Recruiter Deirdre O’Hanlon joined the TTM Healthcare team in 2016. With a background in Law, her core focus is on Recruitment & Employee Relations. She gives us her insider tips on how to prepare for and execute the perfect interview!
Why do you do what you do Deirdre?
Our overarching goal at TTM is to improve the qualities of people’s lives. Everyone within the organisation has the opportunity to influence this goal, and that is quite inspiring. There is definitely a sense of gratification that you get from placing someone into the right role and watching them develop.
Recruitment is a fast-paced industry. Do you think technology is transforming the traditional interview as we know it?
There’s definitely a shift away from the in-person interview. Video interviews, via platforms like Skype, are becoming more common, and are a great way for speeding up the candidate screening process. Candidates can video themselves answering a set of key questions without a recruiter having to spend time pre-interviewing them. This allows us to move much more efficiently to interview stage.
I think video content will definitely begin to take off over the next few years for the purpose of attracting talent to organisations. Studies show that, overall, people respond better to visual communication.
Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if traditional CVs become a thing of the past in the next few years as online profiles take their place.
What are your 3 key tips for acing an interview?
I’ve got five!
- Research the organisation that you are applying to. FULLY understand what they do and why you want to work with them
- Review the job spec provided with the job and be able to explain to the interviewer what you believe your duties and responsibilities would be, and why they suit you
- Prepare some specific examples from your previous experience (education or employment) that will display the competencies that are required in the role you are applying for
- Be enthusiastic! A positive attitude will do a lot for you
- Email your interview panel afterwards to thank them for their time and express your enthusiasm for the opportunity
What’s your dreaded interview question?
It’s got to be: What’s your Biggest Weakness….. always tough to answer that without making it sound like a secret strength. I think it’s better to be honest with this one. Acknowledge a real weakness and show how you’re working to improve on it.
What advice would you give for handling curve-ball questions like Google’s famous You’re a pencil in a blender – how do you get out?
Don’t panic. Try not to say “I don’t know”. Typically, it is more about how you answer versus what you say. Keep your answer to the point and be confident. You want to show the interviewer(s) that you can think on your feet and respond well to pressure.
What are the landmines to avoid during an interview?
As the saying goes, if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. Be honest, but try not to speak negatively or unprofessionally about your past employers or colleagues.
Be careful not to veer into too much info territory. You want to get your personality across, but not the intimate details of what you did last weekend!
Make that extra effort – dress to impress. Work attire is becoming more casual these days, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim to make the best impression possible at interview.
Sorry Deirdre, we have to do it: what’s your biggest weakness that’s actually a weakness and not a secret strength?
I knew you’d ask me that! I am process orientated, and can get quite frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Now, when I begin a project, I take a step back and try to think of potential roadblocks in advance, and come up with a variety of different routes that can be used to get to the end goal. If I am getting frustrated with my progress, I try to organise my thoughts into three boxes – what you can control; what you can influence; what is out of your control. This helps you to narrow down what you are focusing on and, thereby, feel far less overwhelmed.
Careers at TTM Healthcare
Fancy becoming a TTM “insider” like Deirdre? Check our careers page for information on how to join one of Europe’s fastest-growing recruitment agencies. Or contact us to talk to one of our recruitment specialists about the hottest healthcare roles across the UK and Ireland!
Evelyn Moriarty, Content Specialist
Evelyn Moriarty is a Content Specialist at TTM Healthcare, based in at our Irish headquarters. Joining the company in 2016, Evelyn specialises in both on and offline content creation for the health and social care market.
TTM Healthcare is a specialist health and care recruitment company established by Brian Crowley in Ennis, Co. Clare in 2002. Now recruiting highly skilled medical professionals from all over the world, TTM has offices in Ennis, Dublin and the UK. Selected as Ireland’s No 1 Healthcare Agency by the National Recruitment Federation, TTM is also the UK’s Recruiter Awards Public Sector Agency (2016) and Professional Services Agency of the Year (2016 & 2017), as well as a Gold Standard Deloitte Best Managed Company (2016 & 2017.)