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  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 month ago
  • Author:by Steven Franklin

52 Job hunting tips for 2022

If it has been a while since you last applied for a job you may be wondering where to start?Don't worry, throughout 2022 we will be showcasing our top job-hunting tips every Tuesday over on our social media channels with the hashtag #toptiptuesdayWe'll talk about everything from job interview tips/job interview prep to career advice in general.For our top job hunting tips of 2022 (so far) please keep reading:​How to apply for a job:​1. Out of work or open to work? Do this…If you’re currently open to work and have a LinkedIn profile then there are two things you need to do –1.If you are open to work and want everyone to know then you can add an ‘open to work’ frame to your profile picture. To so this simply click on your profile image – click ‘frames’, click the ‘#OpenToWork’ frame and click apply.2. If you are casually browsing or open to work but only want recruiters to know rather than your whole network, do this:Click ‘Me’, then click ‘View profile’ but this time click the ‘show recruiters you’re open to work’ box. You can then select what type of jobs you’re looking for and whether you are just casually browsing or immediately available.We recommend doing both of these tasks if you’re open to work as this acts as a signal to recruiters that you are looking and would be open to contact about suitable opportunities.​2. Keep on learningIf you've been doing the same job for a while and suddenly find yourself on the job market, you could find that, externally, the skills you need to do a similar job somewhere else have changed. Don't be alarmed.The digital age has made it easier than ever to learn new skills - why not brush up on YouTube, search for an online course or ask for advice on social media.Always focus on what you can do instead of what you can't, but, don't be afraid to be honest in an interview or application and explain that although you might not have a certain skill that is needed you are already using your own initiative to research how to gain it.A willingness to learn and examples of using your own initiative can be a winning combination when it comes to applying for a job.​3. Google yourself!When was the last time you googled your name?When applying for a job you can assume that employers will check out your digital footprint to build a picture of who you are.We, therefore, recommend googling your name to see what the internet says about you,If you see something you don't think shows you in the best light delete it or ask for it to be removed.If you can't find much material about yourself then we recommend building up an online presence.This could be setting up a LinkedIn account or setting up a blog with a company such as WordPress which showcases your skills.Don't forget to 'google yourself' at regular intervals and always make sure your online material is up-to-date.​4. Check your social media footprintWhen was the last time you had an audit of your social media? Some social media platforms have been with us for over 15 years now. The world has moved on in so many ways, so the picture you posted when partying at university or the post you innocently wrote many years ago may not be quite appropriate anymore.It’s human nature for a potential employer to be curious and search for you on social media pre-hire so it’s a good idea to have an audit and think of your social media as your shop window, how would you like to be viewed by others? Always ensure that your accounts are set to ‘private’ mode or that your social media portrays you as you wish it to.​5. Get your personality across in your CVIt’s easier said than done sometimes to get your energy and personality to shine in a written resume, but it can be the difference in getting to the next stage. Avoid clichés where possible and make sure your personal summary really reflects you, your interests and how these contribute to making you a rounded and employable individual.There is a balance to be struck though, don’t be too wacky or off-the-wall, remember it is still a professional document.It is possible to be professional without being boring.​6. Presentation mattersIf your CV is too busy or wordy, it can be hard for the recruiter to quickly pick out the skills and experience they are looking for. With increased applications, most recruiters are skim-reading CVs at the first stage of sifting. Rather than writing long paragraphs about previous jobs, put key information in bullet points.Leave some white space, even if this means your CV extends to an extra page.Be concise, pick out key responsibilities and achievements for each role you’ve held.List core skills that you bring and also key tools and knowledge that reflect the role requirement.Spelling errors show a lack of care and attention to detail. It’s important to check and double-check before pressing send.Don’t repeat yourself. Don’t repeat yourself ;-)​7. Don't paper over CV cracksDon't gloss over any gaps in your CV. There can be many reasons for taking a break but if there is no explanation, potential employers may wonder why.Highlight any study, training, or traveling done during these times; maybe event volunteer work or personal projects that demonstrate you've been productive.A word of caution; don't invent things. You may get caught out later in the process.​8. One size does not fit allIf you are applying for a specific role, your CV is your “representative” and unless it answers the requirements of the job advertised, you may not get the opportunity to interview.Instead, use the advert to identify the key skills or requirements the recruiter is looking for and prioritise them in your CV, listing them close to the top or in your summary.Don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile too so that it reflects the skills you are listing on your application.​9. Show flexibilityOne of the most important attributes that has been brought to the fore recently is the ability to deal with rapid change. Whether this is managing change, innovating to overcome problems of remote working or just maintaining the right mindset in a changing work environment.With smaller workforces, employers are looking for people who are adaptable, willing to get stuck in and work flexibly to meet the business needs and who bring a problem-solving, positive and proactive attitude and approach. It is worth highlighting these soft skills, if you have them of course, and thinking of how they can be demonstrated on a CV; through a project at a previous employer or perhaps as new training or skills that have been acquired during lockdown. ​10. What have you applied for?Social media and websites make it easier than ever to simply apply for a job at the press of one button.This is great as it saves you time filling in the same old details again and again.However, one thing we recommend is to make a note of everything you’ve applied for.The reason for this is that if a recruiter or the recruiting company does call you back to arrange an interview, then it will be fairly obvious to them if you have just applied to jobs in bulk rather than applying to their job because you really want it.If you can’t remember any details about the job but someone else they’ve called can then it could put you behind them in the race, straight away.Try and memorise just one or two things about each job you apply for, especially what it was that attracted you to apply – your job interview starts as soon as you’re contacted to arrange it.​11. Set up job alertsLet technology do the hard work for you!Most job websites, job boards and social media channels like LinkedIn have a job alerts button.Make sure you take advantage of these job alerts so that you are automatically notified when a new job becomes available that matches your criteria.43% of jobs are filled in the first 30 days of being posted* (Indeed) so it really does pay to be alerted to a new job as soon as it’s posted, so that you are one of the first to apply, this is especially important for any roles that need to be filled urgently.​12. Working through an Agency can help to take risks out of contractingCommon concerns for those working as a contractor include sourcing contracts yourself and then failing to get paid by the client or going for a lengthy period without work. Using a recruitment consultancy reduces this risk and can make contract work more stable and secure.A reputable recruitment consultancy will act as an interceder between contractor and client, from identifying work to making sure you are paid regularly and correctly – as would be the case if you were employed on a permanent basis.There can be a lot to balance in contracting - using a good recruitment consultancy to cover these responsibilities for you is a great way to ease concern and focus on the task at hand.​13. #BreakthebiasRecent stats by RAE revealed that 57% of female engineers drop off the register of professional engineers by the age of 35, compared to just 17% of their male counterparts.Businesses are realising this needs to change.We hear a lot about the shortage of engineers in the UK so focusing on retaining and empowering women in these roles is extremely important to close this gap.One way employers can attract female talent is to show that they are a career option - engage with their female talent to promote success stories and to encourage more female entrants into engineering.If businesses are looking to readdress the gender imbalance and women feel empowered to apply, together we can #breakthebias.​14. Should you tell your employer that you’re looking for a new job?When you’re looking for a new job it can often feel like you’re being unfaithful to a loved one! Lots of sneaking around, secret meetings, phone calls at stolen moments.So, maybe it's best to be open with your current employer, and tell them that you’re looking for a new job? No! Think carefully before informing your boss that you’re looking at moving on because:1. Your boss may think that you won’t give your all whilst looking for a new job.2.You may be overlooked for tasks in place of other employees that are remaining.3.You may change your mind and decide that you want to stay with your existing employer, so you don’t want them to already be looking at potential replacements.We recommend only letting your current employer know AFTER you’ve signed a contract with your new employer, at the time you hand in your notice.​15. Unsure whether to apply for a job? Contact the recruiter.Are you ruling yourself out of applying for a job too quickly?An often-quoted statistic is that men will apply for jobs where they meet around 60% of the required elements, whilst women apply only where they meet 100% of the requirements.It is easy however to look at a job advert and rule yourself out too quickly.In the current marketplace, most employers are more concerned with recruiting the right talent for their business, not just in ticking boxes.If the job appeals to you and you have some of the relevant experience, pick up the phone and speak to the recruiter or consultant to find out more about the role and requirements before ruling yourself out.It’s the recruiter’s job to work in the interests of both the employer and the candidates and a conversation will soon let you know if you would be a fit for the role.They’re also likely to have other opportunities if the job is not for you!​How to prepare for a job interview:​16. Interview prepThe phrase ‘How to prepare for an interview’ has over 5000 searches in the UK alone per month, so how can you possibly do it?The job spec is your friend. The job spec is usually divided into multiple bullet points detailing what you’ll need to do in your potential new job, and, the type of person they are after.When preparing for an interview, one great piece of advice is to treat each of ​these bullet points as a question and draft out an answer. E.g. If it says you will have to use a certain tool, prepare an example of when you have used this tool with quantifiable results if possible.Draft up a response to each bullet point ‘question’ and try and memorise where possible, this will allow their requirements and your responses to really seep in subconsciously, so you will be ready for the big day!​17. How to practice for a job interviewIf it’s been a while since you’ve had a job interview, then we recommend practicing first.But how can you practice effectively?If you are applying for a job interview through a recruitment agency then why not ask them if they would be willing to set up some time to run through a mock interview.The recruitment agency is working in the best interests of both you and your potential employer, so you should find that they will be willing to run through this with you.Recruitment agencies are also best placed to know the type of question you are likely to be asked and how best to respond.​18. Plan your journeyWe all get told first impressions count, when it comes to job interviews one of the first things that can act against you is being late.Before attending your job interview we recommend a number of things to make sure you arrive in plenty of time:1. Double-check your emails/ check with the recruiter that you have the correct address details for the interview.2. Check to see what the parking situation is like. Can you park onsite? Is there a car park nearby if not?3. Check your maps app to see how long this journey usually takes – don’t forget to input the time that you need to arrive by (always try to arrive for your interview 15 minutes before you should).4. If you really want to be as prepared as possible – Try to do a trial drive.5. Check the weather – If it’s likely to be bad always give yourself extra journey time to allow for any hold-ups.​19. Remember - People hire peopleWhen applying for a job it’s easy to get caught up in it sometimes appearing to be a tick boxing exercise – Do you have the relevant experience and how can you demonstrate this with examples? What can you bring to the role that others can’t?All these things are important but it’s as important to remember that it’s people hiring - not robots.People want to hire people they can see themselves enjoying working with. That’s why it is important to be yourself, be honest, and be human during a job interview.​20. What do you wear for a job interview?Making a good first impression in a job interview is very important.One of the ways we are instantly judged is by what we are wearing, but dressing for a job interview can be very tricky.You don’t want to dress too casually if the company is quite traditional in what they wear, however at the same time you don’t want to appear to be a bad fit for the company culture if the company is quite casual, so what do you do?1. Ask your recruiter or the company what most people wear there – this will give you a good idea on whether to dress up or down.2. If you’re unsure always ‘dress up’3. Always make sure you try your interview clothes on in advance to ensure they still fit, especially if you haven’t worn them in a while.4.Iron/Prepare your clothes the night before – This will be one less thing to worry about in the morning.​21. How do you prepare for a video job interview?One outcome of the pandemic which shows no sign of abating is the rise in video interviewing but how can you best prepare for a video interview? Here are our 10 top tips:1.Do your research2.Don’t read from the screen3.Location – Are you in a quiet space, is there anything distracting behind you?4.Test out your webcam – Is the camera angle right? Are you a good distance from the screen?5. Check the connection beforehand so you’re not in a panic trying to sort out any technical issues 6. Arrive 5 – 10 minutes early 7. Be professional in what you wear8. Be engaging – Make eye contact, smile, and use your hands and body language to express yourself9. Usual interview rules apply: Practise beforehand and use scenarios and examples10. Ask questions – write them in a notepad and refer to them during the interview – this proves you’ve done your researchTo read more on how to prepare for a video job interview click the link.​Job interview tips:​22. Everyone is interviewing you!From the moment you leave your house on the morning of the job interview - treat everyone as if they know the job interviewer.Not only will this set you in a positive mindset but they actually could.That person that has just cut you up on the motorway could be heading to the same place as you and be best friends with the interviewer.Stopped off at a shop to buy something? The person behind you may know your interviewer too!You can guarantee that the first thing the interviewer will do once they've left you is ask the receptionist what they thought of you. So make sure you leave a positive impression on them too.Be friendly, kind, and genuine throughout the day to everyone you meet.​23. Why are you looking to leave your job?This is one of the most common interview questions but how honest should you be?It’s important to put yourself in the interviewers' shoes here to understand why they are asking this question.They usually want to know if the reasons you state match what they are offering to ensure you are a good fit for each other.So for instance, if you ran out of ways to progress in your old job but you know there are lots of opportunities to progress in your new job it could be worth stating this.Always try and put a positive spin on why you are leaving too e.g. I have really enjoyed my time at my current company but I want to focus more on (a, b, and c), which I can see there is the opportunity to do so here.​24. What do you know about our company?Many companies will often start a job interview with this question. This will enable the interviewer to judge the amount of research the candidate has done on the company, which in turn shows how much they want the job.The assumption being that if they know very little about the company, they probably aren’t actually too bothered about working for them, they could be just one of many interviews that the candidate has lined up.You should always be prepared for this answer, give 3 to 4 stats (not too many that you may forget) about the company that you’ve picked up from their ‘about us’ webpage: these could be things like when they were formed, what they sell, what their mission statement is and a recent bit of news about them that you picked up from their social media.Failure to prepare for this question can leave a really bad first impression.​25. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?This is a really common interview question … but why do interviewers ask this and what is the ideal response?Interviewers usually ask this question for one of three reasons.1.They want to see if you will be happy in your position and how long for. 2. They want to see what your long-term goals are3. They want to see if your goals align with the companies. An ideal response could be to say that ‘you want to be the best at what you do, you want to keep on learning andprogressing if the opportunity arises and if you read about the company looking to expand in a certain market, mention this and say this would be something you’d love to explore if the opportunity arises.This question is all about showing that your goals align with those of the company.​26. Last impressions countWhen interviewing for a post we hear a lot about how ‘first impressions count’ but have you thought about the last impression you leave before you leave the interview?An interview will usually end with the chance to ask questions about the role and the company. Always have 2-3 relevant questions to ask which prove that you’ve not only done your research on the company but also lead to a further chance to sell yourself.For instance, if you think they aren’t doing an activity that you know how to do, confirm they aren’t, and if not, tell them about how you have done something similar and how you would implement it in their company.​After the job interview:​27. The power of a thank youFollowing a job interview, a good tip is to send the interviewer a quick thank you email afterwards.Thank them for taking the time to interview you, use it as a chance to (succinctly) elaborate on any responses you weren't quite happy with or where you could have provided more detail.Make it as natural as possible too, if you discovered a shared interest e.g. a love for a particular sport - why not wish their team look for the weekend.If they are deciding between you and another candidate then the power of a thank you could be what swings the vote in your favour.​28. How to hand in your noticeGetting a new job is an exciting time! You probably can’t wait to let all of your loved ones know the news but when should you hand in your notice with your current employer?It can be tempting to hand this in as soon as you get the phone call from your recruiter to let you know of your success.Don’t!You should always wait until you have received a formal written offer from your new employer.At this stage, confirm back to the recruiter that you have received it and that you will now hand in your notice.Congratulations! Now it’s time to book a meeting with your line manager to let them know the news – This can be a scary time but remember that moving jobs is an every day part of business life.​29. Be wary of the counter offerYou've made the step of looking for a new role, you've handed in your notice and your employer is making you a counter offer.  How do you decide what to do?  Here are some questions to stop and ask yourself:I made the decision to leave because I felt a new position offered the environment to fulfill my career needs. If I stay, will the situation here really improve just because I said I was leaving?If I stay, will my loyalty be suspect and affect my chance for advancement once the dust has settled?The rise makes me very expensive for the job I am now in. How will that affect any future rises or prospects elsewhere?I received this counteroffer because I resigned, will I have to do that the next time I think I am ready for a rise or promotion?Two things to keep in mind:1. The salary increase you receive as a counteroffer is likely to be less than the amount the company would have otherwise spent on recruiting your replacement – Does your employer really have your best interests at heart?2. 80% of people who accept a counteroffer still go on to leave the business within 12 months of their initial resignation.​We hope you've enjoyed reading our #toptiptuesday Job hunting tips for 2022. We'll post a new video with the latest job-hunting tip every Tuesday throughout 2022. Make sure you follow us on our social media channels so that you never miss a thing:LinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagram​

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If it has been a while since you last applied for a job you may be wondering where to start?

Don't worry, throughout 2022 we will be showcasing our top job-hunting tips every Tuesday over on our social media channels with the hashtag #toptiptuesday

We'll talk about everything from job interview tips/job interview prep to career advice in general.

For our top job hunting tips of 2022 (so far) please keep reading:

How to apply for a job:

1. Out of work or open to work? Do this…

If you’re currently open to work and have a LinkedIn profile then there are two things you need to do –

1.If you are open to work and want everyone to know then you can add an ‘open to work’ frame to your profile picture. To so this simply click on your profile image – click ‘frames’, click the ‘#OpenToWork’ frame and click apply.

2. If you are casually browsing or open to work but only want recruiters to know rather than your whole network, do this:

Click ‘Me’, then click ‘View profile’ but this time click the ‘show recruiters you’re open to work’ box. You can then select what type of jobs you’re looking for and whether you are just casually browsing or immediately available.

We recommend doing both of these tasks if you’re open to work as this acts as a signal to recruiters that you are looking and would be open to contact about suitable opportunities.

2. Keep on learning

If you've been doing the same job for a while and suddenly find yourself on the job market, you could find that, externally, the skills you need to do a similar job somewhere else have changed.

Don't be alarmed.

The digital age has made it easier than ever to learn new skills - why not brush up on YouTube, search for an online course or ask for advice on social media.

Always focus on what you can do instead of what you can't, but, don't be afraid to be honest in an interview or application and explain that although you might not have a certain skill that is needed you are already using your own initiative to research how to gain it.

A willingness to learn and examples of using your own initiative can be a winning combination when it comes to applying for a job.

3. Google yourself!

When was the last time you googled your name?

When applying for a job you can assume that employers will check out your digital footprint to build a picture of who you are.

We, therefore, recommend googling your name to see what the internet says about you,

If you see something you don't think shows you in the best light delete it or ask for it to be removed.

If you can't find much material about yourself then we recommend building up an online presence.

This could be setting up a LinkedIn account or setting up a blog with a company such as WordPress which showcases your skills.

Don't forget to 'google yourself' at regular intervals and always make sure your online material is up-to-date.

4. Check your social media footprint

When was the last time you had an audit of your social media?

Some social media platforms have been with us for over 15 years now. The world has moved on in so many ways, so the picture you posted when partying at university or the post you innocently wrote many years ago may not be quite appropriate anymore.

It’s human nature for a potential employer to be curious and search for you on social media pre-hire so it’s a good idea to have an audit and think of your social media as your shop window, how would you like to be viewed by others?

Always ensure that your accounts are set to ‘private’ mode or that your social media portrays you as you wish it to.

5. Get your personality across in your CV

It’s easier said than done sometimes to get your energy and personality to shine in a written resume, but it can be the difference in getting to the next stage. Avoid clichés where possible and make sure your personal summary really reflects you, your interests and how these contribute to making you a rounded and employable individual.

There is a balance to be struck though, don’t be too wacky or off-the-wall, remember it is still a professional document.It is possible to be professional without being boring.

6. Presentation matters

If your CV is too busy or wordy, it can be hard for the recruiter to quickly pick out the skills and experience they are looking for. With increased applications, most recruiters are skim-reading CVs at the first stage of sifting.

Rather than writing long paragraphs about previous jobs, put key information in bullet points.

Leave some white space, even if this means your CV extends to an extra page.

Be concise, pick out key responsibilities and achievements for each role you’ve held.

List core skills that you bring and also key tools and knowledge that reflect the role requirement.

Spelling errors show a lack of care and attention to detail. It’s important to check and double-check before pressing send.

Don’t repeat yourself. Don’t repeat yourself ;-)

7. Don't paper over CV cracks

Don't gloss over any gaps in your CV. There can be many reasons for taking a break but if there is no explanation, potential employers may wonder why.

Highlight any study, training, or traveling done during these times; maybe event volunteer work or personal projects that demonstrate you've been productive.

A word of caution; don't invent things. You may get caught out later in the process.

8. One size does not fit all

If you are applying for a specific role, your CV is your “representative” and unless it answers the requirements of the job advertised, you may not get the opportunity to interview.

Instead, use the advert to identify the key skills or requirements the recruiter is looking for and prioritise them in your CV, listing them close to the top or in your summary.

Don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile too so that it reflects the skills you are listing on your application.

9. Show flexibility

One of the most important attributes that has been brought to the fore recently is the ability to deal with rapid change. Whether this is managing change, innovating to overcome problems of remote working or just maintaining the right mindset in a changing work environment.

With smaller workforces, employers are looking for people who are adaptable, willing to get stuck in and work flexibly to meet the business needs and who bring a problem-solving, positive and proactive attitude and approach. 

It is worth highlighting these soft skills, if you have them of course, and thinking of how they can be demonstrated on a CV; through a project at a previous employer or perhaps as new training or skills that have been acquired during lockdown. 

10. What have you applied for?

Social media and websites make it easier than ever to simply apply for a job at the press of one button.

This is great as it saves you time filling in the same old details again and again.

However, one thing we recommend is to make a note of everything you’ve applied for.

The reason for this is that if a recruiter or the recruiting company does call you back to arrange an interview, then it will be fairly obvious to them if you have just applied to jobs in bulk rather than applying to their job because you really want it.

If you can’t remember any details about the job but someone else they’ve called can then it could put you behind them in the race, straight away.

Try and memorise just one or two things about each job you apply for, especially what it was that attracted you to apply – your job interview starts as soon as you’re contacted to arrange it.

11. Set up job alerts

Let technology do the hard work for you!

Most job websites, job boards and social media channels like LinkedIn have a job alerts button.

Make sure you take advantage of these job alerts so that you are automatically notified when a new job becomes available that matches your criteria.

43% of jobs are filled in the first 30 days of being posted* (Indeed) so it really does pay to be alerted to a new job as soon as it’s posted, so that you are one of the first to apply, this is especially important for any roles that need to be filled urgently.

12. Working through an Agency can help to take risks out of contracting

Common concerns for those working as a contractor include sourcing contracts yourself and then failing to get paid by the client or going for a lengthy period without work. Using a recruitment consultancy reduces this risk and can make contract work more stable and secure.

A reputable recruitment consultancy will act as an interceder between contractor and client, from identifying work to making sure you are paid regularly and correctly – as would be the case if you were employed on a permanent basis.

There can be a lot to balance in contracting - using a good recruitment consultancy to cover these responsibilities for you is a great way to ease concern and focus on the task at hand.

13. #Breakthebias

Recent stats by RAE revealed that 57% of female engineers drop off the register of professional engineers by the age of 35, compared to just 17% of their male counterparts.

Businesses are realising this needs to change.

We hear a lot about the shortage of engineers in the UK so focusing on retaining and empowering women in these roles is extremely important to close this gap.

One way employers can attract female talent is to show that they are a career option - engage with their female talent to promote success stories and to encourage more female entrants into engineering.

If businesses are looking to readdress the gender imbalance and women feel empowered to apply, together we can #breakthebias.

14. Should you tell your employer that you’re looking for a new job?

When you’re looking for a new job it can often feel like you’re being unfaithful to a loved one! Lots of sneaking around, secret meetings, phone calls at stolen moments.

So, maybe it's best to be open with your current employer, and tell them that you’re looking for a new job? No! Think carefully before informing your boss that you’re looking at moving on because:

1. Your boss may think that you won’t give your all whilst looking for a new job.

2.You may be overlooked for tasks in place of other employees that are remaining.

3.You may change your mind and decide that you want to stay with your existing employer, so you don’t want them to already be looking at potential replacements.

We recommend only letting your current employer know AFTER you’ve signed a contract with your new employer, at the time you hand in your notice.

15. Unsure whether to apply for a job? Contact the recruiter.

Are you ruling yourself out of applying for a job too quickly?

An often-quoted statistic is that men will apply for jobs where they meet around 60% of the required elements, whilst women apply only where they meet 100% of the requirements.

It is easy however to look at a job advert and rule yourself out too quickly.In the current marketplace, most employers are more concerned with recruiting the right talent for their business, not just in ticking boxes.

If the job appeals to you and you have some of the relevant experience, pick up the phone and speak to the recruiter or consultant to find out more about the role and requirements before ruling yourself out.

It’s the recruiter’s job to work in the interests of both the employer and the candidates and a conversation will soon let you know if you would be a fit for the role.They’re also likely to have other opportunities if the job is not for you!

How to prepare for a job interview:

16. Interview prep

The phrase ‘How to prepare for an interview’ has over 5000 searches in the UK alone per month, so how can you
possibly do it?

The job spec is your friend. The job spec is usually divided into multiple bullet points detailing what you’ll need to do in your potential new job, and, the type of person they are after.

When preparing for an interview, one great piece of advice is to treat each of ​these bullet points as a question and draft out an answer. E.g. If it says you will have to use a certain tool, prepare an example of when you have used this tool with quantifiable results if possible.

Draft up a response to each bullet point ‘question’ and try and memorise where possible, this will allow their requirements and your responses to really seep in subconsciously, so you will be ready for the big day!

17. How to practice for a job interview

If it’s been a while since you’ve had a job interview, then we recommend practicing first.

But how can you practice effectively?

If you are applying for a job interview through a recruitment agency then why not ask them if they would be willing to set up some time to run through a mock interview.

The recruitment agency is working in the best interests of both you and your potential employer, so you should find that they will be willing to run through this with you.

Recruitment agencies are also best placed to know the type of question you are likely to be asked and how best to respond.

18. Plan your journey

We all get told first impressions count, when it comes to job interviews one of the first things that can act against you is being late.

Before attending your job interview we recommend a number of things to make sure you arrive in plenty of time:

  • 1. Double-check your emails/ check with the recruiter that you have the correct address details
    for the interview.

  • 2. Check to see what the parking situation is like. Can you park onsite? Is there a car park nearby if not?

  • 3. Check your maps app to see how long this journey usually takes – don’t forget to input the time that you need to arrive by (always try to arrive for your interview 15 minutes before you should).

  • 4. If you really want to be as prepared as possible – Try to do a trial drive.

  • 5. Check the weather – If it’s likely to be bad always give yourself extra journey time to allow for any hold-ups.

19. Remember - People hire people

When applying for a job it’s easy to get caught up in it sometimes appearing to be a tick boxing exercise – Do you have the relevant experience and how can you demonstrate this with examples? What can you bring to the role that others can’t?

All these things are important but it’s as important to remember that it’s people hiring - not robots.

People want to hire people they can see themselves enjoying working with. That’s why it is important to be yourself, be honest, and be human during a job interview.

20. What do you wear for a job interview?

Making a good first impression in a job interview is very important.

One of the ways we are instantly judged is by what we are wearing, but dressing for a job interview can be very tricky.

You don’t want to dress too casually if the company is quite traditional in what they wear, however at the same time you don’t want to appear to be a bad fit for the company culture if the company is quite casual, so what do you do?

1. Ask your recruiter or the company what most people wear there – this will give you a good idea on whether to dress up or down.

2. If you’re unsure always ‘dress up’

3. Always make sure you try your interview clothes on in advance to ensure they still fit, especially if you haven’t worn them in a while.

4.Iron/Prepare your clothes the night before – This will be one less thing to worry about in the morning.

21. How do you prepare for a video job interview?

One outcome of the pandemic which shows no sign of abating is the rise in video interviewing but how can you best prepare for a video interview?

Here are our 10 top tips:

1.Do your research

2.Don’t read from the screen

3.Location – Are you in a quiet space, is there anything distracting behind you?

4.Test out your webcam – Is the camera angle right? Are you a good distance from the screen?

5. Check the connection beforehand so you’re not in a panic trying to sort out any technical issues

6. Arrive 5 – 10 minutes early

7. Be professional in what you wear

8. Be engaging – Make eye contact, smile, and use your hands and body language to express yourself

9. Usual interview rules apply: Practise beforehand and use scenarios and examples

10. Ask questions – write them in a notepad and refer to them during the interview – this proves you’ve done your research

To read more on how to prepare for a video job interview click the link.

Job interview tips:

22. Everyone is interviewing you!

From the moment you leave your house on the morning of the job interview - treat everyone as if they know the job interviewer.

Not only will this set you in a positive mindset but they actually could.

That person that has just cut you up on the motorway could be heading to the same place as you and be best friends with the interviewer.

Stopped off at a shop to buy something? The person behind you may know your interviewer too!

You can guarantee that the first thing the interviewer will do once they've left you is ask the receptionist what they thought of you. So make sure you leave a positive impression on them too.

Be friendly, kind, and genuine throughout the day to everyone you meet.

23. Why are you looking to leave your job?

This is one of the most common interview questions but how honest should you be?

It’s important to put yourself in the interviewers' shoes here to understand why they are asking this question.

They usually want to know if the reasons you state match what they are offering to ensure you are a good fit for each other.

So for instance, if you ran out of ways to progress in your old job but you know there are lots of opportunities to progress in your new job it could be worth stating this.

Always try and put a positive spin on why you are leaving too e.g. I have really enjoyed my time at my current company but I want to focus more on (a, b, and c), which I can see there is the opportunity to do so here.

24. What do you know about our company?

Many companies will often start a job interview with this question. This will enable the interviewer to judge the amount of research the candidate has done on the company, which in turn shows how much they want the job.

The assumption being that if they know very little about the company, they probably aren’t actually too bothered about working for them, they could be just one of many interviews that the candidate has lined up.

You should always be prepared for this answer, give 3 to 4 stats (not too many that you may forget) about the company that you’ve picked up from their ‘about us’ webpage: these could be things like when they were formed, what they sell, what their mission statement is and a recent bit of news about them that you picked up from their social media.

Failure to prepare for this question can leave a really bad first impression.

25. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

This is a really common interview question … but why do interviewers ask this and what is the ideal response?

Interviewers usually ask this question for one of three reasons.

1.They want to see if you will be happy in your position and how long for.

2. They want to see what your long-term goals are

3. They want to see if your goals align with the companies.

An ideal response could be to say that ‘you want to be the best at what you do, you want to keep on learning andprogressing if the opportunity arises and if you read about the company looking to expand in a certain market, mention this and say this would be something you’d love to explore if the opportunity arises.

This question is all about showing that your goals align with those of the company.

26. Last impressions count

When interviewing for a post we hear a lot about how ‘first impressions count’ but have you thought about the last impression you leave before you leave the interview?

An interview will usually end with the chance to ask questions about the role and the company.

Always have 2-3 relevant questions to ask which prove that you’ve not only done your research on the company but also lead to a further chance to sell yourself.

For instance, if you think they aren’t doing an activity that you know how to do, confirm they aren’t, and if not, tell them about how you have done something similar and how you would implement it in their company.

After the job interview:

27. The power of a thank you

Following a job interview, a good tip is to send the interviewer a quick thank you email afterwards.

Thank them for taking the time to interview you, use it as a chance to (succinctly) elaborate on any responses you weren't quite happy with or where you could have provided more detail.

Make it as natural as possible too, if you discovered a shared interest e.g. a love for a particular sport - why not wish their team look for the weekend.

If they are deciding between you and another candidate then the power of a thank you could be what swings the vote in your favour.

28. How to hand in your notice

Getting a new job is an exciting time!

You probably can’t wait to let all of your loved ones know the news but when should you hand in your notice with your current employer?

It can be tempting to hand this in as soon as you get the phone call from your recruiter to let you know of your success.

Don’t!

You should always wait until you have received a formal written offer from your new employer.

At this stage, confirm back to the recruiter that you have received it and that you will now hand in your notice.

Congratulations! Now it’s time to book a meeting with your line manager to let them know the news – This can be a scary time but remember that moving jobs is an every day part of business life.

29. Be wary of the counter offer

You've made the step of looking for a new role, you've handed in your notice and your employer is making you a counter offer.  How do you decide what to do? 

Here are some questions to stop and ask yourself:

  • I made the decision to leave because I felt a new position offered the environment to fulfill my career needs. If I stay, will the situation here really improve just because I said I
    was leaving?

  • If I stay, will my loyalty be suspect and affect my chance for advancement once the dust has settled?

  • The rise makes me very expensive for the job I am now in. How will that affect any future rises or prospects elsewhere?

  • I received this counteroffer because I resigned, will I have to do that the next time I think I am ready for a rise or promotion?

Two things to keep in mind:

1. The salary increase you receive as a counteroffer is likely to be less than the amount the company would have otherwise spent on recruiting your replacement – Does your employer really have your best interests at heart?

2. 80% of people who accept a counteroffer still go on to leave the business within 12 months of their initial resignation.

We hope you've enjoyed reading our #toptiptuesday Job hunting tips for 2022. We'll post a new video with the latest job-hunting tip every Tuesday throughout 2022. Make sure you follow us on our social media channels so that you never miss a thing: