the STAR structure .. Result. Explain the outcome Everything worked as it should the next day at our roll-out and training. time to ensure it wouldn’t happen again and reported the results back to my team. I finally found a small programming error that I Don’t forget to use “I” not fixed. Action. What did you spent most of the night working through the do? program. As the person what your response was to with the highest level of IT knowledge. I then retested the whole system one final “we”. How do you answer these? They may not fit the STAR structured process. talk through Explain in sequential steps our options and allocate tasks. other tasks. This structure allows you to provide a concise.) and testing and re-testing the You should include as much system. while still through it and kept regular updates flowing through to the others who were completing being concise.Situation. I the situation. I called a meeting to brainstorm. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 13 .. Explain what your task was The night before we were to launch the within the situation database and train the staff on its use. helping them build a database to keep a record of their volunteers. Task. wellstructured response and helps you avoid drifting off-track if nerves get the better of you! The STAR structure involves these four steps: Situation Outline what problem or instance you were faced with Example: Question: Can you tell me about a time when you have solved a complex problem? What steps did you take? During my final year I was doing some volunteer work with a local charity. The organisation could start data entry of the volunteer information on time and I received great feedback about my leadership and technical contributions. Task Action Result There are some questions however that may leave you stumped. it stopped functioning. We have prepared some suggestions for eight of these commonly asked difficult questions. trying different options (provide a few examples. I kept a list of what I had tried as I went information within this section as possible.

This is a time for you to turn your life history into a story that leads seamlessly into this job being the obvious next step for you. “I put my heart into everything I do. mission and targets are so that you can tie your answer into the culture of the organisation. This is a question for you to give framework to the interview. To effectively answer it you will need to research the organisation and gain a clear picture of what the vision. and those aspects of your personality and/or background that you’d like to promote or feature for your interviewer. one or more of your key positive behaviours – perhaps honesty. If you choose “team player” (maybe you’re the star player on your team tennis group). such as. 2. your answer should make the connection between the two. you could ask. You can tell the person what is important to you. However. such as a stable and happy work environment or a place where you can grow as a professional or an atmosphere that would encourage your best work. Reply with the organisation’s attributes as you see them. Whichever direction your answer ultimately takes. Cap your answer with reference to your belief that the organisation is a good fit for your career objectives.1. Have it prepared and make it memorable. Answer this question so that when someone says to the interviewer. be sure that it has some relevance to the organisation or at least your involvement in a work context.” Or you might describe yourself as someone who is able to communicate with a variety of people. In part. integrity. This is not a literal question. to answer this question correctly you may need to know more about the context. or determination. so give an example from your personal life that indicates an ability to communicate also at work. In such a situation. “Tell me about yourself?” Be warned this question is not an invitation to ramble on. I find that getting along with teammates - or professional peers - makes life more enjoyable and productive. Frame your answer in a way that people can remember it even tell it to other people. This isn’t a question that you can answer effectively off the cuff. being a team player. “How was that person you interviewed?” the interviewer will be able to respond by telling your quick story. “Is there a particular aspect that you would like more information on?” This will enable the interviewer to help you find the appropriate focus and avoid discussing irrelevancies. The tale you tell should demonstrate. Take some time in advance to think about yourself. you can tell a story about yourself outside of work that also speaks volumes about you at work. or refer to. whether it be sports or work. 14 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . “Why do you want to work here?” This question also requires preparation. Why are they asking this question? If the context isn’t clear it is okay to ask to put it in context.

mentally add: “Tell me about when you last……” Do this. As far as promotion. I usually find it stimulating. and you will give the information requested and seize an opportunity to sell yourself.” 5. For example.” and finish by saying “One day I would love to be leading an organisation like this. You are not a high maintenance HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 15 .” Or.You could conclude by making a statement like. Recently I had an experience where I had to respond to a difficult situation under pressure. You might be tempted to give a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Your organisation produces a superior product and/or provides a superior service. “Can you work under pressure?” This question is a closed question. 4.” These statements show that you know about the organisation and have a respect and a desire to grow as the organisation grows. which should enable me to fit in and complement the team. but don’t. It seems that’s where you need the effort and where I could contribute toward the company’s goals. Whenever you are asked a closed-ended question. The safest answer contains a desire to be regarded as a true professional and team player. it seems operations is where the heavy emphasis is going to be. You realise there is a need to follow directions. It reveals nothing. It is about you being a team player. I share the values that make this possible. “I have always felt that first-hand knowledge and experience open up opportunities that one might never have considered. it is reasonable to expect that other exciting opportunities will crop up in the meantime. and you lose the opportunity to sell your skills and value profiles. What I did was………… and it resulted in………….” 3. that depends on finding a manager with whom you can grow.g. You could use an approach of avoiding directly answering the question while at the same time including some of your research about the organisation by saying: “From my research and what you have told me about the growth here. you could say: “Yes. I enjoy my work and am proud of my profession. I believe in planning and proper management of my time to reduce panic deadlines within my area of responsibility. so while at this point in time I plan to be a part of [e. “What would you like to be doing five years from now?” When and why did you establish these goals and how are you preparing yourself to achieve them? This answer also requires preparation. “I’m not looking for just another pay cheque. You need to understand the goals of the organisation and be able to blend them with your goals.] operations. “How do you take direction?” The question here is not directed at you taking directions. The question is also about “Can you see the big picture?” and “ Are you able to work with someone who needs to get the job done and must give directions?” Your approach and answers to these questions should really reflect that you are a team player. However.

theytaqk 16 A l. I don’t need much constant reassurance. position is worth to the company. “What are some of the things that bother you?” “What are your pet hates?” “Tell me about the last time you felt anger on the job. It is tremendously important that you show you can remain calm. line. It’s the only way. be sure you know whether the job requires you to work alone .” These questions are so similar that they can be treated as one. “Do you prefer working with others or alone?” This question is usually used to determine whether you are a team player. To answer it.” Or “I really hate not completing a job to the quality that I expect of myself” or in relation to feeling anger you could reply “There are a few times like…… when I feel anger but I think the most important thing is not to show it in an uncontrolled way.person who constantly needs support but gets on with the job at hand. find something that angers conscientious workers.then answer appropriately. so they should tell you how much the position is worth to the business.a A HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT s e a . Like “what bothers me is when I see customers being treated badly.” and conclude with a sentence like “I enjoy giving my best to my employer and my best includes maintaining and even temperament. So you politely say l Q that you’d like them to decide how much the position is worth to them and offer that wage. Before answering. You have no idea how muchl. There is carefully explained direction. “How much money do dm need to make?” w much money you e thatt answer this question. so my boss can get on with their job. While I have seen some people get upset with that. Perhaps: “I’m quite happy working alone when necessary. depending on the circumstances. as a result of deadlines and other pressures. Most of us have seen a co-worker lose his or her cool on occasion . As such. and the more frequent your contact with clients and the general public. But I prefer to work in a group--so much more gets achieved when people pull together. Maybe you did your last job for free.not a pretty sight and one that every sensible employer wants to avoid. then there are those times when.” 6. when my boss has time to lay things out for me in detail.” 8.” 7. the direction might be brief and to the point. I take the direction and get on with the job without taking offense. This question comes up more and more often the higher up the corporate ladder you climb. personally I’ve always understood that there are probably other considerations I am not aware of. this Do not that The person interviewing you knows the firm’s bottom line. Even the best leaders feel anger but they know how to deal with it and how to get the best out of the team without showing it. That er peq 0n b they s taqk 6 A has nothing to do with how much this position is worth to the current interviewer. however. This particular question can also be targeting “How do you take direction?” and “How do you accept criticism?” Your answer should cover both points: “I take direction well and recognise that it can come in two varieties.

It’s okay to have these written down and ask can you refer to your notes. If this is the case. it’s always beneficial to ask at least a couple of questions at this point. It shows that you are keen and inquisitive. it can often be hard to think of questions. but do it tactfully.” or “Explain how…. You ideally want detailed information. Sell yourself right to the end.” The final close In most cases. If the interview has been comprehensive. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 17 . the interviewer will close the interview without giving you much indication of where you stand. So again. be prepared with a few questions. You may also want to briefly restate why you want the position.Closing the Interview The final step in the interview will usually be about any questions that you have. Simply thank him or her warmly and re-iterate your enthusiasm for the role. The interviewer may say “Do you have any questions for me?” While I would hope you have had a lot of your questions answered during the interview. ask open-ended questions instead of closed questions. (if you know this has happened from your research) how will it impact the business? • How would you describe the culture of your company? • What orientation or induction programs are available? • What is the company’s approach towards external training and development? • What type of internal social/sporting activities are organised? • What will be the next step? As a general rule.” or “Described for me…. To do this a simple way is to use TED. Here are some examples that might be of use: • How has this vacancy come about? Can you tell me about the previous person in the role? • How does the position fit into the organisational structure? • What sort of positions have staff that have entered your organisation progressed to? • What are the company’s growth plans for the company? • In what areas do you expect the business to grow the most? • How do you rate against your competitors? • In relation to your recent merger with Company X. (if you know this has happened from your research) what are some of the effects being felt and how will it change the organisation? • In relation to your recent acquisition of Company Y. rather than a simple yes or no response. and what you feel you can bring to the role and the company. don’t be discouraged. The acronym stands for Tell Explain Describe so your question could be “Tell me about….

take a deep breath and relax! You’ve given it your best shot. You need to prepare your close prior to the interview.However there may be an opportunity for you to have one final word. you’re selling yourself. “Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. Do you have any reservations about hiring me?” By the interviewer answering this positively it reinforces all you said in the mind. If they answer with a concern then you will have a chance to allay any fears the interviewer has about you. when you are so close. but it’s better to have a chance to do it at that point than to give up now. When you are being interviewed. so you need to close if there is an opportunity. Salespeople are always focused on the close. Here is a suggestion. it will be! 18 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . Your role in an interview is to sell yourself. and if it’s meant to be. Finally. I want this job very much. It may be a tough moment to put yourself into.

This can be a tricky balance to achieve sometimes. Being late for an interview. and be keen and interested throughout the interview. bonuses and the like. DO use the questions as an opportunity to sell yourself to the interviewer. Try to give a fair and balanced account of past experiences. tell them your recruitment consultant is managing that on your behalf. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 19 . Use your answers to highlight your strengths and your suitability for the role. especially in a first interview. DON’T ever ask about salary. DON’T speak negatively about anything if you can avoid it. DO listen carefully. it is easy to forget this crucial point. you’re there to show that you’re the best person for the job. DO arrive at your interview a couple of minutes early if possible. DO show enthusiasm. DO be honest. Even though you need to provide informative answers. especially past employers and bosses. DO wait until you are offered a chair before you sit down. a clear well-spoken manner and confidence in your own ability! Remember. This may be appropriate later on in the process. Giving irrelevant answers. is never acceptable and will usually ruin your chances right there and then. be conscious of your whole body language. DON’T give one word answers like simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No. With interview nerves.Here are a few dos and don’ts for you to scan through before you go to your interview. Answer questions truthfully. Sit upright and maintain good.’ Explain yourself in some details and give evidence to support your responses. but focus on the relevant facts. If the interviewer asks what your salary expectations are. Take a deep breath. This will show that you are listening keenly. positive eye contact throughout the interview. you can go overboard. even if only slightly. DO greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and good eye contact. DON’T ask about fringe benefits. DON’T ramble on too much when asked a question. no matter how brilliant. holidays. be sure to give direct and relevant answers to the interviewer’s questions. will not help you. DO show maturity. succinctly and as close to the point as possible.

Psychometric assessments are used across many industries and are commonly part of the selection process for any position. They help employers gather objective information about an applicant in order to decide if they are the most suitable person for the job. A good psychometric test cannot be manipulated. The most commonly used psychometric tools would be: Aptitude or ability tests Aptitude or ability tests provide information on a person’s ability to perform certain tasks and their potential to learn and understand new information and tasks. and referee comments. don’t try to manipulate a test. Tests may include: • Verbal reasoning (critical evaluation of written information) • Numerical Reasoning (analysis of numerical data) • Abstract Reasoning or spatial reasoning (often use of diagram sequences) • Comprehension/grammar • Information checking (checking errors / attention to detail tasks) • IQ (how quickly you can learn and master a new task) Aptitude tests are used to ensure a minimum level of ability in using numerical and written information and can be designed to indicate suitability for specific tasks eg computing. 20 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . keyboard or foreign language skills. therefore the first piece of advice is. what you will do is simply show them that you are not real and you will be discarded even before your results are viewed. Aptitude tests are used to ensure a minimum level of ability in using numerical and written information.chapter 4 The what and why of Psyche tests Psychometric assessments may form one stage of the recruitment process. If you try to manipulate the test and get the results you think the interviewer wants. You may encounter them at the first stage of a graduate recruitment campaign where they can be used to reduce the size of the applicant pool by eliminating scores below a certain level. The results are generally used in conjunction with other information such as your resume. interview responses. Most tests will have some form of inbuilt checking mechanism.

whose task it is to match an applicant to the job or work place. and the different M conditions which increase or decrease your motivation.Work style questionnaires (personality/motivation/emotional intelligence) Work style questionnaires or inventories are concerned with how you typically behave. To answer the questions you often need to think about what you would do in a work situation. to the interviewers that should be checked in the interview process.g. They generally explore personality characteristics relevant to the world of work. leadership style • Patterns of coping with stress • Interests . One low psychometric test outcome on an ability test will not make you ineligible for the job. For example. Employers will use a range of assessments to evaluate applicants against the competencies they require e. think about how you behave in similar situations such as voluntary work. assessment centre activities and the biodata (eg education. Aptitude or ability tests can result in a score which allows employers to rank you compared to other applicants or a criteria/standard they have set. psychometric tests. These are used to get an idea of your fit with the role. such as the way you relate to others or the way you approach and solve problems. conflict style. an employer wanting someone for a role requiring consistent attention to repetitive detail will probably not want to give that job to someone who is very creative and gets bored easily. feeling and acting in different situations • Interpersonal style. Can I pass or fail psychometric assessments? Personality assessments are not about passing or failing but about giving a profile of you to the employer. university activities or when you are participating in your hobbies. skills) presented in your resume. team or organisation. • Work values– what factors make work worthwhile for you • How you interpret your own and others emotions and behaviours • Occupational Personality/Motivational/Values based assessment. interview/s. and a guide only. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 21 . employment. These tests will separate the candidates in groups and give a guide. or may be used to flesh out questions for a final round interview. • otivations – look at the energy with which you approach your work. If you have no formal work experience.how much do you like carrying out various types of activities at work. Work style questionnaires look at factors such as: • Ways of thinking.

The best strategy is to find a balance between speed and accuracy.shldirect. You can do Myers Briggs (MBTI) and DISC psychometric assessments on Facebook. If you are in doubt about anything.they are designed that way. becoming familiar with what to expect will also lower anxiety around the process. Tips to remember on the day and while doing the Psychometric Assessment On the day. advise the test coordinator of any special requirements you might have. Some tips are: • Listen carefully to the instructions given. • Brush up on basic mathematical calculations such as calculating percentages. You need to work as quickly as practical and skip questions you get stuck on.Can you select more than one multiple choice response? .onetest. 22 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . you need to know: . Don’t worry . • Get a good night’s sleep and don’t skip breakfast! • If appropriate.Can I prepare for a psychometric assessments or aptitude tests? While no specific preparation is possible. but it is okay to ask. If you are not clear on what is required. A set of practice tests is available at the following websites: • www.Is there a time limit? • Sometimes there are far more questions than can be realistically completed in the time allocated. there is no point finishing the test if you get the most wrong. In most timed tests it is unlikely that you will finish. some tests come with time constraints.com.com • www. this approach can tend to waste time. However.Will marks be deducted for wrong answers? . ask. It’s okay to ask “What are you trying to determine from this test?” You may not get an answer. make sure you clarify any concerns by asking questions before the test starts. it is not usually advisable to skim the whole test for easy questions.au/ Tips to remember before the Psychometric Assessment Strategies include: • Read the newspapers and complete crosswords to ‘exercise’ your mind. • Read the instructions. make sure you listen to the test instructions carefully.

and can be challenging. One assessment centre our organisation carries out is in the form of an Amazing Race.chapter 5 The assessment centre process What are assessment centres? The term ‘Assessment Centre’ does not refer to a location. An Assessment Centre is a collection of activities designed to show whether your skills. some you may do on your own • You are assessed against a number of key competencies (skills) required to do the job An Assessment Centre can be run separately or in conjunction with psychometric testing and aptitude or ability test. Assessors observe your performance and interactions in group settings. But. leadership problem solving and other areas of skill relevant to the job. to identify communication. They will vary in structure. or who can best adjust to changes within the organisation. Assessment centres can be designed to be fun and they can take many forms. Some organisations and government departments use assessment centres as programs. where a series of activities are used to assess your attributes and abilities to carry out work tasks through simulations. experiences and personal qualities match the organisation’s selection criteria and culture. It may include multiple methods of assessment such as: • Aptitude tests • Personality and motivation questionnaires • Simulation exercises • Interviews An assessment centre can take a whole day or even two. Assessment centres are more objective than traditional interviews alone which may be influenced by the interviewers’ biases. but typically: • Several candidates will be present (approximately 6-12) • Some exercises will involve other candidates. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 23 . even though they are fun. they are designed to assess the suitability of the applicant for the organisation or the role. but to a process which is being increasingly used by middle to large organisations in Australia and Overseas to assess the most suitable recruits to a wide range of positions and to identify staff who possess strong potential for higher level positions.

If you are a natural leader step up. the problem-solving activity may be looking at your problem-solving aptitude. If you are a follower. During the day. Some examples of the types of tests and what they are testing is listed below: 24 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . Listen and clarify instructions at the beginning of each activity. • Team-based activities • Problem-solving simulations • Aptitude tests • Individual or group written exercises • Presentations Each of these activities may be testing one or more skill. carry out that role. • Be up to date with the company and current affairs. and your ability to concentrate. your teamwork. It may follow short listing of job applications/resumes and the initial job interview. due to the large amount of time and expense in conducting this process. At the assessment centre Be natural. • Wear a watch. Before you arrive • heck the start and finish times – you need to stay for the entire time – it is recommended C that you follow all instructions about any requirements on the day. various activities will be given to you. • Revise your application as the tasks will align with the selection criteria. Show your true colours at the assessment centre. • In tray activities • Role playing activities • Group discussions • High stress or high impact games.When are they conducted? Assessment Centres are used after the initial stages of the selection process. The best way to act at an assessment centre is to enjoy it and not let any of the activities fluster you. Be yourself. For example. Possible tasks may include the following: • Simulation exercises.

Identify whether the solution makes sense. Identify and prioritise issues.Simulation exercises Simulation exercises are designed to imitate a particular work-place tasks. Use original thought processes. Express yourself articulately. present findings and evaluate consequences. Strong analytical and problem solving skills Make reasoned and intelligent assumptions. The most common types of simulation exercises include: • group exercises/case studies • presentations • fact-finding exercises • role playing • in-trays The exercises are designed to assess such skills as: Structured thought Development of an approach or a plan around a framework. Listen actively and be able to understand and clarify what is required. Reasoning and logic Professionalism and engagement Communication HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 25 . Enthusiastic and confident approach. Draw conclusions and relate them back to the initial problem. behaviour or skills. concisely and effectively. Lateral thought processes. Maturity of thought. Summarise findings and test hypotheses. Sort and interpret data. Reflect an understanding of the company and its purpose. Creativity Demonstrate an innovative and unique approach. logic and pragmatism.

written communication skills. These exercises commonly measure interpersonal skills such as group leadership. 26 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . and influencing. you may be asked to assume a particular role as an employee of a fictitious company and work through a pile of correspondence in your In Tray. negotiation. communication with team members and customers. These tests commonly measure job skills such as: ability to organise and prioritise work. and delegation (if a higher level position). having a positive mental attitude about the process is invaluable. manager etc. analytical skills. teamwork. These types of exercises may measure: oral communication. previous experience with different test formats such as multiple choice questionnaires. Group exercises may range from ‘leaderless group discussion’ formats to problem solving scenarios. They are clearly briefed about their role and how to respond when the candidate takes a particular approach in the role play. Role Plays usually use professional actors as the customer / staff person respondent. role plays and group exercises can all help you feel more confident. including customer queries and complaints. Most importantly. and group problem solving skills. Try to imagine that you are at work doing the described duties. you will be asked to assume a fictitious role and handle a particular work situation. Group exercises Group exercises involve candidates working together as a team. data checking exercises. rather than completing a test. although having some idea of what to expect at an Assessment Centre or work simulation test. Helpful tips to remain confident You cannot study for an Assessment Centre. Customer Service Officers may be asked to respond to a number of phone inquiries. to resolve a presented issue. Role Plays If you are asked to do a role play.In-tray exercises If you are asked to do an In Tray exercise. In a ‘leaderless group discussion’ you may be assigned a fictitious team member role and asked to attend a meeting with other team members who are actually fellow candidates. This type of exercise may take from several hours to a day. Phone interaction will involve a role player who has been thoroughly briefed in their respective role as a customer. maximising performance.

duty statement and other background reading material about the organisation. • Get a good night’s rest before the big day. • Take the tests seriously . • Be aware of time constraints. when required to discuss a hypothetical problem with other ‘ACME’ team members. A Useful links and resources Use the following resources to find out more about how to prepare and approach simulation exercises.joinbain. • Read all test instructions carefully.interviewstuff. The tests are not designed to match the employer’s real life workplace. • Treat your attendance as a day at the workplace.the hypothetical scenarios will require you to ‘suspend your belief’ and go along with the exercise.com/apply-to-bain/interview-preparation/crack-the-case.asp • www. the assessment centre is a picture of your performance on that day only. Take notice of how you could improve.• If you have been given pre reading material prior to the Assessment Centre day .i. Are all the resources. it will demonstrate your skills in managing such situations. • Like any test. • Familiarise yourself with the job description. • Consider the process as a positive learning experience.read. D For example.e.mckinsey. the written material in the reception/ waiting area. may have no relevance to your assigned role as ‘project manager of ACME Ltd. other candidates you may see. They include consulting firms’ websites which feature sample case studies: • www.bring your own personality and experience to the Assessment Centre. • View the Assessment Centre as an opportunity to learn about the employer and the advertised position. which are listed on the test instructions available and working? • Be yourself . prepare and understand what is asked of you.com/job-interview-tests3. This will provide some clues as to what type of employee they are seeking. • If another person dominates a situation. verbatim.com/careers • www. • Arrive early so you do not feel rushed. • sk for feedback if you are not offered a position. • o not guess what is being measured as this may affect your participation and assessment. Perhaps your waiting time in the reception area can provide you with a ‘feel’ for the environment .html HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 27 . quoting the employer’s Mission statement. • Not all tasks are designed to be completed – that’s good to know! • You are responsible for your own behaviours – not that of others.’.

Does the Offer Add Up? By now you’ve gathered a lot of information about the organisation you’re going to be working for. And now the moment you’ve been waiting for is here. reporting line. 28 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . The first in a list of things to consider is. Details to look out for are the position title. you have received a job offer. vacation entitlement. start date and more. or vacation time? Or could it be the corporate culture or the length or your commute? What about your boss and coworkers -. and networking. 1. Make sure you understand exactly what the company thinks they will get from you. Now What? Congratulations! After all your hard work. work hours. Assuming this stacks up. you have received a job offer. request a document outlining your tasks and their expectations of you. Do you understand exactly what you will be doing in your new job? Your work load must be realistic and worth the compensation you get for it. But. visiting recruiters. Here are ten to get you started. This will serve as a yardstick against which you can measure your progress in the role (you know your boss will be doing the same). did you ever think making a decision would be this difficult. department.chapter 6 I have an offer should I accept? You Have a Job Offer. salary. If you don’t fully know. You’ve sent out your resumes and gone on a bunch of interviews. Congratulations! After all your hard work. this is serious business.will working with them be pleasant? As you can see there are a number of factors to take into account and only some are negotiable. benefits. health benefits. Your first step is to ensure everything in the documents adds up to what you were offered or heard previously that has made you excited about this job. you can move into your decision-making process. You’ve spent the last few months answering help wanted ads. location. A detailed job specification will help you understand the role better. The decision making process has a number of steps. You’ve received an offer verbally and hopefully you will be receiving a letter to confirm. The job you take now may be yours for a long time to come. During those long days of pounding the pavement. Clarify any discrepancies with the HR representative sooner rather than later. What’s the most important thing to consider? Is it salary.

for example. 6. no one can argue its importance. Commute Time When you’re considering a job offer. Every office has a different feel to it. Corporate Culture and environment Corporate culture was defined by Merriam-Webster as “the set of shared attitudes. goals. 3. a company with a corporate culture that encourages late hours may not be for you. If you value your time away from the office. This is where networking comes in handy. Salary Even if money isn’t what gives you the most job satisfaction. take into account the length of your commute. Will you like the People? Does your new team and boss seem like a happy bunch that will welcome you or will they leave you to your own devices? Is the corporate culture in line with your own values and ideas? If you connect with people. values. It’s important to find out what others are making for related work in the same industry. Corporate culture should be an important factor in your decision whether or not to accept a job offer. While environment is slightly different to corporate culture it certainly has an impact. and in the same geographic region. whatever your plan is you will want to make sure the company has the same plan and that they know of your intentions. Is the potential employer’s philosophy “win at all costs?” Is your philosophy “always play clean?” This company isn’t for you. consider the amount of time you will spend in your car or on a train or bus. 5. and practices that characterises a company or corporation”. they are likely to have the same feeling for you and they will naturally support you. Most of us also want to make sure we are being paid what we’re worth and what is the going rate for jobs similar to ours. in rush hour traffic. 4. What may have seemed like an okay distance to travel for a job interview may begin to wear thin when you have to make that trip twice a day. five days a week. You need a certain amount of money to pay the bills. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 29 .2. What are the career prospects? Will you be performing this role for the next five years or are you expected to move up a rung on the ladder every year? You may or may not want to move up beyond this position. You just need to know which environment you’d be unhappy in you are going to be there at least eight hours a day. Some feel kind of “dark pin-striped suit” while others feel a little more relaxed. Start calling people on your list of contacts to see if anyone knows something about the company. Before you accept a job offer.

a client. You need to give the company specific reasons why you need more time. You may at some point wind up with that employer as a superior. you must inform the employer who made that offer. But.Each of these factors taken alone may not make or break your decision to accept or decline a job offer. or maybe you’re not sure if you want the job. and if you wish by telephone as well. Maybe you have other offers to consider. you don’t know where your future will take you. Reinforce your interest in the position along with your need to evaluate carefully the other offers. You certainly don’t want to leave a bad impression. If you are not ready to accept an offer: It is appropriate to ask for more time. 8. 30 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . If you find that you still need more time. If you do not have other offers: Explain to the employer that you are still investigating other opportunities and arrange a time for you to give them an answer. These are valid reasons to pause. advise them of your intention of taking up this position. But. more importantly. 10. You can explain that this process will result in a more informed answer and a more confident employee. Other Offers: If you have other offers: Explain this to the employer. 7. Contact the organisation by the agreed upon time so that they are able to pursue other candidates for the position if you reject the offer. though. call your contact to see if it is possible to negotiate an even later date. And then it will be time to let the potential employer in on your decision. 9. When you put them all together. a colleague. in writing. If you have your name down with other organisations or career centres. why is it important to be polite to someone you don’t plan to work for? Well. you will have the information you need to make an educated choice. doing the right thing ALWAYS matters. Accepting or Declining the Offer Whether you choose to accept or reject a job offer. This should be done formally. When you accept an offer: Withdraw your candidacy from all other organisations. If your answer is “yes” it’s obvious why you’ll want to make a good impression with your future employer. or even your next door neighbour. but companies may urge you to make a decision.

Be reliable. You stand to earn more raises. And if the answer is no. Don’t underestimate how important this is in an employee. on the dot (even if it’s just a little after). what now? Whether you’re in an entry level position or you head up a department in a large company. and ultimately promotions as you progress through your working life. Your employer will notice this. Education is a pathway. Go to www. As well as increasing your value in the job market. there are certain concepts that should be applied in your working life. and not leave at 5. you’ll be extremely valuable to your employer. but you have these attributes. and it’s a path we should pursue throughout our whole lives.com and enrol in their Leadership Series. 3. because you’re constantly improving what you know and how you work. even if it’s not mentioned. This can be as simple as reading books or articles online. developmentbeyondlearning. to figure out what you should be doing with the time spent on the working day. Even if you’re not the best in your field. or ten years? Does knowing where you are going mean you will always have a job that you like one hundred percent of the time? No. five. trustworthy. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 31 . you really need to do some soul-searching.m. simply because you have these fundamentals. And the way to achieve this is to keep on learning.00 p. Make sure you’re constantly learning There’s no point knowing what you want to do. two. 1. and communicative Many would say that this is just common sense. rather than a destination. practicing these ideas will enhance your worth to your current employer. how do you know when you’ve arrived? Where will you be in one. But you should always evaluate your current job scenario and ask yourself if it’s taking you where you want to go. you could find yourself scoring the job promotion over better candidates. Know where you’re going If you’re unsure where you’re going. or interviewing experts in your field. 2. but it’s been my experience that very few employees practice these fundamental skills. If you make a habit of applying these core principles when performing every aspect of your job.chapter 7 I got it. Below are the top nine things that will make you the best employee at whichever company you work. along with your paycheck. Follow these principles and you’ll find you often end up in more management type roles seeing your responsibilities increase. if you’re not setting out to be the best in that field. would be to arrive at work 15 minutes early every day. An example of being reliable. bonuses. Development Beyond Learning has a great set of videos to help you learn more.

As long as you keep an open mind and a positive attitude.4. and for many we have multiple things we must accomplish in a timely manner. offer your help. It’s always nice to have a little free time on the clock where all your assignments are complete and you’ve planned ahead for the next week. Yet very few people actually manage to ask themselves how they can achieve this. Actively pursue increasing productivity Every person who has a job can work at becoming more productive. show someone you can tackle the simple and the hard. simply take care of the most important ones first. Accomplish this a few times over and your employer will look at you as being reliable. 5. there is nothing like having an employee who knows how to stay busy and be productive. Ask for Extra Work. What tasks do you consider to be wasteful in your working day? How can you achieve more in less time? Actively seek ideas about how to be more productive. This tactic will help you learn to multitask. While it’s ok to be the silent mouse sometimes. Stay Busy and Be Productive! 6. it’s also a plus to let others know what you think about certain things or how you feel they should go. Don’t just stick to the easy stuff. Get recognised. If you have more than one task. 7. Be Versatile Show your boss and all your co-workers that you can do just about anything. Offer feedback Try to get involved with some of the bigger projects being worked on so that you may voice your opinion. But. If a co-worker is having trouble with something. you’ll surely be on your way to the top. dependable and trustworthy. Participate in projects that involve teams but keep a balance on individual/solo projects as well. Everyone loves a team player. Complete all tasks by deadline Sometimes it’s hard enough to finish one thing on time. Whatever you do though. 32 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . Learn to prioritise and organise. be enthusiastic and stand out in the crowd.

Often I’ll let messages go through to voicemail if I’m already occupied with an important task. One habit I’ve formed is to only open my email client at certain times of the day. personal branding has gone from a radical idea to a career basic. so I don’t interrupt my work by checking its content. I know that I can easily become overwhelmed if I’m constantly interrupted with changes to projects that I’m working on throughout the day. These two changes have enabled me to increase my productivity tenfold. People who perform their job well have learned how to organise their tasks to achieve better results. For example. Since the 1997 publication of Tom Peters’ “The Brand Called You” in Fast Company. but few of us take a HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 33 . I’m unable to see when new email comes in. Be Organised Every worker requires a degree of organisation skills. But how much thought have you given to building your leadership brand? “Many of us build our professional brand and create a digital identity. The same theory applies to my phone. 9. I’ve been better able to handle my weaknesses. Develop your Personal Brand Personal branding is serious business these days.8. This way. yet I’d have failed to even notice them had I not been organised to see how much of an effect they have on my day. I’ve learned that by being organised.

Second. 34 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . understand your brand.

Determine whether they operate in an industry that you want to work in. The competition for available jobs is fierce. desires. and talents so that you can paint a picture of your true work and life goals. you can beat the competition and actually get hired in the job you really want. If possible. from your own perspective. Once again. beliefs. or find someone in the company who can be a liaison for you. 4. Evaluate the companies that have your desired jobs. Why? Because companies are always looking for the right employees and will have to eventually hire new employees to survive. Make sure you would want to work for the companies that have your ideal jobs. Do not worry about whether they have job vacancies or are in a hiring mode. Here are nine secrets to consider. Research the companies you selected. 5. and what is important to them. Discover what you really want out of your work and life. Many companies disguise this information through HR departments or hiring committees. What you are doing is building your ideal job around what you want as opposed to looking at job opportunities that come along to evaluate. That’s right! Design and define the job that will allow you to fulfil your passions. Yet. They need to have integrity and treat their employees and customers in the manner you would want to be treated. 2. thus increasing the number of applicants for a shrinking number of jobs. do not be put off or discouraged if the companies are not hiring. and beliefs and maximize your talents. HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT 35 . direct telephone numbers. Get their e-mail addresses. Look at and research all of the possible companies within the geographical area you designated to discover what positions within these companies you would want. Believe it or not.9 Secrets to getting the job you really want Interviewing for a job is a very stressful and difficult process - made more intense today because so many companies are reducing their workforce. Determine who actually makes hiring decisions. desires. Develop and define the job you really want. Find out what companies have positions that meet your ideal position requirements. try to find out how you can contact hiring decision-makers directly. 1. 3. your ideal job actually exists in more than one way and within the personal parameters you set. Discover your true passions.

in essence. You will also be in a better position to take your dream job when it becomes available. but you have targeted a specific job at that company. Contact the decision-makers and tell them you want to work for them in the specific jobs you choose. which is to be expected. E xpress your enthusiasm for that specific job or jobs. You want them to know you can be trusted by truthfully exposing your commitment to seeking your dream job. If you do not have the sought-after skills and qualifications for the job. your enthusiasm. This approach directs attention to what the employer wants and away from your resume compared to others’ resumes. and also that you will be a very grateful and energetic employee because you are doing what you love. and your desire to produce for them. You are. and continued interest. This way you can work on the required skills and qualifications. qualifications. It will also show them your commitment to attaining that job. Getting your ideal job is an extremely important objective and worth enlisting the help of someone to actually gets it. even though they may not have an opening. 7. Let them know that you will be very productive because you will excel at the job. You will definitely get their attention. and who will be very productive with the least amount of supervision. In fact. You are not just asking for a job so they will pay you. recruiting them to work in your dream job. 36 HOW TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT . and you are committed to contributing in that position. If necessary. because of your honesty. you may even appear to be too good to be true. and you can obtain an income while you prepare for the job.6. Stay in contact to alert employers of your new skills. whom they can trust. be willing to take an interim job. 9. They are not producing or are causing other problems for the employers. Many times the people who are filling the jobs that you want are not happy in their positions. Ask them if there are any special skills or qualifications you will need to be accepted in the position. Final thoughts Employers constantly face the problem of finding and surrounding themselves with the right employees who want to work for them. 8. Your request for employment for these specific jobs will give employers an option that they only dream about. as well as someone who will offer you another perspective to assist in the execution of your plan. either find a way to get them beforehand or see if you can attain them within the company as an employee. This person should be a trusted and strong supporter of your goal. your commitment. Enlist the help of another person to discuss all of the above steps and to map out the best strategy to get your ideal job. The fewer jobs you designate the better. Get support from somebody during the process. when you recruit employers for the specific job you chose. Some of the secret steps discussed above will probably appear to be daunting to you.

com 2. 3. Keep an eye out for ‘The Graduate Edge’ and ‘The Leadership Edge’ products in the near future! . LOGIN NOW! 1. each short video is jam-packed with information. Don’t miss out. 4. tips and skills to help you hit the ground running and develop leadership throughout your career. Go to www. You will be sent an email with your own user name and password. You can immediately watch the videos as many times as you like for the next 30 days! 5. Enter your name and email address and click submit.e3edge. Feel free to also view introductions to other programs including: • What sort of Leader do you want to be? • Personal Productivity • Lead with a Vision • Building a Personal Brand 6.free for 30 days! 10 free ‘Top 10 Tips for Graduates’ videos are waiting for you now! Brought to you by DBL.

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