Job interviews are the adult equivalent of a school exam. There is the pressure to do well and the worry of what happens if you fail to impress or succeed. We build them up in our heads the same way until they are just a wall that seems impossible to climb. You may not even sleep the night before and in the morning you will look groggy and feel unrested. We need to change all these things so that you can ace your next interview and claim your dream career.
The average person always has butterflies in their stomach before walking in for an interview. There’s added pressure on an interviewee since prospective employer places a lot of attention on one’s behavior during the whole interviewing process.
Going to a job interview is a scary experience. Whether you have had one interview or a hundred, the moment you walk into the interview room will be stressful. Sitting before people you don’t know, who are there for the sole purpose of judging you is never going to be enjoyable. If you are going for your dream job, though then you can’t let anything stand in your way. Even if you feel as though you want to run out of the interview room crying, you mustn’t. Instead, sit tight and prepare yourself for an interrogation.
The key to a successful interview is planning. There are maybe five questions that all interviewers will ask you so get the answers ready for those questions in advance. Once you have your stock answers ready, it is time to prepare for the other stuff. Don’t think of this as an interview; think of it as a role playing game where you’re playing the perfect candidate. Here are a few tips to help you ace your next interview.
1. Prepare For The Unexpected
When you’re in an interview, the interviewer will judge your every move. Often interviewers will ask you an odd question to see how you react. The question could be anything. They might ask you what you think of new government policies or what your favourite animal is and why. Don’t panic. They don’t care about your answer at all. They are asking you these questions because they want to see how you cope with the unexpected. Smile and take a deep breath before you answer. Think on your feet and come up with an answer that best sums you up.
2. Be Flexible (Or, At Least, Sound Flexible)
For some job roles, you will have to make sacrifices. It is vital that you say that you can do everything and that you are willing to. No interviewer is going to hire someone who won’t be flexible to get the job. If the interviewer asks if you’re willing to move for the job, say yes. Go one step further and say that you have already talked to estate agents in Freshwater about your moving options. Make it clear throughout the interview process that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job.
3. Answering Personal Questions
Sometimes interviewers will ask you personal questions. They may ask if you are single or what you do in your spare time. These questions are all part of the interview process, so don’t panic. The important thing is not to get carried away when talking to the interviewer. This person is not your friend; they are trying to find out whether you are a good candidate. Give honest, yet vague answers. When answering the hobbies question, say that you swim and read books. Swimming shows that you are healthy and motivated. Whilst reading books will tell the interviewer that you are a keen learner.
4. Prepare Your Questions
You should always have questions ready to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview. When the interviewer has finished asking you things, it is your turn. Plan some questions in advance. You should ask how the company began and who started it, how long the company has been going and what your promotion options would be. When you are asking the questions, you get a chance to find out how stable the job is and whether you could move up in the company. Remember, the interview isn’t just a chance for the interviewer to get to know you, it is also a chance for you to get to know the job.
5. Answering The Salary Question
A new trend is that interviewers ask you how much you want as a salary. This one is a trick question. The interviewer already has in mind how much they are willing to pay a new employee and are hoping that you will say the same figure. Ask the employer what kind of salary they had in mind and see whether that fits you. Don’t answer this question unless pressed to do so, as it should be the employer who sets your wage.
For anyone who has ever contemplated a career in health and safety, choosing the right courses and finding the right work placements can be a daunting task. Below, we list the integral steps candidates will need to take before they they begin the search for work. However, first of all, it is important for those looking to enter the world of health and safety to understand whether or not they are right for the job – and whether the job will be right for them.
Health and safety officers are responsible for creating a positive health and safety culture in the workplace. They will plan, implement and review safety strategies as well as assessing risks and formulating appropriate solutions. They will need to carry out regular inspections to ensure all safety legislation is being adhered to and ensure that all relevant staff training is carried out as and when it is necessary.
Not everyone will make a good health and safety officer. Those looking to take on such a role will need to possess great tact and diplomacy, a logical mind, great problem solving skills, a good level of fitness, excellent attention to detail, a calm demeanour (with an ability to deal with pressure), and first rate communication and organisational skills. If you recognise yourself in this description, then it may be time to look at taking the first steps to becoming a health and safety officer.
There are a number of training routes that individuals can take when looking to move into professional health and safety roles. Whilst HND diplomas and degrees in occupational health and safety are one option, many opt to take an IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) course such as IOSH Managing Safely, followed by a NEBOSH (National Examination Board for Occupational Health and Safety) General Certificate qualification.
The former will lay the groundwork, giving individuals a basic understanding of health and safety principles whilst the latter is a longer and more intensive course, imparting a much broader understanding of health and safety to those hoping to follow such a career path. The NEBOSH General Certificate will usually be the minimum qualification needed for any H&S role.
An alternative to this process would be to take an NVQ Level 3 in Health and Safety whilst working in a role that has direct involvement in a company’s safety operations. A work-based qualification, this route allows individuals to become qualified on the job rather than in a classroom environment.
Once NEBOSH or NVQ qualifications have been attained, individuals can reach chartered status of IOSH by undertaking the Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice.
Candidates can also take a NEBOSH Diploma, a preferred qualification for anyone looking to take on a managerial health and safety role. To achieve this status, individuals must demonstrate exceptional knowledge and commitment, and possess a track record of ongoing professional development.
Choosing the right course provider, such as Phoenix Health & Safety, will be extremely important for individuals to ensure the highest level of tuition and the maximum potential for flexibility. However, qualifications are not the only essential assets of those wanting to work in health and safety. By developing your personal skills in the aforementioned areas and focussing on any weakness you may have in these essential skill sets, you will have the best chance of succeeding and finding the perfect roles once you have completed your training.
You may also find that, when a health and safety role becomes available in the company you currently work for, if you show passion and possess the right attributes, your employer may be willing to pay for your training. Wherever possible en route, look for a wide range of experience in H&S roles, no matter how small, to ensure your path to becoming a health and safety officer is as smooth as possible.
While there is no definitive way to display your skills and experience to a recruiter in the security industry, a carefully thought out CV can help you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of employment. Having a clear and compelling CV is crucial, particularly in the initial stages of a job application where the recruiter will on average only spend a few seconds scanning over your CV. To increase your odds of reaching the interview stage, there are a few simple steps that can help push your CV to the top of the pile.
Emphasise your certifications & training
Formal qualifications are highly desirable from a recruiter’s perspective, and even a degree that is unrelated to the security industry should still be listed near the top of your CV. However, although qualifications are generally preferred, they are not always imperative- impressive accomplishments can sometimes be of more importance and should be accentuated on your CV to encourage the recruiter to focus on your strengths.
As well as formal education, additional training and certifications are of high importance in the recruiting process as it shows a willingness to learn about the industry. If you have numerous security qualifications, you should however, avoid listing every training course you have attended – instead, try to focus on relevant and recognisable certifications, such as those provided by Wilplan Training.
Make it job-specific
When actively looking for a career in security, your CV needs to highlight your assets and avoid unnecessary, unrelated material that will make the recruiter quickly lose interest. An unspecific, diluted CV that can be applied to a whole range of security jobs is likely to be dismissed. Your skills, qualifications and attributes need to be directly related to the job that you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a career in private investigation, door supervision training will be deemed irrelevant. The recruiter should be able to easily identify the job-specific attributes that you can bring to the role.
Have a strategic structure
CV’S that are easy to scan and have a clear, simple layout are more likely to be successful in the initial stages of recruitment. In order for the recruiter to be able to quickly extract useful information from your CV, you should consider using bullet points and sub-headings to break the text, whilst steering clear of lengthy paragraphs. You should try to find a balance between information that is simple and can still be of value to the reader.
Strategically placing your most important accomplishments near the top of the page will also help to captivate the readers attention from the outset. For example, qualifications that are particularly impressive or specific to the job role should take the lead, whilst less-relevant skills can be listed in a brief ‘additional skills/ qualifications’ section at the bottom of your CV.
Add personal touches
Although qualifications and training are a crucial part of a CV, incorporating personal information can help you stand out from the crowd and provide a valuable insight into your character. Placing a brief introductory paragraph that summarises your personal qualities, skills and strengths can encourage recruiters to view you as an ideal candidate even before they have looked at your qualifications.
Rather than having a CV that reads as a paraphrased job description, listing personal achievements and transferable skills will help set you apart from other candidates. For example, having experience in public speaking and analytical writing may not be directly related to a job in security, but can demonstrate desirable communication skills.