Tag Archives: project management recruitment

Project Management Careers – Embracing Change

As a project professional you are used to getting others to embrace change, however, have you ever analysed your own viewpoint of change? We have all been guilty of digging our heels in when someone wants us to change something, whether it is your favourite bag or the colour of your lounge. Naturally we start to feel threatened by being told that things look tired or aren’t right. The same happens when you are looking to apply for a new job, there’s the whole change of company, environment, culture and how we do things which come into play but before we even reach that point we need to address actually securing interviews and the job. This can be terrifying for some who have perhaps been working in a business for years and have been made redundant but also for those who recognise they need to make a move for whatever reason. Applying for jobs has changed over the years and suddenly what was always an effective way of securing a new role is now dated and requires some work.

Your CV is the most important starting point for job applications – employers have become fussy and as the shift in lower salaries through perception of a buyers’ market has moved on, the salaries are certainly reaching a more commensurate level but employers expect to see excellence for the price. I know you will be sat there thinking, my CV is fine, it has always secured me interviews in the past so what next. But have you tested it in the market? Had many calls or much interest? If not, then maybe you need to address why!

Change is good

Resistance to change is common as you well know and some of the reasons are below:

  • Comfort zone – it is scary to move out of your comfort zone but it is also healthy to do so as much as possible and addressing your career goals / approach to securing a new role is important. Explore new avenues.
  • It worked before – yes but times change, as do expectations.
  • Uncertainty – research, there’s plenty of help out there which is free to access. Talk to people; find out how they do it.
  • Am I really good enough – easy to lose confidence when you have been struggling to secure interviews for a while or been made redundant, work at understanding your skill-set by performing a skills audit.
  • Loss of control – by embracing the change you will soon gain control, careers coaching can be a great way to understand how to make a positive move forward.

Do not assume because your CV reads fine to you, that it is good enough to whet the appetites of employers – ask for feedback from peers, recruiters, and specialists in the field. All feedback is good feedback; don’t be disheartened if you hear something you don’t want to. Be thankful it has been highlighted and address it constructively; ask for advice or for more clarity.

Interview Questions; what to expect – PM Career Tips

Interview questions will vary from company to company and manager to manager but essentially the interviewer wants to verify some key areas such as: whether your skills and experience are right for the job, if you actually want the job and are you the right fit for the business. Answering questions with strong examples from your professional past will really help you win over the interviewer as theoretical answers really don’t add value.

One of the first questions you are likely to be asked is “what do you know about us?” This is where you need to have done your homework and know what it is the business does/produces, who its main competitors are and any challenges they may currently be facing (publicised or not).

You will also probably be asked to talk about yourself; this is something you can rehearse and you should look to produce a short (3 or 4 minutes long) monologue which focuses on relevant pieces of experience, any areas of progression and achievements. Keep it professional, don’t talk about children and family and avoid any jobs which aren’t going to be of interest to the interviewer.

Shake on it

It is also possible you will be asked to talk through key strengths and weaknesses – think about examples which are more relevant to the job/business and don’t fall into the trap of stating you have no weaknesses, we all do and it is how we identify and address them which makes us better/stronger candidates and more employable.

Why do you want this job? Another great question and often overlooked by candidates when preparing for interview – simply stating you need the money to pay the rent/mortgage isn’t good enough. Again this is where your research comes in, knowing more about what they do as a business and the direction they are taking in the market can be a great area to talk about and also think about the challenge of a new team, different projects, developing your skill set etc.

You will ideally be asked to talk about difficult situations and proud achievements – this can be a great platform to demonstrate your management style and to tell the interviewer about something which isn’t covered on the CV, talking about how you have added value and overcome major blockers can really sell you.

You’ll no doubt be asked about your career goals, be realistic but don’t sell yourself short. Think about your 5-10 year career plan beforehand and tell the interviewer your plans but be pragmatic, you could talk yourself out of a job if you intend to be climbing the career ladder at the rate of knots. Taking on more responsibility and new challenges doesn’t necessarily mean jumping from PM to Programme manager or Coordinator to Manager.

The seven deadly sins of job applications

 

  1. Lust – Lusting after a job doesn’t come across as attractive, everyone needs to demonstrate keenness and dare I say a little passion. These qualities are attractive and can really persuade a recruiter to put you forward for a role, sometimes the challenge of a potential new role over the remuneration package may truly be the case (not just a spiel out of desperation to get any job). But make sure you keep yourself in check, don’t hound recruiters/HR until they concede (it is highly unlikely they won’t), keep professional and don’t argue decisions made unless you really do have a valid point and even then you must be diplomatic in how you approach the subject.
  2. Gluttony – don’t apply for every job which vaguely looks familiar to your skill set, quality not quantity every time, applying for everything will soon get you put in the rejection pile as recruiters will keep seeing you name popping up for roles completely irrelevant and as they recognise your name they stop even opening your application.
  3. Greed – we all have a mortgage or rent to pay, however grabbing at the roles offering most money isn’t the ideal route, what else is being offered? Will the role enhance your career portfolio or do the company offer valuable training?times are changing
  4. Sloth – don’t be lazy with your applications, go the extra mile – tweak your CV and write a fresh cover letter for each application. Lazy applicants often highlight themselves for all the wrong reasons to employers and recruiters alike.
  5. Wrath – sitting very close with Lust this; keep your cool when making applications for a job. It can be frustrating and daunting – you feel like you are putting all the effort in and not yielding any results. Coming across aggressive and crabby isn’t professional and will quickly ensure you are not considered for any roles moving forward.
  6. Envy – others make seem to reaping results from their applications, securing interviews and job offers, rather than sitting there wondering what they have that you don’t, ask for some feedback. Speak to them, ask to see their CV, ask them to review your CV and also ask the people who you apply to, understand why it is you didn’t make the short list.
  7. Pride – your CV may have been perfectly sufficient in the past, but times change and employers expect to see so much more on a CV these days, stop being so proud and ask everyone for a critique – all feedback is good feedback, understand how others view your CV. Is it really saying all the right things?

6 questions to expect at a web developer interview

When preparing for an interview it’s important to consider a few typical questions your potential employer may ask you. We all know the interview process can be a daunting task, and it’s essential to come across as a competent and confident individual to be in with a chance of bagging that dream job. The focus of your potential employer’s thought process, is whether you are good enough to work for their company, so the significance of interview preparation should not be overlooked. For that very reason, we have compiled a series of web developer interview questions below, so you can walk into the room and communicate an air of wisdom and clarity when put under the microscope.

1.       What are your past working experiences?

You can expect to answer a relatively broad question about yourself to begin with. The interviewer is merely trying to get a feel of your personality and an elaborated version of the information presented in your CV.

Think2.       What kinds of sources do you follow to keep up with industry trends and developments? 

If you don’t already follow a handful of blogs relating to the web development industry, now is the time to start reading! The interviewer will be very interested in knowing how committed to the profession you are, and your specific viewpoints. This is that very thin line between your dedication to the skill and your own self-improvement, or something you perceive as just a job.

3.       What are your most favourable programming languages?

It is a simple fact that when we excel in a certain task, this generally results in a person favouring that subject. There are at least one or two programming languages a web developer will be most proficient, and the interviewer will be interested to hear the skills you can bring to the company and why it is you favour those languages over others.

4.       What kind of problems have you faced while writing code?

When your interviewer asks you a question about the problems you’ve come across in the past, they do not want to hear “I haven’t come across any problems”. Every developer at some point in their career has been confronted with a challenge, your interviewer is looking for details of what your problems were and what you did to tackle them.

5.       What is W3C and what does it stand for?

W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium and it is the international standards compliance for web development. Their aim is to radically improve the way people develop new technologies, and this is something any established web developer should be familiar with. Your interviewer will most likely ask you this question, so if you are ignorant to the workings of W3C, start searching the web for answers now.

6.       When concerning case sensitivity, what is the principal difference between HTML and XHTML?

The interviewer is attempting to establish your basic knowledge of languages and the finer details involved. Expect to be asked a series of technical questions to test your knowledge and capabilities.  To answer the question above, HTML is not case sensitive but XTML requires lower case for all tags and attributes.

As you can imagine, these are just a small collection of the possible questions your interviewer may ask you, but it’s most definitely a good starting point. When considering what to expect at your interview, ask yourself these three questions; “What are my past experiences, what kind of skills do I possess, and what do I expect from the future?” Elaborate on these three questions and you’ll find yourself where you want to be in no time!

Good luck!

Karly Edwards is a freelance copywriter writing for Computer Recruiter, an IT recruitment agency based in Cardiff, South Wales: http://www.computerrecruiter.co.uk