This week, managing director of Cast UK, Wayne Brophy participated in a live Q&A with the Guardian Careers network to give jobseekers first-hand advice on how to tackle tough interview questions, perfect interview technique and benefit from general career advice.
Some of Wayne’s top tips from the Q&A session include:
Don’t be deterred by unsuccessful interviews and try not to take it personally. The average candidate will have between five to seven interviews before securing a job. Treat every rejection as an opportunity to make you stronger and better prepared for the next. Always ask for feedback and view it objectively to help you improve your technique. The majority of rejections from interviews are down to culture and personality fit, not your ability to do the job.
As an employer, when it comes to choosing between two very skilled and qualified candidates; culture fit, attitude and future potential win every time. I would even put these above whether the candidate is qualified and skilled to do the job.
If you have an interview then you’re halfway to securing the job. This means that the interviewer feels you can do the job and the interview itself is all about whether you can fit in with the company culture. Having a positive attitude and showing a desire to work for the business will trump any candidate that has a stronger set of qualifications.
Being on maternity leave or having a career break is not a negative. During this time, you have most certainly developed new skills, so simply tell the interviewer all the good things that you have been doing, the new skills you have acquired and, most importantly, how they can benefit the business.
If you think having a career break was a disadvantage then it will come across to the interviewer in this way. I have two young children and appreciate that looking after children is not easy! Having children you need to be organised, have good planning skills, multi-task, etc. These skills are all very relevant to the workplace. You just need to tell the interviewer about all the new skills you have acquired and why they relevant and transferable to the job and their business.