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Preparation is crucial in the fight for a new job

22 July 2013 / 20:07:43  GRReporter
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Victoria Mindova

Unemployment seems to be one of the most serious problems of this decade not only in Greece, which is in crisis, but also in Europe. The latest figures show that 48 million people from the 34 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development are outside the labour market, which is 16 million more than the period before the beginning of the economic crisis.

The problem is even greater in the countries affected by the euro crisis, and Greece and Spain are holding the lead regarding the number of unemployed per capita. It is expected that unemployment in Greece will reach 28% in 2014 whereas it already exceeds 60% in the group of young people aged up to 25 years.

Today, Confucius’ saying, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life" sounds almost utopian because even if the young people are already aware of the field in which they want to look for a career, they cannot find an open position.

Due to the contraction of the economy on a mass scale and the closing of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises, the competition for a job is now twice as great compared with the period before the financial collapse.

We have sought Sophie Konstantinidou, human resources management expert at TITAN CEMENT SA, to present to us her viewpoint on tackling the problem as well as to give us some practical advice on what to do during a job interview and what the interviewers expect from a candidate.

The problem in Greece

Many universities in the country are famous for the good training they provide and the excellent professionals they create. However, there are increasing numbers of young university graduates in Greece who are occupying unskilled positions or who remain unemployed.

"Greek families invest a lot in the education of their children and the Greek taxpayer has to contribute heavily every year in the running of Greek universities. However, young people graduate having acquired specialized skills, only to realize that there are no jobs available to apply those skills. This problem is not going to be alleviated due to the economic recession." 

The expert stresses that new jobs will be created and there will be a need for qualified people only when Greece enters the much anticipated development era. "Until then, young people will seek employment abroad, resulting in the so called "brain drain" or, those who insist on staying home, will have to follow the motto "If you cannot find a job, create it!".

What do the employers want?

The most important question that human resources management experts try to answer during a job interview is whether the candidate's values match the values of the organization. 

Also, one of the concerns of the human resources professional is to see whether the interviewee is really interested in the position. 

"Very often candidates do not have clear career goals and they apply for jobs because they cannot find any other job vacancies," states Konstantinidou. 

During the interview, the recruiter seeks evidence that the candidate can do the job better than anyone else can and that he or she is a positive, motivated, enthusiastic person who will cooperate effectively with his or her colleagues. 

What are the "DOs" and "DON’T's" when a candidate goes to a job interview?

The first advice of human resources experts is to carry out very thorough research on the company before showing up for an interview. 

"You can look up the company's website in order to better explore the history of the company, find articles in the press regarding the company or even find people who are working for the company and get information on how they are feeling about working for the company."

"Be punctual for your interview and follow the company's dress code".

Demonstrate clear career goals during the interview and be confident and eloquent. "And, most importantly, do not forget to say the magic word 'thank you', both at the end of the interview and by email when you go back home."

The candidate should avoid blaming his or her former employer or anyone else. "Negativity and problems will not open the company's door for you." 

Keeping the etiquette during the interview is very important as well. "Even if the interviewer refers to you by your first name, answer back with his or her last name unless you are told to do otherwise." 

Do not be boring during the interview. The interviewer wants to have an interesting and informative conversation with you during which he or she will learn many facts about you in a short period of time.

Finally, the saying "Practice makes perfect" is absolutely true in this case. Practise with a friend, in front of the mirror or even make a video of yourself answering interviewer’s questions and watch it later. You will be amazed at how many points for improvement you will find!

Tags: EconomyCompaniesUnemploymentJob interviewAdvice
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