3 Need-to-know Job Interview Tips

Interview Skills

 

  • Preparation
    While there is no way of knowing what questions the interview will ask you it’s a good idea to have some answers to common interview questions prepared. Stumbling over a question such as ‘What are you biggest strengths?’ does not bode well for you, write down some answers and try to memorise them before your interview!

    Don’t forget to research the company too, a quick Google search will give you all the information you need about a company so you can go into the interview with an understanding of what it does, it’s values and its audience/clients.

 

  • Be confident
    We know it’s easier said than done but try to trick the interviewer into thinking you’re confident, simple things such as body language and eye contact will help you achieve this! Avoiding eye contact and fidgeting will give off a ‘nervous’ vibe while good posture and eye contact will help you exude confidence.

 

  • Dress the part
    You only have a short amount of time to impress your interviewer, which means appearance can play a huge part in how you are perceived. For some great interview style tips check out our tips on dressing for interviews.

 

Interviews can be very daunting but being prepared can make the whole process a lot easier, our online Interview Skills course will develop your communication and interview skills!

3 Time Management Tips for a more productive day

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Sometimes we are all guilty of letting our ‘to-do’ list get on top of us because it’s easier to put to one side or we just can’t find the time to fit it all in. 90% of us will of used the phrase ‘there needs to be more hours in the day’.

Steadfast Training Ltd are here to share 3 of our best time management tips to help you work more efficiently. For more help with time management take a look at our CPD online course that will teach you how to use your time productively.

Time Management Tips;

  1. Be Organised
    One of the most crucial factors of good time management is the organisation systems in place. Make sure your paperwork is in order and filed, limit your distractions and streamline your processes. A good step would be to streamline your emails, unsubscribe from lists you don’t need as this will stop distractions and keep your inbox organised.
  2. Complete the most important task first
    At the start of your day identify the 2 or 3 most crucial tasks, after you’ve completed these the day will be a success even if you take a break or carry on with the ‘less essential’ tasks. 

  3. Agree a time limit to complete a task
    Instead of thinking ‘I will work until I’ve completed this task’ start setting yourself deadlines. ‘I will work on this task for 2 hours’ will encourage you to work more productively and procrastinate less as you will be working against the clock.

To improve your time management skills enrol onto our Time Management online course, the 30 minute course will teach you simple processes to improve your time management and you can complete it at your own pace, in your own place!

 

5 Benefits of Online Learning

5 BENIFITS

With the rise in popularity of Online Courses the traditional concept of education including a classroom with students and a teacher is quickly fading as online learning becomes an established, trustworthy and effective way of learning. If you are a busy adult learner you may want to consider these Online Learning benefits and continue further with your education.

  1.  Comfortable Learning Environment
    With no physical classes you are required to attend you can study from whichever location suits you, home, work or the local coffee shop? The only things needed is a laptop and a wifi connection and we are ready to expand your knowledge. Being able to study from home means no commuting time or travel arrangements are to be made.
  2.  Fits around your schedule
     Adult life is busy but online learning can be done any time of the day from any place allowing you to work around your schedule. This flexibility means you can gain a qualification in your lunch hour or improve your knowledge whilst waiting for a train – the opportunities are endless.
  3.  Improves Knowledge Retention
    e-Learning allows you to learn at your own pace without having to keep up, or held back, by other learners. Being able to work at a speed you are comfortable with is proven to increase knowledge retention.
  4.  Immediate Feedback & Results
    Online learning uses a method of online testing which doesn’t require a person to mark them, meaning your feedback and certificate will come through instantly after completing the course.
  5.  Cost Effective
     Due to the fact Online Learning can be completed anywhere means travel, location or room hire is not needed, cutting the costs dramatically e.g. our courses start from as little as £10!

To book an online course visit our site

 

 

10 Style tips to help you nail an Interview

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Apprenticeships, internships, and jobs (part-time and full-time) all require interviews, in some form or another – giving the right impression is vital to securing your place on some sort of ‘shortlist’ in the employer or interviewer’s mind. Of course, appearance isn’t everything, but if you are one-in-100 being interviewed, you need to stand out for all the right reasons.

Below, I’ll talk you through some of the basics for dressing for an interview.

  1. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
  2. Linked to Rule 1, dress appropriately for the role. If you arrive at an interview for a Business Administration role dressed in khakis, steel toe-capped boots, and a shirt, you’re pretty much guaranteed to not get the job. However, if you arrive at a Construction or Building job interview wearing a suit and brogues, your chances of getting the job are not affected. Research (and common sense) is required.
  3. If in doubt, ask the employer! If you’re not sure what is expected of you, then an email to HR of the company asking about the correct interview attire for the role will not go against you, and may actually show the employer that you’re serious about giving them the right impression and that you’re eager to please.
  4. Don’t go overkill on accessories and distracting items of clothing – bright colours and lots of jewellery are generally a no-no. Jingling your way into the interview room isn’t professional, or necessary.
  5. Have a facial piercing or visible tattoo? Cover it up or take it out. While some companies are more forward-thinking than others, you can’t always be sure, and you don’t want that tattoo from ‘Maga 2k10’ ruining your chances at that dream job.
  6. Along the same lines as Number 5, if you have bright hair or a wacky hair-style – make it conservative for your interview. If you’re successful, then you may ask about what’s acceptable and what’s not.
  7. If you’re a man, you don’t necessarily have to be cleanly shaven, due to the acceptability of facial hair in the work place nowadays, but make sure your beard or moustache is well-groomed and neat.
  8. Make-up should be ‘natural’ and not showy. If you’re wearing too much make-up, chances are it’s going to have moved from how you originally applied it – smudged lipstick or eyeliner does not look good. Don’t take that risk!
  9. In terms of your clothing itself – wear ‘traditional’ suit colours; black, navy or grey – and make sure your jacket and trousers/skirt match. A well-fitted suit is best, too baggy or too tight can look unprofessional, and may make you feel uncomfortable. The situation is nerve-wracking enough, without worrying whether your trousers will split when you sit down. Your shirt should be buttoned to the top, with a tie and for women, never wear a low-cut top or a shirt with buttons that could pop open. A good suit is an investment, and having one ready for any short-notice interviews may be a good idea. Shoes should match your clothing, and should be formal. Don’t wear high-heeled shoes, falling over isn’t a good start, and again, you don’t want to be focusing on how to walk or on that foot-pain, more than on the interview itself.
  10. Keep cologne and perfume to a minimum, don’t wear overpowering scents – your interviewer could be allergic, or just might not like the smell, it could be very distracting.

Now your outfit has been sorted, you can focus on company research and perfecting that handshake – good luck!

If you need anymore help on preparing for Job Interviews, our online Interview Skills course is only £10.00.

Words by: Lauren Bycraft

Katie’s Story | Business Administration Apprenticeship

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Hi Guys, My name is Katie and I am currently undertaking a Business Admin apprenticeship at Steadfast Training Ltd. A couple of us have been asked to share a little bit about ourselves and our apprenticeship, so here I go with mine.

At school I did a Level 3 Business Extended Diploma and loved it, I found it very interesting and it kept me on my toes. There was a lot of work involved but as I found it enjoyable I flew through it and found myself wanting to do the work because I enjoyed it not because I had to. I then went on to college and studied a Teaching Extended Diploma for primary school teaching. I enjoyed this but as the year went on, I was more and more determined I was going down the wrong path and I wanted to do something within the Business sector.

I left college and worked full time until I found a Business Admin apprenticeship. I applied and got a phone call from Lauren here at Steadfast Training. She asked me a few questions about the company I applied for etc.

A few days later she rang me back and informed me that Steadfast Training Ltd wanted to have an interview with me. I went for an informal interview on the Thursday and a formal interview on the Friday. I was told at my interview that I would hear back within a few days to see how I got on. A couple of hours later after my interview, I got a phone call from Lauren saying I got the apprenticeship and could start Monday! I was over the moon! I was finally doing something in the sector that I enjoy and wanted to progress in.

I have only been doing my apprenticeship for only 3 months now but I am getting on so well, it feels like I’ve been here for years! I am really enjoying my apprenticeship, getting experience and I learn something new pretty much every day. I’m the sort of person that likes to learn by doing, not by writing about it so the apprenticeship suits me to the T.

I wasn’t sure about an apprenticeship before I started this one and already, only 3 months into my apprenticeship I love it and would recommend doing an apprenticeship to anyone that is thinking about it or is stuck on what to do.

You learn, get experience, earn money and get a qualification! What is not to love?

 

 

Lauren’s Story | Social Media & Digital Marketing

READLAUREN'SSTORY

My name’s Lauren, I’m undertaking a Social Media and Digital Marketing Level 3 apprenticeship at Steadfast Training, and I’ve been asked to share a bit about my Apprenticeship experience.*

(* I’m not really a fan of this kind of ‘write about yourself’ exercise, and I apologise if I drag on a bit – I’m a fan of words, and being concise isn’t necessarily something I’m good at.)

I studied Chemistry, Psychology and Art A-Levels (as well as the ever useful subject, General Studies) at Spalding High School Sixth Form and then took another year after that to study a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at New College Stamford – still with no idea what I really wanted to do in the future, I applied for Psychology at Uni, got 4 unconditional offers, and later accepted the Sheffield University position.

On 19th September 2015, I turned up at Sheffield University, checked-in to my accommodation, took my belongings upstairs – and then just completely broke down. University wasn’t for me, and I had slowly been realising that from the moment I applied, it just hadn’t clicked. I felt like I had to go, simply because of the pressure that was placed on me, by my secondary school, from starting GCSEs onwards, to go to Uni and be ‘successful’.

About 3 hours after arriving, I’d repacked my belongings into the car, and was on my way back to Spalding – with absolutely no clue on what I would do next; I’d probably just set a record for ‘fastest university drop-out’ and was now having to really think about my future.

After 4 weeks of frantic job-searching, and several rejections, I got a phone call from Steadfast Training replying to my application to a Business Admin apprenticeship. I was interviewed a few days later, and within two days, had accepted an Apprenticeship to start at the beginning of November.

I had applied to several office jobs with a similar job description to my apprenticeship, but my lack of experience in the role lead to me being rejected, despite being told I was a great candidate –  being left with a ‘thank you, but no thank you’ and a ‘best of luck’, I was getting used to this rejection malarkey. This is undoubtedly the best thing with doing an apprenticeship – the experience I have gained without being expected to have had similar job roles in the past has been wonderful, and will be a great help with building my career.

My apprenticeship is going really well, I was put onto a Social Media and Digital Marketing award instead of Business Admin, as it is more versatile and is quite a sought-after qualification. I’m definitely enjoying the units I’m covering, and the work and the environment is something I’m thriving in. While my friends are all living on Pot Noodles and are a few hundred pounds into their overdraft, I’m earning a wage and saving for my future, which is another bonus.

I’d recommend an apprenticeship to anybody who’s unsure on what they’d like to do – you’re still able to go to university after, if you wish, and the work experience is really a great thing to have on your CV. I definitely don’t think apprenticeships get enough representation in schools and sixth forms, especially Grammar Schools, as all of the attention is on getting a degree, which is unfair. My younger siblings are all looking into apprenticeships themselves, after my good experience here at Steadfast Training, which is great!

Best Apprenticeship Vacancies this Month: January 2016

Best Apprenticeship Vacancies this Month

Vacancy Email

Operations Team Apprentice
Anglia (UK)
Spalding
Weekly Wage: £132.00
Closing Date: 10/02/16
Apply here

Anglia (UK) Limited are looking for operations team apprentices to join them in Pinchbeck, Spalding, to do general office tasks, administering credit checks and DVLA checks when required, completing of daily reports, etc.

Anglia (UK) Limited are specialists in commercial auditing, credit management and responsive repossession solutions for valuable and highly mobile assets.

 

 

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Apprentice Business Administrator
Jaava Ltd
Peterborough
Weekly Wage: £192.37
Closing Date: 10/02/16
Apply here

To assist the manager with general admin and accounts duties including but not limited to: Answering the phone in a polite and professional manner, taking customers’ orders over the phone, chasing customers for payment of invoices, typing up quotes, All general admin duties, filing, updating the database etc.

This is a very busy dairy, delivering milk and associated dairy products to shops, companies, fast food outlets in Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and surrounding area.  The diary trades as Peterborough diaries and is based in Werrington, Peterborough.

 

 

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Apprentice Clerical Assistant
Willoughby School
Bourne
Weekly Wage: £122.10
Closing Date: 11/02/16
Apply here
To provide clerical support to Willoughby School. Main duties of the role are: to carry out data input – word processing/spreadsheets, to assist in creating materials to support teaching and learning – display work, to carry out filing and stock taking, to carry out photocopying, to assist the arrangement of routine in school activities such as; medical/dental examinations, school photographs, induction evenings etc.

Willoughby is an all age (2 – 19) Special School, for pupils with profound, severe and complex learning needs.

The Willoughby School Vision is to inspire every child to achieve excellence in their learning and personal development through creativity and innovation in a happy and safe environment.

 

 

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Apprentice Administrator/Receptionist
Mason Thomas Limited
Stamford
Weekly Wage: £132.00
Closing Date: 10/02/16
Apply here

Role includes answering telephones and dealing with calls appropriately, taking messages and passing on relevant information. Monitor and order office supplies. Set up meeting room. This role will lead to further Administration duties in due course.

Bluebird Care (Peterborough & Rutland) & (East Northants) is a care franchise. They provide domiciliary care to a wide range of customers within Stamford, Peterborough and Rutland.

A Parent’s Guide to Apprenticeships

A Parent's Guide to Apprenticeships

As a parent/carer, you have a colossal influence on prospective apprentices and of course you should want to understand the in’s and out’s of the Apprenticeship your loved one is considering.

What is an Apprenticeship?
An Apprenticeship is a great way to gain qualifications and workplace experience. Apprenticeships allow a person to earn as they learn whilst gaining practical skills and work ethic.

How do I find Apprenticeship Opportunities?
Prospective Apprentices can check for vacancies on our website or contact a member of our team on 0845 223 2401

How is learning done through an Apprenticeship?
An Apprenticeship is essentially a set of qualifications called a ‘framework’ developed by Sector Skills Councils.

Most Apprenticeship frameworks follow a standard format that comprises;

  • Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF)
  • Technical Certificate
  • Key Skills
  • Employer Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)

All training is completed in the workplace and the learner’s assigned assessor will also visit them at the workplace.

What happens if the Apprentice moves employers?
The apprentice will not have to restart the apprenticeship. In most cases an apprentice can continue the same apprenticeship programme with a different employer.

Will an Apprenticeship lead to a good career?
Career progression is excellent for apprentices, and over the course of their careers, those with an Apprenticeship earn, on average, £100,000 more than those without*

[*A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Apprenticeships and Other Vocational Qualifications, University of Sheffield, 2007]

Will the Apprentice get paid?
Yes the learner is entitled to Apprentice NMW which is currently £3.30 an hour.

Could the Apprentice go to University upon completing the course?
Yes – Some Apprenticeships already attract UCAS points or allow a person to study for a Technical Certificate. Once the Apprenticeship has finished there’s the opportunity to carry on working, maybe get promoted or go on to higher education in a college or university.

What are the benefits of an Apprenticeship to the Learner?

  • It can set the learner up to move into new and better jobs
  • The learner receive a salary, avoiding hefty Student loans
  • The Apprentice will get to experience new and different challenges
  • The learner’s existing skills and knowledge are recognised and can help them gain a qualification faster
  • The Apprentice will have the ability to learn at their own pace and get support when needed
  • Better job security
  • The opportunity to gain skills and knowledge which can be used across a range of jobs and industries.

 

How long does it take?
An apprenticeship lasts for a minimum of 12 months

What time of the year do they start?
A learner can apply at any time throughout the year, the time the apprenticeship starts is dependent on the employer.

For more information visit our website or contact us on 0845 223 2401

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How to make the most out of your Apprenticeship

How to make the most out of your Apprenticeship

Starting and partaking in an Apprenticeship is a great career move, it’s a big and positive life step but how do you make the most out of a good situation?

  • Although this blog post is technically about making the most of your Apprenticeships, make sure you take advantage of your Job/Career fairs or your School or College’s career departments – they can help you find a suitable apprenticeship.
  • Realise that although your apprenticeship wage may be low it’s still a better financial alternative to University or unpaid Internships.
  • Get as much experience as possible – broaden your horizons and try to experience all the departments in your company.
  • Stay Confident – Anybody and everybody can make mistakes, don’t let your dampen your confidence and capabilities! Learn through your mistakes and consider them a learning experience.
  • Network – An apprenticeship is a great time to build and maintain contacts in the professional field – go to business events, socialise, make contacts within the company.
  • Work Hard – Enjoy the experience but ultimately work hard – people will recognise hard work and eagerness and you’ll build a good reputation, which could potentially lead you to your next role.