Interviews through the ages

, , ,

Like so many things to do with work and finding a new job, interviews have changed considerably over the years. This is particularly true over the last three years. Once upon a time, an interview would always have been done in person. Now that isn’t always the case. In fact, depending on the type of role you are applying for, you might find yourself undertaking a number of different types of interviews and tasks at different stages of the process.

In person interviews

In person interviews are still the most likely form an interview will take. That could be a 1-2-1 between you and your potential boss. Alternatively, it could involve a panel of interviewers, that might represent the different stakeholders of the business you are interviewing for. Where it is an in-person interview, it’s important that you know where you are going, show up on time, dressed appropriately and prepared for your interview.

Call up

These days, particularly in the early stages of an interview process, it is feasible that you will be asked for a telephone interview. While your interviewer might not be able to see you, it is still important that you are prepared for the interview. That might still mean that you are dressed for an interview, to help you be in the right mindset. Make sure you also have somewhere quiet and private to take the call, so that you are not distracted.

Zooming along

With the increased familiarity with video conferencing, your interview may well be on-line. This is particularly likely if the job role is a long way from where you are currently living, or the company’s head office is overseas. Similar to an in-person interview, it is so important to be prepared and ready for an interview. Check your IT works beforehand and the sound is clear.

Ready for your close-up?

Less likely, you might even be asked to send in a video. While this is a good way to showcase your presentation skills, it is very one-sided. Therefore, it is not something that is used with too much regularity.

Is the future of interviews AI?

Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) technology, you may soon be interviewed for that job you really want by a computer. In fact, in cases this already happens and is a preferred format for some positions as it removes all types of bias.

With a VR headset you – or rather your avatar – will soon be able to be interviewed by AI software. This could be advantageous for some people, who will like the fact that there is no human being judging their performance, while others will miss the opportunity to build rapport with their interviewer.

Be prepared

It’s important to remember whatever form your interview takes, love them or hate them, in person or on-line, some things remain constant. Interviews are your chance to impress your would-be bosses. They are also an opportunity to assess whether the company is a place you would like to work. Make sure you are prepared and ready to get the most out of your interview

Sunday scaries, Monday blues


We should all feel some kind emotion, before our return to work on a Monday morning. For many of us, it might be excitement at the start of a new working week, or seeing our colleagues again – or simply getting out of the house, after months of lockdown. But for many of us, it seems that the approaching ordeal of Monday morning encroaches on our weekends and begins to spoil the end of our Sunday.

According to recent findings, two-thirds of Britons suffer anxiety before the return to work, a condition that is sometimes called the Sunday Scaries, or Sunday Blues. We’ve probably all experienced this form of anxiety in some shape or form in certain points in our lives. Certainly, as schoolkids it’s something we can all relate too, like the end of the summer holidays. With much greater emphasis being placed on mental health issues at work and general workplace wellbeing, the government has acknowledged this by launching an ‘every mind matters’ mental health campaign to address it.

Collateral damage

Anxiety before the start of the week can cause all kinds of collateral damage, such as stress, irritability and sleeplessness. If your mood is changing, from happy enjoyment to niggly resentment, then it’s going to impact on those around you too, like the family and friends who are sharing your weekend.

To-do lists are often the cause of the great deal of the anxiety, as you know what’s lying in wait for you when Monday morning comes. Apparently, young adults are the worst affected, with 74% of employees aged 18-24 experiencing worry at the end of the weekend. This worry is thought to peak just after 5 pm on Sunday afternoons. It has been highlighted with Google data demonstrating that internet searches around sadness and anxiety spike at this time. According to wider revelations from Google Trends, online searches for anxiety have increased 170% over the past decade.

Cause and affects

Many mental health issues have arisen during the pandemic, with long periods of inactivity and enforced isolation – both from family and work – the cause of many of the problems. On the whole, people deal with and manage anxiety in their own way. Sometimes it’s a good idea to consult your GP, to see if you may need some kind of anti-anxiety medication. If work is starting to impact your home life, then you really need to address it, as it is not the kind of challenge that will resolve itself – in fact in many cases it just gets bigger and bigger.

To deflect the anxiety on Sundays, people aged 18-24 said they turned to social media, people aged 25-32 were more likely to binge-watch TV and respondents aged 33-40 were most likely to comfort eat. These are not healthy activities in themselves, but when coupled with increased anxiety they can make matters worse. One of the best antidotes to anxiety is exercise. Not only is it healthy in itself, but it also provides focus for the mind and creates a positive feeling relating to self-worth, which will banish thoughts of anxiousness.

The root of the problem

You also need to address the causes of the anxiety too. Are you worrying unrealistically, or are there tangible problems at work? Is your workload too great? Are you being bullied or marginalised by your colleagues? If there are real problems to be addressed, you may need to consider changing your role, so you don’t fill you with Sunday trepidation and allow you to look forward to Monday mornings once more.


The whole package

Like many things in life, outplacement isn’t simply a linear process. Many think that the only aspect you need to give consideration to is your CV and you’ll easily find a suitable role. But there’s much more to it than simply pulling a CV together, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. You need to think about how you present yourself to the outside world – both online and in person. You need to think about the whole package.

Keep up-to-date

Most of us aren’t constantly amending our CVs with every single piece of news that needs to be updated on there. But it is worth keeping track of any new learning, achievements or qualifications that may be of use in the long term. We’re all guilty of not doing this upgrading of information, but it’s essential a CV is right up-to-date. It’s often also the things we take for granted that a prospective employer would find intriguing or beneficial to their business. It isn’t just about the ‘work you’ either and many people have outside interests that can be useful attributes in the workplace that should be highlighted where possible.

An online presence

It’s also important to look beyond our CVs however and present a wider picture of your personality. Any online presence should be representative of your personality and achievements. In terms of a professional presence, the best way to connect with like-minded business people is a platform such as LinkedIn. It is useful for contacts old, new and yet-to-be-forged, and can be a handy way to connect with people from your sector. It can also be worthwhile for networking and knowledge-sharing. I find it a valuable place to publish my weekly blog, for example, and I often receive positive feedback about the subjects discussed on there. There is all manner of social and business media online, and you need to make sure you are consistent across the various platforms. This can include using up-to-date photos and representative details about your work experience.

Be prepared

More widely, you can also prepare in other ways for your future roles. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the marketplace and look at suitable job advertisements and their specifications.  It can prompt your memory as to what you have achieved as well as thinking about your own development and training needs.

Outplacement provides a Career Consultant that will work through all aspects of the job search with you, offering advice and guidance on where you should be concentrating your efforts, and identifying areas of weakness and strength to drive a successful campaign.

Making the right choice

, ,

This week I’m going to look at why an outplacement strategy is still so valuable in the current employees’-market. The current market is one that is heavily weighted in the candidates’ favour right now. But even it if is a ‘candidates’-market’, outplacement rationale can still help make the right decisions.

With the choice and breadth of roles available, it is making it easier for candidates to pick and choose which they apply for and where they would like to work – both the sector and geographically. It is important to note that it isn’t always necessary to take the first offer. If you are offered something quickly, the chances are you will be offered something else too – so don’t rush into anything.

Weigh up your options

It’s worth bearing in mind that whatever role you are pursuing, it is a good strategy to carefully audit what exactly you want out of a job. This will ensure that you find a good fit for what you are looking to get out of the role. The closer the job profile matches your requirements, the more you will get out of the role and the more you’ll enjoy your work too.

Aspects worth considering are things like work/social life balance. Employers are much more appreciative of this these days and take into account an individual’s case, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach to how, where and when employees work. Many staff will have important commitments beyond their working hours – or sometimes even within their working hours – that they will need to be able to tend to. This can be helping out with care for children or elderly family members, for example.

What best suits?

Talking to a Career Consultant can help you not to ‘jump’ too soon and stay true to your tick list of wants and needs. If there is one thing that is an absolute must, then don’t compromise, as you will only dwell on it afterwards and may view it with regret. When weighing up your options think about things like sector, function, culture, location, agility and salary. How will what you are being offered positively or negatively impact you home life? Salary is very important to everyone, but is it the only reason you work?

We all require renumeration for our efforts, but we also appreciate job fulfilment, gratification, flexibility and satisfaction. If your only concern is money above all else, then you can overlook other aspects of your ‘wants list’. If you have identified wider aspects of your role that make you happier than the salary – the nature of the work, the people you’ll be working with – then this will be less of a factor in your decision. People can be a big draw and the opportunity to work with a great team, from which you can knowledge share and collaborate with, may be a big factor in itself. It’s well worth engaging in an outplacement programme where a Consultant will be able to finely tune your requirements into something that best fits your needs.



, ,

Welcome to the latest vlog from Career Evolution!

We are continuing to share weekly advice and updates from the industry on outplacement, career management, and coaching.

In our latest vlog, our director, Sue Thomas, rounds up some of our posts from October, including creating the right office environment, hybrid working, interviews and out and about more. There’s so much more to this platform than job searching.

Watch the video below:


Watch last month’s vlog here.