Research the Company
Practice Questions and Answers
A crucial way to have a successful interview is by ensuring your manner is positive and that you are polite, bright and enthusiastic throughout the interview. You need to demonstrate that you are a motivated individual and one who can show passion for the role and company that you are applying to.
Be natural - ensure you maintain good eye contact throughout the interview. Look interested, listen actively and give the occasional nod of agreement or understanding - and remember to say please and thank you wherever it is appropriate.
Make sure that if you are being interviewed by a number of interviewers, you address the whole of the room whilst focusing the answer on the individual who asked the question.
Build a relationship with the interviewer, use the time for you to ask questions to ask them why they enjoy working for the company, try to identify your potential manager and develop a connection with them.
Sell yourself - this is your opportunity to explain what you have achieved in your career, so ensure you are factual and concise in your answers and always back achievements up with solid examples.
Listen to the questions and if you need further clarification ask for them to repeat it, then take a deep breath and think about what you are going to say. It is far better to take time to answer a question, than to waffle on or miss the point altogether. Remember to answer the questions you are asked, rather than answer to your own agenda.
Try to avoid talking about salary and benefits; if you have questions regarding this talk to your RedCat consultant who will know the answers. This will save you appearing to the interviewer as though this is your main focus rather than the opportunity. Use the interview time to demonstrate what you can offer, rather than putting emphasis on what package the company can offer to you.
Don’t be negative about your current or previous employer. If you are asked why you want to leave your current role, talk about the reasons why you want to join their company and avoid the temptation to be critical. In short, remain professional at all times.
You will be asked many different questions at your interview. Some will be standard questions you can easily predict - but other questions may be more unexpected. However, the better you prepare, the better your position - and the greater your confidence. So, focus your preparation around what you and your RedCat consultant believe to be the key competencies and skills of the job for which you are applying.
Write down some of the questions and think about how you would approach the answers. Try rehearsing with your friends or family, but don’t fall into the trap of repeating your answers in parrot fashion. Keep it natural. Try writing out your answers too as this will help you commit the information to memory.
Frequently asked Interview Questions
There are many different kinds of questions you could be asked at your interview, covering topics such as your career, personality and motivation. Below you will find a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you in your preparation.
Why did you move from Employer X to Employer Y (It is important for you to be able to explain why you have moved to different jobs, but you do not want to appear a job hopper. The company will be looking to invest heavily in your training and development, so they will be wary if you seem to have moved companies on a regular basis. They want to be confident you will stay with them, so be prepared to discuss and explain your reasons for leaving and don’t be evasive).
Describe your career history to date and your achievements.
What are your career aspirations?
What were your responsibilities in each role?
Why do you want to join our company? What kind of people do you like working with?
What kind of people do you find most difficult to work with? Why?
Who would you say are our competitors?
How do you schedule your time? Are you good at setting priorities?
What do you feel you have done particularly well in your last job?
How do you measure customer service?
How would you describe your management style?
What are your weaknesses and strengths?
How would your friends and colleagues describe you?
How do you deal with pressure?
What would you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?
What is the toughest decision you have had to make, whilst at your present company?
What motivates you to be successful?
What has been your greatest achievement?
Give some instances in which you have anticipated problems or influenced new direction.
Tell me about yourself (if asked this question, be prepared to talk openly about yourself. Don’t be tempted to waffle - be open about yourself to enable the interviewer to get to know you, but make sure you answer in a structured manner).
Competency Based Questions
A competency or behavioural interview question is one whereby you are asked to provide an example of a past situation to demonstrate you have a particular skill. Interviewers seek to obtain information about your past behaviour as they believe this is the best predictor to future behaviour.
Interviewers will be looking for you to provide specific examples about exactly what you did in such situations, not what others did or what you would do hypothetically. You will be asked to discuss your answer in detail, you will often be probed on the example and you will need to ensure you can qualify your answer - interviewers are often particularly interested in the outcome of the situation. Examples of competency questions include:
Can you give me an example of an occasion where you have been required to show resilience in order to overcome a difficult situation or tough trading conditions?
Can you tell me about a time when you have empowered your team or an individual in order to gain commitment for completing a task?
Can you give me an example when you have had to launch a new business initiative to the team. How did you launch it? How did you ensure everyone understood the benefit of the launch?
Can you give me an example where you have taken over a new team and you have improved team morale? What steps did you take to understand your team and how did you measure your success?
Tell me about a time when you have worked efficiently as part of a team?
Can you give me an example of when you have exceeded a customer’s expectations?
What actions have you taken in the past to improve customer service?
Describe an occasion when you have received praise relating to the levels of customer service that you have delivered.
Planning and Organising
Describe a time when you had to take on extra work at short notice, talk to me about how you prioritised tasks and what the outcome was?
How do you monitor the progress of tasks or projects?
How do you manage your time and objectives?
End of Interview
Be prepared to ask a number of questions, as most interviewers will give you an opportunity for this at the end of your interview. You can plan your questions in advance with your RedCat Consultant and whilst researching the company. Asking informed questions at this point shows you have a genuine interest in the position for which you are being interviewed. Remember not to be negative and try to ask open questions, which enable the interviewer to open up and discuss the organisation with you. Examples of the questions you might ask include:
What are the opportunities for training and development?
What are the organisation’s future plans?
Could you tell me about your experience in the company?
If you feel confident and you have built a good rapport with the interviewer, ask them when the next stage of the recruitment process will be. Don’t be afraid to say you have enjoyed meeting them and make sure you thank the interviewer for their time - then smile and leave with a strong hand shake and good eye contact.
Career Change Advice
Job Offers and Feedback
RedCat Recruitment is committed to providing great service to all its candidates. To help us provide you with exceptional service, we would ask you to maintain regular contact with your Recruitment Consultant.
It is important to us that every positive interview is converted to a formal offer of employment. As such, it is imperative that you phone your RedCat Consultant straight after an interview or assessment to provide feedback on how you feel you performed. Having listened attentively to you at this crucial time, your consultant can then gauge exactly how you feel about the opportunity and give you practical help and advice on how best to move forward. It also enables them to provide feedback on your behalf to the potential employer, utilising this information to talk about converting your interview into a job offer when appropriate.
At RedCat Recruitment, we seek to build strong relationships with our candidates, developing relationships based on mutual respect and trust. We want to work with all our candidates to secure for them the best available financial terms from their new employer and, we aim to ensure both candidate and employer are satisfied with any terms that are agreed following a successful application.
Our aim is to only represent you for a position that can offer the salary and benefits package you would accept to move companies. As such, we will be honest and provide you with an understanding of the salary you can expect from a vacancy. If this does not match your expectations, we will talk further about your requirements, and we may recommend that a vacancy is not suitable for you based on the employer offer.
We will always put your interests first and, at the beginning of our relationship and throughout the recruitment process, you will be asked about your salary and benefits package expectations to ensure we fully understand your requirements.
That’s why we ask all our candidates to be frank, open and honest with us about their current situations and expectations - only then can we advise you appropriately, negotiate the right terms of employment for you and represent you in a professional manner throughout.
In most cases you will receive any offer of employment verbally via your RedCat Recruitment Consultant. In some cases you may receive a direct offer of employment from the employer or you may receive an offer in writing.
Any offer, whether verbal or written, constitutes a formal offer and any acceptance of this offer would be treated as a professional commitment to join your new employer. It is important for future candidates and the reputation of RedCat Recruitment that you consider your offer very carefully and only accept if you are going to honour your commitment in formally accepting the position offered.
Sometimes you might have another offer pending, or other opportunities to consider. At a time like this, an open discussion with your RedCat Consultant can provide comprehensive and impartial advice to enable you to make the right decision about your career.
We understand that a decision to accept an offer is a crucial step in your career and, as such would never pressure you to make a decision. Nevertheless, if you have been upfront and honest regarding your career aspirations and we have met your expectations, your offer of employment should be a moment to celebrate.
Resignation and Counter Offer Advice
How to Resign Professionally
Accepting a new position is an exciting time - looking forward to your future career can and should give you a real sense of achievement. But then there’s also the matter of handing in your resignation, which for some can be a daunting prospect. So here are some guidelines covering what to do and what to say to help you resign in a professional manner.
Resignation needs a lot of careful thought and preparation. If it is handled in the right way it will demonstrate a positive and mature personal approach to your decision. Alternatively, if you approach it inappropriately and awkwardly, negative feelings and recriminations can occur and these could affect your career in the future.
Think about your boss and your work patterns and decide when you are going to resign, for example a Monday morning during a delivery may not be the best option.
It may be difficult to predict the outcome of such a sensitive meeting - so preparation is key. Your boss may well congratulate you - they may equally feel betrayed and you could even find yourself in a conflict situation. So expect the unexpected, plan ahead the best you can and the golden rule? Remain professional at all times. Here are some more points to help you prepare for your meeting:-
Plan what you are going to say and stick to it, be firm yet polite, you have not made this decision without serious consideration; if you walk in to the office to resign and you leave agreeing to stay you will in most cases have eroded the respect that your boss had in you anyway.
Retain your composure at all times and ensure that you can articulate why you are leaving, focusing on the positives of your career move. You will not gain anything by using the meeting to dwell on negatives.
Remember that you may need a reference from your boss and there could be a time in the future when you meet again. So always be professional and try to set aside your emotions - that way you will remain focused on resigning rather than on justifying your decision.
The meeting does not have to be lengthy and although you will no doubt be questioned about your reasons for leaving, you do not have to offer detailed reasons. Remember what you have decided to say - and don’t deviate from your intentions.
Ensure that you have thought through the notice period you are prepared to give, stress that you will provide a detailed handover and where possible, reduce your notice period to an agreed timescale.
Be prepared for a counter offer and when it comes, be ready to reinforce the fact that you would like them to respect your decision.
Leave the meeting on a positive and amicable note with an agreement for your leaving date.
Managing a Counter Offer
When you resign, you may receive a counter offer - think through this very carefully.
A counter offer that improves your financial package can simply mean that you receive your standard pay rise early - so it could lead to disappointment later in the year. Plus, once you have handed in your resignation, your loyalty and commitment may be called into question, and as a consequence, you may find yourself being passed over for promotion. So, accepting a counter offer can serious damage your job prospects too. And even when the counter offer includes the promise of promotion, it may still never materialise - and unless you have it in writing, you will be left high and dry.
The facts speak for themselves. A counter offer is often the most cost-effective and productive solution to your resignation. Persuading you to stay may be cheaper than recruiting your replacement - so for your company, it’s not about you.
And if you find yourself being tempted, remember this: a high percentage of all employees who accept a counter offer leave within the next 6 months.
So if you receive a counter offer, don’t be surprised - but don’t be fooled either. And don’t forget you can always discuss the offer through with your RedCat Consultant.
Advice For Starting Your New Job
The role of your RedCat Consultant does not stop the moment you receive an offer, so, in order to benefit from the help and guidance we can give, be sure to remain in regular contact throughout the recruitment process - and beyond.
Inform your Consultant when you have received your client offer letter and confirm with them the location, time and person you are meeting on your first day. Also, if you remain in touch during the first few weeks, we can help ensure everything goes according to plan. Remember, we will be thinking of you, and hope that your new job will turn out to be everything you hoped for.