WRS understand that there is more to a candidate than their current CV and that behind every CV is an individual person. That is why we are always seeking to build an understanding of the individual and gain an insight into their current circumstances, motivations, aspirations and objectives. As such we will always seek to conduct an interview and where possible meet with individual candidates so as to best represent them. By taking time to understand the person behind each CV we get to truly test a candidate’s suitability for a position and more importantly establish if the position is right for them. Over the years we have found that the best person for a position may be hiding behind a poorly written CV. By getting to understand and appreciate the circumstances and personality behind a CV WRS can offer constructive advice and support through out the recruitment process.

WRS would welcome the opportunity to meet with you in order to fully understand your recruitment needs. Having established this initial relationship we will be more able to tailor and deliver a recruitment solution that meets your requirements.

So whether you need to recruit your company’s next shining star or seek assistance in securing your next position contact WRS and let us invest the time in finding the correct recruitment solutions to suit you.

Ten Top Tips

WRS appreciate that you may well be aware of most of these tips, that said there is certainly no harm in having a read through in the week leading up to your interview as a check list.

Before the interview

1. Do your research – WRS will always provide as much information as we can on a position and the prospective employer.  With the technology available to us all in the 21st Century it is increasingly easy to research the company and people you are meeting, most if not all candidates will read the company’s website and some may look up the individuals on LinkedIn.  We would suggest that you do this and then go the extra mile and do some leg work and get out and see their products in store / in it’s final application.  Identify who their competitors are. How are they performing in line with the market?  Most importantly and when appropriate to do so at interview demonstrate that you have done your homework.

2. Familiarise yourself with your own CV – It is amazing how many people forget what they have included on their own CV.  Check that all of the dates correspond and that all of your moves can be clearly followed by a third party reading it.  You will be expected to know the order that you held each of your positions and realistically the dates that you started and left each post.  If you took a year out to; re-sit your A’ Levels, travel the World, live in a Kibbutz, VSO, Camp America, renovate a house or simply took time out for your family be clear on the CV and have the dates to mind.  The Hobbies and Interests section should be reflective of what you do and not what you think other people want your outside interests to be.  If you claim to be a light aircraft pilot, triathlon competitor, and extreme sports enthusiast then expect to be asked some questions about these pursuits.  It will reflect badly if you struggle to discuss freely and with enthusiasm your own interests.  If the reality is that you have let your pilot’s licence expire and haven’t competed or bungeed for a number of years and you spend evenings and weekends with friends and family, socialising, going to the cinema and keeping up with current affairs then good for you just make sure this is what your current CV says. Read your CV the night before your interview – as the person meeting you should be doing this and may base some of their questions on what they see.

3.  Make a note of your 3 best financially quantifiable achievements – The market has change much since 2008 and as such employers will be wary of making the wrong appointment and will be looking for you to take the risk away of appointing.   If you are in a commercial position it should be easy to identify, new business wins, cost reductions and improvements in profitability.  Always ensure that you can quantify these achievements.  Saying that you doubled the turnover of an account sounds impressive until you are asked what the account value started at and where it now sits at, going from £10 to £20 isn’t that impressive– and whilst £1million to £2million might sound impressive a good interviewer will follow up and ask what impact this had upon profitability.   If you are in an Operational role there will still be quantifiable examples that you can provide.  Once again qualify your examples reducing change over times by 10 minutes may be far more impressive than it sounds if you can quantify the financial benefit to the business.  Remember the interviewer may not have your technical background; they will however be able to appreciate cost reductions.  Some of the best examples often come from simple ideas; switching suppliers of water coolers and removing the use of disposable cups was one such example – a common sense idea and not so impressive until it materialises that this initiative was rolled out site wide and then across the group saving £50k p/a.

4.  Make a note of your 3 best people orientated achievements – In addition to the financial benefits you have brought to your previous employers also make a note of 3 or 4 areas where you have improved team morale or helped to coach and develop a colleague.   If you have people management experience then demonstrate what you do to identify individuals with strong potential and how you ensure they achieve this.  Have you implemented a succession plan?  If you leave your current post have you already identified an heir apparent?

On the day of the interview

5.  Allow plenty of time for your journey – Plan to arrive with at least half an hour to spare.  You can always grab a coffee and read the notes you have prepared.  The UK is a great place to live although our transport infrastructure could do better.  Be aware that there will be other candidates being interviewed for this position.  If you are the only one who can not get to their appointment on time how do you think this will reflect?   Yes we can all be late and “these things happen” if the worst does happen don’t panic call us ASAP and we will call ahead for you.  Even if you are late by having the common courtesy to call ahead you may still be able to get off on the right foot.

6.  Dress Code – We are often asked “Do I need to wear a suit?”  For sure office protocol has certainly changed on this matter and increasingly business smart is acceptable.  For a first stage interview and without exception our advice would be to wear a suit with a tie for the gents.   Even if you never wear the suit again your appearance will project how seriously you are taking the appointment.  In over a decade of recruitment we have never had a candidate made unsuccessful for a position because they presented too smart at first interview.  We do however have a hatful of anecdotes about novelty sock and ties, scruffy shoes, unkempt hair and more besides!

7. Initial Impact – Having arrived on time wearing your smart suit with all of your dates and examples at the forefront of your mind you are already one step ahead.  Now remember to make an impact the person interviewing you may meet six or seven other people on the same day.  Now is not the time to be shy, even if you are naturally introverted you can still project yourself positively.  Ensure that you meet your prospective employer with a firm and confident hand shake and a positive hello, pleased to meet you.  If asked how are you and how has your day been be sure to give a positive and upbeat response.  Exchange pleasantries ask how they are, make a relevant passing observation if you can build a rapport before you have taken your seat then the interview will flow more smoothly and you will be remembered as a naturally positive individual.

In the interview

8. Body Language – Do not avoid eye contact, if there is more than one person interviewing you ensure that you engage with each of them – regardless of your preconceived ideas as to who might be the most important.  Be aware that you body language will speak for you, so do not sit with your arms crossed or leaning back in the chair with your feet up (you’d be surprised).  Instead show interest and respond to what your prospective employer is saying.

9. When answering questions try and avoid short or even one word answers, this is you chance to sell yourself.   So when asked, “Have you made any commercial benefits to your most recent employer?” Do not simply say “Yes”, instead say “Yes I have a number of examples I can provide let me start with one I am particularly proud of ….” Equally do not give unnecessarily long and rambling answers, listen to the question and make sure what you are saying is relevant to the question.  Be mindful of how irritated we all get when a politician gives an answer which bares no relevance to the question being asked, the same applies in an interview.  Do not crowbar your examples into areas where they are not relevant and if asked why you did or didn’t study at University do not give your entire life history starting with your paper round.   One of favourite pieces of feedback came from a Senior HR Professional who summed up the interview by saying; “If I asked the candidate what the time was he would tell me how to make a watch”!

10. Finish on a high, be sure to have questions about the company, their proposition, the opportunity on offer and even when you might expect to hear news from them.  Do not however ask about the salary, questions that are answered on the website or the job description.  Also consider what  your questions say about you; “Will their be an opportunity to travel and meet customers / suppliers within this role?” as opposed to “Would I be expected to travel in my own time?” Once you have asked your positive questions and assuming that you are happy with everything that you have seen and heard then reaffirm your enthusiasm and commitment to the position and the business.

11. Number 11 of our Top Ten Tips (okay it is cheating a little bit) don’t forget to call your new friend the recruiter at WRS as soon as you can ideally immediately after the interview to provide your thoughts and feedback.  WRS will already have worked hard to ensure that we have put you in front of the right customer for the correct position and we will be almost (although hopefully not quite)  as keen to hear how the interview has gone as you will be to find out the feedback.