Skip to main content

Recruitment questions you need to know

Young woman on an online interview

During this time, many people have experienced being furloughed or made redundant. Some people have taken this time to reflect on their job and have decided a career change may be on the cards.

We want to help our students as much as we can, even after they’ve completed their courses with us which is why we have partnered with a recruitment specialist. So that on completion of your course, we can help you find your dream job.

We did a series of Q&A’s with SimkissGuy founder Rebecca Simkiss, here is a round up.

What has the recruitment market been like with Covid-19?

“The market has been unlike anything that has been experienced before. It has impacted retail, leisure and the hospitality industry. “

“Although these industries may not be recruiting at the moment, they will eventually reopen and as and when they do, we will start to see a massive increase in available positions.”

“On the other end of the spectrum, there are unprecedented levels of demand for jobs in the NHS, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, distribution. With huge levels of vacancies – permanent, temporary and contract.”

“The commercial recruitment sector displays a mixed bag. Lots of office positions are still recruiting but now we are seeing more online interviews happening, online skills assessments and online inductions. “

How long should your CV really be? Should you include a headshot?

“As a recruiter, I don’t mind within reason. What really matters on a CV is the quality of information you are putting on it. “

“Make sure you tailor the CV to the application you are making. The information there demonstrates your skills, experience and demonstrates why as an employer they want to meet you for an interview. “

“Make it clear, normal font. Don’t put a headshot, it takes up valuable space and distracts the employer from your key skills and experience!”

3 top tips for a telephone interview

  1. Make sure you are in a quiet place. It is an interview! Want to be able to talk freely without interruptions.
  2. Listen to the question that is being asked.
  3. Prepare! It’s still an interview regardless of whether it’s over the phone. Telephone interviews are a great opportunity to have everything in front of you such as the job spec and your CV.

Are there typically any good times to apply for roles in certain sectors?

“Think about the industry you want to be in. Property is busier over summer months and they will be starting to get ready for this in April. Same with hospitality, which tends to pick up in summer and Christmas. “

“With the education and childcare sector, September is the busiest time in line with school term. They tend to recruit for vacancies before the end of term. So many roles will be available May/ June time. “

“Professional services are pretty much consistent throughout the year but they will start recruiting for newly qualified staff in September and be advertised for several months before. “

“Overall if the sector you want to work in doesn’t specifically have a busy period, job roles could be advertised at times in line with budgets. This is when hiring managers will know where they can spend money developing their team – for most companies, the start of the financial year begins in April so opportunities will be advertised around March time.”

“For companies who have their financial year in line with January, their recruitment will start around November/December so do look out for opportunities around that time as well. “

Is there a professional way to let your personality shine through the application process or should I wait for the interview to do this?

“Use your common sense. You want to keep CV and applications clear and easy to read with concise and relevant points. Show enough personality in your CV or application by your use of language. It is a subtle but powerful way of letting your personality shine through your application. “

“Mirror the language that has been used in the job description, or on the company website to demonstrate your values match that of the company. Use language that really reflects who you are and what you will bring to the role. Give context and detail and talk about your key achievements. Think about where in your experience can you demonstrate that you are a great fit for the business.”

“Think about their values; do they support charities? Do they offer mentoring? Do they attend events? Reflect this in your application and CV. This is a great way to show you are pro-active and committed to the business you want to be in.”

“It’s fine to have personal interests on your CV and talk about them but keep it at the end of the CV. Remember it must be relevant, genuine and reflective of you. What are your passions? This tells the employer more about you as a person.”

“Overall use common sense!”

How do you prepare for a competency based interview?

“Research is key here. Everything you need to know about preparing will be in the job specification or advert. Be ready with multiple examples which will show the skills or personality traits they are after. Go through the job description line by line and have answers for every single point of the role.”

“Most competency interviews will have questions based around teamwork, working under pressure and priorities. Make sure you have answers for these and if you don’t have an example to use from a previous work place, use something from your education or personal life. “

“A good tip to remember for this is the star technique. Tell me about a situation you were in, tell me about the task you were given, what action you took and what was the result.”

“Always be positive with the tasks that you had a successful outcome. “

What are the killer questions to ask as an interviewee?

“You must have questions ready at the end of the interview. Write them down and take them with you. “

“Start your response by letting the employer know how excited you are about the opportunity. Ask the employer if there are any answers that they want further clarification or detail on. You can also ask the interviewer if they have any concerns about your application or the role. Although they are brave, they demonstrate you want to be taken seriously – this will make you stand out. “

“If you were successful, what would the first month look like in the role?”

“What is the biggest challenge for a new person coming into that position?”

“What makes the business a great place to work?”

At Open Study College we want all our students to succeed and get their dream job. Our partnership with SimkissGuy is just one of the many benefits students get when joining us, along with a CV critique service, a free employability guide and numerous career guides.

Watch the Q&A videos over on our IGTV

Q&A #1

Q&A #2

Q&A #3

Related articles