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Wendy Gannon: “Lack of Interview Preparation Is the Main Reason Why People Don’t Get Hired.”

Wendy Gannon

TC spoke to Wendy Gannon on how to ace tech interviews in UK, the job search strategy to envisage and how to negotiate for a salary at UK workplaces.

The United Kingdom's job landscape for technical jobs has always been equally challenging for job seekers and employers who lament the continuing skills gap in their industries.

The jobs in the tech industry have continued to become diverse as new technologies have become business imperatives, including 5G, Edge Computing, AI and, more recently, the impact of quantum computing. A time like this calls for more preparation, a robust career plan and dedication if a professional wants to crack the code and qualify for the dream job. To summarise, job seekers need to be proactive in their search, equipped with tactics that put them at the centre of the recruitment process.

Speaking to Technologist Confidant, Wendy Gannon, a Dynamic Tech Career Coach and founder of Qwerk Recruitment, a Specialist Data Science Agency, says: "It's a really good time to move jobs at the moment as the UK market is highly candidate led and there are more tech roles than there are people to work them. People are interviewing for multiple roles and know their worth, asking for a higher salary and better company benefits. It's about time too!"

The data, compiled by job search firm Adzuna and analysed by Digital Nation on behalf of the UK's Digital Economy Council (DEC), shows the same. “Tech jobs now account for 14% of all job prospects in the country, up from 11% before the pandemic.”

With a profound understanding of the key metrics in the UK recruitment scene, here’s what Wendy Gannon has to say to our international readers.

When asked about her first advice for international talents looking for a job in the UK, Wendy draws on her personal experience with international professionals. She suggests, “I have a lot of global job seekers reach out to me for advice on getting sponsorship, and it’s always the same - Reach out to the companies you want to work with and ask them if they’ll sponsor your VISA. You must put in the work and stand out from everyone else.”

“There are lots of ways to do this, such as handwriting a letter to the CEO or camping out in their office (I’m joking, please don’t do that), but the best way to sell yourself is to build your personal brand on platforms such as LinkedIn. It’s an art and something I cover in my career coaching, but it is the best way to be seen, tell people your story, and build relationships.”

Furthermore, Wendy recommends that while preparing their job search strategy, IT professionals should take guidance from a career coach, “Get a coach! I have one, my coach has one, and it’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever done. Working with someone experienced in a minefield of emotional turbulence makes a world of difference. You can be held accountable, have a clear strategy, know how to work the market, and what best direction to take”, she adds.

According to Wendy, a candidate's most common mistake leading to rejection is “lack of interview preparation”. “You need to research the company, practise your answers, know how to communicate technical jargon to the hiring manager, have the right questions to ask etc. So many people don’t understand the importance or know how to do the prep”, she explains.

To simplify the job search process in the technology sector, Wendy suggests “applying for a role through a recruiter like her”. “The benefit of working with a reputable recruiter is the support they can offer you at all stages of the hiring process.” she continues.

Further explaining the general UK recruitment process, Wendy highlights, “The hiring manager views your CV/resume, and they like what they see (the average time spent looking at a CV is 7 seconds, so you must make it stand out!). Once you are invited to interview, there can be anything from 1-4+ rounds of interviews depending on the company, but the usual is 2. One is to go through your experience, personality, and soft skills and a second technical interview with a senior colleague to cover anything else.”

“If you’re the best candidate, you’ll receive a job offer with salary, benefits and everything detailed.”

On salary negotiations, she shares her top tip, “I would recommend going back with a counteroffer unless it’s a fair offer. Let’s not be greedy and price ourselves out of a job!”

Wendy concludes, “the most critical element to consider when applying for a British organisation is to have confidence in yourself. “It’s proven that if someone who identifies as a male can do 5/10 things on a job spec, they will apply, but if someone who identifies as female can do 9/10, they won’t apply as they don’t feel confident. If you can do half of what’s on there, APPLY!

As a technology recruitment agency, Qwerk Recruitment’s innovative coaching packages and digital tools help job seekers in technology shape their careers, changing the way people conduct their job hunting process to work smarter, better and faster. Through Qwerk Recruitment, “I am on a mission to empower every tech professional to thrive, position themselves in the market, and support them with their CV, Job Hunt, Interview prep, mindset, Imposter syndrome, accountability, getting paid their worth, and so much more”. Wendy continues, “I post daily on LinkedIn with lots of advice, tips, information and so much more. Today I posted five questions you should always ask at an interview and explained why. Follow me at www.LinkedIn.com/in/ethicalrecruiter.

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