As Arco is a specialist recruitment consultancy, we have a great understanding of the market place and therefore can offer free confidential advice and guidance to our candidates as they decide on which path to take in their careers.

We also have access to the most attractive live vacancies within the building and heating supplies sectors so therefore hope that we can not only provide our candidates with a selection of exciting job opportunities but also keep them working in their chosen industries.

If you would like to have a free consultation and discuss how Arco can help you find the next step in your career, then please call us today in confidence on 020 8397 3290.

Interview Tips

Some of the best candidates fail at interview stage because they do not prepare and don’t know what to expect. The better prepared that you are the more confident you will be.

  • Ensure that you have researched the company that you are being interviewed at well. Try getting hold of any literature, look at their website etc. If the opportunity arises you will be able to demonstrate interest in the company.
  • Dress to impress! Always go for smart and professional rather than trendy.
  • Plan your route and allow plenty of time to get to the interview.
  • Be aware of your body language. Crossed arms for example indicate hostility or a barrier. Adopt good posture and make sure that you smile.
  • You must be able to back up and expand on your CV information rather than simply repeating what is written, a good interviewer will probe these points.
  • Transferable skills are the most important factors to highlight.
  • Communicate as positively as possible and try not to use weak answers, for example “I can” instead of “I think I can”.
  • Be confident and outgoing but don’t constantly interrupt the interviewer.
  • Do not answer in single syllables i.e. yes and no but at the same time keep to the line of questioning don’t ramble and go off at a tangent.
  • If you don’t understand a question, ask, don’t guess.
  • Always prepare some questions to ask at interview in advance. Some examples are shown below.
  • At the end of the interview always thank them for their time and remember to keep smiling.

Typical Interview Question Examples

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would your current manager describe you?
  • What motivates you?
  • Why are you leaving your current role?
  • What skills and expertise do you have for this job?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Give an example of how you handled a certain situation ie complaint, busy period, handled customer service etc in your current role.

Typical suggested questions to ask

  • What are the opportunities for career progression?
  • What training opportunities do you have?
  • How has this position been created?
  • What can you tell me about the team and people that I will be working with?
  • How long will it take to make a final decision and / or what is the recruitment process?

Well done for getting this far and good luck with your interview, remember if you are not successful try and make sure that you understand why, so that you can possibly address this next time.

Don’t give up, consider it valuable interview experience.

CV Writing

Think of your CV as your shop window, often the presentation will encourage or possibly even discourage people from coming into your shop so it has to be attractive, clear, interesting. This is your first point of sale contact ] make sure it has impact and is inviting.

There are no hard and fast rules, CV writing is not set in stone. Follow these simple tips to appeal to a majority audience.

  • Use a simple, common, widely recognised typeface such as Arial or Times New Roman for example. Artistic or gimmicky fonts are not always professional and may put people off.
  • Use sub headings to highlight different categories i.e. employment history, education etc. This helps employers go immediately to the information that they are most interested in.
  • Introduce yourself at the start, brief personal details such as name and contact information.
  • Follow your personal information with a brief profile, ideally no more than 3 or 4 sentences giving a snapshot view of your skills, experience and personality. Employers can immediately get an overall immediate impression.
  • Education comes next, don’t go back to when you were at primary school, employers are only interested in your senior education qualifications. Be sure to add any relevant training courses that you have attended.
  • Employment history should then follow starting with your most recent job. List your duties and key responsibilities clearly in bullet point format, also main achievements and skills you have acquired, don’t ramble. This should include the name of the company, dates of employment and position held.
  • Make sure you cover any gaps in employment e.g. maternity breaks, traveling etc. If you don’t employers will be suspicious.
  • If possible keep your CV to 2 pages or a maximum of 3 but any more than this will be too much and probably won’t get read.
  • Always check and double check your CV. A spelling mistake may mean that you go straight on the no pile when shortlisting a number of candidates for interview.

Handing in your resignation, either verbally or in writing, is a clear statement by you to your employer that you’re going to leave your job. Threatening to leave, or saying you’re looking for another job, isn’t the same as formally resigning, but saying ‘I quit!’ in the heat of an argument with your employer may be taken as a proper resignation so be cautious in what you say. If you do resign in the heat of the moment but didn’t mean it, tell your employer quickly.
Before handing in your resignation, think carefully about why you’re doing it and whether it’s the right thing to do. If you’re leaving because of problems at work or a disagreement with your boss, could these problems be sorted out through your company’s standard grievance procedure? Think about how you’ll manage without your wages, and how easy it will be to find another job.

How To Resign From Your Job

You should make it clear to your employer that you’re formally resigning. You can give your resignation verbally, unless your contract of employment says otherwise. However, it’s always a good idea to put it in writing, saying how much notice you’re giving and what your last day will be. If you want to explain your reasons for resigning, putting it in writing will make it easier to organise your thoughts. Give your employer the right amount of notice. By law, you must give one week’s notice if you’ve worked for your employer for a month or more. Your contract may demand longer.

Remember that:

  • your resignation can’t be taken back, unless your contract allows it, or your employer agrees
  • you’ll get your final pay on your normal pay day unless your contract says differently – you don’t have the right to ask for it any earlier
  • as long as you’ve given notice in accordance with the terms of your contract, your employer must accept your resignation

Some Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Don’t get caught off-guard, so do prepare to resign by removing all personal items and files from your office and computer for those instances when your employer will ask you to leave as soon as you tender your resignation.
  • Do make the transition as easy and as smooth as possible. And do offer to help find and/or train your replacement. But don’t make promises you can’t – or won’t – keep.
  • Don’t make any statements or express any opinions that you may later regret. Remember that old adage: if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.
  • Do be sure and give proper notice to your current employer.
  • Don’t burn any bridges. Do leave on good terms with your co-workers and supervisors.
  • Do the exit interview with your current employer, if required. But don’t say anything negative about your supervisor or co-workers during the interviewer – no matter how tempted you are.
  • Don’t disappear during your last weeks on the job. Do stay a productive member of the team.
  • Do make sure you receive all your stored up compensation and benefits, including bonuses/commission and unused holiday time, etc.
  • Don’t consider a counter offer unless you are sure it’s a better deal for you; studies show a high percentage of workers still leave the employer within a year of accepting a counteroffer, some being forced out.
  • Do make a plan to keep in touch with key co-workers, friends, and mentors. Keep your network strong.
  • Don’t feel guilty about leaving. It may be hard to leave, but focus on the fact that you are leaving to accept a great career opportunity. Don’t brag about that great opportunity.
  • Do your best to wrap up all your major assignments. And do leave a detailed progress report for your supervisor and/or successor.
  • Do be prepared for some employers to overreact to your resignation; some employers immediately dismiss employees who resign.
  • Do write a professional resignation letter.
  • Don’t feel as though you need to tell your current employer any reason for leaving your job, but do be polite in thanking the employer for the opportunity to work there.
  • Do submit your letter of resignation to your immediate supervisor, with a copy to the human resources department.
Counter Offers

You’ve been offered a new position with a company that will allow career growth, new opportunity, and more rewards for the contributions that you make. After careful deliberation and a lot of soul searching, you have decided to accept the new position.

However, upon tendering your resignation, your employer asks you to stay. A meeting is held with you and your decision to leave is called into question. Emotional appeals are made to you to not break up the team. Proposals are made to make you reconsider your choice to leave. This process is known as a counter-offer.

This is very common in a competitive marketplace but it can come as a shock to find that your decision is not being willingly accepted. Why are they suddenly trying to make you feel guilty about leaving and making all sorts of promises to make you stay? Why don’t they just accept that you’ve decided to leave and wish you well? Why are they making it so difficult for you?

It is important to understand what a counter-offer is and what it means.

Counter-offers usually take the form of:

” You’re too valuable, and we need you.”
” You can’t desert the team/your friends. ”
” We were just about to promote/give you a raise, and it was confidential until now.”
” What did they offer, why are you leaving, and what do you need to stay?”
” The MD wants to meet with you before you make your final decision.”

Counter-offers usually involve:

  • Money or some other tangible benefits
  • Increased responsibilities/promises of future promotions
  • Changes in reporting structure (especially if an inter-personal conflict exists)
  • Promises for upcoming salary reviews
  • Emotional pressure to reconsider - guilt/anger tactics

These discussions induce confusion, buyer’s remorse and cause you to second-guess your initial decision. The fear of change can surface. You are about to leave a comfortable job, friends, location, etc. for an unknown opportunity where you have to prove yourself all over again. Fear of change can influence your decision to stay. No matter how good the new opportunity is - it can sometimes seem more comfortable to submit to the pressure put on you to stay. These are common human reactions and counter-offer proposals focus on these sensitive points to change your mind.

Of course, we all like to think we are irreplaceable, and it is pleasant to hear how valuable we are, but accepting a counter-offer or appeal to stay is ultimately not in your interests.


Why are they willing to raise your salary when you were not expecting a raise for some time? The reason is that when a resignation is tendered an employer can often obtain a quick fix by throwing money at the problem. Recruiters, employment advertising, training costs all affect a department’s budget. Why spend that kind of money when some well applied pressure might turn you around and solve the problem? It is much cheaper to keep you - even at a higher salary.

Employers do not like to be fired

Employer-managers are concerned that they may look bad, and this could affect their standing because they are judged by their superiors partly by their ability to retain staff. When a contributor quits, department morale may be affected. Further, your leaving might jeopardize an important project, cause a greater workload, or affect the holiday schedule. It’s never a good time for someone to quit, and it may prove very time consuming to replace you.

Some employers will actually tell you that your counter-offer is usually a stopgap measure because they couldn’t afford a defection at that point in time. The pressure of having to make a counter-offer can often affect the level of future trust between the hiring manager and the employee.

It’s nothing personal

While your employer may truly consider you an asset, and may genuinely care about you as a human being, you can be sure that your interests are secondary to your company’s interests. In other words, tempting offers and comments are attempts to manipulate you into doing something that is in your employer’s best interests, and not necessarily yours.

Where did the money or new responsibility come from?

Was it your next raise - just early? Will you be limited in salary growth in the future? Will you have to threaten to quit to get your next raise? If the department is so dependent on one person leaving, then the company has more fundamental operational problems and issues.

You’ll likely not be considered a loyal team player again

You’ve demonstrated your unhappiness, or your lack of team loyalty. Many employers will remember this at the next review period, and trust, once broken, is very difficult to re-establish.

Statistics show that the majority of those accepting counter-offers leave, or are terminated, within 6-18 months

Apart from a short-term solution and treatment, nothing really changes. The reasons why you started looking are still there. After the dust settles, the same problems very often reappear.

A counter-offer demonstrates disrespect for your decision and commitment to the new company

A decision to make a career move is a personal choice not to be taken lightly. When you submit your resignation, it should be after having weighed carefully the pros and cons of making the move. You’ve committed to the new company, which has made plans and preparations for you. They are counting on you to act responsibly. Don’t sell out, or back out. Stand by your word. Everyone will respect your integrity.

Look at the two opportunities, your old job and the new position

Which holds the most real potential? Probably the new one, or you’d not have accepted it in the first place. Remember why you chose to leave in the first place. When you are receiving emotional pressure to stay, it is easy to lose sight of the basis for your initial decision to leave.

Why aren’t they respecting your decision?

Your manager, to get to his/her position had to come from somewhere unless he/she was born, bred and raised in the company. In other words, people make career moves for their own reasons and not respecting your choice is the same as saying you have no right to choose to leave. When a manager says I don’t accept your resignation, what is being said is I don’t respect your right to freely choose where you go in your career.

Don’t I benefit by getting the immediate change I want now?

Ultimately, the decision to accept a counter-offer has one far-reaching consequence: it affects your personal integrity. Simply put, accepting a counter-offer is allowing your loyalty to be bought. Following through on your decision is being true to yourself and trusting yourself to make the right choices.

We’ve all been there at one point or another in our careers. Weathering the emotional pressure isn’t always easy. Keep the end goal in mind: positive new change and challenges. Don’t let anyone tell you directly or indirectly that you shouldn’t trust your own intuition and logic.

They are your dreams and aspirations.

Trust yourself.

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