Monday, 12 November 2012

Surviving an interview blunder

You’ve sent the application form to the wrong company or spilt coffee over the interviewer. If you’ve managed to avoid any of these blunders or others in your job seeking so far, you can congratulate yourself and comfortably read an article from Guardian Careers  – ‘Bouncing back from a career blunder’. Experts give advice on how to recover from mistakes made at any stage of the application and hiring process along with many examples from readers as part of a Q&A session. How do you manage having one job offer while waiting to hear from another? What do you do if you simply got the interview date wrong and missed it altogether? The article offers lots of practical advice and also blunders that do raise a smile – as long as it didn’t happen to you. A reader’s submission: “Invited to an interview with MI6. Turned up at wrong building. Couldn’t find actual building. Didn’t get job.” More at

Monday, 29 October 2012

The 50 most influential people in HR

From a professor of organisational behaviour to senior vice presidents of human resources at major companies, HR magazine has put together a list of the most influential people in the human resources industry. With detailed profiles available of each person on the list via an interactive photo board, the article shows the wide range of knowledge and experience behind the human resources sector. Some people have been working in high profile areas such as Wendy Cartwright, director of human resources at the Olympic Delivery Project. Others are responsible for global workforces such as Sara Edwards, vice president for human resources at Orient Express with staff over 23 countries. The chosen professionals were those who, amongst other factors, include those that ‘challenge conventional thinking in HR, who play an ambassadorial role and who add real value to the business’. For more details and profiles of HR Magazine’s Top 50 read the full article at

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Interviews – be prepared for the strange and weird

Interview questions may not just be about qualifications or experience. A recent survey, discussed in a Guardian article, found that that 'two out of five candidates had been asked a weird question in their interview'. These strange questions can be designed to find out more about your personality and your ability to cope with whatever is thrown at you. Are you prepared if the person at the other side of the desk asks you how you might fit an elephant in a fridge? The article looks at what you might reveal about yourself as you try to come up with an answer. Try ‘If you were a Microsoft Office programme which would you be?’ Your answer and your reasoning behind it might show “more than you think about you, your personality and how you like to work.” For more weird questions and how to answer them see the full article at

Monday, 1 October 2012

Report on latest UK pay increases

Pay negotiations are often a key concern for HR managers – so what does the national picture look like? Despite the recession, the latest report from Income Data Services (IDS) shows the median pay rise in the U.K. holding at 2.5%. The figures look at pay settlements over the last three months until the end of August and cover 5 million employees. The results show a very mixed picture, described as a ‘two-speed’ economy. The analysis, on the People Management website, shows on one hand that one in ten settlements resulted in a pay freeze, notably in the public, not-for profit and construction sector. More buoyant sectors with pay increases up to 4% include the engineering, energy, pharmaceutical and rail transport sectors. Additionally, such changes as "falling inflation meant the gap between pay awards and the rising cost of living was narrowing.” For more analysis read the full article at

Monday, 17 September 2012

NEC Exhibition for learning and development professionals

For all those involved in providing learning, development and training in an organization, the World of Learning Exhibition may have something to offer. Taking place in the NEC Birmingham on October 2nd and 3rd, the exhibition runs alongside the World of Learning Conference. Areas covered by the exhibitors at the conference include blended learning, e-Learning, open & distance learning and psychometric testing. Training companies, suppliers, universities and HR professional bodies are all represented. Registration is free as are the series of seminars with topics including ‘Helping talent flourish’ and ‘360° feedback programs’. There area also a number of free live workshops at this exhibition for the L&D industry – celebrating its 20th year. The workshops take place in the different learning areas from the Modern Life Skills Zone to the Leaders in Learning Zone. To register and for more information on the exhibition visit

Monday, 3 September 2012

Job interviews – don’t let them ask all the questions

You’ve spent time considering which questions may come at your interview but it’s worth taking some time to think about the questions you want to ask. In the Daily Telegraph, jobs editor, Louise Peacock, offers some advice. Firstly, this is not the time simply to ask about the money. At least don’t make it the first of the three questions that you should have prepared. If you think there may be more information that you could offer to share on your abilities try this one: ‘Is there anything you’d like me to clarify or explain in more detail?’ This open question allows both sides to clarify any misunderstanding or details. A further suggestion is ‘What do you see as the priorities for this job in the first three months?’ This allows you greater insight into the job and gives you a chance to express extra enthusiasm. For more of the suggested interview questions read more at

Monday, 20 August 2012

Successful options for non-graduates

Many people choose not to go to university and still have many successful career options open to them. You may not want to start a career with student debts or simply want to get on the career ladder straight away. A panel of experts on the Guardian Careers page answered questions in a live Q&A last week on the many career paths open to you – even if you don’t have a degree. Panellists included the HR director of Barclays UK Retail and Business banking, HR manager from Accor UK and a director at the Chartered Institute of Management. They comment and answer questions on careers in banking, retail, legal offices and accounting. They discuss the many options including how to ‘earn while you learn’ and gain qualifications while still receiving a salary. Readers offer success stories among their comments. Read the full range of questions and answers at