Interview Horror Stories

Man in a dark room illuminated only by lamp

Whether you plan to head home from work and pop on a scary movie or not, we’re kicking of your Friday the 13th with some terrifying interview horror stories!

Merchant banker remarked that I’d have a long commute and be home quite late. He asked me whether my husband would object to his dinner being late. I thought he was making a joke and responded accordingly – he wasn’t!


The absolute worst was one where I stated that I had been a sufferer of depression, and the interviewer said “We’ll, you’d better pull yourself together if you come to work for me!” My reply was, “I think we both know now that I’m not going to”, and I left.


I was invited for an interview and whilst waiting for my turn, I noticed that 3 other candidates were there – all of them are Caucasian/English individuals. When it was my turn to be interviewed, this man passed by me and called my name. And when I replied, “I’m here. It’s me…,” he then replied with a surprised look on his face “OH! YOU’RE AN ORIENTAL!!!! Because I sensed that I wasn’t what they were expecting, I requested my CV back and I didn’t go ahead with the interview.


I was applying for a personal assistant position and when I went for the interview the potential boss asked me if I would agree to entertain him, meaning dance in the evenings with outfit changes, drink together and not sure what else he had in mind.. But it was very unprofessional in my eyes.


While being interviewed for sales assistant position, the lady who was interviewing me had really bad body odour. While constantly talking she passed wind twice and sat on chair which was far too small for her. After 20 minutes of talking about herself the chair eventually broke beneath her weight! I was so relieved to get out of there, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.

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How to get a job with no experience

Man Filing Out An Application On Wooden Table

You may feel that finding a job with no experience is an impossible task, but this is the biggest myth of them all. You must remember that everyone begins with no experience initially, so you are by no means alone. There are plenty of additional qualities and skills that can be used to create a well-rounded professional profile without work experience. Here are the key steps for getting a job with no experience:

Choose the industry you would like to work in

Even if you have no experience in the working world, you need some idea of the industry you would like to enter. You should try browsing job boards like CV-Library for a breakdown of individual industries and then tailor your research accordingly. This may involve following links to company websites from vacancy postings, or it might even be a simple Google search to discover roles and their responsibilities. Deciding on the industry you’d like to enter is a very important decision as it’s the first step in creating your career.

Identify your skills

Once you have decided on the industry for you, it is important to identify your skills that fit into the sector. They may be communication and team player skills from group projects at university, or industry specific skills such as coding or operating machinery. You should not limit your skills search to those developed through education either. There are many desirable qualities that life experiences offer and you should not be afraid to market them. Following this you should pick apart some job descriptions that are industry appropriate to you and make links between what employers are looking for and your skills.

Maintain a balance of confidence

When looking for a job with no experience, it is important to have confidence in the skills you do have. This attitude goes a long way when job searching and will also aid you throughout your career. However, remember that you are just starting out at this stage. Therefore, while you should remain confident, it is essential that you balance this with a willingness to learn as you are still only a beginner.


If you are still worried that your skills set is limited, why not try volunteering? It is much easier to gain a volunteering opportunity rather than an unpaid internship, therefore you will be using your time efficiently while you job hunt. Not only does volunteering offer the chance to develop skills, but it also provides a chance to network. The people you volunteer with may be your valuable referees that could secure you your first job.

Enhance your knowledge

It may be the case that the industry you’ve decided to enter requires a stronger set of qualifications than you already hold. Going back into education is never a bad thing, and if it opens doors to your dream job then you must take a leap of faith; it’ll be worth it in the end. It is also advisable to stay up-to-date and enhance your knowledge to strengthen your employability, with training courses or evening classes for example.

Structure your CV correctly

Your CV is your golden ticket and necessary to enter the professional world. However, you must make sure that your CV is suitably polished to enhance your chances of employability. If you have no experience, then you must put your strongest qualities near the top of your CV in order to grab the employer’s attention. For many, this will be educational qualifications. Make sure you delve into your achievements too in order to prove you have the skills essential for the role you’re applying for.

Stay aware of your reality

More than anything, you must be realistic when looking for a job with no experience. Remember that you are looking for entry level positions that are appropriate for the skills you have. It is important to look for jobs that you can make a career out of, rather than look for quick fixes to hold you over for a few months. Show commitment to your job search and the results will soon peek through.

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Life as a web designer


With web design now being hailed as the new ‘cool kids’ career’, here at CV-Library we thought we would check in with our in-house web designers, James and Georgina, and get the gossip. We hit them with a 60-second questionnaire to give you a peak into life as a web designer.  If you fancy a career in this industry, or a career change in general, then have a look at what they’ve got to say!

  1. Why/ how did you get into web design?

James: When I went to university, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. The media degree that I studied had a module on web design and I really enjoyed it – it all started there! Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Georgina: I actually fell into web design by playing around with the code on my dad’s website – I found it so intriguing! When searching for my first proper job, I wanted something with an element of web design that would allow me to grow and learn.

  1. What’s the best part of your job?

James: I enjoy being creative, and one of the great things about web design is that there is always potential to use your creativity when tackling new projects. It’s a constantly-changing industry, so I’m always learning new skills, which I love.

Georgina: My day-to-day tasks vary, keeping things fresh and never boring. I enjoy finding new HTML, CSS and JS tips and tricks to make things work better and create a better user experience. The best part is either being given something that is broken and working hard to make it bug-free, or just to create something everyone likes – it’s amazing when your work is available for the whole world to see!

  1. Describe your working life in 3 words?

James: Fun, satisfying, challenging

Georgina: Creative, challenging, fulfilling

  1. What advice do you have for someone just starting out?

James: If you’re just starting out in the industry, it’s important to ask questions when you need help; web designers are always happy to help each other out, it’s a very supportive industry! As the industry is always changing, it’s so important that you keep learning and don’t become too comfortable with what you already know.

Georgina: Don’t be afraid to ask ‘stupid questions’ when you’re not sure how to do something; it’s always more helpful to learn from someone who has probably struggled with the same problem at some point. Also, make sure you keep up to date with web design blogs/mags and online forums and communities to learn the latest design trends and coding tips and tricks!

While no formal qualifications are required (i.e. a degree) to become a web designer, there are plenty of training courses that will certainly be beneficial. To see what CV-Library has to offer, have a look here. There are a number of different web design methods that can be studied and implemented, and we have paired up with e-Careers to give you an insight into one of the most popular webmaster packages from Adobe.

CV-Library has partnered with e-Careers to provide you with the best training opportunities available. e-Careers can offer a range of courses at a variety of levels from basic, intermediate and advanced. To have a look at what other web design courses are available, click here. Get searching now and see where they can take you!


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The worst workplace distractions

Gossip At Phone

Experiencing a full day at work without any distractions is a rarity, if not impossible! In some circumstances distractions from what you’re doing are appropriate, like when a colleague needs to give you piece of work or feedback. However, there are many distractions which are simply unwanted. Some are unavoidable but some can be tamed. Here are the most common workplace distractions, try and work out if you’re the one dealing with them or causing them!


Emails are an extremely effective communication device, but only if they are managed appropriately. It is common courtesy to reply to an email, even if it’s just to acknowledge that you have received it. However, this is not the cue to reply again and again with irrelevant questions about their morning or holiday. You could end up with an email thread clogging up your inbox for the next few hours. It’s a major distraction and completely unnecessary.

Phone calls

There are plenty of occasions where you’ll need to make phone calls at work and there is usually that one person in the office who has a voice louder than a megaphone. If this is you, then consider investing in a cordless phone and if you know it’s going to be a lengthy discussion, take it into the meeting room. If you’re a recipient of the unwanted noise, see if you can find other ways to ensure complete concentration, by listening to music for example.

Surfing the net

Most of us are on computers for the majority of our working day and a good portion of that time will be spent on the internet. If you’re researching, collecting data, reading the latest news and so on, try not to let your clicks steer you off topic. Stay on track if you want to be as productive as possible.

Technology glitches

Ah technology. We’d struggle to survive without it, but sometimes we want to destroy it. Slow computers, digital errors and waiting for the tech team to come and fix your problem are all major workplace distractions. Regardless of whether a technology glitch was avoidable or not, make sure you utilise your time effectively while it being fixed. That might even mean hand-writing something! *gasp*


In the workplace there is always going to be a bit of chit-chat here and there. However, a good old gossiping session should be saved for lunch or home time. Trying to block out what someone’s up to this weekend, or whose new baby is really cute, or how last night’s football match went is a task and a half. Be courteous to your colleagues and simmer down for a while, after all, some people are trying to work.


So this distraction isn’t necessarily limited to cake, but applies to general office goodies. While some will appreciate you walking around with a tray bake or a bag of sweets, some will not for one of two reasons. One, they need to get on and concentrate with work and pestering them is not helping, and two, they’re on a diet and you shoving a bag of sugary goodness in front of their faces is only going to distract them for the rest of the day as they daydream about chocolate and cake. Leave the treats in the kitchen with a “help yourself” note. Much easier.

Looking to the future, make sure you’re aware if you are causing any workplace distractions, and simultaneously, try and rectify those that are causing you and others regular hassle.


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Top 5 ways to leave your job gracefully

Business MoveSo you’ve decided it’s time for a change; maybe you feel you’ve outgrown your role, or maybe you’ve found a new job opportunity elsewhere. There’s no doubt that accepting a new job can be an exciting time, however, if you are already in employment, it’s time to face the hard part. Telling your boss that you’re leaving can be a daunting experience, and it’s essential to leave on good terms, regardless of how you might feel. With this in mind, CV-Library has put together its top five tips for leaving a job gracefully:


Tell your boss in person

If you’ve made the decision to leave your job, the most important thing you can do is make sure that your boss is the first person to know. Even if you’ve sworn your trusted colleagues to secrecy, word always has a way of getting out, and this is not something that your boss should be hearing through the grapevine. Try to get 10 or 15 minutes of your boss’ time, and explain what is going on; you’ll be in a much better position if your boss hears it from you in person, rather than through another colleague or even an email.


Put it in writing

While you may have already verbally handed in your notice, it’s vital to put it down in writing too. It may be more of a formality for HR, but it will go on your employment records. You shouldn’t go into the reasons for leaving here – a simple notice of when your last day will be should suffice. If you do have issues that you want to air, you could request an exit interview (if this is an option), however, you should be careful as last impressions are just as important as first ones, and you don’t want to leave a bad taste.


Don’t make it personal

Whatever your reasons may be for leaving your job, don’t make it personal– this is vital. Even if you feel that you’ve had the boss from hell or overbearing colleagues, it is so important that you keep your head held high and leave gracefully. You don’t know if /when you might need to be in touch with former colleagues, and the worst thing you can do is burn your bridges. Similarly, if you’re planning on staying within the same industry, you don’t want to tarnish your reputation, as it may well get back to your new employers.


Time it right

If possible, try to time it right. If you know a while in advance that you’re going to be leaving, you could mention it to your boss so that they aren’t blind-sided when the time comes for you to hand your notice in. Take care though; if you’ve got a boss or manager who can be vindictive then it may be wiser to keep it to yourself – you don’t want to end up being let go! If possible, you could try to leave when things are quieter, as bailing in the middle of a big project will most likely be a hassle for the people you’re leaving behind.


Don’t slack off

Just because you’ve handed in your notice doesn’t mean you should become a slacker; until you are out the door on your last day, you are still an employee of the company, and so you should maintain your work ethic. It would be unfair to your colleagues to take a ‘one foot out the door’ approach, and as we mentioned earlier, last impressions are important – do you want to be remembered as someone who stopped bothering in their last few weeks? Similarly you don’t want to blow your chances of a good reference, should you ever need one!

While quitting a job and moving on can be difficult, especially if it’s a job that you hate – it is always best to try to leave gracefully. With these tips, you’ll definitely be on the right track – good luck!


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Most popular seasonal jobs

Santa typing on pc

With the Christmas season fast approaching and many wanting to earn some extra money, we here at CV-Library thought we would give you a list of some of the top seasonal jobs that might be up for grabs!

Christmas tree decorator

If you have an eye for design and infinite patience when it comes to untangling Christmas lights then this could be your perfect job role. Earn money while decorating Christmas trees and enjoy yourself this festive season!

Mince pie chef

What’s Christmas without mince pies? If you have baking skills and know how to keep mince pie lovers happy, you should consider some seasonal work as a mice pie chef. As with Christmas DJs, this can be a great way to get some insight into the industry if you have your sights set on a future career.


Probably the best Christmas job of all! If you enjoy working with children (and adults!), and want to spread the Christmas magic, then look for vacancies at grottos near you!

Christmas party DJ

With thousands of Christmas parties set to take place, if you have the skills to provide the tunes then this role could be the one for you. If you are looking for a long-term DJing career then the Christmas season could be the ideal time to gain some valuable experience!

Turkey plucker

With the number of Christmas dinners to be had, candidates for this job role will be in high demand – although it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted!


Where would Santa be without his hard-working elves? Again, if you enjoy working with children (and making toys), then this could be the ideal seasonal job for you. Get applying to local grottos and start spreading Christmas smiles now!

Gift wrapper

If you have an eye for detail and enjoy Christmas wrapping, then you will be exactly what retail stores will be looking for! With the purchasing of Christmas gifts comes the wrapping of Christmas gifts, so look at applying to local stores and see what’s available!


With many families looking to have Christmas family pictures taken, if you have a keen interest in photography and the skills to match, this could be an ideal seasonal job for you!


If creativity is a strong point and you fancy getting into the festive spirit, you could consider a job as a decorator; you will be able to create displays for shop windows and public spaces and help to spread the Christmas cheer!

Retail Assistant

While it may seem obvious, retail assistants will be required in their thousands to deal with the Christmas rush. Starting at the end of October or beginning of November, these jobs will generally last until the beginning of January. While you will be dealing with frantic Christmas shoppers, it can be a good way of keeping your eye out for the perfect gift by taking inspiration from others!

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Why Reputation Matters in Recruitment

Reputation Diagram Means Stature Trust And Credibility

The attraction of talent is a key priority for business leaders. With a growing economy and a shortage of skills, recruiters find themselves competing for the best talent, whether that talent is looking for a new role or not. Meanwhile businesses are beginning to operate more and more in a reputation economy, in which many decisions are based on perceptions of an organisation, and of the value to be gained from dealing with them, usually from hearing and reading what other people say about their experiences. Hiring is no different. The recruitment process is becoming driven more and more by connections, culture and reputation – and it is reputation that matters most.


Candidates do their research on prospective employers. They want to find out what the culture is like, the opportunities for development and rewards, and the effectiveness of the leadership. Research shows that 69% of job seekers wouldn’t take a role with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed. Meanwhile 84% would consider leaving their current job if they were offered another role by a business with an excellent reputation. Reputation is important, particularly to passive candidates.


For a business looking to hire, that reputation is their employer brand. This doesn’t mean a glossy brochure, a marketing campaign or a fancy career site, but what people say about working there, the experiences that they share and the way that previous candidates report back on their impressions of the recruitment process. In the age of transparency this is now all available to prospective employees, whether discovered on forums or personal blog sites, comments on discussion threads, or on sites like Glassdoor.


Each candidate’s extended personal network may reach to individuals who have worked at the prospective employer before, or know someone who has. The experience of alumni in joining and leaving a business can be particularly potent signifiers of what the business is like as an employer. You might talk about your rewards scheme, career development opportunities and management in your recruitment content or on your career site, but your reputation will be based on whether you deliver on what you promise.


Employer brand isn’t about pool tables and posh coffee but what your employees say about how you live up to your employment proposition. Recruitment strategies are increasingly being shaped around the stories employees tell and the way the business embraces, leverages and shapes them to showcase their reputation. In this way the vision, values and purpose of the organisation come to life, and reputations are made. In a competitive recruitment market, with hard pressed recruiters finding candidates with multiple options, it is the corporate reputation that may well influence the candidate’s final decision.


All of this information is publicly available on sites like Glassdoor, and companies need to embrace it and own it. At February’s InHouse Recruitment Expo you’ll be able to hear Lauren Wright, Glassdoor’s Head of Global Business Expansion, talk about ‘The Business Case for Employer Branding‘. She’ll be explaining how to manage and shape your corporate reputation and how to justify the investment needed to build it. And she’ll look at ways to measure its effectiveness too.


If you’re trying to find the best talent then your reputation and brand will be your competitive advantage. Can you really afford not to learn how to own it and use it?



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How to keep warm in the office through winter

Cold Businesswoman Drinking Hot Coffee

As November begins to settle in, so does the colder weather and if you haven’t done so already, now is definitely the time to start popping the heating on. While you can easily warm yourself up at home, it might be a more challenging to keep warm in the office through winter. If there’s a constant debate between your colleagues about turning the heating on, here are some ways to keep warm in the office in the chillier months.

Layer up

If you’re a little chilly and you haven’t yet put on your jumper or cardigan, then do it! Layering up should always be your first point of call before you turn the heating on, although I’d try and refrain from looking like the Michelin man.

Microwaveable beanies

Beanies, wheat bags, teddies, toys, whatever you want to call them! By shoving one of these squishable bags into the microwave for a few minutes, you could have a direct heat source for a few hours to help you defrost. They’re an ideal way to keep warm in the office because not only are they discrete, but they’ll only keep you away from your desk for a matter of seconds so they won’t disrupt your productivity rate too much.

Mini hot water bottles

Hot water bottles work in a similar way. It doesn’t take long to brew some hot water which is a bonus, but it is advisable to keep them on the small side so they’re not a huge distraction when you have external professionals visiting the office!

Scarves disguised as blankets

Blankets are a difficult one. While they’re guaranteed to keep you warm in the office, it doesn’t look very professional to have a blanket draped across your front like an old Russian woman. However, there is a way to cheat the system. While you may choose to wear a scarf the traditional way, you could always unfold it to make a shawl, AKA the blanket for professionals.

Toasty mug

A toasty mug is essentially a mug that has pouches for your hands. I suggest you google this genius invention now! While any mug with a warm beverage inside is guaranteed to warm up your fingers, consuming hot drinks and warm food should get the heat flowing through your body too.

Heated gadgets

There are a surprising amount of gadgets available to keep you warm in the office, from a heated mouse, a heated keyboard pad and even USB heated fingerless gloves! They’re discrete gadgets to warm you up and a much better decision for the office than a heater under your desk.

Desk exercises

If you’re really desperate to get warm you could always do some little exercises. You could do fist pumps, jog on the spot or even do a few star jumps. Whether you’re comfortable doing these at your desk or not, just make sure you get your body moving and your blood pumping to keep warm in the office.


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Improving workplace communication

Business People Corporate Communication Meeting Concept

Monday marks the beginning of World Communication Week, so to get you ready for the week ahead CV-Library is taking a look at communication in the workplace. Without effective communication within an office or among your team, time could be wasted on unnecessary work, and feelings of resentment and frustration can grow among employees. So to help you hone your communication skills we’re sharing a few top tips:


When looking to improve your communication, the first place to start is with your listening skills. It’s human nature to be more attentive to those who show us interest and attention – by first learning how to listen properly you’ll encourage others in the office to do the same. Try not to interrupt whoever is speaking and don’t begin formulating a response before they’re finished, instead focus entirely on listening and take a moment to paraphrase what you heard back to them. This way you’ll get clarity on what was actually said, not what you interpreted.


Now that you know what’s being said to you, it’s time for you to talk back. So put down the phone, stop IM-ing and don’t bother with email – if you can, walk over to your colleague and speak in person when you need to have a discussion. By having real, physical interactions with co-workers you’ll begin to understand their mannerisms, how they react and what they need from you. Overall being with someone is more efficient than reading an email!


Now that you’ve mastered the art of listening and conversing, think about what you’re saying when you speak to your colleagues. Sharing information is important, but truly understanding it is even more so; ask as many questions as you need to in order to get to the bottom of the topic. Avoid using loaded questions (statements or accusations disguised as questions) and try to use open-ended questions where more explanation is required. If you’re simply asking for clarification, a yes or no answer should do the trick!

You’re well on your way to mastering the art of communication but the real key is to be genuine, consistent and encouraging through all of your communications. Try to keep conversations positive even if you have to deliver constructive feedback – focus on encouraging a fix instead of dwelling on the problem.


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Fancy becoming a network engineer?

Information Technology Graph as a Art Background

Often referred to as the plumbers of the technology industry, network engineers are there to ensure that companies can access, share, and store information. If this sounds interesting – read on! If you’re not sure – read on anyway; you might just find your calling! CV-Library has paired up with e-Careers to show you why you should consider becoming a network engineer and to give you an insight into one of the most popular courses from Cisco – an industry-leading network provider.

You love technology

If you have a passion for all things technology-related, then you should consider a career as a network engineer. You’ll need a good understanding of current technologies, as well as the ability to grasp and implement new concepts. If this sounds appealing, then this course could be the kick-start your career needs!

You’re motivated

Working as a network engineer can require some off-the-job learning; you need to ensure that you’re constantly up-to-date, so some extra researching, reading, and video watching is likely to be required. There may be times when you will need to implement new systems, though to ensure as little disruption as possible, you may find yourself working odd hours. Motivation to excel in your career in essential if you choose to work in the technology sector; it’s fast-paced and constantly evolving!

You love to learn

Many people challenge themselves to learn one new thing every day in their jobs; as a network engineer this will be crucial! To ensure that your technological knowledge is constantly fresh and relevant, it’s important that you dedicate yourself to learning on the job, regardless of your experience!

You enjoy a challenge

With this career path, you’ll find yourself doing the following:

-          Designing

-          Installing

-          Maintaining

-          Developing

-          Supporting


With such a variety of work involved in this role, it should come as no surprise that you’ll be faced with some challenges along the way! If you’re a problem solver and enjoy meeting a challenge head-on, then a future as a network engineer could be the one for you!

CV-Library has partnered with e-Careers to provide you with the best training opportunities available. e-Careers can offera range of courses at a variety of levels from basic, intermediate and advanced. To have a look at what other technology courses are available, click here. Get searching now and see where they can take you!


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