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 jobDon’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 developFor 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 wayDon’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.
Your CV is your sales document. Make sure to target your CV for each job you apply for. Your CV should mirror the job spec of the job you are applying for, ticking all of the requirements for the role. Create a first draftWrite all your qualifications, experience, employment history, personal history, hobbies and interests, including all relevant information under headings. Now write down everything you’ve gained personally from these experiences – skills, insights, personal growth (in paragraphs). At this stage just write as many pages as you need to get the brainstorming process done – only later on will we be concerned with cutting it down. Filter out the unimportantYou can’t tell potential employers your entire history, but you can highlight the important details for them: these will include skills, insights and abilities that you have been able to develop, as well as your academic qualifications and what you gained from your studies and experience. Keep it conciseEliminate unnecessary details.HR departments have lots to do, so don’t make the mistake of asking them to read through an unnecessarily long CV. HR departments won’t read a lengthy CV if they are short on time, short on patience, or have a lot of CVs to wade through.Remember that there may be a pile of CVs a foot high for some positions!CV’s should be around two pages in length, although it may be longer if you have to describe a lot of relevant work experience. Even a two page CV is of no advantage if it’s full of information that isn’t reasonably applicable to the position you’re qualified or applying for. Use the space only if you need it to fully disclose your accomplishments. Include the Basic informationEven if you have entered this information into this site, you should still include it on your CV. When the recruiter makes the call to say you have been accepted, your CV is the only document he or she will hold in their hands. Make sure it at least has all your personal information such as:NameAddressTelephone NumberDate of BirthNationality, including visa and work permit statusLanguages (level for both written and verbalDriving License (if you have one) State long term objectivesWhat are your short and long term career aims and objectives? Do you have any preferences for the type of work you want to undertake? (Don’t be too restrictive. It is better to be general about your career aspirations at this stage, for example, Business Related, IT). Don’t include short term objectivesYour short-term objectives should be clearly articulated in your cover letter. If you do include objectives, be specific. Vague statements, such as “Looking to utilise my marketing skills” or “seeking a rewarding position” add nothing to a CV and may in fact make you appear insincere. Include your Employment historyAll your employment is important whether it is part-time, temporary, voluntary, vacation work or Saturday only. It should be presented in reverse chronological order, most recent first.Give dates, name of employer, job titles etc. Include your Education historyList your most recent qualifications first, including:Dates, Institution – Name of Degree Course etcDegree Classification. It is not necessary to list all the modules you have studiedTechnical qualificationsAchievements / Positions of Responsibility Include Hobbies / InterestsBe Positive! Use “power words” such as “developed,” “managed,” and “designed” to emphasise your accomplishments. Stick your chest out and don’t be afraid to tell people what you’ve done. Produce a well-organised professional documentYou’ll generate a better response from your curriculum vitae if it is well organised and is packed with relevant information to match and support your professional, academic or career objective. Be honest!There is a huge difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified CV can be easily spotted by a recruiter or employer (if not immediately then certainly through the interview process), and if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the job, it will cost you the job later on. Use good document layoutMake your CV easy on the eyes. Use normal margins (one inch at the top and bottom, one and a quarter inch on the sides) and don’t cram your information onto the page.Allow for some “white space” between the different sections.Avoid unusual or exotic font styles; use simple fonts with a professional look.Do not use more than two fonts throughout the entire document. If you aren’t sure of the fonts to use, try a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica for the headings, and a serif font such as Times Roman for the rest of the text. Put the good stuff at the startOne big mistake that job seekers often make is to list very important data in the lower sections of their job descriptions. As you compile statements for your CV, prioritise them by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you want. Remember that a strong statement, which uses power words and quantifies, will affect every statement under it. Re-read!Read through your CV. Ask someone else to read through your CV carefully once you are finished. When you have been working on your CV for hours, it can be difficult to spot the errors.
As a whole the Medical Device Technology Industry is estimated to be worth somewhere between 173-193 billion euro and Ireland are the second biggest exporter of medical technology in Europe with giants like Boston Scientific and Medtronic employing 5200 and 4500 respectively in Ireland alone. The main area of expertise lies in Cardiovascular (Abbott, Medtronic and Boston) but there are plenty of Orthopaedic (J&J and DePuy) and Diagnostic (Beckman Coulter) MedTech companies too. The West of Ireland specifically has roughly 40% of the employment in the MedTech sector and 31% of that is stationed in Galway city and county. Eight of world’s top ten med tech companies are established here. The only downside…the companies in the West need more Engineers as their growth is surpassing the local development of graduates. So why not be part of the wave of new job opportunities washing over the West? Galway – the beating heart of the Medical Device Sector It’s a well-known fact that Dublin has overtaken London as the most expensive city to live in Europe. It’s also far to say that there is plenty on offer across the south in the biomedical engineering sector, but it is spread very far apart with one location not necessarily leading the way. It’s also no secret that multinational MedTech companies have identified Ireland as one of the best companies to develop their excellence, manufacturing and R&D operations. Don’t worry though as the Wild Atlantic West has plenty to offer and particularly in the MedTech hub, Galway. With the IDA developing Parkmore, Mervue and the other business parks and with most of the working professionals either directly or indirectly employed by a MedTech business, the future seems as bright for the West Coast of the emerald isle. Galway also has a thriving cultural scene, even winning the European Capital of Culture for 2020 where they aim to flood the city with cultural activities and tap into the deep history and sense of community. Galway has been named UNESCO city of film and awarded the European green leaf award as the most environmentally sustainable small city. Start-ups or Multinationals? The choice is yours! Whether you’re looking to get into an established company and to learn from the best in product excellence and R&D like Boston, Medtronic or Merit or have your heart set on getting into that niche start-up and making a life changing new product, thereby claiming your place in the Global Medtech Innovation. There is so much opportunity. A client of ours made waves after starting off in the engineering start-up program with NUIG by making ground breaking neurovascular devices and were recently acquired by J&J to help the Galway based site grow further with a global network of sister sites in America and Europe to help with manufacturing, compliance and product development. Similarly, another start-up called Novate was sold in a deal worth up to $150m due to their success in developing a blood filter. Also, with the likes of Capsos, Neosurgical and Veryan there is a large possibility, the amazing ability of the Irish and particularly Galway to innovate will continue strong, further adding to the vast opportunities for Engineers here in the West. Start-ups aren’t the only ones pushing the boundaries in Research and Development as Boston had 21 successful patent applications last year for their Galway site. They are also the largest medical device employer in Ireland and the Watchman implant has the MedTech sector very excited. Medtronic too have added the likes of Covidien life support products to their growing catalogue and founded their global site of excellence and development here in Galway for a reason, the continued success of the Galway talent pool to innovate and improve patients’ lives. Similarly, academic studies into MedTech are securing massive investment such as the Cúram research centre at NUI Galway (NUIG) which secured 22 million in funding from the EU. Finally, a key aspect which many of the MedTech companies here are involved in is Additive Manufacturing and the research of 3D Printed medical device solutions. Specialists in Polymers, Compliance/Regulatory Affairs and Manufacturing will have their choice of the lot when it comes to the jobs of the future. Innovation has been and will continue to be a massive part of the West’s success story in Medical Devices. Why the West? From Sea Sessions (outdoor music festival on the Atlantic coast which is not to be missed) in Donegal, Other Voices (an unmissable acoustic experience in Mayo) and the Galway International Arts Festival. The music scene has something to be seen and heard all year long. Galway has become renowned for attracting the music stars of the future, with no small mention to Ed Sheeran who busked and based a world-famous song on the city. If trad music is what your searching for, Sligo Live or one of the many traditional pubs will be sure to give you a great night out. Regarding food, the Galway farmers market has a baffling variety of Indian, German, traditional Irish and even more types of cuisine. Similarly, the likes of Kai (Awarded Michelin Bib), Cava, Dela, Ard Bia and the Galway Bay Brewery (Several best in Ireland beer awards) all have fantastic locally sourced food but as a whole Galway has been highlighted as the Gastronomic must visit city of Ireland. Sport-wise and activity wise, there are plenty of local sport clubs across the city and suburbs to join with the Medical Device companies offering sports and social clubs too. Also, Connacht have enjoyed plenty of success domestically and in internationally. The Sportsground is very centrally located and is always worth a visit. Croagh Patrick and Westport offers a decent challenge to mountain and hill climbers with spectacular views. As annual exports of medical devices valued at over 7 billion euros it would only make sense that investment has been made to further develop the infrastructure in the West of Ireland. With two airports, both seeing increased global services including regular flights to the UK and Germany from Knock and massive long-haul flights departing from Shannon as of late, the west is well serviced. Also, it is very well connected by road and rail to the other beautiful parts of Ireland. It’s hard to argue with how amazing the West of Ireland and how much further potential it has is. With a bright future in the medical device sector, come visit us or contact us directly for all of the details on the top jobs in MedTech here in the West of Ireland.
We’ve all got responsibilities such as working and building a career, running a household and/or raising children which can all be very overwhelming and lead to lots of stress. Here are 10 things you can do to start feeling better and minimising stress: 1. Identify causes of stress What triggers your stressful feelings? Are they related to your workplace, children and family, friendships, finances or something else? Once you’ve identified the trigger, you can get down to the root of your stress and find the best ways to handle it. 2. Recognize how you deal with stress Are you using unhealthy behaviours to cope with work or life stress? For example are you using sleep deprivation, smoking, consumption of alcohol or junk food as a means of coping? 3. Get a good night’s sleep A lack of sleep can result in an increase in stress as a person will not be able to stay focused at work. Sleep deprivation also impairs our decision making ability as we are unable to think clearly. Getting 8 hours sleep a night will help improve a person’s health as you will be able to stay alert throughout the day. 4. Eat a balanced diet Hectic work schedules leave us short on time to prepare healthy meals for ourselves and people then have a tendency to grab fast foods. However eating a balanced nutritional diet will help you stay healthy and keep your brain alert. Deficiency in food nutrients such as lack of vitamin B in the body can result in depression and irritability. Also when a person is under stress, vitamins C and E may be lost. 5. Exercise When you exercise, your brain produces “feel good” transmitters called endorphins. Producing these endorphins will help you deal with stress healthily as people who exercise regularly have more energy. 6. Stay organized It is an overwhelming feeling to think that there are not enough hours in the day. Therefore it is imperative that you manage your time. Come up with a daily plan and keep a diary to keep yourself on track. 7. Do not procrastinate Work piles up when you keep on delaying tasks. There is no use putting off for tomorrow what can be done today. 8. Don’t take on more than you can handle at work Avoid creating your own stress by over-scheduling and failing to say no when too much is asked. Don’t overpromise, and give yourself time to finish the things you do agree to tackle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help/delegate if you can’t meet all the demands placed on you. 9. Ask for support Accepting a hand from supportive friends and family can help you persevere during stressful times. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist who can help you manage stress. 10. Finally, treat yourself When you accomplish a personal goal or finish a project, do something nice for yourself. Go out for a round of golf with friends or take a weekend break with your family. Treating yourself between tasks can help take the edge off and prepare you for the next challenge.