How to clinch your job interview? – referral is your only man (woman)

I coached a client recently for a senior job interview – who subsequently got the job.

“How did you hear about our Interview Zone?” I asked.

“I hired somebody you had trained and was so impressed by their interview technique – I thought I should give you a call!”

The proof of the pudding, as they say,…….

Moral of the story: Do your own interviewing first  (Network!!) Ask the right questions and do your home work.

Managing Stress at Work

I have just qualified as an administrator of the EQi2.0 and EQi 360 instruments in Emotional Intelligence.

What this means for you is that I can help you manage emotional information in the workplace by highlighting where you are strong: e.g. in being empathic, or cool under pressure. I can also help you identify areas for concrete development. Certain elements of our personality are essentially unchangeable over time.  EQi focusses on behaviour that can help you manage your own and others’ emotions and stress in a much more effective way.

This information is potentially very useful to interviewees who are nervous before or during interviews. Understanding and managing your own stress is a thing we all have to do and I have found this to be very comprehensive and relevant to my clients’  needs.


Please feel free to call me to discuss.

Time Famine Relief

We live in a world where nobody seems to have enough time. Here are ten proven time saving tips that will help you recover time in your work and personal life.

Are you prepared to invest time to save time?

“If you have the points – you have the choices” A word of warning.

Leaving Certificate Results due about now – it’s make up your mind time!

Every year around mid-August there is a flurry of celebrations following the arrival of Leaving Certificate results. After the days and nights of carousing the moment comes for the choice of college course based on the results. Occasionally, I get a call from a concerned parent asking something like: ” Jeanne has enough points to do law or medicine – which do  you think is best?” Frankly, I haven’t a clue as I think it is the wrong question.

Ask the right questions…..

When you are fortunate to have enough points to have options your should be asking such questions as :”Am I really interested in this course/faculty”, “Could I see myself working with this subject/profession for the rest of my life?”. “Does the work suit my skills, my interests, my temperament.” “Do I want to leave my options open or am I sure enough to commit to a specialist field this early in my life?”. “How easy is it to get work in this field after graduation?”

It’s not just about the money

At the end of the day, it’s not about the money it’s about you and what’s right for you. When you study history they teach you to look at world events from as many angles as possible before deciding on your opinion. It seems appropriate that you would do that with your future career.

The hard work is about to start

Looking up the money and the glamorous stuff on-line is the easy part – it’s going out there and talking to the people who can tell you what your future career choices are really like – warts and all. For every hour that your favourite star or performer spends on-stage or on-screen there are hundred of unseen hours hustling, learning, negotiating and sweating through all sorts of small stuff. Every career has its downside – know yours before you commit.

The Interviewing Zone launches on 15 May

From 15 May you will be able to prepare for your job interviews on-line. For less than the price of a night out you will have access to top-flight materials that have helped my clients get job interviews in the past. You will have access to videos, manuals, worksheets and podcasts that will allow you prepare for interviews professionally. Instead of the old buzzwords and jargon you will be able to translate your experience into presentations that will get you appointed or promoted.

This resource has been developed to help our clients, wherever they are, to get access to up-to-date top quality materials.

Most of our one-to-one clients are referrals from previous successful interviewees.

Watch this space.


Message of Hope for 2019

From Pope Francis’ message for New Year 2019

Do not forget that your life is the greatest enterprise in the world.

Only you can stop it from going bust.

Many appreciate you, admire you and love you.

Remember that to be happy is not to have a sky without a storm, a road without accidents, work without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.

To be happy is to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in the stage of fear, love in discord. It is not only to enjoy the smile, but also to reflect on the sadness. It is not only to celebrate the successes, but to learn lessons from the failures. … And when you make a mistake, start all over again. For only then will you be in love with life.

…You will find that to be happy is not to have a perfect life. .. Use your losses to train patience. Use your mistakes to sculptor serenity. …Use obstacles to open windows of intelligence.

Never give up …. Never give up on people who love you. Never give up on happiness, for life is an incredible show.

What Colour is Your Parachute? Institute Announced

The What Colour is Your Parachute? Institute has just been established by Marci Bolles and Tom O’Neil to carry on Richard Nelson Bolles work in Career and Life planning. As part of the Institute’s rollout I have been asked to be an official Ambassador of the brand in this part of the world. I have also been appointed an accredited coach in recognition of my five years work on staff at the WCIYP Workshops in Bend, Oregon, USA. you might like to check out the Institute:

They will be running international workshops providing participants with accreditation as coaches of the WCIYP method.

Career Detection – solve the job search mystery

Job SearchCareer Detection gets results.  When it comes to finding the right job or career slot for most people are baffled. What you need is a Sherlock Holmes to come to the rescue – except that he never existed.

You have to become your own career detective. It’s up to you to review the forensics, talk to people, follow your hunches and solve really difficult problems – like, what are employers really looking for? Many people are just too lazy to put this sort of energy into getting into the job or career that they really need. The

Inspector Clouseau of Job Hunting sends CVs to everybody, takes the first job offer and follows the herd. Inspector Clouseau may be played for laughs but you can’t afford your career and job search to turn into a farce. Start thinking critically today and put your plans into action.

I don’t know where your ideal job is – that’s for you to find out. If you want a hand just give me a call – I know a couple of things that could put you on the right track.

Delivering Results: effective interviewing

If you are trying to get on top of competency (behavioural) interviewing the easiest competency to work with is Managing and Delivering Results. After all, it’s about how you do your job. Just pick your best work example and shape it using the STAR structure. Make your example fit into 2/3 minutes but structure it concisely. Make the Situation description as concise as possible. Most of your content is in the Action portion – use plenty of meaningful, precise action words:e.g.  “I negotiated a €500 discount)..” Don’t forget to specify your Task or objective as precisely as possible: “I gave myself two weeks to get 1000 hits on the site” Make sure your Result statement matches or exceeds  your objective.

This video shows you how.

Be a STAR at your next interview

You can succeed at your next interview by using the STAR structure properly

Your next  interview may be  competency-based (behavioural). The STAR structure helps both interviewer and interviewee get the best out of the interview.

Most interviewees know this and are aware of the acronym STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Results) but don’t use it well.

Preparing an interview is just like baking a cake – you need the right ingredients, and the right proportions. Make sure your answers are substantial, not half-baked or overdone!

The 4 biggest mistakes in Competency Interviews

1   spending too much time  describing the SITUATION no more than 10% because the interviewer is interested in what you did.

omitting the TASK– a clearly defined description of the end result you were looking for – this is the most common fault. Use time, money and resources or any other metric that’s relevant: for example:  ” I had a target of getting 100 hits a week at least on the website.” Aim for 5% of  your answer.

3  giving too little information on  ACTIONs that you took. Relate the actions to the competency statement. Like a good watch your interview descriptions should have a lot moving parts. Therefore,  sure your actions are appropriate to the level of the job  you are going for. 20 years of experience  on reception is not going to count if they are looking for a chief executive. Show that you can box at their weight!  So, 75% of your answer should be action-focussed – what you did, how and why you did it.

not relating the RESULTS to any meaningful metric. Therefore, relate the results to the TASK.  For example:if, in your interview, you had aimed for 100 website hits a week and you achieved 200 then you have reinforced your TASK statement and shown that you can deliver on your promises; this will take 10% of  your allotted time.

A handy video to watch:  I have a demonstration video showing STAR in action and how people get it wrong.

Aim to have  your examples presented in about three to four minutes. Remember, practice makes perfect.

The interview room is a bad place to discover that your answers were not ready.

Good luck with your interview.