Thursday, 28 February 2013

The 4 Keys to Success at Second Interviews

Well done you have secured a second interview –, it means the company are genuinely interested in you for their vacancy. Before you attend your second interview though please do remember that although you have done well, you have not YET been offered the job!
The process of selling yourself into the role is not over, please take a few moments to read the following points to help you WOW in the second interview!

1.       Frist Impressions Count!
Just as the 1st interview, first impressions are vitally important, you may be meeting the interviewer for the first time, in which case you should refer back to the first interview preparation, it got you this far : -
  • Know where you are going, and correct time
  • Arrive five minutes early
  • Upon waiting take an interest in the company, (i.e. read information, talk to reception)
  • Greet the interview by their last name
  • Switch off your mobile phone
  • Present yourself correctly – if you’re not suited,  booted and groomed, it could be a losing battle!
2.       The Aim of the 2nd interview

The main objective to be achieved in this interview is to leave the interviewer with an overview and impression that your skills, experience and personality are a match and that you are exactly the candidate that they are looking for.
DO NOT fall into the trap of thinking that because it’s a second interview, the interviewer knows all about you.  By taking this approach you will be doing exactly what the other candidates might be doing, so don’t undersell yourself!

Remember that at a 2nd interview stage, the interviewer is looking to decide who to offer the job to and it’s your job to present you key skills at this point and why you are right for the role as clearly and confident as you can.
 
3.       Preparation
The best approach is to treat a 2nd interview as you would a 1st interview, prepare the selling points of yourself that you used in the first interview.
  • List all the skills/attributes that the job requires- with examples
  • The list then constitute a summary of your key skills, that relate to the role
  • Focus on the attributes required in the job specification, back up questions with your example list
  • Remember on a second interview you have to put in a great performance at a second interview.
Even if its “Just a chat”, “Lunch” or “meet the team” you are still be interviewed, so keep professional at all times, selling yourself, - You will be showing you are the best candidates for the role.   

4.       Closing the interview

This is a vital stage, your performance so far at the 2nd interview could have secured the role for you. As in the 1st interview it is inevitable that you will be asked “any questions?” Your questions may have already been answered during your interview but like any great salesperson question until you fully understand their need. 

Video: How to Close a Sales Interview


This demonstrates that you have thought about the role and have done extra preparation. This is one of the most important parts of the interview a poor performance here and by not questioning further it could end your chances.
When attending your interview you must demonstrate to the interviewer(s) you are talking this seriously, take a folder containing, all you preparation notes – 'handouts'. Of course you must use the folder, check your notes to answer questions, check to make sure all your questions have been answered and then tell the interviewers that “all my questions have been answered”

Video: The Most Important Questions You Should Ask at a Sales Interview
 
The MOST important questions to ask during your second interview:-
“What reservations do you have about me/my experience?”  - asking this question will give you the chance to answer any last questions, remove the doubt in the mind, something you might not get another chance to do.

The final thing to do and is a MUST is to tell the interviewer(s) that you are interested in the role (you may want to write this down as a question so that you don’t forget)

“Thank you for talking the time to see me, I am very interested in the role, this is a position I have been looking for” – add the close – “when are you looking to make your decision”

Good Luck from the team at Aaron Wallis.

By Paul Masterson

Paul can be contacted on 01908 764280
LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/pub/paul-masterson/31/544/277

Thursday, 14 February 2013

5 Questions Every Candidate Should Ask at Interview

1)       Why is the position vacant?
This is an important question because it will enable you to understand whether the position has been put in place to overcome a particular problem. On the other hand it may be that you will be replacing a previous employee that wasn’t performing. The answer that you get will give you an idea of what the employer is looking for you to achieve and where the previous employee may have made mistakes. This will help you to avoid falling into the same traps or underperforming in these areas.

2)       What challenges does the company currently face?

By asking this you will hopefully gain an understanding of any problems that are hindering the company’s performance. You can then promote yourself as the solution to overcome these obstacles. Not only can you sell yourself using the employers response but you may also be able to determine whether they are being unrealistic in what they are trying to achieve.
 
3)       Specifically what do you think I can do to overcome these problems?

Now you have a more detailed idea of what the employer is actually looking for you to achieve within the company using this you can now arm yourself with answers for any objections that they may have about you. For example:

“We don’t think that you could effectively cold call our type of clientele because …..” You can now respond using knowledge that you have gained from the above questions with, “I can assure you this won’t be a problem because in a previous role I dealt with ….. and sold …..”.

4)       What are the expectations on me within the first 3 months, 6 months, and year?

Again the answer to this question will enable you to determine whether you these employers are going to target you in a constructive, achievable and realistic way that will enable you to be successful in this role. Use this answer to decide if this is an organisation that you can see yourself working for.  
 
5)       How do you feel that I am going to fit into your team?
 
Ask about other members of the team. Try and find out about their backgrounds and how successful they are in similar roles. You can use the response to gauge whether you will be an effective member of the team.

Remember you are a sales person so treat the interview as a sales pitch, seeing yourself as a solution. Sell yourself in the best possible way and close the deal as you would with any other sales pitch.


Written by Tom Ward

More about Tom: http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/tom-ward-aaron-wallis.aspx


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Top 10 Biggest Interview Mistakes


Interviews, it may be the single toughest part of any individual’s job search, and yet, job seekers often compound their interview nervousness with lack of preparation and frequent mistakes. Interview mistakes can be avoided. The 10 biggest interview mistakes and how to avoid them are as follows:

1.     Don’t Lie.

If the conversation drifts to a topic you're not knowledgeable about, admit you don't know the answer and then explain how you would go about finding a solution. Displaying your problem-solving skills is better than telling lies about something you don't understand.
 
2.     Do Your Research

You are expected to fully research every company prior to every interview. It is essential that you do some research on the business, industry and market before every interview. It is essential for two reasons a) to demonstrate your interest in the business and b) more importantly, to ensure that the business is right for you!

3.      Winging It

This is never a good idea. Trying to formulate an off-the-cuff answer to even simple questions in a high-stakes interview is sometimes harder than it appears, and doing so can be a recipe for disaster.

4.     Turning Up Late

Before the interview work out exactly where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. On the day allow yourself 30 minutes for traffic problems or any other delays – if you’re too early you can always grab a cup of tea nearby and go over your CV. If for some reason you are running late, call your interviewer to let them know.

5.     Don’t Talk Too Much

There is nothing much worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on and on... The interviewer really doesn't need to know your whole life story. Keep your answers short, to-the-point and focused and don't ramble - simply answer the question.

6.     Not Talking Enough

It's really hard to communicate with someone who answers a question with a word or two. When you fail to communicate with the interviewer, you may destroy your chances of being hired by the company. Make eye contact and be confident with your answers. So, even though you shouldn't talk too much, you do want to be responsive and fully answer the question as best you can.

7.     Dress Appropriately

Turn up to an interview in ripped shorts, an old t-shirt and some flip-flops and you’ll probably find yourself back out the door before you know it. Dress appropriately for the type of job interview. Always dress in more conservatively than you would normally. Make sure that you are not wearing outlandish colours, showing too much skin, or wearing too much jewellery (man or woman).

8.     Badmouthing Past Employers

It’s fine to talk about what you would like to achieve career-wise and how this may not be possible in your current job, but never bad-mouth a current or previous employer. It could give your interviewer the impression you’re difficult to work with.

9.     Close The Interview

Everything you say or do is being judged very closely in an interview. Make a mistake in one of your responses and your chances of getting the job are diminished. However stressful an interview may be, if you can end the interview by closing for the position, you will earn tremendous respect and show an example of your closing skills.

10.  Not Asking Questions

Asking questions towards the end of the interview shows you’re confident, thoughtful and are seriously interested in the position. If you can’t think of anything, good ones to fall back on are what career opportunities are available and what kind of training do you offer.

 
Written by Liam Oakes

Liam is the Candidate Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 2 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.





Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Reputation is all: Could the internet kill your job application?


You surely can’t have missed the story of teacher Carly McKinney. In short, Carly, a Colorado high school teacher was suspended pending an investigation after she tweeted provocative pictures of herself, tweets about her recreational drug taking and feelings towards one of her students, who she described as “jailbait”. Strangely, Carly hadn’t broken any laws… her pictures didn't contain any obvious nudity, her tweets relating to marijuana use are also legal as she lives in the state of Colorado. So, the only damage done was to her online reputation.
So why have we all heard about her online posts and why is her career at stake? The simple fact is she chose to openly reveal herself over the internet and by so doing created a particular online reputation – a reputation that the Colorado board of education just didn’t like. As I said earlier, what Carly did is legal, but Carly chose to publish her actions and is still blissfully unaware of why there is such a fuss.
Hand on heart, I know the vast majority of candidates I meet at Aaron Wallis aren't sharing intimate photos or information about themselves on the internet. However, the truth is each one of us has an online reputation to consider.  These days, everything we do, everything we say and the photos we are in are easily found on the internet – posted by us or posted by others. So remember, when you are considering a career move, it’s very likely that potential employers are googling you.
Managing your online reputation when looking for a new role is crucial.  Have you taken time to assess what your online reputation is like? Is everything written about you true? Do all your images show you in the right light? Give it some thought… others are. 

Stefan is a specialist sales recruiter focusing on the security and fire industries at Aaron Wallis. Having held senior sales and marketing roles with leading companies in the security industry, Stefan works with a wide variety of companies to recruit sales professionals across all levels and disciplines.
More About Stefan Kobewka: http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/stefan-kobewka-aaron-wallis.aspx

Discover More About Stefan’s Career on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/pub/stefan-kobewka/36/79a/401
Email: stefan.kobewka@aaronwallis.co.uk

Top 10 Biggest CV Mistakes


It's very easy to make mistakes on your CV and extremely difficult to repair the damage after an employer has already seen it. It is imperative that you prevent these mistakes whether you are writing your first CV or revising it for a new job search. The 10 biggest CV mistakes and how to avoid them are as follows:

1.     Do Not Head Your CV ‘Curriculum Vitae’.

It should be quite obvious what your CV is without giving it a title; if it’s not then I would suggest that you have a problem. Start with your full name, address, telephone number(s) and email address. Very often your CV will get printed off and stapled together, so don’t put your contact details at the bottom of the last page. The fact that the page looks like a CV will do the rest.

2.     Making Your CV Too Long or Too Short

There are no real rules regarding CV length, however that doesn’t mean you should start sending out 5 page CV’s. In general you should limit yourself to a maximum of two or three pages depending on experience. At the same time don’t cut the meat out of your CV by sticking to one page.

3.     Punctuation and Spelling Mistakes

Your CV needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn’t, employers and recruiters will read between the lines and draw unfavourable conclusions about you, like “This person clearly doesn’t care” or “This person can’t spell”.

4.     Job History That Doesn’t Match The Job Your Applying For

All employers want to see a CV specifically for them; they expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organisation. Your key achievements should match many of the job requirements in the position you’re applying for.

5.     Highlighting Tasks Instead of Achievements

It is very easy to note tasks after tasks you completed whilst in a job but what employers are really looking for is your achievements, they want to see achievement after achievement, make your achievements stand out first and then put in the tasks you also completed.

6.     Poor Layout

If you’re CV has a poor layout it could be put straight in the bin. Some CV’s are scanned in less than 3 seconds, so it needs to be pleasing to the eye and easy to read. Don’t cram in too much information in a small font, your font should be no smaller than 10 but also make sure it isn’t too spaced out. Finally make sure your most recent job is first and the job before that second and so on.

7.     An Outdated CV Will Make You Look Obsolete

Your CV should be updated for every position you apply for. Be sure to update your skills and work history; make sure your skills set is current and tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for.

8.     Some Things Are Best Left Off Your CV

Don’t list your hobbies, no one cares what your hobbies are, your CV is not your Facebook profile. Don’t put anything on your CV that’s irrelevant to your job. If it’s not relevant then it’s a waste of space and a waste of time.

9.     Don’t Write Your CV In The First Or Third Person

It’s fine to write in first person in your opening statement, but the rest of your resume should be in bullet points. Never write in the third person as everyone knows you’re the one writing the CV.

10.  Professional Email Account

Don’t include email addresses or websites that have the potential to reveal controversial or inappropriate personal information, Make a new one. It takes minutes and it’s free.

 

Written by Liam Oakes

Liam is the Candidate Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 2 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.