4 Questions Candidates Should Ask in a Job Interview

Although it might not always feel like it, a job interview is a two-way street. The interviewer will try to dig beneath your polished veneer (hopefully) to find out what really makes you tick, but there comes a time when the tables will turn. At the end of every interview, applicants will be given the chance to ask a question or two of their own, and this is not an opportunity you should waste.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at four questions to ask in a job interview to show how committed you are to the role and to reveal a few insights that will help you make a more informed decision about the position.

1. Is there anything on my CV or that we’ve discussed that makes you question whether I’m a good fit for the role?”

There’s no beating around the bush with this question and nor should there be. This is your one chance to address any concerns the interviewer has before they make their final decision. Even if you don’t get the job, the interviewer’s response will highlight the skills, character traits and the parts of your CV that you may need to work on in the future.

2. “What are the key challenges the person you hire will face in this role?”

Getting a job interview is hard, but so is dragging yourself out of bed every day to do a job that you hate. This is your opportunity to make sure that doesn’t happen. Although the job description will provide some essential information about the role, it will only tell you what the employer wants you to know.

By asking this question, you can try to dig beneath those corporate cliches to understand what day-to-day life in the role will be like. For example, are there budgetary constraints that will make it difficult to put your plans into action, or are there interdepartmental politics that you’ll constantly have to battle against?

3. “What do you like most about working here?”

This is a great question to ask as it puts the interviewer on the spot and could potentially reveal more about the organisation than any amount of research you can do. Of course, the interviewer is under no obligation to tell you the truth, but you might be able to read between the lines.

For example, if they respond enthusiastically and tell you how wonderful the culture is and how well employees are looked after, that’s a great sign. However, if their response is stilted, delayed, lacking detail or quite flat, you could potentially conclude that it’s not a great place to work.

4. “Where are the people who have held this position before me now?”

“Are there opportunities for career progression?” is one of the most common questions to ask in a job interview, but we think this asks for a little more detail and makes it difficult for the interviewer to be vague.

If previous holders of the position have been promoted and are now further up the chain, that’s a great sign that there’s scope for career progression and that the organisation promotes from within. If they’ve left to go elsewhere, it could be a sign that the only way to progress is to leave, or that the organisation is not one people tend to hang around in for a long period of time.

Find your next bilingual role

At Linguistica Recruitment, we help talented bilingual candidates find rewarding and well-paid roles across the south of England. Take a look at our current vacancies and upload your CV.

The Decline in Language Jobs is Set to Slow in July

The global language industry has been one of the hardest hit by the unprecedented scale of the coronavirus outbreak. This is reflected by the number of language jobs that are currently available in the UK and around the world. However, there are signs that the worst of the slowdown in the global language industry could be over as the decline in language jobs steadies in July.

The downward trend in language job postings

The Slator Language Industry Job Index was developed as a method of tracking employment levels and job market activity in the language industry. It provides a meaningful pattern of language job trends and measures the expansion and contraction of hiring activity across the industry.

Chart

The baseline for measuring expansion and contraction of employment and hiring activity was taken to be July 2018 (100). From there, after rising steadily, the index fell dramatically in late March and April this year, when lockdown measures were imposed.

However, despite the widespread uncertainty that still exists in the language jobs market, the index fell by just one point from June to July 2020, in what could be a levelling out before the recovery begins.

The full economic impact may not be seen for months

The index is a measure of job market activity as it happens, but the full extent of the impact on the broader language economy may not be revealed for several months. July marks the fourth consecutive month that the job index has fallen. That peaked from April to May, when many major European economies were brought to a standstill and the index fell by 15 points.

However, we are now seeing the first signs of recovery, with the index levelling out from June to July and a slight uptick in job postings on language service provider websites for the first time since March. There was also an increase in postings on job aggregation sites in June; although, the number of language job postings on LinkedIn continued to fall, which is reflected by the downward trend in July overall.

An encouraging rise in language industry deal making

Another sign that the global language industry is showing the first shoots of recovery is the increase in merger and acquisition activity.

Several deals have been completed over the last month, such as the acquisition of Irish machine translation provider Iconic Translation Machines by UK-based language service provider RWS. US ecommerce provider Localised also raised $6.5m in a Series A funding that was backed by UK entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den stalwart Peter Jones.

Ready to start hiring?

At Linguistica Recruitment, we help employers find the best bilingual and multilingual talent and support candidates through every step of the recruitment process. Call 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-recruitment.com to find out how we can help you.

How to Manage Remote Staff Effectively During Covid-19

With working from home now the ‘new normal’, business leaders are having to revise their management strategies to reflect the physical distance between them and their teams. As more companies decide that remote working could be something they adopt over the longer term, it’s important that managers are ready to adapt to the challenges it brings.

So, how can you manage remote staff effectively during COVID-19 and beyond? We’ve canvassed the experts to bring you their top tips.

1. Define your expectations

The less time an employee spends in the office, the less clarity they’re likely to have about their manager’s expectations. Therefore, in the world of remote working, you must make it a priority to be explicit about exactly what you expect your staff to produce. The deadlines, metrics and outcomes must be crystal clear, as should the level of communication you expect from your team. If you want daily or weekly progress updates via email or video call, make sure you say so and hold the employee accountable.

2. Trust your team

One of the big changes this enforced and prolonged period of remote working has brought is an increased level of trust from managers in their team’s ability to work productively from home. Previously, there was a reluctance, particularly among larger organisations, to allow staff to work remotely. However, that uncertainty is slowly being broken down.

Creating work-from-home guidelines or ‘rules of engagement’ will help to further build the trust between management and employees. It should cover details such as how quickly staff are expected to respond to emails, how to contact management urgently, and the hours when video calls are allowed. That will help to prevent the line between work life and home life becoming blurred.

3. Offer encouragement and emotional support

To manage remote staff effectively, you must provide encouragement and emotional support, just as you would in the workplace. Stress and anxiety do not go away when the place of work changes. In fact, due to the lack of communication, it can make things worse.

Asking even general questions, such as “how is this remote working situation working for you?” can elicit much more information than you might expect. But asking the question is only half the job. You must also listen carefully to the response and repeat what the employee has said to you to make sure you understand it correctly. Then, you set about putting the practical and emotional support the employee needs in place to enable them to work effectively.

4. Don’t forget about career development

When your staff are working remotely, it’s very easy to think of them as an outsourced team who are helping you get things done. However, while they may not be there physically, you still need to treat them as employees. It’s all too easy to put their goals and ambitions on pause during a spell of remote working. Having weekly one-on-ones to discuss their career development and putting plans in place will help to reassure them that they’ve not been forgotten.

Hire bilingual staff to make your business tick

At Linguistica Recruitment, we help you hire in-demand bilingual staff to drive your business forward during difficult times. Find out more about our recruitment service for employers and call 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-recruitment.com today.

Why Remote Recruitment Could be Here to Stay

Those employers who have been lucky enough not to be forcibly closed or hit by the mother of all downturns have been getting used to life with COVID-19. A big part of that, for organisations with skills gaps to fill, has been the adoption of remote recruitment.

As businesses change how they operate, many have been making use of the latest technology to interview candidates and make hiring decisions without ever meeting the hopefuls in person. Like remote working, it’s expected that this could be here to stay after the restrictions are eased and even become, dare we say, the ‘new normal’, as employers realise the benefits that remote recruitment can bring.

The benefits of remote recruitment

1. Cost

Recruitment is an expensive business. In fact, a Glassdoor study found that the average cost of hiring a new employee in the UK is £3,000. Clearly then, any measures that you can take to reduce that cost, particularly for small businesses, should be taken. By conducting remote interviews, you can remove the travel costs for candidates that employers often reimburse and take costs such as meeting room hire out of the equation.

2. Time

Another potential benefit of remote recruitment is the amount of time it can shave off the process. Finding new hires, particularly for skilled positions, can take weeks and even months. The same Glassdoor study found that the average time it takes to hire a new employee is 27.5 days, so the fewer restrictions you have on timing, the better.

It can be much easier to schedule video calls rather than face-to-face meetings as it removes the issue of travel. It also allows the interview to be conducted in a candidate’s lunch break, for example, rather than them having to book a day off to attend in person, all of which takes time. This convenience also increases the likelihood of the best candidates being able and willing to attend.

3. Location

In face-to-face interviews, the geographic location of the employer and the candidates can become a barrier, as candidates may be reluctant to travel long distances when they’re not assured of getting the role.

Remote recruitment removes that problem by allowing candidates to attend interviews from their own homes. This can potentially widen the talent pool for the employer, as candidates who live long distances away can apply for the job knowing that they’ll only have to travel if they’re successful in the interview.

4. Technology

We’ll not mention any names, but video calling technology has a reputation for being unreliable. However, new applications, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, are surprising many doubters with just how well they work. That said, the technology is only as good as your internet connection, so it’s best to check that the employer and the candidate both have a connection that is capable of running the application seamlessly.

Helping businesses to keep hiring

At Linguistica Recruitment, we believe remote recruitment is a viable and very workable solution for businesses with skills gaps to fill. During this time, we’re continuing to work with businesses across the south coast to find the talented bilingual candidates they need.

For more information about how we can help you, please call 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-recruitment.com today.

Leave Your Job In The Right Way With Our 5 Expert Tips

You’re demotivated, you haven’t had a pay rise in years, you’re not progressing and your skills are going to waste. A fresh challenge is just what you need, but before you wave goodbye to your current job for good, it’s worth taking some time to put an exit strategy in place to help you leave your job in the right way. After all, you’re probably going to need a good reference!

1. Define the problem with your current job

Before you hand in your notice, make sure you’re clear about the itch you’re scratching. Do you hate the job or is it your boss or colleagues that you dislike? Perhaps you feel that the role is not a good fit for your skills, or you’d be better suited to a different sector?

Before searching externally for new jobs, it could be worth exploring your opportunities within the organisation first. If you’re well thought of by your current employer, then career development programmes, lateral moves and even a secondment to a different department may all be potential routes they’ll consider.

2. Make the necessary preparations before you jump ship

Once you’ve decided to go elsewhere, you must get everything in order before contacting recruiters. Update your CV, think about how to demonstrate the skills and experience you’ve gained and use examples to sell yourself successfully. You should also look at the must-have requirements of the sector you’re planning to enter and ensure that the evidence for those skills is all covered on the first page of your CV.

3. Now’s not the time for negativity

When you’re ready to move on, it’s very easy to let negativity creep in, but that could cloud what has otherwise been a successful time with your current employer. You should carry a positive approach through to the discussions you’re likely to have when searching for a new role.

When asked what you’re looking for in a new role, think about the new challenges you want to face and not what pushes you away from your old job. You should also resist the temptation to say anything negative about your previous employer, no matter how bad the situation was. The last thing you want is to look like a problem waiting to happen.

4. Understand the jobs market you’re heading into

Before making the move into a new sector, take the time to research what recruitment levels are like and whether the sector is growing or on the decline. It’s also a common mistake to assume that your skills or qualifications are transferable without carrying out the necessary checks. This could mean that you have to start at a less senior level or that you struggle to get into the sector at all. You should speak to as many people as you can and scour sector-specific job boards to understand what skills prospective employers are looking for.

5. Keep your plans to yourself

The last thing you want is to broadcast to everyone that you’re moving on, only for it to take much longer than you’d like to find a new role. Announcing your intentions on social media could lead to you being eased out of the organisation before you have another role to go to. Mass emailing your CV to competitors could also have a similar effect in a close-knit industry.

We’d advise you to keep your cards very close to your chest. Word spreads very quickly around the workplace and the decision could be taken out of your hands. Instead, increase your visibility gradually and make sure you conduct your job search outside of work hours.

Are you ready to move on?

At Linguistica Recruitment, we have a diverse range of well-paid and rewarding jobs for bilingual workers across the south coast of England. Call 02392 987 765 to discuss your requirements or submit your CV to our specialist team.

The Coronavirus Takes its Toll on the Jobs Market – But Don’t Give Up!

The number of jobs being advertised in the UK has fallen by more than a fifth in the last six weeks as the coronavirus takes its toll. Perhaps not surprisingly, the hospitality industry has been the biggest casualty to date, with nearly 40% of its advertised vacancies removed due to the forced closures across the board. 

According to a study by one of the UK’s leading job sites, the hospitality industry has certainly not been the only one to suffer. Advertised roles in the charity sector have fallen by 19%, sales jobs vacancies have dropped by 15%, and there are 14% fewer customer service roles available than there were six weeks ago. 

Other areas that have seen a fall in vacancy numbers include:

  • Travel – 14%
  • Graduate roles – 13%
  • Manufacturing – 12%
  • Retail – 11%
  • Creative & design – 11%
  • Administration – 10%
  • Maintenance – 10%
  • Engineering – 9%   

Areas where hiring is increasing

Although the number of total vacancies has fallen dramatically over the last six weeks, there are areas where hiring is increasing.

  • Online delivery and logistics – With people no longer allowed to eat out, there has been a dramatic increase in takeaway orders, with firms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats now hiring to meet demand. There has also been an increase in online shopping, leading to strong hiring in driving, warehouse and logistics roles.
     
  • Supermarkets and pharmacies – Another sector that has seen an increase in demand, both in-store and online, are supermarkets and pharmacies. There are lots of current vacancies advertised by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Boots, Asda and the Co-op.
      
  • Online retail – Amazon is on a huge recruitment drive as it tries to keep up with the surge in demand it’s currently experiencing. This is likely to be true of a number of other online retailers, although that will vary by industry.
     
  • The NHS – Given the unprecedented scale of the current crisis, the NHS are trying to fill a large number of 111 call handler roles. We also expect to see an acceleration in hiring across other areas as the healthcare sector does what it can to respond. 

What should job seekers do?

Given the dramatic reduction in vacancies, you might be tempted to put your job search on hold during the coronavirus crisis, but we think that’s a mistake. Most recruiters are saying that it’s business as usual despite the outbreak, and as other people may choose to postpone their job search, it’ll reduce the competition for you. 

The one change you are likely to find is that many more interviews will be conducted over the telephone or by video call rather than in person, so it is worth making sure you’re prepared.   

To prepare for a video call job interview, you should:

  • test your software and hardware first to avoid difficulties;
  • position yourself in a well-lit space with a bland background;
  • look at the camera, not the screen;
  • dress to impress;
  • don’t be afraid to use your notes; and
  • make sure all other tabs or programmes on your computer are closed

It’s business as usual at Linguistica Recruitment

Are you looking for bilingual roles across the south of England?If so, then give us a call on 02392 987 765 or submit your CV today. 

 

How to Avoid Burnout When Working from Home

These days, flexible working arrangements mean that many more people work from home. In fact, according to the ONS Labour Force Survey, which is the largest study of employment circumstances in the UK, more than 1.54 million people work from home for their main job. That’s up from 884,000 ten years ago. However, in recent weeks, the number of homeworkers has soared, as the coronavirus has forced millions of office workers into the safety of their homes. 

With that in mind, we thought we’d provide some top tips for those who are new to working from home to help you avoid burnout.

1. Make a routine and stick to it

Newbie homeworkers might imagine days spent on the sofa in their pyjamas, but for most, the reality of working from home is very different. Even though you’ll have a lot of newfound freedom, most experienced homeworkers shun that freedom in favour of a strict routine, which starts with getting dressed in the morning.

Most successful homeworkers also keep very strict hours. This prevents work from creeping into other areas of their lives and gives them time to exercise, socialise and relax, all of which are extremely important when you spend a large part of the day at home. 

2. Take plenty of short breaks throughout the day

Studies have shown that the formula for peak productivity is to work for 52 minutes followed by a 17-minute break. You don’t have to follow that rule precisely, but when working from home, taking regular breaks is crucial to your productivity. 

In the workplace, you have impromptu breaks all the time, whether it’s a chat around the water cooler, strolls to other departments or trips to see clients. Those organic opportunities to take five minutes tend to occur less frequently when working from home, which is why you should make sure you get away from the computer to recharge. Breaking the day up into smaller, more manageable chunks will help to keep you fresh and improve your productivity. 

3. Create boundaries

Once you have created your routine, make sure your boss, clients, customers and colleagues know when you are available. Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean that you have to answer calls and emails at all hours, unless it’s a condition of your employment. Labour laws in France and Sweden prevent employees from answering emails outside of working hours. These rules have improved the work-life balance of employees and made them more productive.

4. Get out more

According to the 2018 State of Remote Work Report, loneliness is the biggest struggle for people who work remotely. Human contact can provide a morale boost during difficult periods and deliver significant mental health benefits. When you’ve been working from home all day, it’s important to make extra effort to spend time with others. In the coronavirus crisis, going out for a walk or heading out for the evening may not be possible, but even having a conversation on the phone can reduce the risk of burnout from a lack of human interaction.  

Searching for something new?

The coronavirus lockdown could give you the time you need to search for a new bilingual position. Take a look at our current bilingual vacancies and submit your CV today.

Students – How to Give Your Career the Best Possible Start

Preparing for the workplace starts long before you begin your search for your first full-time job. There are lots of different things that students can do now to give themselves a head start over other school, college and university leavers and put themselves at the front of the queue in the increasingly competitive jobs market.

So, just what steps can you take to give your career the best possible start? Here’s our guide.

1. Study another language

As a specialist bilingual recruiter, you might think we’re biased, but never has the ability to speak a second language been more valuable than it is today. With Brexit now firmly underway and the UK free to form trade deals with more countries outside the EU, being able to speak a second or even third language will certainly help you stand out.

China is the world’s second-largest economy, making Mandarin a language that’s in high demand among businesses in much of the western world. With the economies of South and Central American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Panama expected to skyrocket in the next few years, Spanish would be an extremely useful language to learn, too.

2. Find your voice

Over the last decade or so, communication has changed immeasurably. For Generation Z, communication that’s dominated by social media and smartphones is all they’ve ever known, to such an extent that traditional skills such as public speaking are increasingly difficult to find.

Although public speaking is something not everyone is comfortable with initially, it will feel more natural over time. Putting yourself forward to speak in front of groups whenever you have the opportunity is a great way to develop this skill and help you impress potential employers. It will also improve your ability to think clearly under pressure and communicate your ideas and opinions in a well-reasoned and clear way. Those are also skills that are useful during those nerve-wracking job interviews.

3. Gain experience of the world of work

The more experience you have of the workplace and the skills required to perform a role, the better. Vocational courses are excellent at preparing students for the challenges they’ll encounter when they enter the workplace, while more academic qualifications tend to focus very little on what working life will be like.

Work placements are a great way to gain first-hand experience of what a particular role will involve. They can also help you identify a career or path that you hadn’t previously considered. Schools, colleges and universities should all be able to help you arrange a work placement, but you can also speak to family members, friends and even reach out to businesses online that you’re interested in working for. As well as gaining experience in the workplace, the contacts you make during this time could prove to be invaluable later on.

4. Volunteer

As a recent school, college or university leaver, your CV is likely to be full of qualifications but lacking in experience. Volunteering is a great way to gain some real-world experience while also doing some good. Even if you’re unable to volunteer in the specific field you want to work in, having experience as a volunteer will show that you know how to manage your time, work alongside others, complete tasks and commit to something, even when there’s no monetary reward.

Here’s a handy resource you can use to find out more about internships, work experience, volunteering roles, work shadowing placements and more.

Searching for your first bilingual role?

Get in touch with the team at Linguistica Recruitment today. We can help you find well-paid and rewarding bilingual jobs across the south coast of England. Take a look at our current vacancies, submit your CV, call our team on 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-recruitment.com.

 

 

Understanding the Rights of EU Workers After Brexit

More than three years after the referendum to decide whether the UK would remain in or leave the EU, we finally have a date when Brexit will go ahead.

On Friday 31st January 2020, the UK will leave the EU. The UK will then enter into a transition period, which will last until the end of the year. During that transition period, almost everything will stay the same, as UK and EU negotiators work furiously to put the future agreement in place.

As a specialist recruitment agency that has placed many bilingual EU workers in jobs across the UK, we’re in a good position to dispel some of the myths around EU workers’ rights after Brexit and advise on the conversations you should have with your employer sooner rather than later.

Dispelling a few Brexit myths

In the three-and-a-half years between the EU referendum and the final leaving date, uncertainty has reigned supreme. That has led to much conjecture and many myths about exactly what the impact will be.

  • All EU workers will have to leave the UK after Brexit

False. The right of EU workers to remain in the UK depends on how long they’ve lived in the UK on the final leave date. Those who have lived in the UK for more than five years will be eligible for ‘settled status’, which gives them indefinite leave to remain. Those who have lived and worked in the UK for a shorter period will usually be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’. They can then apply for settled status once they have lived in the UK for five years.

  • I’ve lived in the UK for a long time, so I don’t need to do anything

False. If you have lived in the UK for more than five years, then under the EU settlement scheme, you must apply for settled status. Read more about how to apply for settled status.

  • I only arrived in the UK a few months ago, so I’ll have to leave after Brexit

False. Even if you have lived in the UK for less than five years, under the terms of the EU settlement scheme, you still have the right to remain.

  • I’m an EU national but with English citizenship, so I don’t need to do anything

True. If you’re an EU national with English, Irish or dual citizenship, you can stay in the UK indefinitely without having to apply to the EU settlement scheme.

What conversations should you have with your employer?

It’s only natural that EU workers will feel uncertain after Brexit and may want some reassurance from their employers. However, this has been just as unsettling a time for many employers that rely on EU workers as it has for the workers themselves, so it’s important that both parties meet to discuss their intentions.

Before you arrange a meeting, make sure you’re clear about exactly how Brexit will impact your right to work and understand what you need to do to remain in the UK. You should discuss your current situation with your employer and explain your plans for the future. As a valuable member of the team with a second language proficiency, you can be confident that most employers will be more than happy to retain your skills.

Rewarding UK jobs for EU workers

At Linguistica Recruitment, we specialise in finding well-paid, rewarding bilingual roles for EU workers across the south coast of England. Submit your CV today or call 02392 987 765 to discuss your requirements.

 

New Year, New Job! How to Prepare for the January Jobs Rush

The start of the new year is the time for renewed motivation in every aspect of our lives. Whether it’s to go running three times a week, reduce your cake intake by 50 percent or stop drinking for a year a month a few days, January is the month when we are refreshed, full of good intentions and ready for a new challenge.

That also makes it a very busy time for job seekers. Those that currently feel unvalued, underpaid or unfulfilled, dust off their CVs and send them in their millions to prospective employers around the country.

According to the jobs search site Glassdoor, in January last year there were 17 percent more job applications started in the UK than during a typical month, with candidates on totaljobs.com sending 1.3 million applications in a single week (6-10 January). With so much activity during this time, here are a few simple tips to help you keep your eyes on the prize and secure a new job in January 2020!

1. Be patient

January is a month for candidates to be patient but proactive in their search for a new job. Recruiters and hiring managers may be slower to respond due to the sheer amount of applications and CVs they receive and the backlog of emails they have to get through after the Christmas break.

However, while you wait for a response to your application, you should stay on the lookout for jobs that are posted later on in the month when the surge of applications has died down.

2. Be personal

With so many jobs being posted in January, the temptation might be to spread the net wide and apply for as many jobs as you can. While that’s not necessarily a bad strategy, we would always urge you to focus on quality over quantity.

In January, the sheer number of applications received for each position means that recruiters and hiring managers will quickly discard those that don’t stand out. That’s why you should always take the time to customise your CV and application to reflect the needs of the hiring company.

3. Be prepared

If you’re one of the few candidates among the hundreds of applicants to be invited for an interview, then that should be a real source of pride. You clearly have the skills and experience that employers are looking for, and even if you’re not successful this time, there should be plenty of other opportunities for you to impress.

With so much competition for the role, you should prepare for the interview thoroughly. Find out as much as you can about the company by reading its website, looking up key individuals on LinkedIn and speaking to social media connections and people you know personally who already work for them. Armed with this information, you should prepare a list of questions to ask during the interview to show just how ready for the role you are.

Are you looking for a new job this January?

At Linguistica Recruitment, we help candidates find well-paid and rewarding bilingual jobs across the south of England. Do you speak English and a second language fluently? Then browse our current vacancies, submit your CV or get in touch with our team by calling 02393 987 765 today.