Posted by & filed under Advice, Interview Tips, Opinion, Starting a new Job.

6 reasons why accepting a counter offer is rarely a good idea!  So, you’ve accepted an offer to work for a new company and its time to quit your current job. You do all the right things: give notice, offer to help in the transition, say thanks for the opportunity. But instead of just shaking your hand and wishing you good luck, your boss hits you with a counter offer – one that includes more money, more holiday, and better benefits.

It can be easy for candidates to be dazzled by a hike in salary and commitment from their current employer. However, the chances are your boss has ulterior motives. Employee resignations can hurt a manager’s record. Or, maybe, he or she wants to keep you on long enough to find a replacement. Perhaps it’s their motive because it’s far more cost effective to pay you a bit more than it is to recruit, hire, and train a new employee.

In some instances, accepting a counter offer may be a good move. However, once the dust has settled statistics show that 80% of people either voluntarily leave within 6 months or are let go in a year. We see this first hand, candidates that accept a counter offer from their current employer are active again – more often than not within 6 months.  So before you say yes, consider these reasons why you might want to consider declining.


1. If you have previously requested a pay rise and not received one you have to ask where the money is coming from for your counter offer? It is likely this was simply the money allocated for your next bonus or raise, diminishing the true value of the counter offer.


2. Don’t forget your original reasons for looking for a new role – if company culture played a part in this a pay rise will only temporarily mask this issue. You also have to question the company ethics if it takes you to tell them you’re leaving to realise how much you’re worth.


3. From this point on your employer will question your loyalty – after the initial euphoria at you staying they won’t forget that you came close to jumping ship. Be aware that in months to come this could affect future promotions and potential for progression.


4. It’s not just your employers that will change their behaviour towards you but colleagues may see you in a different light and your relationships may suffer – ultimately adding to your workplace unhappiness.


5. Going back on an offer you accepted from another company can hamper your impression on the new company as well. Even though the acceptance could just be verbal, it is still viewed as an agreement between you and the new company. If you decide to stay with your current company and things again don’t work for you as promised/expected, you’ve burned a bridge with a company that may have been a much better fit.


6. As mentioned above, once the dust has settled statistics show that 80% of people either voluntarily leave within 6 months or are let go in a year. You will be first in the firing line if cutbacks are made as they know that your commitment is not truly there.


The advantage of being on board with Cherry Pick People is that we can help you manage this process to get the best outcome and guide you through every step of the way. Feel free to get in touch with Lema for advice on 020 3587 7687 or by emailing


Posted by & filed under Interview Tips.

Some interview questions often throw my candidates when they’re interviewing for a job in Estate Agency – let’s start with one of the most common interview questions ever-

“Tell me about yourself”

This question is probably the one I am asked for advice about the most – what is the best way to answer it? Remember, it is a way for the interviewer to see how you react to a non-structured question and see what you deem as important!

Firstly, this is not a cue for you to tell your life story (this is probably the biggest mistake candidates make with this question – “well I was born in Richmond in 1990 in a little house by the Thames, I went to St Marys School and really enjoyed my cycling proficiency test…” don’t get me wrong – It’s great to open up and tell the interviewer about your past – but please, save it for when you actually get hired.

Another key mistake is to answer with “well, what would you like to know?” …Goodbye to the job you have just been preparing for the last week – this would just scream a lack of preparation and not being able to work well under pressure. Seems harsh? Well yes, it is, but so is a sales role!

And lastly another common mistake – the 20-minute answer! Going off on tangents is a very common mistake (which trust me, I am very capable of too). Keep it as short as possible 1 to 2 minutes max! You will have more chances to show your strengths and attributes later on in the interview.

Remember, this question is a perfect time for you to take control of the interview and to sell yourself as to why you are the perfect candidate for this role and accomplishments you have achieved to show this. What experiences and skills you have which are relevant to the job you are applying for!

So, what is the best way to answer this question?

Research conducted by Marc Cenedella (founder of Knozen) suggests you focus on what you can do to fulfil the needs of the company you are interviewing for. So when being asked the “tell me about yourself question” think about the qualities the company will WANT in order to do the job successfully. For example, “I’d really describe myself as a person with a versatile skill-set, a lot of integrity and a willingness to go the extra mile to satisfy a customer.  Perhaps the best way to let you know what I’m about is to share with you some relevant experience I have.“– ALWAYS give examples in the workplace where you have shown this!

If you have NO experience – do not worry! The company will have already seen your CV and want to see you anyway – focus on the attributes you have to make you successful at the job – for example “competitive – having played netball throughout school and college” etc. A lot of the time personality is 50% of the job done! Energy and enthusiasm are also just as vital!

So when you’re going for your next estate agent position and you’re being asked the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question, grab the opportunity with both hands and really sell yourself as to why you would be the perfect candidate for the job!!

Good Luck!!!

Posted by & filed under Interview Tips.

Why a failed first interview is like a failed first date!!!  Having worked in Property recruitment for nearly two years, I often link property recruitment or indeed recruitment generally to dating… or in my case a matchmaker.

You do your searches, send a message, hope to get a reply, get to know and understand what each other are looking for, arrange a date and hope to either meet again or get a happy ending (but not the type you’re thinking of).

I often tell my candidates that going on a first interview is very much like going on a first date especially if they’re nervous and need a little extra support and guidance.

So here are my top tips for your first interview (or dating if you need help with that too)

  1. Peacocking – This is a massive factor, first impressions are so important on a first date. The same can be said for an interview.  Turn up in your neatly pressed suit and scuff-less shoes with a portfolio in tow and smelling good and you’ll come across as professional and well put together.
  2. Sell yourself – An interview is as much about getting to know each other as it is about your skills and experience otherwise recruitment would be Tinderised, you would swipe right and hope it’s a match! Your answers should always be professional but talking about experiences outside of work is a great way to show your personality.
  3. Show an interest – There’s nothing worse than being on a date with someone who comes across like they don’t want to be there. The same goes for an interview. Make a connection with the interviewer. Ask questions, smile and be positive.
  4. Have things to talk about – It’s easy to get a little nervous, and this can sometimes lead to you giving one word answers and not enough detail. This would not go down well on a date and the same is true for an interview.  Research the company, make sure you know all there is to know about them, research the interviewers on LinkedIn get an understanding about them and their interests which will come in very handy during the interview especially if you have things in common. (By this I’m not condoning stalking your date on Facebook before meeting them)
  5. The Close – “So are we going to see each other again?” is usually how a first date ends if everything goes well. In an interview, if you really want the job, be sure that you have done enough to get a second interview. Ask the interviewer, “based on our meeting today is there anything that you’re unsure of?” This hopefully gives you a chance to overcome any reservations they have.

So here is my comparison on the recruitment process and dating… If you’re looking for your next job or looking for someone new to join your team, then get in touch with myself or the team at cherry pick people.  Unfortunately, we do not provide match making services of the dating kind.

Posted by & filed under Interview Tips.

10 Weirdest Interview Questions

Having worked in Property Recruitment for many years I’ve certainly come across a few quirky individuals who have asked some very random questions – one in particular was “if you were a chocolate bar – what would you be and why?” that was asked by a senior Director of one of our Estate Agency clients!

Of course there is a benefit of asking the standard questions – such as “what are your strengths/weaknesses” and “what was your greatest achievement in your previous job?”

However, I’ve always found that interviews based solely on these types of questions can be as painful for the interviewer as the interviewee! So I think a few off the wall questions can help you learn more about the person you’re interviewing as they won’t have been able to prepare extensively in advance and it gives you a chance to see how people respond to the unexpected! Something particularly important when recruiting for Sales people

Having said that some companies have taken it too far!

Here are the 10 weirdest questions I’ve collated – surprisingly only one is directly from the Property industry?

Here are 10 amusing questions asked by real companies:

  1. Describe the colour yellow to somebody who’s blind. – Asked by Spirit Airlines.
  1. On a scale of 1-10, How weird are you? – Asked by Zappos.
  1. Can you say: `Peter Pepper Picked a Pickled Pepper` and cross-sell a washing machine at the same time – Asked by Mastercard.
  1. A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? – Asked by Clark Construction Group
  1. You are in a dark room with no light. You need matching socks for your interview and you have 19 grey socks and 25 black socks. What are the chances you will get a matching pair? – Asked by Guardsmark.
  1. Is Batman a superhero? – Asked by AlphaSights
  1. Choose a city and estimate how many piano tuners operate a business there – Asked by Google
  1. If I was talking to your best friend, what is one thing they would say you need to work on? – Asked by Apple
  1. Tell me a story – Asked by Celgene
  1. Please bring a toy with you and explain how this reflects you as a person or a part of your personality – Asked by Unknown

I’d love to hear if anyone has heard any others? What’s the weirdest question you have been asked or asked yourself!?!

And if you do happen to be in the market for a new job in the property sector, why not check out our latest opportunities right here. 

Posted by & filed under Blog, Interview Tips.

“What annoys you most about candidates?”

I was recently out for lunch with a client of mine when they asked me this particular question. It really got me thinking. She went on to say…

“I cannot count the amount of times I interview people who give me the same MIND-NUMBING answers when I ask them what their strengths are. It literally makes me want to run out the door screaming.”

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Blog, Interview Tips, Jobs.

When you are applying for a job, the first thing that a potential employer is going to see of you is your CV. This simple document could be the difference between securing an interview or not. Which means that it needs to not only be a great reflection of you, but also be able to stand out from the crowd.

Sounds simple enough, but how do you get your CV to stand out? Particularly if you are applying for a role that could have lots of other interest. Let’s take a look at some of our top tips on making sure that your CV stands out.

Try and keep it short

One of the worst things that you can do with your CV is create a long and rambling document that the employer is going to need to put aside time to read. A CV should be around the 2 page length and you should aim to have paragraphs that are around 3 sentences long. If you have a list of things that you need to highlight, then keep them bullet pointed. The idea behind these things is that it makes your CV all the easier to read, and that the recruiter can easily pinpoint your key skills with ease.

Always make it unique

A big mistake when applying for a job is not looking at how you can make your CV tailored to the job role. Of course, you don’t want to change your CV each time that you are applying for something, but it is a good idea to focus on at least the profile part of the CV specific to the role that you are applying for. Not only will this highlight just how great you are for this role, but it will also help to ensure that you stand out from the crowd.

Don’t be afraid to include examples of things you have done

There are some things we have done in our lives that we are proud of. Whilst this may not be utterly relevant to the job you are applying for, it does show another side to you. If you have spoken at an event, written a blog or have some other area of expertise, let them know. Not only will this add to your personality, but it will also give them an insight into some of the other things that you can do which will be valuable to your business.

Never ever send it before you have checked it

Your CV is incredibly important and if there are any errors or mistakes on there then it is not going to show you in a very good light. This means that it is worthwhile taking the time to check your CV for any errors, before checking it again.

As you can see, there are lots of things that you need to think about when it comes to creating your CV and hopefully securing the all-important interview. Then comes the next stage on your road to being recruited.

For further help in making your CV stand out, get in touch with one of our friendly consultants who will be happy to help.