Tips on Starting Your Own Business

Document Sample
Tips on Starting Your Own Business Powered By Docstoc
					                 Jobseeker Pack

Chevron Training & Development    Page 1
                                 Table of Contents

The Jobseeking Process                               3

Identifying Your Ideal Job                           4

Sector Opportunities                                 6

Tailoring Your Skill Set                             7

Researching Training Providers                       8

Finding Jobs                                         9

Curriculum Vitae                                     11

Links to Sample CV Templates                         13

Covering Letter                                      14

Interview Skills                                     15

Common Interview Questions                           19

Interview Debrief                                    27

Interview Preparation Videos                         28

Starting Your Own Business                           29

Additional Tips for Jobseekers                       31

Chevron Training & Development                            Page 2
                                     The Jobseeking Process

While the jobseeking process is often viewed as difficult (in fact it is often stated that you work
harder trying to find a job than when you are in employment), individuals that implement
effective strategies at each stage of the jobseeking process will maximise their opportunity to
secure the job they desire.

The jobseeking process typically involves:

      The identification of the job desired
      Researching employment opportunities within the chosen sector
      Matching existing skill set to job and sector requirements
      Developing a Curriculum Vitae and a Covering Letter
      Securing an Interview
      Preparing for an Interview
      Interview Debriefing

Chevron Training & Development                                                              Page 3
                                           Identifying your Ideal Job

The initial stage of the job seeking process involves identifying the job which you wish to
secure. This is a crucial element of the job seeking process as it dictates the strategy to be
employed for the entire job seeking process as it focuses your market research with regard to
sector opportunities and it also aids the development of an effective Curriculum Vitae.

While some job seekers may have determined a definitive career path , others may have many
employment opportunities to explore. In scenarios whereby job seekers are undecided as to
their ideal job, it is advisable that they answer the following questions:

      What type of work do I enjoy doing?
      List the skills that you possess
       - --------------------------------------------------------
       - --------------------------------------------------------
       - --------------------------------------------------------
       - --------------------------------------------------------
       - --------------------------------------------------------
       - --------------------------------------------------------
       - --------------------------------------------------------
       - --------------------------------------------------------
       - --------------------------------------------------------
      What motivates me?

      What are my long-term career goals?

Chevron Training & Development                                                                                      Page 4
      What type of organisation would I like to work for?
      What kinds of people do I work best with?
      In what location(s) would I prefer to work?

      Which organisations will facilitate my professional development and career

The answers to the above questions should provide the job seeker with a definitive idea of their
professional competences and priorities. The information derived from this analysis provides
the jobseeker with a better understanding of the career type they desire.

Furthermore, it is advisable for jobseekers to consider their previous employment experiences
when evaluating their future career prospects i.e. identify the elements of previous jobs that
you enjoyed and the aspects of employment you wish to avoid in future jobs.

The completion of personality and aptitude tests which are widely available on the Internet can
prove to be a useful resource for the jobseeker as the results should focus the participant’s
attention on their strengths, especially those that may be of benefit to prospective employers.

Chevron Training & Development                                                                                      Page 5
                                      Sector Opportunities

Once the jobseeker has identified the type of job(s) which they wish to find, it is imperative to
conduct extensive research into the employment opportunities presented by relevant sectors.

Such research will enable the jobseeker to determine the volume of employment opportunities
in their chosen sector in addition to acquiring information about standard qualification and
experience requirements for jobs in that sector.

Sources of information which may be useful when determining employment opportunities in
specific sectors include:

       -   Industry publications/magazines/newsletters
       -   Related sector websites
       -   Professional bodies/organisations
       -   Newspaper articles and recruitment sections
       -   FÁS employment services
       -   Job Coaches
       -   Government announcements/publications
       -   Government grants and incentive schemes

In these economically challenging times, it is important that jobseekers focus their search on
sectors that have been identified as experiencing growth and being sustainable in the long

Studies which have been conducted by government and employment agencies have reported
that sustainable growth opportunities exist in the following sectors:

      Renewable Energy/Green Energy/Environmental/Water Conservation

      Healthcare

      Pharmaceuticals / Chemical

      Financial Services & I.T.

      Tourism

      Exports

      Agri Food

      Broadband

Chevron Training & Development                                                              Page 6
                                    Tailoring your Skill Set to new Sectors

Having identified your preferred job and completed extensive market research into sector
specific employment opportunities, the jobseeker should have a thorough understanding of the
qualification and experience requirements for employment in specific sectors.

The next step in the process is to identify the components of your existing skill set and to match
them against the requirements for the new job.

In order to determine the current skills and knowledge which you
possess it is useful to list these attributes.

Skills and Knowledge acquired from Previous Employment:

       -----------------------------------------------------------------------
       -----------------------------------------------------------------------
       ------------------------------------------------------------------------
       ------------------------------------------------------------------------
       ------------------------------------------------------------------------
       ------------------------------------------------------------------------
       ------------------------------------------------------------------------
       -----------------------------------------------------------------------

Skills and Knowledge acquired from Hobbies and Other Interests

       ------------------------------------------------------------------------
       ------------------------------------------------------------------------
       ------------------------------------------------------------------------
       ------------------------------------------------------------------------
       ------------------------------------------------------------------------

This exercise will provide a comprehensive list of the individual’s competences which should
encourage you to emphasise these points on your CV.

Furthermore, a Job Coach may conduct a profiling assessment which identifies a candidate’s
strengths and weaknesses and suitability to specific careers. The results of a profiling
assessment will enable the jobseeker to emphasise their strengths to a prospective employer
via a Curriculum Vitae.

Chevron Training & Development                                                             Page 7
                                 Researching Training Providers

As research of the sector opportunities should provide the jobseeker with a clear understanding
of the industry qualification and experience requirements, a jobseeker may need to undertake
further education and training courses in order to satisfy employer requirements. However, it
is important that jobseekers acquire the following information about relevant training
programmes before participating on a particular course:

      Course Aim

      Course Syllabus

      Flexibile Delivery Method Options

      Course Duration & Frequency

      Location

      Assessment Structure

      Qualification/ Certification/ Accreditation

      Additional Course Benefits

      Pre-course support

      Post-course support

      Course Designer & Course Materials

      Trainer Qualifications and Experience

      Training Facilities & Resources

      Speed of Exam Results & Certification

      Cost

      Payment & Funding Options

      Recognised Training Provider e.g. Industry Awards

Chevron Training & Development                                                           Page 8
                                          Finding Jobs

       Finding Jobs in Ireland
      Moving up the Irish career ladder will probably mean searching for a job in order to find
       work. But where do we find jobs during Ireland’s heaviest recession for many years?
       There are of course the traditional channels like knocking on the doors of businesses
       and asking for work. But this as you may know is a long, tiring task. Here is our guide to
       finding Irish jobs

       Target your search

      Where would you advertise that job if you where a business owner looking to fill that
       position? By thinking like the employer you we can make reasonable assumptions as to
       where they would find the staff they need. For example, do you often see jobs for
       Londis advertised in the Sunday Business Post? No, not often. But you will find them
       posted on the shop walls. This would be a good start.

       The job centre

      Go to the job centre. People tend to forget this, even people standing in line to ’sign-on’
       don’t spend much time reading the adverts displayed on the walls. For employers to
       advertise their jobs here is often the cheapest means for them to advertise and as a
       result they use this frequently. A word of warning though. If you are looking for a higher
       management role the job centre might not be your first port of call.

       Search Engines

      Search for jobs in Ireland on the internet. Google, Yahoo! and MSN are all good portals
       to finding jobs. Try different search terms, just writing ‘jobs’ will provide very broad
       results where as typing the title of the job you want and where you want it will return
       very specific results much more suitable to what you are looking for.

Chevron Training & Development                                                             Page 9

      Employers and recruiters tend to use specific channels to advertise these days so it
       follows that you will find executive jobs in these types of publications. For example, the
       Financial Times and the Irish Times are excellent places to find finance jobs. If you are
       looking for a web development job then you would be wise to go online to the industry
       magazines website - this is a great portal for companies to find great talent.

       Recruitment Sites

      Jobseekers can utilise recruitment sites such as,,
       and to create a profile, upload a Curriculum Vitae, receive notifications
       about new jobs listed on the website and apply for jobs displayed on these portals.
      Furthermore, FÁS has developed a Curriculum Vitae upload facility which provides an
       additional opportunity for jobseekers to make their CVs available to prospective

       Social networking

      More and more recruiters are using online tools to find talent. Linkedin and Zoominfo
       are two examples of this. Be sure to expand your networks as much as possible and get
       old employers to recommend you. This is one of the best ways to finding your next job
       since the majority of jobs are filled via networking or word of mouth. It’s true what they
       say, it’s not what you know but who you know.

       Word of mouth

      Yes, it’s often true what they say. That most jobs are filled before the vacancy is
       advertised. So how do you make that yourself? 1. Call potential employers and sell
       yourself - give it a go, you can’t lose anything. 2. Tell your friends you are looking for
       work - people are often happy to help other people 3. Hand out your business card - this
       will help people remember who you are.

Chevron Training & Development                                                           Page 10
                                       Curriculum Vitae

An effective CV should be concise, transparent, persuasive and instantly engaging as it
determines a prospective employer’s decision to offer an interview to the candidate.

Characteristics of an effective CV:

      Transparent – A CV should have a clear layout
      Concise – The CV should be no longer than two A4 pages
      Professional – A CV should be free from spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
      Persuasive – The CV should demonstrate that the candidate can competently fulfil the
       duties of the position.

   Format of CV:

          The traditional format of a printed CV still remains the most popular format and a
           professional CV can still be very effective in securing an interview.
          However, in an effort to
           demonstrate innovation and
           creativity and to stand out from
           other applicants, some candidates
           now provide the employer with a
           CV in a DVD or CD format
           accompanied by a personalised
           covering letter.

Chevron Training & Development                                                            Page 11
Chevron Training & Development   Page 12
                                 Links to Sample CV Templates

Chevron Training & Development                                                 Page 13
                                        Covering Letter

A covering letter provides an overview of a candidate’s suitability in terms of skills, strengths
and experience requirements for the job advertised. It provides the candidate with an
opportunity to stand out and an effective covering letter will increase the candidate’s chance of
securing an interview.

Covering Letters for Advertised Positions
    Address the letter to a named individual in the company
    Refer to the position applied for and advise that you enclose your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    Use a font that is easy to read (e.g. Courier, Arial)
    Sign the letter personally

Covering Letters when sending a CV ‘on spec’
    Address the letter to the relevant department or section in the company.
    Refer to the position you desire
    Focus the letter on the potential employer’s needs
    Specify your availability for an interview
    Use a font that is easy to read
    Check for spelling, grammar and punctuation
    Sign the letter personally

Chevron Training & Development                                                           Page 14
Chevron Training & Development   Page 15
                                          Interview Skills

Securing an Interview:

If you are wishing to secure an interview for a job vacancy, it is advisable to send an updated
Curriculum Vitae and a personalised cover letter to a named person within the company.

If a candidate is able to demonstrate, via a personalised letter, that they have extensive
knowledge of the company’s operations and can articulate that they have attained the
necessary competences to occupy integral roles within the organisation, the candidate may
increase their chance of securing an interview.

Once initial contact has been established with the company, it is important that the jobseeker
makes a phone call to the same named person as a follow up to the letter. This phone call
shows the employer that you are enthusiastic about working for their company and it also gives
you an opportunity to sell yourself and demonstrate your communication skills

Preparing for an Interview

Researching the Company:

      Visit the company’s website
      Identify the purpose and objectives of the company
      Read the latest company blog or obtain a copy of their latest newsletter to ensure that
       you are informed about the latest company news.
      Use google to find additional information about the company i.e. newspaper articles,
       awards, industry publications etc.

Candidates should utilise this information to identify the needs of a company and to
demonstrate that their professional competences will satisfy these needs.

Researching the Interviewer:

Many candidates limit their research to the company. However, it is probable that all the other
candidates will have conducted similar research and therefore it is important that you can
stand out from the other candidates.

At the interview stage of the process, most candidates will have the skills, knowledge and
experience to competently fulfill the vacant role. Therefore many interviewers will seek a
candidate that is likeable and can demonstrate good interpersonal skills (i.e. is able to sell

Chevron Training & Development                                                               Page 16
It is for this reason that it is important to carry out research about the interviewer as it will
enable the candidate to establish common ground with the interviewer, e.g. that you are
graduates from the same university.

In order to conduct effective research on the interviewer:

       Search for a profile on the company website
       Perform extensive google searches
       Research newspaper articles and industry publications
       Use library databases if available

Mock Interviews:

       It may be useful to assemble some friends and family who will put you through a mock
       This is a good opportunity to practice your presentation skills
       Make sure that your assembled ‘panel’ will simulate a typical interview scenario,
        complete with tough questions!!
       Listen to any feedback they might provide
       If possible, use a camera to record the interview and then you can watch the interview
        and identify areas that can be improved before the real interview.

Other Considerations:

       Know how to pronounce the names of the people you will be meeting
       If possible, learn the names of the receptionist and other administration staff
       If it is a second interview, review notes of past meetings
       Read through the day’s business news so you have to something to talk about.
       Create a list of questions you will ask the interviewer
       Bring copies of your CV with you (and a copy on CD or DVD if possible)
       Identify the venue and calculate how long it will take to reach the location.
       Be punctual – always arrive a few minutes before the interview is scheduled to take
       Select suitable attire and take care of your personal appearance
       SELL YOURSELF!! – Identify a skills gap within the company and through emphasising
        your personal and professional attributes and demonstrate how you satisfy this need.
       Maintain eye contact with the interviewer throughout
       Demonstrate positive body language e.g. relaxed smile, good posture.

Chevron Training & Development                                                                 Page 17
   Phone Interviews:
   With more and more companies using telephone interviews as a method of identifying and
   discounting unsuitable candidates for face-to-face interviews it is important that
   participants are effective during this stage of the interviewing process.

   Consequently, candidates should implement the following techniques when participating in
   a telephone interview:

          Establish a professional telephone manner
           A telephone interview is an effective way for a prospective employer to assess a
           candidate’s telephone manner and professionalism.

          Select a suitable environment
           Select a room that is free from noise and all other distractions. Ensure that
           televisions, radios and other telephones are turned off and windows and doors are

          Confidence
           Answer the questions confidently. This will require to study every detail on your CV
           so that you won’t be surprised by the interviewer.

          Take notes
           Use a pen and paper to take notes during the interview as this will help you prepare
           for a second interview.

          Find common ground
           Make a connection with the interviewer, use the research you carried out on the
           company and the interviewer to establish this connection.

          Avoid hesitations
           Eliminate unnecessary hesitations such as “umms and errrs”

          Smile
           Even though the interviewer will be unable to see you, smilling can help you to relax
           and stay positive.

Chevron Training & Development                                                           Page 18
                   Common Interview Questions and Best Practice Answers

Work History

Q: What were your expectations for your previous job and to what extent where they met?

A: The best way to respond is to discuss what you
expected when you took the job and give examples
of how the position worked out for you. If the job
wasn't exactly what you expected, it's fine to
mention that. However, you should focus on the job
itself, not the company, your boss, or your co-
workers (if they were a problem). Do be careful
how you answer and don't focus too much on the
negative. Instead, address the highlights of the job.

Q: What were your responsibilities in your last job?

A: The best way to respond is to describe your responsibilities in detail and to connect them to
the job you are interviewing for. Try to tie your responsibilities in with those listed in the job
description for the new position. That way, the employer will see that you have the
qualifications necessary to do the job. Focus most on your responsibilities that are directly
related to the new job's requirements.

Q: What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?

A: Possible answers are listed below:

  During a difficult financial period, I was able to satisfactorily negotiate repayment schedules
  with multiple vendors.

  When the software development of our new product stalled, I coordinated the team which
  managed to get the schedule back on track. We were able to successfully troubleshoot the
  issues and solve the problems, within a very short period of time.

  A long-term client was about to take their business to a competitor. I met with the customer
  and was able to change how we handled the account on a day-to-day basis, in order to keep
  the business.

Chevron Training & Development                                                            Page 19
Q: Why are you leaving your job?

A: Don't Badmouth Your Boss

Regardless of why you left, don't speak badly about your previous employer. The interviewer
may wonder if you will be bad-mouthing his company next time you're looking for work.

Prepare answers to typical job interview questions, like this one, in advance. Practice your
responses so you sound positive, and clear, about your circumstances and your goals for the

Sample answers to the interview question "Why did you leave your job?

        I found myself bored with the work and looking for more challenges. I am an excellent
    employee and I didn't want my unhappiness to have any impact on the job I was doing for my
        There isn't room for growth with my current employer and I'm ready to move on to a
    new challenge.
        I'm looking for a bigger challenge and to grow my career and I couldn't job hunt part
    time while working. It didn't seem ethical to use my former employer's time.
        I was laid-off from my last position when our department was eliminated due to
    corporate restructuring.
        I'm relocating to this area due to family circumstances and left my previous position in
    order to make the move.
        I've decided that is not the direction I want to go in my career and my current employer
    has no opportunities in the direction I'd like to head.
        After several years in my last position, I'm looking for a company where I can contribute
    and grow in a team-oriented environment.
        I am interested in a new challenge and an opportunity to use my technical skills and
    experience in a different capacity than I have in the past.
        I recently received my degree and I want to utilise my educational background in my next
        I am interested in a job with more responsibility, and I am very ready for a new
        I left my last position in order to spend more time with my family. Circumstances have
    changed and I'm more than ready for full-time employment again.
        I am seeking a position with a stable company with room for growth and opportunity for

Chevron Training & Development                                                            Page 20
        I was commuting to the city and spending a significant amount of time each day on
    travel. I would prefer to be closer to home.
        To be honest, I wasn't considering a move, but, I saw this job posting and was intrigued
    by the position and the company. It sounds like an exciting opportunity and an ideal match
    with my qualifications.
        This position seemed like an excellent match for my skills and experience and I am not
    able to fully utilise them in my present job.
        The company was cutting back and, unfortunately, my job was one of those eliminated.

Q: What have you been doing since your last job?

A: The best way to answer this question is to be honest, but do have an answer prepared. You
will want to let the interviewer know that you were busy and active, regardless of whether you
were out of work by choice, or otherwise. Here are some suggestions on how to explain what
you did while you were out of the workforce.

       I worked on several freelance projects, while actively job seeking.
       I volunteered for a literacy program that assists disadvantaged children.
       My aging parents needed a temporary caregiver and I spent time looking after them.
       I spent time being a stay-at-home mom and volunteering at my daughter's school.
       I took some continuing education classes and seminars.

Questions about you

Q: What is your greatness weakness?

A: When you're asked what your greatest weakness is, try to turn a negative into a positive. For
example, a sense of urgency to get projects completed or wanting to triple-check every item in a
spreadsheet can be turned into a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will make sure that the
project is done on time and your work will be close to perfect.

Note that the term "weakness" isn't used in the sample answers - you always want to focus on
the positive when interviewing.

Sample Answers

      When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to
    complete the project well ahead of schedule.

Chevron Training & Development                                                           Page 21
        Being organised wasn't my strongest point, but I implemented a time management
    system that really helped my organisation skills.
        I like to make sure that my work is perfect, so I tend to perhaps spend a little too much
    time checking it. However, I've come to a good balance by setting up a system to ensure
    everything is done correctly the first time.
        I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I
    realised that scheduling in advance makes much more sense.

Q: What is your greatest strength?

A: This is one of the easier interview questions you'll be asked. When you are asked questions
about your strengths, it's important to discuss attributes that will qualify you for the job. The
best way to respond is to describe the skills and experience that directly correlate with the job
you are applying for.

Sample Answers

         When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to
    complete the project well ahead of schedule.
         I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I've earned a bonus each year since I
    started with my current employer.
         My time management skills are excellent and I'm organised, efficient, and take pride in
    excelling at my work.
         I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to resolve what could be
    difficult situations.

Q: What motivates you?

A: There isn't a right or wrong answer to interview questions about what motivates you. The
interviewer is trying to understand the key to your being successful in the job he is interviewing
for, and wants to make sure it's a good fit. Consider, in advance of interviewing, what actually
does motivate you and come up with some specific examples to share during the interview.

       I was responsible for several projects where I directed development teams and
    implemented repeatable processes. The teams achieved 100% on-time delivery of software
    products. I was motivated both by the challenge of finishing the projects ahead of schedule
    and by managing the teams that achieved our goals.

Chevron Training & Development                                                              Page 22
        I've always been motivated by the desire to do a good job at whatever position I'm in. I
    want to excel and to be successful in my job, both for my own personal satisfaction and for
    my employer.
        I have always wanted to ensure that my company's clients get the best customer service
    I can provide. I've always felt that it's important, both to me personally, and for the company
    and the clients, to provide a positive customer experience.
        I have spent my career in sales, typically in commission-based positions, and
    compensation has always been a strong factor in motivating me to be the top salesperson at
    my prior employers.

Q: What are your salary expectations?

A: When interviewing for a new position, do your best not to bring up compensation until the
employer makes you an offer. If you're asked what your salary requirements are, say that they
are open based upon the position and the overall compensation package. Or tell the employer
you'd like to know more about the responsibilities and the challenges of the job prior to
discussing salary. Another option is to give the employer a salary range based upon the salary
research you've done up front. Once you've received the offer you don't need to accept (or
reject) it right away. A simple "I need to think it over" can get you an increase in the original

Q: Tell me about yourself?

A: Because it's such a common interview question, it's strange that more candidates don't spend
the time to prepare for exactly how to answer it. Perhaps because the question seems so
disarming and informal, we drop our guard and shift into ramble mode. Resist all temptation to
do so.

Your interviewer is not looking for a 10-minute dissertation here. Instead, offer a razor sharp
sentence or two that sets the stage for further discussion and sets you apart from your

Example: "I'm a seasoned Retail Manager strong in developing training programs and loss
prevention techniques that have resulted in revenue savings of over €2 Million for (employer's
name) during the past 10 years."

Chevron Training & Development                                                             Page 23
Q: If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired what would they say?

A: I'm sure if you asked my friends that question they would say you should hire me because I
have the skills outlined in the job description and I bring 10+ years of expertise to this position.
Words they've used to describe me are: hard working, professional, trusted and a team player.

Q: Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?

A: I am equally comfortable working as a member of a team and independently. In researching
the LMN company, your mission statement and the job description, I could see similarities to my
previous position where there were some assignments that required a great deal of independent
work and research and others where the team effort was most effective. As I said, I'm
comfortable with both.

Q: Give some examples of teamwork

A: In my last position, I was part of a software implementation team. We all worked together to
plan and manage the implementation schedule, to provide customer training, and ensure a
smooth transition for our customers. Our team always completed our projects ahead of
schedule with very positive reviews from our clients.

New Job and Company

Q: What interests you about this job?

A: When you're asked what interests you about the position you are interviewing for, the best
way to respond is to describe the qualifications listed in the job posting, then connect them to
your skills and experience. That way, the employer will see that you know about the job you're
interviewing for (not everyone does) and that you have the qualifications necessary to do the

Q: Why do you want this job?

A: Possible answers listed below

         This is not only a fine opportunity, but this company is a place where my qualifications
    can make a difference. As a finance executive well versed in the new stock options law, I see
    this position as made to order. It contains the challenge to keep me on my toes. That's the
    kind of job I like to anticipate every morning.

Chevron Training & Development                                                              Page 24
        I want this job because it seems tailored to my competencies, which include sales and
    marketing. As I said earlier, in a previous position I created an annual growth rate of 22
    percent in a flat industry. Additionally, the team I would work with looks terrific.
        I well understand that this is a company on the way up. Your Web site says the launch of
    several new products is imminent. I want to be a part of this business as it grows.
        As a dedicated technician, I like doing essential research. Being part of a breakthrough
    team is an experience I'd love to repeat.
        This job is a good fit for what I've been interested in throughout my career. It offers a
    nice mix of short- and long-term activities.
        I want this retail job because I'd be good at it. I'm good at speaking to people and
    handling cash. I would like a job with regular hours and I'm always on time.
        I'd fit right in as a counter clerk in your fine drycleaners. I have observed that the counter
    clerk position requires competence at handling several activities in quick order -- customer
    service, payments, bagging and phones. I like multitasking and, as a homemaker, I have a lot
    of practice in keeping all the balls in the air.
        The work I find most stimulating allows me to use both my creative and research skills. I
    know that this company rewards people who deliver solutions to substantial problems.

Q: Why should we hire you?

A: The best way to respond is to give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments
make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description
with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions.
Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position.

Q: What can you contribute to this company?

A: The best way to answer questions about your contributions to the company is to give
examples of what you have accomplished in the past, and to relate them to what you can
achieve in the future.

Describe specific examples of how effective you have been in your other positions, changes you
have implemented, and goals you have achieved. Talk about the depth and breadth of related
experience that you have.

Also, relate your abilities to the employer's goals. You will want to let the interviewer know that
you have the skills necessary to do the job they are hiring for, the ability to effectively meet
challenges, and the flexibility and diplomacy to work well with other employees and with

Chevron Training & Development                                                                 Page 25
The Future

Q: What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you?

A: You can begin your answer with this question: Tell me, Mr./Ms. Interviewer, what is a typical
career path at OPL for someone with my skills and experience?

(Based on the answer you can then respond to the original question using the phrases from the
answer to frame your response).

What is important to you? Two things are very important to me. One is my professionalism at
work; the second is my family life.

Q: What are your goals for the next five years?

A: You want to connect your answer to the job you are applying for. Examples of good responses

       My long-term goals involve growing with a company where I can continue to learn, take
    on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much of value as I can.
       I see myself as a top performing employee in a well-established organisation, like this
    one. I plan on enhancing my skills and continuing my involvement in (related) professional
       Once I gain additional experience, I would like to move on from a technical position to
       In the XYZ Corporation, what is a typical career path for someone with my skills and

Chevron Training & Development                                                          Page 26
                                       Interview Debrief

After the interview:

      Take written notes of the interview
      Highlight any mistakes you think you made – e.g. names mispronounced
      Identify the positives you can take from the interview
      Note questions that you found particularly tough and try to improve this answer should
       you encounter this question

This exercise is extremely important as it can help you prepare for your next interview and
should be completed directly after the interview has finished.

Chevron Training & Development                                                           Page 27
                                 Interview Preparation Videos

The Internet can provide a useful source of information for jobseekers wishing to prepare for an

The links below provide guidance and tips with regard to performing well in interview

Chevron Training & Development                                                          Page 28
                                   Starting Your Own Business

 The challenging economic climate which currently exists often creates an opportunity for
individuals to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and start their own business.

Useful advice for people wishing to start their own business is outlined below:

 1)   Research

The first step when establishing a new business is to take the time to conduct research on your
market. This doesn’t have to involve substantial costs, you can find out key information by
taking the time and undertaking it yourself. This will allow you to establish your Unique Selling
Points, assess your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the
marketplace. It will also give a clear picture without any further investment at this time as to
the viability of your proposition.

 2) Business plan

It is vital when you are starting a new business that you take the time to put together a detailed
business plan based on your research and set realistic budgets, forecasts and timelines. When
carrying out strategic, operational and financial planning being realistic is crucial and critical to
your long term success.

 3) Support

Surrounding yourself with a good support system is invaluable whether it’s a friend, colleague
or expert with business experience that you can brainstorm with, who will listen to your ideas
and give you objective feedback. The business landscape is changing at a frenetic pace and an
experienced opinion would be the ideal solution. It is crucial that you keep reviewing your
strategy on a continuous basis to reflect the flux within the business environment today.

The County Enterprise Boards may also be a valuable source of information and support for
 those wishing to start a new business.

4) Networking

This is the buzz word of the last 18 months and it is an ideal way of generating good business
contacts and new business leads. The moment your business strategy has evolved, start
attending networking events. Many events are free to attend and don’t involve sign up fees,

Chevron Training & Development                                                               Page 29
another option is to join your local Chamber of Commerce which is a great way of meeting like
minded entrepreneurs.

5) Know the Law

It is vital from the outset that you have an understanding of the legislation and laws involved in
your chosen industry, health & safety, HR, accounting procedures and payroll obligations. Not
following the proper procedure from the start can incur costly fines and penalties that could
have been avoided at the start.

Chevron Training & Development                                                             Page 30
                                  Additional Tips for Jobseekers

As finding a job is a job, it is important that jobseekers dedicate sufficient time and resources to
securing employment.

The following tips may be beneficial to individuals who are actively seeking employment:

      Establish and maintain a daily routine: This enables the jobseeker to prepare themselves
       to reenter the workforce and it also demonstrates that you have been proactive during
       your period of unemployment.
      Establish a career network: More people find employment through their personal
       contacts than any other source. Therefore it is essential that you develop, expand and
       utilise your network when searching for employment.
      Work experience: If possible, secure a work placement with an employer in your chosen
       industry. This offers the jobseeker an opportunity to demonstrate that they can be an
       indispensable resource for the company by rectifying any existing skill gaps. A jobseeker
       who can achieve this during the work placement may optimise the chances of securing
       employment with the company after the work placement has been completed.
      Read: Newspapers, industry magazines and books keep you up to date with industry
       developments and it also keeps your mind active.
      Physical Exercise: It is advisable for jobseekers to incorporate physical exercise into their
       daily routine as it promotes physical and mental well being.
      Volunteer work with charities: The most significant problem encountered by all
       charitable organisations is the lack of funds available to them. Consequently, there is a
       continuous requirement for volunteers to acquire funds through various fundraising

   In addition to offering a jobseeker an opportunity to utilise their free time for the benefit of
   a worthwhile cause, the fundraising activities undertaken during the volunteer will enable
   the jobseeker to:

       -   Develop presentation skills
       -   Become a more effective communicator
       -   Develop leadership skills
       -   Enhance interpersonal skills
       -   Deal with rejection

These attributes can all be utilised during the jobseeking process and can aid you in securing

Chevron Training & Development                                                              Page 31

Shared By:
Description: Tips on Starting Your Own Business document sample