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We've trawled the internet to find articles and tips that will be useful to you both in the interview and after! They're all just common sense really but it doesn't hurt to have a look.



Email Etiquette

E-mail has completely changed the way we work today. It offers many benefits and, if used well, can be an excellent tool for improving your own efficiency. Managed badly, though, e-mail can be a waste of valuable time. Statistics indicate that office workers need to wade through an average of more than 30 e-mails a day, while managers or people working on collaborative projects could be dealing with a much higher figure.

This chapter sets out steps to help you manage the time you spend dealing with e-mail so that you can get on with other tasks. It offers help on prioritising those incoming messages and deciding how quickly you need to respond. It tells you how to file e-mail according to its value or function and encourages you to clear the inbox regularly. Despite your best efforts, unsolicited e-mail or spam can clutter up the most organised inbox and infect your computer system with viruses, so this section gives guidance on protecting yourself. It also offers alternatives to e-mail that offer the same benefits of speed, convenience, and effectiveness.

Step one: Prioritise incoming messages

If you are regularly faced with a large volume of incoming messages, you need to prioritise your inbox—identify which e-mails are really important.

Check the names of the senders. Were you expecting or hoping to hear from them? How quickly do you need to deal with particular individuals?
Check the subject. Is it an urgent issue or just information? Is it about an issue that falls within your sphere or responsibility, or is it something that should just be forwarded to someone else? Check the priority given by the senders. Do they really mean it’s urgent? Remember that some people have a tendency to mark all of their messages ‘important’, even if they’re anything but. Is it obvious spam? Can it be deleted without reading? Check the time of the message. Has it been in your inbox a long time? An initial scan like this can help you identify the e-mails that need your immediate attention. The others can be kept for reading at a more convenient time.

Step two: Reply in stages

Because e-mail is an ‘instant’ medium, it can be tempting to reply immediately but that might not always be necessary. You can reply in stages, with a brief acknowledgement and a more detailed follow-up. If you do this, give the recipient an indication of when you’ll be able to get back to him or her and try to keep to this deadline wherever possible.

If the e-mail simply requires a brief, one line answer then by all means reply immediately. For example, if all you need to say is, ‘Yes, I can make the 10.00 meeting’, or ‘Thanks, that’s just the information I needed’, do it. If you are unable to reply there and then or choose not to, let the sender know that you’ve received the message and will be in touch as soon as possible. This is a useful method of dealing with a query when:
you need to get further information before replying in full
it relates to a relatively complex issue so you need time to consider
your response, rather than giving a rushed answer
you are angry, upset, frustrated, or confused about a message you’ve received and need a ‘cooling-off’ period before you make a considered response
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Taking a staged approach is useful as it allows you to maintain contact while not interrupting other work that may be more important. It also gives you a bit of breathing space if you are feeling under pressure or worried about the issue under discussion.