Job hunting? 5 things every applicant must know

Job hunting? 5 things every applicant must know

At Formula One company - Williams - they do things fast and they do things brilliantly. Who better to ask for five golden tips to help you race to success?


We know you haven’t always got time to read the tonnes of great career advice on plotr. So to help you out, we asked the F1 company and plotr sponsor – Williams – for its five pearls of job-getting-wisdom. Williams’ Organisational Development Manager Elissa Patrick took on the challenge – here's what she said...

The most important thing a candidate should know about a company before an interview is...

"There’s more than one – sorry! A candidate has to know the basics, by that I mean: the product or service that the company offers, who its key clients are, the size of the business (like how many employees it has) and where it’s based – and not just its headquarters, but which other countries or locations it has sites in too. This all helps to show that the candidate is interested in working for that particular organisation." 

The most important thing to remember on your application is...

"To make sure you answer the question that’s being asked – just like when you’re taking an exam. To help you structure your answers successfully use the S.T.A.R approach. So, if you’re asked to respond to a situational question, a good structure for the answer is S.T.A.R:

  • Situation: Describe the situation you were in
  • Task: Explain what it was you were asked to do
  • Action: How you did the task
  • Result: What happened after the task

"And remember to tailor your answers to the role you’re going for, explain how your skill set is relevant and valuable to the employer. The more experience you can show that’s relevant (even in a roundabout sort of way) the better your chances of winning the role." 

The one important thing not to leave off your CV is...

"Skills! A CV is your chance to sell both your hard skills and your “soft skills” (by soft skills we mean good personality traits like being punctual, confident and a good team-worker). But playing down key achievements and skills is a common mistake we see all the time on candidates’ CVs. And candidates often forget to put down the skills and achievements made outside of work and education too – so try not to forget your extracurricular activities."

The most common fault people make in an interview is...

"Not dressing appropriately. You should always ask before the interview what the dress code is in the office. Ask if it’s formal business dress or smart casual and then dress accordingly – this helps to show how you can ‘fit in’. If in any doubt, always go for the slightly more formal option. And remember that your appearance extends beyond your clothes – wearing too much jewellery is a big no-no (especially on men) and dirty, chipped or too long fingernails can be a turn-off too!" 

One way to really make your CV stand out is...

"I would suggest saving ‘wacky’ or eye-catching CVs for creative roles only. Some people print their CVs on high quality, heavyweight paper and that shows a great effort. But regardless of the paper – good spelling, good grammar and your skills and achievements clearly defined is still what makes a winning CV."

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