March 14, 2014, by Beth Dawson

Online Q&A round-up part 1

By Jan Perrett, Careers Adviser, Careers and Employability Service 

Missed our online Q&A?  We’ve compiled a selection of the questions that were put to us and the advice from our careers adviser. Remember, you’ll have the opportunity to put your questions to one of our careers advisers at our next online Q&A on Thursday 20 March.

‘What’s the most important thing to prepare for an interview?’

Prepare your answers to the questions you’re likely to be asked first: Why have you applied for this position? Why do you want to work for this company?

Think about examples that back up your motivations, these could be from your work experience , your involvement in a relevant society or volunteering projects. Also, make sure that you research the company, demonstrating a good commercial awareness and knowledge of developments in the sector can really help to show the employer that you’ve thought carefully about applying to their organisation.

‘Final year and only four months to go! How can I find an internship in the media? I’m interested in research roles in broadcasting and the press

There isn’t an easy answer to this and finding a job in the media often depends on making the most of any contacts you have, getting in touch with companies to ask about vacancies and being really flexible.

I would encourage you to be proactive and lateral in your thinking. Have you explored URN and NUTS? Have you done some independent research and written something that you could submit to a local paper or niche journal? Have you contacted us about our Ask a Professional service to see whether we have some alumni working in this area?

Where do you want to work? Are there local radio, TV or newspapers which may be less competitive to enter? Have you looked at independent production companies? Keep going – it’s a tough area to crack. For further advice, book an appointment with a careers adviser and visit some of these websites:

‘Could you recommend some specific resources regarding academic job hunting for PhD students?’

Useful starting points for conducting your research into careers following a PhD include:

  • the websites of professional bodies which provide advice on how to enter their sectors and often feature job opportunities
  • Beyond the PhD website that features articles and audio clips by professionals who have taken a PhD, offering advice about life after your studies
  • Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework, a tool for planning, promoting and supporting career development
  • our website with career management and career support sections tailored for PhD students and research staff

Make the most of networking opportunities and get advice from those who are in positions you’re considering applying for. You can get valuable insights through developing your networks and many former PhD students credit their contacts as a contributing factor in securing their current position.

If you want to put your questions to a careers adviser in our upcoming online Q&A session, tweet your questions to #AskUoNCareers or leave a post on our Facebook wall at any time and we’ll respond between 12-4pm Thursday 20 March. Got more than a couple of questions or want to speak a careers adviser in person? Book an appointment through My Career.

Posted in Applying For JobsGraduate VacanciesPhD StudentsPostgraduate Taught StudentsWork experience