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Who Gets The Job?


WHO GETS THE JOB? by Jamie Caulfield

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Last week saw seven candidates competing on live TV for a new job; that of Prime Minister of this country.

The televised debate between the seven main party leaders gave us, the voting public, an opportunity to assess each individual’s ability to undertake this crucial role in what is possibly the most important job interview they will ever have.

And essentially, the leader’s debate was exactly that. Whilst as the watching audience we are not asking the questions ourselves, come the 7th May, it will be our decision as to who we think is the most suitable candidate for the role.

When it comes to interviewing there is much that needs to be considered. Certain conclusions can be drawn from their CVs as to their level of experience and ability to do what is required from the previous positions that they will have held. You can also be reassured that the selection process to finalise who will be invited to attend the interview stage will have been rigorous to ensure that only those people who meet the required criteria will be involved.

Given that each person attending the interview has the ability and experience to undertake the role, what are you actually looking for when you meet someone face-to-face?

There are a number of things to take into account; the confidence with which the questions are answered, assessing whether the answer that has been provided addresses the question itself, how personable the individual appears to be; how persuasive they are in convincing the interviewer they are right candidate and whether or not we can believe that they will deliver what is needed to achieve the desired success for the company – or in this case – our country.

Much is also made about a person’s body language; do they appear interested, are they coming across as defensive, does their stance change if they are challenged on a particular point?

The importance of making eye contact, showing genuine interest in the person conducting the interview, responding in a positive manner to even the trickiest of questions and acknowledging and listening to what the interviewer is saying all contribute towards the overall impression that will be created.

There are two commonly used phrases which I think are particularly apt; “first impressions count” – and this is certainly true – but this must be tempered with “don’t jump to conclusions”. The initial few minutes of an interview can have huge significance upon the eventual outcome however there are also many occasions where the candidate who looks the most suitable on paper underperforms in person or we see an individual become stronger as the interview progresses and they get into their stride.

I know that I watched the debate with great personal and professional interest.  Did you? The question is – based upon their performance, who would you give the job to?


Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of finance and accountancy professionals.  With offices in Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster and Manchester our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for temporary, interim and permanent roles across the full spectrum of positions throughout Yorkshire and the North West.