5 ways to ace that interview

22 11 2010

Pepsi Max Job Ad

Ok so this might very well seem obvious to some, however, working in recruitment, I’m often amazed at how people seem to miss the basic things that will help them succeed at interview!

So here goes…My 5 ways to ace that interview!

1) Turn up on time (not too early not too late)

How you present yourself is key to how the interviewer perceives you.  You’ve one chance to be on time – something you’ll be expected to do regularly when you work for the company – so make sure you’re on time.  If you’re early, walk round the block, visit the ladies/gentlemen’s or go for a coffee, before you’re called up to your interviewer.  Being about 5-10 minutes early is fine.

2) Have a copy of your CV to hand

This is really important if you have either filled in an application form online or an agency is representing you as again, it’ll help the interviewer see how you present yourself both on paper and in preparation for the interview.  Also, and you may find this shocking, I once had an agency candidate come to an interview based on the incorrect CV – it was totally unrecognisable to them bar their name at the top!  Fortunately they had a copy of their CV so we were able to carry on!  This is an extreme but accurate reminder of taking responsiblity for how you present yourself.

3) Research the company and evidence this where you can

We have so many tools available to us to find out about a business before we turn up on the door – their website, Linked In, the internet, other people we know.  Make sure you find out as much as you can about the business before you show up, aside from what they do!  When were they founded?  Where are they based?  What’s their business strategy?  Who works with/for them?

4) Address your interviewer by name and know who they are/what they do

Forgetful when it comes to names – now’s not the time to forget who you’re meeting.  But if you do get interviewnervitis and forget the details, how about you write the interviewers name down in folder/notepad and take it with you in the interview.  This can help remind you of who you’re speaking to and also is quite helpful if you’ve a list of questions prepared to ask on the same page.  Also, just as it’s important to know about the company you’re interviewing with, it’s equally important to know who is interviewing you.  Google them – check them out on Linked In….  Knowing who you’re meeting with can be really helpful to build that all important rapport.

5) Be prepared for questions

Before the interview, find out what sort it is going to be?  If its competency based then check out the job description to figure out what sort of things they’re going to want to know about what you’ve done in the past.  If it’s a situational interview then go through your CV with a fine tooth comb!  If there’s anything on it that you feel remotely concerned about (people usually over-embellish their interests/hobbies section for instance) then delete it.  If you’re uncomfortable about being asked particular questions – why are you interested in this job?  Why did you leave X employer?  etc etc, be prepared for those questions to be asked and have an answer.

To get a really competitive advantage, you could also take a look at our Essential Guide to Interview where we give advice to interviewers on what to do.

So there we have it.  My 5 sure ways to ace that interview.  What are you waiting for!  Go be amazing and ace that interview!

If you need interview help, career coaching or a friendly ear to talk to before you go for that job, get in touch today.  We offer career coaching, CV re-writing and key interview support via our sister brand Change Paths.


Hot off the Press…Our latest Promotion…

9 07 2010

Growing Your Business with an Extra Pair of Hands

Creative Leadership have today launched their new Essential Recruitment Package for Small Businesses.  It’s aimed at helping busy entrepreneurs save time and effort in finding and securing the best talent for their growing business and avoid recruitment costs.

The package, which starts from £199 + VAT includes a bespoke application form, tailored job description, advertising, CV response handling, interview help and offer management, depending on what your business needs.

Speaking about the Essential Recruitment Package, Michelle Fischer, Managing Director of Creative Leadership said: “Given the recent recession, it’s really encouraging to see more and more local businesses coming to us for help with their recruitment and growing their businesses.  For many, it’s the first recruitment they’ve done and so they want to be sure they get it right and also that they don’t waste money advertising in the wrong place. ”

One of these was The Media Bus, a digital training business, who approached Creative Leadership to manage the people side of their business, including Recruitment, when they launched in November 2009.  Darren Nicholson, Managing Director said: “Creative Leadership made our recruitment and staffing matters so easy.  They ran the recruitment for all our roles and the assistance and support that they have given to the company has been first rate and worth every penny.  I would recommend their services to anyone looking for Recruitment and HR Guidance and Support”

Meanwhile, Angela Rowely of AV8Jet, a local Corporate Jet business said “We asked Creative Leadership to help us source the latest addition to our small team in June 2010.  They met with us and helped us immediately with recommendations of where to advertise and how to go about short-listing.  We had a brilliant response to our advert and Creative Leadership helped us to manage the applications and respond to all our applicants.  When it came to interviewing, their Essential Guide to Interviewing was really helpful.  Through the process I was really struck by their professionalism and attention to detail.”

If you’re a growing business and need help with recruiting new staff get in touch with Michelle on 07786 622344 or visit http://www.creative-leadership.co.uk

The Essential Rec Package Flyer – Front

The Essential Rec Package Flyer – Back

The Creative Leadership Essential Guide on How to Interview

9 07 2010

Following our recent series on How to Interview, here’s our one stop shop for all the steps:

Step 1 – Planning

Step 2 – Shortlisting and CV SiftingStep 3 – Preparing for the Interview

Step 3 – Preparing for the Interview

Step 4 – Diversity & Recruitment

Step 5 – The Candidate Experience

Step 6 – The Competency Based Approach

Step 7 – Writing up your Notes

Step 8 – After the Interview

Step 9 – What to do if?

Thinking about recruiting a new member to your team and need an extra pair of hands? Contact Michelle today on 07786 622344 to find out more about our NEW Essential Recruitment Package.

Recruitment – KPIs and Measures of Success for Recruiting using Social Media

24 06 2010

Last time we looked at how businesses can measure and evaluate the success (or failures) of their recruitment campaigns (click here for the full article).  We proposed a few simple generic measures for your Recruitment KPIs, looking at volume, cost, time and performance measures.

Today I’d like to focus on one very topical and emerging area for measurement – Measures of Success for Recruiting using Social Media.

Essentially using Social Media to recruit is the same as using it for anything else, you want people to engage with you/ your brand / people / products / services onsite and offsite.

  • You want people to make a noise and talk about you to their friends and family
  • You want people to value what you’re saying
  • You want people to love your website.
  • You want people to visit more frequently
  • You want people to buy and buy into what you sell

With this in mind, here are some of our suggested KPI’s to incorporate into your Recruitment reporting:

  • Number of hits to the careers area of your website
  • Length of time spent on the careers area of your website
  • Downloads from the careers area of your website
  • Number of candidate registrations citing facebook/twitter etc as a source
  • Usage of specific hashtags you’ve initiated e.g. #creativeleadership
  • Number of comments to specific posts/comments etc
  • Number of followers on each site
  • Quote statistics from google analytics

This is by no means an exhaustive list and we’d love you to share your thoughts. Meanwhile, for more information on how to measure the wider spectrum of Social Media – Engagement and Interaction, we really like Chris Lake’s article “35 Social Media KPIs to measure engagement”

For more information on how to use Social Media to Recruit, get in touch with Michelle on 01202 853647 or info@creative-leadership.co.uk

Recruitment – Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Measures of Success

22 06 2010

Many businesses fail to measure and evaluate the success (or failures) of their recruitment campaigns.  As such they can waste time, money and effort in seeking to attract and recruit top talent to their teams.  Similarly, many businesses measure the success of a recruitment campaign on short-term insights,  rather than following a sustained resourcing strategy. Here I’d like to consider how measure the success of your recruitment strategy in a few short and simple stages:

1) Decide what’s important – What are you seeking to achieve here and ?  How does this fit with the corporate vision/people strategy?

2) How will you know if you’ve been successful? Will you have reduced spend?  Increased productivity?  Reduced attrition?  What else?  Decide what good looks like and introduce RAG reporting for a visual confirmation of activities. (red for Warning, amber for Almost, green for Good, platinum for Excellent)

3) Who’s your audience? It’s a fact, the soonest you start giving people insights into recruitment and what you’re doing, they will have their own views and opinions and will ask for more information.  Scratching the statistics surface can be time consuming, particularly in retrospect, so it’s important that you decide early on what you’ll measure (and what you won’t) and who you’ll share this with.

4) When and how often? Monthly reporting provides a short term picture of what you’ve achieved.  Build this into a quarterly and annual report and you will get a much clearer indication of trends and key successes.

5) What to measure? This largely depends upon what you can measure, particularly if you are recruiting without the benefit of an ATS (applicant tracking system). The following list should help you work out what to look at at a broad level, and also to unearth trends and spot opportunities or issues.

  • Permanent vacancies as a percentage of overall business headcount
  • Total number of permanent vacancies
  • % of open vacancies without offers
  • Average Cost of Hire
  • Length of time to hire
  • Number of temps in the business
  • Source of job offers made
  • Retention rate of employees during first three, six and twelve months.
  • Management rating of new hire after six months

There are many other measures and KPIs which you could include within this.  Perhaps you’re already using them?  If so please do use this page to share.  Next time we shall consider Measures of Success for Recruiting using Social Media.

For an informal chat about how we can help with your recruitment, please get in touch with Michelle on 01202 853647 or email us at info@creative-leadership.co.uk

How to Interview – Step 9 – What to do if?

14 06 2010

The joy of working with people is that each situation is different, here are some handy hints on What to do if….

…The candidate hasn’t arrived

Give them or their agency a call and find out what’s happened.  It may be the traffic has got in the way or that they have gone to the wrong address.  Either way we recommend you allow them at least 15 minutes to turn up.

…The candidate really isn’t suitable and I don’t want to waste my time interviewing them?

Remember it’s important to leave a good impression of your organisation and to demonstrate a fair and consistent process for all candidates by providing all candidates with the same opportunities.   Therefore, it’s important that you still continue with the interview in all situations.

…I have no evidence?

There may be some occasions where some areas of the role profile or a particular competency have not been probed fully enough or even asked about. In this situation you should use the ‘0’ or “no evidence” from the rating scale.

…I have evidence spanning two competencies?

The evidence that you gather should only be classified under one area or competency, so that you do not fall into the trap of over-interpreting one piece of evidence by considering it twice. Consider the evidence that you have obtained and make a decision about where it is most appropriate.

…I have a similar amount of very good or very poor evidence?

If a particular piece of evidence is very good or very poor, make sure that your rating reflects this. You should be very careful that you do not over-emphasise the importance of just one piece of evidence. Refer back to the whole competency definition, and make sure the rating reflects this whole area.

…All my ratings are in the middle of the scale?

To be objective and fair to all candidates it is important to make use of the whole rating scale. Be prepared to use the 1 and 5 ratings. Remember, someone does not have to move heaven and earth to get a 5!  However occasionally candidates may perform satisfactorily across all competencies, therefore earning a 3 in all areas.

… The candidate is not prepared?

In today’s technologically friendly society, there should be no reason why candidates do not arrive prepared and equipped for the interview. If this situation does arise it is best practice to  ask the candidate if they feel comfortable continuing with the interview, or whether it needs to be rescheduled.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our “How to Interview” Series which comes from our Recruitment Training for Managers programme.  For more information please get in touch with us at info@creative-leadership.co.uk.  We’d love to hear your feedback on how you’ve put our advice into practice.

One life…

10 06 2010

I just read this brilliant quote from Steve Jobs, co founder and CEO of Apple, and had to share it with you alongside some thoughts:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

It comes from his 2005 Stanford Commencement speech where he talks about his life and how he, and his business, evolved.  See it here (around 8m 20 in):

Seems to me that so many of us spend our lives doing things in auto-pilot.  We stumble into our work and relationships often accidentally and live day by day, week by week living life without really seeing what it is we’re doing.  It’s only when something stops us in our tracks – often a rite of passage like birth, death, change in circumstance or major life event – that we wake up and look around at where we’re at.  Sure, we have our gripes and our groans about day to day living, but very few people seem to do much about changing their circumstances, rather accepting what’s been apportioned.

So Steve’s advice is that we all need to wake up.  Ask yourself:

  • Would you be happy doing what you do now every day of your life?
  • If not, why not?
  • What’s stopping you from doing what you love doing right now?  Even only a small part of what you love?

Steve says, “There is no reason not to follow your heart…Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”