Apprentice star and West Ham United vice-chair KARREN BRADY answers your careers questions and meets an inspirational CEO.
Here she gives a reader advice on how to make sure she gets the best out of herself in an interview for a more senior role.
Q) I’ve got an interview coming up for a job as an NHS IT project manager, a role that I’m currently doing on secondment from my more junior, position.
I know deep down that I can perform the role, as for the past 12 months I’ve implemented new computer systems into two emergency departments.
But I’m nervous and lacking in confidence about the interview, especially as there are other people from my team going for it, too.
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Do you have any tips to help stop my mind going blank when I’m facing the interview panel?
Anna, via email
A) Interview panels can be intimidating, so the best thing you can do is be prepared.
As you say, you know you can perform the role – you just need to bring the reasons why to the surface and show them off.
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Go through the job description in detail, and make notes of how you are qualified for each requirement.
Take time to rehearse your answers to potential questions. Write down your key achievements, give examples of where you excelled – such as those new computer systems – and the challenges you faced, plus how you overcame them, and how you would seek to make further improvements in the future.
Read, re-read and read your notes again – you cannot prepare too much! From a practical perspective, make sure you’re wearing comfortable but professional clothing, arrive a few minutes early, take deep breaths when you need to and have a few questions ready for the end of the interview.
Finally, don’t forget that you are a valuable asset and that the role you’re applying for must be right for you too.
Best of luck.
- Got a careers question for Karren? Email [email protected]
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF….
Home-care expert and bestselling author Lynsey Crombie, AKA Queen of Clean, 43, lives in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, with her medical trainer husband Rob, 43, their 19-year-old twins Mollie and Olivia, and son Jake, 14.
I wake up at… 5am. With a cup of tea in hand, I spend an hour answering Instagram and Facebook messages – I get at least 2,000 a day – then I post a reel or a cleaning tip. I aim to do 16,000 steps a day, so before breakfast I take our cockapoo Hetty for an hour-long walk.
The kids are pretty self-sufficient, so mornings are me-time.
After some yoghurt, fruit and nuts, most days I do a gym session.
A normal day involves… From 9.30am, I schedule calls with journalists or my manager
to discuss brand campaigns. If I’m speaking to someone familiar, I’ll clean the house while we talk.
All the family contribute to chores, but I adore cleaning – I can’t get enough of it!
Writing takes up the rest of the morning. My website needs updating
regularly with trends, product recommendations and my best buys.
I also regularly write for magazines.
For the remainder of the day, I plan and create social media content.
I’m also This Morning’s cleaning expert, and if I have an appearance coming up, I spend hours researching and sourcing products.
I have another book brewing, too. As well as going to London for meetings, I travel nationwide for events and appearances.
The other day I was in Leeds opening a Wilko store and this month I’m darting around our local area, cleaning the homes of four families in need as part of my Christmas Gift Of Clean initiative.
At 5pm, I close my laptop. After dinner and time with the kids, I return to social media to answer followers’ questions.
The best part of my job is… It feels good to inspire others to create a clean home, get moving and enjoy the mindfulness benefits of a good scrub!
And the worst… Trolling. Some people criticise my posts or I get personal digs about my appearance. Thankfully, I’m getting a thicker skin.
I wind down by… Once I log off at 9.30pm, I hide my phone in a drawer, climb into bed and watch Netflix until lights out at 10.30pm.
- Follow Lynsey on Instagram @Lynsey_queenofclean.
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