Quick Interview Tips For Candidates

Quick Interview Tips For Candidates

With Hiring Managers seeing on average 4-5 applicants for each role, it is important that candidates show themselves in the best possible light in order to secure an offer.

Nerves are often blamed for poor performance in an interview, so how do you overcome the nerves and make a lasting impression on the hiring manager?

Here are The Burford Recruitment Company’s quick interview tips for candidates to ensure you minimise your nerves, give a good account of yourself and make a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Be Prepared!

There is a clear correlation between how prepared you are and how nervous you will be, so reduce your nerves by doing your homework! Hiring Managers will expect you to know what the company does, what their values are, and what you will bring to the role. This shouldn’t phase you. You have all the tools you require in order to prepare. You can find out about the culture of an organisation by visiting the company website and you can prepare answers to questions of how you demonstrate their values in advance. You can (and should) review the job description (which you should have been issued) thinking of examples of when you have demonstrated the skills required.

Be confident!

Be confident but not overly confident so that you appear cocky. Bear in mind that having seen your CV, the Hiring Manager has decided that he or she is prepared to take time out to speak to you further about the role so it is likely that you have many of the skills and experience required to do the job. You are already half way there!

Look the part!

Different people have different ideas here but in general we would always suggest that you make an effort to dress smartly for an interview. Try to also be aware of your body language, give a good handshake and make eye contact with all interviewers. Sit up straight (which has the added benefit of helping you speak clearly) and if you can manage it try the occasional smile!

Listen!

Be careful not to talk over your interviewer no matter how keen you are to answer their questions.

End on a high!

A list of pre-prepared questions will help to avoid any awkward pauses as you frantically try to think of something to say when they ask “Do you have any questions?”. Once that is out of the way and the interview is finishing, make sure you end it positively. Thank each of them for their time and shake their hands. If it is an opportunity you think you would like to pursue then let them know and ask what the next steps might be. If it is a close decision between you and another candidate it might just be enough to tip it in your direction.

Remember, you only get one chance to make a great first impression!

Telephone Interview Tips for Candidates

Telephone Interview Tips for Candidates

When applying for a job, whether it is a face to face interview or a telephone interview, it’s critical to make a good first impression! Unfortunately, all too often a poor telephone interview can cut short your application. With that in mind, we thought we would give you some simple tips on how best to prepare and what to do to improve your chances of a successful telephone interview.

Before the call:

  • Ensure you are in a location with a good mobile phone signal, or better still arrange the call to be on a land line. If you have one, wear a headset to keep your hands free for your notes.
  • Ensure you are in a quiet place where you are unlikely to be disturbed or distracted.
  • Research the company website and spend time looking over the job description and advert prior to interview. Match your skills on your CV to the job spec and have examples ready of when you have demonstrated the key traits or tasks associated with the role.
  • Have a pen and paper to hand to make notes
  • A list of pre-prepared questions will also help to avoid an awkward pause as you frantically try to think of something at the end.

During the call:

  • Be confident and speak clearly. Standing up might help! Amongst other benefits such as projecting more confidence, standing up puts less pressure on your diaphragm and should result in clearer speech.
  • Be careful not to talk over your interviewer no matter how keen you are to answer their questions.
  • End the call positively by thanking them for their time
  • If it is an opportunity you think you would like to progress, confirm your interest in the role and ask what the next steps might be.

We hope this helps and you get through to a face to face interview where you can let your personality come through even more.

Good luck!

Client Tips For Gaining The Best Results From Recruiters

Are your recruiters failing to deliver results?

Whether you are a small business owner, an internal recruiter, or a procurement director for a multinational corporation, if you use recruitment agencies to fill your vacancies, I would guess that when asked what you want from your recruitment team, that you would all say the same thing.

Whether you are looking to recruit temporary, permanent or contract workers into your business, all you really want is a professional recruitment service that is value for money… Right?

Now there are a lot of companies and individuals out there that will say they have had bad experiences with recruitment agencies. Maybe you are one of them. Maybe you have been struggling to get quality candidates to fill your vacancies despite a plethora of recruiters promising you the world…

But, without meaning to sound controversial, have you ever considered that your working practices might be contributing to your problems? That maybe, despite having the best interests of your company at heart when they were first created and introduced, that they no longer work in the current market?

Here are a few things that you might want to consider if you want to get the best results when engaging a recruiter or a recruitment agency:

Consider Exclusivity (or only using a couple of trusted suppliers)

Imagine you have an urgent vacancy to fill and you don’t have the time or resources to fill it yourself. What are your options? You may already have a PSL of 5-10 agencies in place, or you might be tempted to go to your pin board and call everyone that has contacted you over the last 12 months and get them all working on your vacancy. Surely that will get it filled quickly with minimal fuss? Well believe it or not but this might not be the best strategy:

  1. Firstly, good recruiters will be aware of what their competitors are working on, and as the number of recruiters working on a vacancy increases, so does the risk that the recruiter is working for nothing. As you can imagine this tends to put even the best of us off, and we will inevitably invest less time in your vacancy and more time on the vacancies that give us a higher chance of making money and earning a living.
  2. Secondly, knowing that you are up against other agencies means you are in a race. Speed becomes more important as every agency is fishing in the same candidate pool. This can result in less time being spent on matching and qualifying the candidates to your specific requirements. In the end, you might end up spending a good deal of time rejecting CVs and wishing you had just done it yourself.

Exclusivity however will give an agency a much greater chance of filling a vacancy and as a result they are likely to, not only offer better terms but also allocate much more of their time to you and your role. Knowing they are not in a race will mean the screening and qualifying process can be lengthier and you are more likely to see a higher calibre of CV but a much smaller number.

Remember “value for money” doesn’t mean cheap

So you are nearly ready to go. All that you need to do now is agree terms. You may be tempted to tell your chosen suppliers that JoeBloggsRecruitment.com has agreed to work at 10% and that they will have to match it if they want to work on the vacancy.

Again, this could be a mistake… We are all currently working in a candidate driven market (certainly in West Oxfordshire and throughout the Cotswolds) which means each candidate is likely to have several opportunities available to them.

Consider for a minute that a recruiter has two Project Manager roles with companies paying the same salary in West Oxfordshire. Company A from Witney has terms at 10% and Company B from Stow has terms at 18%. The recruiter sources a great PM. Which job do you think they sell to the candidate first? and which company sees the CV first?

By trying to save a couple of hundred pounds and avoiding paying market rate you could miss out on the best candidates. Worse still your vacancy might remain open for a greater period of time which comes with its own costs to your business.

If you really want value for money and not just the cheapest price, ask what service you will get for your money and negotiate your terms based on what you need from your recruitment partner.

…remember you can only pick two!

Treat your agency supplier like a business partner

Now it stands to reason that the more a recruiter knows about the client, the team, the role, the better placed they are to fully inform the candidate, and the better job they can do at matching candidates to a company’s culture.

So, if your agency partner asks for a visit, or asks to meet the hiring manager, make every effort to facilitate that request. If you don’t, then you shouldn’t be surprised when the first few CVs are not exactly what you were looking for.

It’s also a good idea to adopt a relationship based on “full disclosure”. If your position is vacant because the department leader is “difficult to deal with”, or the location is a “yet to be converted” barn then it is best to be honest about this from the beginning. Your Recruitment partner has a better chance of finding someone that can deal with these challenges if they know about them in advance and the likelihood of a candidate dropping out in the first few months will be greatly reduced.

Treat your candidates with respect

As I outlined earlier in this blog, if you are responsible for hiring or interviewing for your organisation, you need to understand that the way the market currently sits means that good candidates are likely to have a number of opportunities available to them. Unemployment rates and low and there are more jobs than qualified candidates to fill them.

If you are not flexible in your approach, if you take too long, have too many stages, insist on irrelevant additional tests and forms (because you’ve always done them), and if you don’t understand that the candidates are interviewing you too, then you will lose out to your competitors, and it doesn’t matter how good your recruiters (internal or external) are.

Recruitment is a two-way street, and from the moment that a candidate’s CV is submitted you are being judged. Be prepared to give feedback on CVs and interviews in a timely manner, and make sure your interviewers are confident and competent. Your recruiter should let you know what a candidate’s motivation for changing jobs is prior to the interview so that you can cover these points off. If you do like them, you can tell them you like them. You don’t have to keep it a secret and keep them on edge. A positive ending to an interview could be the difference between accepting your offer or someone else’s.

If you do lack experience in interviewing and you don’t have an HR team to support you, your agency should be able to give you some help and many will sit in with you and help conduct the interview if you need that help.

I hope that you find this useful and something to think about when you next choose to employ a recruitment agency.

The Burford Recruitment Company

At the Burford Recruitment Company, we strive to work with clients who understand the value of a good recruitment partner. Should you need any assistance in recruiting across the Cotswolds we would happily have a chat about the best way to help you. We believe we can offer a solution that is “value for money”, just don’t be surprised when we ask for a visit!

CV Writing Tips For Candidates

 CV writing tips for candidates

Having worked in the recruitment industry for nearly 30 years between us, we must have read (or at least glanced at) tens of thousands of CVs. Some were good, and there was that excited feeling after the first few seconds that we might actually have found “the one” for our clients. Some on the other hand were very bad, and while we might have missed a trick and passed over the perfect candidate on occasion, poor CVs generally end up at the bottom of the pile so we can move on and look at the next CV.

You see the thing is, if a recruiter (whether they be from a recruitment agency or internal recruitment team) doesn’t like a CV, or can’t see how the applicant would fit the role in the first few seconds, then the likelihood of them persevering and reading through 3 sides of A4 to find out more is slim. Having a good CV is therefor critical to achieving your career aspirations.

Now my opinion is only one of many, and recently I have seen recruiters (and a number of CV writers) posting on social and professional sites that CVs need a shake-up. They say that most CVs are dull, and that they should have colour, quirky fonts and funky designs to grab the recruiter’s attention. They even suggest that self-imposed grades for showing what your best skills are a good idea.

Please don’t be fooled! While they might be good for artistic or design positions, in general, they simply confuse the recruiter who has to scan multiple columns and boxes to find the simplest of information.

Think of it this way; sending your CV is the first part of the application process, and can essentially be seen as being the first (blind) interview stage. You wouldn’t turn up for an interview wearing a multi-colour suit, with a henna tattoo on your face to make yourself look interesting, would you? No, because it would distract from the fact that you are qualified and capable of doing the job.

For the majority of vacancies, CVs need to do one thing and one thing only. That is to show, in as short a time as possible that you are capable of carrying out the role for which you are applying. If you do this effectively, it is likely that you will get the opportunity to show your personality off in the interview.

We are here to help, so if you would like a chat about your CV or how we can help you in yourjob search please feel free to contact us. Since opening for business in January 2017, The Burford Recruitment Company have a CV to interview hit rate of over 80% so we must be doing something right!

Alternatively try the following tips when writing your CV and remember, the first few seconds really do count!

Below are our top 5 CV writing tips:

    1. Read the advert properly…twice! Make sure you know what you are applying for, and don’t apply based on the title of the advert. Different companies use different titles. Remember no two jobs are the same. Marketing Assistant and Digital Marketing Assistant can be wildly different jobs!

     

    1. Tailor your CV to each application – If you are applying for a Sales Administrator position but your summary says you are passionate about business development you are less likely to get an interview

     

    1. Order it correctly – Generally a one or two paragraph personal summary followed by key skills, relevant employment history, relevant education / qualifications, and finally everything else is the way to go

     

    1. Use bullet points – These allow you to get over the main areas of each of your previous Jobs without waffling or diluting the key points (again highlight things from your previous jobs that relate to the job you are applying for)

     

    1. Use spell check! – (No explanation needed)

We think that applying these golden rules will help you get an interview and maybe even help get the job of your dreams. Good luck in your search!

An Interview With Our Directors

An Interview With Our Directors

Tell me about your recruitment background.

Jodie went to school in Burford and has lived and worked in West Oxfordshire all of her life. With a strong sales background, Jodie has spent the last 13 years working in recruitment in Witney and the wider Oxfordshire area. During this time, Jodie has come to know the local market inside out and has built and managed successful recruitment teams covering Office and Professional, Industrial and IT sectors.

Chris who is originally from Newcastle, has worked in the recruitment industry for 17 years recruiting a mix of Office and Professional, Technical and Industrial roles at sites across the country. Highly service orientated, Chris’s work has won industry awards for innovation and client service at his previous company. After working extensively with Key Accounts, Chris worked across the business improvement and implementation functions, and was part of the Senior Leadership Team for the Office and Professional and Industrial divisions at his previous company.

What was your motivation for starting your own recruitment business?

Between us, we have worked most roles available in the recruitment industry, gaining knowledge and experience along the way and it was time to make that knowledge and experience work for us. We felt that our joint experience provided us with the right mix of skills and the opportunity to make a success of our own company.

We are hoping that this will provide us with a better work life balance. We are very aware that it is going to be hard work, but deciding to launch a local recruitment business means we won’t be leaving the house at 6am to get to the other side of the country for a meeting and staying away from our family. As any good recruiter knows, it’s not all about your pay packet, but also what comes with it; the building you work in, the commute to the office, the culture of the company and the people you work with.

What sectors do you cover?  What roles do you specialise in?

Our core market will be the Office and Professional sector across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire from Administrators to Managing Directors.

That’s not to say that if a client want’s us to help them find someone technical or industrial that we won’t help them, just that our core market will be Office and Professional.

What can customers expect when they work with you?

There are many agencies springing up across the country, claiming to offer dynamic, innovative, industry leading solutions, but a lot of these are all style and no substance.
That is not us. The Burford Recruitment Company’s clients can expect a traditional and professional approach to recruitment.

Traditional doesn’t mean outdated, stuck in the past, or lacking technology, it means focusing on understanding the client’s and candidate’s needs, building relationships with clear communication and providing a quality service that they will want to use again and again.

Partnership is a word potentially overused in recruitment with many relationships remaining transactional, but if a client wants to get more out of their recruitment partner then we would be very happy to work with them.

What are your long term plans for the company?

The long term plans for the company is simply to develop the brand so that it becomes synonymous with quality and professionalism across the Cotswolds.

 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close