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As we all know, the interview process has had to change in recent years. To ensure your interview gives you the best chance of getting that dream job, make sure to implement these five interview tips that will help you navigate a competitive job market!

Conduct Research on the Employer

This might sound obvious, and it is, but it’s amazing how many people don’t do their research and then get caught out in an interview!

Researching an employer helps control the flow of conversation. It shows an employer that you are interested in — and passionate about — working at their company, rather than simply going through the motions to find another job.

Another benefit of researching a company is that it helps you to develop a dialogue that allows you to showcase your confidence and skills in a way that is relevant to the role that you are applying for.

When conducting your research, the best places to look are the company’s blog, about us, and team pages on the company’s website. You can also read press releases and interviews with senior executives. The blog page is my favourite, as it often gives the most personal insight into life at the company and what their culture is like, as well as their views on industry news and trends.

Prepare Your Remote Work Setup

Many employers are still conducting remote interviews in the first instance. This means that it is absolutely vital that you have a remote setup that is professional and gives a good first impression – we all know how important those are!

Your internet connection should be the first thing you test to ensure the connection is strong and you won’t be cutting out during the interview. Then, find a well-lit area that doesn’t have anything offensive or distracting in the background. A plain, undecorated wall should do, but a bookshelf or a few paintings shouldn’t be too distracting. Make sure that you have somewhere to sit and a surface to place your device on – a laptop on your lap so that you’re hunched over it, or a phone moving about as you hold it up isn’t going to look professional or like you’ve put much effort into preparing for the interview.

Familiarize Yourself with Emotional Intelligence

An employer won’t only be assessing your skills and expertise, but also your ability to fit into the company culture and team. Knowing how to convey your personal values and show some of your personality will really help you to connect with the interviewer and to stand out from other candidates.

I’m a firm believer that how you say something can be more important than what you’re saying (within reason!), so don’t get so caught up in saying exactly the ‘right’ thing that you forget to be yourself!

You can also lean on tests like the Myers-Briggs indicators and Positive Intelligence to better help understand and describe your emotional strengths.

Practice Storytelling

One of the most asked questions in a job interview is “Tell me about yourself?” This opener places the onus on you to carry the conversation but has the benefit of allowing you to express aspects of your expertise and professional accomplishments that can shape the rest of the interview. This question can really put you on the spot if you’re not prepared, so practice talking about yourself positively as much as you can before an interview.

Follow Up

Don’t be ashamed to follow up. A day or two later, send a thank you note via email. In a week or two after the interview, call to enquire about the position. When you do this, be polite and enthusiastic about the role, but don’t sound desperate!

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You’ve got the job, that’s great. Typically the nerves don’t stop there. The night before… the train journey there! You have to face the daunting task of acclimating to your new work environment, your tasks and your colleagues. I remember my first day at Cherry Pick People, it had been a long time since I had started a new role with a brand new team and wow was my nerves all over the place! I was lucky enough to find the team extremely welcoming and was eased in very nicely but the anxiety is most present on the first day as you step into unfamiliar territory, but you can ease those nerves with a plan of action which is what I set off to do. I remember giving myself the prep talk and reminding myself that I had been chosen because they believed I was the right fit for the team and the right person for the job, I reminded myself that I had gone through the 3 stage interview process up against other people and I was chosen, sometimes you’ve got to give yourself that confidence boost!

Remember the Primary Task

Often the most nerve-wracking component of the first day has to do with meeting your colleagues and managers, getting to know the team and company structure. While this is important to execute your role, focus on why you’ve come to work and that’s to work. You’re there to do your job. Keep your attention on learning and perfecting your role. Throw yourself into the deep end. You’ll be to focused on your role to worry about how you’re settling in with the team or what anyone is thinking. Before you know it, the work day will be over and your team will soon become familiar friendly faces.

Be Accommodating

For me, recruitment was a whole new world so I learnt freshly how things was done but even in estate agencies, from my experience, you could be in the same company but each branch had their different way of doing things. However I don’t doubt that each recruitment firm is different and they each have their processes of how they like things done. Don’t impose your way of working or your processes on day one. The best way to get acclimated to the team is to be accommodating. Introduce yourself and ask questions. Show interest in your colleagues and the team. Soak up your team members advice and guidance like a sponge, take notes, ask questions and get involved! There’s no harm in trying new ways or asking questions. Trial and error for sure, see what works for you!

Allow Yourself to Learn

While you may be an expert or have a great understanding of the core processes required for the job, you may not be familiar with internal processes. Don’t feel ashamed that you aren’t familiar with these aspects of the job and choose to ask. Everyone has their individual ways of doing it and that’s ok!

You should also ensure you’re well-rested and alert on your first day, a good night’s sleep is key, as this ensures you become a sponge for information. Before starting my new role with Cherry Pick, I made sure I had everything sorted the night before so that my morning of my first day was relaxing. On the way there I listened to some pick me up songs and a good chatty podcast. Pack your bag, choose your outfit, make your lunch, all the day before to avoid that manic morning. Minimize the tasks you need to do before the day begins to try and make sure the start of your day is as straight forward as possible.

Look Forward to Not Being New

The anxiety associated with being new may become overwhelming. Funny enough, when I wasn’t the new girl anymore I felt sad, but at the time I found it so daunting! Enjoy being the newbie! You’re not the newbie for long! If you are struggling with the concept of being new, reassure yourself: you won’t be new forever. Focus on what you’ve accomplished so far — a grueling recruitment process (which is something to shoutout about in itself)— and that by overcoming that, you can overcome this. Also, remember that you’ve been selected for the role, meaning the recruiter and your employee believes in your capabilities. Being new gives you the opportunity and opens the door for people to get to know you, for you to present yourself however you like & a fresh start!

 

First-day jitters are only natural and most people will experience them. In most companies, your colleagues will try to make your first day undaunting, mine certainly did, which means it can be a perfect opportunity for learning and leveraging the skills of those around you. After that first week, when the nerves have settled and the novelty has worn off, that’s when most of the hard work kicks in. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Things will fall into place and come natural to you and if they don’t, then be patient with yourself. Good things take time!

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So, you’ve crafted a great looking CV and developed a strategy when applying for jobs and getting invited for an interview. However, the interview stage is the most critical step in the process. The interview is what determines if you secure your dream job. Now is the time to put your best — and most professional — show forward, wearing the attire that will make you memorable for all the right reasons.

I recently did a poll on Linked In to ask how candidates prepare for interviews and had a varied response but one aspect we never talk about is dress code. Here’s a couple of my airtight tips to pick the right outfit for your next interview!

Neutral Colours, Minimal Makeup, and Simple Jewellery Are Your FRIENDS

What do you want your interviewer to remember about the short meeting? Your clothing choices or your expertise? Your eloquent answers or your elaborate eye makeup?

Your clothes should be appropriate. Although there’s space for some stylistic expression, it should be limited to one item. Maybe a pair of emerald stud earrings or a scarf, but anything too eye-catching will also be distracting.

Prioritize Grooming

A clean shave (or a beard shapeup), good haircut, and short nails are professional, they’re also appreciated during an interview. Why not whack out that nice perfume you like wearing when you go out-out?

Wear What’s Comfortable

Your bomb outfit is coming together, you’ve bought some new bits and feel super confident! You might be thinking about those impractical shoes that give you the biggest blisters, but you forgot that they do? Although they make look glam, comfort should trump fashion. A comfortable, but smart shoe should do the trick. You don’t want to be remembered for your spectacular fall in a hallway of an office… Avoid trainers at all costs!

Take Cues From the Company and Industry

Before you arrive at your interview in a three-piece suit or jeans, research the company’s dress code. Look at the profile pictures of existing employers, management, and executives to get an idea of what would be appropriate for the interview; after all, these could be your future colleagues, and you want to showcase that you would be a good team member.

Stick to the Basics

When in doubt, stick to the basics. A white collared shirt, tailored trousers, and loafers should work for both men and women. You can add a blazer or cardigan to the look for warmth and style. Grey, white, black, navy, blue, and brown are appropriate colours.

 

If you’re unsure what to wear to the interview, the best thing to do is ask, either query the dress code, read any correspondence between yourself and the interviewer or ask the recruiter.

 

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Let’s talk about first impressions!
They are super important in a variety of situations. It could be a first date, meeting your partners parents for the first time, the first day of your new job…
But you wouldn’t have a first day at a new job without having made a good impression on your employer with your perfectly written CV! Let’s start from the beginning…

We are all in agreement that your CV really is your chance to make the initial first impression when applying for a role, and we know we need to make it a good one! The challenge exists in knowing how to do that! Enter…the seven-second rule!
The seven-second rule is the test your CV needs to pass, to ensure that you get shortlisted to the first round of interviews. Sounds easy enough, right? So, what is the seven-second rule I hear you ask…

Recruiters typically spend their days sourcing and reviewing CVs, in the hope of finding the ideal candidate to put forward for their superstar clients and believe me when I say – we look through a lot of CV’s! On average, we only have the time to spend between five and seven seconds looking through each CV. Therefore, within those seven seconds, it is so important to ensure your CV stands out and grabs the recruiters attention, making us want to pick up the phone to have a more in depth conversation with you.

If your CV doesn’t stand out enough, or capture a recruiters attention within those seven-seconds, you will likely miss out on what could be an amazing opportunity. Nobody wants to miss out! So I’m going to share with you some top tips on how to pass the seven-second test and implement these pointers to your own CV.

·       Keep your CV short and to the point

Your CV should only be two pages long, and that’s if you have a decades-long career. In most instances, a one-page document will be best!
It also works in your favour, as each page takes up precious time within that seven-second window.

·       Only include the most impressive skills and descriptions

Within each section, only mention your most applicable skills and impressive roles, as this should prevent your CV from becoming redundant.

·       Use an easy to navigate layout

Your profile, career summary, and education should be the most important segments. Make it easy to scan by using skills and proficiencies often included in job descriptions as these are often the words and phrases recruiters are searching to find in your CV.

·       Use examples!

Rather than using buzzwords to describe your accomplishments at a job, use real-world, verifiable examples. Rather than saying you helped “scale the company to reach its short-term objectives”,
say you “recruited and trained a dozen salespeople, helping the company achieve £10 million in sales in five years”.

My final tip would be to get a trusted and honest friend or family member to review your CV before sending it!

So there you have it! Hopefully this very simple yet effective rule will benefit you and help you to secure your dream role in the future!

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Like most things in life, CV styles change, the style in which they are written, or way in which they are presented go in and out of fashion…. A bit like shell suits, crocs and fluffy brows. In the time that I’ve worked in recruitment I have seen a big shift in the way CV’s are being written.

Your CV is usually your first introduction to your prospective new employer and we all know first impressions really do count. So it’s really important that you not only make a great first impression with your CV, it also needs to be one authentic to you and your personality.

Here are some of the ways CV’s have changed…

How CVs Have Changed

There are five critical changes that separate a modern CV from an outdated one, ensure you’ve made the necessary changes to meet the latest standards.

Contact Details

Then: a title with Curriculum Vitae, followed by full names, including middle names and honorifics, along with a full home address and business, home, and cell number.

Now: there’s no need to include the CV title because this section is much cleaner. Many of the previous segments have become redundant in line with anti-discrimination laws. Now, you only need to include the first name you are known by and surname, your city and postcode, and your contact number.

Professional Profile and Objective

Then: A professional profile, beneath your contact details often described your skill set and expertise in a paragraph littered with buzzwords.

An objective beneath that described the kind of job you wanted.

Now: Your profile is a purposeful and brief summary of your career, highlighting your proficiencies. You should also edit it for every job you apply to so that recruiters can search their systems for keywords and find your CV.

The objective is no longer applicable.

Career Summary or Work History

Then: A career summary was a detailed list of every job you held and the duties of the job.

Now: The summary is limited to the job/s you held in the last ten years, with a brief description of what the job entailed.

If necessary, jobs beyond ten years can include the start and end date and the role held during those years.

Education

Then: Listed before the career summary, the education section included the year you received your O/A Levels, the subjects and the grades.

After the O/A level grades would be other qualifications.

Now: Qualifications are listed in reverse, with the most recent and relevant qualification at the top and secondary or sixth form qualifications excluded from this list.

Hobbies and Interests

Then: A list of hobbies and interests was common practice, often listed toward the end of the CV.

Now: CV’s now highlight achievements, which could come from Hobbies or from any extra circular or charity work you have done

Fonts have also simplified, with Sans Serif fonts more commonly used.

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LinkedIn & Recruitment- A match made in Heaven?
The recruitment game has changed, gone are the days of simply putting up a job ad and waiting for the best applicants to come to you. Branding and social media has come so important for sourcing candidates and clients but also attracting them which is largely down to the Millennial and Gen Z consumer.

Millennials and Gen Z are the biggest consumers of mobile search and most commonly engage with products/services through social media. Roughly 48% Gen Z have found jobs through applying on social media so if you are looking for a job or looking for candidates, LinkedIn is your new best friend.

A LinkedIn presence is paramount to getting in front of recruiters and head-hunters so it’s crucial that your information is accessible. My role as a talent researcher is generating candidate leads to refer to consultants, the majority of the candidates I find are through headhunts on LinkedIn.

So if you are looking for work, here are some ways to make your LinkedIn more attractive;

• Clear and Professional Photo
• Include all your work experience with
• Set your LinkedIn to ‘Open to Work’
• Inform your network on your preferred method of contact in your LinkedIn bio
• Add your email/number to your LinkedIn profile
• Check your LinkedIn InMail/connections regularly
• Make sure your CV has an up to date email/phone number
• Connect with a consultant on LinkedIn so they have another way of contacting you directly with hot roles

Your LinkedIn being up to date could really make all the difference if you are struggling with your job search, I wasn’t having any luck with job boards, so I began using LinkedIn and I’ve never looked back. My last three roles were all through applying for jobs and networking on LinkedIn, the the proof is really in the pudding.