An interview is essentially a formal meeting whereby a HR professional or recruiter asks you a series of questions in an effort to learn more about you; your goals, your skills, your experience and the type of person you are overall. It’s always important to be honest during an interview, but no question is more important to answer honestly than "Why do you want to change jobs?" Answering this question says a lot more about you than you may realise. Here are a few 'do’s and 'don’t's when answering this question.
(Don’t) Bash your previous employer
Although this may be the main reason you are leaving your job, it’s best to take a professional approach to this. Speaking negatively about your previous employer can convey that perhaps you aren’t a team player or able to take direction/criticism. Getting negative in an interview may make the prospective employer think you are the problem. Frame your move as a path to advancing your career, without disparaging your current job. Perhaps reference the aspects of the new job role that you like, such as greater responsibility. Alternatively, you can refer to aspects of the new company that you like - its culture or growth opportunities, for example. Do your best to keep the interview positive.
(Don’t) Give a vague answer
Recruiters and HR professionals have heard it all. Interviewees often give vague, generic answers, such as “I want more of a challenge” and “I want to try something new”, answers that simply make the interviewer’s eyes roll. Be specific, giving as many details as possible. If you want more of a challenge, discuss why. Give answers such as “Well, I have noticed this company faces [insert specific problem here]. I’ve always wanted to work on a team charged with the task of solving this issue”. Interviewers are trying to get a sense of your motivator, what is driving you to choose this new position over your current one.
(Don’t) Complain you’re being underpaid
This is one of the most common reasons as to why people want to switch jobs. However, tread lightly when giving this answer. It’s ok to say this in an interview once you have done your research. You may feel like you’re being underpaid, but in reality, you may be being paid above or the market average. Unless you are confident and have evidence to prove that you are worth more than you are being paid, best to avoid giving this answer.
(Do) Be Honest
Many candidates fall into the trap of trying to give the answer they think the interviewer wants to hear, or trying to give too clever an answer. If your primary reason for wanting to switch jobs is something as simple as your current commute to and from work is killing you, say that. Simple, direct answers can be a breath of fresh air to recruiters and HR professionals alike. Common complaints such as this will resonate with your interviewer.
This question can be tricky one to answer but is almost guaranteed to be asked in every interview. The key tip to remember is to always frame your answer in a positive manner and be as detailed as possible.
Posted by Adam Dunne on 24 January 2019
Keeping It Professional – How to use LinkedIn properly
Keeping It Professional – How to use LinkedIn properly
While there are plenty of social outlets to vent and express your feelings online, LinkedIn is not one of them. Outside of work we have all been told by a friend or colleague NOT to talk about work, regardless if the information is positive or negative, nobody wants to tackle these topics after 5:30. The same rules apply when it comes to LinkedIn and your working world. Nobody wants to hear your opinion on football, nor do they want to see photographs of your family, or that funny picture of a dog chasing its tail. There are plenty of social media outlets where you can express these interests and opinions. Try to differentiate your work world and your social world. LinkedIn is used by hundreds of millions of professionals worldwide. It is a place where you can sell/offer your experience and skills within the working community. How you demonstrate this information will be the reason why you are being headhunted by businesses and agencies, or on the contrary why you are finding it difficult to gain any traction in your network. Here are some key tips on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile. 1. Profile Picture: Your profile picture is a unique selling tool. Isn’t it always nice to have a face with the name? It makes you stand out more, makes you more memorable and ultimately portrays a big message to your professional network. When you’re using a picture, please do NOT have a picture of you including: Dogs, Cats, Bars, Nightclubs, group pictures, poorly formatted pictures or wearing a football kit. This is the first thing that a hiring manager will see, make it count, and make a positive impression. Recent surveys have shown that your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you have a photograph on it than without. 2. Spelling/Grammar: This one is self-explanatory, yet it is the most common issue you’ll find on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn personal page is essentially your own online stock for hiring managers to buy into. You want your stock to be professional, assertive and representative of your ability. Ensure to spell-check your personal information and details before you submit them on your page. This, of course, will rule out any “where, were, we’re OR they’re, there and their” mistakes that are most common. Remember, this is your professional profile – nobody else will correct your work for you. 3. Networking A great way to get the most from your LinkedIn is by expanding your network. LinkedIn users have a tendency to add their closest friends and don’t explore and maximise their potential to widen their networking net. Reach out to old acquaintances and colleagues, clients and customers, and most certainly your college alumni – these are quite likely the most beneficial additions to your network. They have probably pursued the same routes as you have and can provide you with a broader reach in your network. 4. Creativity: “Creative and Responsible” – are the most used adjectives by LinkedIn users over the last few years. Never have we seen such creativity and responsibility by users across the globe. Although going by this statistic we should be societies full of Steve Jobs’ and Richard Branson’s. True creativity now-a-days in the business world is explored via strategy. Please don’t misconstrue your creativity as an innovative personal attribute that no other user could possibly think of. Instead why don’t you portray this “creativity” via a different route? Present your publications, merits, videos and any other projects that will depict the right image of you. We must be strategic on what information we want on show and what will make us stand out and be remembered. I’d advise you not to use LinkedIn as a place of social interaction, rather see it as a way for you to canvas your experiences and skills to date, and interact with professional communities globally. Think professionalism every time you log in and you should be presenting your best foot forward.
How To Ask For A Promotion
How To Ask For A Promotion
Are you in a job in which you feel you’re doing well, have mastered your role and feel like you’re ready to take on more responsibility? If so, it may be time to ask for a promotion. There are a few ways you can approach this; Reflect Think about what it is you want. Are you looking for more responsibility? More money? To manage more people? Knowing what you want from your promotion is the first thing you need to assess before approaching your boss with the request. You need to have a clear idea of what it is you want before you can ask for it. Going in with just the idea of wanting a promotion without giving it any thought, is a sign that your request will more than likely be rejected. Be Prepared Know in your head all of the projects you’ve worked on. Know any statistics, facts and figures that will support your request for a promotion. Prepare a list of your accomplishments and be ready to talk through each of them with your manager. This is the best way to approach your manger about wanting a promotion and then follow up afterwards with an email. The email should state clearly why you want a promotion and the reasons why you feel you deserve one. It will also give your manager something to look over while he/she is deliberating. Get the Timing Right Timing is everything. Being 6 months in a job and asking for a promotion is never going to be a good idea or 6 months after being given a previous promotion. You need to have worked up enough time and be succeeding in your current role before you can consider a promotion. You need to ask yourself, is now a good time for more responsibility? If you feel you are managing your workload well and are ready and capable of more responsibility, then you can be confident when asking for a promotion. Ask for Feedback In the run up to asking for your promotion, check in with your manager that they are happy with what you are getting done and ask if there is anything else they would like you to work on. If you are consistently getting positive feedback from your manager, it's an indication that there may be opportunity for a promotion. Follow up If you have already asked for a promotion and you haven’t been given an answer weeks later, you will need to follow up. Request a meeting with your manger specifying that you are seeking an answer about the promotion. Be Patient Don’t assume a discussion about a promotion is a once off. It is often a series of conversations over a period of time. Your manager may not even come back to you for a week or two with their answer and he/she may follow up with questions. If unfortunately, you aren’t successful in receiving a promotion immediately, ask what you need to achieve/work on in order to receive a promotion. Armed with this information, you can work on achieving these targets to ensure you receive one in the near future.
Berlin's Start-up Scene
Berlin's Start-up Scene
“Poor but sexy”, the infamous Berlin tagline coined by ex-mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit. The city has come a long way in the past decade transforming its reputation to become the “Silicon Valley” of Europe. Berlin’s start-up scene is growing at an incredible rate showing no signs of slowing down. Berlin solidified itself as the champion of Germany’s start-up scene in 2017. Venture capitalists invested a total of €4.3 billion into German start-ups with 58% of the investment going to start-ups in Berlin. A total of 233 rounds of financing raised €2.67 billion for Berlin start-ups, putting it just behind London and on par with Paris. 8 out of the 10 most desirable start-ups in Germany are located in Berlin with an estimated 30% of the nation’s start-ups setting up in the city. Berlin has clearly established itself as the prime start-up location in Europe. This can be attributed to a number of influencing factors: International Talent Pool Berlin boasts a highly diverse population with approximately 20% of the city’s residents coming from overseas. This multinational, highly educated workforce breeds creativity and innovation. Infrastructure The city operates a very efficient and affordable public transportation network that is fully integrated. It’s quick and easy to get to anywhere in the city or further afield thanks to the city’s expansive train network and two international airports. Office space is reasonably priced compared to other EU cities facilitating the rise of numerous co-working spaces enabling start-ups to get off the ground. Investment Climate Berlin is home to numerous start-up incubators and centres that help turn innovative ideas into reality. Furthermore, venture capital funding has been increasing year on year providing financial support to start-ups throughout the city. Vibrant City Berlin has a special, non-conformist culture that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The city is steeped in rich history and has since grown to become one of the most unique urban areas in the world. The city’s vast party spectrum has something for everyone from industrial techno temples to up-market cocktail bars and beer gardens. The result, Berlin attracts all walks of life, each bringing their own skills, creativity and resources to the capital. Rent Prices Rent prices in Berlin are much cheaper compared to its EU counterparts such as Paris and London. This lower cost of living has attracted multinationals from around the world to start-up businesses while enticing highly skilled workers to relocate. Success Stories Berlin start-up scene has an impressive track record producing some remarkable “unicorns” in recent years: N26 The German Direct Bank, founded in 2013, has scaled to become a recognised name in the finance game valued at an astounding €2.7 billion as of 2018. Zalando This e-commerce company, founded in 2008, now employs over 15,000 people, operating in 17 countries posting healthy revenues of €5 billion as of 2018. HelloFresh The number one meal-kit company in the world, founded in 2011 went public in 2017 with a sizeable IPO valuation of €2.7 billion. Delivery Hero The online food-delivery service, founded in 2011, now operates in 40+ countries and was valued at €4.5 billion during its IPO in 2017.
5 Ways to Handle Constructive Criticism at Work
5 Ways to Handle Constructive Criticism at Work
While many like to believe we are great at our jobs, the truth is no one is perfect. In order to grow and improve we all need (and should welcome) constructive criticism. If you find yourself in a situation where your work is being critiqued, here is some advice on how you should approach the situation. 1. Don’t React Firstly, when receiving constructive criticism, do not react! This might be difficult because you may have spent a lot of time on a particular piece of work and felt quite proud of it, so the last thing you expected was to be told it’s not good enough. Sit back and collect the information you are being given and allow yourself the time to react appropriately. It’s crucial to let your boss give you their feedback. 2. Remember the Importance of Feedback Constructive criticism should never be taken personally. Feedback is so important for your learning and development. The person giving you the feedback is not out to get you, they are simply explaining how you can do better. 3 Ask Questions This is probably the most important thing for you personally. You need to ask as many questions as you need to fully understand where you have gone wrong and how you can do better going forward. This is the best way to avoid making the same mistake again. Learning how you can improve your work is the whole point of being given the constructive criticism. 4 Say Thank You You should always thank your boss for giving you feedback that you can learn from. It also lets your boss know that you’re open minded and willing to learn. Being grateful will encourage your boss to give you more feedback which will help you progress in your role. 5 Follow Up You may have agreed and accepted a solution during this conversation with your boss, but if it was a larger issue, you may wish to request a follow up meeting. This will give you time to process the feedback, get some advice from others and think about solutions for going forward. Constructive criticism can be the best way to learn our weaknesses in the workplace. Even though you may feel a little disheartened, try to remember the benefits this feedback will have for your role.