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interview

“Just one more thing….”

interview

Columbo’s immortal words, and if he was interviewing a suspect and he said them, then that was it. Case closed. Columbo’s MO was to patiently question, bide his time, give the suspect enough rope to hang themselves, before catching them out with his final question; just one more thing….

 

Most interviewees will never come across an interviewer as shrewd and cunning as Columbo, however many have found themselves caught out by the typical final interview question; do you have any questions for us?

 

The problem with this is that most people feel the need to ask a question even if they don’t have one. So they think on their feet, hope to be inspired and …..end up asking a stupid question. Real life examples of such questions include:

- What type of coffee do you have in the coffee maker?

- Do you pay for sick days?

- I’ve a couple of other offers right now so what’s the most you can go on the salary?

 

Another problem is the timing. It’s generally asked right at the end of the interview. While first impressions last, last impressions are pretty important too. Ask a stupid question and all that hard work you did to create a good impression will have been wasted. The case will be closed and that stupid question you have just asked will hang around the interviewers like a bad smell long after you have gone.

 

“That was a really good interview”, they will say. “Right up until he/she asked that ridiculous question!”

 

So how do you avoid this nightmare scenario? First of all prepare thoroughly for the interview – and I don’t mean check out the company on their website. Instead adopt Columbo’s meticulous approach and ask lots of questions! Research the market; where does the company fit in? Research their competitors; how do they compare? Are they bigger, smaller, cheaper better etc. etc.? Ask your friends what they know about the company? Make discreet enquiries in your network. If possible call or visit the company to get some information first hand.

 

Your meticulous research will give you a better understanding of the company and the role which in turn will allow you to more easily highlight your relevant skills and experience. It will also impress the interviewers. Any questions not covered can be asked at the end of the interview.

 

Secondly, never miss an opportunity to compete for the job. If you have no more questions left to ask, use the opportunity to either ask for the job or reinforce your relevant skills for the role.

 

Examples of questions you can ask here include:

  • Is there anything we spoke about today that would suggest that I’m not the best person for this job?” (Gives you a second chance to match your skills if you were unconvincing first off) Or
  • “No, I have no more questions but I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for your time today. I am very interested in the position and I hope to hear from you soon”. (Gives you a chance to close the deal) Or 
  • “When do I start?” (Ok maybe not this one, unless you’re absolutely certain you nailed the interview and have the charisma to pull it off)

 

Remember the vast majority of interviewers are not trying to catch you out like Columbo. They are instead looking for the person who will suit the role and their company best. You will convince them of your suitability by meticulously researching and then matching your relevant skills and experience, not by asking an inspired question right at the end of the interview.

 

Posted by Rossa Mullally, Sales & Marketing Manager on 28 November 2017

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“K-shaped” Workforce Patterns Begin to Emerge with Major Spike in Flexi-labour

“K-shaped” Workforce Patterns Begin to Emerge with Major Spike in Flexi-labour

The latest data from Sigmar Recruitment’s Employer Sentiment Report suggests that most companies plan on hiring more contingent labour in order to deal with the extended market turbulence. Having surveyed 1000 Irish based companies, 91% of respondents said they are more likely to hire temps or contractors than before COVID-19. Commenting on the results, Barry Rudden, Director, Sigmar Recruitment says; “This may signify a fundamental shift in how workforces will be constituted moving forward as employers are wary of future market shocks. Whilst demand has rebounded since March, companies just don’t know how the market will react to a possible second wave of infections, topped with Brexit fears, so there are still challenges ahead for organisations and as a result they are hesitant to commit to permanent hires.” One third of all companies surveyed said it was likely or highly likely that they would increase the % of temp/contract staff they already engage. “This is the norm in early stages of an extended recovery. Seeing this trend emerge at polar ends of the labour market is indicative of a new K-Shaped labour market.” says Rudden. He adds; “When viewed, in parallel with the explosion of the gig economy in the last decade, we now see increasing demand for temporary or contract workers in most white-collar industries, not just the traditional area of office/administration roles.” Companies surveyed expected requirements for temp/contract talent to be highest across IT, engineering & life sciences, accountancy, and HR along with office/administration. Hiring on a temporary or contract basis gives organisations an opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ i.e. hiring initially on a temporary basis before converting to permanent. “Given companies’ uncertainty at present, this model is potentially a perfect solution that enables businesses to ramp up and meet demand while the future looks uncertain. At the same time, it enables jobseekers to find work quickly. In our corresponding survey of 3500 candidates, the majority said they were more likely to consider temp or contract work than before the COVID-19 pandemic struck,” says Rudden. Flexible labour in demand at polar ends of the economy; powering growth in recovering sectors and offering interim cover for harder hit sectors 91% of employers plan to expand contingent worker numbers as increasing uncertainty looms 82% of candidates would consider temp or contract positions if given more flexibility, like remote working Further, 82% of candidates said they would be more likely to consider temp or contract work if they were offered flexibility, such as remote working. This is significant change in attitude considering 60% of respondents had not worked in a temporary or contract capacity in the past two years. Rudden adds, “It likely not only reflects the impact of the current crisis in terms of people having lost employment but perhaps a wider acceptance that flexibility may be required as we move forward.” Whilst market uncertainty prevails, what is certain is that we are in the midst of an extended period of transformation in the workplace with blended workforces i.e. a mix of permanent and temp/contract staff perhaps becoming the norm. “Prior to COVID-19 there were already several examples of major multinationals with a significant proportion of staff engaged as agency temps or contractors. We predict an increase in such models being used by other businesses going forward,” says Rudden. For a copy of the report, contact Barry Rudden on +35314744612 or email brudden@sigmar.ie