Steve Waller - Kent, Building & Glazing Specialists

I was asked once again by CXK (formerly Connexions) to carry out mock interviews with Year 11 students at Highsted Grammar School.  The idea is to give students an insight into what to expect when they go for their first job and, in my opinion, an excellent way to reduce the potential anxiety they could otherwise have when arriving for their interview.  The whole year was interviewed by around 15 local businesses in and around the Swale area, each giving a different angle on interview styles, etc.  For me, it was a case of informing the students what to expect and also what a prospective employer would expect from them.  They were asked questions that usually crop up at an interview and feedback was given at the end on how they performed and what they could do to possibly improve.

To summarise, the key areas I suggested they think about were:

  • Their CV – make sure this is spot on with no grammatical errors.  Include on it ANYTHING interesting about themselves as this may be used as a talking point at the interview. Also include any part time jobs, charity work or awards they may have won.  If the CV doesn’t look good, it’s unlikely they will even get to the interview!
  • Prior to your interview, go the day before to find out how long it takes to get there and introduce yourself to the receptionist.  Introduce yourself and tell them why you are there.  Also ask questions about what is it like to work there, do they know who will be interviewing you, how to dress, etc.  You will be amazed how well this goes down with a future employer.  Also, do some homework – go to their website and read up on them so you know what they are about.
  • At the interview be polite, confident and try and stay relaxed.  This is your ONLY chance to make an impression and get through to the next interview round.  Ensure a good firm hand shake when you arrive and remember to smile! Keep eye contact and sit up straight. And don’t be afraid if you are asked a question that you don’t understand for the interviewer to repeat it or confirm what they are after.
  • Finally, make sure you have a couple of questions to ask at the end of the interview.  When you leave thank them for the opportunity and finish with another good hand shake.

The students I interviewed were a real credit to the school and although some started off quietly, they all presented themselves well and acted confidently.  I wish them all the success in the future and hopefully today will give them a slightly better chance of getting their first job!

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Waller Associates Ltd has demonstrated top management support and commitment to their environment programme and after carrying out a baseline assessment of their current situation was awarded STEM: BLUE Level on 21 August 2012. The scheme is backed by Kent County Council by the Sustainability Team co-ordinating the South East Business Carbon Hub to bring together small and medium sized businesses to improve environmental performance. The award recognises businesses that have embraced the decision to adopt environmentally friendly practices and will provide a standard against which companies can benchmark themselves.

Waller Associates have chosen to register for STEM to develop a recognised environmental management system, improve environmental credentials, enhance our reputation and success rates for tenders and quotes, legal compliance and to demonstrate our green and ethical commitments.

Paula Foster attended a workshop and received the award on behalf of Waller Associates Ltd on 21st August.

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At the workshop we looked at the benefits of an environment system, key environmental legislation and how this impacts on the business, existing processes and controls, records, how to carry out walk-round environmental audits, site drainage plans and environmental policies.

Actions Waller Associates Ltd is taking to reduce our carbon footprints include:

  • Segregation of waste into appropriate skips to minimise waste costs, re-use material such as timber, bricks etc. Scheme with local college where they can re-use waste for construction course. Collection of uPVC doors and windows by Veka for their recycling processes.
  • Eco-Driving Training was carried out by our glazing operative/driver where they learnt how to conserve diesel consumption by keeping revs under 2000 rpm, slowing in advance before roundabouts, traffic lights etc. by changing down gears to maintain the 2000 rpm rule. This is being cascaded throughout van fleet drivers.
  • Trial use of paper manufactured from alternative natural supplies (corn)/non-wood source or recycled paper.
  • Implementation of saving measures for energy, water, waste, travel, paper and procurement such as light motion detectors in office and outside yard areas, water savings with installation of dual flush toilets in office, waste segregation, and use of local suppliers within a 20 mile radius where possible.

Waller Associates Ltd is currently looking to progress to STEM: Silver in 2013.

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