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By Bernadette Platt 17 Jul, 2017

WHAT IS IT AND WHY USE IT?

·      Most organisations will analyse a role by breaking it down into key competencies – planning and organising, innovation, personal drive, motivation and teamwork.

·      If an organisation uses this type of interviewing, it is very likely that your job will be defined on this basis and your performance in it will be managed through competencies - appraisals may well be linked to evidence and real-life examples of having demonstrated these competencies.

·      The employer is looking to identify the skills and behaviours you are likely to demonstrate in future.

·      This type of interviewing allows them to avoid forming personal impressions and just assess you on your own merits. It also reduces your  chance to make ‘fake’ claims.

·      You will be asked to give an example of a previous situation or task which led you to take a certain course of action.

·      Probing questions will be used to determine the course of action you took, the changes created and the effects of those actions on others

 

HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THIS TYPE OF INTERVIEW?

·      Prepare answers using the technique outlined below:

·      Prepare in the normal way - research the company thoroughly, ensure you can talk through the work and skills you have described on your CV.

·      Most candidates find this type of interviewing much more interactive and enjoyable and it is likely that the interviewer will be able to encourage you to be more open than in a traditional interview.

 

 HOW WILL I BE MEASURED?

·      The interviewer will have a number of pre-planned questions to ask you.

·      For each question they will ask for real-life examples where you have demonstrated the behaviour or skills.

·      They will know what the desired behaviours are and will look for positive and negative indicators.


EXAMPLES OF COMPETENCY QUESTIONS AND ADVICE ON ANSWERING

 The ‘STAR’ technique is an excellent way to demonstrate your key competencies. The acronym stands for:

 ·       Situation: What was the situation, When did it happen, who was involved?

·      Task: What did you have to do?

·      Action: How did you approach the task?

·      Result: What did you do to deliver a success and what did you learn?

 

The situation sets the scene for your answer.

Describe the situation you were confronted with or the task that needed to be accomplished.

  The task explains what you aimed to do to achieve your goal.

Make it concise and informative, concentrating solely on what is useful to the story.

The action explains, in detail, what you did, how you did it and why you did it.

This is the most important section of the STAR approach as it is where you will need to demonstrate and highlight the skills and personal attributes that the question is testing. Having set the context of your story, you need to explain what you did. In doing so, you will need to remember the following:

 ·       Be personal, i.e. talk about you, not the rest of the team.

·      Go into some detail. Do not assume that they will guess what you mean.

·      Steer clear of technical information, unless it is crucial to your story.

The result is the conclusion to your answer.

Explain what happened and how it all ended. Also, use the opportunity to describe what you accomplished and what you learnt in that situation. This helps you make the answer personal and enables you to highlight further skills.

 This is probably the most crucial part of your answer. Interviewers want to know that you are using a variety of generic skills in order to achieve your objectives. Therefore you must be able to demonstrate in your answer that you are taking specific actions because you are trying to achieve a specific objective and not simply by chance.

  

EXAMPLE 1         PLANNING AND ORGANISATION

Looking for:         Ability to prioritise

Sets stretching but realistic targets and deadlines

Plans ahead and has a structured approach to the work

 1.     DESCRIBE A PROJECT YOU HAVE MANAGED/BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR:

2.    HOW DID YOU PLAN YOUR TIME? (AND OTHERS’ TIME) HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH OBSTACLES?

3.    HAVE YOU EVER MANAGED A PROJECT WHICH YOUR KNEW WOULD RUN OVER THE TIMESCALE? WHAT DID YOU DO? WHAT COULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME?

4.    ALSO – IN YOUR CURRENT JOB, HOW DO YOU SCHEDULE YOUR TIME AND SET PRIORITIES? HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THIS INTERVIEW?

  

NEGATIVE INDICATORS:

·      Works late but unproductively

·      Inflexible in modifying plans/priorities

·      Reactive approach

·      Needs to work alone to complete a task

·      Easily fazed by obstacles/interruptions


DESIRED BEHAVIOURS:

·      Prioritises - Works in a structured and methodical way

·      Manages time effectively

·      Plans ahead to ensure timely delivery of results

·      Maintains accurate management information, administrative records etc

    

EXAMPLE 2         TEAM SKILLS

Looking for:         Ability to work with other people constructively to improve the effectiveness of the team

 1.     HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES/TEAM? WHAT EFFECT DID THAT ACTION HAVE ON YOUR SUCCESS IN THAT POSITION? WHAT EFFECT DID THAT ACTION HAVE ON THE SUCCESS OF THE TEAM?

2.    DESCRIBE AN OCCASION WHEN YOU CHOSE NOT TO WORK AS PART OF A TEAM:

3.    WHEN HAS A COLLEAGUE LET YOU DOWN AND HOW DID YOU REACT?

4.    ALSO – HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO WORK IN A TEAM WHERE YOU FELT OTHER MEMBERS OF THE TEAM WERE LACKING IN COMMITMENT/ABILITY? WHEN HAS YOUR OWN SELF-MOTIVATION RUBBED OFF ON OTHERS?

 

 N EGATIVE INDICATORS:

·       Afraid to confront issues
·       Withholds information
·       Plays people off against each other
Holds grudges
 ·       Indiscreet and gets involved in gossip
·       Insensitive to people, their feelings and needs

  DESIRED BEHAVIOURS:

·      Co-operating with others

·      Helping people out when necessary

·      Consulting others for advice if necessary

·      Building effective teams

·      Accurately communicating important information

·      Resolving conflict or disagreements quickly

 

EXAMPLE 3         PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND JUDGEMENT

Looking for:         Has extensive knowledge of his/her own field or department

Understands the business and uses this to provide credible advice

  1.     WHAT EXAMPLES ARE THERE DURING THE PAST 3-6 MONTHS WHERE YOU HAVE MADE AN IMPORTANT DECISION WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE CORRECT?

2.    HOW DO YOU GATHER INFORMATION ON CLIENTS/CUSTOMERS?

3.    HOW HAVE YOU USED THAT INFORMATION TO INFLUENCE A CLIENT/CUSTOMER?

4.    ALSO – HAVE YOU MADE ANY POOR DECISIONS IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS? TELL ME ABOUT IT/THEM? WHEN DID A CLIENT/CUSTOMER LAST ASK YOU FOR ADVICE?

  NEGATIVE INDICATORS:

·      Ignores side issues as irrelevant

·      Abdicated decision-making to others

·      Inaccurate understanding of customer's situation

·      Assumes professional responsibility beyond level of competence/experience

   DESIRED BEHAVIOURS:

·      Sound understanding of current issues

·      Sound understanding of customers

·      Provides client with credible advice

·      Provides commercial and practical advice to clients

·      Manages flow of information to clients effectively

 

  EXAMPLE 4         LEADERSHIP

Looking for:         Takes control of situations and events

Coaches and develops others

Recognizes and rewards others performance

Motivates

 1.     TELL ME ABOUT A SENSITIVE OR DIFFICULT ISSUE YOU HAVE DEALT WITH? WHAT DID YOUR FIND MOST DIFFICULT ABOUT? WHY WAS THIS SO? WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME?

2.    HOW HAVE YOU INTRODUCED CHANGE TO YOUR TEAM?

3.    HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR COLLEAGUES GET FEEDBACK ON THEIR PERFORMANCE?

4.    DESCRIBE A SITUATION IN WHICH YOU COACHED A TEAM MEMBER:

 

NEGATIVE INDICATORS:

·      Is insensitive

·      Believes in an autocratic style of leadership

·      Demonstrates an inconsistent style of leadership

·      Tries to change how things are done without any consideration to proven methods and working practices

DESIRED BEHAVIOURS:

·      Gives feedback

·      Develops people on the job

·      Delegates effectively

·      Motivates colleagues to give their best

·      Confronts difficult issues promptly

·      Sets development objectives

·      Recognising good performance

Go on now and nail that interview!!



By Bernadette Platt 17 Jul, 2017

Personal Tax

Tax year 2016/17  Tax year 2017/18

Basic Rate       £1 - £32,000     £1 - £33,500

Higher Rate      £32,001 - £150,000  £33,501 - £150,000

Additional rate    Over £150,000    Over £150,000


Corporation tax rates:

FY 2015/16  FY 2016/17  FY 2017/18

Main Rate     20%     20%    19%    


Ponte Resource Provides Accounting Services and Financial Recruitment in London.

Ponte Resource

By Bernadette Platt 17 Jul, 2017

WHAT IS IT AND WHY USE IT?

·      Most organisations will analyse a role by breaking it down into key competencies – planning and organising, innovation, personal drive, motivation and teamwork.

·      If an organisation uses this type of interviewing, it is very likely that your job will be defined on this basis and your performance in it will be managed through competencies - appraisals may well be linked to evidence and real-life examples of having demonstrated these competencies.

·      The employer is looking to identify the skills and behaviours you are likely to demonstrate in future.

·      This type of interviewing allows them to avoid forming personal impressions and just assess you on your own merits. It also reduces your  chance to make ‘fake’ claims.

·      You will be asked to give an example of a previous situation or task which led you to take a certain course of action.

·      Probing questions will be used to determine the course of action you took, the changes created and the effects of those actions on others

 

HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THIS TYPE OF INTERVIEW?

·      Prepare answers using the technique outlined below:

·      Prepare in the normal way - research the company thoroughly, ensure you can talk through the work and skills you have described on your CV.

·      Most candidates find this type of interviewing much more interactive and enjoyable and it is likely that the interviewer will be able to encourage you to be more open than in a traditional interview.

 

 HOW WILL I BE MEASURED?

·      The interviewer will have a number of pre-planned questions to ask you.

·      For each question they will ask for real-life examples where you have demonstrated the behaviour or skills.

·      They will know what the desired behaviours are and will look for positive and negative indicators.


EXAMPLES OF COMPETENCY QUESTIONS AND ADVICE ON ANSWERING

 The ‘STAR’ technique is an excellent way to demonstrate your key competencies. The acronym stands for:

 ·       Situation: What was the situation, When did it happen, who was involved?

·      Task: What did you have to do?

·      Action: How did you approach the task?

·      Result: What did you do to deliver a success and what did you learn?

 

The situation sets the scene for your answer.

Describe the situation you were confronted with or the task that needed to be accomplished.

  The task explains what you aimed to do to achieve your goal.

Make it concise and informative, concentrating solely on what is useful to the story.

The action explains, in detail, what you did, how you did it and why you did it.

This is the most important section of the STAR approach as it is where you will need to demonstrate and highlight the skills and personal attributes that the question is testing. Having set the context of your story, you need to explain what you did. In doing so, you will need to remember the following:

 ·       Be personal, i.e. talk about you, not the rest of the team.

·      Go into some detail. Do not assume that they will guess what you mean.

·      Steer clear of technical information, unless it is crucial to your story.

The result is the conclusion to your answer.

Explain what happened and how it all ended. Also, use the opportunity to describe what you accomplished and what you learnt in that situation. This helps you make the answer personal and enables you to highlight further skills.

 This is probably the most crucial part of your answer. Interviewers want to know that you are using a variety of generic skills in order to achieve your objectives. Therefore you must be able to demonstrate in your answer that you are taking specific actions because you are trying to achieve a specific objective and not simply by chance.

  

EXAMPLE 1         PLANNING AND ORGANISATION

Looking for:         Ability to prioritise

Sets stretching but realistic targets and deadlines

Plans ahead and has a structured approach to the work

 1.     DESCRIBE A PROJECT YOU HAVE MANAGED/BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR:

2.    HOW DID YOU PLAN YOUR TIME? (AND OTHERS’ TIME) HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH OBSTACLES?

3.    HAVE YOU EVER MANAGED A PROJECT WHICH YOUR KNEW WOULD RUN OVER THE TIMESCALE? WHAT DID YOU DO? WHAT COULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME?

4.    ALSO – IN YOUR CURRENT JOB, HOW DO YOU SCHEDULE YOUR TIME AND SET PRIORITIES? HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THIS INTERVIEW?

  

NEGATIVE INDICATORS:

·      Works late but unproductively

·      Inflexible in modifying plans/priorities

·      Reactive approach

·      Needs to work alone to complete a task

·      Easily fazed by obstacles/interruptions


DESIRED BEHAVIOURS:

·      Prioritises - Works in a structured and methodical way

·      Manages time effectively

·      Plans ahead to ensure timely delivery of results

·      Maintains accurate management information, administrative records etc

    

EXAMPLE 2         TEAM SKILLS

Looking for:         Ability to work with other people constructively to improve the effectiveness of the team

 1.     HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES/TEAM? WHAT EFFECT DID THAT ACTION HAVE ON YOUR SUCCESS IN THAT POSITION? WHAT EFFECT DID THAT ACTION HAVE ON THE SUCCESS OF THE TEAM?

2.    DESCRIBE AN OCCASION WHEN YOU CHOSE NOT TO WORK AS PART OF A TEAM:

3.    WHEN HAS A COLLEAGUE LET YOU DOWN AND HOW DID YOU REACT?

4.    ALSO – HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO WORK IN A TEAM WHERE YOU FELT OTHER MEMBERS OF THE TEAM WERE LACKING IN COMMITMENT/ABILITY? WHEN HAS YOUR OWN SELF-MOTIVATION RUBBED OFF ON OTHERS?

 

 N EGATIVE INDICATORS:

·       Afraid to confront issues
·       Withholds information
·       Plays people off against each other
Holds grudges
 ·       Indiscreet and gets involved in gossip
·       Insensitive to people, their feelings and needs

  DESIRED BEHAVIOURS:

·      Co-operating with others

·      Helping people out when necessary

·      Consulting others for advice if necessary

·      Building effective teams

·      Accurately communicating important information

·      Resolving conflict or disagreements quickly

 

EXAMPLE 3         PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND JUDGEMENT

Looking for:         Has extensive knowledge of his/her own field or department

Understands the business and uses this to provide credible advice

  1.     WHAT EXAMPLES ARE THERE DURING THE PAST 3-6 MONTHS WHERE YOU HAVE MADE AN IMPORTANT DECISION WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE CORRECT?

2.    HOW DO YOU GATHER INFORMATION ON CLIENTS/CUSTOMERS?

3.    HOW HAVE YOU USED THAT INFORMATION TO INFLUENCE A CLIENT/CUSTOMER?

4.    ALSO – HAVE YOU MADE ANY POOR DECISIONS IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS? TELL ME ABOUT IT/THEM? WHEN DID A CLIENT/CUSTOMER LAST ASK YOU FOR ADVICE?

  NEGATIVE INDICATORS:

·      Ignores side issues as irrelevant

·      Abdicated decision-making to others

·      Inaccurate understanding of customer's situation

·      Assumes professional responsibility beyond level of competence/experience

   DESIRED BEHAVIOURS:

·      Sound understanding of current issues

·      Sound understanding of customers

·      Provides client with credible advice

·      Provides commercial and practical advice to clients

·      Manages flow of information to clients effectively

 

  EXAMPLE 4         LEADERSHIP

Looking for:         Takes control of situations and events

Coaches and develops others

Recognizes and rewards others performance

Motivates

 1.     TELL ME ABOUT A SENSITIVE OR DIFFICULT ISSUE YOU HAVE DEALT WITH? WHAT DID YOUR FIND MOST DIFFICULT ABOUT? WHY WAS THIS SO? WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME?

2.    HOW HAVE YOU INTRODUCED CHANGE TO YOUR TEAM?

3.    HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR COLLEAGUES GET FEEDBACK ON THEIR PERFORMANCE?

4.    DESCRIBE A SITUATION IN WHICH YOU COACHED A TEAM MEMBER:

 

NEGATIVE INDICATORS:

·      Is insensitive

·      Believes in an autocratic style of leadership

·      Demonstrates an inconsistent style of leadership

·      Tries to change how things are done without any consideration to proven methods and working practices

DESIRED BEHAVIOURS:

·      Gives feedback

·      Develops people on the job

·      Delegates effectively

·      Motivates colleagues to give their best

·      Confronts difficult issues promptly

·      Sets development objectives

·      Recognising good performance

Go on now and nail that interview!!



By Bernadette Platt 17 Jul, 2017

Personal Tax

Tax year 2016/17  Tax year 2017/18

Basic Rate       £1 - £32,000     £1 - £33,500

Higher Rate      £32,001 - £150,000  £33,501 - £150,000

Additional rate    Over £150,000    Over £150,000


Corporation tax rates:

FY 2015/16  FY 2016/17  FY 2017/18

Main Rate     20%     20%    19%    


Ponte Resource Provides Accounting Services and Financial Recruitment in London.

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