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DCS 233: Effective career planning for Communications Systems students

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Effective career planning for Communication Systems students ... 8. Psyche yourself up for success. 9. Start well. 10. Weigh them up. 11. Listen carefully ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: DCS 233: Effective career planning for Communications Systems students


1
DCS 233 Effective career planning for
Communications Systems students
  • Paul Blackmore
  • Director
  • Centre for Employability, Enterprise Careers

2
Effective career planning for Communication
Systems students
  • Workshop 1 Identifying career management
    employability skills
  • elements of career planning
  • graduate labour market and careers today
  • skills qualities sought by opportunity
    providers
  • Workshop 2 Effective applications
  • application forms and electronic application
    processes
  • CV writing covering letters
  • Workshop 3 Starting points strategies
  • Networking - discovering hidden opportunities
  • Sources of career information
  • Action planning - next steps
  • Workshop 4 Commercial Awareness thoughts??
  • Business game, guest employer assignment details

Workshop 5 Interview skills, assessment centres
review
3
Career planning - SODiT
Structured self reflection
Taking action
Opportunity Research
lt-- recruitment selection --gt (risk management)
Information
lt-- Lifelong learning --gt
Decision Making
4
Interview skills
5
Aims and objectives
  • Aim of the session
  • To help you understand the interview process and
    to provide an opportunity to explore a range of
    typical interview questions asked by employers
  • Learning outcomes
  • By the end of the session you will be able to
  • explain the purpose of interviews
  • identify ways in which to prepare for interview
  • identify the types of questions you are likely to
    be asked
  • describe the effect which non verbal
    communication can have in interviews, and
    identify techniques to help you convey yourself
    positively
  • identify strategies for presenting yourself
    effectively at competence based interviews
  • to review interviews in the context of the
    recruitment and selection process as a whole

6
What is the purpose of interviews ?
  • to gather more details about what you wrote on
    the application form
  • to see how you react under pressure
  • to find out more about your personality
  • to assess whether you will 'fit in
  • to evaluate how effectively you can communicate
    orally
  • to find out about your ability to think on your
    feet
  • to provide an opportunity for you to sell
    yourself
  • to check if the job / course is right for you and
    vice-versa
  • to find out whether you possess the skills,
    qualities and attainments that you profess to
    have (in your application)

7
What do you want from the interview?
  • To create an impression
  • - a positive one that will stay in the selectors
    mind
  • To market your suitability for the job
  • - by presenting relevant information about
    yourself and your experience
  • To collect information
  • - in order to make a sound decision

8
Tips from employers
  • It never ceases to amaze me how many graduates
    dont bother to find out who it is that they are
    applying to and what the job entails. I cant
    stress enough how important it is to read up on
    this beforehand. Lack of preparation really
    shows
  • "We basically have a list of criteria for
    selection ... For some areas, we specify degree
    subject but not for that many. We have a set
    of 22 things, which are defined as the skills or
    behaviours that are the most important to success
    within our organisation.....There are basically
    six to ten key competencies and either from the
    application form or a first interview or a second
    interview, we are designing those selection
    processes to give people the opportunity to show
    evidence of those kind of things."

9
Types of questions
  • Biographical questions
  • Open / Closed questions
  • Hypothetical or Scenario questions
  • Behavioural or Competence based questions
  • Surprise questions
  • Convergent questions or Funnel interviewing
  • Forced choice questions

10
Emotional intelligence
  • Impressions count. I like people who smile, who
    are pleasant and who look smart. Its great when
    a candidate comes through the door and looks
    really enthusiastic

11
An interview question (1)
  • Q. How are your studies going?"
  • A. "Fine"
  • Q. "I see you're studying Communication Systems.
    Do you enjoy it?"
  • A. "Yes."

12
An interview question (2)
  • Q. How are your studies going?
  • A. Very well. This term is really hectic as I'm
    trying to complete my dissertation and I've got a
    lot of exam revision to do. I don't mind though
    because I enjoy working under pressure and I'm
    good at juggling priorities. I'm also editor of
    the student newspaper this term, which is very
    challenging, especially when I've got my studies
    to think about. I'm responsible for commissioning
    articles, checking copy and making sure we meet
    print deadlines, so it's important to be well
    organised. I've always been interested in
    journalism as well as engineering and I might
    want to write for technical publications in the
    future so this has given me some really good
    experience of news writing and managing people. I
    also had three weeks work experience on a local
    newspaper last year which was extremely useful
    because. …

13
An interview question (3)
  • Q. How are your studies going?
  • A. Very well. This term is really hectic as I'm
    trying to complete my dissertation and I've got a
    lot of exam revision to do. I don't mind though
    because I get a buzz out of doing twenty things
    at once and really like working under pressure.
  • Q. How's the dissertation going?
  • A. "It's a lot of work but I'm enjoying it. I sat
    down and worked out a schedule before I started
    which has definitely helped. Working on the
    student newspaper has taught me loads about the
    importance of setting targets and working to
    deadlines.
  • Q. Yes, I see from your CV that you're editor of
    the student newspaper. Can you tell me a bit more
    about it? . . .

14
Types of questions
  • Biographical questions
  • What do you think have been the best aspects of
    your degree course? And the worst?
  • How do you spend your spare time?
  • Open questions
  • What main challenges did you meet in your
    vacation jobs? How did you deal with them?
  • What alternative careers/jobs have you
    considered?
  • Hypothetical questions
  • What would you do if you are a team leader and
    one of your colleagues is not pulling his/her
    weight?
  • How would you deal with culture shock/loneliness?

15
Types of questions
  • Behavioural or competence based questions
  • Describe an event/task/situation where you have
    influenced a group to which you belong.
  • How do you go about solving a problem in a small
    team?
  • Technical questions
  • Give examples of how you would use your technical
    knowledge to solve this problem…(interviewer
    gives example)
  • You are presented with a piece of equipment and
    asked to explain what it does.
  • Surprise questions
  • When did you last lose your temper?
  • If I asked you to get me a tiger by first thing
    tomorrow what would you do?
  • Forced choice questions
  • Would you choose a job with less money that you
    liked or a job with more money that you
    disliked?

16
Example of criteria used in interviews
  • Candidates are interviewed by a panel of managers
    who score candidates from 1 - 5 on each of the
    following criteria
  • Customer Service Orientation
  • Achievement Drive
  • Organisation Commitment
  • Responding to Change
  • Spoken Communication

17
An example of criteria based interviews
  • For each of the five criterion there is
  • a definition
  • a set of interview questions
  • Each candidate is asked the same or similar
    questions to ensure they all have an equal chance
    to demonstrate how they meet the criterion above.
  • Candidates are encouraged to give evidence of
    their ability in the skill area concerned

18
An example of criteria based interviews
  • Criterion Definition
  • Customer Service Orientation...
  • is the demonstrated desire and ability to serve
    others or to do something helpful for others.
    This includes initiative and tenacity in probing
    and understanding the needs of others
  • Possible interview questions
  • Tell me about a time when you felt you had
    exceeded a customers expectations describe the
    situation?
  • How did the customer respond?
  • Can you give me an example of an idea that you
    have put forward that improves service to
    customers ?
  • What was the idea ?
  • How was it implemented ?
  • How did the customer respond ?

19
Convergent or funnel interviewing an example
  • Who's your favourite author?
  • You frantically search your mind for someone
    impressive and come up with Jean-Paul Sartre
    because you think it sounds intelligent. Of
    course, if he isn't your favourite author you
    might be stumped by the next question...
  • Which of his books do you like the best?
  • You only actually know one thing he's written so
    you say "Iron in the Soul".
  • Why?
  • This could cause you real problems if you've
    never read it. Worse still...
  • Who's your favourite character?
  • Now you're in real hot water! it would have been
    better to have been honest in the first place
    instead of trying to impress your interviewer.

20
Interviews steps to success
  • 1. Research the job
  • 2. Research the organisation
  • 3. Check how you match up
  • 4. Consider the likely interview format
  • 5. Anticipate questions
  • 6. Dress the part
  • 7. Plan the journey
  • 8. Psyche yourself up for success
  • 9. Start well
  • 10. Weigh them up
  • 11. Listen carefully
  • 12. Reply skilfully (dont waffle or lie!)
  • 13. Ask the right questions
  • 14. Finish on a top note

21
Tips from employers
  • It always helps if the person listens to the
    question they have been asked and then answers it
    succinctly. If someone doesnt know the answer
    to a specific question Id rather they said so
    instead of covering up with waffle
  • Prepare, think positive, ask for feedback later
    on and, whatever happens, aim to learn from the
    experience
  • Impressions count. I like people who smile, who
    are pleasant and who look smart. Its great when
    a candidate comes through the door and looks
    really enthusiastic

22
Assessment Centres
  • Aim of the session
  • To provide you with a greater understanding of
    how assessment centres are used by employers
  • Learning outcomes
  • By the end of the session you will
  • recognise how assessment centres are typically
    structured and how employers use them in their
    selection process
  • be able to identify areas for personal
    development in order to perform effectively at
    assessment centres

23
Assessment Centres The rationale
  • Why do employers use assessment centres?
  • To give a fairer and more accurate prediction of
    the potential of a job candidate.
  • To recruit the best staff in a competitive world.
  • To ensure a good match between the skill needs,
    values and ethos of an organisation and job
    candidates
  • The high cost of graduate recruitment and
    training
  • To reduce costs in the longer term.

24
What are employers trying to assess?
  • Powers of intelligence
  • Social Skills
  • Powers of determination
  • Willpower
  • Problem analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Interpersonal sensitivity
  • Sociability
  • Leadership
  • Planning and organisation
  • Delegation and management control
  • Initiative
  • Persistence
  • Firmness
  • Decisiveness

25
Techniques used by employers in assessment
centres
  • Ability Tests 82
  • Group Discussions 79
  • One-to-One Interviews 76
  • Presentations 62
  • Panel Interviews 62
  • Personality Tests 44
  • Problem Solving Exercises 39
  • In-Tray Exercises 28
  • Business Games 24
  • Report Writing Exercises 7
  • Role Play 5
  • Leadership Exercises 3.5
  • Outdoor Activities 3

26
What are they looking for? Ford Motor company
  • balanced in a group (can be both assertive and
    co-operative)
  • some previous work experience, and the ability to
    reflect on what has been learned in the process
  • an assertive and confident personality
  • can mix well with others in a group
  • can analyse statistical information and other
    numerical data
  • ambitious
  • the will to succeed in a competitive industry
  • commercial instincts and business awareness
  • intuition - a sense or feeling for the right
    business solution

27
What are they looking for? Hoyer UK
  • dynamic alert quick-witted
  • entrepreneurial - will see and seize business
    opportunities
  • intelligent - able to think and act quickly
  • assertive and determined - can take the lead if
    required
  • good with people - can talk easily to people from
    all social levels
  • safety conscious
  • presence - meaning there is something about the
    candidate that makes you remember him or her

28
What are they looking for? Holiday Inns
  • good appearance
  • confident and articulate
  • assertive - not afraid of contradiction
  • commercial instincts good business acumen
  • flexible and tolerant of other cultures
  • mature, defined as knowing themselves and the
    world not led a sheltered life - this usually
    means previous work experience
  • quick-witted and think and act quickly
  • risk-takers people who can take initiatives
  • take ownership of their actions take
    responsibility if things go wrong

29
What are they looking for?
  • In all three examples great stress is placed on
    finding trainees with the right blend of
    intelligence and social skills, and, as these are
    commercial organisations, some business
    awareness.
  • The same desirable characteristics recur
  • good communication skills
  • good time-manager
  • analytical ability
  • self-confidence
  • good team-worker
  • emotional resilience and stability
  • enterprise skills commercial awareness

30
Assessment Centres Skills to demonstrate
  • Negotiation
  • Participation
  • Co-operation
  • Contribution
  • Analysis
  • Reasoned argument
  • Communication
  • Listening skills

31
Presentations
  • A Good Presentation
  • has a clear structure there is a beginning, a
    middle and an end
  • is relevant to the interests and needs of the
    audience
  • is concise - it gets to the main points quickly
    and succinctly
  • appropriate language for the level of ability and
    understanding of the audience
  • gains attention of the audience, for example by
    you
  • speaking clearly, not too fast, and with some
    inflection in your voice
  • gaining eye contact with your audience
  • using visual aids to emphasise what you say
  • appearing confident - even if you dont feel it!
  • A poor presentation has elements opposite to
    those above

32
Assessment Centre features what they can
measure
  • Group exercises
  • analytical ability
  • time management ability
  • persuasiveness
  • oral communication
  • adaptability and versatility
  • Presentations
  • problem analysis ability
  • problem solving ability
  • creativity
  • communication skills
  • time management ability
  • Panel interviews
  • oral communication
  • resilience (under pressure)
  • motivation to achieve
  • Psychometric tests
  • analytical ability
  • verbal numerical ability
  • ability to think sequentially
  • persuasiveness
  • assertiveness
  • adaptability and flexibility
  • resilience
  • motivation to achieve
  • team working style
  • work values
  • In tray exercises
  • problem analysis ability
  • problem solving ability
  • creativity
  • interpersonal sensitivity
  • delegation ability
  • planning/organising ability

33
Selection methods
34
Further resources
  • Assessment Centres, Psychometric testing
  • http//careers.lancs.ac.uk
  • CEEC Learner Resource Centre - reference
    collection aptitude packs / sample tests
    (electronic and paper-based
  • Psychometric testing workshops

35
The selection process an overview
  • video clip

36
Practical preparation
  • Read the brochure noting details of company
    organisation, job function and particular
    requirements
  • If there wasnt a brochure, where did you
    research the company?
  • Read the job description and make sure you
    understand the tasks of the job
  • Draw up a person specification from the details
    given, especially relating to skills, qualities
    and personality
  • Read your application form through and jot down
    what specific skills and experience you mentioned
    and what examples you used

37
Further resources
  • AGCAS booklet Going for Interviews
  • AGCAS video Why ask me that?
  • Video The Extra Mile Part I and II
  • Reference section CEEC Learner Resource centre
  • Re-visit self-audit!
  • CECA Certificate for Enterprise Commercial
    Awareness - Next dates 2nd 9th May 2007
  • http//careers.lancs.ac.uk/Makingyourselfemploya
    ble
  • Watch out for relaunch activities first day
    back for Summer term (23.04.07) dont miss the
    Dragons ribs!

38
Effective career planning for Communication
Systems students
  • Workshop 1 Identifying career management
    employability skills
  • elements of career planning
  • graduate labour market and careers today
  • skills qualities sought by opportunity
    providers
  • Workshop 2 Effective applications
  • application forms and electronic application
    processes
  • CV writing covering letters
  • Workshop 3 Starting points strategies
  • Networking - discovering hidden opportunities
  • Sources of career information
  • Action planning - next steps
  • Workshop 4 Commercial Awareness
  • Business game, guest employer assignment details

Workshop 5 Interview skills, assessment centres
review
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