Thursday, 21 July 2011

Advice from Hayley

Nothing to do with A4e (except that Hayley Taylor used to work for them). But I saw this on her blog, and was concerned about the quality of the advice she was giving. Someone asked:
"Hello Hayley, I am 20 years of age and have been on JSA for about a year and a half on and of. In march i came to the end of the future job fund scheme where i was working in a primary school as a admin assistant. Now im back on JSA but im doing voluntry work in a hospital as a admin assistant, As im classed as internal i applied for a administrator position which is a doctor’s secretary and i have a interview tuesday! Which im really excited about but really nervous at the same time. It will be a pannel interview of three people which i know so it wont be so bad. But im just wondering what questions will they ask so i can prepare myself? And any tips you could give me please. Thank you x " [sic]
The answer from Ms Taylor:
"Congratulations, you are living proof that volunteering really does open doors and a world of opportunities, as now you are at interview stage!! It’s impossible for me to be specific with what questions you will be asked during your interview, but I would say that at 20 and without a vast amount of work history, the questions are likely to be more generic. Be sure to have enough copies of your C.V in order to offer one to each member of the panel, be clear on why you would like the position, and have a great answer prepared, smile, show enthusiasm, tell them you are willing and eager to learn, have at least two questions prepared to ask them, and don’t forget to thank them for their time when you leave. I wish you luck, and am sure you will be fantastic. Hayley x"

Now I really do hope the young woman gets (or got) the job. But it won't be on the advice from Ms Taylor. For most admin jobs you are likely to be given a test before the interview, at the computer or on paper, to show whether your English, maths and IT skills are adequate. This candidate would be unlikely to pass unless her poor English in this post is just carelessness which she can put right. You don't need to hand out copies of your CV. They've already got them, photocopied, in front of them. You will look rather foolish if you don't anticipate this. You don't know what questions you're going to be asked, but you do need to gen up on the nature of the business; they are not just going to ask about you, but about what you know, and I would have thought that would particularly apply to a medical secretary post; so do your homework.

It's a bit worrying, really.


  1. This is an interesting piece. Although it’s possible to become a nitpicker over grammar, we all make spelling and grammar mistakes from time to time. Of course, perhaps this young woman was typing hastily and made these errors in what she considered a non formal setting.

    However, Ms Taylor was doing this young woman a disservice by NOT at least mentioning these errors. Simply saying something such as “watch your spelling” or “use a spell checker” could be very helpful. Ms Taylor is an ‘employment guru’ after all!

    Even the short posts I place on this blog from time to time are typed up in MS Word and spell checked. Whether people agree with them is another matter!!! ;-)

    As far as questions are concerned, Historian is quite right. It is a good idea to check out the company you’re going to work for.

    I’d also add that asking questions is very important. An interview should go both ways. In my view, a candidate should be asking almost as many questions of the company in question as the company asks of the candidate. The business in effect is being interviewed too. After all, one has to make sure whether the job is within the scope of one’s capabilities as well as finding answers to other points that cannot be gleaned from a corporate website, brochure or job description. If nothing else, it shows genuine interest in the position and the company in general. This is the approach I take when being interviewed myself.

  2. I question everything about Hayley Taylor as I have ever since she appeared on telly. She knows nothing. Absolutely nothing. She's no different than some snake oil selling new age type, though, and like many such, she probably believes the pop psychology she spews. It's chicken soup for the soul style populist garbage that appeals to the masses. As the unemployed have zero respect in today's society anyone that questions whether 'queuing up outside mcdonalds' is good advice (something she said on benefit busters) just gets told they are lazy.

  3. Sometimes when I have an interview i have a set number of questions, I avoid money and holiday questions, I always ask about training courses they can run. I have seen Hayley Taylor, and to my mind she is a bully and uses pop psychology. They act as if TV is real, i bet half the people she "helps" only got the job because of the camera. They dont want to be seen as being a bad company so they hire people and theres no follow up how long they lasted. Its just another unemployed are lazy.

    (i type casually online, in work i type formally)

  4. AAAGGGHHH!! Looks like employment 'expert' Hayley Taylor is on the Wright Stuff this morning! Just caught Wright saying "most of the people who don't want jobs blame immigrants".
    Taylor was in full agreement of course. Won't be watching as I have a business plan to concentrate on as well as wishing my blood pressure to stay at a healthy level!

  5. I once had a panel interview. And would also agree with what has already been said, you don't need to take copies of your CV with you to the interview. You would be better to take a list of questions you intend to ask about the job and the organisation.

    It is frightening that Hayley is giving out advice on things she clearly knows nothing about. But it seems in the UK once you get your face on TV you instantly become an expert and your opinion is sought on any related topic. It would have been better if she had just said she has never had a panel interview.


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