At­ti­tude goes a long way to se­cur­ing work

Daily Dispatch - - Dispatch Careers - ZISANDA NKONKOBE zisan­[email protected]­patch.co.za

A com­bi­na­tion of a proper at­ti­tude, an ap­par­ent will­ing­ness to learn, re­search on the com­pany in ques­tion plus a pep­per­ing of self-con­fi­dence are the per­fect tools to nail a job in­ter­view.

Giv­ing tips to grad­u­ates ea­ger to join the work­force for the first time, East Lon­don-based life coach Robert Brain said the right at­ti­tude was a pri­mary fac­tor. How is the proper at­ti­tude por­trayed to a po­ten­tial em­ployer? By show­ing up on time, com­mu­ni­cat­ing clearly and be­ing pre­pared. Prepa­ra­tion in­cludes re­search­ing the com­pany and find­ing out who they are and ex­actly what it is they do.

Ac­cord­ing to Brain, a typ­i­cal in­ter­view has be­tween one and three peo­ple present. It in­cludes a hu­man re­sources rep­re­sen­ta­tive to en­sure the proper pro­cesses are fol­lowed, the man­ager the can­di­date will re­port to who en­sures the cor­rect can­di­date is cho­sen and a third per­son who over­sees the en­tire process.

Most in­ter­views shoot straight to the ques­tions and an­swers, ex­cept for many tech­ni­cal jobs which of­ten be­gin with a prac­ti­cal ex­er­cise.

Brain said the ques­tions are struc­tured to test the can­di­date's per­son­al­ity.

“Ques­tions will usu­ally be 'tell me about a time you worked in a team’, ‘tell me about a time when you failed to achieve some­thing’ or ‘tell me about a time when you got an­gry’,” he said.

“They're look­ing for real life ex­am­ples, not aca­demic. The an­swers need to be cho­sen and prac­tised. They need to be about two min­utes long. Two min­utes is not easy be­cause it’s not a yes or a no but it’s also not a book. Also look for ex­am­ples which place you in a good light.”

Brain said can­di­dates should bring a copy of their CV along, which they can use to re­fer to dur­ing the in­ter­view.

“A CV only keeps some­one's at­ten­tion for about a minute so if you bring it along to the in­ter­view, it gives you an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand on it to sell your­self.”

Next is at­tire. While it’s im­por­tant to look pro­fes­sional, can­di­dates should be care­ful not to over­dress.

Look­ing at how cur­rent em­ploy­ees within the com­pany dress is a good pointer.

Pos­ture and how one greets may seem mi­nor but ac­tu­ally mat­ter.

“These come down to first im­pres­sions, which re­ally lasts. A firm hand­shake and mak­ing eye con­tact all show con­fi­dence. Sit­ting up straight and lis­ten­ing shows at­ten­tive­ness. All of these can be prac­tised at home,” Brain said, adding that many com­pa­nies had now changed the way they ad­ver­tise avail­able po­si­tions. He ex­plained: “In the past, com­pa­nies would write a job spec and they would put it in the paper. Lots of peo­ple would send in their CVs and they would fil­ter them and take the best can­di­dates as a short list. So if you got onto the short list, then you got into the in­ter­view and your chances were one in 1,000, de­pend­ing on what the job was.

“Com­pa­nies now just ask their staff mem­bers if they know any­one suitable for the po­si­tion be­cause if they value that staff mem­ber, they will value their rec­om­men­da­tion. So de­velop a net­work. You need to get to know peo­ple who are work­ing and to let them know your skills so that your chances of em­ploy­ment will hope­fully be bet­ter than the next per­son.”

Pic­ture: RAN­DELL ROSKRUGE

SOUND AD­VICE: East Lon­don life coach Robert Brain gives some tips to young can­di­dates en­ter­ing the job mar­ket for the first time.

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