Posts Tagged ‘interview practice’

New Deal for Graduates

August 14, 2009

I met up with the consultant from Employer Engagement for a practice interview. She gave some positive feedback and I found out more about what was involved in New Deal for Graduates.

There is a work placement of up to 24 hours a week but, since I am already volunteering of my own accord, they have no problem with using that as the work placement. Once every two weeks, I meet up with the consultant and there are exercises to do at home. Essentially, this is something that I can live with – no major difference to my “job hunting”, continue volunteering and no pointless courses.

Oh, I also learnt that I receive Job Seekers Allowance as well as the Training Allowance. I clarified this with the personal adviser at the job centre. He confirmed that even though the main part of the programme is a work placement, it is still considered a course, so a training allowance is given as well.

Employer Engagement are based in Brighton, so when they come up to South London, they use an room in the offices of Career Development Group (CDG). So I have had the opportunity to observe another New Deal programme. This is what I saw – people coming and going as they please, people sitting round and chatting, very little job search and token classes. In fact, it seemed very much like a student common room than the offices of a “welfare to work” provider.

When I was doing the two week gateway course, A4E were a little bit more disciplined but is was effectively the same sort of atmosphere. Employer Engagement aside, if this is what welfare to work is all about, then the government really needs to reconsider its policy.

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Going over to the dark side…almost

June 28, 2009

Ok, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Mostly, that’s been because I am actually applying for jobs and don’t want to waste time blogging. Then, I get demotivated and frustrated from the lack of response and end up wasting time surfing the web for looking for decent porn. (Actually, it is a waste of time looking for decent port on the internet – because there isn’t any.)

Anyway, it’s occurred to me over the many months of unemployment that the only organisation recruiting in these economic times is the Department for Work and Pensions, mainly to deal with the resulting upsurge in claimants. Yes, I may have issues about Job Centre Plus and the way they do things, but I do want a job and if they are the only people offering, it would be churlish to say no. Who knows, I might actually be able to do some good with my experience.

It must be competitive though. The first two times I applied, I didn’t get past the application stage. The third time, I actually got an interview, for a personal adviser position. I was so excited and actually started picturing myself as a personal adviser. After having some mock interview practice with a friend and really practising my competencies, I felt quietly confident. Indeed, at the interview, one of the recruitment agency staff observed that I looked calm – but that was down to Jesus. She also said I was dressed really smart – thanks to BHS. I felt the interview went ok.

Unfortunately, within a couple of days, they informed me that I was not successful. Still, I am not worried. I have two more interviews lined up anyway.

I have something offer

May 16, 2009

The feedback from the housing association was great. It showed me that I do have something to offer recruiters.  Firstly, the woman who had the joyous job of telephoning me to give the bad news narrowed down my area of weakness to one answer. Secondly, the interview panel actually told me immediately after the interview that I was ‘appointable’.

I have recently started meeting up with a friend who is also looking for work, with the aim of giving each other practice at interviewss. He’s a management consultant, which really helps too. He has given me really great feedback on my CV and there has certainly been an improvement in my interview performance since we started meeting together.  In particular, it has helped me to identify good examples from my experience and helped me to realise that I actually have a lot more to offer than I have been letting on. I definitely recommend this exercise.