The path to interview success | Claire Robinson


Any successful franchisor will tell you that one of the most important elements of their company growth is bringing on board franchisees who embrace the company culture and have the right traits to run a business.

It’s interesting to note that the franchise industry seems to be flourishing from within, with 29% of franchisees in the UK now running multiple units and a third of franchised outlets in the industry employing ten or more employees.

Attracting top talent is vital to any business’s success and most employers, regardless of their business model, want to ensure they make the right recruitment decision through a thorough interview process. Having spent years bringing on board franchisees to be part of our team and prior to that in the business world at large I’ve learnt a thing or two about how to present yourself and interview successfully.

Think about first impressions

When you think about going for an interview, remember that first impressions count. They say that seven seconds is all it takes for an interviewer to make their mind about someone, so make the most of that seven seconds! Stand up straight and greet your interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake.

Be prepared

As the girl guides say, ‘be prepared’. Before the internet, it was difficult to get information about a company before you went for interview, but now there’s no excuse. Do your research into the company, find out what their company ethos and mission statement is. Don’t just read the home page, go into detail and check out their social media accounts to make sure you’re fully informed. Make sure you’ve read the job description in detail so you’re not caught on the wrong foot when they ask you why you want the job.

Take your time

Think about the questions your interviewer is asking and take time to consider them before starting to answer. Waffling because you haven’t taken the time to compose the answer to the question means you’ll come across as unprepared and you’ll run the risk of getting off track and not answering the question at all.

Remember your body language

If you’re not fully present in the room, it comes across in your body language.

Slouching, fidgeting, not maintaining eye contact and playing with your hair or face, shows that you are distracted.

Instead, sit up straight, maintain eye contact and smile to show that you’re paying attention and are interested in what the interviewer is saying.

Show that you’re enthusiastic

No-one wants to work with someone who’s not positive or enthusiastic. You should aim to be a radiator, not a drain, and demonstrate that in the interview.

Your would-be employers – or franchisor in this case – wants someone who’s going to add and be a good fit with their existing team. By demonstrating that you’re enthusiastic you can develop rapport with the interviewer and show that you’ll be a positive addition to the company.

Consider what interview questions you’ll be asked

Quite often, the interviewer will ask questions about specific challenges you faced in your previous job or things that you were particularly proud of.

Before you go, have a think about the things you accomplished in your previous role or how you overcame difficult situations. It’s easy to forget these things when you’re nervous in a job interview, so ensure you’ve given it some thought before you get there.

Make the interview a two-way street

Don’t forget that while you’re there to impress them, you also need to make sure that they’re the right fit for you.

There’s no point in starting a job to find out a few weeks down the line that the role isn’t what you thought it was, or that your values don’t align with theirs.

Go in with detailed questions about the role and the company and don’t be afraid to ask them. Employers want someone who is engaged and interested and by going armed with your own questions you’re showing that you’re serious.

Claire RobinsonAbout the author

Claire Robinson is Managing Director of Extra Help which launched in 2010. Claire realised that there was a gap in the market in providing domestic help specifically to the elderly. Although Extra Help started by working exclusively with elderly and vulnerable clients, it soon expanded and now provides domestic and home-help services to working professionals, new parents and just about anyone who needs a helping hand. The early success of Extra Help proved that the business model worked and Claire realised that the business could work as a franchise. Extra Help now has franchised outlets across the UK.


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