Co-owner of Sherratt Opticians, Sarah Caddy, on getting your personality across in an interview and the importance of fitting into the team
How can prospective employees apply for a position at Sherratt Opticians?
We are happy to receive applications via email with a CV and covering letter. We would love enthusiastic, pro-active individuals to approach us to find out about opportunities within the practice, regardless of whether we are actively advertising at that time. Sending CVs via email is a very quick and easy process for both the recruiter and applicant, and gives us an initial sense of a candidate and their experience.
What is the internal process after an application is made?
All emails from potential employees will be read by me and my business partner. All successful applicants would then be invited to an interview at the practice. Any unsuccessful candidates would also be informed at this stage. If we receive an application from a candidate that we feel may work well with us, but we do not have a vacancy at that time, then their details are kept on file.
What is the interview process?
We prefer our interviews to be relaxed and informal so we can allow a candidate’s true personality to emerge. A CV may well stand out from all the others, but a candidate must also “fit in” to a family-type working environment. We are a single independent practice and it is vital that a new member of staff can work well within the existing team.
We prefer our interviews to be relaxed and informal so we can allow a candidate’s true personality to emerge
What makes a CV standout?
Presentation is important. A CV that’s had time taken over its creation shows an eye for detail and may indicate the character of a candidate. It can show that they are dedicated, tidy and careful, someone who wants to stand out from the rest. We look for the required qualifications appropriate to the role, but also for a candidate that shows a passion for what they do, both inside and outside the world of optics.
What are you looking for in a cover letter and why?
Written carefully, a covering letter or email can provide more useful background about a person over and above their CV. It can demonstrate why they have applied for the position, it can provide a little more personal information about them, and shed a bit more light on the person’s character as well. It’s a candidate’s first chance to make a good impression.
How should a candidate best prepare for an interview?
Do as much homework about us as you can. Have a look at our website, find out about the existing staff, the services we offer, think about how your experience will benefit us as a practice. Get ready to sell yourself.
Written carefully, a covering letter or email can provide more useful background about a person over and above their CV
What three interview tips would you give a candidate?
- Relax and be yourself – we are here to find out all about you and you about us
- Ask questions – we want an enthusiastic and interested individual who shows initiative
- Smile, make eye contact and have fun. Our business thrives on excellent communication and building trust and strong relationships with our patients. We need you to show us that you can be a valuable part of that process.
What are your interview ‘pet peeves’?
Lateness, dressing inappropriately and boring answers.
Sum up your ideal candidate in three words…
Dedicated, animated, engaging.
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