The one question I am always asked when preparing a candidate for an interview is “how do I answer the weakness question?”
The worst reaction you can have to this question is to say I don’t have a weakness. Everyone has a weakness and the reason the interviewer is asking this question is to see how you act outside your comfort zone.
People often make the common mistake of trying to turn a negative into a positive. An example of this would be I’m a perfectionist or I work too hard. These answers are boring and show the interviewer you have put very little thought into his/her question. Also you are not actually answering the question you’re just trying to put a clever spin on it.Another mistake candidates make is being too honest. Never mention a weakness that you have if it is going to stop you from getting the job. So don’t answer “I’m lazy” or that “I’m always late” as this is not what your potential new employer wants to hear.
The trick to answering this is in the same way you would answer any interview question and that’s by preparing your answer in advance. It can be very difficult to talk about your flaws in a stressful situation like an interview so make sure you spend time preparing your answer.
These are a few ways to best answer the weakness question:
1. Pick a weakness that is acceptable for the job
Don’t pick a skill or requirement that is on the job spec that you don’t have and say it is your main weakness. This will only put doubt into the interviewers head.
2. Pick a weakness that you can develop
For this type of answer you might think of an example where you had a weakness but developed it over the course of your time in prior employment.
3. Describe your weakness in a concise way
Don’t go into loads of detail on this question. They are asking you your weakness so be brief and don’t come across as negative. A common answer that candidates often use when asked the weakness question is on their delegation skills.
Here you can mention a time when you used to have the mentality that only you could do the job but over time you realised that it was actually slowing the work down and by delegating to other staff members the job was done quicker. This answer is perfect to give but it depends on what job you are going for. If you are going for a managerial role where managing and delegating work will be part of your job description then don’t use delegating as your weakness.
Every question in an interview is an opportunity for you to sell yourself, so it is important you never miss a genuine opportunity and the weakness question is no different. Treat it like you would any interview questions that you find hard and prepare your answer.
Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 1 December 2017
IT Market Overview 2023
IT Market Overview 2023
IT Jobs Market 2023According to a report released by Eurostat, employment in Ireland in NACE category J62 (Computer programming, consultancy, and related activities) reached almost 120,000 at the start of 2022, increasing from 80,000 as recent as the end of 2019. The market is now moving from what was an unsustainable level of demand for technology talent to a more sustainable level- ensuring the market remains highly competitive. Whilst there has been news of layoffs in SaaS Technology companies, traditional industries such as Finance, Banking, Fintech as well as Life Sciences/Biopharma continue to hire at rapid rates, ensuring the market is still holding strong. Employers across multiple sectors (particularly Fintech) are still hiring highly skilled tech talent and are now more open to candidates relocating from Mainland Europe. Onboarding and Aftercare remain highly important as candidates are still prone to receiving multiple offers due to high levels of competition. Download our 2023 IT Salary Guide for IrelandAreas of DemandSoftware engineering remains the most highly sought-after skillset, with a particular focus on DevOps, Java, Python, .Net, React and Angular Js. With the continued rollout of digital transformation projects across Irish businesses, QA also remains in high demand. This move towards automated processes has allowed employees within heavily manual positions to upskill in areas such as SDET and RPA. Within an uncertain marketplace, businesses continue to be data driven; choosing to lean on their analytics teams where possible. Data Engineering appears to be the role highest in demand within this vertical, closely followed by data science. With the continuation of a hybrid working model, infrastructure remains as important as always. Most Irish based companies are choosing to move towards a serverless environment, which means there is a high demand for Site Reliability Engineers, Systems engineers, Cloud Engineers as well as technical support specialists at all levels. Ireland has a rich talent pool for executive level talent within IT, ranging from Software Engineering Managers to CTOs. With the continued pattern of new market entrants on the FDI side, these positions remain in high demand. Competitive PackagesTo ensure competitive advantage, employers must offer base salaries, benefits, and perks in line with the market expectations or else risk losing strong candidates from recruitment process. In terms of monetary benefits, healthcare remains the most highly sought from candidates post-covid times followed closely by pensions. This could be linked to a heavier focus on financial security for the future. An interesting development of late, is the increasing number of companies using sign on bonuses to secure new hires- We expect to see this continue throughout 2023 as companies fight to retain current employees and attract new hires. To maintain a competitive advantage, employers also need to be mindful of employee experience.Individualized experience proposals given to candidates or employees may be beneficial for employers to remain competitive in:CollaborationEquity in cultural experiences for remote/in-office workersEmployee well-being How employers handle these elements will ultimately determine how successful employers will be in the battle for talent. Demand for Remote WorkHybrid working policies are now the most popular model offered to permanent employees, with 85% of our clients offering 3 days in office/2 days remote working. With the balance in the tug of war for talent shifting more in favour to the employer, companies are now addressing WFH policies on a more individual basis rather than a blanket policy. Flexibility for fully remote work appears to be offered however to candidates in the most demanded areas, with the caveat that they are based in the Republic of Ireland and will travel to the office on an ad-hoc basis when required. This may reverse as job security heightens as a priority in a tough economic climate. ContractorsBusinesses are continuing to look to Contractors to fill gaps in their teams in tandem with permanent positions; a trend we foresee continuing throughout 2023. An interesting development in the market is that it is no longer just large organisations leaning on contractors. SMEs are also now tapping into the contractor talent pool as a way of supplementing their workforce- especially now that permanent salaries appear to be on par with contractor daily rates due to market inflation. We particularly foresee an increase in demand of contract roles across Cloud, Data and Development.Outsourced IT functions also appear to be on the rise for more commercially focused IT positions (Business Analytics, Project managers) as well as infrastructure support. Increased RatesAs a result of the increase in demand, due to several variables ranging from talent availability, higher levels of competition, perceived instability of the IT market portrayed in the media as well as a somewhat limited talent pool, contract rates have been on the rise and will continue to increase in 2023.It is now common practice for a contractor to ask and receive rate increases when their contracts are up for renewal. Recruitment and retention therefore remain high priorities for companies using contractors. Remote WorkWith organisations now comfortable with remote work arrangements, the market has opened up to all areas of Ireland. A noticeable trend has arisen for IT Contractors based in the regions who are now being able to work for large multi-national organisations in their own cities whilst receiving the same rates of those based in the capital.This has therefore resulted in daily rates within regional areas of Ireland to be on par with those of in the major cities.All-in-all, we are optimistic about the IT Contracts job market in 2023 with plentiful opportunities across infrastructure, development and data in particular. IT Salary Guide 2023Download our 2023 IT Salary Guide for Ireland
Keeping Company Culture Alive Across a Remote Workforce
Keeping Company Culture Alive Across a Remote Workforce
With the majority of our teams now working remotely, the challenges of creating and maintaining company culture are evident. Technology can’t replace what the workplace provides: community, camaraderie and shared purpose. Now, more than ever, maintaining culture matters. Here are some ideas on instilling company culture across remote employees: 1. Connect Back to Your Values & Purpose For many of our staff currently, working remotely has been unexpected and in the face of a global health crisis, many are at a loss for what to do. For some work may feel insignificant now, so as their manager this is your time to help employees find meaning and reconnect back to your company’s values and purpose. While you may not be a company at the frontline, you still have a positive impact on people’s lives. Remind your employees of how their contributions add up to something much bigger and that we are all in this together! 2. Communication is Key Communication within divisions, one to one, social gatherings, company updates, all need to be consistent. This maintains relationships and promotes inclusivity. Create an open and transparent communication policy. This allows people to be themselves and feel comfortable reaching out via online chat platforms. Set expectations on communication methods. Where do meetings take place? What tool is for social sharing? Finally, you need to put an emphasis on positivity in your written communication. With the absence of face to face interactions in virtual conversations, it is easy for tone to be interpreted negatively so you need to be extra careful to be positive. 3. Mimic the Water Cooler Effect As mentioned, many of our staff are currently missing the day-to-day work interactions they have with their colleagues. Therefore, assign a platform where team members can live chat, share files, post photos and collaborate throughout the day to mimic everyday office life. This can be where some of the best ideas and knowledge can be shared yet at the same time promotes inclusivity and the sense of “team”. 4. Trust In a remote team, there aren't any silly rules about being in your seat during certain hours of the day. This means at the end of the week you either have something to show for your week or not. This means you trust that your teammates are getting something done. But also, that your teammates trust you. To earn that trust you want to make sure you have something to show for your work each week. 5. Focus on Health & Wellbeing In the midst of a global pandemic, now is not the time to forget about your wellness programme when stress and anxiety is elevated. Make sure to check in with remote employees that they are taking breaks, finishing on time, and are maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Make online workouts available to your employees allowing them to take part in physical activity. Perhaps set a company challenge such as a step challenge to get employees engaged in physical activity and as a plus networking with colleagues. For those struggling with sleep or anxiety, provide access to meditation or breathing courses. And to look after financial wellbeing consider organising webinars on topics such as managing a household budget, how your pension works, setting financial goals etc. 6. Rituals and Traditions Creating traditions with your team members, regardless of how often they happen, helps keep teams cohesive and encourages open communication and trust. Before you were thrown into the digital remote working world, undoubtedly you had traditions in place for how promotions, achievements and even birthdays were recognised. To keep spirits up, it’s crucial you keep celebrating these milestones. 7. Ask for Feedback Finally, the introduction to remote working has been unprecedented for many of us. Therefore, ask employees for honest feedback and suggestions. Use a pulse survey to get real data on this. "You don’t need everyone physically together to create a strong culture. The best cultures derive from actions people actually take.” Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Authors of Remote