Cpl



Attending interviews for Senior positions can be extremely challenging. It’s no longer good enough to just talk about your experience in detail – you also need to describe your management style, outline your vision and prove your ability.

Answer the questions

Listen carefully to what your interviewer is asking and spend time planning your answers. Interviewees at executive level have to demonstrate an understanding of a company’s needs and how they can address them. In many cases the role will be a new one, and your interviewer will be assessing why you are the person to fill the void. Look out for cues of what they want and adapt your answers accordingly.

Qualify your answers

At senior level, you need to think less in terms of duties (all the things you have done in your career to date) and more in terms of impact (why your personal traits and niche experience make you the best person for the job). Instead of simply stating that you’re going to improve profitability, retention or employee relations, go into precise detail about how exactly you’d do this. The interviewer already knows about your experience – qualifying your answers is what will really make you stand out from other equally accomplished candidates.

Sell yourself

Even if you have a stellar reputation in your industry, you still need to sell yourself in an interview. Show your enthusiasm for the company and highlight why you would be the perfect fit for the role. C level executives need to have passion to inspire their teams and bring about success. Acting too ‘presidential’ or reserved can isolate your interviewer and negatively affect how you are perceived.

Be amicable

It’s likely that you will be working very closely with the person who is interviewing you so it’s also important to be friendly and develop a rapport. Share your knowledge and insights but resist the urge to challenge your interviewer or question their understanding at any point. Researching your interviewer on LinkedIn is an easy way of finding out about their background and personal interests. Chatting about common passions will help you to get things off to a good start.

Research as much as you can

A mistake some senior professionals make is thinking that they are above research or not making time for it before an interview. Your interviewer will probably ask you about your business goals, strategies, tactics and measures – to answer this effectively you need to have an in-depth understanding of how the business works and what they do. It’s not good enough to just have a quick glance at the company’s website. You should also be aware of recent news stories, successful campaigns, annual reports and what their competitors are doing.

Don’t let your guard down

A lot of senior interviews are conducted outside of the office – relaxed lunches or coffee meetings are commonplace. You may not be in the boardroom but you are still being assessed from the moment you walk into the room. Adhere to the same guidelines you would in a more structured interview – be prepared, dress impeccably, turn off your phone and be polite to everyone you interact with. Don’t be tempted to drink alcohol, even if your interviewer does. They will be taking in everything you say and a couple of glasses of wine could skew your thinking.

To succeed in a leadership position, you need to have a leader’s attitude – this is what your interviewer will be evaluating. Maintain a positive attitude, research the company extensively and be ready to tackle challenging, probing questions about why they should hire you. This will ensure you are one step closer to sealing the deal.

Are you ready for your next interview?


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Attending interviews for Senior positions can be extremely challenging. It’s no longer good enough to just talk about your experience in detail – you also need to describe your management style, outline your vision and prove your ability.

Answer the questions

Listen carefully to what your interviewer is asking and spend time planning your answers. Interviewees at executive level have to demonstrate an understanding of a company’s needs and how they can address them. In many cases the role will be a new one, and your interviewer will be assessing why you are the person to fill the void. Look out for cues of what they want and adapt your answers accordingly.

Qualify your answers

At senior level, you need to think less in terms of duties (all the things you have done in your career to date) and more in terms of impact (why your personal traits and niche experience make you the best person for the job). Instead of simply stating that you’re going to improve profitability, retention or employee relations, go into precise detail about how exactly you’d do this. The interviewer already knows about your experience – qualifying your answers is what will really make you stand out from other equally accomplished candidates.

Sell yourself

Even if you have a stellar reputation in your industry, you still need to sell yourself in an interview. Show your enthusiasm for the company and highlight why you would be the perfect fit for the role. C level executives need to have passion to inspire their teams and bring about success. Acting too ‘presidential’ or reserved can isolate your interviewer and negatively affect how you are perceived.

Be amicable

It’s likely that you will be working very closely with the person who is interviewing you so it’s also important to be friendly and develop a rapport. Share your knowledge and insights but resist the urge to challenge your interviewer or question their understanding at any point. Researching your interviewer on LinkedIn is an easy way of finding out about their background and personal interests. Chatting about common passions will help you to get things off to a good start.

Research as much as you can

A mistake some senior professionals make is thinking that they are above research or not making time for it before an interview. Your interviewer will probably ask you about your business goals, strategies, tactics and measures – to answer this effectively you need to have an in-depth understanding of how the business works and what they do. It’s not good enough to just have a quick glance at the company’s website. You should also be aware of recent news stories, successful campaigns, annual reports and what their competitors are doing.

Don’t let your guard down

A lot of senior interviews are conducted outside of the office – relaxed lunches or coffee meetings are commonplace. You may not be in the boardroom but you are still being assessed from the moment you walk into the room. Adhere to the same guidelines you would in a more structured interview – be prepared, dress impeccably, turn off your phone and be polite to everyone you interact with. Don’t be tempted to drink alcohol, even if your interviewer does. They will be taking in everything you say and a couple of glasses of wine could skew your thinking.

To succeed in a leadership position, you need to have a leader’s attitude – this is what your interviewer will be evaluating. Maintain a positive attitude, research the company extensively and be ready to tackle challenging, probing questions about why they should hire you. This will ensure you are one step closer to sealing the deal.

Are you ready for your next interview?


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There’s a lot of truth to the old saying that looking for a job is a full-time job in itself. The job search takes place on many fronts, CV and interview preparation, online job board applications, emails to employers, building a social media brand, attending networking events and training programmes to name just a few. It’s fair to say that a dedicated jobseeker has their hands full if they are engaged in the majority of these activities.

However, many candidates ignore the enormous benefits and resources available to them through the use of a recruitment company. For starters, recruiters are essential for many employers who simply no longer possess the time, manpower or ability to source suitable candidates for their business on a large scale. In such instances, they turn to recruitment agencies to handle this task more effectively than their own in-house hiring staff.

It is important to remember that a recruiter has been entrusted by their client to understand their needs, gain an insight into their requirements, their culture and painstakingly wade through the piles of CV in order to identify the right person for the job.

Jobseekers should take full advantage of all the information the recruiter possesses about the company they wish to work for. In addition, a recruiter has something that you as a candidate don’t – direct access to the hiring manager.The recruiter is required to build a productive working relationship with the hiring manager of their client, so building a strong relationship with a recruiter is an enormous benefit to you. For one thing, it means that you have an influential person on your side, someone who is willing to fight for you.

They knows best

When it comes to the job description, a recruiter can help you out here also. They will know exactly which skills and requirements are most pertinent for the role you are applying for. This immediately gives you an advantage over the competition.

A recruiter can also provide you with useful tips and feedback to help improve your interview technique. In order to help determine if you right for the role, they may conduct a competency-based interview with you. This is a great way for you to not only demonstrate your strengths but also identify the areas you need to improve on. In this respect, a recruiter can act much like a mentor because they are effectively letting you practice for the real interview and build your confidence.

They will give you honest feedback

Furthermore, if you were deemed by the hiring manager to be an inappropriate fit for the position, a recruiter can give you honest feedback about why you were unsuccessful, whereas the employer is under no obligation to. The employer may have gone for a better applicant but the question remains, why were they considered better? What did they have that you didn’t? More suitable qualifications? Experience? Where they willing to accept a lower salary?

Although hiring managers may not share with you all of the reasons why your application was unsuccessful, they will tell the recruiter. Consequentially it is the recruiter’s job to relay this information to the candidate and give you the cold hard truth. You can then proceed to learn which areas you are weakest on and work on improving them.

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Written by Dave Cullen

When you are in the market for a new job, there is no better way to maximise your potential opportunities than building a strong and productive relationship with a job recruiter. Before we begin, it is important to dispel a few common myths about recruiters. Firstly, their job is not to find you a suitable role, their job is to match the available opportunities of their clients with the best possible candidates they can find. This is an important distinction to make because simply calling a recruiter and asking them if they have any suitable jobs is both lazy and a misunderstanding of their function.

Secondly, recruiters aren’t simply gatekeepers to employment vacancies. Businesses have entrusted them with the task of understanding their needs, painstakingly sifting through the piles of applications and identifying the right talent for the role. Remember that a recruiter has a key insight into the requirements and culture of the business you are applying to work for. This means they possess invaluable information, which you should take advantage of.

Prior to the actual job interview, the recruiter will determine if you should be put forward for the role and may conduct a competency-based interview with you. This is an excellent chance for you to not only demonstrate your strengths but also recognise the areas you need to work on. In this regard, a recruiter acts a lot like a mentor because they are effectively giving you a mock-interview free of charge, which will help you to practice your answers for the real interview.

The following is a list of 3 ways you can build a productive relationship with a recruiter.

Research the role: Before you make initial contact with the recruiter, conduct some research into the role. Read the job advertisement thoroughly and familiarise yourself with the requirements and responsibilities. Take some time to think about how you can deliver value to the position and get to work on tailoring your CV accordingly. For more information on producing a great CV, check out the following blog: 5 Tips for improving your CV.

Pick up the phone & be honest: When compared to an email, a phone call is always a more personal and meaningful way of opening a dialogue with someone. Make sure that your initial communication with the recruiter is a purposeful one. Honesty is the foundation of any positive and productive relationship. For example, it is important that you be upfront about your past employment experience, fully explain any gaps on your CV and answer any questions about salary expectations. If another job opportunity presents itself, don’t leave the recruiter in the dark; let them know what’s going on. Complete transparency is a must.

Sell yourself: The recruiter is your representative to the employer and they will attempt to sell you to the best of their ability. However, they can only go by what you tell them. It is vital that you modestly sell your talents, experience, knowledge and achievements and ensure that you communicate the value you will add the company.

For more career advice, check out the following articles: First impressions: Maximising your personal brand and How following industry trends can help your job search.

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According to a recent survey the number one complaint amongst employees in the modern workplace is the poor time management of their colleagues. We are all occasionally guilty of not utilising our time at work effectively. We allow ourselves to become unnecessarily overwhelmed by the myriad of activities we have to attend to, and fail to adequately perform at any of them particularly well. The pressure to meet razor thin deadlines and succeed in producing successful projects, can easily allow us to cause our personal organisational standards to drop below par.

Thankfully, good time management is a skill that anyone can cultivate through careful planning and methodical discipline. Furthermore, it can lead to such benefits as improved productivity, less anxiety, reduced fear of failure and more available free time. Good time management also helps to curb that age-old enemy of motivation, known as procrastination. Below is our list of the top five best ways to improve your time management in the workplace.

1. Make a List: The first step in your time management routine should be to create a “to do” list of your most important priorities. Keep it short, perhaps three or four items at most. This will prevent you from becoming intimidated by an excessively long agenda.

2. Schedule regular breaks: Allow yourself time to relax and de-stress, this will give you an opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments. It will also help to make you more productive by recharging your mind and body.

3. Delegate where possible: Taking on more projects than you can handle can create significant stress and might lead you to compromising on the quality of your end product. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with certain tasks and delegate responsibility.

4. Get plenty of sleep: Working late and pulling the occasional all-nighter might sound necessary at times but your productivity will take a serious hit. Improve your efficiency by ensuring you get sufficient sleep.

5. Avoid Procrastination: As we said in the beginning of this article, procrastination kills productivity. It is usually caused by ill-discipline, distractions, and the inability to prioritise. This is why it is vital to make a concise “to do” list, a long winded one will only seem too daunting and further compound your procrastination.

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2012 theme: Competitiveness through Innovation in Pharma Manufacturing & Research.

The Summit has been established by industry as an independent annual platform. This is the must be at event for the Irish Pharma & Development Sector, from Site Managers to the research bench.

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Using Pinterest to find a job

PinterestSo far in our discussion of the power of social media platforms for job seeking, we have looked at Facebook, Linkedin and Google+. All of these online mass communication services provide a unique range of innovative ways for making connections with influential people. However, there are some other alternative social networks, which can be equally as effective in aiding your employment search.

Pinterest is a pinboard-style social image sharing website, which allows users to create fun, themed photo collections for such categories as events, interests, holidays etc. It certainly makes for an unconventional method of showcasing your talents to a company; however with some innovative use, Pinterest can be a powerful marketing platform for self-promotion and brand development. It also presents an opportunity to demonstrate your skills of critical and creative thinking.

Setup your account and create a pinboard to highlight your personality and interests.

Choose an appropriate name for it such as “My job search” or “Why you should hire me”; it should be something that emphasises the mission statement of your account. Ensure that your skills and attributes are sufficiently outlined and correspond with the personal bio from your CV.

By connecting your Linkedin account to the Visualise.me web app, you can create an infographic representation of your CV to pin to your pinboard. This makes for a visually interesting way of displaying your experience. We recommend that you pin relevant images, videos and written content to your pinterest account, which will better explain who you are as a candidate.

Develop a pinboard that highlights your future ambitions.

Pin job ads and images that relate to your chosen career and which represent your dream job. It might be a good idea to visualise your career path plan in image form. Using photographs and videos, try to explain the steps you intend to take to land your ideal role. Include any information about the kinds of courses and qualifications you believe you will need. This is a great way to express how driven and focused you are to an employer. It also demonstrates foresight and your desire to work hard.

Put yourself on the radar of the companies you would like to work for.

Pin some of their best content to your account such as links, images, videos, blogs and press releases, share this content on Twitter. Including the company name in your Tweets will increase the odds of your Pinterest content being discovered. You should also try to engage with companies who already have a Pinterest account. They will be notified whenever you comment on their posts or repin their content. By becoming a regular contributor to their pinboards you will begin to build a relationship with the organisation and may eventually be able to enquire about employment opportunities.

For more career advice check out some of our other blogs: ‘Using Google+ to find a job’ and ‘5 Questions to ask in an interview’.

Author: tdunne  Comments (0)

Author: tdunne  Comments (0)

CPL/Thornshaw Scientific hosted a talk recently on the Future of Recruitment.

The event was hosted in the Science Gallery by Peter Cosgrove, Director of Cpl on the 28th of February with over 150 industry leaders in attendance. Topics covered during the presentation included the latest trends in recruitment, best practice case studies to help companies maximise ROI and some of the most effective ways of attracting top talent. To view the presentation, just click on the slides below.

The Future Of Recruitment

Outlined in the presentation;

  • The importance of talent now more than ever
  • How companies are leveraging social media to build communities
  • How companies are building their brand through technology

Peter also highlighted that the utilisation of mobiles has increased significantly, for example 1.2 billion mobile apps were downloaded between 25-30 December. Cpl understands the importance of utilising mobile apps having launched Ireland’s first free job search app, which is now one of the top ranking business apps. To download the Cpl App, click here for Android and here for the iPhone App.

Knowing your employee value proposition is very important; often your brand is not what you think it is. In addition he states that engagement is key. Companies are encouraged to focus not on salaries, but on engaging with staff. Peter suggests working with companies such as Junior Achievement as a simple way to improve people engagement.

Peter congratulates Paraic O'Dowd on winning the iPad2 at the Cpl Future of Recruitment event in the Science GalleryPeter concluded the presentation with the following main points:

  • Getting engagement will be key
  • Companies should utilise technology and the web
  • Recruitment starts with the CEO

The presentation was followed by a networking event which included a draw to win an IPad2; the lucky winner of which was Paraic O’Dowd (Pictured with Peter Cosgrove) so congratulations Paraic!

Thanks to all who attended, we hope that you enjoyed the event.

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Abbott plans to invest €85 million at its pharmaceutical manufacturing operation in Sligo. The investment will result in the creation of up to approximately 175 highly skilled jobs.  The expansion of the facility will be completed in 2014.

The expansion will provide additional space for manufacturing operations to support Abbott’s future pharmaceutical pipeline in the key therapeutic areas of virology, oncology and nephrology and provide additional capacity in Abbott's global pharmaceutical manufacturing network.  The new jobs that will be created will be highly skilled and include roles in engineering, quality, pharmaceutical science and other science-based areas. The majority of the jobs will be added during the construction phase and the remainder will come on stream post the completion of the expansion. In addition, construction employment will create up to 150 temporary jobs.

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