Candidates Corner

Jobseekers Questions For Your Recruiters

Questions to ask your recruiter
  1. What industries do you cover
  2. What job areas do you cover
  3. Who are your main clients
  4. What were the last 3 jobs you placed in my field
  5. What jobs are you currently working on in my field
  6. What is the salary range for the majority of the jobs you place
  7. What support do you offer candidates - help with interview techniques, advice on CVs etc
  8. How do you present data to clients on your candidates - use the candidates CV, write up a candidate spec
  9. What information do you provide to candidates with regard to the job and the company
  10. How do you identify suitable candidates from your database when you get a new assignment
  11. What percentage of assignments do you fill from your database without advertising
  12. Which job boards do you use
  13. What do you see as your role when it comes to the offer, salary and terms and conditions
  14. Do you use psychometric test to shortlist candidates, and if you do what is your feedback policy
  15. How do you keep your candidates informed
  16. What is the best way for me to find a job through your agency

And lastly, are you registered on

Interview Preparation

You get one chance in an interview to land the job - therefore preparation is critical. Whilst you do not want to appear insincere or rehearsed you also need to be conscious that this is a stressful event and thinking things through in advance will help you on the day.

  • Make sure you know the interview details and build contingency into your travel plans. It may seem obvious but knowing the exact location and time of interview is essential. Being even a few minutes late can make a bad impression. Sometimes there is security to get through so aim to arrive 10 minutes early.
  • Smart business dress is always the best policy. Even if you know that the company policy is smart / casual it demonstrates that you can look smart. Women should opt for skirts. Both should control jewelry.
  • It's also important to know the interviewer's full name and title. This is also useful when thinking about questions you may need to answer. An HR manager, for example, might ask more general questions about your background and career aspirations and test your behavioural competencies, whereas a line manger will probably ask more technical questions about your job and achievements.
  • Research the company - most organisations expect to see that you've done some research before the interview. Corporate brochures, company websites and reading the newspapers for relevant industry information should all give you an overview of the organisation. Gaining an understanding of factors such as the company size, turnover, office locations, structure and products and services will all help you make the right impression.
  • Research the job. You should be clear about the duties and responsibilities, location, reporting relationships, opportunities for training and enhancement and remuneration.
  • Review your CV before the interview. Ensure that you can talk in further detail about the points laid out in your CV and try to think about your experience in light of the job you are applying for. Be prepared to give examples to illustrate any points you wish to make about your capability, experience etc.
  • Most interviews follow a clear structure with the interviewer asking an introductory question (usually something like ‘give me a brief summary of your career to date') and then exploring your suitability through a series of more detailed questions, followed by an overview of the role and company, and then an opportunity for you to ask questions and finally giving you information on what happens next.
  • Consider the likely interview questions. Methods vary and you must prepare for anything. It is usually possible to anticipate and prepare for a high proportion of the questions you may be asked. Read the various articles and blogs on about interview questions in order be fully prepared Prepare a few questions that you want to ask the interviewer. Be sensitive to timing, if it is clear that the interview is running over do not stress the interviewer by working your way through a full list, either ask one question or say that you are happy to keep your questions for later in the process. Recruitment is a two way thing - you need to be sure that the role and company will suit your own career aspirations as much as they need to confirm you are right for them - but timing is everything and you will have an opportunity after offer and prior to acceptance to really check into things. Do not be afraid to use this time and keep some of your more detailed questions (about compensation, benefits etc) until after they have determined that they want you.
Things to consider before taking a job

The Job

  • enthusiasm for the job - will I enjoy it?
  • challenge - is it going to keep me interested?
  • travel - does the job require travelling to other locations?
  • location - how far to commute, in a city location or rural, work at home?

The Conditions

  • immediate salary
  • salary review approach
  • bonuses
  • benefits e.g. pension, health insurance, further education policy, gym membership
  • working hours - part-time, full-time, flexible, work/life balance
  • allowances - annual leave, paternity leave

The Company

  • company values - did they fit mine
  • people I met - did they seem like the kind of people I would like to work with
  • work conditions and environment

The future

  • career prospects - does the job further my career, will I be able to get promoted?
  • training and development policy
  • can I see myself staying here?
  • will I need to relocate to get promoted?

Top 10 Interview Technique Tips
  1. First impressions count. From the moment you walk through the door you are being assessed. Maintain a pleasant but professional manner. Mind the humour.
  2. Adopt a positive attitude throughout the interview. Be enthusiastic. Convey to the interviewer your enthusiasm for the job. Note: If you have any misgivings about the role / company before the interview do not show them. Remember it is easy to reject a position when offered but difficult to retrieve an interview if you subsequently decide it's your ideal job. There will be plenty of time after you get the offer to decide if this is the job/company for you.
  3. Be aware of your body language. Ensure a firm handshake and smile, maintain eye contact to show that you are interested in the discussion. Also try and assume a relaxed posture, but don't slouch!
  4. Watch the interviewer for clues - How am I doing? Shall I continue? Is it time to stop talking?
  5. Listen carefully. You should listen consciously and carefully, and be sure you understand what is said before responding.
  6. Volunteer information. Try to avoid giving one-word answers; try to make the interview a conversation, not an interrogation. Illustrate what you say with examples.If you have more than one interview use different examples - they will compare later so it gives you a chance to give more information about your past achievements
  7. Answer the question. This is important some people equate this to lack of honesty or avoidance. Keep focused and even if you get sidetracked return to the question and answer it.
  8. Try to set your pace by theirs - speeding up and slowing down as appropriate. Regardless of pace, avoid rushing your answers; if you are unsure about any point then ask for clarification. Speak clearly, try not to mumble or speak too fast. If they say briefly describe, be brief. Also, be structured.
  9. If you have something that you wish to add do so. Usually you will be asked if there is anything you want to add but if not ask if you can. You might want to draw attention to a relevant area of experience that was not covered, or that you are very interested in the job because of xyz (do not look desperate).
  10. Conclusion of the interview. You should leave the interview room as you arrived, confidently but not brashly, shaking hands firmly and with a smile. There is a danger of relaxing too soon when the interview appears over, and the interviewer is conducting us to the door.

Resources Available on

In addition we offer the following resources for candidates:

  • A knowledge centre which includes information and articles for recruiters as well as candidates and employers. Please let us know if there is anything you would like us to add to the centre
  • A forum which brings together recruiters, candidates and employers as well as employees, consultants and interims.
  • A range of psychometric tools and advice in our psychometrics centre. This includes psychometrics tests that you can take for yourself - either to build up your portfolio or to learn more about your particular skills or preferences.
  • Details of recruitment related suppliers on our suppliers directory
  • Details of various job boards in our job boards directory
  • A recruiters corner where recruiters rate the best and worst candidate and employer behaviours.
  • A site Features Page where you can submit a personal profile thus increasing publicity for your site
  • Other specialist corners covering a range of interesting topics - interim management, consulting, flexible working, etc.
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