Friday, 31 October 2014

Five Great Tips for Telephone Interviews


Telephone interviews may seem very casual and are often brief, but they are the first chance you have to make a personal impression on a potential employer, and as such, often represent a crucial first step on your road to a new job. 

Preparing for a telephone interview is as important as preparing for a face-to-face interview, and there are certain steps you can take to ensure that your telephone interview goes smoothly.

Time It Right:

Employers often give candidates a little leeway when it comes to choosing a time for a phone interview. Pick a time that will work for you, when you can speak with the interviewer without any interruptions. A phone interview is serious business and you need to be able to give your full attention to the interviewer when they call. If your interview is with a company based in another time zone, make sure that you coordinate your clocks – it is easy to miss a phone meeting because of a time difference issue. Give yourself enough time before the interview to compose yourself and go over your notes – your interview will go much better if you are not feeling rushed or flustered.

Choose your Venue Carefully:

It is always best to take a phone interview in an environment that makes you feel comfortable, which is most often your home. However, it is important to ensure that you have a quiet room to take the interview in and that any external sounds, such as the voices of children, room-mates, or pets are kept to a bare minimum. Never use the interview as a time to simultaneously eat a meal, do the chores, or listen to music – a phone interview must always be conducted in a calm, quiet atmosphere, without any noises that might distract you or the interviewer.   The same advice applies when preparing for a Skype interview but be also aware of what is around you and can be seen by the interviewer on their screen!

Prepare Thoroughly:

A phone interview can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more depending on the interviewer’s interest in you, and you need to be ready to answer all of the same questions that you would in a face-to-face interview. It is a good idea to keep a copy of your CV and work history to hand as well as any notes you might have about the company. Also write out a list of the questions you might want to ask the recruiter and the answers to common interview questions such as what your long term career goals are. A brief list of all your most relevant work experience and professional skills is also a good written reference to have handy.

Practice :

Take the time to practice for a phone interview with family or friends in the same way you would practice for a face to face interview, but make sure that you practice over the phone. Try to make a recording of your practice sessions so that you can listen to it later and work to eliminate any unconscious errors in the responses you make, such as pausing too long before making an answer or saying “um” and “ah” repetitively.

Take it Seriously:

Your performance during a phone interview could mean all the difference between being offered a job or passed over for another candidate. When the interviewer calls, it is important to stay focused, listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions, and make sound replies. Speak in a professional and courteous tone, and take care not to interrupt the interviewer or broach personal subjects. After the interview, send the interviewer a follow-up email, thanking them for the opportunity to speak with them and re-iterating your interest in the position.

Even if you don’t have a phone interview scheduled, it is always a good idea to be prepared. With all the means employers use to find candidates these days, from specialist sales recruitment agencies to social media to job boards, you could find yourself called up for an interview before you know it.  

By following the tips above and making sure you are always ready, you stand a very good chance of getting one step closer to landing a new job.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Presenting a Professional Image on Social Networks

Social media has become a key player for both candidates and employers/recruiters in 2014.  While it is great for candidates to seek new opportunities and find out more about the companies they are interested in, it is also a tool used every day by potential employers and recruiters so be sure to present a professional image on all social media.
A recent Social Recruiting Survey completed by Jobvite shows that 93% of recruiters will review a candidate’s social profile e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter. 55% have reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile, with 61% of those reconsiderations being negative.
Here are some key points to help you prevent sabotaging your next job prospect:

Profile Picture
Your profile picture is probably the most important part of your social profile when it comes to employers, it is the first thing they see when the land on your profile, choose something respectable and make a good first impression.

Build a Strong LinkedIn Account
Most employers will search for you on LinkedIn and will want to see that it matches up to your CV; they want to see your professional credentials so keep on top of it and show yourself in the best possible light.

Take Control of Your Privacy Settings
Adjusting your privacy settings allows you to control who can see what on your profile, you can hide certain photos and statuses for just friends and stop potential employers viewing the ‘ibiza 12’ album.

Multiple Accounts
If you’re comfortable with social networks and use it every day it may be worth setting up a professional profile as well as a personal profile, keep your professional profile open for everyone to see and your personal account for friends.

About Me
Keep your bio professional, we all have a friend on Facebook that says they work as ‘a penguin picker upper’; avoid putting things in your bio that might put an employer off and be truthful.
While an employer will never make a decision solely on your social profile it could be the difference in getting the job or not.
For further career advice go to http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/career_tools.aspx

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Recruitment Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 4 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.



Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Happiness in Work & Looking for a new Role – Sales Survey 2014

Aaron Wallis has recently undertaken the largest sales survey of its type which explores changing trends within the industry as well as a powerful insight into the minds of sales professionals.

With 62 questions answered by 726 completely anonymous sales professionals we have captured some impressive results helping us promote professional sales, raise awareness and gain a firmer understanding on how to succeed in sales teams.

To receive a full free copy of the 2014 UK Sales Survey please follow this link – 2014 UK Sales Survey Report

Smiles cost nothing

It is a well-known saying that if you love your job, you won’t have to work a day in your life. One of the essential ingredients to achieving a happy working life is to actually enjoy your job but that is hardly ever the case. When the interviewer asks the potential client whether the job is all about the money, they’re obviously going to say no although their mind is screaming yes! It seems that the majority, 7 out of 10 sales professionals, are content, happy are very happy with their chosen career which is great to see.

  • 15% opted for number 1 as they weren’t happy at work
  • 13% chose option 2 as they were somewhat happy at work
  • 23% selected 3 as they were their work.  However;
  • 27% elected 4 as they felt happy at work and;
  • 20% felt 5 was suitable as they felt very happy at work
Either sales professionals are lying about being happy at work or they genuinely do enjoy their work.  In my experience of interviewing about 600 sales professionals a year I find that nearly all, despite the obvious occasional frustration, are happy. 

Stating back to the previous statistics, 19% of the workers had been at their existing job for less than one year so perhaps the honeymoon period for their work is still there. However different things appeal to different sales professionals when looking for a new role so we asked what would be the top priority that sales professionals would look for when looking for a new role:

Just 4% wanted a better mentor to help improve their skills and direction whereas 8% looked for a better commission scheme and 17% looked for the company’s reputation. 7% saw it as achieving a greater challenge, 4% wanted greater stability and 8% wanted the change for a more improved work-life balance. Whilst 1% wanted more recognition for their work, a tremendous 23% saw it as an opportunity to progress and develop their career. Only 1% looked for a job closer to home, 13% wanted a higher basic salary and another 1% wanted a job with improved benefits. 9% felt this wasn’t applicable to them and 3% felt they had other necessities to look out for when they looked for a job. In conclusion, it appears that people are willing to better themselves to climb up that successful ladder and to get a better name and reputation for themselves.

Subsequently, having a good rapport with your boss can improve your mood and make your work-life happier and easier to cope with.

When asked what the relationship was like between the Sales Manager and the sales employee, the participants disclosed their honest answers to reveal that:

  • 20% felt their relationship with their lines manager was excellent, which allowed them to speak easily with their supervisor or feeling at ease
  • 34% perceived their relationship to be good with their line manager in the sales team
  • 16% considered their relationship to be average
  • 3% felt their relationship was below average, creating an unpleasant atmosphere in the workplace
  • 4% thought it was poor
  • 23% felt the question was not applicable

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 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, 10 June 2014

Social Media & Technology in Sales – Sales Survey 2014

Aaron Wallis has recently undertaken the largest sales survey of its type which explores changing trends within the industry as well as a powerful insight into the minds of sales professionals.

With 62 questions answered by 726 completely anonymous sales professionals we have captured some impressive results helping us promote professional sales, raise awareness and gain a firmer understanding on how to succeed in sales teams.

To receive a full free copy of the 2014 UK Sales Survey please follow this link – 2014 UK Sales Survey Report


While Jeremy Kyle and others are constantly referring to Facebook causing problems and being the route to all evil, it does have some slight benefits in terms of helping the company you’re working for as it can help with advertising and expanding PR and publicity.

It also seems that the other well-known social media sites in business, Google+, Twitter and of course, LinkedIn, are beginning to help sales professionals develop leads and sales.
Promote your business correctly across the different forums and sites and it can quickly, and cost effectively, help you to gain a new audience .

It’s lucky for the 421 people who use these social media sites but for the remaining 305 there’s some catching up to do:

·         Quite astonishingly, 58% don’t or rarely use social media sites for lead generation
·         42% do regularly and proactively use social media sites for lead generation

Social networks aren’t just for posting egotistical ‘selfies’ or challenging your mates to drink crème de menthe with Dettol! In fact, these networking websites were found to be extremely effective for securing sales.

It is glaringly obvious that LinkedIn is the ‘winner’ for securing sales in the social website sector with 47% of workers using it; it’s hardly surprising either as this media site has all the best qualities; it is professional, prestige, popular and it’s specifically designed for business in the least annoying way.

Additionally, 17% of people own a Google+ account. Google+ is free and an excellent way to promote your company; it gives you the opportunity to really show off your business by adding specific detail and links to content that makes your business more approachable and noticeable.

Facebook has been running before the dinosaurs became extinct (well almost!); while 14% have secured sales from this site, it seems more of a casual, relaxed and personal bubble that individuals prefer to use for their ‘me’ time rather than promoting or using it for a business. However, at least you can visually monitor how well your work is doing by reading the comments and seeing how many likes it gains.  It also offers surprisingly strong analytical tools so you can see how your campaigns are working.

Twitter is the dark horse of the social networking family; it seems that Twitter is increasingly becoming popular, particularly for some reason in the UK with 9% using it.  There is talk that it could possibly overtake Facebook’s addictive nature which for a social media site originally created to take advantage of posting via text message (hence the 140 character limit) that will be quite a feat. Twitter is a great way to promote your business and those famous hash tags allow certain words to get you name anywhere that castor oil can’t. Twitter also gives you the freedom to add anyone and everyone without having to wait for friend acceptances or having to state how you actually know the person. It does sound invasive but if you want to get your company’s name out there, you’re going to want to approach certain organisations that you won’t personally know to learn what’s going on in their business to help hone your targets.

We appreciate that YouTube is primarily for watching cats pull funny faces and hilarious videos of people’s epic falls but we were quite surprised that YouTube hadn’t created more sales for the respondents (only 3% of respondents) bearing in mind the amount of great content that organisations are uploading to help promote their products and expertise. 

Realistically, Pinterest is only great, at the moment, for visual products, I personally know photographers and Fashion Designers that have developed rich contacts from the site but only 1% of the respondents in this survey can attribute a specific sale to this site.

We were also quite surprised that no one had generated a sale from SlideShare bearing in mind it’s prevalence on LinkedIn (0% could attribute a sale to the site!)

In conclusion, it seems that to grow sales it makes more sense to invest time and energy into the most popular accounts to broaden your audience.

Not only are these websites available on the PC at work, but nowadays you can easily access them on your smartphone, tablet and soon to be watches, glasses and more; which is great for the sales workaholics mentioned earlier who do not switch off!

Technology is a great and inventive method to promote your work and develop leads with the fast ability to communicate. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the sales professionals questioned felt the benefit of technology.

  • 49% think technology has been a complete benefit
  • 9% feel it has made absolutely no difference in getting sales
  • 21% believe accept that change happens and they just do things differently
  • 11% feel that technology has made them spend more time doing admin work
  • 4% feel that technology has robbed them of their freedom
  • Another 4% strongly believe they used to work less hours without technology
  • 2% wish they could have the power to turn back the clock
There are mixed reviews about technology; some people think that it hasn’t helped and it’s just created more work for them.  However, the majority have embraced it and it has helped them make sales more than before.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 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.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Holiday & Typical Lunch in Sales – Sales Survey 2014

Aaron Wallis has recently undertaken the largest sales survey of its type which explores changing trends within the industry as well as a powerful insight into the minds of sales professionals.

With 62 questions answered by 726 completely anonymous sales professionals we have captured some impressive results helping us promote professional sales, raise awareness and gain a firmer understanding on how to succeed in sales teams.

To receive a full free copy of the 2014 UK Sales Survey please follow this link – 2014 UK Sales Survey Report


  • 52% took their holiday entitlement in 2012 whilst;
  • 48% didn’t and missed out on their full holiday entitlement
Some companies advise their staff to take lunch breaks in order to cool-down and walk away from their work so they can have a clearer and different perspective when they come back to it. Healthy foods are always a benefit to your health and can also make you feel alert. Most understand this; a heavy meal makes you feel tired and often leads to a desire for a snooze – not great for a sales pro which I guess is why the huge carvery is best kept for Sundays!

Sandwiches seem the popular choice for a typical lunch; they are filling but they are also light and small, which would allow the workers the time to quickly eat before returning to their desk.


A great method that is used to effectively relieve stress or conquer depression and anxiety is to perform some physical activity either at home or at the gym; exercising is an effective method which some sales experts practise. It can lift moods, be a great technique for eliminating pressure from a hard day’s work and also be beneficial for keeping healthy.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 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.