Interviews… Going the extra mile
Over the past month, Taylor Herrick Recruitment’s pool of candidates have been successful at proceeding to interview stage with leading national employability and skills providers. Our new blog is dedicated to discussing how job seekers could be going the extra mile; which is particularly relevant in today’s competitive job market.
Employers are receiving record numbers of applications to jobs, both direct and through a handful of agencies. If you have been successfully shortlisted to attend an interview it is vital that you ensure you stand out from competition. Each and every provider is seeking the right job / person match to work within their teams.
When attending interviews, time management and presentation is key, together with the ability to connect with the panel of interviewers; relax, smile and be enthusiastic, demonstrating your passion for the industry.
Providers seek new talent from successful, innovative candidates. I’ve found that, even though providers are delivering the same government contracts locally and nationally, in this rapidly changing market, they all differ in their ethos, behaviours and values. Most providers are currently winning new contracts on a national scale and therefore the ability to grow and lead is fundamental. A new approach to existing and newly structured positions is required, as is a variety of expertise. Research and a thorough knowledge of the industry, contract and the provider are essential at interview stage.
When being interviewed by a panel of the organisation representatives, you should find a positive balance of both listening and talking. Preparation is vital in order to discuss and answer competency based questions. When answering these types of questions, ensure you provide a valid, clear, strategic answer, providing detailed examples from past experiences. Perhaps, you may include figures, statistics, cases from working practice or shared knowledge, success stories or examples how you’ve dealt with challenges and change. When answering competency based questions, also ensure you always consider the STAR approach:
The acronym STAR stands for;
At interview stage, I advise our candidates to take along a portfolio of their past work. This can include testimonials from candidates or clients, client lists, examples of highly achieved performance targets and KPI’s, training certificates, previous appraisal notes, business plans, photographs and examples of ideas that have been implemented within previous teams. Your portfolio demonstrates your sense of achievement, success and ambition. You can also refer to your portfolio when answering competency based questions, providing hard copy examples of action and result.
Below are some quotes I’ve recently read and thought I’d share for good practice in this blog:-
‘Consider the qualities and competencies that would be needed for that role and show how you may have acquired and employed these in the past’
‘If the interviewer is going to be from HR, be ready to discuss the core values and overall direction of the business’
‘Always, always, always visit the company’s website,’
‘Look confident and you will be confident!’
Best of luck to you all when attending interviews, but remember, even if you are unsuccessful the first time, interview experience is very valuable and taking on board all feedback will help you to get the job next time.