What makes a 'good' and 'bad' candidate from a recruiter's point of view? (Part 2)

In my last blog I wrote about the misguided candidate who got everything wrong before the interview started. Unfortunately, as the meeting progressed it didn't get much better!  

PA Interview Tips - Hera Search

We began by discussing her current boss and it turns out she didn't like him very much (at all, in fact). 

Let’s face it, most people have had, at some stage of their career, a boss (or bosses) who they really don’t like or agree with but, however difficult, you should still avoid saying this outright in an interview. Whilst I want all my candidates to be honest with me, otherwise I can’t find them a job they will be genuinely happy in, there are still ‘ways’ of saying things. This particular candidate ended up being extremely negative about her boss, his working style, attitude and personality, which culminated in her calling him a *insert not very nice name*! If she’d said that to the CEO of the company she wanted me to arrange an interview with, it wouldn't have gone down very well for either of us.

I think one of the best pieces of advice for anyone meeting a recruitment consultant or potential employer is to be positive. This doesn't mean hide the truth if your boss is ‘challenging’ or ‘difficult’, it just means choose your language carefully, as it can make or break the interview.  Learning how to express yourself appropriately during an interview can be a bit of an art but any consultant worth their salt will be more than happy to have a conversation with you about how to phrase things in the best way. Just don’t be afraid to ask!

Interview musts

  1. Never be negative about previous employers - turn bad experiences into positives and be diplomatic.
  2. Never give away too much information about a previous boss. Remember the PA’s golden rule of confidentiality!
  3. Never use big, or little swear words.
  4. Be positive and enthusiastic. Employers will often hire a less skilled candidate than they ideally require because their attitude was so impressive during interview.

If you've got PA or Office Support experience and you're interested in new opportunities please contact Hera Search on 0203 713 0590 / info@herasearch.com.