The following tips may help you understand what to expect when you come and register with us, but we have also included tips and advice on how to prepare for any other interview you may have in the future with other employers too.
If you are going to an employer interview, it is worth reading both the below and our list of tips on what NOT to do for an interview in our Interview Tips section further down this article.
At Primestaff, the most common place where we register our candidates is on site within the closest branch to you. We take this time to carry out a formal interview with you to see what you’re looking for and how you may fit the requirements of a position you may have applied for. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for an interview in order to get the most out of this opportunity.
The most important thing to do for any interview is to prepare for it.
- We appreciate that you won’t always know the name of the company that you’ve made an application to, however if you do find this out, take a look at their website see what the company does.
- Think and write down any skills or experience that might be relevant to the job. You should have added this on your CV anyway, but it’s always a bonus to dig deeper and think about what work you’ve done and how it relates to this specific role. You’ll then be ready to answer any questions that may crop up in the interview.
- Think of some questions to ask. After your interview with us, we shall ask if there’s anything else you need to know or would like us to go through with you. Think about this beforehand so you get everything boxed off before leaving.
- Ensure you have everything prepared the night before. This includes getting ready any documentation you need to bring along with you (below) and having your outfit/clothes washed and pressed.
- Pre-plan your journey to ensure you get to your interview on time, whether you’re coming along in your own car or travelling on public transport. Take a look at our public transport page for the best routes if you’re attending a Primestaff branch this way.
Information you need to bring along
Once you are invited to interview, confirmation will be sent to you from our branch Consultant outlining the information you need to bring. Unfortunately, due to compliance, if you don’t come along with the relevant information, your interview may be delayed.
Please ensure you bring the following:
- Proof of ID – Either a Passport (with a valid visa if applicable) or Full Birth Certificate (with at least one parents name on) or European ID Card
- Proof of National Insurance (must be either a P45, P60, JSA card or any other official letter with your NI number on – excluding a payslip)
- Bank Details
- Copy of any written references you may currently have or contact details for at least two previous employers
- Driving Licence (driving licence card, digi card, CPC card if applicable)
- Any other certificates (FLT, CSCS, ADR, Moffett etc if applicable)
- For Social Care & Housing (Black and Black), please ensure to also bring proof of address, NIN, PVG/Disclosure, Moving/Handling and any other certificates relevant to the post.
We are committed to ensuring equal opportunities for every candidate during the selection process so if you require any special requirements (i.e. assistance with mobility, wheelchair access, signing, etc.) you may have on the day, please inform us prior to interview so we are able to make every reasonable effort to offer assistance.
All of our sites will have a water cooler or have drinks available for you on request, so ensure you keep well hydrated and may be bring a bottle of water with you to take into the interview room, this might help you to avoid that dreaded dry mouth that some of us suffer from! Also, try and eat something not too long before attending the interview, this should stop your belly rumbling throughout the whole interview and will also help you concentrate.
Arrival on site
It’s very important that you make a good impression. This means dressing smartly, even if the interview you were invited to was scheduled as ‘casual’. This means no jeans or trainers, and gents don’t need to go all out with a suit, but certainly a trousers/shirt/tie or trousers/shirt/jacket combination is a plus. For ladies, similar rules apply with regards to trousers/blouse/jacket combinations. Finally, always remember to smile, don’t slouch! Remember your manners, maintain eye contact and most importantly, be confident!
Once you’re on site at Primestaff, you will be asked to complete a more detailed application form and in some cases, depending on the role, some industry tests may be carried out. Once these have been completed, you will be invited to an interview room to talk about your application.
Listen carefully to what’s being asked and if you cannot answer a question, don’t be afraid to say that you cannot answer it, just be honest. Concentrate on what you’re talking about, and don’t be scared either to just stop and think about your answers if an example doesn’t come straight to mind. Just remember, you’re there to talk about your skills and experience, and what you can bring to the role, so promote this – determination, willingness to learn and get involved are all positive traits to show in an interview room, and try not to criticise current or former employers!
End of the Interview
When the interview has ended, we shall ask if there’s anything else you need to know or would like us to go through with you again. Remember, the interview is about finding the best fit for both you and our client so try and think of anything you might want to ask at this stage prior to finishing the interview. You will then be provided with honest feedback and we will advise you on what is to be expected next.
What not to do in an Interview
Don’t worry, almost everyone gets nervous about interviews. If you’ve already had a look at our full recruitment process and want to know what to expect from an interview and how to prepare, then you’re in the right place.
We know that interviews can be nerve-racking to some. Whether nerves get the better of you or not, at least with these tips you can prepare as much as possible, giving you extra confidence for the interview and importantly, rule out any unnecessary stresses that you just don’t need to be putting yourself under on the day!
First impressions really do count, the way in which you present yourself can really make a huge difference to how you are perceived by your potential employer.
We have found some great advice on what you should NEVER do in a job interview – rule these out and you’re on to a winner.
- First thing’s first – Don’t be late!
It’s crucial for candidates to turn up on time to the interview. James Murphy, Vice President of Inside Sales at Nextiva, recently took to LinkedIn to vent his frustrations over an interviewee. He wrote: “Had an interviewee show up 30 minutes late for an interview today. “He did not attempt to contact us, to say he would be late, and when I asked why he was late he lied about his scheduled time. I asked to see the confirmation email he received and it clearly stated the interview time. I do not have time or patience for poor character, so I simply thanked him for his time and told him we were not interested.” The debate divided the internet, with some recruiters agreeing with his methods and others claiming he was too harsh.
It’s probably best to just plan your journey ahead and not be late to avoid any disagreements!
Don’t be TOO early, though…
You can also turn up TOO early making yourself look eager and well, a bit desperate. If you’re sat in Reception for an hour before your appointment, it can get a bit awkward. If you do arrive way early, just don’t go in to the building. Use this time to calm and prepare yourself. Why not go over some questions, re-read the job specification or look over their company information on their website again.
Don’t go in without carrying out research
CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, recently told Business Insider that any candidate who does not conduct research into the firm will probably not be getting a job. She said that she likes to ask applicants what they would improve about one of their products – and if they haven’t properly researched the company it shows during the interview.
Ask questions too!
Candidates who ask questions during the interview process look as if they are genuinely interested in the role on offer – rather than thinking about running for the exit.
Don’t forget where you are
Never forget who is interviewing you. If you have a number of interviews lined up, don’t get confused with who you are with. You need to keep track of the company, its line of business and the name of your interviewer. Asking ‘So what does your company do exactly?’ is likely to terminate the interview. Read up about the firm on the company’s official website and find ways of using the same terminology in your interview. This shows you are ‘one of them’, which will earn you a few extra points.
Don’t dress inappropriately
It’s important for candidates to dress appropriately for the interview at hand. That’s not to say that each role requires them to don a top hat and tails – but they should look presentable and clean. It’s common sense to know if you really want the job, don’t turn up in your favourite Star Wars t-shirt.
Don’t offer a limp handshake, but don’t break their wrist either
Wainwright told the Liverpool Echo that a handshake can make or break an interview. He said: “Don’t go for the ‘bonecrusher’ handshake. There’s a distinct difference between a firm, confident handshake and WWE move.”
Don’t celebrate too soon
Don’t be tempted to go out the night before. Even if your good intentions are to leave the party early, this is probably not going to happen. Stay in, get a good night’s sleep, and make sure your clothes are ironed and shoes polished for the next day. There is nothing worse than trying to impress someone after only a few hours’ sleep or with a hangover.
Don’t have a hangover and don’t yawn
Following on from the above, turning up to an interview in a dishevelled state, hungover or stinking like you haven’t been home for days is disrespectful. This also counts for smokers – try not to have a cigarette right before the interview. Turning up with a bad head also makes the situation much worse for you as you will struggle to think quickly on your feet without a clear mind. A good night’s sleep is integral to a successful interview. Candidates who yawn during the interview look either like they cannot be bothered to be there or that they didn’t get enough rest the night before. A report from Nominet, which runs the ‘.uk’ domain, revealed that students are ditching the nightclubs for networking, spending on average four hours a week on activities to boost their employability, equivalent to 208 hours a year.
Don’t chew gum
It’s disrespectful and rude. A report by The Daily Mail looked into the worst things recruiters had experienced in interviews – one of which included having a candidate’s chewing gum stuck to his palm when he went for a handshake. Nice.
Don’t call your parents
A study by CV-Library found that 57% of jobseekers between 18- and 34-years-old have had their parents help them craft a CV. 45.7% of under-18s have had their parents help them with a job application, with 6.5% admitting that they have taken their parents to a job interview with them.
Taking someone with you to an interview shows a real lack of confidence and a naivety about how the real world works. There’s a good chance that it might also lead a more judgmental interviewer to rule you out straight away. If you need a lift to the interview, or moral support, that’s fine and completely understandable, especially if it’s one of your first jobs. Just make sure you leave them outside.
Don’t leave your phone on
An obvious and totally avoidable mistake. No interviewer wants to be stopped mid-flow by a WhatsApp alert. It’s rude and if you do forget to turn off your phone and it goes off, apologise and turn it off straight away so it can’t interrupt you again.
Don’t over-egg your achievements
It is great to be confident and list your achievements. You know your strengths and what you can bring to the table, but don’t come across as an arrogant know-it-all – you will rub the interviewers up the wrong way and they won’t be impressed. Answer the questions confidently and concisely, then move on.
Don’t over exaggerate your body language
Many interviewers will have learned about body language and will be able to tell a lot from your body. Don’t do anything obvious, such as scratching your nose, as this could be a sign that you are lying. Leaning back could mean you are arrogant, while crossing your arms is defensive. Sit upright, try to keep your hands in your lap, and look your interviewers straight in the eye. When they are speaking, lean forward slightly and nod your head in agreement with what they are saying.
Many people will exaggerate a little on their CV or application form, but telling lies will come back to bite you; if you lie, you have to remember what you have said and to whom. Telling the truth means you don’t have to remember anything. If you lie on your CV about your qualifications or work experience and you are found out after you start work, you could be dismissed.
Don’t bad mouth former employers
A peeve of recruiters, Andrew Wainwright, Business Director at Hays Liverpool, told the Liverpool Echo that badmouthing old bosses was one of the worst things applicants can do. “No one wants to employ someone who’s negative straight off the bat,” he said.
These tips were compiled from a number of publications from the Recruiting Times as well as a survey carried out by Somerset Live (via Recruitment Grapevine) this year which asked business hirers what a candidate should and should not do during their interview.
How to spot a job scammer
It is frightening the many scams that unsuspecting people are still falling victim to today despite increased awareness and heightened suspicion of fraudulent activity. Most recently we have seen stories hit national headlines surrounding various charity race scams and mobile banking SMiShing. The recruitment sector is unfortunately one that also falls victim to scams.
In November 2017, The Times reported the story of an 18-year-old gap year student who had fallen victim to a job scam after she applied for a job on Indeed.co.uk. She was phoned and invited to an interview and the firm sent out an application form in a prepaid envelope with interview details, date, time and address. The unknowing student was then asked for her bank information to verify her identity.
It was only when she turned up to her interview that she realised she had been victim to a cruel scam as the office did not exist. The address she had been provided was in fact a shop, and when she went inside to inquire, she was informed that others had also been given that address as part of a wider scam on multiple jobseekers.
The candidate went straight to the bank to find that a number of mobile phone contracts had been taken out with her card details. Although payments were stopped, payment notices were sent from different providers such as o2 and Vodafone saying she had failed to adhere to her phone contract.
On the rise and unsure what to look for
Sadly, scammers are on the rise as Keith Rosser, Chairman of SAFERjobs explains “in the last two years, we have witnessed a 300% rise in recruitment related fraud and misconduct”.
SAFERjobs’ research has also found that 72.1% of job hunters admitted they do not know and would not recognise the signs of a job scam. Here, we outline what a job scam is and what signs you can look out for if you think you’re becoming involved in a fictitious job application.
What is a job scam?
This is when a scammer poses as an employer or recruiter, and offers attractive employment opportunities which requires the job seeker to pay money in advance. This is usually under the guise of work visas, travel expenses, background and/or credit checks that are required for the job. Action Fraud warns that scammers often charge for non-existent checks to persuade people to call premium-rate phone lines for interviews.
Once the money has been handed over, the scammer disappears. Their goals is to separate you from your money and / or obtain confidential information that can be used for identify theft.
Recognising the signs of a job scam:
- Never pay money up front.We will not ask you to part with any money when registering with us and neither should any other agency. A professional recruitment agency will never ask you to part with money in order to find work.
- When choosing an agency, visit the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s member directory on their website rec.co.uk – Prime Staff are listed as an agency committed to adhering to strict industry codes of practice.
- Don’t hand out personal information such as your National Insurance number or date of birth. We would only request this information from you when we have met you personally to register you so we can carry out job seeking activity on your behalf, or once we have spoken to you directly via telephone interview and explained the application process, which would also be followed up with a professional email. Do not ever give out your personal details to anyone other than the reputable agency with whom you are registered with. If you have included your full address on your CV online, you may want to consider reducing this to just the town rather than specific address
- The offer sounds too good to be true. Maybe the salary is way over what you would normally earn and the offer hasn’t been evaluated on your skill set and experience; If you’re offered the job straight away without a formal interview; Working from home and the pay is great. The idea of making lots of money whilst being able to work at home sounds great, but is a favourite with scammers to attract gullible job seekers.
- You receive the job details from someone with a free e-mail addresses like Yahoo or Hotmail. Legitimate job-related emails will come from corporate email accounts, for example all Consultants at Prime Staff come from @primestaff.co.uk – An alias can be set up, so ensure you check the ‘from’ e-mail address properly to view the full domain.
- Do some research on the company by visiting their website. If they don’t have one or don’t have contact details, tread cautiously. If they do, compare contact details or email addresses or how they appear in a company directory.
- Fake URLs. As well as false email aliases, scammers often use fake URLs to mask themselves as well-known corporates. Always check the URL first to ensure the website you are visiting is the official site.
- Job descriptions that are so vague that almost everyone would qualify. A real vacancy would list requirements quite specific to the role and the experience needed from the right candidate.
- Spelling errors or poorly written e-mails. Most fraud is carried out by scammers outside the UK, with English not being their first language.
What to do if you think you’ve found a scam
If you’re wary of a job advert, treat it with caution. Notify the job board, or agency, website, company, wherever you found the posting. In addition, you can also report it to SAFERJobs and they will be more than happy to look at your concerns.
If you need any further advice or want to register with Prime Staff to find your next role, please contact us today and we can go through the application process with you.
Local Transport Links
If you’re travelling to one of our branches to register, or want to work out travel options for a vacancy you’ve seen, this section provides links to bus and train routes, plus local taxi numbers.
Type in your location and destination here on Traveline or First Bus to work out local bus route/s.
Find out train routes via National Rail or Network Rail
Type in your postcode to find your local taxi numbers via Taxi Register