Making a real difference – How to really stand out at interviews

apetito has been providing food and making a difference to the lives of the elderly and vulnerable for over 50 years. We are about so much more than just food production; you could say we are in the ‘quality of life’ business. From our range of texture modified food that won a Queen’s award for Innovation in 2016, to our award winning Chefmobil ovens, our food and catering solutions to care homes, local authorities and hospitals as well as to the general public via our sister company Wiltshire Farm Foods, are making a real difference.
And it doesn’t stop there. We want our people to be passionate and to stand out from the crowd as well. So how do you ‘stand out’ at interview?

Zoe Beauvoisin, Learning and Development Manager at apetito explains, “Firstly, you need to show your passion for what we do and tell us why you want to join a company like us. Then, you need to prepare well in advance, making sure that you have examples from your school work, college experience or extra-curricular activities at your fingertips that highlight key skills. Behavioral interview questions are a big part of our job interviews. Our managers use these types of questions in order to get an idea if you have the skills and competencies needed for the job. The rationale is that if they know how you performed in the past it will help give a sense of how you might do in the future. For you as the candidate, you’ll need to prepare answers (basically “interview stories”) that highlight the different competencies and skillsets the employer is looking for. The problem is most candidates might have a general idea of how to answer these questions, but the answers usually come out way too long and unfocused, and won’t put the candidate in the best light. That’s why you’ll need to make a concerted effort to create these stories and adapt them to the relevant competencies. For example, if we ask you to tell us about a time when you have had to work to tight deadlines (because the job role requires this), then have a real life example ready and be prepared to specifically explain what you did to make sure you hit those deadlines. Think about what the SITUATION was, what ACTIONS you took to ensure you hit the deadlines and what the OUTCOME was every time you answer a question.

Here are some other top tips that may seem basic, but surprisingly are often forgotten:

  • Check your CV and covering letter for grammar and typos – if the role requires good attention to detail and there are spelling mistakes in your CV then you won’t make it past sifting stage.
  • Do your research on the company. Can you go the extra mile and find out what we really do – don’t just quote a fact from the website.
  • Be ready to talk about your school/college & work experience – We really want to hear about you and what you specifically have done and achieved to date.
  • Preparation is really important as it allows you to show off your skills to the interviewer. Use the job description to pull out topics that the interviewer might ask you about and prepare your answers in advance.
  • Research behavioural interviewing and develop your own “interview stories”.
  • Good luck and don’t forget to let your passion shine through.

Zoe speaking to College students about the apetito product range on their visit to the local employer