APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham FC Karren Brady answers all your career questions.
Today she shares her top tips on interviewing job applicants with a new manager and helps an employee put her case for continuing to work from home to her boss.
Q) I have recently been promoted to a managerial position and I am about to advertise for a new member of our team.
However, I’ve never been on the interviewer side of the table before, so I feel really nervous. Have you got any good tips?
Beth, via email
A) Congratulations on your promotion! Knowing how to interview someone and asking the right questions is a really important part of making sure you hire the right person for the job.
Start by introducing yourself, share some background about the company and the objectives and goals for your department. Give the candidate a clear idea of the position on offer and the expectations and responsibilities they will have.
Don’t sugar-coat anything – if the job involves long hours and working weekends, tell them, as you’ll only regret it later if they take the job and then don’t want to work the hours!
Prepare your questions in advance and start with the basics, such as when the job will commence (so you get an idea of their notice period and availability) through to their career goals and expectations.
If you’re interviewing multiple people, find a way to score each candidate (perhaps add a total to the back of their CV so you make sure you get the right score for the right person!). You might score them for ability, confidence, body language, first impressions, as well as their knowledge and experience.
It’s really important to give candidates the chance to properly answer the questions you have asked, so don’t interrupt unless absolutely necessary. And always ask if they have any questions for you.
At the end of the interview, don’t forget to outline the next steps, such as whether there’ll be a second interview and when they can expect to hear back from you.
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Q) My company recently told us we won’t be returning to our office before June 2021.
Although it has meant working slightly longer hours, being at home has really helped me balance my life better and I would like to keep working remotely five days a week, even when things go back to “normal”.
Should I speak to my manager about this now or keep quiet until next summer?
Sheila, via email
A) There will likely be a lot of people in the company wanting to do the same thing, Sheila, so if I were you I would speak to your manager now.
But in order for you to get them to consider your request, you need to figure out all the details of how it will work for you and them. Research has found that people who work from home are less likely to quit, are more productive as they are likely not being micro-managed and can take control of their own workload, plus it is less expensive for the company, as employees call in sick less often and do not need office space.
Make the case that working from home means you work harder, more efficiently and are more organised, and that the last eight months have shown that it doesn’t have a negative impact on business.
You should also speak to your HR department and ask if there is a company policy on working from home in the future – they may have realised the benefits and be keen to keep them going.
- Got a careers question you want Karren to answer? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Karren cannot answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice
- Compiled by: Claire Frost
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