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CMD Recruitment are the leading independant recruiters in the South West. We find the talent to take your company to new heights.

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May 12, 2022

Ten signs your interview went well

The moments after an interview can be incredibly daunting. You analyse every question and answer, wondering where you went right or wrong. But overthinking it will only lead to a headache. Likewise, waiting to hear about the next steps can be stressful, but there are a few signs you can look for that will indicate […]

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Ten signs your interview went well

May 5, 2022

The True Cost of Returning to the Office

As the UK government continues to ease lockdown restrictions, many employers are struggling to tempt workers back into the office. With the cost of returning to the office set to be high, it’s no wonder that so many people are reluctant to leave their homes. The cost of returning to the office includes more than […]

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The True Cost of Returning to the Office

April 30, 2022

How to Ace Problem-Solving Interview Questions

Employers often use problem-solving questions to assess how a potential employee will manage challenging situations, particularly those which may not be typical of the role but could crop up. We explore what you can expect and the methods to use for the most effective answers.  What are problem solving interview questions? Problem solving questions usually […]

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Employers often use problem-solving questions to assess how a potential employee will manage challenging situations, particularly those which may not be typical of the role but could crop up. We explore what you can expect and the methods to use for the most effective answers. What are problem solving interview questions? Problem solving questions usually pertain to a candidate's ability to collect data or information, process and analyse it and then form and implement a solution. They are designed to test and assess the specific skill set necessary to perform well under stress and will often focus on specific occasions when the candidate had to solve a problem. Here are a few examples: What was the most challenging situation you have faced at work? Do you always try to solve a problem on your own before asking for assistance? What do you do first when faced with an urgent problem? Describe a time when you faced an unexpected challenge at work How would you handle an unhappy customer? What are they looking for in a response? Employers ask these questions to gauge what shape your individual problem-solving process takes. They are looking for you to describe a logical process, referencing information gathering, analysis and decision making that is then based on that analysis. Select specific examples from your prior work experience to show your ability to be flexible while solving problems. Don’t generalise. Employers are looking for realistic examples that showcase your knowledge and skills. How to prepare for problem solving interview questions As with all interview situations, preparation is key, you can start this by: Considering some good examples of situations where you have had to utilise problem-solving skills beforehand. Rehearse them to make sure you are comfortable in remembering the points you need to raise. Asking other people who may have experience as an interviewer to have a practice run with you and ask them for constructive feedback on your responses. It sounds obvious but get a good night’s sleep beforehand. It’s always more difficult to think clearly and remember things when you’re tired. Likewise, eat and drink well for maximum performance. Feeling weak or dehydrated can make you feel more anxious. How to structure your response - STAR Fortunately, a structure has already been devised to assist you with your response when you identify that you are being asked a question about problem solving. The STAR technique will help you to keep your answers relevant and concise. Situation A brief description of the bare facts is what is required here. Don’t go into unnecessary detail. A few sentences to give an overall picture is sufficient. They are more interested in the following analysis and actions that took place. For example, ‘I had a situation where an unhappy customer became aggressive with members of staff. They had been offered a refund but still refused to leave.’ Technique This is where you need to succinctly define what the task or challenge was that you were presented with. For example, if the situation was an angry customer shouting in front of other customers, you might cite your role as defusing the situation as quickly as possible. Again, don’t linger on this part for too long, interviewers simply want to know that you’ve clearly identified the problem and assessed what action needs to be taken. Action This is where you refer to your active role in the situation. What did you actually do? Did you recognise the need to ask for assistance quickly enough if it was necessary? What knowledge and skills did you need to employ to resolve the problem? Identify and elaborate on a few of the most effective steps you took and refer to specific actions that were informed by your original analysis. Although you may need to reference how you worked with other team members, make sure you use the word ‘I’ rather than ‘we’ as it is your role that is being assessed, not the team position. This is the part of your answer which requires the most in depth description as this is what largely indicates your suitability. Result As is fairly self-explanatory, here you should describe how the situation ended. Did you get the result you wanted? What worked and what didn’t work? Did you learn anything from the situation that you could use to advise your approach in future? Remember, you’re not expected to be perfect, it’s more impressive to demonstrate good reflexive practice, that you have the ability to analyse your approach and hone your skills to ensure you are constantly improving your technique. Conclusion Although the unpredictability of problem-solving questions can stir up a little reticence ahead of an interview, there are ways to prepare to make you feel more confident. By adopting the STAR approach and practising your responses, you have will have all bases covered to ace that interview.

April 21, 2022

What are the four steps in the STAR method?

Situational style questions are favourites for many interviewers and you can expect to have at least one of these posed to you during the hiring process. Whatever type of interview you have coming up, using the STAR approach to help you prepare is hugely beneficial. We look at what STAR is and how you can […]

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What are the four steps in the STAR method?

April 15, 2022

The Perfect LinkedIn Profile – A Checklist

With close to 800 million members and a growth rate of approximately two new users every second, LinkedIn statistics say the most about the value of being a member. With so much attention and opportunity on LinkedIn it is therefore imperative that you have an excellent profile, especially if you want to make a good […]

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The Perfect LinkedIn Profile - A Checklist

April 11, 2022

KPMG – UK Jobs Report March

March sees further slowdown in hiring activity as permanent staff appointments rise at slowest rate for a year. Starting salary inflation hits a new record with further increase in permanent starting salaries in March. Challenges in the market are set to continue, so it’s about working with your recruiter to be top of their list […]

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March 30, 2022

Why you should update your CV

Putting a good CV together takes time so it’s easy to see why some people make one good version and then leave it at that. But the truth is you should update your CV regularly to take account of changes and to keep it fresh and interesting. Covid has resulted in many people losing work […]

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Why you should update your CV

March 29, 2022

Changes to the National Minimum Wage

The National Living Wage is set to rise by 6.6 per cent from the 1st April 2022, rising from its current rate of £8.91 per hour.   Alongside the NLW increase there will be significant rises in National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates for younger workers.   The below graph displays the current 2021 minimum wage […]

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March 23, 2022

How to Reply To an Interview Request (With Examples)

Even in these modern times, there are still some companies that don’t respond to job applications. This is incredibly disappointing, particularly when you have spent so much time creating a covering letter and bespoke CV. So when you receive a response, not only acknowledging your application but also requesting you to attend an interview, it’s […]

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How to Reply To an Interview Request (With Examples)

March 21, 2022

HR Manager Interview Questions (With Examples)

As an HR manager preparing for an interview, you know that you are going to be asked very specific questions by your prospective employer. If the current manager of the HR department carries out the interview, someone else may accompany them. They are going to ask in-depth questions to ensure that you are a good […]

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HR Manager Interview Questions (With Examples)