Karren Brady gives career advice — from freezing in interviews to WFH full-time

APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham FC Karren Brady answers all your careers questions.

Today she helps out someone who says she is happy at her mid-level job and doesn't want a promotion. Also, Karren gives advice to someone who isn't sure about joining her partner's family business.

Q) NO matter how much I study and prepare for interviews, I always freeze when it comes to answering questions, even when I know the answer.

It’s really getting to me as it’s stopping me from finding a new job. Do you have any tips that could help?

Donna, via email

A) It is completely normal to feel nervous before and during an interview. It sounds like you are fully prepared beforehand, but that you become overwhelmed in the interview environment.

So take some time to do a mock interview with a friend or family member who you trust to provide you with constructive advice. This will give you a chance to rehearse your answers, speaking them out loud so you feel more at ease with what you want to say.

During the interview, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Smile when you enter the room – even if you’re nervous it creates a positive impression. Remember, people do business with people, not skill sets.

Even if you have the skills to do the job (which you obviously do, as you have made it to the interview stage) you need the personality, too. Don’t be nervous talking about yourself and how much you have to offer, as an interview is the perfect opportunity to speak about your specialist subject – yourself!

Finally, don’t forget the interview is as much about you learning about the company and working out if it will be a good fit for you, as it is your future employer getting to know you. Best of luck!

Be a boss

Bossing It is Fabulous’ series about ordinary women who have launched incredible businesses.

It aims to inspire other women and show that if these ladies can do it, so can you!

Read more at Thesun.co.uk/topic/bossing-it.

Q) I'VE worked from home since March 2020. My mother became ill last summer and I moved 300 miles to be closer to her and my elderly grandmother. My employer was aware of this and supported the move at the time.

My work hasn’t suffered, and being closer to home has improved my mental health. Now that we are preparing to return to the office, I’ve said I’d like to WFH full-time, as have others.

However, my manager has said her bosses are worried about letting me do this as it would set a precedent. While I knew this was a possibility, I’m still shocked. What should I do?

Louise, via email

A) The most important thing for your employer is that you are delivering your work.

Pull together a document that shows how you have successfully worked over the last 15 months – what you are doing, how much you have achieved, what you plan to achieve going forward, and how you will maintain successful communications with your colleagues.

Ask your manager if there are any other concerns, other than how it may be perceived to other employees. Then explain how you will address these and ensure they aren’t detrimental to your work and to the company.

It sounds like you are a valued member of the team, and hopefully your company will be flexible, but ultimately it will be your employer’s decision as to how they want to shape their workforce going forward.

If you don’t get the answer you want, you may need to apply for another job closer to your new home.

Keep conversations with your manager positive and professional, and I’m sure they will be able to provide you with a glowing reference if needed.

Compiled by: Claire Frost

Karren can not answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice.

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