At a recent interview skills workshop we were discussing what skills you need to gain a job or to progress within your current job. In 2002 the Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) in conjunction with the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry produced the report Employability Skills for the Future which outlined the key Employability Skills that employers are looking for when hiring or promoting staff.

The eight skills that were identified are:
• Communication
• Teamwork
• Problem solving
• Initiative and enterprise
• Planning and organising
• Self-management
• Learning
• Technology

When applying for jobs and at your interviews it is essential that you are aware of these eight skills. Interviewers will ask you questions to determine which of these skills you have. Questions you may be asked include:

When has poor communication caused a problem in work?
Give an example when you successfully worked within a team?
Describe a situation where you had to solve a problem? What steps did you use?
What steps do you take to cope with change?
Describe a time when you had to meet an important deadline? How did you do this?
What software can you use?

The Employability Skill of Communication is defined as : contributes to productive and harmonious relations between employees and customers and incorporates:
• Listening and understanding
• Speaking clearly and directly
• Writing to the needs of the audience
• Negotiating responsively
• Reading independently
• Empathising
• Using numeracy effectively
• Understanding the needs of internal and external customers
• Persuading effectively
• Establishing and using networks
• Being assertive
• Sharing information
• Speaking and writing in languages other than English

Communication is not only an identified skill in its own right; you will also find aspects of communication in each of the other skills. Hence the emphasis we place on communication in our Interview Skills Workshops.

So in preparing for any interview remember the eight Employability Skills and prepare for the questions that will be asked by the interviewer. Remember the importance of Communication – you will be asked questions to determine your expertise in this Employability Skill. Ensure you have given yourself the best possible start by brushing up on your communication skills. Attend one of Trischel’s Public Speaking Workshops which will assist you in overcoming your nerves, help with your body language, vocal variety and presentation skills. Follow this with Trischel’s Interview Skills Workshop and you will find you have polished your Employability Skills and have given yourself the edge in the employment market.


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