Landing the “perfect job” – your questions answered
We stopped to talk to Specsavers Recruitment Services (SRS), the UK’s biggest optical recruitment business to find out what it really takes to land the “perfect” job. Having supported over 2,000 individuals to secure optical and retail careers in the last 12 months, the Specsavers in-house recruitment team certainly know what it takes to secure that elusive new role.
“When it comes to that perfect role, everyone is different. For some, it’s simple; it could be flexibility, not working weekends, or a really supportive and positive team around you. For others, it’s about progression, incentives and working in a store that has a clear career path laid out for you. Whatever ticks your boxes, the one thing for certain is you can find it with Specsavers.” said Rob Mould, Head of Specsavers Recruitment Services.
Regardless of your ambitions, finding the role that truly suits you is only step one. Sought after positions are a competitive candidate minefield, so we asked SRS – how can you stand out from the crowd?
1 – Sit down and think
“People often think about why they want to leave their current job, but don’t consider what is going to make the biggest difference in their next and what would see them in a role not only preferred to their current one, but one they see a long-term career in.
“More often than not, when people think about their next role they think salary first, questions later. But whilst salary is vital, it is rarely the main motivator and almost never the thing that will keep you engaged and motivated over the long-term. That comes down to a unique mix of clinical and professional development, team culture, career progression and that most elusive aspect… a genuine work/life balance. ” added Rob.
So, you need a clear idea on both what you want and why.
2. Selling yourself
Having decided what you want from your next move, you need to get your CV up to speed. Most people update their latest job and responsibilities, but fail to spend enough time outlining key clinical and professional achievements, which is essential for standing out from the crowd.
With your CV ready, you can apply online for many of the roles out there, but we would always advise making a call as well.
Simon McIvor, who recently joined SRS in an Optometrist recruitment position, has over 15 years’ experience supporting professionals to not just discover, but secure, their perfect role, said “Getting a call from a new applicant is great, it shows how motivated and keen they are, which in turn inspires you to work on finding their next career move. You also get a far deeper understanding of what they really want and what makes them tick, which inevitably supports those crucial next steps.”
3 – The interview
The team at SRS described job interviews as a “two-way street”, suggesting it’s not just about how you come across, but about how you connect with the store too. First impressions are key, if you can be personable and develop rapport instantly you’re off to a great start. Whilst confidence doesn’t come naturally to all of us, spending time preparing and researching the company will help you go a long, long way. Regardless of confidence, interviews can be daunting, so here are a few tips to help you relax:
- Start an informal conversation before the interview kicks off properly
This could be as simple as a positive comment on the store or its location – starting conversation at this stage can often relax your nerves (and those of the interviewer, who may be nervous too!).
- Personalise your answers to the interview you are in
“In my experience candidates often respond to questions with generic answers, such as ‘what I want from my next role is XYZ’. When interviewing, you want people who want your job, not just a job. So try to give answers specific to the role, i.e. ‘the reason this role stood out for me is that it sounds like it will give me XYZ in my next role which is what I really want to do’.
- Equip yourself with the support of your previous successes
Go in with any facts or figures at hand on your previous performance. This is a convincing way to build credibility and show you really are as good as you say you are.
- Asking questions is crucial
Moving jobs is a big deal and if you don’t ask enough questions, you can appear like you don’t care about your next role. Forget questions on pay, holiday and benefits, these make it look like money is your main motivation. Focus on questions about the business, the team, the structure and even the interviewers’ background and why people enjoy working at their store – this will clearly convey your interest and passion for the position.
Ultimately, your attitude remains your best asset. People want to hire positive, customer-focused and friendly people. Refrain from talking negatively about your current employer, focus on how much you’re looking forward to the next step in your career.
4 – The final steps
If successful, the store will make you an offer. By this point, you may even have more than one role to choose from, with differing salaries, benefits, perks and even work/life balance. Take time to think back to what you wanted when you started looking for a role and consider which position will give you the biggest career opportunity in the short, medium and long-term – if you get this right, the salary will follow.
In conclusion, whilst we’re all different, more often than not professionally we’re driven by the same needs. When taking the next step in your career it’s about the whole package, and that’s what Specsavers Recruitment Services have continually supported 1,000s of professionals find year after year.