Archive for March 2018



How to Succeed in a Telephone Interview

Blog Photo - Candidate Advice

A telephone interview is often the first stage after you submit your application. This may be with a recruitment agency (such as Ambitions Personnel) or your new potential line-manager. Generally this is quite informal, the idea is to go through your CV and give you a chance to talk about your experience and interests.


Treat the telephone interview how you would a face-to-face interview. Have a copy of your CV, the job description and a pen and paper ready. An interview is not a memory test, so have as much as you need in front of you. Perhaps make some short notes of the most important things you want to say, to guide you throughout the interview.

Find a quiet place where you know you won’t be disturbed and have a glass of water ready. It’s important for you to be as professional as possible, without worrying about your surroundings.

Short Introduction

One thing you can do, which is transferable across interview formats, is preparing a short introduction. Often the first question is ‘tell me about yourself?’ all you need to do is prepare 3 to 4 sentences about your current position. This can be your present job responsibilities, educational history and previous experience all in one paragraph. Don’t worry about putting too much detail in there, you have a whole interview to do that.

Competency Questions

This is a technique used by lots of recruiters when there are lots of candidates who have similar technical qualifications. A common use is on graduate schemes, but the method is widely used. These questions usually start with a “tell me about a time…” or “give an example…” The key here is to answer in the STAR format.

Situation – Where were you when this happened?

Task – What were you required to do?

Action – How did you achieve what you needed to?

Result – Summarise the end result

By using this guide you will sound professional and concise, giving the interviewer everything that they need in the answer.

Things to Avoid

Avoid saying too much and ‘waffling’, both you and the interviewer will find this unnecessary. Any gaps in the call are perfectly normal, both of you may be writing something down. The other important thing is to keep the conversation professional. Many people make the mistake of being too conversational, as if they are speaking to a friend. Keep in your mind that it is still a formal situation and that you need to stay professional.

If you do have a telephone interview soon then we wish you the best of luck, let us know how you get on!

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Register on-site at Knowhow

Blog posr - KnowhowIt’s now easier than ever to work with us at Knowhow as we’re now offering registration on-site at Newark. Previously, all the registration was completed in the town centre branch, we’ve now added the facility for this to be completed straight on-site. Additionally, you can register for these roles online by following this link

These changes make it much easier to start, and we look forward to welcoming more and more people to the site.

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Temp of the Month – March 2018

Temp of the month - March Photo

Congratulations to our March ‘Temp of the Month’ Alice Pearce. Alice is a great addition to our temporary team, she is hardworking, reliable and always willing to go the extra mile at work.

As a prize, she received a £25 Intu Shopping Centre voucher. Congratulations Alice!

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Top 5 Time Management Tips

Blog Photo - Candidate Advice

Do you ever find yourself thinking that there just isn’t enough time in the day, wishing you could magic up an extra hour? Well now you can! Our list of top tips can help you create that extra time in the day (without the use of a wand).

To-Do Lists / Prioritise

This is the easiest and best thing you can do to try and make your day more efficient. Just make it part of your routine at the end of the day; by writing down the most important things for the following day. Getting into this habit should help your days flow, and you’ll ensure that the most pressing things on your mind are completed.

Timing your tasks

Another easy thing you can do to help is timing your tasks. Simply finding out the time you spend doing your daily tasks can show you where you are losing out during the day. It might seem excessive at the start, but an honest assessment of your working day is incredibly useful. You will be able to restrict yourself to better time limits and mini-deadlines throughout the day, until your new schedule becomes routine.

Block out Distractions

One of the main reasons for reduced productivity in the office is a lot of distractions whilst you are at your desk. Unfortunately some of these, such as calls, are difficult to postpone and are a natural part of the working day. However other examples, such as personal social media, can be more easily managed. Taking steps such as removing the sites from your taskbar, deleting saved login details and keeping your personal phone out of eyesight. You’ll find that the restricted access greatly improves your focus, as well as giving you more time to complete tasks.

Put Good Systems in Place

Having well organised computer filing and emails can help you save time throughout the day. Spend a bit of time setting these up, and ensuring they are logical. It will remove one bottleneck from your working day. There is no need to spend hours on this, a few minutes can make a huge difference, making your working environment much cleaner and more efficient.


One of the most important things to do if you are struggling for time is to get some help from your colleagues. The people you work with are there to help. If you are a sole trader and do a lot of your work independently, there are many outsourcing options you can explore.


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Newark Job Fair 2018

Sweet Cart Newark


Our team in Newark is at the annual Job Fair in the new District Council Offices today. They have loads of vacancies available to suit a range of people. So if you’re looking for work, or would like to talk about your career, come and meet the team! They’re more than happy to answer any questions you have over a bag of pick & mix.

The event is free for everyone and runs from 12:30 – 17:00. We’ll be there all day to answer any questions. If you would like any extra information about the event it’s all on this link

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National Minimum Wage Increase – April 2018

Blog Photo - Chalkboard



In the latest of our blogs, we want to give you an update on the changes to the national minimum wage, and a breakdown of this at every age range.

The hourly rate of minimum pay you receive depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice.

The government has announced that the following new rates of National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage will take effect from April 2018.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2017 (current) £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50
April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70


The National Minimum Wage increases now take place every April (previously October), in line with National Living Wage since its inception in April 2016.

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum apprentice rate if they’re aged under 19, aged over 19 but in their first year of their apprenticeship.

If you think that you are not being paid the correct amount, this link has all the information and contact details to resolve your situation.


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Temp of the Month – February 2018

Temp of the Month - Feb Photo 2

Congratulations to February’s ‘Temp of the Month’ Andrejus Zemajtis from Peterborough. Andrejus has been commended for his impeccable attendance record and his excellent work in his role as coordinator when on site.

As a thank you, Andrejus received a gift card for the local Queensgate shopping centre, well done from all of us!

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How to Become a Morning Person

Blog Photo - Funny or Light Hearted

Ideally we’d all be morning people, and everyone would rise with no effort at 6am ready to face whatever the day has in store. The reality is somewhat different, with hectic routines many of us try to avoid by using the sanctuary of our duvet and the snooze button. However, with these simple steps, you can get up refreshed and energised, giving that button a break.

Sleep More

It’s the last thing that we want to hear, so we’ve put it first. None of us are perfect and it can be really difficult to get an uninterrupted eight hours at night. Make it a manageable goal, and gradually go to bed earlier each night, to prevent a massive shock to your routine. It may take a few weeks, but you will naturally fall into this new pattern. You should find yourself more energised and more productive during the day.

Move Your Alarm Clock

Something that seems so innocuous, but can really make a massive difference is moving your alarm clock. The key to this of course is to move your alarm, be it a clock or your phone, out of reach from your bed. The act of forcing yourself out of bed and moving will wake you up automatically. You can go for a gentler sound, or something more gradual to make this less surprising, we certainly don’t want you walking into anything!

Blue Light Ban

Any artificial light (TV, Phone, Laptop etc.) before bed is proven to lead to poorer quality sleep. Try and give yourself at least 30 minutes away from screens before you go to bed. Many smart phones now have a “night mode” feature that you can enable. This helps to make the light more natural, in case you need to check something late at night. To avoid this, try reading a book, or anything else relaxing to help rest your mind and your eyes.

Reduce Naps

Overcome the urge to take naps during the day. If you do feel the need, try to take them before 3pm, then they won’t interfere with your sleep schedule. Your naps should also be around 10-30 minutes long, in order to avoid sleep inertia. This is where you are in a deep sleep and are suddenly awoken, making you feel groggy and confused. Oversleeping can make you more tired, and leaves you lethargic and lacking energy. It is comparable to being in a constant state of slight jet lag, due to never being in sync during the day.

Think Positive

And finally, thinking positively can make you look forward to the morning. Lots of people associate the mornings very negatively, and think of all the stressful aspects of their day. Instead, think of all the rewarding and upbeat things you will do in the day. This will change your perspective in the mornings, making it much easier to wake up.

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