One of our Principal Talent Delivery Consultant's Adam King has pulled together some CV and interview know-how which will be sure to help you on your jobsearch journey.
1. What’s the number one mistake you find when sifting through CVs?
Spelling and grammatical errors can be the most frustrating things when reading a CV. Asking someone to proofread is a simple way to guard against this. However, there is also an abundance of software available, such as Grammarly, which offer further assistance.
2. What things stand out in a CV? What do you look for?
A well written profile and the clear highlighting of qualifications and key skills are essential. But I believe the most important aspect of a CV is the inclusion of achievements. Too many CVs explain the responsibilities of each role using exhaustive description, whereas more time spent on what was achieved (and what the individual contributed to the success) provides greater insight into what they have to offer potential employers.
3. What advice would you give to candidates who have either never written a CV or who haven’t written a CV in a long time?
Remember that this document is selling you: your achievements, qualifications, experiences, knowledge and personality. Make sure it highlights all of the key aspects but uses words efficiently (i.e. don’t waffle or repeat). Find some examples online to get some ideas on the format and content.
4. Why is it important to prepare before going for an interview?
Interviews are supposed to be a 2-way discussion where interviewees are expected to explain their story and motivations, but also ask insightful questions. Going into this situation ill-prepared decreases the chances of success significantly.
5. What’s one of the main reasons candidates don't get hired for a job?
Unfortunately, this often comes down to performance at the interview stage. Poor performance during interviews can happen for various reasons but often it comes down to a lack of preparation. Understanding the company and role requirements allows an interviewee to predict the theme of the discussion and types of questions they will be asked. This should then have a positive effect on nerves, leading to an increased level of interview performance.
6. In your experience, roughly how many stages of interview do candidates go through before securing a position?
Often the standard is 2 face-to-face interviews. This is sometimes preceded by an informal telephone discussion, sometimes not. Candidates should be made aware of the number of interviews that will likely be expected. Occasionally this is not available but I would advise all candidates to ask the question at the start of the process.
7. How many candidates, on average, do most employees interview before making a job offer? Why is this?
This varies widely depending on factors such as company size, number of positions, seniority, importance of role etc. As a range, I would suggest that first interviews are usually offered to 4-8 candidates; whereas for second interviews the number reduces to around 2-4.
8. How do you put your candidates at ease before interview?
The candidates themselves need to take responsibility to do their research and prepare properly. However, there are insights into companies, positions, hiring managers and interview processes which we have gained and provide to candidates. Talking them through all of these
elements and sending them all the relevant information is something I believe to be very important.
9. What’s been your most difficult job to fill and why? How long did it take you?
I once had a role which took 4 months to fill. Whilst this isn’t a particularly uncommon length of time, it was very surprising given our strong relationship with the client and nature of the role. This was a perfect storm of client requirements changing, candidates withdrawing, offers being rejected and the time for feedback from the client unfortunately increasing at key times in the process. We got there in the end though.
10. In three words, tell us what it feels like to help people secure their dream role.
Motivating. Joyous. Special.