Want to find out more about apprenticeships?

Apprentices are a way for young people and adult learners to ‘earn while they learn’ in a job.  KCOM Group has over the last few years, offered more than 30 apprenticeships in the Hull area.

So what are they? They are a work-based program with a study framework included.  But what does that mean? Well, you’ll gain on the job training and the chance of a qualification at the end.

YOU will have a job, with responsibilities and deliverables YOU will be part of team. YOU will be part of an organisation that wants to develop YOU to your full potential. YOU will also be studying towards a framework.

It might be that you’ll attend a college, have assignments to complete in your own time, so an extra little bit of effort will be required of you. However the end results are worthwhile!

SUPPORT is a key word for us here at KCOM Group; we want all our apprentices to achieve and you should get the same wherever you complete an apprenticeship.

So who do you call on?

Your line manager! They will help you day-to-day, set you achievable objectives and support you all the way.

A work buddy!  

We at KCOM Group think that the more people you talk to, the better. A work buddy will be someone, probably from your team, who will take that extra time out to spend with you, so ask them the questions you are not sure of and seek them out when you need that extra bit of advice.

Your team!

You will be part of a wider team so it’s likely that you will be encouraged to use them…ask them questions!

Former -apprentices!  

“Been there, done that” is the phrase.  We have employees who have been through apprenticeship schemes and they can tell you what is was like for them. They may not have completed the same framework as you, but they’ll be there as extra support for you.

Your college tutor!

Most of our apprenticeships involve attending college for a day each week. As with any course, your tutor is there to help and support you academically.

Your skills trainer assessor!

Some apprenticeships are assessed within your role; so instead of attending college, a skills trainer assessor may come to see you. They will mentor you and observe you whilst working on the job and also sign off modules you complete towards your framework.

Human Resources (HR)!

Members of our HR team are always on hand to help our apprentices and if you are within the KCOM Group, you’ll be introduced to your HR Consultant.

So there are lots of people you can turn to for that extra little bit of help and advice.

Are YOU interested? Then watch our website! If we’re recruiting, we normally start around April time…. so if you are going to apply for our apprenticeship scheme,  you might want to look at our previous blogs on attending assessment centres and group exercises as we use them as part of our recruitment process.


Written by Pamela Hemingway, Recruitment and Resourcing Manager for KCOM Group PLC. Follow her on Twitter @Pamela_Recruit and @KCOMGroupJobs


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Video Interviewing

Video interviewing is becoming increasingly popular with employers, particularly when there are large numbers of roles being recruited for. This blog is designed to give you some straightforward top tips to help you think about the importance of making a great first impression.

Tip 1 – Check out your body language (before your wreck your body language)

Are you sitting slouched over? Are your arms crossed? Do you appear approachable? These are all the questions that your future employer will be asking themselves when they see you for the first time. They are looking for physical clues for them to be able to listen and engage with you.  If you open up your posture and appear relaxed and friendly they’re more likely to mirror that and be more accepting of what you say.

Tip 2 – Create positive eye contact (not the creepy kind)

We all know there’s a difference between creepy eye contact and positive eye contact. Your future employer is going to be staring straight into your face so make sure your expression is relaxed, friendly and smile. Pretend you’re talking to a friend and your audience will smile back – like yawning, it’s contagious.

Tip 3 – Be aware of your quirks

Before taking the video interview take time to review yourself in the video viewer. Do you raise your eyebrows when you’re surprised, do you frown when confused? Being aware of these impressions can help you shape your audience’s initial impression of you while helping you project self-confidence.

Tip 4 – What to wear and what not to wear 

It’s difficult to listen to someone or take them seriously in an interview when they are wearing inappropriate clothes. This can be distracting and your future employer could find themselves focusing more on your appearance than on you.

Tip 5 – Location, Location, Location

Take some time to consider what’s behind you in the room you’re filming in since this will be visible on the camera.  Your potential future manager doesn’t really want to see last night’s dirty plates on the side, your washing hanging out to dry or the rear end of your pet cat as it winds its way between you and the camera.

Tip 6 – Are you a waffler?

Do you want maple syrup with your waffle? Don’t be tempted to ramble on… and on… and on …. just consider the question and answer it. There’s nothing worse than listening to someone waffling away and never quite answering the question that was asked.

If you can remember all of the above you’ll be off to a great start, but the most important tip is to be genuine and be you. While being filmed might feel odd, this is an interview so act and react as you would in a face to face  interview. If you’d like a little more information about this subject, why not watch this short video? http://bit.ly/1xq5BCs

Written by Georgina Saunders, Recruitment and Resourcing Manager for KCOM Group PLC. Follow her on Twitter @GeorginaJobs and @KCOMGroupJobs


Posted in career, curriculum vitae, CV, General Recruitment Stuff, Interviewing, Job Search, Personal Branding, Searching for Jobs, Social Media and Recruitment, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The local careers fair

So, what’s your aim? Why are you attending? What do you want to get out of the visit? Something must have caught your eye when you saw the flyer, so you don’t have to be hunting for a new job to attend the fair – you can just pop along and talk to employers to find out more about their companies and what they have to say.


Have a plan

Even if you are not actually job hunting, it’s always good to have a plan. Most fairs will have some kind of guide to the employers attending, so why not have a look beforehand? Visit the websites, look at careers pages and consider if you think they can provide you with a career move. Finally, work out a plan of which stands you want to visit first.

What information do you want to know?

Again, have a think about this question. When you’re talking to the representatives from the companies, what information would you like to know? Clearly you will want to know about career opportunities, but what about development and progression opportunities if you were successful in joining? It’s also a good idea to ask about the application and selection process.

Let them know that you’ve been looking on the website

“I’ve seen your website and that you support community activities” – a great conversation opener! Also don’t be afraid to ask questions such as “Why did you choose to join this company?” and “Why do you think it’s a good company to work for?” Remember, this is your chance to talk 1:1 with an employee.

Should you take your CV with you?

Most companies do now have an online application process, but not all do, so a few copies of your CV could always come in handy; however, don’t be surprised if you are referred to a website to apply. Another good tip is to take a few memory sticks with your CV and cover letter stored on it. They may just copy and paste it to a laptop that they have with them or even ask if they can keep the memory stick.

And lastly – enjoy!

Once you’ve spoken to the companies you want to see, take a wander around and look at the other stands. There might be a stand that on first glance, you didn’t think was appropriate to you. You never know, as it might just worth having a nosey…

Don’t forget….if KCOM Group PLC are at a fair you’re attending, we’d love you pop along and say hello….

Written by Pamela Hemingway, Recruitment and Resourcing Manager for KCOM Group PLC. Follow her on Twitter @Pamela_Recruit and @KCOMGroupJobs


Posted in agencies, career, curriculum vitae, CV, General Recruitment Stuff, Interviewing, Job Search, Networking, Personal Branding, recruitment consultant, Searching for Jobs, Social Media and Recruitment, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recruitment agencies – the truth…

Ok let me start with a bit of context. Firstly, I worked in the recruitment agency business for many years both as an employee and running my own agency, before going in-house. Secondly the blog is intended to give some guidelines and advice to people who may be using recruitment agencies for the first time. So, this blog is not an agency-bashing-blog, quite the opposite. Like all businesses and people – every one is different and has a different reasons for doing things that they do, so these comments are general advice and not necessarily relevant for every agency.

You want a job!

At the time of writing this blog, we are led to believe that we have come out of a pretty tough recession and that UK business in particular is on the up. So that makes finding a new job easy? Nope. Jobs are still hard to come by, so why not consider using a recruitment consultant? They are (in the UK at least) free of charge to the candidate (the employer pays the fees). What you might not know is the agency will, more often than not, not get paid until the successful person actually starts their job. So, it is in the agency’s interest to place the right person and do it properly.

Do they believe in you?

If they believe in you, a recruiter should hopefully have a great chance of making the employer believe in you. A recruitment consultant is a sales person selling you and your strengths after all. So you need to have a good, honest and open relationship with a recruitment consultant. In my opinion, this can really only be achieved by meeting the consultant or agency who will be representing you (either face to face or using technology like Skype for example). It’s much harder for them to sell your skills and strengths if they don’t know you.

Blurred lines and truth twisting…

You may have been tempted to ”adapt” your CV and therefore the consultant will do the same – so don’t lie. If you’re truthful about your experience and skills and the consultant is honest, the interviewer will get the real deal when they see you. It might be hard to spot if a consultant is going to be honest, that’s the leap of faith from your side but, going back to my previous point, a face to face meeting will help reassure you. At the end of the day, selling the real you is important – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard feedback from an interview where it’s been said that the person bore no resemblance to the CV…

Set the rules from the start and take control!

Every consultant will get and make hundreds of calls a week, so its tempting for them to find an easy way to represent you as a job seeker. The easy way can often lead you into a difficult situation without you knowing. From the start, ensure that the consultant understands that you want to know exactly where they are sending your CV. Often a consultant will send your CV by email to multiple employers at the same time. This might sound like a great idea, but consider if every agency that you’re registered with does the same, then a potential employer may get your CV (or a version of it) multiple times and start to doubt your credibility. More importantly, imagine if your CV fell into the hands of someone you didn’t want it to, for example your current boss… By setting the rules up front, you can control who does or doesn’t get your details.

Record it!

Keep a record of each consultant, their email/phone number and agree how often and how you will contact each other. Your relationship with the consultant will suffer if you stalk them. Also keep a record of exactly who they’ve sent your details to, to avoid those duplicate CV moments (mentioned in last paragraph).
Can you keep a secret?
Consultants will nearly always ask you who you’ve already been to see or been spoken to about, including any contact you have made yourself. Consultants make a living out of chasing down leads on possible vacancies. It is entirely up to you if you decide to tell the consultant or not. There is no right or wrong answer to this. All I would say is that if you plan to keep the information to yourself, be straight with the consultant and tell them in a pleasant but firm manner. Again you should be in control. It’s worth considering whether you can use it as a way of building a relationship with your consultant but also keep in mind that you could be giving another candidate a chance of your perfect job.

PDF it!

Lastly, if you’re sending your CV electronically, send or upload it as a PDF version. This may well drive the consultant a bit mad, but there is a point to this. Once you send it by PDF, they will not be able to change anything without asking you first. I have witnessed consultants changing or removing things without the knowledge of the jobseeker as they thought it was the right thing to do. It might well be the right thing to do and, after all, they are supposed to be the expert, but by using a PDF they’ll need to ask you first.

…And finally

Recruitment agencies offer another angle to job-seeking…. There are many ways to find the right role for you including you doing the hard work. Remember though, whatever route you take, you should control it and be honest and organised throughout.

Written by Colin Crowley, Group Recruitment and Resourcing Manager for KCOM Group PLC. Follow him on Twitter @RecruiterCol and @KCOMGroupJobs

Posted in agencies, career, curriculum vitae, CV, General Recruitment Stuff, Interviewing, Job Search, Networking, Personal Branding, recruitment consultant, Searching for Jobs, Social Media and Recruitment | Leave a comment

Handing in your notice

The wait is over; you’ve finally received the official written confirmation that the job is yours.  You’re so excited at the prospect of starting the new role but all those positive, happy thoughts suddenly drain from your body when you realise that before you can focus on the future you have to hand your notice in to your current employer.

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done this before, how unhappy you are in your current job or how perfect the new opportunity is, this is not an easy task.  You’re certainly not alone if you find this final hurdle incredibly stressful but by following some of advice below hopefully the process will feel a little less daunting:

  • Remain professional

My advice would always be to try and have a face to face meeting with your line manager where possible.  Don’t try and avoid some of the initial awkwardness by sending an email.

  • Remain calm

This is not the time or the place to air all your frustrations and list everything you think the organisation or your line manager does badly.  If there were elements of your role which, if changed slightly, would have made you stay then the time to talk about these was before looking elsewhere.

  • Be honest

This may sound like a contradiction to the above, but  what I mean is, explain why you’re leaving but keep it brief and to the point rather than creating an issue out of it.  It helps the organisation to know why people are leaving because if a pattern is appearing they can address the issue for future employees.


You will likely find that once you’ve got over the initial hurdle of telling your manager you’re leaving you will relax a little bit and discuss the situation openly and honestly.  By the end of the meeting you should have agreed a plan of action for your notice period, for example the handing over of your work, any involvement required in the recruitment of your replacement and an official leaving date.  I would always suggest being as amicable and reasonable as possible with this plan of action, and would always advise leaving on good terms.  You never know when you might want to come back and work for the organisation again, you never know where your colleagues are going to move onto next and when your paths might cross again and you don’t always know who knows who in the industry – and believe me, negative news can travel fast.

Assuming you’re good at your job most managers will be sad to see you go but hopefully won’t stand in your way.  If you have explained your reasons for leaving and they can’t offer what it would take to make you stay then they should wish you well and be happy for you.  If you are leaving for a very similar role but with more money and your manager really doesn’t want to lose you they may offer to match, or even better, the salary you have been offered.

What to do when faced with a counter offer

Think very carefully about your reasons for moving.  If it is purely to do with the salary, and everything else about your current role is ‘perfect’ then I think  you should have addressed this issue prior to looking elsewhere.  If the reason for moving is not purely money, for example if the new role is a step up in terms of responsibility, or offers better opportunities, orthe location is more suitable, or the overall benefits package is better, then think very carefully before accepting a counter offer.

Try to picture yourself six months down the line.  OK, you may have a little bit more money in the bank but have all the other ‘issues’ been resolved?  Probably not.


Written by Jenny Domaille, Group Resourcer for KCOM Group PLC. Follow her on Twitter @Jennydomaille and @KCOMGroupJobs

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5 Tips for the perfect CV or Resume

Love them or hate them they aren’t going anywhere. My honest opinion is that places like LinkedIn will certainly change the way people are found and considered, but for now it’s the good old fashioned CV. So I’ve seen thousands and thousands over the years and I believe that by getting these 5 basic things sorted, you may just be the one that stands out.

Number 1

Every hiring manager’s pet hate is SPELLING and GRAMMAR mistakes. There is absolutely no excuse with spellcheck on nearly everyone’s PC, laptop or device. I have seen the best in class experience and qualities turned away because of spelling mistakes – sort it or you run the risk of getting deleted.

Number 2

Style / length / format. Ok controversial one this as I’ve always been told that it should be 2 pages maximum. That is absolute claptrap. Length is up to you if everything in it is relevant. What I would say however is that a 2 page CV will be more concise and a 5 pager will probably induce a coma. Use the rule of 10 years of career per page. Font size no less than 10, no fancy fonts either and always white background and black character (remember some folk still photocopy documents…). Lastly don’t forget your achievements as they make you unique. Sure, a couple of lines about the purpose of the role are acceptable but what you were successful in is more important. Oh and drop the photo unless you’re applying to be the latest face on the cover of a magazine as it doesn’t add anything to your application.

Number 3

Lies. They catch you out eventually. Even slight enhancement of the facts will catch you out. Remember a CV is likely to be a source of questions you’ll answer in an interview. Think of it this way, how would you feel if the advert lied and said that it will pay £70k basic, when it actually pays £30k?

Number 4

Kiss and tell. If you give away confidential information about your current or previous employer and it leaks a) the person reading your CV could use that to their advantage b) the person reading it won’t trust you c) you might get yourself in legal hot water.

Number 5

Who has your CV/resume? Do you really know who has it? Think carefully about who you give it to and what personal information you are giving. Only give it to someone who abides by the Data Protection Act. Consider saving it in PDF format that makes it tricky for it to be changed without your knowledge. If it’s posted randomly all over every job board, you do know that your current employer might see it don’t you…? Finally when you’ve got your dream job – remove it from wherever you posted it.


Written by Colin, Group Resourcing and Recruitment Manager for KCOM Group PLC. Follow Colin on Twitter @RecruiterCol and @KCOMGroupJobs

Posted in CV, General Recruitment Stuff, Interviewing, Job Search, Networking, Personal Branding, Searching for Jobs, Social Media and Recruitment, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hints and tips on the recruitment process


It’s that time of year again when exams are approaching and people are starting to think about their future.  Whatever stage of your career you are at and whatever type of role you are looking for the basics of the recruitment process are fairly standard across the board.

In the modern world, the way employers advertise their roles and search for talent is changing rapidly.  Gone are the days of advertising in the weekly jobs newspaper, today’s recruitment is mainly online so here are some hints and tips to make the process as effective as possible for you

TIP NUMBER 1: Get online and apply online

Even if you are an active job hunter online, trawling the careers pages of companies in your area and searching on the various job boards, it is really important for you to also have a ‘profile’ online for employers to be able to find you.  There are several different places for you to advertise yourself – the first one is LinkedIn (really important to have an effective LinkedIn profile see http://bit.ly/1uJ02eY and http://bit.ly/1uJ086d for advise on this). The other most obvious place to advertise “you” online is on the job boards.  A lot of candidates use the job boards to search for suitable roles but many are not aware that you can also upload your CV for employers to find.

Depending on where you find the vacancy will depend on how you go about applying.  Some roles may require a straight forward CV whilst others may have an application form.  Whatever the method of application, remember to remain professional in all communication with the organisation.

TIP NUMBER 2: Spell and grammar check

It sounds so simple and obvious in the days of Microsoft Office and spell check functions, but the amount of applications organisations receive which contain errors is huge.  OK, so it might not mean that your application is immediately rejected but first impressions do count.

TIP NUMBER 3: Do your research

Whatever method the organisation chooses to use you must do your research.  Not just on the organisation and the role but also on the people who are interviewing you.  Most professionals and organisations nowadays have a social media presence so make sure you utilise these methods of information – check out the LinkedIn profiles of those who will be interviewing you.  Here at KCOM we also have a huge selection of videos on our YOU TUBE channel (http://bit.ly/1l62ZkK) , we have a twitter page (http://bit.ly/1j9dU8W) and we also have a Pinterest account (http://bit.ly/SH64hQ) so make sure you broaden your research beyond LinkedIn and the company website.

TIP NUMBER 4: Testing… consider your environment

It is quite common nowadays for organisations to use testing as part of their recruitment process.  This can be used at any stage of the process and is often used in conjunction with one of the methods of interviewing.

If you are invited to do some testing by the organisation then make sure you pick an appropriate time and place to carry out the activities.  Make sure you have enough battery on your laptop, a reliable internet connection and nothing around you that may distract you.  Also, make sure you allow enough time to complete the exercises; you do not want to be rushing them right at the last minute. Finally dress the same as you would for an interview – not your PJ’s or shell suit.

TIP NUMBER 5: Relax!

Let your personality shine through but remember to do your research and remain professional – make it count as you may only get one shot at it!



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So what is a Group Exercise?

Anyone got their eye on the clock in this group exercise?

Anyone got their eye on the clock in this group exercise?

So you’ve received the all-important invite to attend an Assessment Centre, and you’re probably thinking “Group Exercise…..Aargh!!!!”

We have published a blog previously looking at how to prepare for an assessment centre (click here), but we thought it would be a good idea to write this blog focusing on the Group Exercise and what they entail. Honestly it’s not as scary as it sounds!

Why assessment centres?

Well they are specifically designed to look at different competencies and skills within each exercise or activity that you are asked to participate in.

So what’s a Group Exercise?

It’s a great way to access how you work together as part of a team and is often a key competency that is required in roles. Although this is a daunting prospect, try and remember that you are all in the same position as each other. The important thing for you personally is how you make sure you stand out from the crowd for all the RIGHT reasons! Here are some useful tips for you for when you’re faced with this task:

Firstly, don’t be put off by the Observers in the room; this is normal practice in an Assessment Centre. They are there to observe and make notes, but just ignore them and contribute to the matter at hand.

Secondly, what can you do to prepare? It is more than likely that you will not receive details of the task at hand until you are in the assessment centre itself, however don’t let this little detail stop you from thinking about your contribution. Examples of usual tasks can range from something creative, role or non-role related or a scenario task that you have to work through together as a team.

So how can you contribute?

The team leader – the one that pulls everyone together, check everyone understands the task, be the first person to speak. Don’t worry if you are not comfortable in taking the lead, everyone needs to contribute.
The timekeeper – it’s always good for someone to keep an eye on the time – how long have you got to complete the task? When are you 5 minutes away from the end? -Don’t just think about the time – speak up -the observers need to know what you are thinking & doing, so be the one to say “we’ve had X minutes so far, and only have 5 minutes left”
The team player – everyone needs to be a team player, so if you notice someone who may not be as saying much or keeps trying to say something, but aren’t getting their chance, ASK them and include them in the conversion. Acknowledge other people’s comments, if they make a suggestion which you agree with, TELL them, “great suggestion!”

Don’t be scared to build on other people’s ideas, you may not have thought of it originally, but if you think you can make it even better, say so and CONTRIBUTE. Most group exercises are planned so that a debate will happen so put your suggestions forward. Remember to back them up with reasoning. It may be you might have to influence people to your thoughts. You’ll need to do this in an open and suggestive way, whilst taking on-board the feedback they give to you.

Can you go wrong?

Well yes you can. The common mistake we have seen is when within the brief, you are asked to summarise and then present back your findings. A number of times time has run out and this area has been forgotten about. Don’t make this mistake as its key to making sure that you keep to the task that was set and watching the time as a group, making sure are you completing everything together.

So remember to contribute and get involved as an individual, but also contribute as a team.

Honestly it’s not as scary as it sounds!

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LinkedIn Profile Essentials – Part 2

LinkedIn Essentials 2

Following on from my previous Blog (LinkedIn Profile Essentials Part 1 which focused on getting your LinkedIn profile up and running) I thought it might be useful to run though a few additional tips – the aim being to boost your profile, making it even more attractive to recruiters.

So, here we go…..

Promote yourself
Share your profile with potential contacts/recruiters – simply use the ‘Share profile’ option, which you can find in the dropdown box next to Edit Profile (under your profile photo). This will allow you to share your profile quickly on Twitter and Facebook.
Additionally add your profile link to your email signature, business cards or simply share on other social media platforms. Make sure you personalise the link so that it looks polished and professional (mine is http://www.linkedin.com/in/asanger) here’s a link with further info to get you going… http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/87

Make a headline!
Make sure your Headline/personal tagline describes exactly who you are and most importantly what you want people to see you as. The Headline will grab the recruiter’s attention, drawing them into the rest of your profile which should lead to contact. There are 120 characters to use – the best thing is you can have a play around, see how effective it is and if you need to amend you can!

Post away…
Don’t be scared to post updates and information – sharing or liking interesting articles, infographics and blogs as well as posting updates on projects, successes or simply reaching out for advice. This all helps build relationships and will encourage you to increase your network and most importantly get noticed! LinkedIn Signal is a great tool to use to gather subject matter and content, if you are struggling – http://www.linkedin.com/signal

Key words
This is a great opportunity to optimise your profile which will enable you rate considerably higher in searches – this is an absolute must for jobseekers!! You have 50 slots so make sure you use them.

100% Completeness
A key point, I mentioned in my previous blog, was to aim for ‘100% Completeness’ or close to it – this is hugely important!! LinkedIn can be very helpful in pointing out the sections that you still need to complete so make the most of it when you see the prompts.

Stay active
Make sure you are regularly posting, sharing and liking – get yourself out there and don’t lose momentum, you’ll soon notice a difference!!
Hope this helps you to improve and develop your profile – if you want to know more I would definitely suggest taking one of the many free tutorials that are out there, just pop it in Google and you’ll soon find you are lost in a world of LinkedIn tips and advice!!

Good luck and enjoy!!

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The Killer Questions?

Killer Question? So what time will I finish work?

Killer Question? So what time will I finish work?

During my career I’ve sat at both sides of the interview table and have also stood outside the interview room with my fingers crossed for the person inside. During that time I have heard and used some clever questions in the interview, of which I like to call “The Killer Questions”. Why do I call it that? Well there are 2 reasons… First it could be the question that you ask that seals the deal (gets you the job), secondly it could well be the question that kills off all hope of securing the job. So the key to doing it right lies in the why and when you use it.


Well in my experience the questions that a candidate asks at the end of an interview can be the thing that swings the interview in their favour. If you really do want the job and the interview feels like it has gone well, then asking a couple of intelligent questions will round it off nicely and could land you another interview or an offer. Conversely, asking what you perceive to be a clever question if it’s not gone well or worse still, asking a question that is inappropriate or plain daft will inevitably end up with a “Thanks, but are you having a laugh?” letter.


Well that is really down to you as depending on the type of interview that it is, there may not be an obvious place to ask. The key is to listen to what the interviewer says to you at the start of the interview. The interviewer will often indicate if it’s OK to stop, interrupt, ask or seek clarification on a point. If they say this, it means that they would welcome a sensible question. Note the word “sensible” (we’ll look at this later under “Ugly”). The ideal place though is right at the end of the interview when you’ll likely get something along the lines of “So do you have any questions for me/us”? That’s you cue – take a breath, think and ask.

So what’s “Good”?

Well if there is something that has been discussed that you frankly didn’t quite understand, or feel that you didn’t quite get enough context behind it etc – then ask.
When you’ve done this use the simple Company/Team/You approach. Some examples could be along the lines of;

Company – “I see from various media articles that I’ve read (of course you will have researched the company beforehand) that the company has increased its turnover. What do you attribute to being the single biggest reason for this growth?”
Team – “If I was to speak to one of the team, what do think they would say was good about working for the company?”
You – “When you joined the company, what was it that convinced you to join?”

These types of questions should give you a chance to sit back and let the interviewer sell the company, team and themselves to you. It’s clever as all of a sudden, you become the interviewer and put them under a little pressure!

So what’s “Bad”?

Asking questions when the interview hasn’t gone that well is just going to prolong the agony for you. It will waste the interviewer’s time and yours and will completely put them off you. Similarly if you’re not interested, it’s again wasting both parties time, so don’t bother.

So what’s “Ugly”?

Probably a bit obvious, but questions like “remind me what time I start and finish?”, “exactly how many hours do you expect me to work?”, “do I get an hours lunch break?”, “how much does the job pay?” or like one idiot asked me? “did you sack the last fella then?”. Whilst some of these questions may appear to be important – are they really? Probably not. If they are important you’re probably unlikely to be the right person for the role.

And finally…

OK so you’re just about to leave. It’s gone well. The interviewer has been open and impressed by your previous questions. You absolutely want the job. You feel very confident. You could top it off with “Is there anything that I have said or not been clear enough on that would prevent me from being offered another interview or gives you cause for concern”. It’s bold, it’s audacious but a great way to tie it all up neatly… go for it.

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