How to Make Sure a Meeting Runs Smoothly

Are you preparing to run an important meeting at work? Or perhaps you’re going to be participating in one and want to make sure you can ensure its efficiency? Whatever your role, an upcoming meeting can be stressful, but there are plenty of things you can do to make the most of it. Here are some of our top tips:

  • Good timekeeping

Set a very specific start and end time, as time pressure will keep the discussion focused. If you’re running the meeting, make sure to show up 5-10 minutes early so that you can ensure everything is prepared and that any computers or projectors you may be using are working properly. And as a participant, it goes without saying you should make sure you show up on time!

  • Agenda and follow-up

It’s important to email an agenda 24 hours in advance of the meeting so all participants are aware of what is to be discussed and can prepare accordingly; this also means that as a recipient of the agenda you should study it carefully! Equally crucial is the follow up email within the next 24 hours to state clearly what was established in the meeting and any further action that needs to be taken.

  • Challenge ideas, not people

As an active contributor to the discussion you shouldn’t be afraid to question others’ suggestions, even those of your superiors; remember that silence is an admission of agreement. What you need to be careful of is that you are non confrontational about this, and keep your objections purely related to the ideas rather than the people they belong to! In other words: disagree without being disagreeable.

  • Be prepared physically

Make sure you’ve had a good night’s sleep beforehand and have eaten properly; you’ll find it significantly more difficult to concentrate on an empty stomach or if you’re sleepy. Also, make sure you have all the materials you might need, like pen and paper or laptop, and that your phone is set to do not disturb, as endless buzzing and noises are an irritating distraction.

  • Share all relevant information, and only relevant information

As the person responsible for running the meeting, it is your duty to provide all the relevant details and data to allow for informed decision making. As a participant, you should avoid side conversations and comments that distract from the focus of the meeting. Of course it’s nice to catch up with colleagues, but you should save that for a coffee after the meeting, when you’ll also be able to have a proper chat rather than just sharing snippets here and there.

  • Encourage participation

If someone doesn’t seem to be participating as much as they should be, whether they’re shy or uninterested, you can do your best to engage them in the discussion. Ask them directly for their opinion on a topic; after all if they’ve been invited to the meeting there’s probably a good reason and they have some interesting ideas to add.

So there you have some simple ways to make your meetings effective and efficient. A final piece of advice we can give you is to relax! You now have all the tools at your disposal, and stressing unnecessarily is counterproductive. If you enjoyed reading this blog, you can find more of the same here, or if you’re looking for a job in the Paris area, consult our offers now.


What Makes a Good Candidate?

The job market is as competitive as ever, and when applying for a post you could be up against any number of highly qualified candidates. Sometimes you may think you performed excellently in interview, only to find someone else was offered the job, leaving you asking yourself what sets people apart in a crowd all vying for the same job. Not to worry; we at TM have a great deal of experience in what makes a good candidate, and although requirements of course vary from post to post, there are some golden rules to go by:

  • A good CV

The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. They say first impressions count, and for the vast majority of job applications your CV will be the first thing the employer sees. Luckily for you, some simple superficial tweaks will help you get noticed. Of course the usual advice of making sure everything is clearly presented on one or two sides of A4 applies here, and an additional tip is to place the most important information in the top middle section of the page, where the eye naturally falls first. If you’re stuck, ask someone who has experience in CV selection to take a look at yours and polish it up.

  • Relevant experience

This goes hand in hand with a good CV, and is also extremely variable based on the post you’re applying for. It’s not enough to simply have the experience, you have to know how to present in correctly on your CV and relate it to the job applied for in the interview. If you’re lacking in experience directly relevant to the post, or if it’s your first job, you can consider how your other experience and qualifications taught you transferrable skills that will make you more attractive.

  • Reactivity

Make sure you’re available and responsive when making interview plans. Get email alerts on your phone or make sure you’re by a computer so that you can reply promptly, and if it all possible prioritise the interview over other plans.

  • Presentation

This one is so simple and yet so many can get it wrong! Make sure you’re clean and wearing something simple and professional when you arrive for interview; the level of formality will depend on the company, but as a general rule leave the jeans and t-shirt at home. Also, this isn’t the time to make any bold fashion statements, play it safe with something classic and understated.

  • Good etiquette at interview

This means showing up at the right time, preferably around 5 minutes before the interview is due to start. Don’t worry too much if you’re 5 or 10 minutes late, interviewers understand that problems can arise with transport etc., but under no circumstances should you show up early! It can be quite irritating as your interviewer may well have something planned beforehand. In addition, make sure you remember your basic manners, like standing up to shake your interviewers hand and good eye contact.

These are just some of the simpler steps you take to increase your chances of success when applying for a job, and now you know all of this, why not take a look at our offers and send an application in now? And if you enjoyed this and would like to read more of the same, head over to our blog now.

Two Countries Separated by One Language

For those looking to achieve complete fluency in a foreign language, there really is only one option and that is to move abroad. For some languages this is fairly straight forward; if you’re learning Italian, clearly you’ll be headed to Italy and the choice lies simply in which city to live in. For English, the options are decidedly more complex, with 65 countries and territories across the world having English as an official language, but two of the major options that emerge are the UK and the US. Having been frequently described as ‘two countries separated by one language’, you would do well to consider the relative cultural and linguistic differences between the two when planning a move, and so we have compiled some of the most important ones for you here:

  • Linguistic differences

Color or colour? Sidewalk or pavement? Elevator or lift? The vocabulary, spelling, style of speech, and accent differ greatly between these two countries. Americans tend to see British speech as quaint; conjuring up images of afternoon tea and crumpets with the queen, whereas Brits are fairly used to American English due to the prevalence of US media in the cinemas and on TV. This one will depend more on your personal preferences and what you’re accustomed to.

  • Humour

Differences here lie well beyond the spelling of the word (Americans carelessly omit the u!) with British humour tending to be darker and more sarcastic than its American counterpart, leading many Americans to perceive us as mean-spirited. Honestly, we’re nicer than we seem! American humour, on the other hand, is direct and seems too ‘obvious’ to the British.

  • Positivity

You can expect a lot more outward positivity should you decide to cross the pond, whereas the British like a good moan. This all makes up part of the British humour, which is known for its self-deprecatory nature, so don’t take grumbles about the weather too seriously, we’re actually quite happy with life and this is just a way of making conversation!

  • Openness

Americans are very open to sharing personal details about themselves from the outset, whereas the British are arguably calmer and more reserved on first meeting. Of course you will be able to make close friendships in both countries; just the approach to social situations and relationships varies; the British do open up, just give it a little time.

  • Tipping

Certainly one you should consider if you like eating out; the tipping culture in America is strong, with a tip of around 10% being considered the absolute minimum. Waiting staff depend on these tips due to low wages, whereas in the UK minimum wages are higher, which means that you’re not always obliged to tip, especially as a young person or student.

  • Size

In the US, bigger is better, and that goes for just about everything. Cars, houses, streets, food… Whatever you can think of, it’s probably double the size in the states. This means you’ll have more space at home of course, but it also means that the distance you travel to work or school is likely to be longer… And you can forget walking; it’s just not something you do in America!

It can be difficult to generalise with any country, particularly one as large as the US, where attitudes can vary drastically from one area to the next, but hopefully some of these overriding tendencies can help you to decide which would be a better fit for your personality. Then again, maybe you’ll choose to go for another Anglophone country like Ireland, Australia or even New Zealand! If you enjoyed reading this, you can find more of the same here, and if you’re looking for a job as a bilingual assistant in Paris, take a look at our offers now!

Making the Most of Your Commute

The average Parisian commute is 33.7 minutes long, which totals up to over an hour return journey every day. I think we can all agree that this is not the most enjoyable part of our lives, what with the noise, smells and constant warfare over seating arrangements, but that doesn’t mean to say that this should be ‘dead time’ – there are plenty of things you can do to profit from this otherwise lost hour:

  • Use apps to expand your knowledge. A wealth of apps are waiting to help you learn a language on the go; Duolingo and Memrise are particularly recommended thanks to their simple interface and a progression based structure that makes language learning feel like a game. If you’d rather, you can dabble in ‘brain training’ apps such as Lumosity and hone your mental agility as you’re shuttled across the city, and if brain training isn’t your thing, there’s always Candy Crush…
  • Subscribe to a podcast. Whether it’s current affairs or comedy, podcasts can be a great way to unwind and remove yourself mentally from the hustle and bustle of rush hour. What’s more, if you really get hooked on a podcast you might even find yourself looking forward to your commute so you can get your next fix!
  • Get a head start on work. Why not take advantage of this daily window and take a few simple steps to set you up for the working day? Admittedly you’re not going to make dramatic progress on your projects whilst sandwiched between the masses and clinging to a rail for balance, but you could do something as simple as clearing out your inbox, or make some of those short phone calls you’ve been putting off, provided it’s not too noisy.
  • Read a book. As obvious as it sounds, books can be overlooked in our age of smartphones and iPods. Reading a book can be the perfect way to relax during your commute, and with the advent of e-readers you can now carry a digitalised library around in your coat pocket.
  • Turn your commute into a workout. Have you considered giving the subterranean passages a miss and walking or cycling to work instead? It doesn’t have to be every day, but you can really make a difference to your fitness and energy levels by commuting in a more active way two or three times a week. You’ll arrive at the office feeling energised by the endorphins released during exercise, and it couldn’t be simpler with vélib stations on every street in Paris.

  And finally, having said all of this, sometimes the best thing to do can be:

  • Nothing. Although it might feel like a waste of time, it is sometimes necessary to unplug those headphones, close the newspaper and have a little meditation time. After some mental rest you’ll be thinking much more creatively and will be ready to tackle complex problems at work.

If you found this advice useful, you can take a look at some of our other articles. If you’re looking for a job, take a look at our offers!

Ten Tips for Success in a Phone Interview in Your Second Language

The phone interview: it’s a daunting prospect even in your first language.  But in your second language the thought is even more nausea-inducing.  As a common first step in the recruitment process, it is essential to be well equipped for the moment of that all-important phone call.

Regardless of your level of fluency in a language, speaking on the telephone can reduce even the most confident speaker to a mere stammer.  The difficulty resides in the fact that you can no longer rely on the luxuries of lip-reading and body language.  78% of communication is non-verbal, which explains why a phone call can be such a challenge for foreign speakers.  However, if you are interviewing at an international company it is expected that you will be proficient at conducting phone calls in other languages.  This skill today is indispensable, so here are a few tips to bear in mind before the phone rings:

  1. Prepare notes.  The beauty of the phone call is that you are invisible.  Play this to your advantage and ensure that you prepare answers in note form for questions that you know will be asked, such as “Why do you want this job?”  Additionally, jot down any technical vocabulary which you are likely to forget on the spot.
  2. Don’t be tempted to read entirely from your notes as you will sound robotic and probably speak for too long.  Use it instead as a prompt sheet if you lose your way.
  3. Keep your speed in check.  When nervous and speaking a foreign language, we are likely to speak too quickly.  This can lead to slurred phrases and mispronounced words, making it very difficult for the person on the other side of the line to understand.  Your interviewer will appreciate your measured speed just as you will appreciate his/hers in return.
  4. Pause before you answer.  Sometimes it can be tempting to reply straight away, especially if you are used to taking language exams when hesitating means lost marks.  During a phone interview however, it is expected that you will pause for reflection before answering.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer to repeat something.  Bear in mind that even native speakers have to ask for things to be repeated on the phone.  It is better to clarify a question than to answer what you think was asked and be mistaken.
  6. Be wary of formality.  If you have only had experience of speaking on the phone in a foreign language with friends before, do not be tempted to drop to this level of informality in your phone interview.  For instance, “Hey” and “Bye bye” are not appropriate for a phone interview in English.  Also, for languages which have a polite and an impolite form, such as the “tu” and “vous” form in French, be sure to use the polite form.
  7. Phone signal.  This is vital.  Why make things harder for yourself by trying to hear over background noise or a poor connection?  If you have access to a landline, be sure to give this number to your interviewer rather than your mobile.
  8. Practice as much as possible at speaking on the phone in the given language prior to the interview. If you find comprehension difficult, ringing company numbers with automated messages can be an excellent way to improve your listening skills on the phone.
  9. Ensure that you are well acquainted with basic phone vocabulary.  Here is an excellent site which lists the most important phrases for phone calls in English.
  10. Don’t set the bar too high. If you are far from fluent in a language, it is better not to pretend that you are on your CV as you will quickly be found out the moment you pick up the phone.

If you found these tips helpful, take a look at some of our other articles.  And if you’re looking for a job, consult the offers on our website.

The Elusive Christmas Bonus

With less than a week to go until Christmas Day, this week’s blog is full of festive spirit.  Unless, that is, you were counting on receiving a Christmas bonus this year.  Research conducted by One4All has revealed that only 7% of UK companies will hand out a Christmas cash bonus this year.  While the popularity of the Christmas bonus has been dwindling for some time now, particularly in the wake of the economic crash, this statistic does seem extraordinarily low.  So, why are companies saying “Bah humbug” to bonuses?

The Christmas bonus, as it is known today, originated in America during the onset of the 20th Century.  The concept gathered momentum and by the mid-1900s, it became commonplace for companies to offer their employees a percentage of their annual salary as a way of saying “thank you” for all their hard work throughout the year.  Yet as it became more widespread, the sentiment of expectation arose in the place of gratitude.

And this is precisely where the dilemma lies: with expectation comes the unravelling of the business logistics behind the bonus.  If employees expect it, then there is no longer an incentive to work hard in order to receive it.  Companies have latched onto this and have since introduced performance bonuses, awarded based on employee achievement throughout the year.  Yet this holds its own perils: which factors decide who qualifies for the bonus and who doesn’t?  With today’s threat of a company being taken to court by a disgruntled employee on the grounds of discrimination, awarding Christmas bonuses to staff has become rather risky.  Furthermore, what does the company do if it has a bad year and cannot afford to pay the bonuses?  It really is quite a quandary.

In addition, it could be argued that the Christmas bonus seems anachronistic in today’s society.  Current workplace culture bears little resemblance to that over fifty years ago, when employees would work at the same company for the majority of their career.  Such a practice fostered closer relationships between employees and their employers meaning that that the bonus was a genuine and personal gesture of gratitude.  Today, employee turnover is so high that the Christmas bonus is considered corporate rather than meaningful, which only adds to that aforementioned cult of expectation amongst employees.  Having said this, One4All’s research did also point out that the provision of a Christmas bonus did directly impact upon employee retention.  It is clear then, that employees like to feel appreciated.

So, with the difficulties enveloped in the Christmas bonus, what are companies looking to as alternatives to show appreciation for their employees this Christmas?  The Christmas party probably comes in first position, undoubtedly a festive way to celebrate, and with an adaptable budget depending on whether or not the year has been a good one financially.  This author recommends extra paid time off, still relatively inexpensive to implement given the general lack of productivity during the seasonal period.

The prize for the worst Christmas bonus of last year goes to Poundland who offered employees a 10 percent discount in store for a limited period of time, equating to 10 pence off each product purchased.  However, our favourite concept by far is the example set by a bank in America where every employee was given 1000 dollars with the strict instruction to pass it on and spend it on somebody who needed it more.  After all, isn’t this what Christmas spirit is really all about?

If you’re currently looking for a job, why not look at the job offers on our website?

Christmas is here. So should I put my job search on hold?

Christmas Tree 2014 2

The TM Christmas Tree

On the first day of Christmas

My true love sent to me:

A rejection email with my unread CV.

 On the second day of Christmas

Another company:

No interview date

And a rejection email with my unread CV.

 On the third day of Christmas

This time four more companies:

“We regret to inform you”

No interview date

And a rejection email with my unread CV.

It is a common assumption that the recruitment market goes into a bit of a lull during the festive season, possibly due to employees drinking too much vin chaud and attending one too many Christmas parties.  So, with the holidays fast approaching, TM began to reflect on whether there is any truth in this belief.  Is the Christmas period truly a bad time for job hunting and when would be the optimum time of the year to start applying for jobs?

What TM finds

At TM International our busiest periods fall in April and October.  Given that our clients are based across all industries, this isn’t surprising since these two months coincide with the busiest months for recruitment in general, regardless of sector.  Being based in Paris, our quieter period falls in the summer, when the majority of Parisians pack their bags and head south for August.  Employees are usually en vacances and things begin to pick up again at the rentrée; it’s not just the children who are back to school!

Know your industry

The key piece of advice though is to know your industry.  It is fairly obvious that the retail and catering sectors see a huge surge in recruitment around Christmas as companies need to cope with the many more festive shoppers and restaurant goers.  In the UK, Royal Mail and Amazon are hiring 32,000 temporary staff between them this Christmas!  Likewise, financial services take on the most recruits between January and March in preparation for the end of the tax year when the workload picks up.  Aside from this though, analysing the recruitment calendar and hedging your bets is a lot like card reading; there doesn’t seem to be an exact science to it.

Change is in the air

Interestingly, Simon Baddeley, regional director of Reed employment, makes the point in an article by Emma Woollacott that the conventional recruitment calendar is changing and the traditionally ‘slow’ seasons (Christmas and the summer) are no longer quite so slow.  With online applications now commonplace, the use of automated processes has made the imbalances in the recruitment calendar decidedly smoother.  Now that job adverts are all online (who remembers the old adverts posted in the newspaper?) and many companies use technical screening for the first stages of your application, previously time-consuming processes have been simplified.  This means that the recruitment process is not so affected by reduced numbers of staff during holiday periods.  Furthermore, thanks to email, your CV and cover letter are no longer in the hands of the Royal Mail, so long gone are the days of your application being a victim of the infamous Christmas post!

Some recruitment experts go so far as to actually advise applying during the holiday periods.  Mary Eileen Williams gives several reasons to look for jobs at Christmas, her most important being that the number of candidates applying drops off.  While at TM we can’t see any specific lull in the number of candidates we receive in December, there’s no reason why you should put your job search on hold thinking that your chances of getting hired will be reduced.

So, on that note, update your CV, stop the online Christmas shopping, and start job hunting instead!  With many adding ‘Look for a new job’ to their list of New Year’s resolutions, beat the crowd and give yourself a head start before the year is up.  There’s no time like the present!

If you want a job for Christmas, head to our website to browse our latest opportunities.  And, if you liked this article and want more career advice, take a look at our blog (you can even subscribe by clicking ‘Follow’ – now that would be a good Christmas present)!

L’Elevator pitch… C’est quoi exactement ?

C’est l’anglicisme qui est entré en vigueur dans la langue française quand on parle du recrutement.  Mais, savez-vous ce qu’il en est précisément ?  Bref, c’est un micro discours de deux minutes ou moins qui vous permet de vous présenter aux gros bonnets que vous rencontrez par hasard, soit dans l’ascenseur ou soit dans le métro, avec l’objet de décrocher une prochaine rencontre professionnelle.

Son nom, elevator pitch, fait référence à la durée du temps qu’on passerait dans l’ascenseur et qu’on aurait pour se présenter à quelqu’un.  Auparavant, ce petit discours était uniquement réservé aux entrepreneurs qui cherchaient à promouvoir leur produit aux investisseurs potentiels.  Mais aujourd’hui, alors que les gens sont considérés de plus en plus comme des produits et que l’on parle souvent du personal branding, ce discours sert un but additionnel : vendre ses attributs personnels.  L’importance d’être toujours prêt à se lancer dans ce mini speech n’a jamais été si urgente.  Mais comment réussir votre elevator pitch ?  Voilà plusieurs astuces…

C’est en forgeant qu’on devient forgeron

Il est bien connu qu’il n’est pas toujours facile de parler de soi.  Pour vous empêcher de bafouiller au moment critique, il faut faire le bilan de votre discours bien en avance et vous entraîner à le prononcer aux autres.  Soyez capable de résumer votre carrière à ce jour, misant l’accent sur vos réussites mais sans donner l’impression d’être vantard.  Il faut tenir compte du fait que cette personne que vous venez de rencontrer n’a pas demandé un entretien avec vous, c’est juste un petite rencontre à fort potentiel.  Donc soyez concis et captivant.

Semblez naturel

Bien que vous ayez préparé ce que vous allez dire en avance, il est toujours important d’être naturel.  Si votre parole paraît scolaire, vous courez le risque de ne pas sembler sincère, ou pire encore, d’embêter votre interlocuteur.  Certes, identifiez les points à inclure mais improvisez aussi.  C’est l’équilibre très difficile à atteindre…

Enfin l’aspect controversé

Certains gens recommanderaient que vous ajoutiez une note personnelle afin de capter l’attention de votre interlocuteur et pour qu’il se souvienne de vous.  Pourtant, bien que votre rencontre ne soit pas un entretien formel, limitez votre conversation à la sphère professionnelle pour ne pas faire mauvaise impression.

Toutes choses considérées, il faut être toujours prêt à prendre la parole et faire du charme à chaque instant.  Après tout, on ne sait jamais qui on pourrait rencontrer dans l’ascenseur !

Si vous avez apprécié ces conseils, alors n’hésitez pas à consulter les autres articles de notre Blog ici et pourquoi pas, nos offres actuelles ?

How would TMI answer “What’s your greatest weakness”?

It’s the one question which leaves candidates flummoxed.  How to comment on your flaws without undermining your interviewer’s impression of you?  With this in mind, TMI had a brainstorm in the office about how we would answer that thorny question guaranteed to be on your interviewer’s lips.

Firstly, what NOT to say…

If your immediate reaction was to respond with one of the following; “I’m a perfectionist”, “I work too hard” or “I pay too much attention to detail”, you’re guilty of falling into a classic trap.  While you probably thought you were being clever researching ‘ideal interview answers’ on the internet the night before, just remember that so did the other candidates that you’re battling against.  It’s preferable to think of a more personal response which demonstrates to the interviewer that you have considered his/her question and that you have the ability to be self-reflective.

What’s more, if interviewing for a secretarial/assistant position, steer clear of these so-called ‘fail-safe’ answers because they might actually backfire on you.  Your interviewer is looking for somebody efficient who can work to tight deadlines, so saying any of the above might imply that you are a slow worker.

Instead, identify an area of personal development…

A good way to tackle the question is to mention a current goal that you are working towards.  For example: you weren’t proficient at using a certain type of software at work, which cost you time, and so you took an online course.  While this might highlight that you are not the most technologically-savvy, it does illustrate that you consider your personal development to be a priority, which is always a desirable quality in a candidate.  Approach with caution, however!  Obviously, if you are applying for a job as Communities Manager, mentioning any weakness regarding technology is not going to stand you in the best stead.  It is hence essential that the weakness you describe is not a fundamental skill in your line of work.

Turn a negative into a positive

If you’ve scoured careers websites, you’ll have noticed that the following advice from HR experts is unanimous: turn a negative into a positive.  The danger with this tactic is that your response can come across as contrived.  A way to apply this approach more effectively is to complement it with a concrete example of when your weakness turned out to be an asset.  A flaw could be that you spend a long time on a task but this means that your work is accurate.  To make this answer count for more, be sure to mention the time that you were analysing the company accounts and you spotted a crucial error, saving the company ‘x’ amount of money.

Throw a curve-ball…

One of the TMI consultants once answered with “I have a really bad sense of direction”. While this might not be directly relevant to the workplace, it could steer the interview onto another topic of conversation. However, probably one best to avoid if you turned up late to the interview!

Finally, if you’re a recent graduate…

If you’ve recently finished university and have not worked before, you could mention that your lack of experience in this particular sector could be interpreted as a weakness.  You’re not actually revealing anything new because your interviewer has presumably already read your CV.  Make sure, nonetheless, that you combine this with how motivated you are to prove that this will not hold you back and that you have transferable skills.

All in all, our most crucial advice is not to fall into the trap of panicking and revealing a weakness that could work against you.  If you reflect on how you would answer the question in advance and have some examples up your sleeve, you will be in a better position to impress.

Did you find this article useful? Head over to our website for more useful tips.

The Personality Factor

Richard Branson revealed that personality forms the basis of his hiring strategy: “Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality”.  As companies increasingly look to carry out their recruitment internally, more emphasis is being placed on the person behind the CV, while expertise and qualifications are coming in at a close second.

So, what do companies really mean when they say they are looking for personality?  Shane Atchison, the CEO at Possible, expertly sums it up: “Work personality is not the same as regular personality.  It’s not about how you behave at a party, but how you fit into a team”.  Evidence shows that teamwork can increase productivity and improve employee retention, so there is a business aim behind the buzzword ‘personality’ after all!

Personality Profiling…

Yet evaluating a candidate’s personality at the recruitment stage poses a significant complication, since subjectivity can seep into the equation.  In response to this, many organisations make use of psychometric testing to evaluate personality quantitatively.  As part of pre-interview screening, candidates are often asked to sit a variety of online questionnaires asking how they would respond to certain statements, such as “I enjoy meeting new people”.  These answers are then analysed, allowing the company in question to accurately weigh up the candidate’s cultural fit in the organisation.  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), arguably the most popular personality tool used by around 80% of Fortune 500 companies, claims there are no right answers to the questions and that cheating is not possible.

Alas, if there is no winning technique to tackling these tests, then how can you score more highly in the personality stakes?  Answer: respond honestly to the questions and focus instead on improving your interview performance.

It’s Showtime…

The better your performance in the interview, the more agreeable your personality will seem to your interviewer.  The etymology of ‘performance’, deriving from the 17th Century, means the “action of performing a play”, in other words, a trade that can be practised and polished.  It’s probably common sense, but think of this when preparing for your interview: the more you rehearse prior to curtain-up, the more comfortable you will feel in your role as interviewee.

All in all, bear in mind that you can’t transform your personality and that there would be no point in doing so (you want the company to be a good fit for you too), but with more research and practice you can definitely give a more polished performance.