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How can you be an 11/10 candidate?

Posted on by from Changeboard

Leanne Morris, senior consultant at HR Professionals speaks to Mary Appleton about the current HR recruitment market, offers her tips on how to stand out from the crowd in a competitive jobs market and once you’ve secured an interview, how to make sure it’s a positive experience.

Don't be complacent

There’s complacency in HR when it comes to interviewing. The reality is, it’s very different when you’re on the other side of the interviewer's desk.  

Knock out ten minutes at the beginning at the end for niceties and questions, and you’re down to 40 minutes. Your interviewer’s going to have 12-15 questions, so you’re down to 3 minutes an answer. If you can’t get your point across in that time, you’ve got a problem.

Anticipate questions

You’ll have an idea of what questions are likely to be asked. Think in advance what your strongest examples are that demonstrate your experience effectively.

Get commercial

We’ve been talking for ages about how business-focused HR is. If I had £1 for every HR director or HR manager who says ‘I’m more commercially astute than my peers’ but doesn’t know anything about their company’s share price or profit margins, I’d be rich. Work out what measurable and quantifiable outcomes you’ve been involved with.

Eliminate jargon

Practice with someone who’s not in HR and not in your company – that will help you get rid of the jargon. Fad names you use in your organisation simply won’t make sense to an interviewer.

Be honest

Don’t blag it. Be clear about what’s being asked. Buy yourself time – take a breath, repeat the question back to the interviewer. If you haven’t done what’s been asked, be clear upfront. Answer with what you would do in that situation.

Mary Appleton

By Mary Appleton


Mary is Changeboard's editor in chief.



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