Optometrist and practice owner of Corsham Opticians, Cilla Hubbard, on what she looks for in potential colleagues and the importance of making eye contact and smiling during the interview
How can prospective employees apply for a position at Corsham Opticians?
The best way is to make direct contact by phone, email or dropping a CV with a covering letter into the practice. I would then contact any suitable candidates to arrange a convenient time for an informal chat.
What is the internal process after an application is made?
After reading applications, I reply to all potential applicants and shortlist those suitable for an interview. This is usually done by phone so that I can judge what their telephone manner is like.
What is the interview process?
My interview technique tends to be quite informal, although I do want to see that the candidate has made an effort. Dress code is important, so I would expect to see business dress. We are a small team at Corsham Opticians, so the individual would need to be able to mix well with both patients and staff alike. I look for great communicators with a commercial understanding as well.
What makes a CV standout?
A CV needs to be current and relevant, well-structured and without spelling mistakes. I look for a good work ethic and want to see a full working history; if there are gaps it should be clear as to why. References are very important and I do contact previous employers in due time. A full description of skills and experiences are good to see, but I also like to see what the individual has achieved outside of their career.
What are you looking for in a cover letter and why?
The covering letter is important to assess a person’s letter writing techniques. Handwriting must be legible and the style fluent. I would want to know why the individual wants to work at Corsham Opticians specifically.
How should a candidate best prepare for an interview?
Candidates should have looked at the website as a minimum to see what values the practice stands for. They can then tell me what they would bring to the practice to help it grow.
A CV needs to be current and relevant, well-structured and without spelling mistakes
What three interview tips would you give a candidate?
Find out about the practice to show an interest in the role. It’s important for someone to be able to conduct themselves in a stressful situation, so confidence and a positive attitude go a long way. One important feature is to look me in the eye and to smile.
What are your interview ‘pet peeves’?
It is frustrating when a candidate is clearly not that bothered and just gives the answers they think I want to hear.
Sum up your ideal candidate in three words…
Professional, enthusiastic, dedicated.
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