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Mentoring Teenagers

Mentoring teenagers is great! One of the hardest things for a mentor to do is to keep the young people focused. Here are a few ideas on how to keep the youngsters focused:
Simple, but really effective:
1. Get to know your mentees’ names. This is such a simple tip, but so effective. Use name labels if necessary, but getting to know your mentees individually shows that you respect and value them and they will respect and value you in return. Oh yes, and it is very useful to use someone’s name if you need to get their attention!
2. Establish ground rules as early as possible. Get the young people to establish and agree them, and remind them every time what they have agreed to do!
3. Set specific, SMART, objectives at the beginning of your session and review them regularly throughout. At the end, evaluate what you have achieved with the whole group and agree what needs to be done next time.
4. If someone is doing something right, stop the session and bring everyone’s attention to it. Praise the person publicly and you may find others start repeating the desired behaviour!
5. Do a fun ice-breaker in the middle of the session if the energy is dipping. Ice-breakers work and are not just for the beginning. Have you heard about making a tower out of copies of the Metro?
6. If possible, get the youngsters to move around, so they are not sitting in the same spot throughout the whole session. Think of creative ways to get them working. Exercises using post-it notes, newspaper articles, games all help to accelerate their learning.

Do you have some tips to share? Would you like to know about the ice-breaker mentioned above? If so, let us know!

Interviewing – 12 top tips

12 Top tips for Interviewing

Interviewing is a two-way process and it is important that the interviewee finds out as much as possible about your job, so that they can make the right decision. 

  1. Make sure you are prepared, you have read the CV/application form, you have your interview questions, you have chosen a quiet room to talk to your interviewee and the other members of your team know someone is coming for an interview.
  2. Prepare the interview room/space.  Try and make sure it is tidy and welcoming.  Try not to sit directly opposite your interviewee, but arrange to sit at right angles to them, or just to one side.
  3. Take some time to build rapport with them.  Offer them a cup of tea or coffee, ask them about their journey and generally make time to help them to relax.
  4. Get them to talk through their career history.  This is a good technique to help candidates to gain a bit of confidence because it is something they know about!  Ask them questions as they go along and make any necessary notes.
  5. Go to your prepared set of interview questions – these should be prepared in advance and based on the person specification you have prepared.  There should also be space next to the questions for you to make your notes.  Make sure you ask each candidate the same question.  This will make it much easier for you to decide who to employ.
  6. Make your questions, short and as simple as possible.  Rambling questions with lots of sub clauses just confuse candidates and don’t get you the answers you need!
  7. Ask your interviewee to call on their own experience.  For example ask ‘can you describe a stressful situation and how you handled it’, this is better than asking ‘we frequently have customers who complain about the quality of our food.  Can you tell me how you would deal with that?’  Past behaviour is a better predictor of future performance than answers to hypothetical questions.
  8. Use a wide variety of questioning techniques, open, reflective and probing are best.  Closed questions are good for checking facts and for moving on to the next stage.
  9. Listen attentively.  Pay attention to the tone of voice and listen out for what they are ‘not’ saying too.  Make notes discreetly and show them you are listening by nodding your head, smiling etc.

10.  Do not be put off by first impressions.  You may find some characteristics off-putting, but these may be immaterial as far as your vacancy is concerned.  It is easy to be impressed by outgoing people who smile a lot, but does your job really require these skills?

11.  Ask your interviewee if they have any questions, explain any other parts of the selection process and check that the candidate is still interested in the job.

12.  Thank them for coming for the interview and show them round if applicable.

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Marisa has worked closely with me for nearly four years as a business coach, mentor, advisor and consultant. She understands my business and the sector very well indeed and she has become an invaluable resource.

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