Graduate HR opportunity in Stirling…….

Nina, our Job Shop Manager here at the Careers Development Centre, has informed us in the GradClub Team, of this exciting HR opportunity:

Employer United Closures and Plastics Ltd

 Job title HR Assistant

 Closing date 19/11/2012

 Job description

We are currently recruiting for an HR Assistant based at our manufacturing site in Bridge of Allan, Stirling.

Reporting to the HR manager the successful candidate will provide first level HR advice and guidance to employees in line with organisational policy. Main responsibilities include:-

  • recruitment activities
  • liaising with external agencies where appropriate
  • absence management
  • co-ordinating occupational health activity
  • disciplinary and grievance
  • month-end reporting activities
  • liaison with Payroll
  • maintaining employee data and project activity as required

This is an autonomous role where you will be the first point of contact for all HR issues and queries.

Person requirements

Suitable candidates should hold a degree in Human Resource Management, or related discipline. Some experience of working within an HR environment would be desirable.

The successful candidate will be a self starter with proven experience of working as part of a team. You must possess excellent organisational skills and have the ability to effectively liaise with personnel at all levels within the organisation.

If you are interested in applying please email your CV to Alison Wood at

Don’t forget to pop in to see a Careers Advisor to have your CV checked …… you can also book a mock interview to gain some valuable experience and practice your interview skills.




How To Get The Job When You Know You’re Under-qualified

An interesting article written by a former head hunter, I can see parallels here on how  to prepare for a graduate interview:

If you don’t have the exact skills or experience that an employer is looking for, you still may have a chance if you do adequate research.

Andrea Sobel,  a headhunter for more than twenty years who’s now a hiring manager at Parsons Corp., said that since you only have a limited amount of time to impress the interviewer, you need to market yourself strategically.

The key to this is doing your homework.

“You’re not completely ruled out if you don’t have what they’re looking for, but come in prepared with a strategy,” she says. “Don’t just sit there, and act like ‘Oh, I’ve never worked with that, so I’m not going to talk about it.’ ”

It’s acceptable to admit that you don’t have exactly what the interviewer is looking for, but it’s also vital to make the connection between what experience and skills you do have to what the company needs.

Sobel detailed that, if you can make the connection sufficiently, the manager might be persuaded to thinking they can train you on the rest of the skills needed since you already have experience that’s similar.

The bottom line is that you need to appeal to the person interviewing you, and if your experience falls short, you need to show that you’ve come close enough. Whether you can adequately make that argument or not, you’ll still get credit for doing research ahead of time, and the interviewer notices that.

And don’t waste your time discussing irrelevant skills or experiences, which Sobel says happens often and that she’s had several experiences of wasting valuable time trying to get interviewees back on track when they “go on these tangents.”

“You want to make sure you’re talking about the topics that they want to hear. If you have five skills in your current job, but the company that you’re interviewing for is only focusing on three of those skills, don’t waste too much of your time discussing the other two.”

“It’s being conscious of what the company wants, what you bring to the table and making sure you don’t waste too much time talking about what they don’t care to hear about.

Courtesy of Business Insider.

Don’t for get that you can book a mock interview with a Careers Advisor to help with your interview preparation. We generally need 3 days notice and at time of booking need to receive the Job Description and Personal Specification for the advertised role, along with your CV/Application Form as this helps with question preparation.

Top Tips for Panel Interviews…

For many of us, hearing that we are facing a panel interview can immediately fill us with fear, dread and trepidation. For some reason, facing a group of people is so much more daunting than facing one interviewer on their own. However, like all interviews, with the right preparation and mindset, there should be absolutely no reason why this need be the case. To help alleviate those fears and improve your performance, we have put together our Top Tips for Panel Interviews.

Prepare In Advance
As soon as you are notified that you will be interviewed by a panel, try and establish who they are. Ask the HR Manager, the recruiter if they can advise you who will be on the panel. In most organisations, the panel will consist of at least 3 people, generally including a HR Representative, a Line Manager and perhaps even a potential team colleague. It can be worthwhile researching who the interviewers are in advance simply by using google, the company website, industry publications or even Linkedin or other social media sites. Getting some background knowledge in advance about the people you are meeting will actually help to boost your confidence  and minimise the “fear of the unknown” element of the interview.

First Impressions Count
As soon as you walk through the door, like it or not, all eyes will be upon you. And each member of the panel will be immediately making up their initial first impressions of you. In order to make sure it is a positive one, you should ensure that you enter the room confidently, that you make eye contact and shake hands firmly with each of the panelists and that you remember standard interview etiquette, waiting until you are advised to sit down etc. Your aim is to establish and build a rapport with each of the interviewers.

Eye Contact and Body Language
The format of panel interviews can vary. Some will have a lead interviewer who asks most of the questions, some will give each panelist an equal number of questions whilst others will have questioning panelists and others who are simply there in an observational capacity.
No matter what the format, the fact is you should always make eye contact with each of the interviewers, whether they ask you a question or not. Obviously most of your focus should be on the person who asked the question, but the other panelists should be included too, even just with a few glances. Likewise, be mindful of your body language. Do not turn away in the direction of the person questioning you at that point. Even if there are panelists who remain silent, make sure you have not subconsciously angled yourself away from them.

Ignore the Distractions
It is commonplace in a Panel Interview for at least one of the panelists to be a note taker. In fact at times, several of them may do this. Don’t let yourself get distracted by someone scribbling notes and saying nothing. Likewise do not be alarmed if an interviewer breaks eye contact with you in order to write down some notes. This is common practice and you should not let it unnerve you.

The Interview Itself
Although there are more people present, the actual interview itself and the questions you are asked and how you answer them is no different to a normal one on one interview. Your interview preparation should therefore be exactly the same. Check out some of our our previous posts on interview tips, here and here.

The End
When the interview has come to a close, much as you may want to get out of that room as quickly as possible, it is important to again remember your manners. Politely thank and shake hands with each one of the interviewers. If you know and can remember their names, then of course you should use them.

Overall, the only real difference with a panel interview is that you have a few more people to impress. You need to prove you are the right candidate for the job in exactly the same way, no matter how many people are at the other side of that table!

Courtesy of  ‘The Employable’.

Remember, if you have any other tips for panel interviews, that you feel should be shared, then please let us know via the Comments section below.

Tips for New Graduates

Car hire giant Enterprise Rent-A-Car, one of the UK’s ten biggest graduate recruiters, has set out some hints and tips for graduates looking to make themselves more appealing to potential employers.

1. Experience matters

Work experience and internships will often make you stand out. Employers know that a taste of the commercial world will sharply reduce the learning curve when you join the workforce full-time.

2. Volunteering

Unpaid volunteering highlights graduates with a social conscience and proactive work ethic.

3. On-campus activities

Make the most of clubs, sports teams and social groups on your CV, particularly in positions of responsibility. Remember to show how they  helped build teamwork and leadership skills.

4. The academics isn’t everything!

Unless you’re going down a route where you need explicit technical skills, it’s often good to position yourself as a well-rounded individual. A good degree matters but so does everything else you did at university.

5. Confidence shows

Some people are great at writing CVs but lack interpersonal skills. How well do you communicate what’s on your CV? How well do you sell yourself? Do you say “I’m afraid I’ve only done this…” or “Actually, I’ve achieved this…”?

6. Have you done your research?

Ensure you know at least something about the business where you’re applying for a job. A question that begins “I was looking at your website and wondered…” is a good sign to employers. Also, it’s often worth calling the company up before the interview to ask for more details about the job on offer.

7. Professionalism

It’s amazing how many new graduates don’t turn up on time for their interview or dress appropriately. Not every company expects a suit, but you should at least make the effort to find out about its dress code.

8. Using your initiative

For employers, the most promising recruits are usually those who really made an effort. That can mean everything from entering undergraduate awards and competitions while at university, to making the best use of your contacts afterwards.

9. Networking skills

Business is a social environment, so you will often have to demonstrate your skills at listening, making small talk and putting other people at their ease.

10. Motivation

If you get asked “Why do you want to work here?” you should have a real answer and not just a pat response. You might not yet be thinking in terms of a lifelong career, but you should at least know why you’ve chosen that company.

With thanks to Enterprise Rent-a-car

For more detailed information on the graduate application process, check out the CDC webpages