The recruitment process/work (level B2)

I am hoping this is my last reflective blog for a while. I will hopefully be going back to interview people in a month or so. I am looking to temp, so I can have the time to work on blogging and videoing and develop skills that will allow me to pursue a career path with a content development focus.


I have a few more thoughts concerning the recruitment process and the nature of work. The last permanent job I applied for before looking into making temping work viable was a job that had a straightforward application form. As I am sure you’re aware, with most jobs, you have a form that asks you for the exact date that you worked to and from for a specific organisation. There are two problems with asking for to and from dates:


1) does anyone remember the exact day that they started working somewhere!


2) it makes it harder for certain people to get back into the work place;

for example women who’ve taken time out to have children, people with criminal records, anyone with a sketchy work history because they have some kind of neurodiverse condition and/or people with physical health issues.


The form I had to fill out didn’t ask for any job history details; the only questions the potential employer asked were about demonstrating certain skill sets. This approach is excellent as there is then no prejudice on the employer’s part about work gaps or the type of work you’ve done. I’ve heard that some people look down on candidates with a lot of volunteer experience. They wonder why the candidate has never found anyone who wants to pay for their time and effort; volunteering thus devalues the job applicant. However, I’ve also heard that employers love people who volunteer, so I am in two minds about this.

However, with an application form that just relied on the candidate to answer questions relating to the job, the candidate is judged less on their work history and more on what they potentially bring to the role, which is good.

Rachel is interviewed (the reason why I am not blogging till July) (B1/B2)

I had an interview part way through May, tbh it was more of an informal chat than an interview. I got through the informal chat and am now preparing for a trial day. So there are a few things that were interesting in terms of the recruitment process:

Firstly the job was aimed at neurodiverse people. Employers aren’t that open to taking on people from neurodiverse backgrounds (especially those on the Autistic spectrum). So it’s good to have employers that champion neurodiversity. 

Secondly, it was an informal chat and not an interview, which is good for those on the spectrum. People on the spectrum tend to do poorly at interviews due to the following:

  • nerves-anxiety is a big issue for a lot of Autistic folks
  • our condition makes our work history a bit shaky
  •  some people can have a problem with taking things too literally (not an issue in my case) 
  • problems with knowing what the interviewer is looking for when they ask a particular question. 

Interviews aren’t the best form of recruitment for candidates in general; they are about as much use as tossing a coin. As interviews fail wrt choosing the right candidate, they are a waste of resources. 

Thirdly instead of drilling you at an interview, they have a trial day to assess your suitability which seems fairer.

The trial day is in June, so I am taking June off to ensure that I am as prepared as possible. 

So the final thing: if I get the job, I will still blog, but it will be once a month. See you in July, and I’ll update you then!

Useful English phrases: 10 mins to end Stunt man

They have a good body of work behind them-they have many years of experience in this field. This phrase is used for people in arts/people who write books/reports.

…where the principal actors aren’t required-a principal actor can be anyone with a speaking role on camera; however, it will depend on the nature of the production as to who counts as a principal actor.

…it doesn’t quite take the same toll on your body-something that takes a toll on your body ‘stresses’ the body and, over time, can damage muscle, joints etc.

CGI: computer generated imagery-computer generated effects in TV/film.

….doesn’t go into shards-piece of broken glass that typically has sharp edges.

5 mins to 10 mins stunt man interview

The work kind of picked up after that-this means he started to gain more work.

All I wanted to do was make a living from it-earn money to pay for bills, accommodation, and food.

What are the perks of the job-what is are the advantages and good things that come with working in that job.

Amazing sets/amazing scenery– set: film sets, where the film scene is shot. The scenery can be part of the set and also just located outside generally, e.g., the scenery in the countryside was amazing.

I’ve found I’ve had no end of stitches– something which sews the edge of a wound together.

In my downtime– downtime is time spent not working, this usually refers to weekends or holidays but can refer to time in between jobs when the work is on a contract basis.

I rehab everything- to rehabilitate, in this case, rehabilitation after injury.

Keeping myself fit-in this case, in good physical shape and strong.

That’s the pinnacle– a high point in the career of a stunt guy.

Useful English phrases from an interview with a stunt man first 5 mins

I’ve put up sentences with words in bold that I think people learning English might struggle with and I’ve explain what they mean. I’ve also explained useful general vocabulary e.g. vocabulary related to hobbies.

I grew up with a lot of old school TV shows like the A team-this term refers to something which was done differently in the past. Potentially in this context it means retro; something which is done differently now by still is kind of cool. However in other contexts old school can mean something which is outdated and needs to be changed.

Stunt man-a man who performs stunts as a double for an performer in films. Stunts can be physical actions which are complex to performer or acrobatic in nature and thus may be difficult for the performer/may be actions that can potentially result in injury if someone hasn’t had years of training.

It looked like the best, fun lifestyle-way of living

Hobby/sport vocabulary-

Fencing

“Fencing duel” by uwdigitalcollections is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Motor sports


“Motor cycle race” by ramnath bhat is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Susie Stoddart Mucke Motors Sport AMG Mercedes C Klasse Brands Hatch July 2006 IMG_4768” by tonylanciabeta is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Martial arts/combat sports

“Martial Art Demo during Marine Day Times Square, May 27 – Fleet Week New York 2011” by NYCMarines is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“An English Martial Arts exam” by adamnsinger is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
“kids martial arts pittsburgh” by PKA Karate is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Swimming

“swimming” by Jim Bahn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Trampolining


“Day 285 – Trampoline!” by lintmachine is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Gymnastics

“Men’s gymnastics” by William & Mary Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

rock climbing

“Rock Climbing” by DannonL is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

scuba diving

“Palm Beach SCUBA Diving” by SteelCityHobbies is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Parachuting

“Palm Beach SCUBA Diving” by SteelCityHobbies is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I’ve trained in gymnastics but I had to specifically gear that towards, the requirements of the British stunt register– gear towards (make it suitable for a particular purpose-in this case eligibility for the stunt register).

..it wasn’t as people would imagine that as soon as your qualified your phone will be ringing off the hook– to have gained a qualification after studying an academic or vocational qualification. To ring off the hook-to have people phoning constantly.

An interview about Careers and teaching-phrases/specialised vocab

Academically gifted-in this case it means you excel in terms of academic performance

Academically inclined-its part of your personality to want to study academic subjects, maybe you are curious about a certain subject are or you just like to have a certain type of intellectual challenge

Core subjects-those subjects which are compulsory throughout each key stage of the curriculum

Peer pressure-pressure from ones peer group, a peer group is people who are the same/similar in one aspect such as age, background or social status

Qualifications-an exam, which is recognised as showing a certain level of ability or conferring on someone professional status

Aptitude-a natural ability in a certain area

Tone deaf-in this case, it means problems recognising different musical pitches

Innate ability-something someone is born with, aka natural ability and natural aptitude

Tell on you-in this case; it will have a negative impact

Mortgage-loan towards buying a house

Crop up-to appear

Switch off-to not pay attention to your work and to take a break

Apprenticeship-a programme which trains someone for a particular trade

Pastoral-emotional and social support

Special needs-disabilities that may be mental, psychological or emotional

Phrases from Aspierations interview

We think there might be some latitude there to allow Aspierations to come into companies and do some really exciting work with them.

Latitude-in this case greater freedom of choice.

I think there is going to be a new halfway house, which actually could be quite attractive to Autistic folk, who can dip in and dip out of that as they choose.

To dip in and dip out of-to actively take part in something then move back to another state or situation. In this case employees wouldn’t go to a company office in the traditional sense but they would still have the opportunity to socialise and potential to network. Probably with more emphasis on home working.

Secondly, the amount of social security that has to be paid to them as well. 

Social security-in this case the money paid to individuals who are out of work.

It’s naturally assumed that they will be good on the computer side of things, but you and I know it’s much more subtle than that and that different skillsets within Autism are attracted to different industries.

Skillset-range of things that someone is good at, usually used in reference to what someone does within their job.

Also, how does the intern, interact with their colleagues, I think there is a difference between being an intern and being a paid employee. 

Colleagues-people you work with at the office.

They might have had a reason to do that but for an Autistic student that is discrimination quite frankly.

Discrimination-in this case a scenario which puts someone with a neurodiverse condition at a disadvantage with respect to their peers.

However, when you look at their CV, it generally says jobs in Mcdonald’s or stacking shelves in a supermarket.

Stacking shelves-putting goods onto the shelves.

If they rule that out, then we’ve got to say to them, ‘right we’ve got to renegotiate your thoughts about career path planning, and that’s going to be a very, very hard thing to do.

Rule that out-they’ve decided that a course of action is unsuitable for them.

We might be able to get involved in being an advocate for that particular person because it’s all part of reasonable adjustments, and that’s a legal requirement; there is some wriggle room for change.

Wriggle room for change-there is the capacity to negotiate changes.

We are looking to create what we consider to be an Autism-friendly mock job interview we might be able to replicate that for a company for a real job.

Mock job interview-mock job interview something that seems like the real thing, in this case it is used in preparation for the actual event. A mock exam is the same concept.

We can make it much more bespoke for the actual candidate.

Bespoke-its tailored towards a specific candidate’s needs.

France COVID interview (level A2)

How did the country you are residing in handled COVID?

Do you mean the government or the people?

Both. Did people generally take COVID seriously? Did they abide by the regulations?
Generally speaking, I would say Yes because it was such an unusual event that people hadn’t predicted. So, I’d say during the first lockdown that people generally accepted and followed the rules. However, I think it was difficult for young people, as some of their friends were getting COVID, but it was like a normal cold. So, they didn’t at first take it that seriously; they were thinking about arranging normal things such as birthday parties, but then it dawned on them that this wasn’t possible. It is probably more difficult for you if you like to meet up with people (younger Populus). However, generally, people my age have less trouble following the rules. I can’t talk for the other odd 60 million people, but it wasn’t so bad for me.


What do you think about the government response to COVID, e.g., the measures they took against the virus and the compensation that people received as a result of COVID?
That’s kind of mixed. The elder population were treated like they were almost invisible when the crisis started; this is where it went wrong. It’s like these people weren’t considered important. Over here, we have places where we put our elderly where it’s a mix of government and private. It felt almost like a separation, like they were outside of the system.
To some extent, centralisation was problematic as I feel that there was less clarity about what should be done at a more local level. Also, I think they weren’t straightforward at the start; I think you should trust people to understand the situation’s nuances. If you don’t know, say you don’t know. You shouldn’t come on the TV and tell people what you think when you don’t know, so they came on TV at the beginning and said you don’t need a mask, now they are saying that a mask is mandatory. The other was that all the hospital workers had to manage the situation without access to information. The public was also given information about what they can and can’t do without it being fully explained, e.g., why can we use public transport but not go to the cinema. We are grown-ups. It felt like we were infantilised. The lack of clarity about what we were supposed to do is partly behind people questioning the vaccination. We were told these pills work, then they didn’t, we were left unsure what to believe. It should have just been made clear that they didn’t know, and they should have been truthful about it, saying, ‘we’re only human; this is the first time we’ve faced such a disaster, and we’re doing the best we can. As a society, we’ve lost our trust, we don’t trust in politicians, and now have problems trusting in science. People have been saying they were slow to react. However, that’s being harsh as it’s challenging to anticipate any of this; there were many places where we’re not ready.
There is also the question of a change in working conditions. I am in IT, so home working was not an issue for me. However, people in jobs like teaching have had a hard time.
So, in terms of other ways that the government dealt with COVID, e.g., the wearing of masks, how did that work? I see that different countries have different systems. So, at the moment, I am in Belgium, and there are mask zones, so there are zones outside where you wear a mask. In England, it seems laxer, so in terms of walking outside, I’ve not seen any mask zones; the only time they police it is when people are inside shopping.
Here it’s very strict, and people wear masks outside.


Is there anything that enforces the mask-wearing?
I went into a baker and forgot that I should be wearing my mask they told me that I couldn’t come in. Sometimes they have people on public transport to enforce mask-wearing. However, it has to be something that people take responsibility for, and people are generally quite good. If you don’t respect the rules, you may be liable for a fine of 135 euros, and many people have received these fines.
One thing that has changed in terms of masks was that during the second wave, they decided it was compulsory for children above the age of 6 before that the last time (the first lockdown), it was only for people around the age of 15, which is nonsense as no one understood why. You have to remember that schools, kindergarten to high school, were opened during all the crisis and are still open today in France, schools, kindergarten to high school. However you need to be sense in education settings; if you are like two years old it’s impossible to wear a mask.


What did the government do in financial compensation in terms of people who couldn’t work during COVID?
There was a lot in the way of compensation. I don’t know if you know about France’s history, but we sometimes complain a lot. If you have any issues and feel that the government isn’t doing its job, you have a strike, even with COVID. The first thing that they did was that they had partial employment set up for all companies, and the government compensates you for the remaining days. You had tax exemptions, especially for small companies, especially if you have fewer than about 10 to 15 employees. You could have compensation of up to around 1000 a month. This is called the fond solidarité. This was surprising as you’ve had people lockdown for months; they went to this European fund with billions, which helped with social contributions. The most badly hit people were people who worked in hospitality, e.g., restaurants, as they kept them closed during the lockdown. I have a friend in the travel industry who didn’t find it that bad as he had a state loan, and it gave him time to rethink his business, went online, and found ways to spend his time productively. I also had a friend who was opening a pizzeria during the crisis; he took his business online and found it very difficult. The main people complaining were those people working in restaurants and cinemas; it was hard to make themselves heard as a single voice. I think the other people who suffered were small businesses, but I think they got enough help from the government.

What do you think the government did well compared to other countries?
I think the compensation has been adequate. We’re unsure where the money came from; we knew it was a European thing. The compensation was put in place very quickly. Our lockdown was also faster than other countries in Europe; I know it’s not one size fits all in Northern Europe; they had very few cases, but they didn’t lockdown*. But we don’t know if countries are correct about the numbers.
On the plus side, I never felt that the price of a human was more valuable than the economy.
I think they could have protected the frontline workers, such as healthcare staff, better; I remember that although the government didn’t really support the healthcare workers, the people were out there applauding them at 8 pm.

Do you have any personal stories of COVID?
I have a friend who was only 56 who died from COVID. This put into perspective that this is a dangerous virus. When you see the figures all the time of deaths in the media, it just felt like numbers, so many thousand new cases and hundreds of deaths. But when you know someone who has died, you think that this is serious.
In terms of how I feel about it personally, it felt a bit weird I was with my family; you know, with my kids, and it felt a bit strange because my family and I were with each other but doing our own thing. Papers like the guardian were saying it’s a time to reinvent yourself; however, I don’t think people want to reinvent themselves; I think they just want this thing to end so that they can go back to their life. I think even if we have a vaccine, it’s still going to stay for many months.


*perhaps they were better at social distancing

English phrases from all blogs (excluding the theatre ones)

A gap in the market-was from the interview with a Deaf activist

She was commenting on how YouTubers should look for a gap in the market. This means YouTubers should look for something that hasn’t been done before or a different way of doing something so that they can attract people to their channel.

The word arm was used in the COVID interview in the following context:

  • There are three arms to how we tackle the disease…
  • …significant arm of any country’s response…

An arm, in this instance, means a way of responding. So, three arms means three ways of responding to something, in this case, tackling COVID. ‘A significant arm of any country’s response’ means that using a certain strategy is a major part of the country’s response.

I tried hard to fit in-used in Neurodiversity and work interviews. Fit in is a phrasal verb. It means to belong to a group, in this case to have a sense of belonging and to get along with her peers (people in her year group) at school.

Companies like to pay lip service to diversity. Companies like to say that they support diversity, but they put nothing in place for neurodiverse individuals.

I’d spurt out anything that came to mind. To quickly say a thought that comes into your head. In this case, the woman was nervous, so she couldn’t process the situation and just said whatever came into her head.

I made small talk-casual/informal conversation to break the ice (make yourself and those you’re talking to feel more comfortable)

Play it safe; plain office wear is usually best. Play it safe in this context means don’t be risky and choose clothing that would be deemed inappropriate because it might not be formal enough for the office environment.

The next lot of words and phrases will be from the follow-up to the COVID interview. Earmarked-I initially had the interview earmarked for another blog. I was going to use it on another blog.

Stay tuned for an update. Keep an eye on the blog to see when information on the previous post is updated.

The last blog for which I will examine English phrases is the interview about the play an instinct for kindness.

The play ‘An instinct for kindness’ was shortlisted for the ‘what’s on stage award.’ To shortlist in this case means choosing the better ones from a long list of candidates and forming a shorter list of names.

What checks and balances did the Swiss have? Checks and balance means regulations that prevent abuses of the system and ensures that the person choosing the option is taking the best option for them.

Putting a human face on what can be a very dry..subject. A dry subject is something hard to connect to or uninteresting. In this case, putting a human face means giving the example of someone who went through a certain situation to make it something people connect with more easily/find more interesting.

I’ve read you were going to put a political standpoint…In this context, you were going to talk about policymaking on this subject.

…it’s such a typical English law…and they muddle along. In this sense, it means to proceed so that it is confusing and makes it difficult to plan using the existing laws.