Frequently Asked Questions - Out of Work

Finding a job

I have applied for many jobs but have not been offered anything, what should I do?

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Firstly, remember that there are many people out there who struggle to find work, you are not alone. Secondly, there are many organisations out there who can help. We are able to offer free advice and support to people across Kent and Sussex. Across the rest of the UK, other similar organisations are out there to help you. Your council will usually have a list of organisations on their website. Some organisations that deliver across the UK include:

Princes’ Trust – Offer free advice across the country for people aged 16-30 who want to find work

Papworth Trust – Support to help people with learning disabilities find work

Prime – Back-to-work support for people aged over 50

How do I know what job I should do?

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There are 1000s of different job roles out there. Finding the right one can be challenging. Our advisors are on hand to help you assess your skills and the job market in your local area. If you live in Kent and Sussex please get in touch here to find out more.

Should I declare my disability on the application form?

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Under the Disability Discrimination Act’s Guaranteed Interview Scheme, it is a legal requirement for employers to offer an interview for someone who has declared their disability and has met the minimum requirements for the job. Therefore it can be beneficial for you to declare your disability, especially if you are confident you will perform well at interview.

However, it is your decision as to whether you do or don’t declare a disability when applying for a job.

Interviews

What are the most common interview questions?

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Interview questions vary widely depending on the type of job you are going for, however some of the most common include:

  1. What are your strengths/weaknesses?

  2. Why are you interested in working for our company?

  3. Why should we hire you/what will you offer to this role that no-one else will?

  1. Where do you see yourself in 2/5/10 years?

  2. Why do you want to leave your current company?

  3. Can you please explain what you were doing during this gap in employment between XXX date and XXXX date?

  4. How did you hear about this position?

  5. What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days in this role?

Interviewers are also often using competency based interview questions now.

What are competency based interview questions?

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Competency based questions are interview questions which ask you to give an example of a time you have demonstrated a certain ‘competency’, otherwise known as a skill or personality trait.

Examples include:

  1. Tell me about a time that you worked as part of a team.

  2. Tell me about a time you had to make a difficult decisions

  3. Tell me about a time when you had to be a leader.

The trick to answering these questions is to have a list of answers you know in advance and can refer to, and to use the STAR method.

  • Situation – Describe the situation and give context

  • Task – Describe what you had to achieve

  • Action – Describe what you did

  • Result – explain the outcomes/achievements from your actions

How do I ask if I need support to attend or undertake an interview because of my disability?

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Most employers will ask if you need an adjustment to the recruitment process to enable you to be considered for the job, and this includes the interview process. If they do not ask you can tell them what support you need when you apply or when you are invited to interview.

An employer must legally make adjustments if they’re reasonable, for example allowing people who use a wheelchair to have their interview on the ground floor, or allowing people with dyslexia for example, to complete a written test using a computer or laptop.

CVs

I don’t know how to write a CV, can you help?

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If you are not currently in work and are aged 16-65, living in Kent or Sussex, one of our advisors will be able to meet with you to help you develop your CV, provide other advice and help you to find work. You can also find online CV supporters at Reed and LiveCareer.

I have a gap in employment – how do I show this on my CV?

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Remember you don’t necessarily need to include all of your experience in your CV. If it is only relevant to put certain jobs on there, do that. Or, when stating the dates of previous employment/jobs on your CV, write only the year and omit the month. This helps keeps gaps to a minimum.

You could also use the space to show other activity e.g. voluntary positions, managing budgets for the household etc. For more advice if you live in Kent or Sussex you can contact our advisors on 0808 XXXXX XXXX or elsewhere, you can visit the National Careers Service.

Finances

I have lost my job, what benefits can I claim until I find a new one?

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If you are out of work (OR if you are on a low income), you may be able to claim Universal Credit. Benefits calculators like turntous or entitledto will be able to help you estimate what you can claim. When you move into work you may still be eligible for Universal credit depending on your salary. You can find out more by visiting https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit , or if you are based in Kent or Sussex, contact our advisors on 0808 XXXXX XXX or XXXXXXX@rbli.co.uk for free advice on benefits and to help you find a new job.

I am out of work struggling financially and need some advice on saving money, where do I go?

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If you are based in Kent and Sussex, you can register for support with our teams who will then be able to offer you advice on finances as well as finding work. You can also visit the Money Advice Service for free advice at https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en

Meet Employers

How do I find potential employers and jobs?

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Jobs are advertised online, in newspapers and in other public places such as libraries, community hubs and more. You can also meet potential employers who are recruiting at local jobs fairs. There are many job fairs run nationally and locally across the UK. For example: by Jobs Fairs, or by your local council (see their website for details).

In Kent and Sussex, you can attend one of the jobs fairs run by our teams. Our advisors also have access to exclusive vacancies which they can offer to people who are in receipt of our support. You can register for support (if eligible) by calling XXXXXXX or filling in our form.