Tour De SRS

 
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We did it! Our team completed a 30 mile circuit in support of Team Kenya.

We set off early in the morning to complete a tour of the 4 North East universities, walking all day with only a 30 minute break. We got increasingly tired, sore and quiet towards the evening, but fish & chips, chocolate and some motivational games from Rachael kept us going. It was also great to receive so many supportive comments and donations along the way.

We have very nearly achieved our target to raise £1,000 for Team Kenya and there is still time for you to help us do this. No donation is too small and would be in support of a great cause, helping poor girls and women in rural Kenya to have access to education and equal opportunities.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tourdesrs

Thank you for your support.

Get your ducks in a row with our work place jargon buster

 
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It’s your first week in a new job, and you suddenly start to hear work jargon you don’t quite understand. We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular phrases you’ll hear in the workplace and importantly what they mean. 

So pull up a chair, sit back and get ready to hit the ground running… 

Touch base

No, you’re not physically touching something, just catching up with your team. You’ll likely hear this from managers wanting to update you on a project in an informal way (usually involving coffee). 

“Hey, let’s touch base next week, I’d love to hear your ideas for the new client!” 

Deep dive    

So, your boss has asked you to deep dive into a project, but what do you do next? Put those swimming goggles DOWN, deep dive means thoroughly examining a project in a lot of detail and immersing yourself in the assignment. 

“I’ve carried out a deep dive of your website and found a number of ways you can improve the site!” 

Hit the ground running 

You’ve been drafted onto a big project, and been told to hit the ground running. If you’re starting to feel out of breath at the thought, don’t panic; what it means is to perform well from the start and start cracking on with your part of the workload straight away. 

We’re thrilled to have you as part of the team Helen, we really need your expertise on this, so it’s important that you hit the ground running” 

Annual leave

“Where’s Ali?” 

“Oh, he’s on annual leave.” 

You might be scratching your head but no, Ali isn’t away for a year. Simply put, Ali’s on holiday. You’ll be very familiar with this term throughout your career, as who doesn’t love to book ‘annual leave’.

Close of play

The latest way to say the end of the day in the workplace. You’ll likely hear it when you request something from another employee. With a typical response being“it’ll be with you by close of play.” Extra points if you can decipher the acronym EOP (usually found in emails) which translates as ‘End of Play’! 

Out of the loop

You weren’t cc’d in the last email, so you’re a little bit out of the loop. It just means you’re not quite sure what has gone on or haven’t received the appropriate information. 

“Can you share the minutes from the last meeting with me please? I’m a little out of the loop!” 

Going forward

Business jargon at its finest – going forward is a stable of office terminology. It’s relatively useless in a sense it doesn’t add much to a sentence, and is just a fancy way of saying “in the future” 

“Going forward, you should focus on keeping your worksheet up-to-date.”

Can I pick your brain for a second? 

Not literally... picking your brain is probing for answers or getting your opinion on something. A colleague might ask you this if they would like a second opinion or they would value your thoughts on a situation. It doesn’t hurt half as much as it sounds. 

“I’m really struggling to decide between these two designs, can I pick your brains for a second?”

Get your ducks in a row 

A particularly quackers one; this means to get organised, get your act together and make sure you have everything in order. 

“This fundraising pitch is worth a lot of money to the company, make you have all your ducks in a row before the presentation”

Heads-up

A gentle reminder, a slight nudge – a little ‘heads-up’. Whether the boss is in town or the local post office is closing early, it’s always a warning on a particular matter. 

“Heads up, Dave’s back in the office early and he looks like he hasn’t had his coffee yet” 

Get the ball rolling

Move fast, move quick and the get the ball rolling. It might be the first project you’re leading on, or generating a new conversation with a prospective customer. If someone asks you to get the ball rolling, you should be ready to kick-start proceedings yourself! 

“There’s a really fast turnaround on getting these products out, so we need to get the ball rolling” 

You might have heard of a few of these nuggets before, but we hope you’ve found a few new ones. From ‘Blue Sky Thinking’ to ‘’washing its own face’ and ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ the list goes on and on.

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“What should I ask at the end of an interview?” 6 tips…

 
 

By Hannah Salton, Career Coach

Interviewer: “So, do you have any questions for us?”

Candidate: “Yes, what questions should I ask at the end of an interview?”

I am often asked by my clients about the mystery surrounding what questions they should ask at the end of an interview. As an ex-corporate recruiter, people often think I’m privy to the secret code of ‘Good questions’ and ‘Bad questions’ that directly determine whether or not they will get offered the job.

While there are certain questions it might be best to avoid and others that can create a good impression, there aren’t strict rules about what you can and can’t ask at the end of an interview. A lot of it comes down to what you are genuinely interested to know.

Here are some guidelines to help you deal with this part of the interview:

1. Always ask SOMETHING

Even if you don’t have any burning questions, it’s a good idea to ask something to demonstrate your curiosity and interest in the company. You might think you’re saving the interviewer time by not asking any further questions, but the interviewer could interpret this as apathy for the organisation or for the role.

2. Don’t ask questions you could find the answer to online 

Try to avoid asking about things that are readily available on their company website, or that you could find the answer to yourself through a bit of online research. This could be interpreted as lazy, and might give the impression you haven’t really done much background research in order to prepare for your interview.

3. Ask about something you’re genuinely interested in

You don’t need to ask the most complicated or original question in the world. Ask a question that allows you to subtly display what you are passionate about or interested in. For example if you’re really interested in diversity and inclusion, you might ask the interviewer what initiatives the company is working on (just be sure the answer to this isn’t readily available online!) If the person interviewing you works in the team you would be joining, you could ask them what their professional highlight within the team has been so far.

4. Don’t ask questions to deliberately aggravate the interviewer

Similar to the point above, don’t ‘show off’ by asking an extremely complicated or aggressively challenging question that could make the interviewer feel uncomfortable. Interviewers should be trained to handle such questions, but you could be seen as a deliberate trouble maker who doesn’t respect authority. If you do want to ask a complicated or controversial question, be sure to enquire in a friendly and polite way, explaining why you are interested to learn more about this. Also remember that any sensitive or risky question may get turned around to you – and they may ask you to articulate your own opinion or your motivation for asking the question in the first place.

5. Listen carefully to the response

It’s a common occurrence for interviewees to be so relieved they have asked an appropriate question to zone out and not listen carefully to the response given from your interviewer. Engage with the interviewer as they answer your question with eye contact and positive body language and if appropriate, ask a considered follow up question or simply add your comments to their response. This will demonstrate your listening and interpersonal skills, as well as your eagerness and interest in the job.

6. Avoid questions about compensation and benefits

If and when you get to the point of job offer, discussing the salary and benefits of the job is important. You need to understand what the deal is, and you may wish to negotiate on the details. The interview is generally not the best place to ask this, as it could give the impression that you are not that engaged or interested in the role itself. The questions you ask are an opportunity to learn more about the role or the company – save the questions about salary for a later conversation.

Content originally published on www.hannahsalton.co.uk. Hannah Salton worked in corporate HR and recruitment for 8 years before making the move to become a career coach and consultant. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Interview Etiquette

 
 

So you’ve secured your dream interview, fantastic! However, you might start to feel nervous and worried, which is completely okay. Fear not, as we’ve got you covered. We’re taking a look at some of our top interview tips for the ultimate interview etiquette.  

1. Bundles of preparation and research

It can be exhausting, but preparation is crucial for landing your dream job so set yourself up for success during your interview and research, research, research! There might be some curveballs during the interview but if you’ve fully researched your future employer you shouldn’t expect too many surprises. Also, interviewers love candidates who are well prepared – it reaffirms that you are willing to go the extra mile.

2. Dress to impress

What to wear can give you some headaches before the interview but it doesn’t need to. It’s best to dress for the occasion, no one can begrudge you for dressing smart even if the employer has a relaxed dress code. But try not to be too flashy and divert the attention away from you, as they’re interested in you, not your latest fashion accessory. 

3. Smile, it’s contagious

This may seem straightforward but you’d be surprised how many people forget to smile in an interview! Coming across enthusiastic with a smile on your face does wonders to keep you relaxed and make the interviewer feel at ease during the interview. 

4. Remember your manners

One of the essentials for interview etiquette is politeness so please remember your manners... From the moment you walk into the building, treat everyone with respect and be polite as you never know who you might be speaking to. Through the interview try not to cut off the interviewer before they’ve finished speaking and remember those manners wherever applicable, especially at the end of the interview! 

5. Confident body language

It can be tricky to nail the right body language in an interview as you can be naturally nervous, but this is your time to shine; ooze confidence but try not to come across as too eager. Try to exude confident body language throughout your interview; this could be in your verbal communication to the way you greet your interviewer with a handshake. Try to relax, and know with your preparation you can succeed, this mentality will filter down in your overall interview performance.

6. Turn that phone off

Last but not least, keep your mobile phone off, not on vibrate, OFF! It could seriously jeopardise your chances if mid-conversation your mobile phone starts buzzing away. 

So, these are our essential tips for interview etiquettes, and we hope it’s settled your nerves (even just a little bit). 

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5 tips to help you manage assessment centre nerves

 
5 Tips to Help You Manage Assessment Centre Nerves
 

There is nothing better than receiving an invite to an assessment centre from your dream employer as it shows your hard work is finally paying off. However, it’s easy to let your nerves get the better of you. Whether you suffer from nerves or more severe anxiety I’ve got you covered with my five tips to help you manage assessment centre nerves.

1. Preparation and practice

Not only is preparation key to assessment centre success it will also help you to feel confident on the day. Consider what you are going to wear, research the company, study the job description, visit your Careers Service for additional support, practice interview questions using the STARR technique with family or friends and have your killer question ready to ask at the end of the interview. Assessors love candidates who are well prepared – it shows you are passionate about the company and how much you really want the job.

2. Plan your journey

Alleviate the stress of travelling to the assessment centre by planning your journey. There is nothing worse than the feeling of the dreaded knot in the pit of your stomach when you know you are going to be late. If you have time, do a trial run of the journey during rush hour so you know exactly how long it will take. Arriving with plenty of time will put you at ease and allow you the opportunity to check out the competition!

3. Get a good night’s sleep

It’s always the night before when the nerves really start to kick in right? A good night’s sleep will ensure you are focussed and prepared for the day ahead. Tips to promote a good night’s sleep include reducing your caffeine intake later in the day, taking a relaxing bath, reading a book and hitting the gym. We all love a bit of ‘me’ time and waking up feeling refreshed will do wonders for your positive mindset.

4. Try to relax

It’s easy for us to say but try to relax and enjoy the experience! It’s natural to feel nervous or apprehensive, but you don’t want this to get in the way of your assessment centre performance. The more you relax the more you will get involved during the exercises and help you to portray confident body language. Be yourself and let your personality shine through. Remember assessors can only assess you on what they see so take part, speak up and don’t forget to smile!

5. Breathe

Take a long slow deep breath - with all your preparation and practice you’ve got this! Breathing exercises can instantly help you to feel relaxed and are one of the best ways to help lower stress. Don’t forget to slow down and breathe when talking as you’d be surprised how many candidates forget this.

If you are suffering from extreme anxiety, contacting the employer to learn more about the process and what to expect will also help put you at ease.

So, there you are, my top tips to help you manage your assessment centre nerves.

Rachael.

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