Career advice

Inside…Reynolds & Slater Opticians

Optometrist director Sophie Slater on a well-crafted CV, preparing questions about the role and knowing your weaknesses


How can prospective employees apply for a position at Reynolds & Slater Opticians?

For professional staff, we advertise on social media – that’s via our Facebook and Instagram accounts. However, we are always keen to meet with like-minded, enthusiastic individuals and hold in high acclaim anyone who approaches us asking about employment despite not advertising a position. We want applicants who choose us because of us, not because they are blanket applying for jobs.

What is the internal process after an application is made?

I read through all applications and short list with Marcus Slater, who is the co-owner of the practice and an optometrist. The list is then passed to the practice manager and we discuss those we agree to invite to interview.

Unfortunately, poor CVs stand out much more than good CVs


What is the interview process?

All candidates are interviewed separately. For non-registered roles, the practice manager conducts all the interviews. We join for a short time, essentially to meet the candidate. We call candidates back for second interviews on a case by case basis. These are again held by the manager. Answers to specific questions are noted down for us to see and we – the manager, Marcus and I – discuss each candidate after their interview. These interviews usually last 20–30 minutes.

For all registered staff, Marcus and I both interview the candidates. We take an informal approach; we want the candidate to be relaxed and as natural as possible. Interviews last one to two hours.

What makes a CV standout?

Unfortunately, poor CVs stand out much more than good ones. Examples of poor CVs are those that include multiple grammatical errors, spelling errors and poor formatting. Good CVs are to the point and include interesting information about the individual including hobbies, likes and dislikes.

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

The cover letter is an opportunity for us to understand why a candidate is applying for the role and how much they really want to work with us. We want to see enthusiasm and personality.

We are always keen to meet with like-minded, enthusiastic individuals


How should a candidate best prepare for an interview?

Know the company, read the entire website and look at the social media accounts. Be aware of the job description and the working hours. And think of a few questions to remember to ask.

What three interview tips would you give a candidate?

  • Be fully aware of the job description
  • Be yourself
  • Admit if you don’t understand a question or know the answer.

What are your interview ‘pet peeves’?

Short, ‘yes/no’ answers to questions are really frustrating to hear. A real pet peeve is not admitting your weaknesses, when asked. It is an important quality to be able to recognise your weaknesses – we all have them.

Sum up your ideal candidate in three words…

Enthusiastic, hardworking and personable.

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