Best practice interview prep

Best practice interview prep

Sometimes the big obstacle can be getting the interview in the first place, but now you have one or maybe multiple interviews lined up, what is the best way to give yourself the maximum chance of getting the job? Here are our key pointers, based on our experience over the years, to help give you the best chance…

Preparation is key – The age old ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. It may sound so obvious, but I can’t stress how important it is to research the company so you can answer the almost guaranteed question of ‘what do you know about us?’ Use the information to think about why you want the job too, employers tend to want to know what has drawn you to their company.

Check the route – Even do a trial run if required, and check there are no issues with the roads on the day. If something unexpected does arise, make sure you have the contact number of the company or recruitment consultant in your phone to call ahead in a worst-case scenario.

Wear appropriate interview clothing – Unless told otherwise, always go in smart wear. In some instances, it may be relevant to wear casual wear dependant on the role, but you are better to be overdressed than underdressed! This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen people turn up in casual wear despite being advised that smart wear is appropriate, and it will usually be a dealbreaker from a first impressions point of view.

Attitude – Many companies we work with will hire on attitude rather than putting skills first, so how you come across based on your attitude, work ethic, body language and interpersonal skills can be more important – you can teach skills, but you can’t teach a good attitude…remember to smile!

Ask questions – This shows you are interested in what they do as a company and gets the conversation flowing in terms of what is familiar to you, from a transferability point of view, or what is new, to show interest. Also, be verbal on company/shop floor tours. Remember, this is a two-way assessment, you need to make sure you have the information you need to decide if it is the right fit for you not just the other way around.

Avoid being negative about previous employers – We all have our own reasons for leaving a company, just make sure it is delivered in a way that doesn’t come across negative to a future employer. In life there are always positives that come from negatives so focus on the positives e.g., the new skills learnt. 

Avoid asking directly about salary – It can come across that motivations perhaps aren’t aligned, plus you should have this information from the recruitment consultancy in advance. If the interviewer asks the question though, have the conversation and answer with honest expectations, don’t let it catch you off guard.

At Delve, we work closely with our clients to be able to support our candidates as much as possible about what to expect in terms of the interview format etc but also crucially gather feedback post interview. If you feel like you haven’t got the information you need, don’t be afraid to ask!

For further information contact Louise Shorrock, Client Manager at Delve Search via LinkedIn or email.


Create a strong linkedIn profile

Create A Strong LinkedIn Profile

Recently, a couple of ex-colleagues, and now indeed friends, were made redundant. It’s not the first time this has happened to someone I know and I’m certain it wont be the last. I found myself having the same conversation with them: “how do we make ourselves visible to recruiters?”, they would ask. 

Seems simple enough, right? But, when I actually sat back and thought about it there was a realisation that even I needed to think about how to actually approach this. Flipping it on its head I thought to myself, “what type of profile attracts my attention?”.   

With that being said, I have tried to create a whistle stop “Beyond the Paper” guide to getting your LinkedIn page the attention you want. 

1 – Profile picture, name and location. These are the basics of your profile but they help to add a human element to the candidate. Nothing fancy is needed, just a simple picture of you!

2 – A brief overview of yourself. This bit doesn’t have to be exhaustive, but it does give you an opportunity to explain what you do and some of your skills. This should help you appear in the right talent searches and help recruiters target your specific experience. 

3- Update your career history. Make it current with up-to-date job titles, timelines and even responsibilities. The more information you provide, the better. Remember, key words really help. If you have been working in semiconductors, then state it. If you have been working in machine build, then state it. Niche industry candidates may want to think a touch broader in their descriptions, for example, equipment for manufacturing pillows should perhaps be original equipment manufacturer or machine builder.

4 – Education. Internal and external education can be of huge value to future employers. Again, to remain visible it could make the difference between receiving a message or not.

5 – Recommendations. As consumers we constantly look at product reviews from other consumers. It may sound really obvious, but potential employers will do the same thing on your LinkedIn profile. Ask your team, ex-colleagues and friends to write you professional references. Every little helps. 

6 – Create visibility. If you want to be noticed by recruiters who are looking for the skills you have, then you can change your status on LinkedIn to “open to opportunities”. This is based on complex algorithms and ultimately stops anyone working for your current employer from seeing that you are open. However, it lets those outside of your business know that you could be open to a discussion. 

And there you have it, a quick guide to getting your LinkedIn profile noticed by more people. If you want more information or help in setting the profile up then feel free to contact me directly on [email protected] and I would be glad to help and advise. 

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How To Prepare For An Interview

How To Prepare For An Interview

How many of you have gone into an interview feeling unprepared? We all do it, even recruiters go to interviews (as paradoxical as it seems). It is that familiar feeling, when you’re stood outside the office of your new potential employer and suddenly the harsh reality hits that Googling a list of common interview questions perhaps hasn’t prepared you as well as you’d hoped. With each job interview, you are meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and finding out what it is you know and don’t know. It is understandable why these scenarios can feel rather daunting. That said, there are ways to make a job interview feel much less stressful – a little bit of the right kind of preparation can go a long way! We’d like to share with you Delve’s top tips to make sure you ace your preparation and have a successful interview.

So, how do you prepare for an interview? Here are some key things we believe will help you to feel as prepared as possible for your interview.

1.     It’s all about trying to anticipate the questions they’re going to ask you. This sounds like I’m stating the obvious here but we’ll go into this in more detail in a second.

2.     Work with your recruitment consultant to understand some of the softer points about the opportunity, not just the physical facts such as more about the company and role, but more about the people you’re meeting and the culture.

3.     Give examples, but make sure they’re as relevant as possible.

So to achieve point one, you need to understand as much about the business and the role as possible. For example, find out exactly what the business does, what their products or services are, the size of the company, the industry or industries they work in, their customers and so on. For the role, you need to know what you’ll actually be doing on a day-to-day basis such as the software you might use, the people you’re speaking to, product line you’ll work on, where in the process you will work on a project. For example, if you’re going for a Project role, you should find out where you pick up the project and where you would pass it on and each individual step in between, the project value, whether you’ll use Microsoft Project, who you will deal with, etc. Once you’ve gathered this information, it’s up to you to simply think about your best example for each stage where you’ve had experience in that particular area. I would recommend doing this in a mind-map format.

Of course, you won’t have examples for each and every point (and if you do, you should get the job!) For the areas you are missing, make the effort and do the research to find out as much about these areas as possible. Say if you don’t have experience working in a specific industry, research as much as you can about that industry. Being honest and saying “I haven’t got experience in that area but having done some research into it I can say…” can really help as it shows your willingness and ability to learn.

For point two, this is straightforward: make sure you challenge the the recruitment consultant representing you to have the information you need on exactly who you’re meeting, what they’re like as people, what they’re looking for and the culture of the business.

And for point three, this may seem simplistic but it’s actually a key opportunity to illustrate what experience you have. Think of the interview discussion as your second CV! It’s also an excellent opportunity to break the ice.

For more hints and tips on what to think about before an interview, feel free to contact a member of our team and we’ll be happy to help.


Questions to ask your recruiter

Questions To Ask Your Recruiter

When you’ve dealt with a recruitment consultant, you’re likely to have been asked many different questions about yourself and your background. Has it ever dawned on you to think about what questions to ask your recruiter and how this can benefit your job seeking journey?

We commonly overlook the importance of preparing questions for the recruiter. How is it that the correct questioning can help you in landing your perfect role? Remember, your recruiter has an existing relationship with your potential future employer and therefore will be able to share information on the role and company that will aid your preparation. Make sure to use your recruiter to gain as much inside knowledge as possible!

Preparation is the key. In previous blogs we’ve spoken about not only understanding the hard facts such as what the business does and what is the role (usually in the form of a job specification), but also being able to understand the ‘softer’ points such as the paradigm and culture of the business, who you’re meeting and what are they like.

Here a few quick and easy examples of questions you can ask your recruiter:

  • Make sure you’re clear on who the meeting is with, what their role in the business is, and ask for a bit of background on them. Depending on how well the recruiter knows the client, you could also ask where they’ve come from and about their values.
  • If you are looking to progress, what are the opportunities for progression?
  • What is the size and structure of the team, and how has this grown in recent years? (This helps to give an indication of future opportunity).
  • It is also essential to understand some of the challenges the company are facing. It doesn’t help you to only know the positives: every company has its own problems and to understand them will help with your preparation and set a clear expectation going forward if you are successful.

These are just some of the things you need to think about. To discuss this in more detail feel free to get in touch with a member of our team.


Candidates! Maximise your relationship with your recruiter

Candidates! Maximise Your Relationship With Your Recruiter

​There are often grumbles around the candidate experience when dealing with a recruiter – and rightly so in many instances. To address this, I have created a quick guide on how to make the most out of your relationship with your recruiter.

1 – Make the relationship two-way. Right from the opening call, you should receive as much information as you give, but don’t fire questions such as “what’s the salary?” before the recruiter has even introduced themselves. Be sure to sell yourself and don’t be afraid to ask detailed questions, as this will allow you to both understand the role yourself and to check that your recruiter does too and is familiar with the employer they are working with.

2 – Once you have built a relationship with your recruiter, be open and honest. If an opportunity isn’t in the right location, doesn’t pay enough or simply isn’t the right opportunity for you, then just tell them so. You may be questioned on your thinking, but in my view, this should be to understand what isn’t working rather than push you into doing something you don’t want to do. In the long run, maintaining open and honest communication is of benefit to both parties.

3 – Where possible, speak with your recruiter on the phone. Clearly you may meet them in person initially to get a feel for one another, but after that, I would always advise you to speak with recruiters on the phone. Your recruiter should be free to talk after working hours, so maintaining good communication this way should be pretty painless for you. It builds rapport between you, and helps to keep you current in the recruiter’s mind.

4 – Keep the recruiter posted on developments at your end. If interviews or meetings occur via other channels, just let your recruiter know. They may have other opportunities for you so can apply urgency where needed. Don’t feel pressured to tell them any details of the companies you are interviewing for, but to simply advise them that you have a first stage interview next week on Friday is a great help.

5 -If you have bad news for your recruiter, hit it head on. It probably won’t be the first time this week that they’ve had bad news, so don’t go radio silent – if you do, they will expect the worst anyway. If you’ve been offered a job elsewhere, don’t want the job they’ve helped you secure or don’t like the role that they have placed you in, revert to step three and call them. Again, any decent recruiter will completely understand your decision-making process, and they shouldn’t apply unnecessary pressure to accept or stay in the proposed role.

So there you have it. Just to summarise:

Step 1 – Make sure it is a two-way relationship.

Step 2 – Be open and honest.

Step 3 – Call them where possible (your recruiter should be free after hours).

Step 4 – Be transparent when things change at your end.

Step 5 – Hit bad news head on.

Like everything in life, there is the good, the bad and the ugly and nowhere is this truer than in recruitment. If you have a recruiter you trust, the above five steps should help you develop a strong relationship. If your recruiter makes any of the above steps difficult to follow, then get in touch with the team at Delve. We will gladly talk through our working methods and our “Beyond the Paper” approach.


How to decline a job offer

How To Decline A Job Offer

The dreaded decline of a job offer ​is something every recruiter fears. But they shouldn’t, and here’s why.

The truth is, they probably know it’s coming, or at least they should do if they are half decent. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise unless you completely blindside them with something never before seen or discussed.

This morning I researched the most commonly asked recruitment questions, and ‘how to decline a job offer’ featured high on the list. Here is my take on how to do it and how not to burn bridges in the process.

Undertaking a job search can be a lengthy process. It can take weeks or months to get to a point whereby the contract lands in your inbox and you finally have the opportunity to review everything you and your future employer have spoken about. But your gut feeling isn’t right. Something doesn’t sit well. You want to decline the offer.

Here’s one question you can ask yourself to quickly work out a way forward: can the concerns, questions and problems you have be dealt with through a further conversation or meeting with your potential future employer or through changes to the contract or employment terms? If yes, then do that. Be clear, honest and transparent about your concerns but in equal measure highlight your desire to actually do the job.

If the answer is no, then this sounds simple but just say so.

As a recruiter, one of the most frustrating parts of the job is trying to fix something that ultimately was never going to happen in the first place. You spend lots of time working with the candidate and the client to bring a resolution to the surface and then when those boxes are ticked, it’s still a no-go. In my experience, this usually happens with people I have had a gut feeling about from the beginning. I’ve always known they aren’t 100% committed. They’ve always known it. But we have ignored it, in the hope that it will go away.

As a candidate, if you receive an offer or even attend an interview that isn’t right for you, my advice would be to just say so. Who can ask for fairer than that? The job market is so broad and has so many opportunities that you should never feel pressurised into anything. Your recruiter will appreciate your feedback and will ultimately learn what doesn’t work for you, and the hiring company will appreciate it because they can move on. The same applies if you receive a counter-offer that is simply too good to turn down (the debate on accepting a counter offer can be saved for another day), but again, maintaining transparency and honesty keeps things nice and clear for all parties.

If you don’t want to burn bridges, my advice would be to act professionally but assertively. State clearly that it isn’t the role or business for you and explain the reasons why. You may expect some questions from your recruiter but ultimately this should be to understand not to coerce you into accepting the offer. At the end of the day they want to offer feedback to the hiring company, so the more information you can give them, the more open they can be with their customer.

It would be great to hear your views on this. If you have found this helpful or if you need any advice then just drop me a line at [email protected].



You do what you eat – tapping in to your second brain

You Do What You Eat - Tapping In To Your Second Brain

​‘With a sophisticated neural network transmitting messages from trillions of bacteria, the brain in your gut exerts a powerful influence over the one in your head’.

Millions of partners, friends and family members across the world are finding themselves in a polarised predicament with big decisions to make. Always together or always apart?


I find myself in the latter and I have friends facing the former. Either way, the ‘happy medium’ and ‘healthy balance’ we strive for in our personal relationships has never seemed further away or is too close for comfort.


This isn’t an article about relationship advice.

I felt, like many others, depressed and defeated with the situation. However, I told my partner that I just had a feeling that things will be great again and we need to keep on keeping on… a feeling that this pain will all be worthwhile even though the end isn’t in sight just yet. I made a decision based on my gut feeling and it felt right.


My partner has a mild addiction to TED talks and so was immediately on YouTube checking out what experts were saying about gut feelings and relationships.

What she stumbled across was actually even more interesting and relevant than what we were expecting…



I found out that:


–      The gut is responsible for upwards of 80% of our body’s serotonin production aka your organic happy drug and natural anti-depressant.

–      We have more neurons in our gut than in our spinal cord.

–      Our brain (CNS) and gut (ENS) communicate with one and other. This is known as the ‘Gut-Brain Axis’.

–      Our ENS or ‘second brain’ can operate and think completely independently of our CNS and influences our mood, emotion and mental wellbeing.

–      Our microbiome, the symbiotic bacteria that live in our gut, outnumber all of our body’s own cells by 10 to 1.

–      Our gut doesn’t just help us digest food and harness energy, but also fight diseases and infections by boosting our immune systems.


I started to try to comprehend how my gut, something associated with the ‘messy’ emotive work, could be playing a masterful role in my mental wellbeing, ability to fight off infections and key decision making: three key challenges we’re all facing during these times of uncertainty.


It sounds obvious now, but I do feel more energised, motivated and cheerful when I eat a healthy, mixed diet. I always presumed this was my brain telling my body I’d been good, not the other way around. I always associated getting ill after a big holiday with ‘dirty aeroplane air’. The fact is the air on a plane is filtered and is particularly clean as a result. It’s more likely that binging on alcohol and unhealthy food whilst on holiday is what hampers my immune system by knocking my microbiome off balance.

Ever really enjoyed eating a 12-inch pizza and drinking a full-sugar Coca Cola at the time but felt depressed later on?


I’ve found it so helpful to follow really good tips for keeping my mind active and at ease with home exercise routines, reading and keeping in touch with friends and family via Zoom or Skype. I’m now sharing my focus on how to best look after my gut in order to keep my mind happy and ensure my immune system is fighting fit so that I’m in the right place to hit the ground running once lockdown and social distancing restrictions are lifted.


Decision making is crucial. We can’t rely too much on what’s happened in the past when what we’re facing is unprecedented, inconsistent and unpredictable. The decisions you make over the coming weeks, months and rest of the year could be magnified as our surroundings are uncertain. Some hiring managers are being proactive, others are pausing completely. The best candidates are more easily approachable than ever, but they need more reassurance. Businesses are consolidating and some are gaining a competitive advantage.

Keep a healthy gut and go with it. If you gut is saying you’d like some advice on your hiring strategy then give us call – no obligation.





How to make your CV stand out to recruiters

How To Make Your CV Stand Out To Recruiters

The average recruiter spends about seven seconds deciding whether to reject or accept a CV. So how do you make yours stand out? Here are some helpful tips to boost your chances of getting through to the next stage of the recruitment process.


Do your research

Research job profiles and pay attention to the list of requirements: you’ll want to tailor your CV so that the language used matches the requirements for the roles you are applying for. When putting together an application, make sure you go back to the job description and tweak your CV to show that you meet all the requirements.


First impressions count

The first thing that a recruiter will see upon opening your CV is the top half of the first page. If you don’t include information which matches the job description here, you risk having your CV consigned to the ‘no’ pile before it has even been read in full. Include a brief personal statement here which outlines your key skills and achievements.


Be succinct

Recruiters are often short on time, so limit your CV to two pages maximum. Keep your employment history relevant to the role you’re applying for, with longer bullet-pointed lists for more relevant past roles and fewer details for those that aren’t.


Be skim-reader friendly

Make your CV easy to navigate, with your contact details highly visible and easy to find, and the rest of your CV divided into sections. Use a reader-friendly font such as Arial or Tahoma, and break text up into bullet points in the present tense for your current role and the past tense for all previous positions.


Focus on achievements

Don’t be tempted to list all your responsibilities in your current job, focus instead on your achievements and the impact you’ve had on the company or organisation you’re working for.


Include extra-curriculars

The ‘Interests’ section may form the last part of your CV, but it will most likely be read. This can provide a talking point any future interviews, and including details here is more likely to make you a memorable candidate.


Include a link to your LinkedIn profile

Including a link to your web profile or a blog makes life easy for the recruiter, and allows them to keep up to date if they revisit your CV months down the line.


Use metrics

If you can quantify your achievements with figures or percentages, then doing so will likely impress the reader. This is a great way to show that you would be valuable to the company.


Get feedback

Ask friends and family to read through and comment on your CV before you send it off. They’re more likely to spot spelling errors or typos, and they might be able to give you some helpful constructive criticism.


Stick to the truth

It may be tempting to embellish certain aspects of your career or educational achievements, but remember that the truth can easily come out within a simple reference check.


If you’re considering new opportunities in the life sciences, semiconductor or engineering sectors, you can upload your CV here to receive feedback from our specialist recruitment consultants.


Lengthy hiring processes: is there an upside?

Lengthy Hiring Processes: Is There An Upside?

​From the moment an employer advertises that they have a role to fill, both employers and candidates wish they could click their fingers to speed through the process. Newly hired workers are often keen to dive into their new role, and employers want to increase their productivity through hiring a new team member.

The length of the hiring process varies from country to country and from industry to industry: in an analysis conducted in August this year, LinkedIn found that the sectors with the longest median hiring processes were engineering (49 days) and research (48 days). Larger corporations with bigger HR departments are also likely to have longer processes and to ask candidates to meet more people during the assessment stage.

But is there an advantage to hanging on during what seems like an interminable hiring process? Research has shown that employers who use structured interviews which involve preparing questions and activities ahead of time find better, more engaged new recruits than those who use unstructured interviews. Adopting such an approach obviously takes more time than simply talking through a candidate’s CV. Additionally, if multiple people are involved in the hiring process, there is a lower chance of the interviewee falling prey to the biases of any one individual. Doing so can however make the overall process more time consuming.

On the other hand, long recruitment processes can harm the employer, especially if poor communication results in candidates waiting for weeks on end for an update or for a second interview. Prospective candidates could lose interest in the job altogether if they perceive the employer to be inconsiderate. A process that feels too long could indicate that the job isn’t a good fit, but equally there are downsides to racing through the hiring process. Doing so can end up in a bad hire for the employer, which makes for a miserable experience for the employee, and a higher chance of resignation and termination.

So it would seem that applicants would do well to persist through a lengthy hiring process. Brent Smith, associate professor of management and psychology at Rice University, Houston suggests that ‘the more thoughtful the organisation is in making decisions, the better the long-term outcome is going to be for both the applicant who gets hires and the organisation’. Managing expectations and clear and frequent communication could improve the process for both parties: employers need to demonstrate flexibility and recognise that the perfect candidate does not exist, and applicants need to be realistic about how long employers need to assess suitability.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20211020-why-hiring-takes-so-long