Looking for a job can be a long, arduous, and sometimes demoralising process. Googling for tips on how to perform better in interviews may leave you more confused than when you started. Different companies are looking for different qualities in their candidates, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.
In the spirit of transparency and giving everyone the best opportunity to succeed in their application to Beauhurst, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to put your best foot forward. This article covers how to structure your cover letter, how to prepare for a Beauhurst interview, and why daydreaming is essential to any job search.
Read on to find out what to expect from our interview process, as well as top tips from our team: from those recruiting, to senior team members, to new joiners who have just been through the process themselves.
Step 0: Understand your motivations
Before you start searching for a job opportunity, it’s important to know what you’re looking for.
- Are you more comfortable working in a team or individually?
- Do you enjoy hitting targets, or are you more motivated by the process of creating something?
- Are you looking to work in a client-facing role or do you prefer working internally?
- Is your ideal career progression via the corporate route or do you like the idea of working for a startup or SME?
Our suggestion would be to do as much daydreaming as possible about what your perfect job would look like. There are as many types of jobs as there are types of people, so rest assured that the right one for you is out there.
Step 1: The CV
It can be difficult to condense your whole professional life into a short word document, which means you need to be selective about what to include, and what to leave out. We recommend putting yourself in the shoes of someone reading it. When deciding whether you’re suitable for the role, what about you is essential for them to know? Make it as easy as possible for them to understand your profile, and how your experience is relevant to the job.
- Stick to two pages
- Always include your university degree and A level qualifications
- If possible, include your achievements from previous roles (for example, “I closed X number of deals in my first year of employment, contributing to an X% growth in sales”)
- Don’t include a photo of yourself
- Good grammar and spelling are super important
Step 2: The cover letter
Once you’ve found a position that excites you, it’s time to get started on your application. Assuming you’ve arrived here because you’ve already found that opportunity with Beauhurst, then the next step is to write your cover letter. Cover letters are your introduction to our hiring team, and allow us to gauge both your suitability and interest in the role.
We want to hire people who are really passionate about what we do here at Beauhurst, so we only read applications that include a cover letter.
Make sure you emphasise:
- Exactly why you want to work for us (yellow being your favourite colour doesn’t count…)
- Why you like the role, and how your experience is relevant to the kind of work you’d be doing
- For more senior roles, it’s also worth mentioning why you’re wanting to move on from your current job
Also keep in mind that, for us, the cover letter is just a starting point, so don’t put too much pressure on it including everything you want to say to us. As long as it communicates, in a succinct way (maximum one page), that you are genuinely interested in the company and the role, you’ll have plenty more opportunities to expand on it during the interview.
And again, remember to proofread it to avoid making spelling or grammar mistakes (including misspelling Beauhurst!). This is particularly important for roles which require writing skills and attention to detail.
Step 3: ‘We’re delighted to invite you…’
If we like the look of your CV and cover letter, expect to be invited for an interview with us. This will generally be within one week of your application for junior roles and up to two weeks for more senior ones, although it depends on the volume of applications that we receive.
Whilst one of the main pitfalls for applicants is not having done enough research, there’s also a danger of over-preparing. When setting out to impress your interviewers, it may be tempting to try and memorise everything, from the ‘About us’ page on our website to your interviewer’s A Level grades.
When you feel like your LinkedIn research has gone too far into stalking territory, and you’ve landed on an employee’s sister-in-law’s dog grooming business, it’s time to stop and reassess how your research might translate into an actual conversation.
You may find it useful to centre your research around these questions:
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What is Beauhurst’s product?
- What does the specific role entail?
- How does the role fit into what the company does?
- How does Beauhurst fit into the wider industry?
- Who are Beauhurst’s main customers?
Step 4: Just be yourself!
We know you’re probably sick of hearing that you should ‘just be yourself’, but it’s more obvious than you’d think when a candidate is insincere. We’re not after superlatives: we understand that having a deep-rooted desire to start a career in data quality since the age of three is unrealistic. With the job market expanding its range of options as technology progresses, it would be worrying if you’d never explored any other routes since primary school.
Our main advice would be to think of your interview as an opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the role and what you’re hoping to achieve through it professionally. It’s also a good opportunity to see if we’d be a good cultural fit—you’ll be spending upwards of 30 hours a week with your interviewers if successful, so it’s definitely worth making sure that you resonate with our approach to work as well as the other way around.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be wary of over-preparing your answers. You can’t possibly predict every question your interviewer will ask you, and you shouldn’t have to either. We appreciate a genuine, back and forth conversation most of all.
We’re really not looking to catch you out. We’re looking to better understand you and your thinking process. An imperfect, well-thought-out answer always beats a perfect, rehearsed one.
Extra tips and tricks
- Actively listen to what your interviewer is saying, don’t just daze off when you think you’ve done your bit
- When you’re given a task or asked a question in an interview, it helps to imagine yourself in the role you’re applying for—that’s why it’s important to understand what the role entails and how it fits into the company
- Prepare well enough to hold your own in a conversation, but know that it’s okay to ask questions when something is unclear to you
- If your interview is over the phone or a video call, make sure your WiFi and other equipment works well in advance—there’s nothing worse than stressing yourself out right before an interview
- Don’t be afraid to ask left-field questions! We enjoy being challenged in a healthy way and appreciate unique approaches
If you think you might be a good addition to the Beauhurst team, have a look at our jobs page—we’re a fast-growing company and always looking for top talent. We look forward to hearing from you!