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Our secret phObia…?       cVs and    interViews
intrOductiOn                         4abOut this repOrt                    5executiVe summary                    6cVs     ...
intrOductiOn                                                                                                              ...
executiVe        summary OF        FindinGs    1: CVs    despite our ever more time-precious world, two pages             ...
spelling mistakes, incorrect grammar, use of jargon should all be avoided at all costs.        chapter 1:                 ...
chapter 2:        pre-interView        it’s true! First        impressiOns really                                         ...
Our Secret Phobia   Cv And Interview Research
Our Secret Phobia   Cv And Interview Research
Our Secret Phobia   Cv And Interview Research
Our Secret Phobia   Cv And Interview Research
Our Secret Phobia   Cv And Interview Research
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Our Secret Phobia Cv And Interview Research


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Look up Interview Advice on Google and you\'ll get 94m web entries, Try searching for \'CV Advice\' and you\'ll get 17m entries - This is our reseach.......

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Our Secret Phobia Cv And Interview Research

  1. 1. Our secret phObia…? cVs and interViews
  2. 2. intrOductiOn 4abOut this repOrt 5executiVe summary 6cVs 8pre-interView 10interView 12View FrOm the interViewers dOmain 16cOnclusiOn 18abOut this research 19
  3. 3. intrOductiOn abOut this repOrt look up ‘interview advice’ on Google and you’ll get more Our report is split into four main chapters. the first tackles than 94 million web entries. try searching for ‘cV advice’ cVs – how long should they be? should you follow up on and you will receive nearly 17 million results. them? the second looks at your behaviour before entering the interview room. do employers assess your body what does this tell us? a couple of conclusions seem fairly language? do they notice if you are friendly to the staff in obvious. reception? that there is a huge demand for help when looking and chapter three concentrates on the interview format applying for a job. that many people don’t feel confident itself. what is the type of interview most favoured by when it comes to penning their cV and aren’t’ sure employers? is it an exploration of your competencies? Or is what prospective employers most want to see on it. and it biographical – more of a review of your background and that these people feel apprehensive about having to that, when they do get to an interview, they feel even your past roles? now put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and describe more uncertain about what’s the best way to conduct themselves, their experiences and skills. it is inevitable themselves. Finally, we look at what employers said about the interview that they will find an interview situation one for which it is questions themselves? what’s their favourite type of difficult to prepare. nobody really teaches you this stuff. it’s often a life lesson. question? how do they like candidates to respond? you learn it as you go along. this is, of course, as true for they will be asking, have things changed? after all, the last like, how long should my cV be? should i really include my throughout, we’ve included some of the interesting and decade saw us move into the internet age. people have the person conducting the interview as it is for the person hobbies? Or is that frivolous? quirky things that employers fed back to us. For example, less time than before to read content for their day job, let being interviewed – although this is usually forgotten. one employer told us that the most unusual cVs they’d alone cVs from prospective employees. we’re told that have i really already been judged by my handshake and seen was an online “Flash” version, which was emailed to people’s attention span is shorter, thanks to email, instant most interviewers aren’t experts in cV assessment or whether i chatted to the receptionist before i entered the them and included an animation and a song! messaging, text messages and social networks. many interview techniques themselves. they too have learned as interview room? companies only accept online applications. they go. much of this is fun – but there is a serious point here. and how should i dress for the interview? is a suit and tie what might the impact of all of this be on the job cVs and interviews are one of those universal rites of over the top in the modern day? Following one of the deepest recessions, there are application process? should cVs be shorter than might passage that we all go through. they don’t have to be many people who have been unfortunate enough to find have been the case in 1990 or 2000? have interview frightening. they are an opportunity to showcase your skills we wanted to find out the answers from the horse’s mouth. themselves unemployed though no fault of their own. styles changed? and your personality to someone who has a vested interest so we asked a whole host of organisations, from a cross the job market is more competitive than ever. in, well, being interested. section of industry, and have compiled the results into this as well as being interesting and, in some cases, fun, this report. lots of the people currently seeking jobs are doing so after research is designed to answer these questions and we wanted to get to the truth of some of the basic but years of security. they have not written a cV or been for an reassure candidates who are nervous about the whole important questions that candidates frequently ask us. we hope you find it useful. interview for a long while. it is absolutely understandable jobhunting process.4 5
  4. 4. executiVe summary OF FindinGs 1: CVs despite our ever more time-precious world, two pages nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of employers prefer remains the optimum length for a cV, according to 57 a competency-based interview, seeking to draw out the per cent of employers. in fact, a surprising 38 per cent areas in which a candidate excels, the traits that will fit with of people surveyed said that three pages is ideal – and contribute to the company. nearly half (49 per cent) suggesting that, when it comes to assessing a candidate’s like to start with informal chat. building a rapport during the suitability for a job, people are prepared to put in the process is rated as highly important, as is sharing a sense proper time to screen people at the cV stage. this is not a of humour, and avoiding yes/no answers. process that employers want to skip over. the results back up the sense that ‘hard-nosed’ interviews employers strongly believe that a cV should include a mix are largely a thing of the past. interviewers today are rarely of responsibilities and achievements, with an appropriate trying to ‘catch anyone out’ or see how people perform balance. One or the other is not really good enough for under stress. two thirds (68 per cent) say they would most organisations. prompt or help a candidate that was taking a long time to 2: First impressions answer a question, for example. however, 28 per cent of perhaps surprisingly, only 13 per cent of respondents said it is still true that your interview starts the moment you interviewers did admit that they would consider “testing” they are likely to read the ‘education’ section of a cV. this enter the building – not the moment you sit down across a candidate by seeing how they respond to an aggressive could be a consequence of years’ of media criticism of the table from your interviewer. question. One quarter (27 per cent) think candidates should have ‘slipping standards’ in national qualifications such as a asked before the interview, but 25 per cent say the first levels or Gcses. whether this is true or not, it seems clear Formal business attire is still rated as important, along with, conversely, 90 per cent say they would never test interview stage is the more appropriate time. 23 per cent that relevant experience is more critical than ever: 88 per unsurprisingly, good hygiene. practising a firm handshake a candidate to see how they respond to deliberate say you should wait until the second interview and another cent of employers say they read this section. is also wise – 125 out of 184 people rated this as unfriendly/cold behaviour. 20 per cent think you should wait even longer – right important or highly important. up until the offer stage. this uncertainty highlights the we looked at the issue of speculative cVs, the act of Overall, it is about getting to know the person you are advantage of candidate’s working through a recruitment sending a cV to an organisation that is not advertising in the interview room itself, body language is noticed, so looking to hire – and seeing if they would be a positive fit company as consultants will almost always have the salary on the off chance they may be interested. the majority candidates should keep those arms uncrossed, laugh, smile within the organisation. information available and candidates’ should always ask for of employers see speculative cVs as proactive , although and generally look enthused. sarcasm is a big no no. and, this before moving forward with a vacancy. nearly a third (30 per cent) say they find people that follow in a very modern twist, employers’ most hated behaviour 4: the interView – questions up with a call or email after a couple of days “a nuisance”. is… leaving the mobile phone on. there is no consensus and this is one area where even for an advertised role. asking sensible, relevant questions is one of the things candidates will need to make their own judgement call rated most important by employers. so far, so good – that based on the particular job they are applying for. in 3: the interView – style there are some absolute cV dos and don’ts. according seems fairly logical. general, our advice would normally be to investigate basic to our survey, any gaps should always be explained and there are no major surprises in terms of the things remuneration details before applying – after all, it seems a professional summary at the top is a very good idea. employers wish to see here: they want candidates to respondents were completely split, though, when it comes common sense to want to know this information in order to including logos of companies you’ve worked for, and other demonstrate knowledge of the company and give answers to one of the age-old quandaries: at what point should you make an informed decision as to whether you are right for ‘visual’ flourishes can, by contrast, backfire. relevant to the job. first query the salary and benefits of the job? the job, and if it is right for you.6 7
  5. 5. spelling mistakes, incorrect grammar, use of jargon should all be avoided at all costs. chapter 1: 100% the quality OF yOur cV - hOw dO these thinGs aFFect an emplOyer’s perceptiOn OF yOu? cVs 90% 80% 70% 60% what is the ideal number OF paGes OF a cV? 50% 40% 30% 0% 1% 20% 4% 10% 0% a or ad go n s/ a n s& f es lf d/ r te il ob s in rso lud se an ma ins ema fj ar f j ract ail ord pe bie el inc em ing am st f o ro t m w d ob ours po o e be con e s 3r rh y te th ell gr us m by d nm in ila s da of sp by nu n im sts a i nd ph ct nt ive tha it te s e ca ra pe se r ge ce r wr er e tog us la re he 38% th ho s w as is t ot V is int size matters. how long should mine be? 57% One p cV V a c rm c fo two we see cVs of all shapes and sizes. some are fitted neatly positively negatively not at all three onto a page. some are crammed onto the page – with Four margins and font sizes slashed to within an inch of their life Five or more cV style - hOw dO emplOyers react tO the FOllOwinG? in order to make room. 100% 90% 80% Others stretch for pages, every job title, course undertaken what should be on my CV? 70% and qualification gained explained in impressive detail. 60% simple: your experiences. 70 per cent of respondents said 50% that when a candidate outlines their experience within, 40% most are somewhere in between. 30% it should be described in terms of “responsibilities” and positive 20% “achievements.” 10% negative what’s the best? neither 0% of of of ion in according to our survey – definitely try and stick to two experience rates as more important than education, with e e r e ipt ts ion hs us ts us u us ics cr ulle ipt rap e fon e colo e aph s r neat, succinct pages. but – don’t try and cram. if there 88 per cent of employers preferring to read the experience tiv tiv tiv r de t b sc g cr ea cr ea ea /g cr ges er or de ara really is too much to fit on the two sides of a4, and you section first. employers are fairly neutral when it comes to re sh er ed p a ca in re il im ca eta absolutely can’t edit it down, then don’t feel too bad about hobbies and interests. the screening decisions are based d stretching to three. three sides of easy-to-read copy is predominantly on experience – but also on accuracy and better than two pages chock-full of text. style. be careful about too much follow up of cVs. while sending it is naturally tempting to want to follow up if you have speculative cVs out into the market is part and parcel of not heard anything from a company you have applied for. jobseeking – particularly in a tough and competitive climate while we wouldn’t discourage candidates from doing so what shOuld be On yOur cV? 100% such as we have endured the last two years – some as a rule of thumb, it’s important to apply discretion. nearly 90% employers can find follow ups by phone or email an one third (30 per cent) of employers we asked told us that 80% 70% unwanted nuisance. they would see a candidate that makes follow up calls a 60% nuisance rather than proactive. 50% 40% “A hobby of ‘taking drugs’ “Pictures of an aeroplane 30% (think it was meant to be designed to show what a high 20% a joke!).” flyer they were.” 10% “what’s the mOst 0% unusual thinG a & rs? nc e a y an e of ps “An online ‘Flash’ CV yOu’Ve seen On a ve ? ies ? te re s? de ? os ? ga ? “Family photographs!” ha ary V m bb ests let fe tail clu tails o mp hav ? l og d in ny ir cV which included animation cV?” ho ter r re e in ac y in e ke a e a c sum ve de ct d V de e the ed lud or n ad in co a c lary lai th and a song.” o uld nal re a d clu nta ld a lud ses ork nc e w i v xp t on e n sh ssio yo u re in co ou ’s s inc s w e at ha e at me u ac V sh ate te ine did hey “The first sentence started... fe do yo id da bus an t did loy pr o do ld nd di an p yes ou ca an the a c nies a c em “A tea bag attached ‘We moved to Coventry when sh a c of uld pa ld heir I was four...’ It was 64 pages ld ary o m ou t no so that I could have a ou sh co sh in sh umm t he don’t know cuppa whilst reading it!” long!” s8 9
  6. 6. chapter 2: pre-interView it’s true! First impressiOns really research the company via their website: what it does, who always, always ensure your mobile phone is off! some dO cOunt its competitors are, its history. 78% of employers surveyed were extremely unimpressed by this lapse. study any sent corporate literature; relating to it as a passing reference could make a difference to the entering the lion’s den interviewers impression of your enthusiasm for the job. promoting a good first impression, with 69% of employers it’s almost a cliché that we judge people on a handshake, preparation but a firm handshake was rated as important by 53% of citing this as highly important. Obviously, be conversant with your own cV, practice there is so much information readily available regarding answers to questions you think may be asked. in planning employers. and, despite society today being more relaxed this subject – but how much is relevant? what can be answers ensure they are succinct. and informal than ever before, the majority (51%) of Formal business attire also figures highly with prospective safely disregarded? remember, you never get a second employers remain reasonably conservative, saying that it’s employers. more than half (52%) rate this as important. chance to make that desired good first impression. important clothing isn’t too revealing. unless specified, candidates should always dress up be certain of the route to the interview and allow plenty of rather than down. ask friends or relatives for feedback and time prior to arrival to compose yourself. unsurprisingly, our survey indicated overwhelmingly advice on how you look and how you could improve your On meeting with interviewers, two thirds (64%) of that good hygiene and cleanliness was a major factor in presentation. make a conscious effort to project success. respondents would be impressed with the candidate a considerable percentage (32%) of employers rated standing up straight and smiling. talking with the receptionist or secretary prior to the interview as important. a personable and informal chat will hOw impOrtant are First impressiOns? attempts to promote friendly chatter impressed some 57% make a good impression and also put you at ease prior to entering the interview room. of employers. such informal banter can do much to settle 100% nervousness prior to the interview proper. 90% 80% 70% 60% behaViOur in the interView 50% 40% 100% 30% 90% 20% 80% 10% 70% 0% 60% al es s cu t ke e a me up ing ile s ist yo u 50% rm fo ress lin air ha av ke fu e- th sm ion an th ds t h sha er ak clo pt ith 40% g rin s d cle n ha n no e/ p m ng nd ce rw ea es d ce o and av ch ali ta re at te 30% w sin an re Fir m yd ph rsh mu ve igh to ch bu ne e fte o re str a ng th am to ar lki dly 20% gie ing /d fa g we p ta en hy ur aty lo oi din su fri 10% od s e el ot an d ke en sw sm av sn st Go ar oe ma 0% le d t o ac ts plo out yer nce ce t ly al asm ers ers n ng mp tac eo ids nd yer ion an te ffli plo sw sw st y ab de o con at frie rc on av s og wa fes an an em sa nfi ph t/la ivel arr em ely ye co pro rp iled st bile re ren sit me em sha t/la eta ely cur ks po o mo so tr po ort ren ex em yd he neutral sh ea cur gth tr gt ex sp n important ut highly unimportant n le avi bo le ly a unimportant highly important tive ga ne neutral reaction aks remember that the interview is very much the main event. extremely unimpressed have a positive interest e sp it doesn’t start with the first question you are asked. it with your preparation prior to that. how you prepare signals have some doubts extremely impressed doesn’t even start when you enter the building. it starts how you will handle the prospective position.10 11