Would Like To Work is a new local TV ONE show designed to help unemployed New Zealanders get back into the workforce, at a time when competition for every job is fiercer than ever and prospective employers are inundated with applications (tonight at 7.30pm on TV ONE).
The Would Like To Work team of experts work with long and short-term unemployed Kiwis to teach them how to stand out from the job-hunting crowd and prove themselves the perfect candidate.
The experts are; Dr Duncan Thomson, a registered clinical psychologist and resident psychologist on TV ONE’s Good Morning; Julie Cressey, the Chief Operating Officer for Madison Recruitment; and Victoria Carpenter, who runs her own presentation consulting firm.
During the course of making the series, Thomson found that there were some common problems that affected people in interviews. “Nerves, under-preparation and poor knowledge of the company. These add up to a general expectation that it will just go fine on the day despite the inevitable nerves we all get before and during interviews. We saw interviews going reasonably well until people were asked about what they knew about the company. This just screams ‘I just need a job and I don’t care where’ and interviewers can find it insulting,” he says.
So what should people do when preparing for interview? Thomson gives his top tips: “Read the job description, find out what people are looking for then think of very specific examples of situations where you showed this exact attribute. This not only gives the interviewer a real-life scenario, but shows you can do what they want you to be able to do, and it also makes the interview interesting.”
“Practice the interview out loud. Preferably get someone who interviews people themselves to practise with you. The feedback could be invaluable and it will be so much easier when you get to the interview,” he continues.
“Definitely consider visiting the company before the interview. Obviously don’t be pushy but people rarely say no if you ask for a couple of minutes of their time to explain the role and say a bit about the company. This is a great chance to get the inside track and leave a good impression before the interview. It also shows initiative.
“Take the time to specifically prepare your CV not only the covering letter.
“Beware the weaknesses question. It often catches people out when they get asked about a weakness or something they would change. A good strategy here is to talk about something bland and easily solvable like ‘I need to brush up a bit on my spreadsheet skills’ (unless of course that is the job).”
And what tips does Thomson have on behaviour to avoid in an interview?” Either describing or intimating that you had difficulty maintaining relationships in previous jobs. Interviewers want to figure out if you are going to get on with them and the rest of the staff which is why, in truth, they often hire the person they like the most!”
“Go blank when they ask you about gaps in your CV - always have a good answer about why you weren’t working.
“Dress in a way that doesn’t make sense to the company you want to be employed by. Dress smartly, but if you are going for a job in a builder’s merchant don’t go in a pin striped suit.
“Suck up. Being overly complimentary about a company or product will simply seem disingenuous. Be professionally enthusiastic and curious.
In episode one, 23-year-old Alan McMurdo is a man on a race against time. If he can’t find a job within a month, the dream wedding he and his fiancée have been planning for a year will have to go on ice. He’s competing for a genuine job, against other real candidates - can the Would Like To Work team help him back into the workforce?
Missed an episode of Would Like To Work? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.