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Career advice

Inside…Timlins Opticians

Co-owner of Timlins Opticians, Ian Peaceful, discusses the importance of letting your personality shine through

09 May 2019 by Emily McCormick

How can prospective employees apply for a position at Timlins Opticians?

Drop in a CV or email it to us. We’ll check all candidates out whether we’ve got a specific vacancy or not.

What is the internal process after an application is made?

I’ll put together a shortlist of applicants and then, as a team, we’ll all talk through the CVs and come to a group decision on who to meet in person. After the interviews, we’ll again talk through our options as a group before I make a decision.

What is the interview process?

A member of staff who is in a similar role to the one being applied for will interview the candidate alongside myself. We’ll chat things through with the candidate to try to get to the bottom of who that person is and how they’ll fit within our team and our culture. Following the interview we’ll take a practice tour, making sure we stop for a couple of words with every member of the team. We need to know that the candidate is able to connect with people in an everyday situation and at this point we’re often able to get a much better feel for the person outside of the interview room.

“Care and attention to detail can make a real difference in a CV”

What makes a CV standout?

Beyond the usual list of personal accomplishments, care and attention to detail can make a real difference in a CV. Choosing a beautiful font that reinforces the personal brand that you’re trying to get across, perfect spacing and a clean, fresh layout can all go a long way in telling me who you are. I want to see a piece of paper that says you’re the kind of person who cares about the detail, knows how to present things well and takes the time to do things right.

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

To me, a good cover letter will get across your passions, experiences and emotions that don’t fit into a more formal CV. If your competitor’s CV lists better exam results and work experience than you, the cover letter is your opportunity to beat them at thoughtfulness.

Think about what’s relevant, decide on a key point or two that your cover letter is trying to say and then get on and say it. For instance, building rapport, finding something in common and listening are all key abilities for staff in people-facing industries. If you can begin to make me feel that you’ve got an great ability to do some of these personable things, you will elevate yourself beyond the usual staid CV.

You’ll find success in generating emotion, so it’s again important to ensure that the look and feel of your cover letter enhances the message and branding that you’re trying to put across.

How should a candidate best prepare for an interview?

You’ll need to know your audience so learn about the company, its culture and the role you’re applying for. Consider the company’s personality and think about how you can reflect that personality at the interview.

Think through some of the skills that’ll be involved in the job and plan responses by relating these skills to your previous experiences. Consider things that will resonate and go beyond experiences in previous employment. I love to hear about experiences in, say, a restaurant when you felt a server has built a connection and anticipated your needs, or in a store where you noticed stock displayed in an innovative, fun way. Let me know that both inside and outside of work, you recognise the skills we’re looking for and have a strong interest in enhancing our customer’s experience.

Preparedness, research and thoughtfulness are free. Understand the role, be interested, be inquisitive, notice the details and adjust your behaviour accordingly. 

“Preparedness, research and thoughtfulness are free. Understand the role, be interested, be inquisitive, notice the details and adjust your behaviour accordingly”

What three interview tips would you give a candidate?

Be engaged. Be positive. Smile. 

What are your interview ‘pet peeves’?

No preparation, little knowledge of the role or organisation and a lack of confidence. Don’t make me work hard to bring your personality out – make sure you shine, be confident and remember that everyone is just making it up as they go along.

Sum up your ideal candidate in three words

Enthusiastic, pro-active, happy.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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