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.


What the F**k is Social Media NOW?

15 07 2010

I came across this brilliant presentation today (courtesy of Brand Infiltration) and I just had to share it with you.  It’s all about the changing world of Social Media and contains mind-blowing statistics.

Did you know for instance that if Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated in the world, ahead of the United States?

That’s Big!!!

Take a look for yourself and be amazed at how our world, and the way we communicate, is changing.

What the F**K is Social Media NOW?

My question is, in a changing world, what does social media mean for you?

Social Media & Recruitment Report

2 02 2010

Well, Linda and I have finally completed the report and you can download from the website to read at your leisure. It threw up some very interesting findings as well and certainly lays down a challenge to the Recruitment industry about how they could (or is that should) be taking the opportunities that seem to be developing around Social Media far more seriously than they may well be doing.

That is not to say, of course, that in some quarters a lot of ground is already being gained by those innovative enough to take the plunge and embrace the changes that are taking place.

Some of the main findings included:

  • Despite the vast amounts of money spent on advertising the availability of radio for recruitment – only 3% of our respondents had used in the last 12 months
  • Social media was 6% MORE popular than traditional advertising
  • Almost 70% of the respondents reported that their cost per hire was less than £1000
  • Unsurprisingly perhaps, this reflects the reduced costs were cited as the biggest drivers towards the use of Social Media

I hope that’s given you an appetite for more, and if so why not download the complete Social Media in Recruitment Report now

Best wishes

Michelle & Linda

And the winner is…

22 01 2010

After some delay thanks mainly to busy diaries and the snow prohibiting travel between Poundbury and Poole in Dorset, Linda Parkinson-Hardman and I are thrilled to announce the winner of the Champagne draw for contributors to our Social Media & Recruitment Survey

We wanted to make sure that it was fairly drawn and and so to enable this we took it to an event we both attend regularly – Business Exchange, Dorset’s brilliant multi-sector networking club.  Today, over 60 people witnessed Laura McHarrie, the event organiser, pull the winners’ name out of our hat (AKA the brown envelope)!  Thank you Laura!

So, we’re thrilled to announce that the winner is….

Drum Roll please….

Bill Boorman, AKA @BillBoorman and organiser of TRU – the Recruitment Unconference!  Bill, a bottle of champagne will be winging it’s way to you at Tru London 2

Linda and I would like to thank all those of you who contributed again.  Your input has been invaluable.

For those interested in the research findings, you’ll be glad to know that we’re just putting the finishing touches to our report which we will publish in early February and in advance of TRU 2.  If you’re interested in receiving a copy of these then please get in touch.

Social Recruitment Survey Report and Champagne

7 01 2010

As you know, our social media in recruitment survey is now finished.  A big thank you to those who contributed.  Linda and I have made a start on the analysis and report writing however as many of you know, we’ve had severe snow so sadly we had to cancel meeting up to draw the champagne yesterday.  This has now been rescheduled for January 22nd when we meet next at the Brilliant BusinessXchange in Bournemouth.  The full report will be issued in early February, however if you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch.

Social Media & Recruitment Survey – Initial Results

30 12 2009

As you’ll know, before the festive period Linda Parkinson-Hardman and I asked you to contribute to a bit of Social Media research looking at it’s use within recruitment and resourcing.  We’ve had a really diverse response and some very surprising results.  Here’s a bare bones version – a much fuller report will be available after the Christmas Holidays:

  • The most popular ways to recruit are Job Boards and Employee Referrals BUT – social media is EQUAL with the use of recruitment agencies coming in third place for popularity
  • The vast majority of companies spend less than £500 on recruitment – regardless of the position being filled
  • Almost 90% of respondents said their companies had used social media within the business YET just over 50% have used it in recruitment
  • The top driver for using social media in recruitment is ‘reducing costs’
  • Overwhelmingly though, businesses do NOT have a policy in place for using social media in their business

Keep an eye out in the New Year for the complete report on how businesses are using social media to recruit, and analysis which will also be emailed out to respondents who have requested it.

In the meantime, as the noughties draws to a close and we welcome in a new decade, I wish you all the very best for a happy, fruitful and prosperous 2010.