You're Hired! Practical Tips And Techniques For The Confident Interview

Friday, 28 May 2010

Next in our series of blog posts interviewing presenters at the BIALL Conference is Keri Gray from Weekes Gray. Her session is called "You're Hired! Practical Tips And Techniques For The Confident Interview"

BB - First up, why should BIALL members attend your session?

KG - This will be an informal and interactive session. Useful for all levels of industry professionals, we will explore practical tips and techniques to make the most of you before and during interviews. If time allows I will conclude the session with a yoga breathing exercise, so at the very least people should leave feeling relaxed. I have also gone to town on my Powerpoint slides ... more to be revealed on the day!

BB - Difficult question this one, how does the job market look right now? Are you seeing increasing numbers of jobs that BIALL members could apply for or are we still in a period of uncertainty?

KG - The past year has been challenging for everyone. However when new vacancies do arise strong legal knowledge and information skills are always in demand and law remains our strongest sector. Understandably last year many candidates had been ‘passively’ looking for new roles but following 2009 we have seen an increased commitment and confidence from people to actively seek and commit to new opportunities. This in turn, results in the market place refreshing and new roles becoming available. We all need to be optimistic about our skills and the future of our industry. It’s my role to boost the confidence and self esteem of our candidates not to report bad news, which the media seems to do so well anyway!

BB - Confidence isn't something that comes easily to a lot of people. Without revealing too much now, what are your top tips for appearing confident?

KG - We could all benefit from a small increase in self-confidence whatever the situation, no matter where you start from, everyone can grow in confidence. Make an effort to look after yourself and your image and you will project a professional and confident image to others, as well as feel better about yourself. Take the ‘con’ out of confidence. Our beliefs don’t have to be true to be powerful. If we believe we aren’t good at something or we think we won’t perform well at interview, more often than not we start to influence the outcome of that situation with negative self beliefs. Start to work at changing your thought patterns or ‘conning’ how your mind works. Write down 5 positive things about yourself and think about what you could achieve with more confidence and start thinking positively every day. Make an effort to surround yourself with other confident friends or family. Spend time with those who have a positive outlook on life and who help to boost your self confidence and not those who don’t.

BB - Is it true that someone makes their mind up about an individual within the first 30 seconds of meeting you? that's not very long to make a good impression?

KG - First impressions do matter, particularly in an interview situation, and in recruitment we use the terminology ‘the horns or halo effect’. Has the candidate arrived on time? Are they calm or flustered, smartly presented or scruffy? What is their body language like, do they make eye contact and have the ability to immediately engage with the interviewer? We live in a society where we are pre-judged and conclusions are jumped at before facts are gathered. It’s important to make a great first impression and I will explore how to work towards achieving this as part of my talk.

BB - I'm guessing you must be fairly confident as you're presenting, are there any work situations where you feel less confident that you'd be happy to share with our readers? and as follow up to that how do you deal with those situations?

KG - Whilst I was growing up my mum always encouraged me to engage with adults and to make new friends. I am an only child and I think she worried that I would be lonely. My job demands that I regularly engage with and present to candidates and clients, most of whom I have never met, so on that basis I have my mum to thank that I am confident in new situations and accustomed to speaking with and meeting new people. If only she would stop making me speak to new people now I am 36!

Running my own business and looking after accounts and IT is a new experience and has been a learning curve for me. There are times when I feel less confident and in those situations I know when I need to ask for help. I regularly attend events where I can network with and learn from other business people. I try to work with a life and/or business coach once a year or when I want to progress and work towards new goals or improve upon certain areas. I think it’s important to break down goals into more manageable tasks and to retain some perspective.

If you hadn’t guessed already I am also a dedicated devotee of personal development books and gurus and if they are Paul Mckenna or American then even better! So I read lots and listen to regular podcasts about confidence and self development.

BB - I've been to a few disastrous interviews myself as an interviewee, have you been to any as an interviewer or interviewee that have been particularly interesting?!

KG - I am certainly more comfortable as an interviewer than an interviewee. I would like to tempt the Delegates to my talk and would like to keep a few stories for the Conference but I did have one ‘interesting’ interview before setting up on my own. It involved snow and being faced with a panel of SIX interviewers...

BB - Finally, are you looking forward to presenting and have you attended a BIALL Conference before?

I am looking forward to the new opportunity of attending BIALL as a Speaker this year and have enjoyed many previous Conferences as an Exhibitor as well as regular on the dance floor.

Many thanks to Keri for agreeing to answer the questions posed by the BIALL Blogger. The yoga breathing exercise certainly sounds interesting!

Posted by James Mullan at 10:00 1 comments  

Knowledge Management refocused

Thursday, 27 May 2010

In the first in a number of posts, the BIALL Blogger (BB) has posed some tricky and not so tricky questions to individuals who are speaking at the BIALL Conference. First up is Harriet Creamer from Outer Circle whose session is called "Knowledge Management Refocused"

BB - First up can you describe what Outer Circle does in five words?

HC - We troubleshoot KM and L&D issues for professional services firms

BB - Why should BIALL members attend your session?

HC - I’ll be talking about using better knowledge management to enhance profitability and help firms operate successfully in an alternative billing environment: its really important that everyone who works in the knowledge management sphere understands this

BB - Many Law Librarians are uneasy about the prospect of outsourcing/off shoring, are they right to be concerned?

HC - I won’t be talking specifically about offshoring, but yes, law librarians and information professionals need to be prepared for this

BB - What role to Law Librarians/Information professionals have in the post recession/new KM world

HC - You’ll find out if you come to my session!

BB - Where do you feel Social Media/Web 2.0 applications fitting in the new KM world you describe in your session outline?

HC - They certainly have a place, though they’re not directly relevant to what I’m going to say.

BB - There has been a lot of discussion recently around "Librarians vs. Knowledge Managers" which discusses how Knowledge Managers might not be in the best position to manage Libraries what are your thoughts on this?

HC - Again, not directly relevant to my session, but an interesting question. I certainly think that there are some specifically library based skills which many knowledge managers don’t have, and which we forget at our peril.

BB - Finally, are you looking forward to presenting and have you attended a BIALL Conference before?

HC -Yes, and no!

Many thanks to Harriet for answering these questions I'm sure BIALL members will be interested in hearing more about what Harriet has to say in a few weeks time.

Posted by James Mullan at 10:32 0 comments  

Another Brighton Bulletin: Pre-conference dinner, 9th June

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Membership Services Committee are arranging an informal dinner for anyone in Brighton for the Conference on Wednesday 9th June at 6pm for 6.30pm. This will be in Strada (the main Brighton branch, NOT the Brighton Marina one), which is within easy reach of the main conference hotels. If you wish to attend then please email
Rachel Scott Halls with your details by 10pm on Thursday 3rd June as she will be confirming numbers with the restaurant on Friday morning.

Strada have asked that we pre-order. Rachel will place food orders on the afternoon of Monday 7th June, so you have a few days to decide on your choices if you are attending. You will find the menu on the Strada Website (choose ‘Main Menu’ from the drop-down list and then click on the link to ‘Download Menu’ underneath.

Countdown to Conference

The countdown to the BIALL Conference has begun! Just in case you haven't seen the Programme yet it is certainly worth a look, and there's plenty of tasty sessions to get your teeth in to.

Perhaps you are staying on after the Conference to get a flavour of Brighton, if so here are few links to help you decide what to do, where to go and where to eat:

The Guardian reckon they have the insider's guide to Brighton, lots of ideas here and they also ponder whether Brighton is Britain's Hippest City

AA Gill reviewed the vegetarian restaurant Terre a Terre recently in The Sunday Times ... and he rates it!

To explore on foot perhaps a couple of walks may be up your street - from the Pavilion to the Pier and on to The Lanes or maybe a 7km walk to see the best of Brighton.

VisitBrighton have lots of information on entertainment and culture, attractions, what's on and more.

The Conference Committee are looking forward to the Conference and getting to know a bit of Brighton too.
See you there!

The impact of the Digital Economy Act

Monday, 24 May 2010

From our very own Vice-President Chris Holland a short piece on some of the elements of the Digital Economy Act, which may affect Law Librarians.

Are you concerned about copyright infringement issues arising from internet use?

Then it would be advisable to consider the Digital Economy Act which crept in as part of the Parliamentary “wash-up” process. Copyright in digital material is only one of a list of diverse topics covered by the Act, but what it sets out to do about online Copyright infringement is quite significant. File-sharing is evidently the target of the legislation but it is couched in more general terms which potentially cover any internet based infringement of Copyright.

The DEA creates some new sections in the Communications Act 2003 (124A onwards) and creates a whole raft of new duties and procedures. It is difficult to summarise because the drafting is tortuous (or maybe it’s just me!), but here is my initial impressionistic take on it:

New duties for ISPs

There is a new duty on Internet Service providers to cooperate with copyright owners in identifying and pursuing “apparent infringements” of their copyright which take place via their services, using the new “Copyright infringement report”. This will result in ISPs having a duty to maintain details of “apparent infringements” and provide lists to copyright owners when requested. The ISPs will also have a duty to notify subscribers who are suspected of infringing acts

Presumably this record keeping will be based on IP addresses initially although this is unclear, but it does appear that they may be a court procedure to enable Copyright owners to identify the individual subscribers in serious cases.

New functions for OFCOM

OFCOM will also be handed a new set of responsibilities concerned with administering and enforcing the new procedures, including awarding compensation. Although the Act seems contains a lot of detail, it is also curiously vague in some areas, necessarily so because the legislation requires a new “Initial Obligations Code” to fill in the remaining detail, such as how long the ISPs should retain the information on their subscribers and the thresholds for entering the list of apparent infringers. OFCOM must either approve the new code (if written by someone else) or produce one itself. It is clear that the Initial Obligation Code is key to the practical application of the Act and is intended to provide a detailed framework.

There are also new procedures for Technical Measures to restrict the Internet access of subscribers if it seems justified, governed by the Technical Obligations code – yes it’s a whole new landscape! There is a big role for the Secretary of State in implementing the use of TMs.

It is too early to say what the practical effects of the new legislation will be, or how it will affect our lives as law librarians, but it is certainly one to watch.

Questions for suppliers

Thursday, 20 May 2010

The last day of the BIALL Conference sees The Legal Information Group (LIG) running a session where they will be putting questions to representatives of various suppliers. This year, LexisNexis, Sweet and Maxwell and PLC have all kindly agreed to take part.

LIG will be writing questions for the session based on the comments that they received during their survey of BIALL members in March. LIG are also happy to receive questions from
BIALL members in advance of this session, although they reserve the right to edit the question if they think it will make it more useful for the session.

If you have a question that you would like LIG to ask LexisNexis, Sweet & Maxwell or
PLC, please send it to David Percik the Chair of LIG.

Posted by James Mullan at 10:00 1 comments  

BIALL Conference - 3 things in 3 weeks

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

With exactly 3 weeks until the start of the BIALL Conference, you might be planning the time you spend in Brighton. If there is any free time in your itinerary then you're going to want to visit the following sights and sounds which Brighton is famous for.

First up is the Brighton Pier which you cant miss, as long as you're looking out to sea! This is a Victorian pier with food and drink outlets, fairground attractions and Palace of Fun arcade. There is also a Fish Restaurant, Victoria's bar and Horatio's bar. A good place to unwind and try and have "all the fun of the fair" if that's what you'd like to do.

Next up is the Brighton Royal Pavillion "Built for George, Prince Regent, at the turn of the 19th century, the Royal Pavilion is remarkable for its exotic oriental appearance both inside and out. This magnificent royal pleasure palace was revered by fashionable Regency society and is still a distinctive landmark for vibrant Brighton & Hove today"

The third must see "attraction" are the lanes, these lanes including the North Laine are great for anyone looking for something a bit unusual or special.

Finally if you're planning a dip in the sea you might want to check out the sea temperature before doing so!

Posted by James Mullan at 10:06 0 comments  

BIALL: Still the perfect membership organisation?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

BIALL Conference is approaching fast and with it the annual Have Your Say session taking place on Thursday at 16:45.

If you don't think BIALL is the perfect membership organisation, this is your opportunity to put your questions to BIALL Council and Committee chairs about their activities and plans. Not attending in person? This blog is the place to make your comments or raise your queries. Think BIALL is perfect? Then let us know too.

A record of last year's discussion is in the members' area of the MSC page on the BIALL website. In previous years all kinds of questions have been put during Have Your Say, addressing topics such as cost and content of conference; newsletter distribution; who puts what on the wiki and BIALL's engagement with the unemployed. You can comment here anonymously if you don't wish to be identified. Or you can email Olwyn, chair of MSC (contact details on BIALL website).

We look forward to hearing from you...

Salary Survey 2010 now live

BIALL's annual salary survey is now open and waiting for your contribution.

There are two ways to complete it this year. You can add your answers online via a secure and anonymous Survey Monkey site. Or you can download and print a version to complete on paper.

Both versions are available via the members' only area of the Publications page on the BIALL website. Survey responses will be accepted until 25 June 2010.

Ready, set...wait

Thursday, 6 May 2010

If you've got a subscription to Lawtel you will have probably already heard about the new functionality they've rolled out called "Pending Actions"

The basic idea behind this new functionality is that all documents submitted to the High Court are tracked by Lawtel which means users can follow proceedings from start to finish, and make decisions based on actions submitted to the court. For example, you can flag up important cases at the earliest stage, or, see if an action has been settled out of court.

According to Lawtel "Pending Actions is the only place you can search and track an action before it goes to court"

Posted by James Mullan at 10:00 1 comments  

New blog for jobs

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

If you've been a victim of the credit crunch...or even if you haven't you might be interested in a new blog with blog posts written by the same people behind

The blog which is called "Be social" sounds like it will be a useful resource for advice and tips on writing and updating a CV and preparing for job interviews.

Posted by James Mullan at 10:00 0 comments