Boss coming?

Clever Thinking

We’re often asked for our advice on the best way to prepare for a PR Executive or PR Account Executive interview.

Here are some questions that you’re likely to be asked and should have an idea of how to answer –

  • What do you know about our agency?
  • Why are you interested in a career in PR?
  • Where there any of our recent campaigns that were of particular interest to you and why?
  • Why would you be a good employee for us?
  • What can you bring to the role?
  • How would your friends / previous employers describe you?
  • Do you have strong grammar and spelling?
  • Have you ever written a press release?
  • Do you enjoy writing?
  • Would you be confident dealing with clients and talking to journalists on the phone?
  • What are your career ambitions?
  • Do you have any questions for us?

Clever Thinking

We work with a lot of Graduates at this time of year, placing them in Marketing, PR & Digital roles in this area.

A lot of them don’t really know what the options are and just ‘like the sound’ of a particular role. I find that some of them don’t really take the time to understand the roles they’re applying to and why they might be suitable or unsuitable.

There’s so much doom and gloom in the media about the lack of opportunities for Graduates, that a lot of them use a scatter-gun approach when it comes to job applications.

Unfortunately this means that they don’t come across well in any of their applications, as they haven’t tailored their CVs or cover letters to any of the roles. Their CV also gets over-exposed and becomes less interesting to potential employers as a result.

We find that the Graduates that we successfully place in to jobs are the ones with a clearer idea of what they’re looking for.  They have researched, talked things through with us, friends, teachers, family members etc and created strong applications as a result.

I do find as well that a number of Graduates are more focused on what companies can offer them – salaries, bonuses, benefits, holiday days etc, rather than what they have to offer a company.

They need to learn to see themselves as a commodity, i.e. What will their employer’s ROI be? How can they contribute to their employer’s success? Will they be a strong long-term investment?

Graduates also need to be taught the importance of Social Media in their job search. I would expect a Graduate coming to us to have an up-to-date and professional Linkedin page and a good understanding of Twitter and Facebook as business tools.

Unfortunately we see far too many open profiles, bad grammar, offensive language, inappropriate photographs etc when we’re researching candidates. We are constantly advising our candidates to have a personal Social Media audit.

It’s tough to find Graduate work, but with the right advice, anything is possible!

The Clever Consultancy is a recruitment agency in Godalming, Surrey specialising in PR, Marketing and Digital jobs. Give us a call on 01483 516460 or email

Clever Thinking

1. Recruitment is very time consuming

Outsourcing recruitment allows you to focus on your core business.  You can also spend more time on developing and retaining your existing staff.  Most people underestimate the time it takes to find the right candidate for a role, sometimes it can take up to six months or longer.  You need to work out how much your time is worth vs. recruitment agency fees.


2. Larger talent pool

We have access to a large pool of candidates who may not know about your company or have not considered working for you. We have also built up relationships with passive job seekers who may be a better fit with your organisation than those who happen to see your advert one day.


3. Social Media

We can use a variety of different methods to find your perfect employee and we tailor our approach to your needs.  We are well established members of Linkedin, have a large following on Twitter and Facebook and have an extensive candidate database.


4. Advertise in more places, for less money

We have advertising deals agreed with a variety of job boards, newspapers and specialist websites.  We have negotiated good rates which we can use on your behalf.


5. Experienced consultants

We have a great deal of experience interviewing and screening candidates.  We can act as the first stage of your interview process and provide you with pre-screened and appropriate candidates.  As specialist recruiters, we can better determine suitability and fit to your company, as we interact with these types of candidates every day.


6. No time-wasters

When our candidates come to meet you for interview, they will be fully briefed, fully prepared and, most of all, enthusiastic about the role you are offering!


7. No candidate, no fee

We don’t charge any money until we’ve successfully filled a position and even then we offer a 10 week refund structure and replacement service (in the unlikely event) that your candidate should not work out.


8. Confidentiality

We can help you to maintain confidentiality so that you don’t give away your competitive edge.  By undertaking your own recruiting, you offer your competitors an insight into your company’s direction and success.  You can keep all this information fully confidential by using us.


9. HR / Recruitment Support & Advice

We can also offer support and advice on salaries, contracts, HR issues, market trends and availability.  We want to get to know your business and give advice if you need it.  We can also assist when negotiating salaries, benefits, bonuses etc and most people find it less stressful talking through job offers via a middle-man.


10. Don’t believe us?  Ask our clients!

Recruitment is our job and we have a lot of experience in it!  We also have a number of existing clients who will back up our claims and happily provide you with a testimonial on our services if required.  Testimonials –


The Clever Consultancy is a recruitment agency in Godalming, Surrey specialising in PR, Marketing and Digital jobs. Give us a call on 01483 516460 or email

Clever Thinking

Feedback is very useful for interviewees and recruiters alike and here are some points that may help you understand why you didn’t get the job…..

….And possibly help you to get the next one!!

So why didn’t you get the job?

I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 reasons why candidates are rejected after interviews.

  • Limited or no research in to the role and company
  • Personality fit
  • Not listening / talking over them
  • Can’t explain your interest in the role
  • Your CV doesn’t match what you say
  • You were up against some very strong competition
  • You view the role as a ‘step down’ / less pressured role
  • You didn’t say that you wanted the job
  • You didn’t follow up on the interview and someone else did

Limited or no research in to the role and company

Research in the company and the role is essential.  Would you employ someone who had no idea about your company or the opportunity you were offering?

It’s the very best way for you to show enthusiasm for the role on offer.  Go a little further in your research than just the basics too.  Google is your best friend here.  Look up their competitors, head on to their Linkedin company page, follow them on Twitter.  Do whatever you can to find out more about your potential employer.  This will not only show your enthusiasm, but also your research skills.

Personality fit

This is obviously a tricky one to combat!  Sometimes you just have to trust that the interviewer knows what kind of person is going to fit in their company and put the interview down to experience.

Not listening / talking over them

This one should be self-explanatory, but unfortunately it’s a common complaint from employers.  It may well be nerves making you talk quickly / babble but try and take a deep breath and slow things down.  The interviewer will have plenty of information they’d like to tell you about the company and if you don’t show that you’re listening, how can they ever think you’re interested in the role?  You’ve fallen at the first hurdle!

Can’t explain your interest in the role

It’s rather easy in the internet era to hit “apply” and submit your credentials, but far too often, candidates can’t explain why they’re keen on a certain role or relate their own experience to the requirements of the role.  Prepare some examples of why your previous experience is suited to the position; explain where you want to be a few years’ time and how this role fits in.

Your CV doesn’t match what you say

Check your facts!  There’s nothing worse than being caught out in an interview.  Even if you’ve made a completely innocent mistake with dates / job titles etc, it will look bad.

You were up against some very strong competition

Again, there’s really not a lot you can do about this one.  The interviewer may well have set out to find someone with particular experience or even from a particular competitor.  Be the best that you can be and if that’s not quite enough, then it wasn’t the role for you!

You view the role as a ‘step down’ / less pressured role

Whilst you may feel that you are happy to take a pay cut or a position with less responsibility, an employer won’t always see that as a good thing. They will be looking for someone who is driven and who can bring something new to their company and may feel you will just do what’s asked of you and nothing more.

You didn’t say that you wanted the job

You may think that this is a given as you applied for the role and attended the interview. It isn’t. If you are genuinely keen on the job and the company then tell your interviewer. Every employer likes to hear positive feedback and it may well help you stand out from the crowd.

You didn’t follow up on the interview and someone else did

This doesn’t mean having to send a sycophantic and desperate email. If possible, simply drop your interviewer a polite email thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in the opportunity. If you are going through a recruiter then ask them to pass this on. Also, chase the recruiter for feedback – although, not hourly!

I didn’t understand why you were applying for my job.

Too many candidates take a scattergun approach when applying for work and this can lead to confusion over what roles they have applied for and why. Make sure you only apply for jobs that are of genuine interest and that you believe you are qualified for. Have a solid, clear and detailed reason for applying.

We hope these points are helpful.

The Clever Consultancy is a recruitment agency in Godalming, Surrey specialising in PR, Marketing and Digital jobs. Give us a call on 01483 516460 or email

Who are The Clever Consultancy?

by The Clever Consultancy

The Clever Consultancy Ltd is a small agency based in Godalming, near Guildford in Surrey.

We specialise in the fields of PR, Digital and Marketing recruitment and work with a variety of agencies, SMEs and larger corporations.

We advertise mainly online and have bulk deals with many national and local sites.  We also have an extensive social network on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook.

We like to work collaboratively with you and will happily come to your offices to discuss your requirements.  We like to work as your recruitment partner. Don’t just throw us a job spec and hope for the best!

We want to get under your company’s skin, get a feel for your company personality, how you treat your staff, what you can offer them, what you want them to offer you.

Our clients range from start-ups to Global brand names.

We have a strong background in placing graduates, but we’re equally as comfortable finding you a Head of Digital.

We love what we do.  We write job specs, we tweet, we blog, we advise on career progression and people come back to us time and time again.

We offer a personal service and we’re very definitely not CV shifters! We’re not the cheapest on the market, but we do feel that we’re worth the money.

We’re based out of our offices in Godalming, Surrey and our clients stretch from the South Coast up to Hertfordshire.

If you’d like a testimonial or to chat to someone who knows us, just ask.

We’re confident they’ll say nice things about us!


The Clever Consultancy is a recruitment agency in Godalming, Surrey specialising in PR, Marketing and Digital jobs. Give us a call on 01483 516460 or email