How To Answer Common End Of Interview Questions

Come the end of the interview, it is customary for hiring managers to ask the candidate if they have any questions about the role or company. It’s best to be prepared for these questions and to try and imagine what the candidate will ask you. Here are some common end of interview questions and how you could answer them:

1. ‘What’s the culture like here?’

Often candidates will ask about the company culture at the end of an interview. Usually, the majority of details about the role itself have already been discussed throughout the course of the interview and so the candidate may feel that they have that information down. If the candidate is interested in working for you then they will want to know what the culture and environment will be like.

To answer this question, try to summarise your company culture in three words. For example, energetic, social and dedicated. If the company often treats the employees to parties or social activities then here’s your chance to tell the candidate. Do you go for after work drinks? Are you provided free fruit? These are the sorts of details you should cover when discussing company culture.

2. ‘What would an average day look like in this role?’

Your candidate is trying to imagine themselves in this company, and in this role. They know the details, but are trying to get a better picture of the actual day to day duties in question.

Remember, you are also trying to sell this role to the candidate, especially if you already think they will be a good fit! Although you definitely shouldn’t twist the truth, try to focus on the more interesting aspects of this role when describing an average day. Telling the candidate that the role involves monotonously staring at a computer screen entering data onto a system is hardly going to entice them in. Up-sell the more interesting tasks or aspects of working in this role.

3. ‘Will I receive any training?’

For many candidates, the training and development they will receive is just as important as the role itself. Explain to the candidate any training programs or qualifications they will earn working in this role. Perhaps your company provides a training budget, even if it provides no onsite training.

If your company doesn’t offer a training budget or program, focus instead of the valuable skills they will gain working in this role.

4. ‘What is the biggest challenge I will face in this role?’

This is an interesting question to be asked by a candidate. The candidate is trying to prove to you that they are up for the challenge, but you still don’t want to say anything that is going to scare them off. Be honest, explain some of the more difficult tasks that require a high skill level to complete.

Once you had explained the biggest challenge, use the opportunity to turn it back on your candidate. Explain the challenging situation and then ask them how they would handle it if they were in the position. This will give you a good insight into how your potential employee will be able to work under pressure.

 

The Pros and Cons Of Open Plan Offices

An open plan office seems to be the norm for most companies nowadays. Although it might be assumed that an open plan office would increase socialising and create better working relationships between colleagues, there are countless articles and reports suggesting the opposite. A huge 70% of US offices are now open plan, but is it for the better? We’ve taken a look at the pros and cons of open plan offices so that you can make the most informed decision about what’s right for your company.

The Pros of open plan offices

1) Easy to communicate 

Everyone working together obviously means that employees can communicate with a lot more ease.

2) Collaboration and meetings are easier to arrange

If your employees are working in an open plan office then brainstorm sessions and collaboration on ideas can happen more organically and without the need to set aside specific time. There is also less need to arrange traditional ‘meetings,’ as a lot of things can be discussed around your desks.

3) Creates a more sociable environment 

Naturally, an office with no cubicles or dividers allows employees to socialise at their leisure and thus creates a relaxed and friendly work culture.

4) You can save on building costs

Obviously, less walls, cubicles or whatever materials you won’t be using to divide the office is a cost that you can save yourself by having an open plan structure instead.

The Cons of open plan offices

1) It can be distracting

It seems obvious that a working environment in an open plan office is likely to be loud. The smacking of keyboards, other people’s phone calls and video meetings can make an office a very noisy place and therefore may be distracting for employees.

2) No privacy 

One of the main factors employees complain about in open plan offices is the lack of privacy. It isn’t so much that employees are up to no good, but the thought of being constantly watched, not only by your boss but also your colleagues, is a little unsettling.

3) Illnesses spread

We used to worry about spreading germs on our commute to work, but now the real culprit may be working in an open plan office in which illnesses can spread quickly.

 

5 Meaningless Buzzwords You Should Stop Using In Your Job Advert

When writing a job advert it can be tempting to include idioms or hyperbole to truly portray how fantastic your company is. However, using cliches and buzzwords to try and entice high quality candidates can actually have the reverse impact. Try to be as clear as possible when writing a job advert, in order to give potential candidates the best insight into the role. Here are 5 buzzwords you should stop using in your job advert:

1. ‘Superstar’

Writing in your job advert that you’re on the hunt for a ‘marketing superstar,’ or ‘graduate superstar,’ or ‘whatever superstar,’ may seem like a lighthearted way of saying that you want the best possible candidate, but is also a little futile. Obviously you’re not going to hire someone who isn’t good, and so you don’t need so the word ‘superstar’ can come across a little silly. Try to use real life terms that add value to the job description.

2. ‘Hard working’ 

Obviously every company is looking for hard working employees – this goes without saying. Adding terms such as ‘hard working,’ or ‘goal driven’ can seem like an attempt at just fluffing out a job advert.

3. ‘Competitive salary’ 

This phrase is so over-used in the recruitment world that it has essentially lost all meaning. Competitive with who? If you wish to mention the salary in your job advert it is better to give details, such as a potential salary range, rather than just including the word ‘competitive.’

4. ‘Work hard, play hard working environment’ 

Everyone wants their company to sound like a fun and energetic place to work. Instead of just writing ‘work hard, play hard’ environment, provide your candidate some evidence! Maybe your office has a ping-pong table, regular Friday drinks or the option of working flexible hours. Including these details in a job advert is bound to appeal to many more people than just writing the phrase ‘work hard, play hard.’

5. ‘An All-rounder’ 

Describing that you need an ‘all-rounder’ to fill a role doesn’t fill candidates with confidence. In fact, often it gives the impression that the role is unrefined and a little confusing. Be clear about what you want, list the skills and experience that would lend itself nicely to the role at hand. Don’t just use ambiguous phrases.

 

Found the right candidates to interview? Take a look at the 3 questions you should never ask in an interview.

How To Manage Your Time During The Hiring Process

It can be hard to manage your time efficiently when hiring a new employee, especially if on-boarding isn’t your only responsibility… which, unless you work in recruitment, it probably isn’t. Hiring new employees can be a long process for a number of reasons, but a large factor of that is simply that companies don’t have enough time. Here are some tips on how to manage your time more effectively during the hiring process:

1. Schedule well 

Setting aside time slots for the hiring process is extremely useful for efficient time management. Schedule in an hour to go through applications and email candidates inviting to interview. Schedule in time for the interviews themselves and also schedule in time to deliberate after the interview. Having set amounts of time booked out for each stage of the process, like you would for any other project, places importance on hiring without taking over your entire day.

2. Deadlines

As well as scheduling, deadlines can really help to keep time spent on the hiring process to a minimum, allowing you to focus on other things. Setting deadlines for each stage of the recruitment process allows a strict time frame and helps you become more organised. Naturally, things aren’t always as simple and some roles will take more time to fill than others. But having a deadline to work towards will still help you keep to some sort of structure, even if you have to bend it a little.

3. Use phone/video interviews

Using a phone interview to screen candidates prior to inviting them in for a face to face interview can really save you time in the long run. Use the phone interview as an opportunity to ask that about their salary expectations, notice period and other basics that are essential to your decision. Learn more about how phone interviews can save you time during the hiring process here.

4. Consider using recruiters

Using an external recruiter to help run the hiring process is a sure fire way to help manage your time. The obvious downside to using an external recruiter is obviously that it more costly than doing it yourself. Therefore, you have to decide what the best solution for your company is and what’s more important at the time. Essentially, what’s more valuable, your time or your money?

How To Make Your One-To-One Meetings More Productive

One-To-One meetings with your direct reports can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable. The employee will be looking to you this entire meeting and following your lead, so you need to set the precedent and be well prepared. One-To-One meetings are a chance for you to have a frank discussion with your employee and review their skills. It is also a chance for your report to raise any concerns they may have and therefore it can be really beneficial to the workings of the business.

1. Set an agenda 

Before your meeting, prepare and write down a structured agenda for your One-To-One.  At the beginning of the meeting introduce the agenda to your report and keep referring back to it. Not only with this ensure that you cover all your objectives, but it relaxes the mood as your report knows what to expect. It will also stop the other person from interjecting with questions that you were planning on addressing later in the meeting.

2. Use an appropriate space

With One-To-Ones it is important that you find a private space to carry out the meeting. Hosting the meeting around your employees desks is a little overbearing, and will prevent your report from being honest about any issues they may be having, in fear of coworkers overhearing. Book a meeting room or find a quiet area to carry out your One-To-One.

3. Ask for questions

Once you have finished working through your agenda it is important to ask if your report has any questions.  This creates a two way conversation and shows the employee that you care about their input. It also allows them to ask about things they might not have understood the first time.

4. Schedule the meeting well

It is very important not to spring a One-To-One on your employees without giving any notice. As much as you want to prepare for the meeting, so do your reports. It is best to give at least a days notice before a meeting so that everyone is well prepared and knows what they would like to discuss. Inviting the employee to a meeting, instead of just announcing that they have one, will give the employee a sense of mutual respect which is important in a business.

 

3 Little Perks That Make A Huge Difference To Productivity

Offering office perks can be rather costly, and of course most companies can’t compete with the likes of Facebook or Google when it comes to cool offices and benefits. Providing perks for your company doesn’t have to bank the bank, and can seriously boost motivation within in the team. Here are 3 little perks you can offer that make a huge difference to productivity:

1. Coffee

Providing employees with free coffee is a cost efficient way of boosting morale and making them feel valued. Having a free coffee machine also stops staff constantly leaving the office to get their own.

2. A break out area

A break out area is a dedicated space away from the employee’s desk in which employees can brainstorm, discuss ideas or just take a break from the stress of work. The break out area can be as simple as a couple of bean bags in a corner of the room, so again it doesn’t have to break the bank. This will help employees feel relaxed and unwind, thus creating a more enjoyable work environment.

3.  Cake on birthdays

Acknowledging an employees birthday is a sure fire way to make them feel more appreciated at work. Some companies even offer an extra day holiday on your birthday, but you don’t have to go big if it wont suit your company. Instead, why not give your employees cake and a card on their birthdays, to show that you are treating them as individuals. This will in turn make your employees feel happier and more appreciated.

 

How To Use Paid Search To Advertise Your Vacancy

It’s important to make sure that your job listing is found on the first page of Google and Bing by people who are actively searching for jobs like yours.

Our digital team are experts at managing paid search advertising for recruitment, ensuring your advert is targeted to the appropriate audience and achieving maximum response levels at a budget to suit your needs.

Why work with us? 

  • In order to run great campaigns you need a good knowledge level of Adwords, Bing and online advertising. Our team is highly trained in these areas and we use great systems to optimise performance.
  • As a Premier SME Partner of Google we meet the highest standard for qualification and transparency, which includes extensive product and account management knowledge.
  • Paid search campaigns need constant optimisation to achieve the best possible results. We will take this day-to-day management out of your hands.

How does it work?

  • We create the advert copy based on your job listing(s) and a selection of keywords which trigger your advert appearing on the first page.
  • You only pay for the clicks – the impressions are free.

What does it cost?

There are three standard pricing options for a standard job listing: £300, £400 and £500.

Since you only pay for clicks, the bigger the budget, the more people will view your advert. Please note; the cost of a paid search campaign is in addition to a job listing.

Find out more

If you’re interested in finding out more about how a managed paid search campaign can help you target a relevant audience of active jobseekers, speak to our sales team on 0345 3000506 or email ecommerce@fish4.co.uk.