Telephone Interviews: What are They and How can you Ace Them?

In these crazy days of COVID-19 – that almost sounds nostalgic, but I can assure you that it’s not – the ongoing restrictions mean that more and more job interviews are taking place over the phone. While you might breathe a sigh of relief that you don’t have to attend an in-person interview, you must still take telephone interviews seriously if you’re to perform at your best. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at what telephone interviews are, what they typically involve and provide you with a few top tips to help you ace them. 

What is a telephone interview?

A telephone interview, very simply, is a job interview that takes place over the phone. Telephone interviews commonly take place in the early stages of the recruitment process to whittle down the candidates before invitations to in-person interviews are sent out. However, given the current travel restrictions and social distancing requirements, now telephone interviews are increasingly being used instead of face-to-face interviews before a hiring decision is made. 

How to handle a telephone interview

Although a telephone interview might be less nerve-wracking, you should still treat it just as seriously as a face-to-face interview. If anything, it’s more difficult to be memorable over the phone than in person, so you have to get it right. Here’s what you should do.

  • Give yourself time to prepare

Don’t schedule a telephone interview for the same day or even the next day if you can help it. Preparing for an interview takes time, so give yourself a couple of days to research the company and think about your answers to the questions you’re likely to be asked.

  • Treat it like a face-to-face interview

Don’t get out of bed five minutes before the interviewer is due to call. Give yourself time to get up, shower, have breakfast, drink a cup of tea or coffee and be ready to perform. Wearing something smart, rather than throwing on an old pair of joggers, will also help you get in the right frame of mind.

  • Turn the television off!

You should remove all distractions before the call so you can concentrate on the questions and think carefully about your answers. Turn the television off, make sure you’re as far away as possible from the kids and sit at a desk in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed.

  • Prepare a cheat sheet

One of the benefits of a telephone interview is that you can have a cheat sheet in front of you with answers to the questions you think you might be asked. You should resist the temptation to simply read the answers word for word, but you can use it to guide you.

  • Say it with a smile

According to research, people can tell when you’re smiling based on the sound of your voice. In fact, they can even identify the type of smile you have. Smiling during the interview, not maniacally if you can help it, will make you sound positive and upbeat, which is exactly what the interviewer will be looking for.

Find your next bilingual role at Linguistica Recruitment

Despite the current uncertainty, telephone interviews and remote working mean bilingual workers can still find rewarding and well-paid roles across the south coast of England. Take a look at our current vacancies and submit your CV today.  


Exit Interviews: What are They and How Should They be Handled?

If you’ve found a new job, then before you think about getting settled in your new position, there are still some I’s to dot and T’s to cross at your existing workplace. The first step is to officially hand in your resignation. Once you’ve done that, you may be asked to attend an exit interview. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at the exit interview, including what you can expect and how to behave.

What is an exit interview?

An exit interview is typically a face-to-face meeting with someone from the human resources department of your organisation that’s conducted just before you leave your job. It can also take place via video call or over the phone after you have left the company. It gives you the rare opportunity to tell your employer exactly what you think about your role, from the pay and your team to your boss and the overall culture of the company.

From the employer’s point of view, it allows them to gain honest feedback from workers who no longer have anything to gain by ‘towing the line’ and keeping quiet about issues within the company. As an employee, it allows you to air your frustrations and have your views heard, whether they’re positive or negative. It also gives you the chance to reflect on your experience, think about what you’ve learned and rethink your workplace expectations for future roles.

How should you approach an exit interview?

If you’re leaving because you aren’t happy in your current role, you might be tempted to see the exit interview as an opportunity to let off steam and tell the interviewer exactly what you think of managers and colleagues. However, if you plan to criticise the company, you should be honest, constructive and avoid talking in an emotional and negative way. You’re still likely to need a reference and even future work recommendations and professional connections, so it’s wise not to burn your bridges.

Here are a few tips to help you conduct yourself professionally.

  • Vent before the interview

If you have a lot to get off your chest, the best time to do it is before the interview with a friend, family member or trusted colleague. Unloading now rather than in the interview will allow you to release your emotion and frustration so you don’t boil over during the interview and say something you might regret. You can then approach the interview more constructively.

  • Be honest, not bitter

You might be leaving the company, but you are still performing a professional duty for your employer, so make sure you behave appropriately. Resentment, anger or being overtly negative will make you appear bitter, and your feedback is less likely to be taken seriously. Remember, this is not a therapy session.

  • Be specific and give examples

It will add credibility and weight to your responses if you give specific examples of the behaviours you’re describing. This will provide more value to the organisation and show the insight that you can bring, which is more likely to lead to a glowing reference and even a job offer in the future.

  • Give positive feedback, too

No workplace is all bad or absolutely perfect; they’re always somewhere in the middle. You should reflect that by balancing your negative comments and complaints with examples of what you think the organisation does well. That will make what you have to say seem more accurate and fair.

Find your new role at Linguistica Recruitment

Are you ready to move on from your current employer? At Linguistica Recruitment, we place talented bilingual professionals in rewarding roles across the south coast of England. Take a look at our current vacancies or submit your CV to our team. 

Interpersonal Skills: What Are They and How Can You Improve Them?

Having ‘good interpersonal skills’ is a near-ubiquitous requirement you’ll see on person specifications for all sorts of roles, but what exactly does it mean? In this article, we will take a look at what interpersonal skills are and the steps you can take to make improvements in this all-important area.

What are interpersonal skills? 

Interpersonal skills, also commonly known as people skills or soft skills, are the traits and behaviours you exhibit when interacting with other people. This umbrella term covers a wide range of skills and attributes, from the ability to lead others and work effectively as part of a team, to being a good communicator, listening attentively and having a positive outlook.

When employers want to fill a role, there will always be some balance between the technical and interpersonal skills they are looking for. For roles such as data analysts, software developers, statisticians and other jobs where the individual will spend a lot of time working independently, an individual’s technical skills will usually carry more weight. 

In other occupations such as sales roles, public relations and customer service positions, interpersonal skills will usually be more important than technical skills, but there’ll almost always be some requirement for both.   

Examples of good interpersonal skills

If you come across a job advertisement that asks for someone with good interpersonal skills, the person specification will usually expand on this and provide more detail about exactly what the employer is looking for. For example:

  • A positive attitude 

Negativity in the workplace affects engagement, productivity and the morale of the workforce, which is why a positive outlook is one of the most sought-after interpersonal skills among UK employers. Employers want new hires that have a can-do attitude, are engaged and will make the office a brighter place.

  • A good communicator

Being able to communicate clearly, verbally and in writing is an important requirement for many roles. At the very least, you should be able to make yourself understood. However, certain roles will require a far higher level of communication skills, with friendliness, confidence and the ability to adapt your communication style to your audience all important attributes.

  • Leadership skills

Leadership tends to be a skill we associate with managerial positions, and while it is essential for those who are directly responsible for others, it can also be valuable for those who work as part of a team. Being able to take the lead on a project could be a skill that gets you earmarked for promotion.

  • A good team worker

To be a good team worker, you don’t have to be the most popular person in the workplace, but you do have to be able to collaborate with colleagues and clients effectively. Good team workers are those who are good listeners, take responsibility, communicate effectively and value other people’s opinions.

Brush up on your interpersonal skills

Some people are very reluctant to change, but just as your technical skills can be improved, so can your interpersonal skills. If you feel like your interpersonal skills are holding you back, you should identify areas of weakness and work on improving them. 

Self-analysis is never easy, so asking friends, family members and colleagues for the areas they think you could improve on can be eye-opening. There are also interpersonal skills tests you can take online that will help you identify the skills that you can develop. 

Once you’ve identified the areas that are letting you down, there are online and offline courses you can take to improve your interpersonal skills. Alternatively, you can consciously put yourself in situations where the skills you want to improve will be required. For example, volunteer to lead projects or work as part of a team whenever the opportunity arises. 

Apply for bilingual roles across the UK

At Linguistica Translation and Recruitment, we can help you find bilingual roles across the south coast of England, from linguistic roles to customer service positions with interpersonal skills at their core. Apply online or submit your CV today.  



How to Write a Perfect Personal Statement for Your CV

When a recruiter is flicking through what will typically be a monumental pile of CVs, the first thing they will see at the very top of the document is your personal statement. A personal statement is a three- or four-line summary of what makes you the perfect fit for the role, and if you want to grab the recruiter’s attention, it’s essential you get it right.

What should you include in your personal statement?

A personal statement should explain:

  • Who you are
  • What makes you suitable for the role
  • What value you can add to the business
  • Your career goals

Achieving all that in less than 100 words is not easy, so you must take the time to write and rewrite your personal statement if necessary in order to include all the relevant information in a cohesive and readable way. Studies have shown that recruiters can spend as little as six seconds reviewing your CV before putting it in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile, so crafting a compelling and persuasive personal statement is crucial.

How do you write the perfect personal statement?

There’s no one else with your exact mix of professional skills, experience and personal characteristics, so you must write a personal statement that’s unique. Here are a few tips to follow:

1. Keep it brief and get the tone right

Concision is an important skill and one you must exercise when writing your personal statement. It should be between 50 and 150 words, although nearer to 100 is just about right. It should be written in the same font and point size as the rest of your CV for consistency. It can be written in either the first (‘I am a project manager’) or third person (‘project manager looking for’), but whichever voice you choose, keep it consistent throughout your statement.

2. Talk in facts, not clichés

Terms such as ‘passionate’, ‘hard worker’ and ‘experienced’ are empty words that recruiters see thousands of times a day. Instead of reverting to these jobseeking clichés, demonstrate your suitability for the role with facts, such as professional qualifications and industry credentials. For example, ‘I am a PMP certified project manager with five years of experience working in the financial technology sector’.

3. Don’t make outlandish claims

This is not The Apprentice, so your assertions that ‘as a salesperson, I would rate myself as the best in Europe’ or ‘business is the new rock ‘n’ roll and I’m Elvis Presley’ will fall on deaf ears and give your CV a guaranteed spot in the ‘NO’ pile. Instead, be honest and use genuine statistics from your previous roles to do the talking for you; for example, ‘I introduced a new lead generation strategy that led to a 20 percent increase in sales’.

Put your personal statement into practice

Looking for a well-paid and rewarding language job in the south of England? Now you have a personal statement you can be proud of, take a look at our leading range of language job vacancies and submit your CV today.

How to Return to Work After an Extended Break

With no sign of the COVID pandemic coming to an end, millions of employees continue to be furloughed under the government’s job retention scheme and kept away from work. Although the furlough scheme will end on 31 October, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new job support scheme in its place, which will extend the period that some employees have been away from the workplace to more than six months.

Returning to work after such a long absence can be daunting. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the steps that furloughed workers and career breakers can take to smooth their path back to the workplace.

1. Stay in touch with colleagues and superiors

Such a long spell away from work can create a sense of isolation and anxiety about your return. Checking in with colleagues and your employer at least once a month is a simple way to feel more confident when you go back to work. They can update you on new processes, new faces and any other news you might have missed, as well as giving you more information about what your return to work might look like in the new normal.

2. Consider a phased return

Rather than going straight back into a full-time role, you could potentially use annual leave to shorten your first couple of weeks or even ask your employer if they’d consider a phased return. At the very worst, try to make sure your first day back falls in the middle of the week, then at least some weekend respite isn’t too far away.

3. Trial your new routine

What exactly is your return to work going to look like? If you’re going to have to commute to a temporary office or new location, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the route and locating your workplace before your start date. If you’re going to be working from home, make sure you can access the relevant documents and files and you have installed any new software so you’re all ready to go.

4. Ask for help if you need it

Returning to work after a prolonged period away can be a stressful experience. That’s why, if you need help, make sure you speak up. You may want some training on a new piece of software or be unsure how to access the relevant documents you need from home. Whatever the issue, remove the obstacles early on so you can return to work with confidence and feel comfortable in your role.

Don’t want to return to your old role?

Are you dreading returning to your job? At Linguistica Recruitment, we help bilingual candidates secure well-paid and rewarding positions across the south coast. Take a look at our current vacancies, submit your CV or call 02392 987 765 to discuss your requirements with our team.

No Experience? Here’s How to Get a Job When You’re Just Starting Out

Are you struggling to get a job with no experience? Then take some solace from the fact that you’re certainly not alone. Most people find it difficult to get their first break at the start of their careers, and it’s hardly surprising given that you can’t get hired without experience, and you can’t get experience without being hired. So, how do you overcome this Catch-22 situation and get your first break in a career you’re interested in? Here’s our experience-busting guide.

1. Target entry-level roles

If you’re just starting out in a competitive field where relevant experience is essential, you have to face facts – the only position you’re likely to get is at the very bottom of the ladder. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to walk into an entry-level role. The competition will still be fierce and there’ll be applicants with relevant experience who have completed internships in similar positions.

To bypass the competition for those in-demand roles, it’s worth sending out speculative applications to employers that you’d like to work for, rather than waiting around for positions to be advertised.

2. Emphasise the skills and experience you do have

You may not have professional experience in the role you’re applying for, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have skills, character traits and other experience that makes you a great fit for the role.

Soft skills that you may have gained in other positions or while studying, such as team working, attention to detail and communication, are transferable and are highly valued by a diverse range of employers. And while you may not have experience of performing a specific task before, you may have done something similar that you can draw comparisons with to strengthen your application.

3. Build your experience

Not everyone has a personal connection who can get them through the door. Instead, in highly competitive sectors, you might have to consider working for free to build up your experience. Volunteering, work placements and internships (paid and unpaid) are all effective ways of building the experience and professional contacts that could lead to a paid position.

In small and medium-sized businesses, it’s often the case that work experience opportunities and internships may not be advertised, so again, it’s well worth sending out a few speculative applications. It might be the case that they haven’t worked with someone in that capacity before, but once they see your passion for the sector shining through, how could they possibly refuse?

4. Grow your network

The idea of who you know being more important that what you know is never a pleasant thought, but nepotism aside, the reality is that a personal recommendation from someone you know can open doors that would otherwise be closed.

Attending careers fairs and networking events and even contacting people you don’t know who work for organisations you are interested in can all be effective ways of building those connections and potentially finding your first role.

Be positive and stay busy!

Trying to find a job with no experience in your chosen field isn’t easy, but if you follow these tips and don’t take the rejection you’ll inevitably experience personally, you will get there. At Linguistica Recruitment, we have roles for bilingual candidates at every level, so you’re sure to find a position for you. Take a look at our current vacancies and submit your CV today.

4 Questions Candidates Should Ask in a Job Interview

Although it might not always feel like it, a job interview is a two-way street. The interviewer will try to dig beneath your polished veneer (hopefully) to find out what really makes you tick, but there comes a time when the tables will turn. At the end of every interview, applicants will be given the chance to ask a question or two of their own, and this is not an opportunity you should waste.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at four questions to ask in a job interview to show how committed you are to the role and to reveal a few insights that will help you make a more informed decision about the position.

1. “Is there anything on my CV or that we’ve discussed that makes you question whether I’m a good fit for the role?”

There’s no beating around the bush with this question, and nor should there be. This is your one chance to address any concerns the interviewer has before they make their final decision. Even if you don’t get the job, the interviewer’s response will highlight the skills, character traits and the parts of your CV that you may need to work on in the future.

2. “What are the key challenges the person you hire will face in this role?”

Getting a job interview is hard, but so is dragging yourself out of bed every day to do a job that you hate. This is your opportunity to make sure that doesn’t happen. Although the job description will provide some essential information about the role, it will only tell you what the employer wants you to know.

By asking this question, you can try to dig beneath those corporate cliches to understand what day-to-day life in the role will be like. For example, are there budgetary constraints that will make it difficult to put your plans into action, or are there interdepartmental politics that you’ll constantly have to battle against?

3. “What do you like most about working here?”

This is a great question to ask as it puts the interviewer on the spot and could potentially reveal more about the organisation than any amount of research you can do. Of course, the interviewer is under no obligation to tell you the truth, but you might be able to read between the lines.

For example, if they respond enthusiastically and tell you how wonderful the culture is and how well employees are looked after, that’s a great sign. However, if their response is stilted, delayed, lacking detail or quite flat, you could potentially conclude that it’s not a great place to work.

4. “Where are the people who have held this position before me now?”

“Are there opportunities for career progression?” is one of the most common questions to ask in a job interview, but we think this question asks for a little more detail and makes it difficult for the interviewer to be vague.

If previous holders of the position have been promoted and are now further up the chain, that’s a great sign that there’s scope for career progression and that the organisation promotes from within. If they’ve left to go elsewhere, it could be a sign that the only way to progress is to leave, or that the organisation is not one that people tend to hang around in for a long period of time.

Find your next bilingual role

At Linguistica Recruitment, we help talented bilingual candidates find rewarding and well-paid roles across the south of England. Take a look at our current vacancies and upload your CV.

The Decline in Language Jobs is Set to Slow in July

The global language industry has been one of the hardest hit by the unprecedented scale of the coronavirus outbreak. This is reflected by the number of language jobs that are currently available in the UK and around the world. However, there are signs that the worst of the slowdown in the global language industry could be over as the decline in language jobs steadies in July.

The downward trend in language job postings

The Slator Language Industry Job Index was developed as a method of tracking employment levels and job market activity in the language industry. It provides a meaningful pattern of language job trends and measures the expansion and contraction of hiring activity across the industry.


The baseline for measuring expansion and contraction of employment and hiring activity was taken to be July 2018 (100). From there, after rising steadily, the index fell dramatically in late March and April this year, when lockdown measures were imposed.

However, despite the widespread uncertainty that still exists in the language jobs market, the index fell by just one point from June to July 2020, in what could be a levelling out before the recovery begins.

The full economic impact may not be seen for months

The index is a measure of job market activity as it happens, but the full extent of the impact on the broader language economy may not be revealed for several months. July marks the fourth consecutive month that the job index has fallen. That peaked from April to May, when many major European economies were brought to a standstill and the index fell by 15 points.

However, we are now seeing the first signs of recovery, with the index levelling out from June to July and a slight uptick in job postings on language service provider websites for the first time since March. There was also an increase in postings on job aggregation sites in June; although, the number of language job postings on LinkedIn continued to fall, which is reflected by the downward trend in July overall.

An encouraging rise in language industry deal making

Another sign that the global language industry is showing the first shoots of recovery is the increase in merger and acquisition activity.

Several deals have been completed over the last month, such as the acquisition of Irish machine translation provider Iconic Translation Machines by UK-based language service provider RWS. US ecommerce provider Localised also raised $6.5m in a Series A funding that was backed by UK entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den stalwart Peter Jones.

Ready to start hiring?

At Linguistica Recruitment, we help employers find the best bilingual and multilingual talent and support candidates through every step of the recruitment process. Call 02392 987 765 or email to find out how we can help you.

How to Manage Remote Staff Effectively During Covid-19

With working from home now the ‘new normal’, business leaders are having to revise their management strategies to reflect the physical distance between them and their teams. As more companies decide that remote working could be something they adopt over the longer term, it’s important that managers are ready to adapt to the challenges it brings.

So, how can you manage remote staff effectively during COVID-19 and beyond? We’ve canvassed the experts to bring you their top tips.

1. Define your expectations

The less time an employee spends in the office, the less clarity they’re likely to have about their manager’s expectations. Therefore, in the world of remote working, you must make it a priority to be explicit about exactly what you expect your staff to produce. The deadlines, metrics and outcomes must be crystal clear, as should the level of communication you expect from your team. If you want daily or weekly progress updates via email or video call, make sure you say so and hold the employee accountable.

2. Trust your team

One of the big changes this enforced and prolonged period of remote working has brought is an increased level of trust from managers in their team’s ability to work productively from home. Previously, there was a reluctance, particularly among larger organisations, to allow staff to work remotely. However, that uncertainty is slowly being broken down.

Creating work-from-home guidelines or ‘rules of engagement’ will help to further build the trust between management and employees. It should cover details such as how quickly staff are expected to respond to emails, how to contact management urgently, and the hours when video calls are allowed. That will help to prevent the line between work life and home life becoming blurred.

3. Offer encouragement and emotional support

To manage remote staff effectively, you must provide encouragement and emotional support, just as you would in the workplace. Stress and anxiety do not go away when the place of work changes. In fact, due to the lack of communication, it can make things worse.

Asking even general questions, such as “how is this remote working situation working for you?” can elicit much more information than you might expect. But asking the question is only half the job. You must also listen carefully to the response and repeat what the employee has said to you to make sure you understand it correctly. Then, you set about putting the practical and emotional support the employee needs in place to enable them to work effectively.

4. Don’t forget about career development

When your staff are working remotely, it’s very easy to think of them as an outsourced team who are helping you get things done. However, while they may not be there physically, you still need to treat them as employees. It’s all too easy to put their goals and ambitions on pause during a spell of remote working. Having weekly one-on-ones to discuss their career development and putting plans in place will help to reassure them that they’ve not been forgotten.

Hire bilingual staff to make your business tick

At Linguistica Recruitment, we help you hire in-demand bilingual staff to drive your business forward during difficult times. Find out more about our recruitment service for employers and call 02392 987 765 or email today.

Why Remote Recruitment Could be Here to Stay

Those employers who have been lucky enough not to be forcibly closed or hit by the mother of all downturns have been getting used to life with COVID-19. A big part of that, for organisations with skills gaps to fill, has been the adoption of remote recruitment.

As businesses change how they operate, many have been making use of the latest technology to interview candidates and make hiring decisions without ever meeting the hopefuls in person. Like remote working, it’s expected that this could be here to stay after the restrictions are eased and even become, dare we say, the ‘new normal’, as employers realise the benefits that remote recruitment can bring.

The benefits of remote recruitment

1. Cost

Recruitment is an expensive business. In fact, a Glassdoor study found that the average cost of hiring a new employee in the UK is £3,000. Clearly then, any measures that you can take to reduce that cost, particularly for small businesses, should be taken. By conducting remote interviews, you can remove the travel costs for candidates that employers often reimburse and take costs such as meeting room hire out of the equation.

2. Time

Another potential benefit of remote recruitment is the amount of time it can shave off the process. Finding new hires, particularly for skilled positions, can take weeks and even months. The same Glassdoor study found that the average time it takes to hire a new employee is 27.5 days, so the fewer restrictions you have on timing, the better.

It can be much easier to schedule video calls rather than face-to-face meetings as it removes the issue of travel. It also allows the interview to be conducted in a candidate’s lunch break, for example, rather than them having to book a day off to attend in person, all of which takes time. This convenience also increases the likelihood of the best candidates being able and willing to attend.

3. Location

In face-to-face interviews, the geographic location of the employer and the candidates can become a barrier, as candidates may be reluctant to travel long distances when they’re not assured of getting the role.

Remote recruitment removes that problem by allowing candidates to attend interviews from their own homes. This can potentially widen the talent pool for the employer, as candidates who live long distances away can apply for the job knowing that they’ll only have to travel if they’re successful in the interview.

4. Technology

We’ll not mention any names, but video calling technology has a reputation for being unreliable. However, new applications, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, are surprising many doubters with just how well they work. That said, the technology is only as good as your internet connection, so it’s best to check that the employer and the candidate both have a connection that is capable of running the application seamlessly.

Helping businesses to keep hiring

At Linguistica Recruitment, we believe remote recruitment is a viable and very workable solution for businesses with skills gaps to fill. During this time, we’re continuing to work with businesses across the south coast to find the talented bilingual candidates they need.

For more information about how we can help you, please call 02392 987 765 or email today.