Interview tips: How to prepare for a Skype interview

Interview tips

 

Work and travel commitments may mean that face-to-face interviews aren’t possible for you or your future employer. However, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a great opportunity. Skype interviews are a common occurrence in circumstances such as these and allow you to interact virtually with the individual who is hoping to hire you. So, here are some useful Skype interview tips for your next call.

Setting up your Skype

Unless you regularly use Skype it is easy to forget the importance of a professional username and display photo. A future employer, regardless of any job vacancy, will want to see a candidate who takes their career seriously and if you can transfer that through your Skype profile then you are halfway there. Make sure you update your username, preferably to your full name, and get a friend or family member to take a professional looking portrait photo of you if you haven’t already.

Dress the part

One of the most obvious and important interview tips for any private household staff individual is to make sure you dress the part, and just because you are behind a screen doesn’t mean you should hide the jogging bottoms out of shot! Dressing as if you are going for your first day from head to toe will not only give your physical appearance a boost, but also your confidence too. When you are dressed confidently you will feel confident in your approach to questions and answers from a potential employer.

Take your location into consideration

The background for your Skype interview can be just as crucial as your personal appearance. Try to find somewhere that is quiet and preferably with a white or neutral background to enhance a professional representation. This way you will also be able to focus on the interview itself, without being distracted by irrelevant noise or movement.

Virtual butlers will be the face of luxury car travel

Virtual butlers will be the face of luxury car travel

It seems that the old and very much trusted coffee cup holder in the car will be the thing of the past, as Bentley has unveiled sketches for what they think luxury car travel will look like in years to come.

For those who like to travel in style, Bentley has created a visual projection of what they could be developing on the production lines in years to come.

Complete with cream leather forward- and rear-facing seats, and a stylish table to place your champagne flutes, the designers at the luxury manufacturer have sophisticated class in mind. Household staff don’t have to be restricted to the home either, as the car will also feature a virtual holographic butler.

Speaking to Car and Driver, Bentley’s newly appointed design director, Stefan Stielaff commented: “In our design studio we are working on the stuff that is on the market in five years’ time. We are living in the future and what you see here is the past for us and the present for you.”

He added: “The way of living is going to change dramatically in the next 20 years. If you look at the world population, three quarters will live in megacities. I’m pretty sure that not everybody will sit in public transport, there is always a demand – especially for luxury customers – to have a private sphere, their own private vehicle.”

The futuristic design also boasts state of the art OLED displays built into panels and an elaborate quilted wood trim in the interior.

The design itself is only a reflection of what we could be seeing on the roads in years to come, with no definitive indication of production, but it is evidence that the team behind the concept is constantly striving for perfection in the digital and virtual age.

Bentley has become one of the most popular luxury car brands in the past 100 years and has provided class, style and substance to middle and upper class travel in day-to-day living.

Image Credit: brando.n (flickr.com)

The rise of the male nanny

The rise of the male nanny

Female nannies have dominated the industry and it is almost tradition to employ a female for the role. However, now the male nanny, also known as ‘Manny’, is becoming a popular alternative for many, with celebrities such as Britney Spears and Gwyneth Paltrow enlisting the help of male individuals to take care of their children whilst away.

Celebrities have over-turned the stereotype and have kick-started an alternative in childcare options around the world, and it’s no longer uncommon to see a male nanny being part of household staff duties. The role reversal is beginning to shape 21st century household childcare and is benefiting not only the industry, but also the lives of both employee and child.

What are the benefits of hiring a Manny?

It is difficult to outline the benefits of hiring a Manny without making generalisations between the two genders. However, those who do decide to hire a male nanny tend to hope for the idea that they will bring different styles of care, fun and attention, especially with young boys, but also girls too. For example, if you are looking for someone who will likely want to join in with sports with energetic children such as football or rugby, then more often than not Mannys will be more than willing to step up to those requests. It is a great way for children to get a male perspective on everyday topics and choices, and have another male role model for later life.

Of course, it is up to the parent to employ the candidate who fits best with your living and social profile, who is able to encourage the progression and lives of the children. But if it happens to be a man who ticks all of those boxes, then don’t be afraid to hire them!

Image Credit: CristianAllendesPhotos  (flickr.com)

What questions to ask when interviewing for a nanny

What questions to ask when employing a nanny

The decision to employ a nanny for your childcare needs can be daunting yet very rewarding, as not only do you get to learn a lot about your potential employee, but also your understanding of the role(s) that you wish them to take on. Whilst many choose to use a nanny agency for their search, others decide to go through the process alone. That is why we have created a few questions you should be asking your interviewee when employing a nanny.

Will they respect your family values?

Every family has different religious views, traditions and other aspects of their life they wouldn’t normally talk about outside of their family circle, but when hiring a nanny it is important that they understand your own family, and the individual aspects that revolve around your day-to-day living.

 Do you have a personalised job description for your new nanny?

Realising and understanding what you require from your new nanny is very important, so both of you can adapt around the family life. Set out a schedule of a normal week and ask the interviewee whether they have the qualifications/the right personality/experience that your schedule requires.

  What can you bring to this family that no other nanny could?

Each potential employee will have their own way of caring and looking after your children, on top of the skills they will have developed when learning how to be a nanny. Think of a challenging scenario that your children have been in previously and ask the interviewee what they would and could do to handle a similar situation. Ask them what they could bring to your child’s life too, both on an educational and personal level, as they will be helping them to grow over the period of time they are employed.

Image Credit: Scott McLeod (flickr.com)

Windsor Castle house staff move away from tradition

eiderdown sheets

As private household staff would know, providing comfort and normality in a luxury and a highly regarded house is of paramount priority.

But a recent article from The Telegraph has outlined changes which the household staff of Windsor Castle, often used by the Queen to host State Visits, wish to implement in the near future.

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New Year, new career: Things to consider when applying for private household work

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The New Year presents an opportunity to branch out into unchartered territory or simply advance your skillset in the field of private housekeeping. Whether a seasoned household staff member or beginning your career in domestic service, getting that all-important first impression right is crucial when approaching a new position. Follow our simple guide to applying for jobs in 2016.

Finding household vacancies

There are several methods for finding employment as a domestic professional. Responding to classifieds is a tried and tested method, but in today’s job market the need to ensure potential employers receive your interest in a timely manner has moved the application process online. With specialist household recruitment services offering full domestic position details through their website, this approach is a must for applicants. If your previous job was secured this way, then chances are that the agency will be more than happy to recommend you for future vacancies. Whether you’re a qualified Estate Manager, Chef or Nanny, the network effect is hugely influential in this area of employment.

Applying for domestic positions

No matter how qualified a candidate is, if they don’t apply themselves to their application then chances are another candidate who has followed every formality will get noticed in the early stages ahead of them. To avoid being eliminated in the first round, make sure that you tick every box as instructed, then move on to explain how your skillset matches every requirement in the job description. Once your application and resume are complete, ensure that any conceivable documents or background information are easy to pass on, should it be required by the agency. Household employers often need to fill a position at short notice and simply don’t have the time to wait for delayed paperwork, which could result in a less qualified applicant being hired in the meantime.

As a general rule the following resources are essential in almost every private domestic application process:

  • Current (up-to-date) CV
  • Identification documents and sometimes a recent photograph
  • Recommendations and a reference list (see below)
  • Record of your previous addresses
  • Brief explanation of your background – this is especially important for agencies in the screening process and candidates must be honest, offering details on any driving, credit history, civil litigation incidences and criminal behaviour that could affect their ability to carry out the duties expected.

Receiving Recommendations

Finally, potential employers will want to see third-party validation of your experience and performance in similar positions. It should be standard to obtain a letter of recommendation whenever you leave a household and having a few recommendations from different previous employees can greatly support your application in the present. Likewise, your reference list should include contact details for past employers should the agency wish to contact them for verification. It is essential to first check that the contacts listed are happy to act as a referee on your behalf and provide details when asked.

Remember there are several candidates applying for any one domestic job and in an area so focused on correct and proper attention to detail, the best way to stand out from a pile of applications is to first ensure that yours follows these guidelines to the letter. After that, you can embellish your application with the unique attributes, skills and experience you can bring to the position to benefit future households.

Image Credit: Flazingo Photos (flickr.com)

 

The benefits of moving to London to further your career

Lights in London

Relocating for a job can be a daunting prospect, but the positives often far outweigh the negatives, making it all worthwhile in the long run. For those with skills in a household profession, many opportunities offer live-in accommodation, and these can be found easily with a domestic staff agency in London.

Here are just some of the numerous reasons why moving to London will be a great experience for you.

Job availability

Just like the choice of culture and entertainment in London, the options for careers are so much more varied, and will more likely be able to cater for those with specific niches. London also boasts a lot of wealth, so those in household staffing occupations are likely to find employers who can offer great benefits, as well as live-in accommodation on wonderful estates. Whether you’re a nanny, housekeeper, or gardener, you’re sure to find a job role which will be a fantastic career move.

Everything you could need on your doorstep

As the capital city of England, it’s no surprise that London has so much to offer, with all you could ever need in one place. Whether you enjoy spending your free time in exquisite bars and restaurants, want to spend your hard-earned wages in the sheer variety of shops, or wish to visit all the fantastic heritage that the city is home to, you’ll truly be spoilt for choice.

Transport links

Being based in London makes it incredibly easy for travel, whether this is by rail or flying. You will be located near to a range of major train stations and airports, so should you want to visit family or friends, this should be relatively simple. You’ll also have more choice of flights, routes and destinations, should you wish to take a holiday.

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Parents must register nanny or face fine

New government penPensionsion rules will mean that all employers need to register nannies, gardeners and carers in order to avoid fines.

By 2018, it will be a requirement that employees are registered by their employers, regardless of whether they are entitled to a workplace pension. This includes parents who hire a nanny, and elderly people who pay for a carer, even if they earn under the £10,000-a-year salary needed to qualify for a workplace pension.

Until recently, it was assumed that those who are paid less, for part-time work for instance, would be excluded. However, any employers who fail to register will now be considered to have unfulfilled their duties, and will risk being penalised by the regulators, first with an official warning. Following this, fines of £400 could be issued to smaller employers, with additional charges of £50 for each day their employees are not registered.

Employers urged to act on new rules

In order to create awareness, the government has created an advertising campaign, which is expected to air for the first time on Wednesday during the Coronation Street commercial break. There will also be giant billboards in London’s Piccadilly Circus, and adverts on buses, which hope to draw attention to the new laws.

The campaign focuses on a monster named ‘workie’, who gets ignored by employers, which pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann personally helped design. The message is hoped to encourage small employers to learn about the changes, and will provide information about the ways employees can be registered.

Baroness Altmann told the Telegraph: “There are a lot of people who will need to register that they are employers but then also register to say they don’t have anyone to auto-enrol.”

A new website is set to be launched by the Department for Work and Pensions on Wednesday, which will make the registration process easier for smaller employers with members of private household staff.

Image Credit: Simon Cunningham (flickr.com)

How to polish your shoes and have them shining

Shiny shoes

If you’re working as a member of private household staff, it’s very likely that you will be asked to fulfil a host of tasks during your role – one of which being polishing shoes. It may seem fairly straightforward, however getting it right is well and truly an enviable skill. As a helping hand, here’s our guide on how to get a pair of shoes shining each and every time.

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Three Top Tips to perfectly iron a shirt

Iron

As a member of staff in a private household, one of the most important jobs you’re likely to conduct on a day-to-day basis is ironing. It’s a skill you will want to master fairly quickly to ensure that all your employer’s clothes are to the standard they will expect. To help you get it right every time, here’s our top three tips for ironing a shirt perfectly.

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