Category Archives: company

Steps to Employment: 5 Ways to Improve Your Interview Skills

When applying for positions, the initial task of simply getting an interview can be difficult in itself.

Therefore, when you are lucky enough to secure one it is important to make a good impression with your potential future employer, and ensure that you have done enough to stand out among an array of other qualified candidates.

One of our senior consultants, Ben Ritchie, has listed his top five tips for success in an interview below.

Research the company

Although this is a pre-interview step to take, it is arguably one of the most important ones: it is vital to spend some time researching the company you have applied for.

I advise my candidates to spend ten or so minutes the night before an interview on their potential future employer’s company website.

Pay close attention to what type of work the company does, what kind of people they employ, and,most of all, the requirements of the job you have applied for.

This will give you hints as to how you should answer their questions and what aspects of the role to mention when doing so.

Dress the Part

The person interviewing you will ultimately see you before they hear you, and so it is important to convey what type of employee with what you are wearing.

A neat and professional appearance will cause the interviewer to hold this opinion of you throughout the exchange.

Wear something smart, but also something that you feel comfortable in.

Although it is important to dress professionally, if wearing a suit makes you VISIBLY uncomfortable then it is better in this instance to dress ‘smart-casual’.

Arrive on time – or even better, arrive EARLY

A well-known interview tip, this ensures that you appear organised and punctual.

What this also allows you to do as an interviewee, is it gives you a few minutes to observe the working environment and the other employees.

In addition to this, these few minutes can be used to calm any last-minute nerves or anxieties over the interview itself.

Remember to take a few moments to relax: being asked for the interview means that they have seen something desirable in you for the position, and therefore like you as a candidate already. Be confident in yourself.

Make the first and last seconds COUNT

The first impression you make to the employer is vital:

  • Say hello
  • Introduce yourself by name
  • Speak clearly and loud enough that you can be heard
  • Make eye contact
  • Offer a firm handshake
  • Make sure your body language is relaxed yet confident

Most importantly, be the best version of YOU.

This is your opportunity to sell yourself as an individual, so make sure that you endorse yourself properly and prove why you are the perfect candidate.

When you finish, make sure you thank your interviewer for their time and don’t rush out. Leave in the same manner that you introduced yourself.

Keep in touch

Following your interview, remember to contact your recruiter.

This gives us an opportunity to reaffirm your enthusiasm for the role to the employer and helps to give you an advantage over the other candidates!

Often, we at Black Fox Solutions are in direct contact with the company and may already have received feedback regarding how the interview went that we can pass on.


As professionals in the recruitment industry, an integral part of our job is to ensure you, our client, are fully prepared for all aspects of a job application, including helping to compile your CV and applying for jobs on your behalf.

For further help in your pursuit of employment, contact Black Fox Solutions on 02890994111, or Follow The Fox on social media:

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Help or a Hindrance… Do You Think The five Year Plan Really Works?

“So, tell me, where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” I’m sure many of you have heard this question before, at family gatherings, out for dinner with friends and most commonly while in an interview. The answer to this usually entails parts of life such as climbing up the career ladder, getting married and having a family. While all these things are important, have you ever sat down and properly thought about where you would like to be in five years, including all the achievements and experiences in between?

Most believe there are benefits to creating a structured five-year plan, while others argue that it adds stress and pressure to their already busy lifestyle. This article explores the benefits and drawbacks of developing your own personal plan and will make you consider whether one would be useful for you.

One of the main advantages to having a five-year plan is that it helps you find out your purpose by asking yourself ‘why do you have the objectives you do?’ It’s important that you look at each of your aims and goals and make sure your goals are relevant to your true intentions. For example, your aim may be to become rich but the reason for wanting to become rich may be to go on more holidays, so your true goal is to travel.

It enables you to refine your goals by figuring out your objectives and exactly why you want them. This is where the SMART measurement comes in useful, this method encourages you to make objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. With the Career Development Centre in University of Waterloo states that a plan of action will provide the necessary inspiration needed to achieve your future objectives.

Implementing a 5-year plan will also help motivate you to take action in achieving your goals. Breaking down each part of the plan into a quarterly or yearly basis will help you stay on track and work towards turning each goal into a reality. It will also help you to get advice from different industry experts on how to achieve your goals, you can ask for advice on certain parts of the plan, how to achieve them, if there is anything to add and so on.

One of the main disadvantages to creating a plan is no follow through, this means the time and effort that has gone into it has been a waste of time. Or even worse, there could be a follow through, but the reality, facts and assumptions of the plan have been too unrealistic for it to work. This can be demotivating as some people become too consumed with making the plan work.

Others argue that five years is too long of a time period, with the New York Time’s Virginia Heffernan revealed that around 65% of today’s grade school students grow up to work in jobs that didn’t exist during their childhood. So, if the working world can develop and grow in short periods of time, how is a person meant to stick to their original five-year plan without changing their mind or developing themselves. Therefore, every year you should review the plan and make any changes.

The five-year plan method definitely has a mix of lovers and haters, but after weighing up the pros and cons, what’s your thoughts? Do you think it will help boost your motivation into making your dreams a reality or does it become more of a hindrance than a help?

Perception or deception… Which category of millennial do you fall into?

Today’s millennials fall into two categories. For some it’s important to be perceived online as successful regardless if it’s true or not, and then there are others who are hungry for success whether they are perceived to be or not.

Do we finish early on Fridays? Can we bring our pets to work? Do we get free breakfast? These are common questions asked by the millennials eager to showcase online. They are digital natives, hence their need to post online, but has this ability give the perception of a fantastic life outweighed the reality of having to work hard to achieve it?

Many want a ‘cool’ job as it raises their online status while enabling them to buy items to show off in their latest post. They want to travel, shop and socialise more than working their way up the career ladder. Even though we all know the online world isn’t always as it seems, these types of millennials are swept away by the need to buy and travel to have an exciting online profile.

Many believe they should have early finishes and plenty of holiday days to help them maintain a social image, all the while still expecting to be given promotions and salary increases. The problem with this is that many millennials put too much focus on having more fun than working, equalling in an uneven work-life balance.

Many view work as an integral part of their life that’s helping them build the lifestyle, they want but are not willing to let the stresses of work negatively impact their social life, unlike other generations. Instead they get more stressed about making sure strangers believe they have a great life, instead of having one.

Then there are those who don’t care about the benefits highly, the number of holidays or the option of flexitime won’t be what makes them accept they job. They will say yes to a job offer because of an established company or career progression opportunities.

Even though they are dubbed the ‘entitled’ generation, there are those who have a greater grasp on reality and realise the importance of working your way up the career ladder to experience the life they want, rather than just pretend they do.

It’s time that the millennials more focused on perception drop the focus of an alluring life and get back to reality. Pay your dues, work hard and you will get what you are after and it won’t just be on your Instagram images. At the end of the day, while you’re choosing what filter to choose, there are those out there choosing what email to send and it’s those millennials who will end up with the better online profiles and it won’t just be perception.


Look After Your Employee’s Mental Health at Work

No matter what industry, what role or what level on the hierarchy an employee is on, they may be silently suffering from mental health problems. While many focus on the importance of maintaining physical health, mental health is just as vital to be aware of.

After all, as revealed it does affects one in six of us in the workplace, so the question you must ask yourself is, are you doing enough to support your employee’s mental health?

2019 has seen a rise in people speaking out about their struggles with mental health with influencers, celebrities and charities such as backing the ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ campaign and stating that it’s time to take about mental health more frequently, which covers many issues including stress, depression and anxiety.

It has been highlighted that these are the most common problems for workers in a workplace, with a survey from revealing that 21% agreed they had called sick into work due to stress and the option of resigning crossed the mind of 42% of workers when stress got too much.

Josh Krichefski, from Campaign often highlights the importance of breaking the stigma of mental health, especially at work. He says that “most workers present an image of themselves in the workplace” and that the extrovert ones are assumed to be able to brush stress off easily, but this isn’t always the case. There needs to be more office support, with Josh revealing only 36% of UK businesses currently doing so.

However, there are measures you can take to prevent these issues from becoming prevalent in your company and keep your team fighting fit.

Recent developments from The Economics Foundation has shown that simple steps such as talking to someone instead of emailing, asking them how they are and properly listening and speaking to someone new can really help improve wellbeing in the workplace.

Having an open-door policy in your workplace will help employee’s feel more comfortable to speak about issues they may be having. However, you can’t expect openness if you don’t emphasise the importance of it. Mention occasionally during meetings that if anyone is feeling over-stressed or anxious, that you would rather they come to you instead of keeping it in. Staff who feel supported are less likely to take time off, resulting in a more productive workforce.

Ensure your company culture is positive, as fostering this environment will help more staff with work. A happy workforce equals a motivated workforce.

Incorporate a mental health section into your company policy, you should also offer your team counselling and training sessions focused on awareness of mental health. Encourage staff to be productive during the day, make sure their workloads are realistic and keep check over those who seem to be acting differently.