11 Ways To Impress a Hiring Manager During an Interview

You’ve applied, writing a standout cover letter and your CV matches the skills the company are looking for and now you have been invited to interview.

Interviewing is your biggest opportunity to make a good impression, in the days before your interview we suggest setting some time aside for

1. Do your research on the company and the people that are interviewing

Look at everything you can find on the services they offer, view their website, social media and look up all recent news articles about them. Look at company reviews from previous employees and if you are lucky, they might have shared some information about the types of questions you’ll be asked in the interview. Look up the people that are interviewing you, how do they relate to your role. Look at the activity on their LinkedIn where they have written or commented on something, try to put together a bit of a persona about them.

2. Understand the Culture

You may think your experience is the most important factor when making a hiring decision. However, making sure you are a good fit for the company is one of the main things a hiring manager will look for.

3. Practice your answers to common interview questions

Prepare your answer to the common question: “Tell me about yourself, and why are you interested in this role with our company?” The idea is to quickly communicate who you are and what value you will bring to the company and the role—it’s your personal elevator pitch.

4. Reread the Job description

Write down examples from your past and current work that align with the job description requirements.

5. Prepare smart questions for your interviewers

Employers expect you to ask questions: they want to know that you’re thinking seriously about what it would be like to work there.

6. Are you a critical thinker

All employers everywhere value this ability, which also encompasses analytical skills like gathering and evaluating information.

7. Can you collaborate

Regardless of the role, the hiring manager will want to know that you can work well with others so is good to have some examples of this to hand.

8. Be very clear about why you want the job

Look for something that you can draw on from your research about the company, competitors, services and partners during the conversation that shows you have a deep interest in the opportunity. Write down why you want the job, practice saying it with lots of enthusiasm.

9. Plan your outfit the night before

You’ll know the dress type they are expecting from your research, and you should dress accordingly head to toe, regardless of whether it is an in-person interview or via a video meeting tool.

10. Reiterate your discussion at the end of the meeting

Reiterate that you believe that your experience aligns with what they are looking for in a candidate and share that you have specific skills that they’re looking for, naming them. This type of response demonstrates your professionalism and makes it clear that you’ve been paying attention during the interview.

11. Shake hands and make eye contact

Close with a firm handshake and good eye contact and follow up with an email within 24 hours thanking them for their time.

The importance of mental health provisions in the corporate environment

One in four people in the UK will have a mental health challenge at some point in their lives. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems. They are often a reaction to a difficult life event, such as bereavement, but can also be caused by work-related issues.

Why don’t people talk about mental health?

Awareness of mental health is increasing, but we still face a world where people with mental health problems face discrimination and can face challenges getting the help they need. Many people who experience distress try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other people’s responses. Fear of discrimination and feelings of shame are among the top reasons people give for not telling their colleagues about their mental health problems.

When we create workplace cultures where people can be themselves, it is easier for people to speak about mental health concerns without fear, and easier for them to reach out for help when they need it. Even so, the decision to disclose distress at work is not one people take lightly. Workplaces must become environments where people feel safe to be themselves.

Companies’ awareness of good workplace mental health and wellbeing is growing. However, companies are still struggling in supporting employee mental health and wellbeing.

According to a recent report by the government mental ill-health is now the most common reason for claiming health-related benefits and 86 per cent remain on the benefits for more than three months (compared to 76 per cent for all other claimants). And the evidence shows that the longer people are detached from the labour market, the less chance they have of returning to work.

The cost of poor mental health to the country is also very high. A recent review of the health of Britain’s working-age population carried out by Dame Carol Black estimated that over £100 billion is lost to the economy through ill-health and associated sickness absence and unemployment. In addition, United Kingdom (UK) employers annually pay an estimated £9 billion in statutory sick pay and occupational sick pay, of which we think around £2-4 billion is likely to be paid because of mental ill-health.

Companies can introduce well-being policies and make a serious investment in employee health, but if their activity is not aligned in how people are managed, a supportive and inclusive culture and committed leadership, the policies will not have a real impact. Building a compassionate workplace goes hand in hand with acknowledging the complexity of mental health challenges and respecting people as individuals. Compassionate leadership is supported by a hard business case showing desired outcomes such as improved relationships as well as higher motivation and job satisfaction levels, all of which can lead to enhanced performance and productivity.

Tackling Mental health stigma

Mental health conditions are not rare or restricted to a small proportion of the population. They need not prevent many people from performing effectively and efficiently at work. The UK government has put together programmes available for employers and managers to raise awareness amongst staff and develop their confidence to discuss mental health and well-being at work.

Managing mental health

According to CIPD 2019 study, nearly three-fifths have seen an increase in the number of reported common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, among employees in the last 12 months. Only a small minority report a decrease. Just one in ten (9%) of organisations have a standalone mental health policy for employees, although a further third incorporates mental health within another policy and one in five are in the process of developing a policy. Most are taking some action to manage employee mental health. The most common action taken is phased return to work and/or other reasonable adjustments last year.

Organisations that focus on improving employee awareness of mental health, increasing managers’ skills and confidence, and encouraging openness and discussion reap the benefits of increased employee engagement. Creating a culture of open discussion means employees feel supported by their organisation and are more likely to access support when they are struggling.

A workforce that enjoys good mental health and well-being may experience lower absenteeism. Investing in the well-being of staff is therefore also an economic issue for business.

Steps to help shape a thriving workforce according to the charity Mind.

Encourage openness and discussion about mental health

An open culture around mental health is a key part of employees feeling their mental health is supported (only 9 per cent of staff in organisations without openness and discussion of mental health feel their organisation supports their mental health). A great first step for organisations is to have a senior leader sign the Mental Health at Work Commitment. Having a senior member of staff such as your CEO signing the Commitment signals your pledge to changing how employees think and act about mental health in the workplace. Running regular internal communications campaigns is another great way to raise awareness of mental health and challenge stigma.

People management is about more than work targets

Employees experiencing poor mental health tend to speak to their line manager first (76 per cent disclosed to their line manager), but a lack of understanding in managers can be a barrier to disclosure – less than half (45 per cent) feel their manager understands their problems. Regular one-to-ones and catch-ups can help maintain good working relationships and build mutual trust. Ensure managers hold one-to-ones with their staff every four to six weeks. Managers must know what support is on offer to staff experiencing poor mental health and can advise on how to access it.

Be aware of your employees’ workload

Not only is this frequently mentioned as a primary source of stress, but those with the highest demands have less time to seek support. Over 1 in 4 employees are working more than 50 hours a week and three-quarters of those with an unmanageable workload had experienced anxiety multiple times in the last month. Employers need to ensure that employees’ workloads are manageable by providing extra support if needed and ensuring that job roles match their abilities and experience. Workload reviews and stress-risk assessments should be carried out on an ongoing basis as well as when jobs are being designed. Staff surveys can be an effective tool to capture information about wellbeing. Ensure you ask staff about things like their workload, leadership and management, opportunities for personal development and internal communication.

Ensure employees feel comfortable disclosing poor mental health

Half of the employees do not feel comfortable disclosing poor mental health at work, but the results suggest that employees are more likely to improve their situation. Managers should be upskilled on how to provide in-work support to staff who are experiencing a mental health problem, including how to handle disclosure, approach a conversation about mental health and explore support measures including reasonable adjustments. Organisations need to create an environment where employees and managers feel supported through the process.

Review and assess mental health and wellbeing support tools

Ineffective support can make an employee’s situation worse and in some cases having no support at all is less detrimental than having ineffective support (17 per cent of those with ineffective support said their situation got worse, compared to 5 per cent of those who had no support at all). Organisations should collect data and report on how often support tools are accessed by employees and request this information from suppliers (e.g. your EAP provider). You should also seek feedback from staff as to how easily accessible, effective and well-publicised your support tools are through regular employee surveys.

8 Top Video Job Interview Tips

1. Dress for Success

In preparation for your video interview, research the company culture before your interview so you have a good idea of what’s appropriate, you should dress professionally—the same way you would for an in-person interview.

To look your best on camera, avoid bright colours and opt for softer colours instead. If you are wearing a tie, wear a solid colour rather than a patterned one. If you wear glasses, adjust the lighting in the room to reduce glare from the lenses.

2. Good lighting is a must

Make sure your light source comes from behind your computer and directs towards your face and your background is not distracting.

Make sure you position the camera so that you are looking up slightly and centred on the screen.

Check your background is free from clutter and embarrassing items like laundry piles.

3. Preparation is key

When interviewing virtually, make sure you set up your laptop in a quite spot with little distractions. Let any people in your home know in advance when and where you will be interviewing so they know not to bother you.

Log in 10 minutes before your interview to ensure your audio and video are functioning properly.

Print out your CV and make notes that you can refer to in the interview.

4. Body language speaks volumes

Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly reading each other’s facial expressions and body language. Be confident, smile, make eye contact and actively listen to your interviewer throughout.

When you speak, you want to direct your gaze at the webcam. When you do this, your eyes are more likely to align with the interviewer’s eyes on the other end and help convey the same level of eye contact as an in-person interview.

Sit in your chair with your back straight and your shoulders open. Feet can be planted on the floor and arms can rest in your lap or on the desk.

5. Have well-versed answers at the ready for all the typical interview questions

  • Tell me about you
  • Why are you interested in working here
  • Why do you want to leave your current role
  • Can you provide an example of a weakness

6. Technology can lag

When speaking make sure you project your voice slightly to ensure the interviewer is not straining to hear you. When the interviewer is speaking make sure you pause before answering so as to make sure you are not speaking over them.

7. Ask questions.

Be prepared and have some questions written down about the job, the culture, the team and the organisation in general.

8. Close the interview by thanking them for their time

Thank them for their time and follow up with a thank you email later that day or the next. Think about adding something that you and the employer discussed while getting to know each other that will make the thank-you message more personal.

If you would like to talk to one of our team about a role please call or email us today.

Should salary expectations be shared in the job advert?

When a company is looking to hire and they are putting together the job spec to put out into the market, internally they have to agree on what that role is worth and the range they are willing to pay for that role, yet in many instances in today’s market when advertising companies only mention of salary is when they say ‘competitive salary’, what does that even mean and why do they insist on keeping it vague

Why don’t they do it?

Employers argue that if they put the salary on the job ad, they would be inundated with applications, but is this the real reason?

Some employers cite that they have never shared salary expectations, but recruitment practices evolve like every part of your organisation and not disclosing remuneration is quickly becoming an archaic way of doing things.

Employers might hope they can save money on talent. Although they think your position is worth £65k if they can get you for £55k they will. Although tacky and boarding on unethical, your manager may be pleased with you for saying them £10k but what is the cost in the long run and what kind of environment does this mentality breed.

Another reason employers argue they don’t provide the salary range is that it gives them more opportunity to look at a wider range of applicants.

Some employers say that they can’t show the salary because people already employed by them may become disgruntled. Keeping salary information private in the workplace helps mitigate jealousy and constant raise requests.

Who are the most likely to undervalue themselves when applying for jobs?

When offered a ‘competitive salary’, the most likely people to be undervalued are women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+, and people with a disability.

According to the charity Young Women’s Trust, women earn on average £223,000 less than men over the course of a lifetime based on data from the Office for National Statistics and shows that a gender income gap exists as soon as women start working.

The difference in pay between the sexes is largest among higher earners.

The difference in gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) for men and women at the top and bottom decile and median, UK, 1997 to 2020, full-time employees.

What about across the United Kingdoms?

The gender pay gap varies substantially between regions. In every region of England, it is higher than in each of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

The gender pay gap is higher in all English regions than in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

The gender pay gap for median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) by work region, UK, April 1997 and 2020, full-time employees.

According to a recent survey by Hired.com in 2020 men were offered higher salaries than women 63% of the time. CEO Mehul Patel advised “There is a clear correlation between the gender wage gap and what we have identified as the ‘Expectation Gap’. The Expectation Gap is borne from a variety of external factors including lack of easily available compensation data and a phenomenon known as ‘imposter syndrome’ which, combined with other influences, further cement the wage gap. This is also true of many candidates of ethnic minorities and those identifying as LGBTQ+.”

What happens when you ban asking for salary history?

When companies were banned from asking about salary history in the US, it led to an average increase of 8% in pay offered to women candidates and a 13% increase for Black candidates.

Why shouldn’t companies try and save money on hiring?

As mentioned above it breeds inequality women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and people with a disability constantly undervaluing their skills and therefore are paid less money for the same role as their white male colleagues.

It also breeds toxicity in the workplace. If you work at a company where they are perceived as the boy’s club, where most workers are women but the leadership positions are men then this leads to a constant discussion on salary and leadership within this organisation and it can breed negativity and distracts people from focusing on the task at hand.

If you hire people for less than the competitive salary, they will likely leave and the cost to hire again and retain could outweigh the benefit of underpaying them.

In conclusion

Greater transparency will benefit both the employers and the applicants, the transparency creates a culture that provides openness and makes you feel welcome which leads to attracting a greater variety and diversity in applicants and reduces the pay gap for women ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and people with a disability.

About ea Change

We approach all associates with an inclusive mindset and strive to eliminate unconscious bias from our search and selection process. We continually monitor the diversity of our resource pools and share our insights with clients, providing complete transparency. In doing so, we actively support talent acquisition strategies by aligning our process with your inclusion and diversity objectives.

If you would like to talk to one of our team about a role please call or email us today.