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Career advice

Inside…Perfect Vision Opticians

Optometrist and company director, Bethan Roderick, on how preparation is key ahead of an interview

12 Nov 2018 by Emily McCormick

How can prospective employees apply for a position at Perfect Vision?  

They can apply by emailing their CV to hello@perfectvisionopticians.co.uk

What is the internal process after an application is made?

All CVs are read by me, an optometrist and the company director of Perfect Vision Opticians. Potential candidates are discussed with the practice manager before they are then invited for an interview.

We are a small, independent practice so any new employee has to fit in with the whole team. We all work closely together and support each other in our various roles, so I find input from other members of staff invaluable. All applications are responded to, whether we are inviting the candidate for an interview or not.

What is the interview process?

Once we have selected the candidates who we would like to meet, an interview will be arranged. Each candidate will be invited to a meeting with myself and the practice manager, which will last between half an hour and an hour. This is an opportunity for us both to get a feel for the candidate and decide if they are the right person for the job.

We like to keep the process fairly informal as, hopefully, this will allow the candidate to relax and give us more of an idea of their personality. Nerves affect everyone to some degree, so it’s nice if we can put candidates at ease and give them an opportunity to be themselves.

What makes a CV standout?

CVs should be well written, well laid out and easy to read. Any CVs with spelling mistakes are instantly discarded. Previous experience of working in an independent practice is always something that I look out for, but not having experience doesn’t mean I won’t consider a candidate for the role. I look for anything in a CV that reflects the candidate’s personality and attitude towards the profession. I also like candidates who have interests outside of their job and therefore always look at the hobbies and interests listed.

What are you looking for in a cover letter and why? 

I look for anything that indicates that the candidate understands what it means to work in independent practice and can demonstrate a genuine interest in this type of community optometry. It is useful for the candidate to include something about why they are applying for the role, or why they are thinking of making a change in their career.

“We like to keep the process fairly informal as, hopefully, this will allow the candidate to relax and give us more of an idea of their personality”

How should a candidate best prepare for an interview? 

There are a few questions that they should expect to be asked, including, ‘why would you like to work for our company?’ and ‘what do you think you could bring to this role?’. I also think that it is worth the candidate spending some time before the interview thinking of some well-rounded answers to these questions. I’m not looking for answers so rehearsed that they sound like they’re reading a script, but preparing answers to these types of questions will make the candidate seem more at ease. Having thought about answers beforehand means that I may get a more genuine answer than one they have to think up on the spot.

Candidates should make sure they arrive on time, are well rested, are dressed appropriately and are ready to engage.

What three interview tips would you give a candidate? 

  1. Be yourself
  2. Ask questions – this shows that you are interested in the job
  3. Be honest.

What are your interview ‘pet peeves’?

Cliched answers that I’ve heard many, many times before and are essentially meaningless.
  
Candidates who give one word or partial answers and who cannot make eye contact are also big ‘pet peeves’ of mine.

Sum up your ideal candidate in three words…

Confident, engaging, competent.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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