Interview

4 Top Tips for Acing Your Second Interview

The second interview – congratulations, you've impressed the hiring managers and made it through the first stage. You are now one step closer to securing your dream Facilities Management job.

But what makes the second interview, different from the first? And, more importantly, how should you prepare to make sure you get it right? It’s often a mistake made even by senior candidates that the research and preparation are all about the first interview. But the second interview is even more important. Don't think that just because you've been invited back that you don't have to prepare as well as you fit for the first.

Whilst the first interview usually just covers the important basics, the second interview will really get under the skin. The interviewer is trying to determine if you are the right person not only to do the job but to add value to the company too. Will you be there in 3-5 years time? What will your role be and what skills can you bring with you along the way.

So here’s everything you need to know...

The Second Interview – Use what you learnt in the first interview

“So, since our last meeting, what thoughts have you had about the job and the company?”. It's such an important question to make sure you are prepared for!  It isn’t designed to trip you up, but being underprepared will leave you waffling. Be confident in your response. It’s OK to take in notes. Things to include are your main reasons you want this job, why the company is the right fit for you, their vision etc.  This not only proves you have thought about it seriously but that you have listened and retained information - a good skill to have! But, and this is where you can really stand out. Think about why the company should want you!  Perfect your elevator pitch!

Refer back to things that were discussed in the first interview.  What were the key things you noticed that were important to the company? Bring them up in conversation and then use examples to show you share the same values. Do they have a certain culture?  Have you worked in that culture before? Can you demonstrate your success? Just remember to keep showing that you are the right person for the job.

successful interview

Address anything you missed in the first interview

The second interview is also an opportunity to say things you forgot to say in the first interview.  Or, ask things you forgot to ask.  Make the most of this chance to shine!  Become the front runner!  Was there something that you feel you didn’t answer right the first time?  Or, maybe not to your best ability.  We know that interviews can make some people flustered, or nervous.  Especially if it's your first one for a while.  Don't be afraid to discuss this in the interview.  It could make all the difference to the outcome rather than not wanting to reminder the hiring managers.  This time around, you should be more confident than the first time.  But, remember not to be overly confident – you haven’t got the job yet!  But at least you know that you are a potential hire.  Now it's down to you.

 

Get to know who you're meeting

Researching people before an interview is now fairly simple. A quick LinkedIn search will tell you about the career history of who you are meeting. Whilst this is great as first interview preparation, you can take it a step further on the second interview. Take a look at what pages they follow on LinkedIn, their education or skills. This can tell you a lot about a person and also if you have anything in common. Maybe it’s a sport, a good cause, or simply an approach to business. People like to hire people that share their values. Any chance you get to demonstrate this - take it! There are other things you can do to find common interests too. Do the company sponsor a charity? Maybe you have raised money for a charity before. Or, maybe the charity is of particular interest to you. If a hiring manager really can’t decide between two excellent candidates, a shared value could really tip the balance in your favour.

 

Saying thank you after the second interview

It's not over after you have finished the second interview. Sending a short message of thanks to the hiring manager will go a long way - don't forget to thank your recruiter too!  Sending a thank-you email may seem so obvious to so many people, but we are always surprised by how few people actually do. It doesn’t have to be a long message. Just express your thanks and your genuine interest in the role. Thank them for taking the time to meet with you again.

If you are looking for work within Facilities Management, get in touch with our expert team today.


candidates

5 Tips For Choosing The Best Candidate

Choosing the best candidate isn't always easy and with as many as a third of UK professionals looking for work right now, it may get even harder!

Making the right choice when it comes to hiring your next member of staff is vital to the success of your business. It's important to choose someone who can really add value. Someone who fits with your culture. And of course, their future potential in the business.

So what do you do when you have two candidates who are both exceptional? How should you choose which to offer the job to?

Here are our top tips for choosing the best candidate

Set a task

Sometimes it’s hard to get a really good idea of how someone will perform in a job just from a standard interview. It can be easy to make the mistake of hiring someone based on their ability to interview well. But what about the hard and soft skills to actually be successful at the job? Setting tasks is a great way to help you choose between two candidates.

Take the 'Beer Test'

Before the pandemic made socialising slightly more challenging, a 'social interview' was a great way to choose the best candidate. Culture fit is really important when it comes to making a hire.  How will that person fit in your current team? Do they have similar personality traits to others in the team? Will they complement what you already have? There is a lot to consider. When introducing a new person to an established team, it’s important to remember team dynamic. You can still take the 'beer test' in the office or even online. Get each candidate to have a 'socially-distanced social interview' with the team for half an hour. That way the team can give you their feedback too.

best candidate

Look at the future of your company

It’s important to not just hire for now, but for the future too. As hopefully, your chosen candidate will be with you for a number of years. Does one of the candidates have skills that may be of use in the future? Do you have plans to grow the team over the next few years? It's always important to think about how your candidate could grow with your company.

Get references

Finally, if you really are stuck and despite all of the above, the candidates are still on a par with each other a reference can help make the final decision. Whilst lots of companies will only provide confirmation of dates and job title, it is still possible to gain a more informal reference. Working with an agency means that we can help you when it comes to references. We can speak to the candidate and ask them to make an introduction to the referee on our behalf.

Can you even get the best candidate?

Getting the best candidate takes two people to make a decision. You need to want to hire them and they want to join you. This is where working with a recruiter really comes into helping you make a decision. It's possible that a candidate is interviewing with a few companies. Working with a recruiter means that you will get to know if your role is their top choice and even if they are not actively looking for a role, can you match their current benefits and salary expectations. Again this is something that a recruiter will help you with. By knowing exactly what the expectations of the candidate are from the start, you'll know if they are indeed 'the best candidate' for you.


Catch22 blog header

4 top tips to help make your CV stand out!

For most people, writing a CV isn't an easy job to get right.  You may think that you've done a great CV, but is it what hiring managers are really looking for?

There are many different ways a CV can be laid out but there are some simple tips to help make sure it gets noticed.

There are more people looking for work now than ever before, so standing out is key.  Here's some top tips from our expert consultants.

 

Make sure you take time to tailor your CV to each application

Tailoring a CV is a lot more than a 2 minute job. But if you take your time, the rewards will be worth it.  Whilst it may be tempting to get your CV in as quickly as possible, this may not always be the best option.

Here's our advice to make this an easier process.  Follow these simple steps to help make your next application your best yet.

  • Make sure that you have the job advert to hand.  Most answers to what the hiring manager is looking for should be in the ad.
  • Is there a list of desirable and essential skills?  Make it really easy for the hiring manager to see if you are suitable.  Create a grid format of your experience areas and include the number of years in each.  If this is at the beginning of your CV after your personal profile it will tempt the hiring manager to read more.  Don't make them have to search through your CV for what they are looking for
  • And finally - do your research!  Are there any particular pain points this sectors is experiencing at the moment.  Show that you know about that, even if you have no hands on experience.  However, you may have worked in a similar environment before.  You may have even identified and resolved similar pain points before.  Make sure that you showcase this.

Best CV tips

Perfect your CV elevator pitch

Did you know that decisions on CV's can be made in as little as 6 seconds!

You should always start your CV with a personal profile. Don't leave it out as its the first thing most people read.  You should be able to read your personal profile and get a really good overview of your skills and experience.  Our top tip when it comes to personal profile is to have a friend, or relative read it for you.  Someone who will be honest!

Getting someone else to give feedback on your CV is always a good idea.  Someone who knows you will know if you have sold yourself enough.  Are there skills that other people believe you have that your've not included?

 

Don't forget the basics

As silly as it may sound, it's easy to make simple mistakes on your CV.  When checking, you end up looking for the bigger things, but don't forget to check EVERYTHING!

Are your employment dates right?  Or, have you mistakenly put gaps in your CV - check!  If there are gaps in your CV anyway, then include this gap as if it were another job. Include the dates and if you can explain why you were unemployed and/or what you spent your time doing.  Maybe you were looking for work and also using the time to update your skills?  Don't leave anything to assumption - be open and honest.

Check the spelling, the formatting, the dates.  Literally check everything is right before you press send.  Don't let a silly mistake come between you and an interview.

 

Results not just responsibilities

This is one of the best ways to make your CV stand out!  Your excellent personal profile and skills grid has gained the interest of the hiring manager.  Don't lose it now!

Simply listing your responsibilities in each job doesn't show that you were good at them. It also doesn't help show which you were particularly good at.  Maybe there was an area you were strong in and were asked to mentor someone else?  Or, were you given additional responsibilities for a job well done?  Tell the story - highlight things like this on your CV.

For each role include an achievements section.  It doesn't have to be long, in fact, it can be just one thing.  Highlighting your achievements in each role will really support your application.  Having a job title means you were simply hired to do a job - achievements show that you were great at it!  Additionally, if you can link these achievements back to the job you are applying for then all the better!

 

Looking for Permanent or Contract work?

For positions across the spectrum of Facilities and Property Management, from junior roles to boardroom level, Catch 22 is here to help find that right job for you. We can provide advice on the whole jobfinding process and help you to present yourself in the best possible way to potential employers.

Can’t see anything you fancy on our current vacancies page? Just give us a call to discuss the sort of position you’re looking for and we will use our industry knowledge to help uncover those hard-to-find jobs that need exceptional candidates.