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1. Working with Quest

The most important thing about working with Quest is that we are specialists in what we do. We have over 10 years experience placing Building Services personnel and have built up an enviable array of relationships with clients the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.

2. What Quest can do for you

Quest can offer accelerated access to many leading companies, tailoring your specific application to suit the position and the client. Your consultant will be able to offer career advice and provide current market rates as an advisory measure - and all this is in addition to the core benefits of working with Quest.

3. Core benefits of working with Quest:-

Specialist consultancy dealing only in Building Services Engineering.

Contract and/ or Permanent recruitment service

Weekly pay direct to your bank account

Customer Services team on hand to discuss all your enquiries

Extensive nationwide (UK) / Global coverage

4. How the process works

The first stage is to make sure you have a suitable CV, and that you send it to us at the earliest possible stage. If you are unsure how to write a professional CV, please refer to the next section �Creating your CV�.

Once you have an up to date CV registered with Quest we will be able to actively match up your skills and requirements with suitable positions, and work towards getting that all-important interview.

Additionally, you can apply for any of the jobs listed on the Quest vacancies webpage and at the click of a button apply for any that interest you.

5. Creating Your CV

A well written CV is important in improving your chances of getting to the interview stage of the application process. Your CV needs to be a clear and concise reflection of your suitability for a job role.

Personal Details: In this section you are listing some simple facts about yourself. It is not mandatory to include your age or nationality, if you would prefer not to. Remember that the more contact details you provide on your CV, the easier it will be for potential employers to get in touch.

Personal Profile: This section of your CV is where you give details of the kind of role you are looking for and what you feel you could bring to the position. You want to ensure that your CV stands out from the pile, so you might like to highlight two or three key characteristics you feel will help you surpass other candidates.

Skills Summary: This is your opportunity to make a potential employer aware of the skills you could bring to a position in their organisation. Where possible back up your statements with brief examples. This gives the employer an opportunity at interview to ask you to expand on these areas.

Career History: In this section you will be providing a comprehensive explanation of your previous positions. This should give any potential employer a clear idea of your suitability for their vacancy. We recommend that you start with your most recent job and work backwards chronologically. Give more detailed information for the last ten years - prior to that only include details if relevant, otherwise summarise. If there are any gaps in your employment history, it is important to briefly explain what you were doing during these periods.

Education: Further Education would include University/College qualifications such as degrees, diplomas, certificates etc. Please also give the details of the Schools/Sixth Form Colleges you attended. If you left school/college more than 5 years ago, there is no need to list individual subjects and the grades you achieved for these. Here you should restrict yourself to academic qualifications, as on the next page, you will have the opportunity to add detail of any professional qualifications.

Professional Qualifications & Training: If you have studied for any professional qualifications (e.g. ACCA, CIPD, CIBSE), you should highlight them here. This is also the opportunity to list any professional training courses you have attended.

Hobbies & Interests: This should be a concise summary of any hobbies and interests. Do not go into too much detail, as this can be expanded at interview stage, if necessary.

References: It is usual to provide two references, of which one is normally your previous employer.

Remember: The better your CV, the more chance you have of getting the job.

6. Interviews

Research shows that people make their mind up about someone in the first few seconds of meeting with them. So it's best to get off to a good start from the outset.
No matter how well qualified you may seem 'on paper' for a job, when recruiting, an employer will still be interested in your personality and presentation. Indeed with more than one suitable applicant for a role, interview performance is often the deciding factor. This makes the face to face meeting a critical part of the recruitment process and you will need to impress from the start.

Following the interview preparation guidelines below will help overcome any interview nerves and instill confidence for a productive meeting with your potential employer.

Practical tips: Double check the date, time and location of the interview and be familiar with the name and title of the interviewer. Take your interview confirmation letter with you. Prepare your interview outfit in advance - all of it. Ensure your appearance is both smart and comfortable. Familiarise yourself with the journey to the location, to ensure you arrive in plenty of time. If driving, do a 'dummy run'. Check timetables and book train tickets in advance. Anticipate delays, especially on unknown routes. Contact your interviewer swiftly if you are unavoidably delayed on the day. 

Do not arrive over-laden with belongings! Take any requested certificates, references etc, a spare CV and a notepad and pen. A mobile phone is always useful, but ensure it is turned OFF before arrival at reception. 

Be punctual for your meeting but it is inadvisable to arrive more than half an hour early. Leave yourself enough time to visit the toilets and tidy up if necessary. 

Remember that you start making an impression on your prospective employer the moment you arrive at reception. Be courteous to the receptionist and any other staff you may meet prior to your interview. Their opinion of you is often sought and may even have some influence on the final selection. 

Research: Find out as much information as possible about your prospective employer in advance. Many now have websites which are packed with information. Familiarise yourself with mission statements, past performance, future goals and current analyst ratings. Be aware that if your prospective employer does have a comprehensive website, you may seriously compromise your chances if it becomes apparent you have not taken time to research it.

If there is no company website, it is still easy to research your employer. All national newspapers and professional magazines have online sites with archive articles. You can also utilise web search engines just by entering the company name. Talk to anyone you know who has worked at the organisation. If all else fails do try phoning the company and requesting general information. 

The interview: Greet your interviewer standing, with a strong, firm handshake and a smile! Good body language is vital. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Speak clearly and confidently. Try and maintain a comfortable level of eye contact throughout.

A standard interview will generally start with an introductory chat, moving on to questions specific to your application and experience. General information about the company and role may follow, finishing with an opportunity for you to ask your own questions.

Be familiar with your CV and prepared to answer questions from it. Similarly, ensure you have read any job description thoroughly and think of ways in which your experience will benefit your potential employer.

LISTEN to what is being asked of you. Think about your answers to more difficult questions and do not give irrelevant detail. Give positive examples from your experience to date but be concise. Avoid one word answers however. Prepare yourself in advance for likely questions (see next section for common interview questions).

Be ready to ask questions that you have prepared beforehand. This can demonstrate you have thought about the role and done some research on the organisation. Ensure they are open, thus encouraging the interviewer to provide you with additional information. 

Show your enthusiasm for the role, even if you have some reservations. These can be discussed at a later stage.

How to research companies: Before going to your interview, make sure you prepare yourself by finding as much as you can about the hiring organisation.  There are numerous sources of information about nearly every company.  Information is on the internet, in the library, in shops,  in databases and available from the recruitment company (if the job has been sourced through an agency).

In particular, the internet should give you a wealth of information about the company and the industry in which the company operates.  Most industries also have trade publications so have a read through these publications to gain knowledge about the industry and current trends and issues that they face.

Here are some tips: Call the company/agency and request sales literature, annual reports, technical information, product brochures, information etc. Log on to the internet and visit the company website, spending time looking at financial information and gaining a good understanding of what the company does, and their goals and values. If available, also access the press area of the website.  This will give you articles from the media and insightful information about the company.  It will also ensure you are aware of recent press releases involving the company. If the company website does not have a press area, access information on line through search engines such as google or MSN.  Alternatively log on to media sites such as The Financial Times website and run a search on the company.

7. After the Interview
At the earliest possible stages following an interview, it is essential that you call your consultant to discuss how it went and provide feedback to your consultant. If you are still interested in the position after the interview, and the feedback has been positive your consultant will ensure this is communicated to the client in a professional manner before embarking on a the negotiation process concerning rates, packages and benefits.

8. Accepting a Job Offer

All things being well, you will reach this stage where you are offered a position you have applied for so, well done! Over half the hard work is over but a few more things need to be completed before you can truly relax.

Whether you have been offered a permanent or contract position, all negotiations concerning rates, salaries, packages and benefits should be conducted by your Quest consultant. All our consultants have been fully trained in negotiation techniques and regularly undertake such negotiations on a day-to-day basis, making them well practiced at achieving the most for the people they are representing you! Your consultant will be able to advise you at every step of the way letting you know what is happening.

Remember, the role that Quest undertakes on your behalf DOES NOT COST YOU ANYTHING as the agency fee is negotiated independently with the client.

9. Resigning

This is often one of the most difficult aspects of moving to a new job. There are always the questions concerning whether the grass greener? Will you like the new place youre going to? Will my new work colleagues be ok? But youve made the decision to go and widely accepted advice is that you should stick to it.

Handling your resignation well is imperative so that you accumulate good, solid references throughout your career. Once you have made the decision to resign, the best approach is a formal letter to your manager in which you should state your wish to resign and the date on which you wish to commence your notice period. Typically this will range from 1 week to 1 month and will be determined by the contract you were working to.

10. Handling counter-offers

Whilst you will inevitably have reservations about moving positions, you mustnt forget what prompted you to start looking for a new position in the first place whether it was more money, better working conditions, proximity to home, etc. these things wont have significantly changed in the time between when you started to look for a new job, and when you hand in your resignation. It is at this point that your employer may make a counter-offer and you should remind yourself why it was you were leaving.

If it is the case that they come back and offer you a raise, you have to ask yourself why they havent done so in the first place. They probably havent been valuing your services and are now afraid of losing a talented member of staff. However, in our experience those companies that do counter-offer often replace the member of staff at the earliest opportunity as they feel it is better to replace the employee at their leisure rather than being left in the lurch. So beware: Counter-offers are tempting but are almost always counter-productive.

11. IR35 Advice

Quest consultants and their customer service department are on hand to discuss IR35 implications. Please contact us for more information. More detailed advice can be gained by logging on at http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk

12. Employment Legislation (EAA) Update

The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations (known as the EAA Regulations), became law in 2004 and was designed to replace old legislation on the recruitment sector. Full details of The Employment Agency Act can be found at: http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2003/20033319.htm 

A contractor Opt Out Form can be found here