While all interviews and interviewers are different, there are some common interview questions that are asked to find out more about the candidate and how they deal with certain situations. We’ve compiled a list of some of those questions and guidance on how to confidently answer them.

Tell me about yourself

Some interviewers will start the conversation by giving a little insight into the business and will then most likely ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself.

Give them a quick summary of who you are and what you have been doing and some insight on any experience you’ve had which is relevant to the job. It’s a great point in the interview to mention your top achievements and to say why you think you’d be perfect for the role.

The interviewer won’t want to hear your life story or about your family history here. Make sure to talk about experience relevant to the position instead. 

Why are you looking to leave your current role

Make sure you are honest about why you’re looking for work, but try not to talk too negatively about your current employer. Try focusing on something like you are looking for new challenges, possibly even highlighting aspects of the job you are interviewing for which aren’t available with your current employer.

Tell me about a tricky situation you have dealt with and how you solved it

When being asked this kind of question, the interviewers want to find out more about your negotiating skills or potential clashes with colleagues. The best way to approach these type of interview questions is to explain the situation, how you resolved it and what the outcome was.

Try to steer clear of describing a situation where you caused conflict as this might give them the wrong impression.

What are your weaknesses

Being asked this question can be quite daunting, but don’t let it scare you. We previously dedicated a blog to this question that you may find useful.

Talk about something you know isn’t your strongest point but which you are working on. Picking something that you can get training on and willing to develop will be the kind of answer the interviewer is looking for.

What are your career goals?

When answering these interview questions, it’s important to differentiate between your long-term and short-term career goals. Your long-term goals may be wider, overarching achievements that you would like to accomplish in the future. Whereas your short-term goals should be smaller, actionable objectives that may improve relevant skills or performance.

The salary question

Don’t undersell yourself here or say to the interviewer that you’re happy to take whatever they think will be best.

A lot of job adverts will include a salary band and if this isn’t the case, you can take a look at similar roles and get a good idea of an appropriate salary from those. There may also be some room for negotiation between you and the employer, so bare this in mind.

You can then justify what you are asking for by mentioning relevant knowledge and experience you will bring to the team.

Do you have any questions

Avoid asking about working hours and holidays here but instead, ask something about the business. Something you might have read about and you’d like to find out more. Maybe there is a new product or service they are launching which you can ask about. This shows the interviewer that you have done your research on the company. 

You could also ask what goals and objectives the company has over the next, 3, 5, 10 years etc. This will indicate your interest in their mission and longer-term commitment to the business.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS is growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. Find out more about our current opportunities or for a detailed and confidential conversation, contact our Talent Acquisition Manager Jess.

“Do you have any questions?” It’s asked at the end of every job interview, and your answer should always be yes. if you haven’t prepared for this interview question, it can catch you off-guard.

When preparing for an interview, you should always come up with a list of questions to ask the interviewer. They help to make you come across as interested in the business and the role, enthusiastic and engaged. Come up with about 5-7 questions to ask, just in case they have already been answered during the interview.

When preparing your list try to avoid asking questions that only require a yes or no answer, and steer clear of questions around salary and holiday allowance, at least for the time being – those points can be discussed once you receive a job offer. 

If you need some inspiration, we have listed some good questions to ask at an interview below.

Where do you see the company heading in the next five years?

Asking this should give you an insight into the company’s progression plans and its place in the market, and possibly give you an idea about any major upcoming projects. Asking this question shows a real interest in the organisation.

What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?

Asking these questions provides you with an opportunity to gain an insight into what skills and experience are needed. It will also give you an idea of what the employer’s expectations are, and ultimately help you decide if the role is right for you. 

Are there opportunities for further training? 

This shows that you want to expand on your knowledge and demonstrates that you’re serious about your career.

What are the opportunities for progression within the company?

If you are looking for a long-term career within the company, asking this question will help you find out whether this is the business for you. 

Can you tell me more about the culture of the organisation?

A good working environment is important and asking this question will give you the opportunity to find out whether you’ll fit in.

How could I impress you in the first three months?

This is a great one to ask at the end of a job interview. It shows potential employers that you’re eager to make a positive contribution to the organisation.

Join us! 

As a rapidly growing recruitment business, we have fantastic opportunities for career development. We pride ourselves on rewarding success and promoting from within. However, we are always looking for new talent to further strengthen and expand our teams.

As recruiters, we really understand that talented and motivated staff is the key to any successful business. To help us develop our team into the best they can be, all staff receive invaluable mentorship from our experienced senior leaders and are able to shape a clear career path bespoke to them, mapping out potential routes of progression within the company.

Our dedication to creating a fantastic working environment was recognised at the 2018 Toast of Surrey Business Awards when we were announced as Employer of the Year and Leadership Team of the Year.

Current times can seem daunting, especially if you’re looking for a new job. Despite the pandemic, new roles are being added to job boards on a daily basis and businesses are still looking to recruit new talent. There are steps you can take to help you stand out in the job market.  

Having a step-by-step list of things you can do can give you focus and make the process seem less overwhelming. Check out our guide to help you kick start your search.

Give your CV some attention

Updating your CV should be your very first point of action. Bear in mind that recruiters and hiring managers look at dozens of CVs on a daily basis, so you want yours to really stand out and be interesting for them to read. You can do this by writing everything down, condensing the information to a maximum of two pages and restructuring.

Start with your most relevant experience and achievements and make sure to tailor your personal statement to the role you’re applying for. When it comes to personal statements, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Putting a little effort into getting it right can go a long way.

When it comes to formatting your CV, go with a layout that looks professional and will keep the reader interested. This is your chance to sell yourself and making your CV easy to read and interesting will help you stand out.

You can download our free CV template here. 


Now is a great time to upskill and it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of courses online that are either free or only require a small fee to be paid and you can enrol and get started right away. New certifications can then be added to your CV. This helps you stand out in the job market, against others who may not have additional qualifications.

This will also show potential employers that you are proactive and take your personal development seriously. 

You might even want to think about reskilling and getting qualified for a new role or sector entirely. Maybe it’s something you have been wanting to do for a while but never found the time to do it. 

Keep it relevant

Once it comes to applying for jobs, try to stick with what is relevant to you and your experience. It can be very disheartening being turned down for a role, even if it wasn’t suitable for you in the first place. 

Take your time to really read job descriptions and decide whether you have the right skillset and experience for the role before you apply. You will be much more likely to stand out and you’ll have a higher chance at hearing back and being invited for an interview. 

Tailor your personal statement to the role

We already mentioned it above, your personal statement will be the first snippet of information recruiters and hiring managers read about you and it needs to be relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

It should be a short summary about you, to help employers see how you view yourself as a person and as an employee. Your personal statement should be one paragraph, aiming for a maximum of 150 words. 

You can find our guide on how to write a personal statement here.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS are growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Paul Metcalfe, Advance TRS CEO on 07793 554 413 or email pme@advance-trs.com.

With the global pandemic, times have changed and so has the working world. With many of us working remotely we have become very familiar with Zoom, and not just because of the weekly family quiz nights. 

Businesses have had to adapt certain processes to ensure their employees’ health and safety, and one of those processes is the way interviews are conducted. 

Many companies have opted to hold job interviews via video call, which is a great way to ensure social distancing rules are adhered to, however, can bring different challenges for the interviewee. We’ve got some pieces of advice for you if you have a video interview coming up.

Dress for the job you want

Even though your potential new employer might only be able to see your top half, make sure to dress smart head to toe, rather than wearing a blazer and tracksuit bottoms. This will help put you in the right frame of mind, too. 

No matter what job you’re applying for, it is always worth dressing smart, rather than looking too casual. 

Do your research

Whether the interview is held in person or via video call, you should always be well prepared. Make sure to look up the business, find out as much about it as you can and also look up your interviewers. That way you can find out how long they have been with the company for and ask them about what they like about working there.

If you don’t know who is interviewing you, you can ask your recruiter or the person you have been in touch with to confirm the names. 

Switch off notifications

Whatever device you use for the video interview, make sure to switch off any notifications during the call. Having a constant beep of notifications coming up can be distracting for you and the interviewers.

Make use of your screen

You can write some notes about the company and the job on Post-Its and place them around your screen. It can also be useful to have some bullet points on answers to difficult questions you might be asked. We previously published a blog about commonly asked interview questions and how to answer them. You can read the article here. 

Disrupted signal

We’ve all experienced this – occasionally signal might drop and your screen freezes for a short period. If that happens during your interview stay calm, apologise and carry on with the interview.

Find a quiet space

While it is best to find a space without any disruptions for the duration of the interview, that might not always be possible. In case you have children or pets at home who can occasionally be heard in the background, apologise, briefly explain the situation to the interviewers and carry on.

Ask questions

Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview to show you are genuinely interested in the business and the role. Again, you can write these on notes and stick them to your screen.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS are growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Jess Wells, our Talent Acquisition Manager.

A question that is often asked during interviews and that can be difficult to answer: what are your weaknesses? This blog is dedicated to exactly this question, to give you some guidance on how to answer it professionally. 

Firstly, remember that there is no “one size fits all” approach to answering this question. We suggest you find the way that works best for you. When you prepare for the interview, sit down and tailor the answer to yourself. 

For more interview tips and other useful guides, take a look at our Advance Advice section.

Where to start

A good way to start is to describe your weakness to the interviewer(s). For example, you could start by saying “My big weakness is sometimes doubting my work.”

You don’t want to eliminate yourself from the race by mentioning something too negative. However, you also want to show that you’re human, and nobody’s perfect. 

Put it into context

This will help the interviewers understand why you perceive this particular habit to be a weakness of yours. You can also demonstrate whether or how it affects your daily work. So using the above-described example of a weakness, you could say “I hold myself and my work to a high standard and want to make sure that everything is done right. Sometimes this means that I don’t come forward with an idea or that I take more time to finish a task I have been working on.”

Your learnings 

Lastly, explain to the interviewer how you are dealing with this weakness and what you might have learnt from it. In the above example, it might be that you’re working on worrying less and voicing your ideas more often, while still putting a focus on delivering high-quality work.

If you go into the interview prepared, having come up with a suitable answer for you, then you have nothing to worry about. Remember that the main focus for the interviewers is to find out whether your skill set and personality are the right fit for their team. 

Are you looking to take the next step in your career? 

Advance TRS is growing quickly and we are always looking for ambitious, driven people to join the team. If you are interested to find out more about our current opportunities, visit our website or for a discrete conversation, contact Jessica Wells, Talent Acquisition Manager.

Awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace has risen dramatically in recent years, as one in four people suffer from anxiety and stress which can have a considerable impact on a company. It is therefore important to recognise problems early and to implement initiatives to support staff and colleagues. The business and its employees will benefit from it.

There are different measures to be taken when wanting to improve mental wellbeing at work. It is a good idea to put in place a plan to help with this. Below are some points worth considering:

Mental health first aid

Mental health first aid courses are a great way to enable managers and team members to identify colleagues suffering from mental ill health and support them appropriately. Therefore, one of the first steps a business might choose to take is to select a number of ‘mental wellbeing champions’ to attend the course.

Educating staff

It is also a good idea to educate staff on what can be done to improve and maintain mental wellbeing. For example, taking up hobbies, being active and having a balanced diet might not prevent stress and anxiety but can help relieve them.

By enabling an office environment where staff can speak openly about issues they are facing with their managers (or mental wellbeing champions), team members are less likely to require time away from work, as the business will have created a culture of trust. This will help to alleviate any initial stress when a team member is seeking advice about their situation.

Mental health policy

Writing up a mental health policy for employees will provide them with the necessary information on who to speak to and where to look for further support, i.e. websites, charities and other organisations.

Mental wellbeing at Advance TRS

At Advance TRS, we prioritise the mental wellbeing of our staff. To provide a first point of contact when needed, we have appointed qualified Mental Health First Aiders. We also offer a Wellbeing Hub, where confidential support via an EAP helpline can be accessed at any time. These are only some of the steps we have taken and we continue to improve our mental health awareness.

Click here to view more of our tips or take a look at our latest live jobs here.

If you are well organised and have planned for your interview, your confidence will increase ensuring that you stand out from other candidates. So, before the interview process, ensure that you:

Know your CV

Familiarise yourself with your CV just before you meet with the interviewer. You are likely to be asked to qualify decisions that have led you to joining organisations on your CV. Make sure you highlight any achievements that will make a positive impression so you are able to emphasise these to explain how you will add value to the company.

Dress to Impress

Pick your outfit and try it on before the interview. Make sure everything fits well and is comfortable. Look the best you can, in attire that is appropriate for the role you are being considered for. If you can feel comfortable and confident in how you look, then this will show in how you present yourself.

Research the Company

Familiarise yourself with information of your potential employer, their culture and work ethos. Research any issues or opportunities within the industry and understand fully how you can contribute positively to assist in resolving or implementing them. As a general rule, the more famous the brand, the more the interviewer will expect you to have done your homework. Researching the company shows that you are serious about the job.

Know the role/job description

When it comes to interview preparation, the job description is your best friend. Not only will a thorough examination of the duties and required personal qualities help you to understand more about what the role entails, it’ll also help you to recognise exactly what the employer is looking for. Then, you can tailor your answers accordingly – coming up with tangible examples that prove you’re the best candidate for the role.

Plan your journey

Confirm the time and location of your interview the day before. If you are taking public transport, make sure you have an up-to-date timetable. If you are driving, allow time for delays and parking. If possible, you may wish to check the journey time by doing a trial run ahead of the interview.

Make a positive First Impression

The importance of making the right first impression cannot be overstated, particularly in the first 30 seconds. The interviewer will begin to form an opinion of you from the minute you arrive. Be punctual and greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, eye contact and a smile, but do be careful not to crush their hand! A little more pressure than they give is a good guide.

“A job interview is not a test of your knowledge, but your ability to use it at the right time”

Click here to view more tips from us.

Click here to view our latest live jobs.

Have you got a job interview coming up? Thinking of looking for a new job in the New Year? Haven’t been to a job interview for a while? Is it your first interview?

If you’re not sure where to start with preparing yourself, or you’re not sure it’s possible to prepare yourself, here are five tips for making sure you are ready for that all important day.

1. Make sure you know the company

If you don’t know much about the company, start reading up on them before the interview. A good place to look first is on their website.

2. Have background knowledge of the Industry

If you already think you know a lot about the industry, then try to sharpen up your knowledge.

If you don’t have much knowledge about the industry because you’re making a career move – do some research! You can do this by speaking to people in the industry or you can do some online research.

3. Think about your strengths and weaknesses

This is a question that most interviewers ask. Some people become a little bit stuck or are nervous about what to say about themselves. It’s sometimes hard to tell someone what you’re good at and let’s face it, you don’t want to tell them that you’re not so good at anything, it’s a job interview after all! The interviewers are going to appreciate honesty. If you come across honest, they will appreciate it.

Think about what strengths you will be bringing to the table if they decide to hire you! These might be organisational skills, timekeeping, knowledge of the industry, knowledge about the job, experience, decision-making skills etc. If there is anything within those skill sets you aren’t 100% confident with, have a think about that too. Make sure that if the interviewer does ask you what your weaknesses are, you say, for example, ‘I would love to improve my decision-making skills’ rather than ‘I’m not very good at decision making’

Always keep it positive!

4. Make sure you know your CV

The only thing the Interviewers know about you is the information that is on your CV and on your application you filled out for the job. Make sure you know what experiences on your CV are relevant for the role you are applying for. This will help you prepare for any questions they might have for you.

5. Write down any questions you have

This might be about the job or even about the company. The interviewers will be impressed that you want to know a bit more about what they do as a company, and they will also appreciate that you have questions about the job you are applying for!

A few other things to think about:

  • First impressions are vital – dress smartly.
  • Plan your travel to be early to your interview, not just on time!
  • If you have any work or evidence that would support your application, bring it with you.
  • A good handshake is always a positive start.
  • Relax, smile often, be friendly and try to calm your nerves.

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