7 Ways to Prepare for Your Next Job Interview

When you’re interviewing for your dream job, there’s nothing worse than going in unprepared. Though studying interview questions and having general knowledge about the subject is a must for any interviewee, you might be overlooking some of the other ways that you can prepare for your interview, in order to give you an edge over your competition. Here are just a few ways you can prepare for that big interview:

1. Research your potential employer

It’s not enough to know general knowledge about your topic – it’s also important to do at least a little research on what a company does, how it works and even its history. Showing you can research and understand the values and ethos of a business can be equally as important as the skills and knowledge you can display offhand. You don’t have to go in-depth, but if you can fill a page of an A5 notebook with what you know about the company you’re applying to, then you’re off to a great start. If you have one positive recent news story you could refer to as well, perhaps relating to an award, event or new product, then it’s all the better.

2. Research your employer’s competitors

Having a greater understanding of the market you’re going into can give you insight into what your role might be. Whether it’s taking a quick look at the skills and abilities of people in similar organisations to you or simply looking at what sets your interviewing company apart from the competition, further knowledge of the ins and outs of an industry can be a good indicator that you’re passionate about it. It can also give you a greater understanding of what your responsibilities will be in a particular role, and give you other options that you’ve already researched should one interview not work out.

3. Choose your outfit

Just throwing on something on the day won’t cut it; and even if an office or workplace has a uniform or is smart-casual, opting for the smarter spectrum for your interview wardrobe gives a good impression. Of course, it’s also important to know how to read a business; if you’ll be on your feet a lot or on-site for a role, showing up to your interview in a pencil skirt and heels might not immediately make your match with the kind of job you want. Don’t be afraid to ask your recruitment agency or their HR manager pre-interview on what it the etiquette for your interview process; whether formal or casual.

4. Talk about yourself in the mirror

This one might seem more appropriate for an improv or drama class, but in fact, being able to speak confidently about yourself while keeping good eye contact is something many people struggle with, and using the mirror can be a good tool to take away the awkwardness of being asked about yourself in the interview room. Talk about your good points, your experiences and even things you’d like to improve; anything that might be asked on the day.

5. Practice your makeup and beauty routine

We’re not just talking women when it comes to ensuring you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the day of an interview. A little concealer can make you look more awake, and a beauty routine could just be ensuring your hair is freshly washed, clean and nicely styled. Other makeup isn’t a must for any interview, really, but if you feel more confident with a little mascara on, go for it. Heavy-duty concealer can also be used to cover tattoos is necessary, and if it is indicated that they may not be welcome in the workplace.

6. Plan your route

There’s nothing worse than the panic of being late to a job interview, and it can reflect badly on you even if the situation may not have been your fault. From traffic to breakdowns, lack of public transport to roadworks, having some understanding ahead of time of how long your journey will take, when you’ll get there, and how much time you’ll have before an interview are all key things to consider. It’s always preferable to arrive at your interview a little early, but if you’re there more than twenty minutes before your interview, opt to duck into the nearest coffee shop or cafe and wait it out.

7. Collate relevant documents

It’s very unlikely that any job will want you to take in your qualifications and identification to an interview, so when we’re talking about paperwork we mean anything that adds value to your meeting with a potential employer. If you’re asked to do a presentation, bring paper copies so they can follow along and make notes. Written something relevant you’re particularly proud of? Bring it with you. Choose a professional ring binder or folder to ensure your paper doesn’t arrive dog-eared or messy, and to give yourself a more professional image.

If you’re looking for a new role in the healthcare, construction, commercial or industrial industries, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today at Time Recruitment to find out more about the roles we have waiting for you.

7 Mistakes That are Killing Your Job Search

If you are currently on the hunt for the perfect job for you, you may be feeling a little bit frustrated if your search is not going as well as you expected it to. There is no denying that a job hunt can be a bit of minefield. With so many places to find jobs today, and so much competition, it can be hard to know where to start and then how to make yourself stand out so you secure the job. With that in mind, in this post, we are going to take a look at some of the common mistakes people make when job hunting so that you can stop making them.

1. Going it alone

– One of the biggest mistakes people make today is attempting to tackle the job search by themselves. Nowadays, there are specialist recruitment firms dedicated to specific industries that can help you to find the right job for you. There are a number of different reasons why you should make the most of their assistance. Firstly, they can help you with matters like improving your CV and preparing for interviews. Secondly, they have the best contacts within that specific industry, and so they will be able to present you with more opportunities. Thirdly, they specialise in matching people to the right jobs for them, ensuring you end up in a career that is perfectly suited to you and can set you up for life.

2. Taking your eye off the competition

– When job hunting, it is important to remember that you are in direct competition with all of the other applicants. This is why you need to make a conscious effort to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Why should employers want you over the other candidates that are available? You are going to put yourself at a distinct advantage if you simply fall in line with the crowd.

3. Forgetting that times have changed

– If you have not been in the job market for a number of years now, you could have unrealistic expectations, as well as an outdated approach. It is easy to assume that the job market is going to be exactly as it was when you last applied for a job, but this is unlikely to be the case. Times have changed. Make sure you understand the modern job market before you attempt to tackle it, as well as what kinds of interview questions might come up. Again, this is where an expert recruitment firm really shows its worth.

4. Applying for every job you come across

– You should not waste your time applying for each and every job that you come across. Instead, you need to focus on the jobs that you really want. Instead of adopting a scattergun approach it is better to focus on fewer applications so that you can get them right. You won’t be able to give your applications the time and effort they require if you are making hundreds of them.

5. Taking rejection personally

– You should not be downhearted if you do not get accepted for a job, or a number of jobs for that matter. Today, it is exceptionally rare to be offered the first job that you make an application for. Competition is simply so fierce today, so you should never take rejection personally. Instead, ask for feedback so you can learn from it and take these lessons into your next proposal and interview.

6. Badmouthing a previous employer

– This is a mistake that a lot of people make during the interview process. If you say something negative about your previous employer, it says more about you than the person you worked for. The individual that is interviewing you will assume that you are difficult to work with and they will worry that you are going to badmouth them in the future too.

7. Using the same CV and cover letter for every proposal

– Last but not least, employers can spot a generic application from a mile off. You need to ensure that every proposal is tweaked to suit the job that you are applying for. If you don’t, it shows that you do not care. Instead, show that you are passionate about the role you are applying for and that you have done your research into the company. You need to display that you are a perfect fit for the business you are applying to.
Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding regarding some of the most common mistakes that people make when they are looking for the perfect job for them. If you make an effort to avoid the blunders that have been discussed, you can give yourself a much better chance of your search being successful. Do not hesitate to call us at Time Recruitment for more advice. We can help you to find the ideal job for you.

6 key skills needed to progress as a call centre operative

The commercial sector is one of the real growth sectors within recruitment currently. Within this general industry, call centre staff are in demand. This key role is very often the first point of contact for customers with a company so it is vital call centre staff have the right attributes to succeed. If you are involved in this sector and want to progress your career further, there are some key skills to possess.

We take a look at just what they are and why they are so important.

1. Communication skills

This first skill is common sense when you consider what a call centre role involves. It is still worth highlighting though when thinking about recruitment or progression! To really progress as a call centre operative then you need to be able to talk to people in a way that engages them and explains things clearly. Be sure to always keep a professional tone though but in a way that is welcoming to the customer too. If you can continue to improve your communication skills through your career, it will really help your progression to higher-level roles.

2. Problem-solving skills

Although you will naturally have built up experience within your current role, you will still get lots of calls that present problems you may not have come across before. To stand out as an excellent call centre employee and move up the career ladder, you need to show you can solve these problems and use your own initiative. Of course, any solutions should be checked with your team leader before you promise the customer anything but they will soon notice that you are bringing them answers not just questions. It will also help you get good feedback from customers too who will value that you are trying to find a way to solve their complex issue.

3. Listening skills

This is very often the one skill that many call centre staff could do with brushing up on. Take the time to really listen to what the customer is saying to you when they call and it will make everything so much easier. Not only will the customer appreciate someone who listens to them but it will give you time to fully understand their issue. The net result is that you will get great customer feedback and better results which will do wonders for your career progression.

4. Teamwork skills

It is pretty certain that you will be working as part of a call centre team in this recruitment sector. With this in mind, it is vital that you are able to work with people in a positive, effective manner. If you cannot then your career progression can soon hit a glass ceiling. Employers will naturally want to promote and give responsibility to people they see who can be a team player for the good of the whole company. This could cover everything from your interpersonal relationships with other staff to taking on a difficult call or helping out if they are short staffed. Brush up on your teamwork skills and you will have another fantastic string to your bow to make that next move upwards.

5. Conflict resolution skills

Let’s not pretend – at some point when working as a call centre operative, you will experience an unhappy or angry customer on the phone! The mark of a good call centre worker is that you can diffuse any situation such as this so it doesn’t get out of hand. This doesn’t mean agreeing with the customer or giving them what they want though if they are not right. It does, however, mean finding a way to resolve the call to the satisfaction of both parties. If you can develop these skills then you will be in demand and likely to progress quicker.

6. Organisation skills

A major part of this type of role is being organised. If you work in a haphazard way then you will not retain any information given to you by the customer and not be able to complete any follow-up work after the call. Great organisation skills will also mean that you can have your PC set up with the databases you need ready for when a customer calls in. Being organised will also help you have any information you may need on a call to hand and not be searching for it while the customer is waiting. If you are not organised then you will find it very hard to move beyond the most entry level of call centre roles.

If you are looking to make that next step as a call centre operative then why not let Time recruitment help? We work with the very best companies nationwide that need the skills you have. Get in touch today to see how we can help you progress to that next level in your career.

Crucial skills for construction industry candidates

If you are looking for work in the construction sector, and if you are new to the world of building work, you might be finding some of the jargon in the job adverts confusing. What is the difference between an essential skill and a desirable one? What is a CSCS card – and why do you need one? How can a worker without experience get themselves onto the career ladder? We answer all these questions and more, in order to help you secure the right construction job.

Know the difference between ‘desirable’ and ‘essential’ skills

When it comes to job vacancies, there are some skills you absolutely must have. These will be listed as ‘essential’ skills or qualifications. They often include safety courses that must be completed for legal reasons. Without holding the relevant paperwork or having the right work experience, you are unlikely to be given the job.

However, there are also secondary skills and qualifications which relate to a job role, often described as ‘desirable’ skills. A candidate without these skills could still be considered for the job, and the more boxes you tick, the more chance you will be successful in securing an interview and getting the job. Many jobs will even offer additional training in their desirable skills, to ensure you meet the high standards expected of that role.

What is a CSCS card?

One thing you will see listed as essential in the majority of construction jobs is a CSCS card. But what exactly is the card – and how do you get one? CSCS stands for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. The card is a guarantee to your employer or client that you have completed the relevant exam, and that you are registered with the Construction Skills body.

Some employers will help new staff members acquire their card, especially when they take on an apprentice worker. However, the majority will expect construction workers to hold the card already. You can apply for a CSCS card yourself online [https://www.cscs.uk.com//], while employers can apply for cards in bulk through the same web portal.

The application process consists of a health and safety test, completed online. This is a multiple choice exam with a number of questions relating to construction site safety and best practice. Make sure you take the right test: this depends on the type of work you will be doing and the level of seniority in the role. The three categories are ‘construction related occupation’, ‘craft and operative’, and ‘technical, supervisory and management’. You may also need to supply evidence of any qualifications that apply to the work you will be doing, such as a City and Guilds or Higher National Diploma in a relevant field.

Finally, there is a charge of £30 to be paid. When the application is successfully completed, the card should arrive within 15 days. Make sure you apply in good time if you will need to present the card at a work interview, or when you start work at new premises. Without the card, you are unlikely to get the job – or be allowed access to the work site.

What does ‘time served’ mean – and how much experience is required?

For some jobs, experience working in a related field is essential. The job vacancy listing might request ‘time served contractors’. This generally means that the worker has three or more years in a relevant industry. Other job adverts might list a minimum level of experience – such as two years working on other sites. This is likely to be true of more complicated jobs, where specialist skills are necessary, or for supervisor and project manager roles.

If you are an experienced construction worker who has spent time working in your chosen industry, you are likely to meet this requirement. But what if you are fresh from college: will you be rejected for lack of experience? If you can prove in your cover letter and CV that you do meet the other specifications and that you hold the relevant qualifications, you still could be in with a chance. It may be worth speaking with a recruitment consultant who can help you find roles at companies where experience isn’t always necessary.

What desirable skills do construction workers need?

As well as holding the right qualifications and possessing the right knowledge, there are some qualities which help construction job candidates stand out from the crowd. For building work, there are some characteristics most employers want from their staff members. These include a strong work ethic. Can you demonstrate that you are hardworking and committed to getting the job done? In the interview, share examples of projects you worked hard to complete, and detail ways you have taken responsibility for the work you have done before.

Having a good level of strength and stamina is also important. Construction is a very physically demanding industry, with lots of heavy lifting and hard work involved. If you are already an active person, engaged in keeping fit and building your strength, this is likely to work in your favour. Employers look for candidates who are willing to learn, and extra training can always be given to improve skills: but without a basic level of fitness, which cannot simply be taught, the candidate is unlikely to be able to fulfil the requirements of the job.

The ability to think fast and solve problems is extremely attractive to a prospective employer. The fewer problems there are on a construction site, the sooner the project can be completed – saving the managers and developers money. Fewer problems also mean less risk, keeping workers safer. Therefore, bosses want to employ people who can spot problems quickly and solve them using their own initiative. If you can describe during the interview a time when you took charge of a situation and found a solution to a problem, you are sure to impress the recruiter.

For more information on working in the construction sector, or to hear about upcoming vacancies in commercial, residential and industrial construction, get in touch with Time Recruitment today.

6 Skills That Will Benefit You in the Workplace – That aren’t on Most CVs

When preparing for an interview, it can be tempting to extol your virtues and all the great things you can do based solely on how your abilities will directly affect your work. From specific qualifications to previous experience, on paper, you might look like the perfect candidate and may even land your dream role. But when it comes to actively surviving in a bustling and busy workplace – especially if your area of expertise lends itself to high-energy environments – it takes more than just your theoretical knowledge to survive.

Want to know how to make the most of your job and help both yourself and those around you? Read on for six skills that will actively benefit you in the workplace that most people don’t even think of including on their CVs.

1. Digital communications skills

With many workplaces becoming more virtual than ever before, if you’re not used to working in a digital-friendly environment you’ll soon find yourself out of your depth. Especially when it comes to larger-scale businesses, being able to make full and active use of online collaboration tools, task management, excellent email communication and even messaging communication are all vital elements to success in the modern workplace.

These skills can be quickly learnt and developed with a variety of online tools, but failing to do so may soon put you behind your colleagues when it comes to your productivity and results.

2. Workload analysis

Being able to know when your workload is too much is just as key as knowing when you have too little to do. It may be tempting, in many roles, to bear the brunt of too much work by staying late, overworking and on occasion pushing back deadlines, but knowing how long a project or piece of work takes isn’t a failing; in fact, that perception puts you a step up above those who might choose to attempt too much work and fail, or take too little action and become complacent.

Knowing your workload can mean anything from just being aware of how much time something takes to a solid understanding of budget versus cost, and the resource needed to complete your work.

3. Stress management

Stress isn’t a word we ever want to think about in a new workplace – but no matter what industry you’re working in, stressful times do happen, and you need to be able to manage yourself effectively during those times.

Burn out is a very real thing in any business, so mechanisms to reduce stress and improve productivity during particularly busy times are crucial to producing consistent, quality work your employers will be happy with.

4. Conflict resolution

It’s a fact of life that sometimes people just do not get on. Whether it’s a rational disagreement or a previously professional complaint that’s gone a little too far, if you don’t have the ability to logically and rationally end heated moments with other team members, you’ll soon find you’re no longer enjoying your new workplace quite as much.

When you see certain people so much, it can be easy for microaggressions and animosity to build up – so knowing how to clear the air and resolve situations efficiently and professionally is critical to avoid embarrassment on either side.

5. Industry empathy and insight

You might know everything that there is to know about what your new workplace does and how it does it, but if you’re working with clients, customers or even other businesses, having a certain amount of insight and empathy for the position of those you’re working with outside the company is key.

This allows you to create fair and positive network relationships, which can go a long way towards impressing your employers and benefit your business in the long run. A different perspective can be a positive experience for everyone involved, and can even allow you to do your work better.

6. Crisis management

In any business, bad things sometimes happen. It can be a completely unexpected event or issue, a sudden catastrophic IT problem or even a result of issues internally, but when a crisis does occur in your workplace, knowing how to handle yourself and those around you is key to making it through a stressful and productivity-stalling situation.

An understanding of how your role can be achieved even with obstacles in the way puts you in a far better position than those who become helpless in similar situations. At the other end of a crisis, showing just what you can do under pressure will always go well for you.

If you’re on the hunt for your next dream role or you’re thinking about mixing up your career for something brand new, Time Recruitment is the perfect place to start. With a focus on the construction, industrial, healthcare, engineering and commercial industries, we have roles to fit just about everyone. Register with us today to find your next dream job.

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