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Interview Tips

As we all know when it comes to interviews, there are some pretty obvious dos and don’ts. It goes without saying that first impressions are pretty damn important – an employer’s doubt is sure to rear its ugly head as soon as a candidate turns up late, having forgotten to iron their shirt, or worse, brush their teeth…

And whilst these initial school boy errors are easy to avoid, it’s much harder to fully prepare yourself for the main event. It’s impossible to have a textbook answer at hand for a seemingly unrelated question that gets thrown your way. For example, how do you answer “If you were an animal, what would you be and why” in the best possible way? Tell your interviewer that you’d be a lion and they could assume that whilst you’re, on the one hand loyal and confident, on the other, you’re arrogant and aggressive. Suggest that you’re a fox and they might assume you to be intelligent yet have a sly and cunning streak.

In short, there are some questions that you won’t ever be able to prepare for, or give a perfect answer to. Whilst these kind of spanners might throw you off the scent, it’s likely that you’re being given an opportunity to showcase your personality and natural intuition. Interviewers, after all, want to find out a bit more about you. Who you are and what you’re like is just as important to your employer as your skill set, experience and ability to do the job. It’s absolutely essential, therefore, to be yourself in interview – getting to know your character is a significant part of a company’s recruitment process. Smile and make conversation with your potential employers before and after the interview – perhaps you’ll find a hobby that you’ve got in common that you can discuss. It’ll humanise the process and help to make both parties feel more relaxed. Remember that you’re gauging if you like the employer too, and if the work environment seems like one you could be happy in.

When you’re having your interview, good body language and confidence are really important. If you’re being interviewed by more than one person, maintain eye contact with everyone on the panel – although it’s tricky, try not to look at one person more than another when delivering answers. Whilst confidence comes more naturally to some people than others, if you’re shy, you can still appear self-assured. Arrive early and give yourself a few minutes to breathe and relax. Sit forward in the interview, to give yourself an air of confidence and don’t fidget. There’s no need to be ashamed of your shyness. Try to bare in mind that many employers will look to balance their team with a mix of people – introverts are just as valuable in a workplace as extroverts.

A certain confidence can also be conveyed through your ability to guide the interview. Whilst, of course, you shouldn’t try to undermine the questioning of your potential employers, you can manipulate your answer to showcase your achievements. If you’ve been asked about a specific project that you previously worked on, you could easily bring the answer around to another that you also enjoyed and might have taken a more senior lead in, or gained experience in line with the role you’re interviewing for.

Autonomy can also be gained in the interview by asking good questions. Too often job descriptions are vague and non-descript, so probing your interviewers about the opportunity whilst you go along will show interest and help you to tailor your answers to the role’s requirements. If you have a burning question, there’s no need to save it up until the end of the interview. If it’s relevant at the time, asking a perceptive question shows that you’re listening and want to learn – it’ll give your vocal chords a break too. If you feel a bit stumped during the interview, or don’t feel like there’s an appropriate question to ask, it’s better to have questions prepared for the end of the interview, rather than asking none at all. Questioning your interviewers about the company culture can be intriguing and opening up a conversation about a project they’ve worked on shows that you’ve done your research.

It’s also a chance for you to see how your role could pan out if you were offered the job – you can find out about career progression and personal development for example, or what kind of person usually does well in the company. Although it’s easy to forgot when you’re feeling the pressure, try to keep in mind that your interview is very much a two way process.

“We wish we had known about KDH before we did. Since meeting the team that Kirsty has assembled and working with them to determine who are optimum candidates are it has also helped us focus our minds on our company structure and business model. To that end, we are continually amazed at who they are able to match us with. We hope to keep growing as long as they can help us to grow.”

“Kirsty provides an unparalleled level of service and candidates to us, her knowledge of the market and ability to get to know our business, and each candidate is a rare find in recruitment. Kirsty delivers only the most suitable candidates and secures them in her professional and friendly manner. She truly is our trusted recruitment partner.”

“Kirsty has revolutionised my view of recruitment consultants. She is professional and committed to finding the right people. Importantly, she understands Quod and the type of people that we want to be part of our business. Kirsty takes the strain out of the interview process, so that we are only seeing good people with the potential to meet what we are looking for, and has been successful in finding a number of valued people in Quod. She is also personable, fun and easy to get along with – something that is important to us in all the people we work with.”

“KDH have a highly professional approach and are thorough in all of their work. The integrity and personable nature of all their consultants make them both trustworthy and reliable. I have used them for a number of headhunting / executive searches for senior staff within Barton Willmore and due to their approach and securing us excellent results, I have recommended them across the Practice where they are now working on other senior roles. I therefore would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.”

“The KDH team have been a breath of fresh air for us. As a busy management team, we depend entirely on their judgement and intuition to send us only candidates who they feel will truly work in our business. They pride themselves on being different and we certainly feel that their service is without parallel. It is just a great sadness to us that they don’t operate in all of the fields in which we work, so that we could dispense with all of our other consultants. Fantastic job, ladies. Keep up the great work!”

“I worked with KDH trying to source a new assistant Landscape Architect and they were very professional and found someone for me with a short space of time. Sam is still with us and proving to be a great asset. Thank you. Would not hesitate to recommend KDH to others.”

“I have worked with KDH Associates since joining HTA Design LLP 2 years ago. They have assisted us with Planning, Architecture and Landscape roles. KDH are friendly, professional and extremely helpful and most of all they listen to our requirements carefully in order to introduce us to relevant, high calibre candidates who fit our needs well. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend KDH Associates to fellow HR professionals, as well as to those seeking employment.”

“KDH are our go to guys for recruitment. Their business has grown up with ours and as a consequence, KDH have a thorough understating of our culture, they think deeply about what we need to grow our business and this ensure the candidates they send are of the highest quality”

I had the pleasure of working with KDH. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone who needs an energetic and motivated talent searcher. We had specific requirements for our growing team and they not only went out of their way to understand our bespoke needs but also showed a phenomenal tenacity to find the appropriate individuals. Now I know if I need an experienced individual to join our team, KDH is my first port of call!

“I work as a consultant in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and was looking for a new career challenge. I got the job I wanted through KDH. From the outset, the support I received from my recruitment consultant, Chris, was invaluable. He really went the extra mile to ensure that I was fully prepared for my interviews, was always responsive and chased up some job related queries on my behalf. I’m very grateful for all this support and would definitely recommend the KDH to anyone looking for a new career challenge or to fill a vacancy with the best candidates.”

“I have been so impressed with KDH! They were brilliant to work with, very personable, and provided results very quickly. I am so grateful for everything they have done, and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone”

“KDH helped me through every step of the process, offering advice and support from the initial enquiry stage right through to the first few months of my new job. They were able to answer the difficult questions that you may not feel comfortable asking a new employer and gave me essential tips, advice and insight into the new role that was ultimately fundamental to me securing the job.”

“KDH approached me when I wasn’t actively looking for a new position. They provided a very clear overview of the opportunity and I was really impressed with all of the communication from them regarding the process and so appreciative of their advice ahead of the interviews. They facilitated a really natural first meeting with the company and made me feel really comfortable every step of the way.”

“I found KDH great to deal with. They are very committed, enthusiastic, and quick to respond to my emails (at whatever time of day they were sent). I really felt they had my best interests at heart throughout the whole process and even now I get the occasional email from them asking how things are going in the new job. I couldn’t recommend KDH enough.”

“I cannot thank the team at KDH enough for helping me find my new role in London. I was nervous about relocating from Australia to the UK, but working with KDH made the whole process much smoother. I was impressed initially when I first spoke with them via telephone while still in Australia and even more so when I met the team upon arriving in London. KDH are very personable, informed and their knowledge of the industry and various firms throughout London and further afield made me feel confident that they were identifying roles that would be a good fit for me.

They were hands on throughout the whole process, keeping me well briefed and informed before and after interviews. I am very grateful for their assistance and I would recommend KDH to anyone looking for a recruitment consultant in the town planning sector.”

“I contacted KDH Associates in December 2014 when I was looking for a change in role. As a town planning professional KDH Associates with their specific expertise in property and planning were an obvious choice for me, as I knew they had key contacts within the industry. My main point of contact was Lucie Cox who set up a face to face meeting from which we worked out what my key career goals were and to outline what I was looking for in an employer. The personal touch from Lucie ensured that any potential opportunity that was offered to me for consideration had been tailor-fitted to my needs. Lucie soon put me forward for a great role for which I was successful and as a result I would highly recommend KDH Associates.”

“ Thank you to KDH for all their efforts in securing me a fantastic job at Berkeley Homes. Lucie was by far the most conscientious, professional and foremost for me personally, caring of any recruitment consultant that I have dealt with. This made changing jobs an enjoyable experience as opposed to a chore.”

“I have found that very often recruitment consultants make the process of moving jobs feel transactional and impersonal. I have found that KDH have been totally different to this, they really looked after me, took time to get to know me as a person and as a professional and gave me all of the information to help me make a career defining decision. This is an approach many claim to have but fail to deliver. I will certainly recommend KDH to people I know.”

“KDH was a pleasure to work with. The professional attitude in which they work is truly excellent. They were always there to help out, whatever time of day and they always go above and beyond their job duties. The information and everything that they provided was just what I wanted and the transition to my new position was very smooth. Thank you KDH for everything, unfortunately I don’t think you’ll be finding me another job in a very long time.”

“ I wasn’t looking for a job when I was approached by KDH Associates. I found they made an effort to get to know me and with no pressure at any point, they managed to seize my attention for a job that they thought I would be a perfect fit for. I have now been at LDA for six months and I am absolutely confident that I made the right decision.

They were friendly, professional, reliable and very responsive. Their knowledge of the market is very good and their listening and communication skills are impeccable. I was impressed by their level of professionalism. All in all, a very positive experience dealing with KDH, a recruitment consultant who actually works with both the client and the candidate to achieve the best result.”