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Eight insightful questions to ask at the end of a job interview

Posted on: 21 Jun 2017, admin

If you read our previous blog (Pre-interview mistakes you need to avoid) hopefully you’ll be going into your interview feeling well prepared, confident and ready to impress. Once you’ve answered all the questions, expanded on your experience and skills and demonstrated why you’re a perfect fit for the role, the interviewer will usually ask if you have any questions for them. It’s all very well making a good impression during the course of the meeting, but it’s equally important that you plan for the end of the interview and don’t neglect this vital stage of the process. An interview is a two-way process so this is a fantastic opportunity to not only find out more about the role and company, but also demonstrate your enthusiasm and depth of research. It’s worth having a few questions prepared in case any of the things you plan to ask at the end are raised during the course of the interview. So read on to discover eight great questions to ask the hiring manager.   I see you have recently moved into a new market/expanded the company/brought out a new product. How will this affect the business in the future? This question is powerful because it works on two fronts. Firstly, it demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to research the employer thoroughly and find out some interesting information about the business. Secondly, it shows that you’re interested in both the role and industry as a whole. By mentioning the future of the business, you’re also aligning yourself with its progression, indicating that you can see yourself working there in the long term.   Could you tell me more about the company work culture? Hopefully your research will have given you some insight into how the company operates, but it’s always useful to ask the interviewer to expand on this. No matter how great the opportunity, it’s essential that you’re comfortable with the business ethos and a good fit for the organisation, so this is a question well worth asking.   How will my work performance be evaluated and reviewed? By posing this query to your interviewer, you’re positioning yourself as the type of employee who understands how vital it is to deliver tangible results. Not only will this portray you as committed and target-focused, the answer given will also provide you with an insight into the company values and if they’re compatible with your own.   How has this position become available? This may seem like a deceptively simple question, but the answer can tell you a lot about the company, its culture and the future prospects for the role. If the opening is a brand new position, that could indicate the company is growing and needs to take on new staff to cope with the expansion. Has the previous post holder been promoted? That could suggest there are opportunities to advance within the company. Conversely, an evasive answer might indicate a lack of progression or a high turnover of staff, so be on your guard.   What training or career advancement opportunities are there? A really good question that highlights your focus on hard work and self-improvement, not just for personal gain but also for the benefit of the company. Employers value people who are keen to improve their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in technology or industry trends, so raising this at the end of your meeting will frame you as a person who’s eager to add value to the business.   What’s the best thing about working here? As well as giving you the opportunity to find out more about the company culture, this question helps to build that all-important rapport, as people enjoy talking about themselves and their areas of expertise. It’s a great way to get the inside track on how the business treats its employees, as you’ll be able to read much into the interviewer’s response. For example, do they respond quickly and positively or are they more thoughtful and guarded when answering? The latter could indicate that they’re struggling to think of anything positive to say about the company, so beware.   How does this job fit into the overall structure of the business? Teamwork is a crucial aspect of many jobs so the ability to work well with others is essential. Raising this question shows you not only value cooperation in the workplace, you’re also keen to know how your input would benefit the company. This will position you as someone who’s keen to make a positive, lasting impression and add value in the long-term.   Why did you invite me for an interview? We covered this question in our Five psychological tips to help you impress at interview blog and it’s certainly worth repeating here. This is a powerful question to finish on because it makes the interviewer consider all your strengths, experience and the things they like about you, which means the meeting ends on a positive note.   Hopefully these examples have given you a taste of the sort of questions you need to be asking at the end of a job interview. They give you the chance to dig a little deeper and evaluate the employer, much as the employer is evaluating you throughout the meeting. As we’ve previously said, it’s a good idea to have a few questions prepared in case any of them are answered during the course of the meeting. Not surprisingly, it won’t work in your favour if you ask a question that’s already been answered previously! It’s extremely important to carefully consider what you want to ask; asking something for the sake of it is pointless, so jot down question ideas as they come up during your research and make sure they portray you positively as a candidate who’s enthusiastic about the role and the company. Good luck!

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How to choose the right recruitment agency

Posted on: 16 Jun 2017, admin

If you’re thinking of working with a recruitment agency for the first time or your current agency isn’t performing as you’d like and you’re planning to try an alternative, you could find yourself daunted by the amount of choice available. In fact, over the years, we've spoken to many clients who have confessed that they were initially a little nervous about using a recruitment agency for the first time. Unfortunately, the recruitment industry doesn’t always have the best reputation and if you haven’t had a bad experience with an agency yourself, you probably know someone who has. Thankfully, not all agencies are the same and by spending a bit of time doing your research, you’ll massively increase your chances of working with a good one who will be a real asset to you and your company! Here are some tips to help you identify a winning recruitment partner: Get recommendations: Ask the people in your network about their own experiences with recruitment agencies, both as an employer or as a candidate. Find out who they recommend, who they wouldn’t and why! Check out their website: A search for local employment agencies is likely to bring up a whole list. Have a look at their websites. These are just a few of the questions you should be able to answer yes to: Are they well-established? Do they list any of their current clients? Do they feature many testimonials? Is the site easy to navigate? Does the website advertise many job opportunities? Do they have a specialist division for your chosen sector? Are there resources (tools and blogs) for employers and candidates? An attractively laid out website that’s easy to navigate with useful content is going to attract more prospective candidates than one that doesn’t – it will also rank more highly in relevant Google searches, making it easier for people to find. Read their reviews on social media: You would expect any recruitment agency to have a LinkedIn page and it’s worth checking out what they are posting and how active they are. Although you can no longer leave company reviews on LinkedIn, many recruitment agencies have GooglePlus and Facebook pages where people can leave reviews. It’s well worth checking these out because they can give real insight into how your prospective agency treats its customers. Once you’ve narrowed it down to two or three agencies you like the look of, these are some questions you should be asking to help you decide which agency to choose: Where do you find your candidates? What you should be looking for: Your agency should have a variety of ways of sourcing candidates and not be relying too heavily on job boards. You would expect this to include candidates sourced from personal recommendations, social media campaigns (which is likely to include multiple social media channels and not just LinkedIn) and online marketing. This means your agency will be able to potentially find suitable candidates who are not actively looking in the job market but are open to change. Do you have recruitment experts for different specialisms? What you should be looking for: One of the main benefits of using a recruitment agency is the time it can save you by taking much of the work off your hands. However, if your consultant doesn’t have a good understanding of your role, the industry you’re recruiting for and the local marketplace, there is a risk they could misunderstand the type of person you’re looking for and waste your time by sending you irrelevant CVs. On the other hand, a recruiter who specialises in a particular sector will be able to quickly get to grips with understanding your role, know where to find the type of person you are looking for and be able to offer you guidance on what’s currently happening in the marketplace. Do you meet all your candidates in person? What you should be looking for: Finding the right person for a job isn’t just about skills and experience – it’s often just as much about team fit. If an agency is doing their job thoroughly, they will have taken the time to interview a candidate in person first (giving them the opportunity to get to know them better) before deciding whether to put them forward for your job. This way, you should find that your agency only puts high quality, suitable candidates forward for your roles. The extra time you’ve taken to select the right recruitment company should prove to be a valuable investment of your time. By asking for recommendations, reading independent reviews and understanding their recruitment process, you’ll be in a position to choose a partner you can trust to act on behalf of your company and help find your talent of the future. If you'd like some help finding new talent for your team or you're a candidate looking for your next opportunity, please contact your nearest office on 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton). We recruit across Office Support, Sales & Marketing, Finance & Accountancy, Human Resources, Bid Management and Warehousing & Logistics.

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Temp of the Month Winner Announced!

Posted on: 14 Jun 2017, admin

Congratulations to Rachel Millard who won our Temp of the Month award for May. Here she is with our Divisional Manager David Forbes (left) and Senior Consultant James Cooke (right). Rachel's line manager Tess gave the following glowing feedback about Rachel: ‘Rachel joined our busy recruitment team at a time of significant change and stress, to take on one specific aspect of the work. She is incredibly quick on the uptake, we only have to tell her something once and she picks it up and runs with it. In addition to her main duty, she has taken on additional tasks on both an ad hoc and regular basis. Rachel is full of initiative. Several times she has heard me on the phone and before I’ve even finished the call she has emailed me the information I will need to take the next step, or offered to take on the task I’ve been talking about. She has a lovely manner and everyone who meets her warms to her, which reflects very well on the team and on us as an employer. Just yesterday, we had an unsolicited email from one of our most senior managers, commending Rachel for going the extra mile to be helpful to the team concerned. We couldn’t be more pleased and think that Rachel really deserves your Temporary of the Month award.’ Well done to Rachel. She wins a well-deserved Amazon voucher to treat herself. We caught up with her to ask her how she felt about winning Temp of the Month: How do you feel about winning temp of the month? Initially, lied to and violated after being lured into a meeting room under false pretences!!! All jokes aside, I’m so happy to have been nominated and chosen for Temp of the Month. I can’t stop smiling!  Why do you think you were nominated for Temp of the Month? I brought some background knowledge with me and so have been able to apply this to the role. I’ve felt so comfortable here that I’ve had no issues with pushing myself out of my comfort zone to help where I can.  What do you like about the company you’re working for? At no point during my time working here have I felt like just a temp. The people are welcoming and friendly and really have a different approach to most organisations. There’s a different feeling working here. I feel very comfortable and valued.  How will you spend your £20 Amazon voucher? I’m not sure…I’m a bit of a craft geek so maybe something for scrapbooking (I have a scrapbook for photos from my travels).  Tell us one thing about yourself your colleagues don’t know I hate these questions! Ummm…my little toe faces the wrong way! Apparently I talk in my sleep too – that one is news to me, not just my colleagues! If you’re looking for a brilliant temporary worker like Rachel who can come in and hit the ground running or you’re immediately available for a temporary or temp-to-perm opportunity, please call our office on 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or send your CV to info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk .

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Six inspirational dads who made it big in business

Posted on: 12 Jun 2017, admin

It’s Father’s Day this weekend, which gives us the chance to say thanks to our dads for all their support, encouragement and love over the years. Most people can say they’ve learnt valuable life lessons from their father, so we thought we’d take a look at some dads who have inspired not only their own children, but entrepreneurs and people across the world. So read on to find out how these six dads used their determination and commercial acumen to become titans of business and extremely successful in their chosen fields.   Richard Branson Despite being dyslexic and achieving poor grades at school, Richard Branson has gone on to become one of the most prominent and recognisable entrepreneurs in the world. Starting from humble beginnings with a single record shop in the late 1960s, he’s since amassed a global empire that’s estimated to be worth £4.5 billion. With interests in retail, music and banking amongst others, he’s also forward-thinking, investing in space tourism and green fuels. On top of his work commitments, he’s also a dad to daughter Holly and son Sam. Quote: “If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” This was a lesson he learnt from his father. You can read more about how his dad inspired him by clicking here.   Jamie Oliver Another inspirational dad who did poorly at school (he left with two GCSEs and suffers with dyslexia), Jamie Oliver worked hard to become an internationally-renowned chef, restaurant owner and campaigner. Initially famous for his cookbooks and TV shows, he has since diversified and fronted worldwide campaigns to improve nutrition in schools and given disadvantaged young people a start in life by training them to work in hospitality through his ‘Fifteen’ charity restaurants. He’s estimated to be worth £240 million and is also a dad to five kids. Quote: “40% of what I've done was a mistake. I now call it research and development.”   Levi Roots Before finding fame on ‘Dragons’ Den’ with his range of Caribbean-inspired cooking sauces, Levi Roots produced his wares from his kitchen in Brixton, with the help of his seven children. After sixteen years of rejection from banks, Roots finally secured £50,000 of funding from Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh. His sauce was picked up by Sainsbury’s and since then he’s diversified into TV shows, cookbooks and restaurants. Roots is also an accomplished musician who’s performed in front of 50,000 people with James Brown and sung for Nelson Mandela. Quote: “I want to spread the word that if a black Brixtonian Rastafarian can make it with just a sauce, then you can make it too.”   Martin Lewis As owner of one of the biggest consumer websites in the UK with around 15 million monthly users, a best-selling author and host of TV and radio shows, Martin Lewis has helped thousands of people gain control of their finances. Since launching his ‘Money Saving Expert’ website in 2003, he’s also spearheaded several financial initiatives, including campaigns around student finance, energy bills and bank charges. After selling his website to Moneysupermarket.com for up to £87m in 2012, he donated millions of pounds to Citizens Advice and financial education groups. He has a daughter called Sapphire. Quote: “I didn't start the website to make money, I started it up because I believe in it.”   James Dyson With a net worth of £7.8 billion, inventor and designer James Dyson is founder of the Dyson empire. He’s perhaps most famous for inventing the cyclonic vacuum cleaner but has also created an energy-efficient hand dryer called the ‘Airblade’ and a cooling fan without blades. As well as investing £1.5 billion into new technology research, he also set up the ‘James Dyson Foundation’ in 2002 with the aim of inspiring and supporting the next generation of engineers. He’s been married for nearly 50 years and has two sons and a daughter. Quote: “I was quite good at running, not because I was physically good, but because I had more determination. I learnt determination from it.”   Rami Ranger Born in Pakistan in 1947, Ranger moved to the UK in 1971 and started his first freight shipping business in 1987 with just £2 and a typewriter. The enterprise was initially based in his garden shed but by 2016 it had expanded to reach a turnover of £200m, exporting to 130 countries worldwide and employing 150 staff. He’s won an incredible five consecutive Queen's Awards for Enterprise for International Trade, joined the Princes Trust Enterprise Fellowship in 2012 to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs and was awarded a CBE in 2016. He has three daughters. Quote: “My work ethics are simple. I only succeed when my customers succeed.”   Hopefully these inspirational entrepreneurs have shown you that passion and good old-fashioned hard work can bring success. Whether it’s overcoming learning difficulties or years of rejection, these six businessmen have demonstrated that determination and the will to succeed can herald impressive results.

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Father’s Day competition – win vouchers for Middletons!

Posted on: 08 Jun 2017, admin

With Father’s Day just around the corner, we’re running a competition to treat a deserving Dad in your life to vouchers for Middletons Steakhouse and Grill in central Milton Keynes. To enter, simply email rosanna@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk , stating the name of the Dad you are nominating and the reason for your nomination. The competition closes at midday on Wednesday 14th June. Good luck!

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Temp of the month announced!

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Congratulations to Leah Finch who won our Temp of the Month award for April for her outstanding contribution. This is what her manager Rachel had to say about why she nominated her: "Since joining our team Leah has 'hit the ground running' in dealing with some very complex and challenging customer complaint cases. The quality of her written work in the form of Final Responses to our customers, which for us must be at a very high standard, is exceptional. She is currently working within the team as if she has years of experience in complaint management, however as I understand it this is her first role of this nature. Leah is a joy to work with and I feel that I could give her challenging cases and have the reassurance that these would be managed correctly. Leah has also been going above and beyond, putting in the extra hours to ensure that our customers receive the best service which has not been unnoticed. Leah’s support over the past few weeks has been fundamental to our team." Well done Leah, we hope you enjoy your well-deserved Amazon voucher! If you're immediately available and would like to find out more about our latest temporary and temp-to-perm opportunities, or you're a company looking for an outstanding temp like Leah, please get in touch on 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk .

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Talent is hard to find…here are 5 ways to help you find it!

Posted on: 06 Jun 2017, admin

Figures announced this week from the latest Adzuna Job Market Report show that job vacancies are at their highest since November 2015, with just 0.44 jobseekers for every vacancy. Companies who aren’t prepared are likely to find it takes longer to fill jobs and will need to fight harder than ever to secure the best people for their roles. One way you can improve your chances of attracting high quality people to your company while reducing the time to hire is by running a year-round recruitment strategy. In our blog last week we shared some of the benefits to having a proactive recruitment strategy, including the ability to build a talent pipeline and improving the time it takes to fill a role. Here are some tips for becoming more proactive with your recruitment Develop your social networks: If you want to proactively recruit, it’s important to be active on professional networks such as LinkedIn. Connect with people who do similar roles in other organisations to the types of roles you recruit for. Try and make the effort to join relevant groups and take part in group discussions. You never know where this will lead! Build a strong brand: Leading on from the last point, it’s worth investing time in building a strong online brand for your company. This includes your website, LinkedIn and any other social media channels where your potential recruit is likely to be found such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Not only will this build familiarity between your company and your potential recruit, it also gives then the opportunity to get an insight into what it might be like to work there. Never stop looking: Remember, talent and expertise comes in many forms. While some positions need university graduates there are others that would be best filled with graduates from the university of life!  From the cashier who serves you at your local bank to the person behind the tills at your local supermarket… your next employee could be anywhere! If you view each and every encounter as an opportunity to meet a future superstar, you’ll be amazed at the possibilities that start to present themselves. Tip: When sourcing for one position, keep quality people in mind for future / other positions within the company. Sourcing gives employers and hiring managers an opportunity to connect with qualified candidates long before the need ever arises, which makes filling job openings that much easier. Involve the whole team: As mentioned earlier it’s a good idea to embed an employee referral scheme within your company to encourage them to introduce new talent into the business. This is a great way of improving your own staff retention and building your network of potential recruits. Know your competition: Do you know the best people who are currently working for your competitors? If not it’s well worth taking the time to find out who these people are and connect with them. These are the people who could make a difference to the future growth of your company. A word of warning: It’s vital that if you put an ongoing recruitment system into practice, you’re always open and honest with your candidates that there may not be an immediate position available. As long as you’re upfront about this, you should be able to develop a strong network of contacts for the future. External support: Recruiting all year round can be a time consuming process which is why many companies choose to partner with a recruitment consultancy who understands their company and roles and can proactively headhunt candidates on their behalf. That way, when there’s an internal promotion, an increase in workload or an employee leaves, they will already have done much of the groundwork and have a bank of warm candidates they can call upon. In summary, if you wait until a new job opportunity opens up before you start searching to fill it, you’ll always be playing catch up. By building an ongoing pipeline of suitable candidates, you’ll be in an ideal position to fill your jobs with high quality people with the skill-set and personal qualities your business needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you'd like some help finding your stars of the future, whether on a permanent, temporary or contract basis, please call Ascendant Recruitment on 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk .

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Four unconventional recruitment methods that get results

Posted on: 05 Jun 2017, admin

Unorthodox recruiting practices have been in the spotlight recently. You may have seen the BBC business feature which focused on shoe repair company and high street staple Timpson, who disregard CVs and recruit their staff based purely on the candidate’s personality. They also give their staff lots of autonomy to make decisions and make a point of hiring people with criminal records. If this seems like a risky strategy, financial results at the firm speak for themselves; sales rose 8% and pre-tax profits were up 65% in the year to September 2015. All this got us to thinking, what other unconventional staff hiring methods are there out there? Well take a look at our list of unusual and creative hiring methods and see if some of them could help improve recruitment and staff retention at your company. Hiring by auditions Automattic is a software company based in San Francisco. They forgo the traditional 9-5 workday and measure performance based purely on output, which means employees are free to choose their working hours. This flexible approach doesn’t suit everyone, so the company came up with a novel recruitment process that seems to work well for both them and their applicants. All potential employees go through a trial process on a paid contract basis, which means they can complete the work alongside their current job. They’ll be set tasks based on the role they’ve applied for, which gives the company a real insight into their practical skills and strengths, knowledge which can’t always be garnered from a CV or interview. At the end of the process, both the company and applicant have learnt a lot about each other and have developed a strong idea about whether or not they can work together going forward. As a result, Automattic have an extremely low staff turnover, which makes the effort of coordinating the trial work worthwhile. Run a competition When cutting-edge IT company Linode desperately needed to source some high-quality, qualified Linux OS candidates to fill several vacancies within their development team, they came up with a novel solution. Instead of relying on the usual recruitment methods, they sponsored a competition for Linux developers. The contestants were set challenges which involved finding solutions to technical problems, which gave Linode the perfect opportunity to examine their practical skills closely and also see how they coped under pressure. The winners not only received a fantastic prize, they were also approached with job offers. Organising and promoting a competition is quite time consuming, but the opportunity to observe potential employees and their skills closely is invaluable for a company who needs the very best technology talent. Dinner date The initial hiring process at M & E Painting is much like you’ll find at any company. However, the final interview is a little different; instead of a formal meeting, company CEO and founder Matt Shoup invites the prospective candidate to dinner with him and his wife, who is also co-owner. On top of this, Shoup asks the interviewee to bring ‘the most important person in their life’ along with them. His reasoning is that he only wants to hire staff who embrace and genuinely care about his company vision and Shoup is convinced that harmony in a person’s personal life is a key factor to their professional success. “If you’re not happy at home, then you bring that problem to work,” he says. Shoup and his wife have been using this unconventional recruitment practice for over two years and in that time, their staff retention rates have improved dramatically. Go shopping Quicken Loans, based in New York, often appear in ‘best places to work’ lists, with 95% of employees saying their workplace is great. As well as offering fantastic benefits and a vibrant working environment, they also seek new talent in unexpected places. One method they regular employ involves sending out employees to local shops and restaurants and asking them to engage with the people who work there. If they find somebody who offers exceptional service and makes a great impression, they then offer them an interview. As well as boosting employee engagement by getting them to play an active part in the recruitment process, this method also uncovers talent that may otherwise have been overlooked. As the company themselves say: “Too many businesses focus on industry experience when they recruit. We can teach people about finance. We can't teach passion, urgency and a willingness to go the extra mile.”   As you can see, unconventional recruiting methods are being embraced across a range of sectors, from cutting-edge IT firms to painting and decorating businesses. Although they may come from different industries, these companies do have much in common; each one has a strong work culture where success relies on everyone working towards a common goal. As such, these methods won’t work for everyone, but there are still lessons that can be learned. It’s important to have a strong understanding of your business when designing the recruitment process and you shouldn’t be afraid to look beyond traditional practices. If it is clear that something in your recruitment strategy is not working then act on those insights and look for ways to improve it.   You can read the full article on Timpson by clicking here. If you’re struggling to find people with the right skills and qualities, we can help! We meet all our candidates in person and take the time to understand your business so we can use our expertise to provide a first-class recruitment service. For more information, please call us today on 01908 200 270.

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Five psychological tips to help you impress at interview

Posted on: 23 May 2017, admin

As you’re no doubt aware, job interviews can be stressful, anxious affairs, which is why thorough pre-interview preparation is absolutely essential. Once you’ve planned your outfit to make sure you’re dressed to impress, undertaken comprehensive research of the company and role, planned your route to make sure you arrive in plenty of time and practised answering potential interview questions, you should be feeling more confident and organised. No matter how prepared you might be, you’re still likely to be feeling some nerves. However, there are lots of little psychological tricks that can help you appear more confident, amiable, competent and ultimately hireable. So peruse our list of simple strategies which could give you the edge on your competitors and do wonders for your chances of landing that dream job.   Create a positive impression with your hands It’s a good idea sit up straight at interview, as a sloppy posture indicates nervousness, disinterest or lack of energy. However, what you do with your hands will also make an impression on the interviewer. Being too expressive and overdoing it with hand gestures can be distracting and take the emphasis away from what you are saying. A handy tip is to turn your palms upward, as this shows honesty and sincerity, whereas hiding your hands or turning them downwards indicates you have something to hide. Other negative gestures to avoid include folding your arms and drumming your fingers, as these indicate displeasure and impatience respectively. Take advantage of pre-interview small talk According to a recent study, the pre-interview chat that takes place before the real business begins can have a huge impact on how the interviewer perceives you. Research conducted by a US university found that candidates who did a good job of rapport building beforehand received higher scores for their answers in mock interviews. This indicates that the interviewer’s impressions of a candidate could be swayed positively or negatively by pre-interview small talk. This ties in with what psychologists call ‘similarity-attraction hypothesis’ whereby we instinctively gravitate towards people who share a similar outlook to our own. This is useful knowledge, which can also be applied in the job interview itself. By researching your interviewer beforehand on LinkedIn and other social media channels, you may be able to gain an insight into their values, interests and ideals, giving you the opportunity to work the conversation round to that subject and create a positive impression. Talk about your potential Whilst talking about your accomplishments and past successes at work will give the interviewer a flavour of your experience and capabilities, research suggests you should also focus on what you could do in the future if you were hired. An experiment carried out by Harvard Business School found that interviewers were naturally more drawn to candidates with potential than those with experience. Psychologists believe this is because our brains tend to focus on uncertain information in an attempt to find an answer. If this information is positive, such as the potential to be successful in the future, it stands to reason that we’ll view those people more favourably.  Impress your interviewer Once the interview is underway, there are some handy hints and tips you should remember that will help you impress and build a strong bond. In his bestselling book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, Dale Carnegie describes how “a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” The fact is, we are naturally drawn to people who use our name and view them in a more positive light than those who don’t. Therefore, Carnegie advises that you use the person’s name throughout the interview, within reason and when appropriate, in order to make a good impression. As well as remembering your interviewer’s name, implementing a psychological strategy called ‘reflective listening’ could also do wonders for your career prospects. By listening carefully to what the other person says, you can then paraphrase them to emphasise your understanding and interest. This helps portray you as someone who is intelligent, attentive and extremely keen. Ask the interviewer this question The end of the interview is your chance to ask questions and one of the strongest you can ask from a psychological perspective is “Why did you invite me for an interview?” It may seem a strange question, but it’s extremely powerful because it forces the interviewer to focus on your strong points and all the things they like about you, meaning the meeting ends on a positive note.   These psychological tips are designed to give you a competitive edge in your interview by helping you build rapport and create a positive, lasting impression. However, it’s still vitally important that you prepare thoroughly by researching the company, preparing your responses to questions and arriving for your interview in plenty of time. Once you’ve got this basic preparation sorted, employing some of these psychological tips when appropriate could help you get the better of your competitors and land that job.

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5 reasons to always be recruiting (even if you’re not hiring)

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Having a proactive recruitment strategy can bring great benefits to a company, yet many employers still choose to recruit reactively, waiting for someone to hand in their notice before advertising a new position. A business can potentially experience major setbacks when recruiting in this way, both in terms of the quality of the person they eventually recruit and the time it takes to find them. In this blog we share 5 reasons why you should always be recruiting, even if you don’t have a vacancy right now. 1. You’ll hire the best person (not the best person who happens to be available): If you recruit proactively, you’ll have a much wider choice of people to choose from as you’ll already have developed a pipeline of candidates who are potentially the right fit for the job. However, if you wait until the position opens up before looking, you’ll leave yourself with a limited selection of candidates who have consciously decided to make themselves available at that time, vastly shrinking the pool of talent you can choose from. This will help you avoid the panic recruit which can sometimes happen when a hiring manager gets desperate! 2. You’ll be prepared for the unexpected: How much would your company suffer if a key employee left or fell ill today? A sudden illness or an unexpected resignation could have a significant impact on your team and in turn, your customers, particularly if you’re working in a smaller company. By operating a year-round recruitment process, you’ll be in a much stronger position to swiftly bring another person into the business to take on the additional workload, relieving the pressure on the rest of the team and allowing you to maintain service levels. 3. You can involve the team: If you foster a culture of year-round recruiting, you can create an environment where your employees also play a part in finding and engaging good people too and reward them accordingly. Embedding this in your culture should also help to reduce underperformance and complacency amongst members of staff as they’ll be less likely to take their own positions for granted, knowing that their managers are regularly meeting potential future recruits for the business. 4. You can gain fresh ideas and knowledge: Regularly interviewing people will help keep you up-to-date with the latest industry trends and inspire ideas for development. It’s also a good way of checking how your salary package stacks up against comparable roles in the industry and this knowledge will help you attract new recruits as well as retain existing employees. 5. You’ll improve your own interview skills: It takes practice to become a great interviewer. Once you’ve decided that your interviewee could have a future within your company, you’ll want to do everything you can to engage them and sell the opportunity to them so that they are as impressed with you as you are with them. By interviewing people regularly and perfecting your technique, you’ll increase your chances of achieving this. Managing expectations It’s vital that if you put an ongoing recruitment system into practice, you’re always open and honest with your candidates that there may not be an immediate position available. As long as you’re upfront about this, you should be able to develop a strong network of contacts for the future. In summary, if you wait until a new job opportunity opens up before you start searching to fill it, you’ll always be playing catch up. By building an ongoing pipeline of suitable candidates, you’ll be in an ideal position to fill your jobs with high quality people with the skill-set and personal qualities your business needs as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you'd like Ascendant Recruitment to help you find new talent for your business in the fields of Office Support, Sales & Marketing, Finance & Accountancy, Human Resources, Warehousing & Logistics or Bid Management, please contact your nearest office on 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton) or email info@ascendantrecruitment.co.uk 

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