Two jobs, same company – should I have a go?

Q: There’s a company I’d really like to work for – two jobs that interest me have recently been advertised there. They even have the same closing date. Should I go for one or would it be a good idea to apply for both? (EC, email ).

A: Like buses, you wait all morning for one …in this instance, give yourself a chance of mounting both buses, writes Liam Horan, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.

Go for both jobs. Both interest you. It would be different if one of the jobs did not lie within your area of interest and expertise, but it is clear from your email they both fall into your zone.

I would apply for both because you can do both. Apply separately, matching the requirements of both job specs in your applications. This will mean tweaking your CV and cover letter each time.

If you get called to interview for both, do both. It is unlikely you will be offered both, in the circumstances, but until you are, do not forget that you are in two separate races.

To go back to the matching process I mention above, be very clear about the different requirements of the jobs. In effect, you are not just applying to the company – you are applying for different jobs. Bear that in mind all the way through.

Will they think you’re flailing around just looking to find some way – any way – into their company? In my view, no. It would be different, as I said, if you went for something very left of field but these jobs are logical choices for you. I would wager that you will not be the only person to apply for both jobs.

Don’t let questions throw you off the trail

In a job interview, it is important not to get rattled by the questions.

The questions are only a means to an end. They are invitations to talk about something you know about. Yes, you must answer all questions, but you can do much more than that.

Think of the question as the by-road you need to get off to get onto the main road.

The main road consists of all the preparation you have done: the attributes you have identified of interest to the interview panel; the examples you have that demonstrate your capacity in the area; and the ideas you have for the role.

So if they ask a question in an unexpected way, hold firm for a few seconds, perhaps repeating the language of the question to buy time, and see how you can get from the by-road to the main road.

If you’ve done your preparation effectively, you should be able to divert the answer to one of the examples you’ve prepared. Don’t obsess about the questions. Capitalise on the opportunities they present to talk about what you’ve prepared, full in the knowledge that this amounts to your understanding of the employer’s requirements.

Get a friend to throw some unusual questions at you and see if you can engineer the answers to places where you talk knowledgeably about the relevant skills, attribute, and experience you possess.

Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com ) have offices in Galway (Patricia Maloney, 091 528883 ), Mayo (Ballinrobe and Claremorris ), Limerick, Dundalk, Sligo and Tralee. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, public speaking and presentation skills, and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com/galway-office

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