Candidate tool box

We have created the Candidate Tool Box to give you the best possible chance to secure your new position. In this section you will receive CV Writing Tips, help on Interview Preparation and some example Interview Questions. You will also find tips on how to give a good First Impression and also some other General Interview Advice. Finally, we have provided a list of Useful Websites to help you with your interview planning

CV Writing Tips

The CV is the first part of the process to getting the job you want. It is crucial that you catch the attention of the potential employer as it is the first thing that they will judge you on. It is imperative that you use this opportunity well so your CV should be written following the steps listed below.

Step One: Details

Start by assembling the facts and information that is required in your CV:

Personal details; name, nationality (and visa status), address, contact details – telephone numbers for home, mobile and office, and an e-mail address.

Education and professional qualifications in chronological order.

Employment in chronological order; start with your current job and employer and work backwards. You will need to include your job title and outline the main responsibilities and achievements within each role including any promotions. Remember to write in the past tense and be concise. More space should be allocated to the more recent positions, since these are where your most important achievements are usually found.

Step Two: Write it

Now you must write up this information in a way that sells you and your experience to any future employers. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Tailor your CV for the area that you want to move into
  • Excite the reader and grab their interest with the first page
  • Focus on your strengths and underplay your weaknesses
  • Make every point relevant
  • Use the past tense
  • Avoid repetition
  • Interviews are likely to be based on your CV so be clear and truthful
  • Explain all gaps
  • Avoid repetition

Step Three: The format

Here are our rules for formatting your CV:

  • Word process your CV, e.g. using Microsoft Word
  • Avoid using coloured paper or a varied range of font types and sizes
  • Ideally keep to two pages maximum but certainly no more than three
  • Choose a simple typeface in black font
  • Highlight headings using italics or bold
  • Spell check the CV
  • Get somebody to proofread it

Remember to always keep your CV up to date by adding new skills and qualifications. This will improve your value to potential employers.

Finally, provide a covering letter or email to accompany your CV and let your words do the talking. It is important in a covering letter to highlight the matches that exist with what you can offer and what the client wants.

For more information speak to one of our consultants.

Interview preparation

Being prepared for your interview is essential for giving yourself the best possible opportunity to secure the position that you are going for. Naturally the more you know about the company the more confident you will be in the interview. The best place to start is the company’s website and from here you can learn about its history, financial position, competitors, products and services. Also pay particular attention to any news articles or press releases about the company to give you a better understanding of what they are currently involved with.

You’ll need to know certain things about the company, for example Is it part of a larger group? If so who is the holding group? Who are their main competitors? This will enable you to further link any previous experience with similar companies.

Following the research, spend time to review the information and formulate questions that you would like to ask during the interview. If you relate some of these to current news stories about the company or the relevant industry then it will highlight the research that you have done.

Interview Questions

Remember that an interview is a two way street and it is your chance to find out more about your potential employer. Questions you could ask:

  • Reason the position is available?
  • Culture of the company?
  • What does the interviewer(s) like about working there?
  • Company growth plans?

All interviews are different but here is a selection of questions that you may get asked:

  • Why would you like to work for our organisation?
  • What style of management gets the best from you?
  • What would you consider to be your greatest achievement to date? Why?
  • What interests you about our products and services?
  • Describe the biggest problem you have faced in the last twelve months. How did you handle it?
  • What would previous employers say about you?
  • What are your standards of success in your job?
  • What have you learned from previous jobs?

There are no right answers to the above questions but the more prepared you are for the questions the better your answers will be.

First impression

Being well dressed, groomed and confident (don’t forget to smile) is your best and easiest opportunity to impress someone. Remember the old adage: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Never dress down no matter how informal you think the interview will be. Body language is very important and you should lean forward, make eye contact, and look interested but remember not to exaggerate any of these.

General Interview Advice

Ensure that you know where you are going and what time you have to be there for. Make sure you know the journey time, route and where you can park if you are driving to the interview and plan to get there 20 minutes before your interview. We always advise that you do a dummy run to the location of the interview the day before in case you encounter any unseen problems. Also have the interviewers name and title noted and know the correct pronunciation. You should also ensure you know the format and possible length of the interview.

Remember the five P’s: Prior planning prevents poor performance!

Always call Consult Solutions before you go into your interview and straight after so we can relay your feedback to the client. We also advise that should you be running late you call us so we can inform the client of any delays.

I’m very impressed at the help I was given to make finding a new role as easy and painless for me as possible. Consult Solutions went above and beyond my expectations.

Business Analyst

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