If you are well enough to tweet, are you well enough to work?

I remember working with a woman who had been off work with flu and who was subsequently reprimanded on her return to work because she had been seen walking around her local area during her sick leave.

Her defence was that fresh air had been recommended and that the doctor had not certified her unfit to walk – just unfit to work. A point which was understood and grudgingly conceded.

A point which was less understood, (and not conceded) was the colleague who was off work with ‘chronic back problems’ but who had been seen at a bowling party day two of this chronic illness. Not stretchered in and put to lie quietly along a bowling lane so the poor thing could at least feel she was joining in, but rather her giving it large, bouncing around and, metaphorically speaking, sticking two fingers up to the system – or so said her disgruntled colleagues.

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Interviewers – 10 Ways To Help Your Candidate Get The Job

Since my post, Kids, How To Interview Your Way To Success, I have been asked about my thoughts on some guidelines for Interviewers. Not all interviewers are born equal and, sometimes, as hard as it is to hear, if we interview someone badly it could perhaps be our fault they didn’t get the job. Sobering thought.

This post covers, then:

1. Get over yourself

2. Prepare

3. Be on time for the interview

4. Take care with your appearance

5. Be natural

6. Pastoral care

7. Ask ONE question (or two linked and clearly lucid questions) at a time

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Kids, how to interview your way to success

How to interview is probably the last thing you tired, anxious and exam-ridden young people want to hear right now, but at some point exams will seem like a cake-walk as you prepare to sit your first interview.

Here’s a list of what we will cover (oh, and you might want to take a peek at advice I give interviewers to try and help you get that job!):


  1. It is okay to be nervous
  2. Prepare
  3. Arrive early
  4. Look the part
  5. Be polite to every person you meet
  6. Introduce yourself
  7. There are few, if any, trick questions
  8. Be interesting
  9. Don’t whine
  10. Show you can learn
  11. Reinforce achievements with examples
  12. Ask questions
  13. Say goodbye effectively
  14. Walk out a winner

I have interviewed a lot of people, but what never ceased to amaze me was the young people coming through my office totally unprepared for the interview experience. Maybe schools should consider making interview skills a mandatory subject before catapulting The Young Ones onto the job market. (Any such initiative to also include how young people can interview their future bosses to ensure, as far as is possible, they don’t end up with a job or boss they cannot work with.)

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Peeping Tom employers

I often caution – young people especially – that when you go to a work ‘Do’ you are still at work.

Just because it is out of the office and outside of normal office hours, and the tag ‘social’ has been put onto the thing, does not make it any less your place of work. So seizing the Christmas Party as your opportunity to slag off your boss or co-workers does not grant you any kind of immunity, and your employer, in my opinion, does have the right to reprimand you when you are all back in ‘situation normal’.

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