The Best You asked eight business leaders what advice they would give to someone looking for a job. Here’s what they told us:
Jo Haigh: partner in FDS Corporate Finance
“Understand what we do. There is no reason for you to not be prepared – Google will tell you all. Understand the market we operate in and where it’s going.”
“Come dressed for the job you want. Ask sensible and intelligent questions and tell me what you can do for my company and me.
“Listen to what I have to tell you.”
“Bring a CV that explains how you have achieved things, not a list of qualifications.”
“Bring a great idea to me. Show innovation and initiative”
Peter Shrimpton: Director of Randstad Sales and Retail
“Be clear about your personal and business goals. We like people who are clear on their desired outcome ‘inside and outside’ of work
“Be prepared to ask intelligent and open questions about working with us in the interview. Quality questions are far more impressive to us than dominating the talking – especially about yourself! Your language in your questions show how expert you are in your field.
“Be clear on your CV about your key achievements – know your dates and numbers.
“Take responsibility for where you are in life so far.”
John Davy: Serial Entrepreneur
“Quite simply, I want you to… be original, be bold and show a passion for the job you are applying for. It is also important to show proof of past exploits.”
Nigel Henry: Co-owner of Fusion Residential
“Research what we do, how we do it, what we’re great at and what you think is missing in our business. When in an interview, confidence is great, just don’t overdo it. Dress to impress and ask ‘good’ questions.”
“Our business is world class. Prove you are. Have a great CV, not just good grades.”
“You have a limited amount of time to make an impression, use it wisely.“
Adrian Reynard: Founder of Reynard Racing Cars
“Start with a firm handshake and look your interviewer in the eye. Motor sport is about persistence, determination and a solid character. You need to show these qualities at interview.
“Focus your CV or discussions on what THIS job is about and what the company will want you to do. Don’t harp on about all the hard work you put in to a bar job, as a van driver or non-related task.
“Know the company’s history, roots, aspirations, ambitions, Team Owners, Team goals for 2012 and beyond, maybe the state of their finances!. Try to understand their departmental structure to identify alternate openings you could consider.
“And when you stand up to leave, and look them in the eye and offer your hand for a reminder firm handshake, tell them something for them to remember you by!” www.adrianreynard.com
Jason Petsch: Commercial Director at Winter Risk Management Grittit
“Be on time and do your homework on the business and what we stand for.
“First impressions count. We believe our culture is a fundamental ingredient to our current and long-term success and are looking for first impressions and can do attitude. I am personally going to pay more attention to how an interviewee presents themselves and what value I think they could bring to the rest of the team before any real attention is given to previous experience.
“Another little quirk for me: clean shoes, if you can’t be bothered to clean your shoes then what does that say about you?”
Frank Bastow: CEO of Bastows, property restoration and redecoration company
“Be on time, be ready and have clean shoes. Be the best you possible. Tell the truth – no great relationship was
ever built on a lie. ”
“Trust in your own ability. You have a value – let it shine and be confident in it.”
Simon Lester, Chairman of Lester Hotels
“Research the company properly. Understand their values and what they are trying to achieve rather than just what they have achieved so far.”
“Then demonstrate how you would add value to the organisation and highlight where your ambitions are aligned. Be very clear about what you have to offer and be confident in your ability to deliver!”