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    Interview Tips & Advice

    For every placement we make there are many more rejections both pre interview stage and post interview stage. So here we want to give some thoughts and ideas to a help.

    CV’s :– Ensure your CV shows what you do in the roles and give a clear concise picture of the role, responsibilities and highlight some achievements of things you are proud of. Copying and pasting your job description is a big pet hate of mine. What one Area Sales Manager does for the same company will be different to another as their customers, territory, will be different.

    Interview Preparation:- When I went for my 1st interview with Swizzles Matlow back in 2004 I researched the company online, I spoke to a couple of their customers in Lancashire and as I was passing I visited a customer and looked at their products and the competition. At Interview I shared my research and showed the recruiting manager this is the level of work I put in. Its the easiest way to demonstrate work ethic to someone meeting you for the 1st time.

    1st Stage Interview:- Hopefully the days of being asked to sell a pen or which animal you most likely be are a thing of the past. Having some questions about the role, the company, the expectations and showing an interest are good questions to ask but prior to a first interview, I would be thinking of answers to a few standard questions. 1. What are your strengths and what can you bring to the role but equally as important what are your development areas or some may say weaknesses? showing self awareness is a good trait to have. 2. What is your reason to want to work for this company, Whenever I ask someone why they want to work for Sharples Davies it is a question that really shows the candidate has given thought to working in our business. Take a pad, pen, copy of your CV and if via teams we still recommend shirt and tie.

    Tests:- If you are asked to do a online test prior to an interview, it is important to make sure you are briefed accordingly, most of these tests are best done at a computer with a mouse in a quiet environment but often people don’t perform at their best because they do via a track pad or on a phone or tablet.

    Presentations:- Clients will often set tasks for a follow up interview and these can vary from; business plans, 3-6 month plans, a scenario or even presenting on a topic of your choice. It is important to ensure these look unique to the client and specific to their business. I would hope a candidate would use purple, green and silver in their colour scheme if presenting for a role with Sharples Davies. Make sure the presentation is a presentation and doesn’t end up with you reading word for word from a slide (This will really bore the audience). More importantly ensure as you start working on the topic that you answer the original brief.

    You have been invited to an interview and now since the pandemic these can take place on Teams & Zoom, but an interview is an interview and should be prepared for in the right manner.

    – If on Teams or Zoom, smart attire wear is always a good first impression, its easy at a second interview to modify attire. Equally if you know the company have a smart casual dress code then the original point should be switched around. Try and ensure a good connection and sound quality, faffing with a camera, microphone or volume is not a good look.

    – Background on a company: When was the company formed, has it recently launched any new products, have they won any awards, are they part of a larger group. What are the company Values and why are they important to you? Your research into the business is preparing you for the question “why do you want to work for Sharples Davies?” Its a question I ask and its deliberate to see who has invested some time. As a candidate I want to demonstrate if this is the research I do into a company to attain a role, this is work ethic you are potentially employing.

    – Utilise LinkedIn – many companies may not necessarily post all their news on their website but through looking on LinkedIn you may find out so much more based of what is posted on individual timelines.

    Hopefully the above tips/advice gives some small pointers that will give you a better chance of success in whatever stage of the recruitment process you are at.

    Gareth Hulme

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