The secrets of successful salary negotiation

Salary is an important consideration on both sides of the employer/employee divide. Employers need to ensure they recruit – and, most importantly, retain – the best people for the roles they require, which means offering the right salaries; while employees have to make sure they are being paid the correct amount for their skills and experience.

But just how do you ensure the salary is right at all times? Here are just a few tips to follow:

Employees

One of the first things you need to do when looking for a new job is to establish what salary range you should be getting for the positions you’re looking for.

Of course, salaries differ widely across the country. What is on offer in Paris or London will usually be considerably higher than that offered regionally, and you need to be aware of this before you start.

Whatever the role you are looking for – whether it’s a technical role, operational management or one of the many other roles in the Print and Packaging industries – you should be able to find up-to-date, country-wide salary ranges with the most cursory of internet searches. Some of the job search websites will have the information you are looking for. Alternatively, try industry or trade sites.

Once you have an idea as to the general range on offer for your chosen role, you will be in a much better place to negotiate when and if you are offered a job. But any negotiations need to be handled carefully as you don’t want to stop a job offer in its tracks.

There are no hard and fast rules, but the advice is pretty straightforward and well worth following:

Don’t ask about salary at interview stage – wait until you are offered the position. When mentioning your salary requirements to a potential employer it is useful to quantify your value relative to your achievements. It could be how much profit you have generated or how much money you saved your company. If what you are offered is too low, say so (politely) – it helps here if you can state what the usual salary for the job/your level of experience is.

Ask about additional perks, such as a company car, and also about your expected level of responsibility, so you get the whole picture. It is worth considering things like additional training and education and whether you could be funded for further study. Unless the offer is exactly what you want, don’t accept it straight away. You need to make sure you are 100% happy with the complete package.  If all else fails, and you really don’t want to take the job at that salary, say so. If you are introduced to the hiring company by a reputable recruitment company they will handle salary negotiations on your behalf to ensure that both parties are happy with the deal that has been struck.

Employers

Employers should really be offering the best candidates appropriate salaries at different stages in their careers. You wouldn’t expect someone to take a pay cut in order to undertake more responsibility.

However, of course, there should always be room for negotiation. Again, there are some top tips you should be following:

Don’t ask the candidate what they are currently earning – you should have an idea from their CV, but probing into what they earn is intrusive and unreliable, anyway (who’s to say they will tell you the truth?). Make sure you are offering a competitive salary, which is attractive enough in the sector to secure the right candidates, without causing internal issues within your company. The salary you offer should be based upon the value you perceive the employee will add to your business and not based on what they are currently earning.

Also make sure you give prospective employees the whole picture before talking salary  including prospects, the challenge of the role, and other benefits. Prepare to be at least a little flexible. This has got to work for both parties. You need to factor in the possibility that the candidate will get counter-offered by their present employer. Make sure that the role and salary package are sufficiently enticing to ensure that they don’t decide to stay where they are. There is nothing more frustrating than an offer being rejected at this late stage.

Athena Executive Search can take the stress out of salary negotiation for both candidates and clients. We specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1 

360-Degree Feedback – Why You Should Be Using It

Feedback is an essential part of business, especially for Print and Packaging businesses that employ large teams who work together. If you want to improve the communication levels in your business, here is everything you need to know about 360-degree feedback – and why you should be using it.

What Is 360-Degree Feedback

360-degree feedback is feedback that comes from many different levels. Instead of one employee receiving feedback from their manager, they would receive feedback from a variety of people, including peers, managers, other workers, customers or stakeholders. This gives more accurate feedback that includes everyone’s needs and opinions, so the employee can significantly improve their performance and skills.

How a Printing and Packaging Company Can Benefit from using it

One of the main benefits of 360-degree feedback is that you can assess an employee’s performance from multiple people’s perspectives. This is very useful, as it is possible that one manager is unaware of an employee’s bad habits, so they may not point them out. However, a co-worker or a customer may be aware of these issues, and 360-degree feedback gives them the chance to air these so that any problems can be solved.

This is especially useful for employees who work in a busy environment, as teamwork and mutual understanding are essential parts of the business

It also gives employees more power rather than just allowing managers to make decisions. This means that employees will feel more valued and appreciated. It also means that they are less likely to have problems in the workplace, as they are able to air their grievances.

How to Prepare Employees 

It is important to discuss the benefits of 360-degree feedback before implementing it, as this means that employees will be fully aware of how it works. You should take the time to state that any feedback will be anonymous, so employees don’t feel worried about giving it, and you should also say that the system isn’t being implemented to make employees feel under scrutiny. It is being implemented to improve the workplace for everyone.

You should also take some time to sit down with the managers to prepare them for the results of 360-degree feedback. Many managers are not used to receiving feedback from the employees that they manage, and so they may feel attacked and worried about any negative feedback that they get. Thankfully, proper training and an anonymous system should remove any worries that your managers have.

Starting 360-Degree Feedback

Once all of the employees have been informed about 360-degree feedback, you can start to implement it. You should set clear rules to ensure that no one abuses the feedback system – for example, you may want to set one day of the week for when employees can leave feedback rather than every day of the week.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here:  https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1

Smart and specific – your perfect CV covering letter

The perfect CV cover letter is just that – a letter. Adding a couple of paragraphs to the email you’re sending won’t hack it. According to CV Library 57% of UK employees think that a CV cover letter is essential. So what else do you need to know?

In this industry, smartness matters

People in the Print and Packaging industries care about how things are presented. So make sure your letter looks great – plenty of white space with smart formatting. There are lots of examples online, so choose a good one and copy it. Unfortunately, you don’t have much control over the Word settings that the recipient is using, so it’s a good idea to make a PDF of your letter once it’s ready.

Personalise it

Find out who you’re sending it to. Get their name and job title, and add these to the address. And when you’ve got their name, give them a quick Google, or look on LinkedIn, and see whether they’re the type who list their qualifications after their name. If they are, you get a gold star for adding them in your letter. There’s nothing like a bit of flattery to get you off on the right foot.

Say something about who you are

The point about the covering letter is to say things that aren’t obvious from the CV. Think about what kind of culture the company has and why your personality makes you a good fit.

Look at the company’s mission statement and values. If you share similar values and goals mention it in your letter. Give specific examples of what you have done that demonstrate that you will fit in with the company. Don’t just mention work related activities. Give examples of out of work activities that demonstrate a more rounded personality.

Be specific about the job

OK, so you’re actually hoping to get half a dozen applications out this weekend. Never write a standard letter that you reuse. As well as a specific name, you need to be really on the button about exactly which bit of the business you’re applying to. And pump it up a bit. So avoid “the packaging business has always been a key interest of mine” (yawn) but go for “I am passionate about packaging and the exciting developments in Packaging Ltd.’s innovative use of brand protection products.”

And say when you’re available but make it tactful. So if you’re currently between jobs, you’re “available to make an early start”.

Be positive

We often go looking for a new job because we’re fed up with the old one. This is a negative frame of mind that can easily come out in the way you express yourself. So, avoid any criticism of your current job and employer and concentrate on the positive step forward that the new job represents. You’re ready to take on greater responsibilities, move to a different part of the industry that you find fascinating.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1 

 

Restrictive Covenants – what do they really mean?

The sense of achievement you experience when you secure your new job is immense. And rightly so. You look forward to a positive and productive future with your new employer. This is quite possibly the least opportune time to think ahead to what may happen when you leave. However, protecting yourself for that eventuality is good practice and, some employment advisers would say, essential.

What are restrictive covenants?

Restrictive covenants are clauses in your employment contract restricting your activities post-employment for a specified period, in order to protect your employer’s business interests. While your employer’s desire to protect themselves is understandable, you are entitled to do the same.

Think ahead

It is vital that you understand the range and claim restrictive covenants have over your ability to function professionally post-employment. While this may not feel like the best time to question your employer, this is probably the last opportunity you’ll have to negotiate your rights.

Make sure you understand exactly what is being said in your contract regarding your rights post-termination. For example, how long are you precluded from working for competitors? Do restrictive covenants extend to your social media accounts and connections? You are the best judge as to how you operate professionally. Think about the contacts you brought with you to this role. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you are prevented from working in your chosen industry.

What are the main areas covered by restrictive covenants?

Your employer will be keen to protect themselves across three key areas: competitors, clients and employees. You can be prohibited from competing with or working for a known competitor within a fixed radius of your employer’s location or across certain territories, for a fixed period of time. You can also be prohibited from luring employees away from your employer and working for existing clients for a fixed period.

Often restrictive covenants are not upheld because they are too vague, too lengthy and the employee in question is not senior enough to pose a credible threat to the business. The key to restrictive covenants being upheld is that they are specific and realistic. The courts will uphold what they believe as reasonable. It’s important that you understand how much leeway your employer has in restricting you.

Loyalty Obligations

Check your contract for the wording regarding the calculation of your bonus figure. In some cases, a percentage of your bonus rewards your performance but the majority is to reward your loyalty. There may also be terms advising that payment of your bonus is discretionary and potentially deferred to encourage you not to leave. Payments may also extend to commission, shares and any agreed long-term incentives. Pay particular attention to how these restrictive covenants affect your loyalty obligations and the timing of your departure.

Climbing the corporate ladder

Sometimes as part of your progression and promotion, you will be asked to agree to additional restrictive covenants commensurate with your increased seniority. It’s vital that you employ the same forward thinking with any such amendments.

We strongly advise you to seek independent legal advice prior to entering into any legal agreement.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1

10 Interview mistakes, avoiding them, and how to dazzle the interview panel

So your CV has fought its way to the top of the pile, and you have been selected for an interview. Congratulations – it is a tough job market out there. But after drinking the champagne and jumping around the room, it is time to get to work and prepare yourself. You will need to put in some work if you want to ace that interview.

  1. Be authentic. Trying to be anything else is exhausting and they will find out eventually anyway. Lying, or attempting to be something you really aren’t will result in a disconnect that will probably alienate your interviewers as well. Just don’t do it – it is too easy to do background checks.
  2. Refresh your memory about what the job is, and why you said you would be good at it. Think of examples where you have solved problems or added value in a situation that you can relate to the job you want.
  3. Preparation is everything, so do more research. If you want a position in the exciting Print and Packaging industry, for example, then make sure you do plenty of research about the sector, and in particular, find out more about which segment the company you wish to join operates in.
  4. Do your research. Don’t even think about turning up to the interview without doing due diligence on the company that is interviewing you. Read everything, prepare to explain why you would be an asset to them, and of course have intelligent questions to ask (and not just about how much you will be paid, or when you can take a holiday). For more background  read some trade publications, the company website, any press releases particularly concerning recent acquisitions etc. Watch company videos on YouTube which often give an insight into “behind the scenes” within a target company.
  5. Be punctual. Lateness will make a terrible first impression that you can never rectify. Again, research where you have to be, estimate how long it will take to get there – and double it. Leave at least that much time for the journey.
  6.  Look the part. Think about your personal presentation, i.e. wardrobe. What kind of image would the person who gets this job be projecting? If you appear polished, this should help convince the interviewers and help you exude calm, collected confidence. As you arrived early, you will have plenty of time to freshen up.
  7. Don’t criticise other workplaces, or former bosses, as this will be perceived as negative and disloyal.
  8. Expect tough questions. Expect to be asked about how you deal with conflict, and prepare some professional examples that will demonstrate how you can resolve work difficulties – and that doesn’t mean fighting over the last doughnut in the tea room.
  9. Be polite. No matter how anyone on the panel behaves, conduct yourself with poise and courtesy to show them what a classy act you are.
  10. Do your homework. If you bring documents or case studies to support your professional achievements, then make sure they are presented impeccably. Find out how many people will be on the panel and bring copies for everyone, and a couple extra, just in case.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. For interview tips and advice please contact us. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1 

 

Why changing jobs is often your best option

The concept of successful careers on a single track over a dedicated 25 year period is now largely regarded as myth. Today’s primary rule for success is to step outside your comfort zone. If you want a purpose-driven and successful career in which you actively participate, you will need to know when to take a calculated risk. Let’s examine the reasons why changing your employer breeds professional success – if you know what you’re doing.

Think. Don’t panic.

We understand you’ll come across organisations which do not hire candidates with a track record of shorter term roles; some companies include tenures as long as two to three years in their hiring rules. Consider the cautious culture behind this policy. Is this a culture in which you believe you can flourish? This example of strategic thinking encourages you to take into account a company’s philosophy and personality and ask yourself: is it the right environment for you?

Tunnel vision be gone

Every committed employee, regardless as to their pay bracket, knows the feeling of disappearing inside an organisation’s world. It’s easy to lose sight of the rest of the industry as you settle into your company’s working environment. Try and keep an eye on what’s going on across the industry, particularly in leadership roles. When you change roles, you reconnect with your industry – and the global big picture.

Can they give you what you need?

In scouting for a new professional home, ask yourself what the company is doing. What’s their growth rate? It’s important – and healthy – to evaluate your potential employer. You want to be as certain as you can be that they can match your development needs as closely as possible. Changing roles encourages this style of leadership thinking: evaluating a challenge with clarity and asking important questions.

By continuing to explore your industry beyond your current working environment, you continue to develop and grow, all the while refining your leadership skills.

You’re worth it

The challenge of establishing your value with your employer is one that enriches all of us. For some, the process is a leap outside their comfort zone. Your ability to embrace the exploration of new horizons over potential professional stagnation will drive the career satisfaction you seek. In taking an active role in establishing your professional worth, you become ever more adept at negotiating value. This is a crucial skill for every successful leader to have at their disposal.

No guarantees

The contemporary workplace values skilled, experienced workers who think outside the box to keep pace with the ever-evolving digital landscape. The modern workplace is a vibrant, transitory environment focused on attracting talented team players. No employer today can guarantee you job security for life. Consider how you are going to remain – or even become – a relevant, dynamic and empowered voice in your industry.

In considering your position in the trajectory of your career, you’ll orientate yourself more accurately if you determine what you have contributed. Clarity and understanding around your contribution reveals a great deal about where you are going professionally. A role in which you are complacent and mechanically performing functions is a job. A role where you negotiate, strategise and challenge yourself is a career.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. Please get in touch if you are contemplating a career move or looking to recruit. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1

Ace that interview and get the job

You are impeccably dressed, well researched and rehearsed, on time and waiting in reception before you are called in to interview. You know what to do. This isn’t your first time. But still, you’re nervous. You want to make a great first impression. And, right there, your nerves have caught you in their butterfly spin. We’ve got some insider tips showing exactly what goes into making a great first impression to focus your thoughts the next time you are waiting in reception.

The power of a first impression

It’s a scientific fact that human beings make decisions about strangers in the blink of an eye. Literally. We spend the next three seconds completing our opinion, around our perception of personality and competence. Once that decision has been made it is nigh on impossible to change it. The psychological advantage of making a strong first impression is significant; if you later make a mistake, you are most likely given the benefit of the doubt. There’s not a lot we can do to change these facts. We are funny creatures.

What influences first impressions?

This is where you can make a difference. Consider that the bulk of our communication is non-verbal. While it’s important to prepare what we would like to say, our body language is far more influential than the words we choose.

Make sure your gestures and body movements are congruent with what you are saying. For example: don’t describe a challenging situation where you had to fire an employee while smiling. While you might smile out of nerves or a desire to please your interviewer, the strong message you send is confused. Likewise the classic example of avoiding eye contact. It’s considered a negative gesture. You might feel intimidated, which is reasonable at a job interview, however what you are communicating is weakness.

Keep your body language open and relaxed. Communicate that you’re prepared and ready for the interview: you want to engage. Your tone of voice is another powerful influence. One way to settle your tone is to take a few deep breaths, making sure you breathe right into your stomach. A classic mistake is keeping the breath in the chest area which means your shoulders are hunched up and your breath trapped. Breathe deeply and your register will drop from its nervous higher pitch, down to its natural tone. Your tone of voice delivers your message – make sure it’s in your voice. Remember there are two factors at play here: the words you use and the way in which your message is received. Focus on your delivery.

Make a connection

Be kind and courteous to everyone. Think about how difficult it is to interpret someone’s behaviour and message when they are distracted. Any good interviewer will ask the receptionist, security guard and anyone you may meet on the way to interview what their first impression of you was. Make a conscious decision to switch on the moment you leave home.

Give your nervous energy something to do. Enthusiasm generates confidence. Allow yourself to be enthusiastic, confident and happy. Allow? Yes. Nerves have a sneaky way of imprisoning us in slightly robotic behaviour. Be authentic, enthusiastic, humble and kind. Allow yourself to shine.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. For more advice on interview technique please get in touch. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1

How to use social media to find a new role

When used correctly, social media is a powerful tool to help you identify that perfect role. An active and engaging social media presence is crucial for a variety of reasons. Your activity across social media platforms says so much about who you are and helps you to present yourself in this increasingly competitive market as the ideal, talented addition to an employer.

An engaging social media feed across a variety of platforms also highlights your ability to build professional contacts as well as showcase your skills. Recruiters respond favourably to active social media feeds; they gather information based upon the quality, frequency and professional relevance of your posts. Developing your social media skills is therefore vital and we have some strategic tips to help you maximise your opportunities.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn really is the go-to networking site for recruiters. But merely creating a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough to convince hiring managers to take a closer look at you. Recruiters seek superior content, such as testimonials and recommendations from your colleagues and clients. Rather than simply listing your experience and qualifications, take the time to include background information to provide context. The more time you spend curating engaging content, the better your chances of attracting the job opportunities you want.

Recruiters seek talented individuals to network with and to interview. Highlight your skills and experience, stand out from the crowd and use LinkedIn to build an impressive database of industry contacts. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the better it will reflect on you and your suitability for a particular role.

Twitter

Twitter is by far the chattiest of all social media platforms – but don’t let that fool you. It’s a powerful tool for attracting a new job. Twitter is also a helpful resource to discover what people are saying about the company you want to work for. When you are looking for a new job, focus your tweets and retweets on industry-relevant subjects. Use keywords and hashtags to group your content with industry-specific content. Engage with respected industry leaders through following and responding to their tweets. Use your experience to offer helpful advice to other Twitter users in your industry. Recruiters will take note of what you say and who you interact with; make the most of the opportunity and highlight your skills and industry knowledge.

Facebook

Facebook’s reputation as an informal social media platform has caught out many a hopeful candidate. Don’t let this be you. Nowadays Facebook is also teeming with many helpful industry-specific groups and content. In addition to interacting with industry peers, be prepared for recruiters to peruse your profile to see how you engage with the world beyond your work environment. Who you are is your personal brand. If you prefer, create a separate profile to use as your professional Facebook page. It is, however, good practice to keep your content clean.

Social media is an effective channel through which to highlight your skills, experience and personality to potential employers, and confirm your suitability for a role. The opportunities available on social media to further your career are endless. Happy posting!

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. Please connect with us on social media to keep up to date on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders. You can also subscribe here: https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1

 

Why digital print is a game changer in packaging

 

The digital opportunity in the packaging sector of the printed graphics market is valued at over $10 billion, and with projected growth rates of 14% to 2020, this sector is booming. To keep up, equipment, software, and ink manufacturers are creating innovative tools, unique packaging specific solutions, and chemistry to enable future growth in digital packaging.

Innovation and potential

Digital print’s potential is enormous and already proven to be disruptive in other print segments. Industry leaders are supporting this trend and are pushing their return on investment ever upwards. The beauty of digital is its innovation and power is not exclusive to technology. Digital focuses on harnessing technological prowess with any organisation able to embrace evolution and development as part of its operations.  While digital is already widely accepted in the tag and label sector and the short run pharmaceutical folding carton sectors, of the packaging segment, other segments are ripe for significantly digital adoption in the next three to five years.  Particularly, the packaging sectors of corrugated, narrow web flexible film, and direct to shape (metal and plastic containers) offers the next likely high growth areas for digital.

Consumer experience is everything

The digital evolution continues to offer improved usability. As a result, the importance of a consumer’s experience continues to increase. As consumers’ confidence in digital transformation has grown, they have aligned themselves with brands and products that cater to their ever-evolving needs.  While the initial driver for digital was to enable personalisation, on the fly customisation, short run profitability, and the enabling of quicker and easier design to print campaigns are driving the next growth spurt.  Consumer’s expectations for packaging in the digital bombardment age, is also changing, just as the way millennials see and respond to advertising is changing.

Why is digital print continuing to grow?

In addition to the reasons outlined above, the growth of digital print enables print providers to exponentially improve and increase the services they offer to their customers. In addition, digital empowers innovation and encourages an increase in revenue streams not easily achieved in traditional print methods. It’s expected that digital print will make the most of the high value short runs and provide quicker turnaround times for packaging sectors.

Interesting times ahead for digital technology advancements

Today, there are both electrophotographic (dry and liquid toner) technologies and inkjet ink types of digital.  Toner based systems, such as Indigo, Xerox I-Gen, and Xeikon, have gained an early foothold on the short run tag and label, as well as some folding carton sectors.  More recently, inkjet solutions are being adopted as they can often do more than electrophotographic systems at a lower cost of ownership.  The technology advancements in the inkjet print head, electronics, and ink chemistry has now reached a point of practicality, likely eclipsing electrophotography as early as 2019.  Beyond toner and inkjet are a number of what have to still be referenced as “yet-to-be-proven” digital technologies that, if they really work, will also be very disruptive in the packaging sectors, especially those food related packaging sectors.

Excitingly, the greatest changes expected over the next decade will be in packaging. Sectors that are most likely to employ digital production processes include corrugated (direct to board and pre-print liner), metal decoration (2-Piece, and flat sheet 3-Piece), flexible (films, bags, pouches, etc.), and rigid (direct to container) applications. The folding carton sector also has the potential to grow as digital technologies develop further.

Beyond graphics and packaging

Digital continues to break new ground in all kinds of industrial applications, forging applications including flat and round glass, textiles, ceramics,  tiles, wood, plastic composites, electronics, and 3D. The term “Industrial Digital Printing’ has come to represent a kind of catch-all descriptions for every type of decoration that does not already fit into a known segment or sector.

Better Together

Organisations which recognize the phenomenal growth and potential of digital packaging are often engaging strategic alliances or in joint ventures, sometimes for technology, sometimes for route to market. This approach enables companies to capitalise on a booming market with less risk and faster time to market. These types of partnerships often bring together technology components and brands, as well as system manufacturing and customer facing solutions to help drive the industry faster into the digital age.  Some examples include  companies such as: Xerox with Impika, Fujifilm working with Heidelberg, and Xerox( Primefire 106), KBA with their own subsidiary Kamman (Direct To Shape) and new projects with Landa (S10 automation) and Xerox, Komori and Landa (Impremia NS40). Flint Group have acquired the Xeikon business in a key strategic move.

On-demand printing

On-demand printing reduces waste and also means the latest design, product information or alterations to components do not create unnecessary clutter such as superfluous records. Electrophotography and inkjet’s continual evolution and development mean that on-demand printing is possible for the packaging industry. Specialised detail such as packaging specific to a particular region, demographic or specific interest is now a practical reality for the packaging sector. Exactly where in the supply chain that the printing is happening is also changing with Digital evolution.  Digital printing near or actually in-line with the packaging converting process is also a trend, further shortening the turn-around time for a package to market while offering the flexibility only digital can offer.

There’s no doubt about it. The inclusive effects of digital development, particularly on the consumer, has changed the way in which the market interacts with packaging. Everyone wants to jump aboard this rapidly expanding sector, flourishing beneath digital technology’s ingenious gaze.

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. We are excited about Digital Print and recruit for companies at the cutting edge of this sector. For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1

 

How to succeed at your print and packaging interview

Interviewing for a job you really want can be stressful. In fact, the more senior your position, the more adept you are expected to be at juggling the various facets of human behaviour and professional experience. We’ve put together a selection of suggestions to help you nail your next interview.

Preparation

Beyond the essential choices such as being suitably presented and arriving at the interview at least fifteen minutes early, you will need to know everything there is to know about the company, the recruiter interviewing you – and your own CV.

Why would you need to know anything about the recruiter? A good recruiter will evaluate how well you build rapport during the first few minutes of the interview. Nothing quells nerves like preparation: arm yourself with an understanding of the hiring company, so you can lead the conversation if required.

It’s easy to forget to re-read your own CV. It’s natural to think you know it. Never underestimate the power of nerves, especially if you particularly want the job. Mapping your strengths to your employment history showcases your ability to maintain clarity under pressure. At this stage of your career, this is exactly what you need to demonstrate.

A great attitude engages and elevates your answers

An expert recruiter assesses a candidate in the context of a variety of verbal and non-verbal communication skills simultaneously. They are looking to see whether you are capable of handling the role and how well you will fit in to the company management team.

How you present your character and disposition is crucial, because in leadership roles these qualities affect how well you fit in to company culture. Authenticity, humility and confidence in yourself are key. A great one liner pep talk to give yourself is: “I am the solution for this company”. It’s a positive and empowered statement that eradicates any unnecessary anxiety about other candidates and focuses your attention.

Tell us a story…

Anyone can list leadership qualities and management strengths. Offer concrete examples of how you embodied those qualities and strengths in previous roles.

Stories enable you to navigate tricky questions such as the classic, “What’s your greatest weakness?” or being asked to describe an experience where you clashed with a superior. A saccharine answer will not satisfy. Interviewers are looking for an experienced leader with development potential, someone who is able to cope with the inevitable challenges of working life, how you deal with confrontation, whether you can admit accountability and how effectively you process and apply feedback.

You may also be asked to discuss a project that failed. In addition to the above, you’re being evaluated for the degree of responsibility you held, how you made decisions, how you rallied after a mistake was made, what you learned and what you considered your role in the failed project to be.

End on an uplifting note, confirming that you applied the lessons learned as you moved forward and how the company benefitted. Highlight how your strengths complement any challenges facing the company.

And lastly give an example of what interests you about your specialist area within the print and packaging industry. Thread your natural enthusiasm for your work throughout your interview.

Good luck!

Athena Executive Search specialise in recruiting senior leadership positions in the Print and Packaging sectors across Europe. We promise to make our interview with you as enjoyable as possible! For access to more articles on industry topics, recruitment and retention strategies, and our upcoming webinar series with industry thought leaders please subscribe here: https://athena50147.activehosted.com/f/1