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Recruitment Consultants: Do you feel like a cog in a wheel?

There are many conversations surrounding recruitment organisations and the ineffectiveness of top-down leadership, and how this model may have run its course. Most recruitment consultants are no longer content to work in a ‘do it because I said so’ environment, where employees are made to feel disconnected and ultimately disengaged.

This point was touched upon in a Ted Talk podcast I listened to on the way home from work yesterday by Sir Ken Robinson. During the talk, Sir Ken discussed how the current education system works against engaging students to learn, and how teaching the profession is more concerned with disseminating information rather than teaching students how to learn. Robinson believes that the way the education system is designed today, kills creativity in students by encouraging homogeneity and standardisation. I believe that the same can be said for most work environments, including a lot of stereotypical recruitment agencies.

Are you terrified of making a mistake? Do you have unrealistic targets that you feel under pressure to reach? Is much of your time at work spent feeling anxious and stressed? Time should be devoted to nurturing your growth, creativity and connectedness. I believe that the root cause of this mentality is tied up in the ineffectiveness of top-down leadership. Ken Robinson sums this up brilliantly when he says: “The real role of leadership is not command and control, but climate control.”

I am a director of a recruitment company and I speak to recruitment consultants in the Bristol area on a regular basis. I’ve witnessed a loss of big picture thinking from the managers of these firms. Companies are losing good billers, due to micro-management and lack of trust that these employees can actually do their job. The potential earnings for recruitment consultants, is placed second to a sense of belonging within a firm. People want to feel valued at work- we are no longer living in an era where individuals are merely a cog in a wheel, consultants are now concerned with company culture, organisational values, personal growth, and their career goals.

For modern day organisations to thrive, and for recruitment consultants to feel engaged, the roles of top-down leadership and micro-management should be tossed aside. By empowering people at all levels of an organisation, the culture of that organisation makes a radical shift, because everyone becomes invested in making things better. Allowing people freedom, gives them the motivation to turn up to work every morning, unleashing a wave of creativity that a lot of businesses are lacking.

Here at Recruit UK, our office supports a family feel culture, with friendly and supportive employees. The environment is lively, engaging and fun- and the managers/directors enjoy a laugh too!

We actively promote freedom and thought to all employees, ensuring that our staff feel valued and supported every single day.

We offer exceptional training opportunities, continually mentoring and nurturing talent in all roles and levels within the business. We guide employees through the steps required to become successful in their position, with our in-house training academy and experienced in-house coaches.  Rather than a ‘sink or swim’ environment that is common in the industry, management work closely with each employee to develop them to the best of their ability. I believe this allows our consultants to productively contribute towards their own goals. We reward self-improvement with weekly, monthly and quartile incentives, which include lunch clubs, raffles, bottles of wine, holidays- and day trips such as race days, go karting, sporting events, and spa days. Our staff are important to us- better engagement means better productivity! Whether you’re a seasoned recruitment consultant or a trainee embarking on a new role, our culture and ethos will ensure that you are a success and you learn whilst you earn.

Check out our Work for Us page where you’ll find everything you need to know about a career with us and how we can help you reach your ambitions.

 

The Race For Talent

When recruiting there’s nothing more frustrating than the moment when the person you offer declines, or worse still accepts the offer and then declines at a later date.  Some companies put this down to bad luck, which results in ploughing on regardless, doing the same thing and hoping the luck falls in your favour.  Some companies adjust remuneration in the hope it will out price other firms, others fish in a slightly different pool of candidates, and others simply speed up their recruitment process.

Whether you like it or not the chances are that the candidate you are interviewing will be courted by a number of rival firms, and no matter how good your proposition your chances of securing the candidates signature decreases. The candidate has the control and will chose the firm best suited to their needs but also the one who has interviewed in the most professional manner.  It’s important to remember that it’s your proposition that will secure the candidates interest to interview but often the recruitment process that secures the signature.

So what can you implement to secure the ideal candidate?

The great news is that it’s simple to do and in most cases free.

1)      Be professional at all times, this includes having a meeting room booked and being on time for meetings., if you have a receptionist make sure they greet the candidate by name.

2)      Be prepared for the interview, know who you are interviewing, review their CV a couple of times, prepare questions.

3)      Know how to sell your company, the tangible benefits not some pie in the sky promises. Interviews are a two-way process.

4)      Recruit in a timely fashion, the most successful of our clients turn around their recruitment process in 3-4 weeks, you’ll be amazed how much impact this has.

5)      Provide honest, prompt feedback (within 48 hours)

6)      Let them meet one or two staff members.

7)      Don’t make promises in the interview that you can’t keep.

8)      Don’t discuss remuneration package at interview and then offer less.

9)      This one isn’t free, update your website, it’s your shop window to both potential employees but also their clients.

10)   Once the candidate accepts your offer ingratiate them in your culture, invite them to team building events.

Where can Recruit UK help?

We offer free of charge consultancy to all clients regarding their recruitment strategy, whether it’s market insight into remuneration package or streamlining their interview process.  We can help source the best candidates in the market and advise on how you can best secure their signature in a cost efficient manner.

For more information please contact us on 01179 450450, or alternatively send us an email to admin@recruitukltd.co.uk

Why use Recruit UK when searching for your next Financial Planning role?

Have you ever felt frustrated in your search for a Financial Planning role?

Trying to find work on your own can be time-consuming and (let’s face it) a little lonely. But when you turn to a qualified niche Financial Planning recruitment firm (like Recruit UK), you gain a skilled and experienced representative in the highly competitive market for Financial Planning jobs. Our recruiters act as your liaison to hiring managers, share industry information and resources that support your job hunt, and even help coach you on the finer points of assembling your job-search materials. Working with a recruiter is almost as simple as saying, “Please find me a job.”

Here are a list of things we can do for you here at Recruit UK- to boost your search for the ideal Financial Planning role:

  • We are a financial services recruitment company, with a niche specialism in financial planning. Each recruitment consultant is responsible for a region and specific roles, such as paraplanning, financial planning or administration.
  • We are ex industry professionals with extensive experience in the financial services market. Our consultants experience ranges from financial advisers, trainers, administrators, mortgage advisers and business developers.
  • We are holistic in our approach, taking the time to fully understand what you need from your next employer. You’ll be surprised by how valuable a free consultation with one of our consultants can be, opening your eyes to exactly where you sit within the market, what is it that you are lacking right now and what small changes could enhance your work life balance. We know it’s not all about the salary- but of course we aim to improve on this as well!
  • We look at your digital footprint, have you googled yourself? Is your CV on multiple job posting sites? Is your social media set to public? Remember what we can see, so can your potential new employer, before sending your details to a client we ensure that you are not prompting the wrong image.
  • We understand your role as we only recruit in your sector, we are niche specialist. By dealing with one sector we consider ourselves experts in your field. We understand average salaries, which companies have the best packages, work life balance, career opportunities and who have the best processes and systems. We can improve on the simple things for you like your commute time to work, simple things that only an expert who works day in and day out recruiting in your sector and region would know. Let us do the hard work for you.
  • We keep in contact with you when needed- we don’t pester. We’ll outline the process of each application, including when we are going to call to prepare you, or de-brief you.
  • Not every job is advertised, due to our relationships with clients we discuss your skills and expertise to create unique job opportunities that are not open to other candidates. This reduces the competition and creates a better match for you and the client.
  • We manage job offers on your behalf, discussing money is uncomfortable so let us do it for you. Prior to any submission, we will fully understand your minimum salary expectations to only match you to roles that are of relevance.
  • We don’t time waste, to us wasting your time is counterproductive, therefore each role you are submitted to must meet your requirements.
  • We do the hard work for you, we will update your CV and Profile, complete market analysis, present you with a selection of relevant opportunities, make introductions, secure interview dates quickly and provide you with preparation and manage the interview process from start to finish. Ensuring you are always in the best position to receive the best offer.
  • We don’t spray and prey, what we mean by this is that we don’t send your fully disclosed CV to every client in your area, this reduces your candidature. Beware if your CV is on job boards then its likely a less professional recruiter would have done this already without your consent.
  • We offer full interview preparation, let’s face it, it’s probably been a while since you have interviewed for a new job. We will go over the basics of how best to present yourself at interview, break down the types of questions that are asked, identify areas of weakness and prepare you to deal with uncomfortable questions around this. We will ensure your CV presents you in the best way and if there is a role play or test, we’ll know about it and prepare you.

Recruit UK work with financial planners and back office support staff to find their ideal jobs. For our full list of current vacancies follow this link, or call us today on 01179 450450 to confidentially discuss career opportunities in your area. We’d love to hear from you!

 

How to be the ripest candidate of the bunch!

Your recruiter has found you the perfect role, you’ve done your research and the job suits you perfectly. You know your stuff inside and out, right? Well yes, but the thing is you’re up against X, Y and Z, who are also perfect for the role and also know their stuff. We want to make sure you smash that final stage and get the offer you deserve!

Showcase your ambition

Think big. Employers will be looking for candidates that will be perfect for the job not only now, but also one, two, three years down the line. Employee retention is important, as losing staff and hiring new ones is a huge cost to a business. It is within a companies financial interests to employ a candidate who is in it for the long run, therefore you should make it your mission to sell yourself as a long-term employee. Asking questions about internal career growth and development opportunities will show the employer how serious you are about the position and that you see this as a career rather than a short term role.

Go above and beyond

Think outside the box. Is there a way you can create an example of what you can offer the business? Could you create a presentation on what you hope to achieve in your first year of being with the business? Could you put some stats together to show the employer what you are capable of achieving? Putting in that extra hour or two of preparation may require your time, but will make you stand out against competitors and help you land that dream role.

Find some common ground

Try to find out some background to your interviewer, such as how long they’ve worked at the organisation and their interests etc. You can do this by glancing at their social profiles, linking in with them on LinkedIn, or asking a bit about them during the interview. If you have previously met them in a previous interview, it is fair to assume they believe you are a great skill fit, and they are now looking for what type of colleague you will make. Discussing some non work-related points will allow you to connect on a personal level, allowing them to picture someone they could see themselves managing or working alongside.

Have some proof prepared

If successful, your new employer will require some background/ reference checks. This is part of the recruitment process, and more often that not will be conducted by HR to confirm you have simply done all the things you’ve said that you have. Recommendations are a valuable marketing tool, try to gather as much reference material prior to your final interview as possible. These could be testimonials on your LinkedIn page or employer reviews and recommendations. Being able to talk about these, and provide evidence, will help your hiring manager feel you are a credible and safe employment choice.

The follow up

You have just spoken to a very important decision maker. Whilst you may have left the interview with a very clear memory of the conversation and the points you managed to get across, you cannot be sure the hiring manager will feel the same. If the employer has interviewed a few candidates, who have asked the same questions, and discussed similar points, it is likely they could muddle up the candidate responses. Sending an email to thank the person for their time they spent with you comes across as professional and polite, it is also an opportunity for you to briefly recap on your most important messages.

Recruit UK offer a full interview preparation service. Let’s face it, it’s probably been a while since you have interviewed for a new job. We will go over the basics of how best to present yourself at interview, break down the types of questions that are asked, identify areas of weakness and prepare you to deal with the uncomfortable questions surrounding this. We will ensure your CV presents you in the best way, and if there is a role play or test, we’ll know about it and prepare you for this to! For our full list of current vacancies follow this link, or call us today on 01179 450450 to confidentially discuss career opportunities in your area.

Why use Recruit UK when your hiring into your financial planning business

You’re looking for a HNW Financial Planner who can take your business to the next level. You’ve tried the mega job boards, but the candidates who’ve applied aren’t remotely qualified for the position — and you’re tired of weeding through your inbox. Recruit UK can help, and here’s how…

Partner with the best

  • We are niche financial planning recruitment specialists, with regionalised recruiters who cover both front and back office support for your business. We know what we are talking about and many staff are ex FS industry professionals.
  • We don’t just target the active candidate market, 90% of our candidates are passive, there are only 20,000 financial advisers in the UK and they don’t publicly announce they are looking for a potential new role. It takes marketing, targeted headhunting calls and skilled consultants to dig deep and sell the benefits of joining your company. If you are only attracting these active applicants, then it’s likely you will be coming up against a huge amount of competition. The best candidates don’t advertise that they are looking for a new role!
  • We have an extensive in-house database of candidates that match your business requirements. We communicate with these candidates regularly, fully understanding their needs, so when the right role comes up we can approach them quickly with a relevant offering.
  • We target multiple levels of advisers, whether its employed or self-employed, farmers or hunters, transferable assets or none, mass affluent, HNW, UHNW client banks or experience. After we fully understand what it is you’re offering, what you want, and if it is realistic, we will do our best to find you the relevant candidate.
  • Each of our consultants have a LinkedIn Recruiter account, and collectively we have over 35,000 first connections. We have the ability to directly message candidates, and advertise your job directly to the relevant candidate market.
  • We utilise leading job boards to ensure the right candidates see your vacancy.
  • After in depth candidate screening, we present you with thorough and relevant CV’s, ensuring you are not wasting your time at the interview stage.
  • We give you advice on what you can get for the salary you willing to pay. You may think you need a chartered experienced Paraplanner, but your needs might indicate you require a senior administrator. Both demand different salaries.
  • We offer and promote interview tips and training, are you asking the right questions?  Are you hiring based on gut instinct or evidence? Our consultants interview every day and can provide preparation to help you stand out from your competitor and make the right hire.
  • 20,000 financial advisers, how many firms? There is a small pool to fish in, all your competitors are doing the same, what makes you so different? We will help you stand out from the crowd!
  • We cover all areas of recruitment marketing, such as email, text, phone, head hunting, social media, and digital marketing. We also advertise through industry relevant publications such as financial planning today. And of course, we have plenty of referrals through our extensive network.
  • We are honest and transparent, we work with you to attract the right candidates. We will provide honest feedback on your current digital footprint, how the candidate market perceives you, and how well your opportunity stacks up against your competitors. We provide solutions and advice to ensure you are attracting the right candidates.
  • We offer competitive fees on a contingency basis, with the extra security of a rebate period.
  • We work in partnership with you, we want to fully understand your growth strategy and work with you to ensure that you stand out in the market and attract the right candidates to help grow your business.
  • We save you time and money, its expensive to recruit directly, are you able to dedicate the right amount of time to finding the right candidates? Leave it to an expert. We’ll work with you to a specific timeline and get the right candidate started within a realistic timescale. We’ll manage the process from start to finish and update you along the way.
  • We have extensive market knowledge we can pass onto you.

If you are a client worried about the time and financial investment of recruiting, then speak to us about how we’ve helped our clients recruit in a timely and cost effective manner whilst limiting the risk associated with that hire leaving. We work with Financial Planners and Back Office support staff to find their ideal jobs, we also work closely with firms to enhance their recruitment strategies and partner to drive outstanding candidates to your business.  Feel free to contact us to find out more on 01179 450450

Benefits of Hiring Through a Niche Financial Planning Recruiter

Industry articles have long been forecasting the decline of recruitment companies, in the face of growing competition from job boards, internal recruitment teams and social networking sites. However, the industry continues to thrive, offering an important route for sourcing the best talent. There remains a core need for niche recruitment specialists to find talent for companies, whilst helping that talent become hireable.

Direct hiring can be difficult if you have no experience or expertise in the recruitment process. Recruit UK are niche recruiters who specialise in Financial Planning. We invest time in building long term relationships with our clients so that we can thoroughly understand and cater for their resourcing needs. This will include appraising their current recruitment techniques and looking for ways in which it can be improved. We also specialise in identifying passive candidates and converting them into active prospects.

So, what are the benefits of using a recruiter, such as ourselves, vs direct hiring?

Knowledge of the market

The best recruiters consistently keep themselves up to date with their specialist market. Our consultants have an in-depth knowledge of the financial planning market, and several them are former regulated advisers themselves. We are niche in our field, and specialise in recruiting only for Financial Planning roles. Our consultants have knowledge of the available talent including where they are, and how to best approach them. Keeping their finger on the pulse also keeps our consultants in the loop regarding salary rates, career expectations and available skill sets. We act as partners, and are your eyes and ears in the market.

Time saved

Time is money, using a recruiter can save you time. We will take care of the beginning steps of the hiring process. Out of the hundreds of applicants to your posting, a significant number of applicants will not be qualified, or simply not appropriate for the job opening. Finding the right applicants to interview will take a great amount of time and effort.

Extended reach

The best candidates are hard to find. Most are passive or not actively looking. These candidates are often selective about the job advertisements they respond too and will not see themselves as part of your talent pool. Here at Recruit UK, we have the networks, skills, and experiences, to be able to connect you with talented Financial Planners who would usually be off your hiring radar, this includes candidates that are currently employed elsewhere.

Candidates not applicants

A lot of the applications from advert responses may not be a good match for the role you are trying to fill. A lot of time will be invested in filtering, assessing, matching, and communicating with these applicants. Here at Recruit UK we will ensure you only get to see candidates – job seekers who have been selected as a match for the criteria you are looking for and who are worthy of your consideration.

Help with employer brand

Many businesses don’t invest into developing marketing and their employer brand. We can give potential candidates a real insight into your business- such as what it’s like to work there, benefits, career opportunities and company culture. Let us spend time getting to know you, then we can represent you as the employer of choice. If a candidate checks your business out on social media, it should be representing your business in the best light possible.

Peace of mind

Recruit UK have a proven track-record of finding the right employees for the job. During the interview process with our narrowed down candidates you can feel confident with your final hiring decision. We work hard to deliver an amazing service to all clients, ensuring you are provided with high calibre candidates in the Financial Services industry.

Top tips to consider when handing in your resignation

You have decided you want to look for a new job, you have spent hours writing the perfect cv, attended a series of interviews, and put yourself out of your comfort zone to sell yourself and your skills. But it’s all been worth it because you have managed to land yourself a dream job offer!

The next part is often difficult. Now it’s time to hand in your resignation for your current role- gracefully and without burning any bridges or leaving on a bad note…

1.       Tell your boss first

Whilst you may be excited about your new role and keen to share the news with close colleagues and friends, keep the resignation news to yourself until you have informed your manager or boss. You don’t want to risk it getting back to your boss or team, be patient and adhere to protocol.

2.       Be professional and respectful

Thank your boss or manager for the opportunities they have given you. Leave on good terms and don’t burn any unnecessary bridges- remember you are likely to need them as a reference. Make sure you have read through your employment contract and know exactly the notice period and where you stand in terms of leave. Its best for future relationships and employment to work your notice period and show your new employer your work values.

3.       Maintain your professionalism outside of the office as well

Professionalism extends to your conversations outside of the office, including on your social media platforms. Do not badmouth the company and its management staff. You never know where your next opportunity may come from in the future. For professional reasons its best to keep your motives and reasons for quitting to yourself.

4.       You don’t need to justify yourself

Don’t beat around the bush or try to explain yourself with unnecessary details. Express that you are giving notice to your employer and a brief reason as to why. Don’t feel compelled to overshare.

Part of what causes anxiety when handing in a resignation is that we feel the need to over explain ourselves and justify our decision. Focus on the fact that you’re giving notice, how much time you’re giving and how you will work to ensure a smooth transition out of your current role.

5.       The counter offer

The decision to hand in your notice can often come as a shock to the company. Not only may you have been extremely valued but it can also be costly and timely to fill your position. To prevent this, you may be made a counter offer or offered a promotion- this can seem enticing, but don’t instantly change your mind. For our blog on tips on counter offers click here.

6.       Stay committed to the end

After you have announced your resignation, avoid the temptation to mentally check out of your role. People will notice how you behave when you no longer have any skin in the game. Stay focussed and give results until the very last day!

Interviewing Tips: How to Conduct a Successful Interview

Your aim as an interviewer is to hire the best.

This means your interview should be the best it possibly can be. Competition to hire the best candidates is fierce, and the stakes are high.

An interview gives you the opportunity to evaluate the applicants work experience, as well as reviewing their specific skills and abilities. It also gives you the opportunity to evaluate the candidates interpersonal and communication skills, giving you a feel for their personality and assessment of ‘fit’ for your organisation.

Follow these steps to help you conduct the perfect interview.

Understand fully what it is your business needs and how you will identify suitability for the position

Experience, qualifications, and credentials are all important, but great employees don’t just perform a job, they solve critical business needs. It is important you identify what that critical need is, so that you can tailor the interview process to finding the perfect solution.

Skills are important, but attitude is often more important. Determine how you will identify the person with the right personality, interpersonal skills, and interests. Look at your top performers. What do they have in common? How are they resourceful? What did they accomplish prior to working at your organization? What roles did they hold? Those answers will help you create criteria and enable you to construct relevant questions for the candidate.

Get the candidate on the same page

Reduce the stress for both yourself and the candidate by sending the candidate interview details prior to meeting. This could include the dress code of your business, what to bring with them or a presentation to prepare. If the candidate is serious about the position they will turn up prepped.

Spend time doing your homework

Many interviewers will glance at a CV a couple of minutes before the interview. How will you ask intelligent questions and create compelling conversation when you don’t know anything about the person you are interviewing?

What was their first role? What did they accomplish? What projects have they worked on? What does this initially tell you about their interests and work ethic? Then look at their next job- Why did they leave and what does this say about their career path? Look beyond the facts and figures and read between the lines to get a sense of the candidate’s interests, goals, successes and failures.

Do a quick survey of the candidate’s online presence, including their social media profiles What are their interests? Who does he/she network with? Would they be representing your brand in the right way?

Make the interview a conversation, not an interrogation

The best interviews are conversations, so the more you know about the candidate ahead of time the more questions you can ask that give the candidate room to self-analyse.

Once a candidate realises you are not just firing a list of questions at them, they are likely to open up and speak more freely. They may also offer more detail, or a different perspective on the question that was asked.

Involve (only a few) others

When making a hiring decision it is often important to seek counsel from others, so invite a few trusted colleagues to help you interview. Multiple checks will help to ensure you are hiring the right person, however extreme democracy may prove ineffective and can result in a long, drawn out process.

Assess potential

Schedule a few hours for the first interview, as this enables you a good amount of time to really assess the person’s competency and potential. Look for signs of the candidate’s curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. Does this person have the potential to work their way up through the company? Although this person can do this job today, can he/she fulfil the role a year down the line?

Always ask follow up questions

The most revealing answers usually come from follow-up questions. Once the candidate has answered a question, ask why? Or how a situation turned out like that? Who did what? What made success difficult for you to achieve? What did you learn from that failure?

Follow up questions take you past the canned responses and into the finer details.

Spend as much time answering questions as you do asking

Great candidates are evaluating you, your company, and whether they really want to work for you. Give them time to ask their own questions, be open and candid but never sell. Trust that great candidates will recognise a great fit and a great opportunity when they see one.

Describe the next steps

At the end of the interview always describe the rest of the process. Explain what you will do and how you plan to do it.

Tell the interviewee the next steps before they ask, put them at ease and inform them of what will happen next and make sure you follow up on this.

5 Essentials for a Successful Mindset

How does the mindset of people who succeed, and those who don’t differ?

Your mindset is the primary factor in driving feelings of self- worth and confidence. The most accomplished people have it, and if you intend to ascend to success, you are going to need it too! Do you do enough work to elevate your mindset? Could these 5 tips help you achieve uncommon success?

1.    Positive self- talk

The conversations you have with yourself are the most vital ones. Make sure you are planting seeds of positivity and inspiration rather than criticism and doubt. We talk to ourselves, all day every day and eventually all that robust data adds up to create individual self-concepts.

2.    Intentions

Your intentions set the foundations for how you navigate your personal and professional success. Are you challenging yourself enough? If not, think bigger and push your sights high enough so that you are out of your comfort zone. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, as this is where the real growth happens. Embrace the power to think big!

3.    Stamina

Talent counts, but effort counts twice. Experiencing initial excitement and determination when setting a new goal is common, less common is sustained focus and drive. Stamina helps us push past the desire to give up, especially when things get tough, making it an essential trait for a successful mindset.

4.      Strategy

Substance and structure will move you forward with your goals. Begin by chunking your goal into smaller, more manageable segments, then create a strategic plan with scheduled activities and outcomes that will ensure your success. Take note of what works for you and what doesn’t, and tweak elements of your plan where necessary. Be open to feedback and new ideas along the way.

5.    Execution

After you have created your strategy, the next step to a successful mindset is executing that strategy. There will be days when you don’t want to work, that’s ok! To achieve your goal, you are taking bite sized segments until you reach it! Whether it’s making a phone call, sending an email, or taking other actions to achieve the next step, dig deep and keep going! Execution helps build trust and reflects successful past performance, bringing you one step closer to your desired goal.

How to ace your Paraplanning job interview

1.      Why do you want this Paraplanner role?

Employers want to hire candidates who are passionate about the job, so you should have a great answer prepared about why you want the position. Firstly, identify some of the key factors that make the role a great fit for you, for example ‘I am keen to work in a customer support role, I love interacting with people and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone to solve a problem.’ You should do some background research on the company and share reasons as to why you’d love to work for them- ‘I have always been passionate about X, and I think your company is doing great things and I want to be a part of it.’

2.      What mistakes have you learnt from in your previous role?

Candidates without specific examples often do not seem credible. However, the example shared should be inconsequential, ensuring you emphasise the lesson you learnt from the mistake. A great example could be that you were assigned to a group project that didn’t end up going as planned, you had to move ahead with the project without collaborative assistance from the rest of the team.

3.      What challenges are you expecting in this paraplanner position?

The best way to answer questions about the challenges you are seeking is to discuss how you would like to be able to effectively utilise your skills and experience if you were hired for the job. You can also mention that challenges motivate you, you can effectively meet challenges, and have the flexibility and skills necessary to handle a challenging job. You can continue by describing specific examples of challenges you have met and goals you have achieved in the past.

4.      Describe a typical working week for a paraplanner?

Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to discuss what they do while they are working in detail. Before you answer, consider the position you are applying for and how your current or past positions relate to it. The more you can connect your experience with the job opening, the more successful you will be at answering the questions. Keep your answers focused and show the interviewer that you’re organised and efficient ‘The first thing I do on Monday morning is check my voicemail and emails, then I prioritise my activities for the week.’

5.      What is your biggest weakness?

No one likes to answer this question. You can’t trick the interviewer by offering up a personal weakness that is really a strength ‘Sometimes, I work too much and don’t maintain a work-life balance;’ and you shouldn’t be so honest that you throw yourself under the bus ‘I’m not a morning person, and so I am sometimes late into the office.’ Think of a small flaw like ‘I sometimes get side-tracked by small details’, ‘I am occasionally not as patient as I should be with colleagues who do not understand my ideas’, or ‘I get nervous and uncomfortable with public-speaking.’ Add that you are aware of the problem and you are doing your best to correct it by taking a course of action.

6.      Why should we hire you as a paraplanner?

This is the part where you can link your skills, experience, education, and your personality to the job itself. You need to be familiar with the job description as well as the company culture. It is possible that you may not have as much skills, experience, or qualifications as the other candidates. You need to think about skills that are going to set you apart from other applicants, such as energy and passion. Employers are attracted to someone who is charismatic, who show immense amount of energy when they talk, and who love what it is that they do. As you explain your compatibility with the job and company, be sure to portray yourself as that motivated, confident and energetic person!

7.      What do you know about our company?

1) Visit the company website- look in the ‘about us’ and ‘careers’ sections

2) Visit the company’s LinkedIn page to view information about the company

3) Google a keyword search phrase like ‘press releases’ followed by the company name; you’ll find the most recent news stories shared by the company

At a minimum, you should include the following in your answer: 1. What type of product or service the company sells 2. How long the company has been in business 3. What the company culture is like OR what the company mission statement is, and how the culture and/or mission relate to your values or personality.

8.      Do you have any questions to ask us?

Try not to ask about salary, leave, benefits etc. Try to ask more about the company to show how early you can contribute to the organisation such as, ‘Can you tell me more about induction and developmental programs within your company?’