How to Answer: What are your Strengths?

How to answer: What are your strengths?

If you’ve read our blog ‘The Top 10 Interview Questions You Should ALWAYS Prepare For’, you’ll know that this is a vital question that you should always prepare for when you have an interview.

Some people may think that this is an easy question, but many candidates fail to prepare properly and sabotage themselves. You don’t have to be too modest, and make sure you get over hesitation to say nice things about yourself. You can do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable and authentic if you prepare in advance. 

Our steps to having the perfect answer are:

1) Make a List Of Your Strengths

Have a proper think and write down all of your strengths. Be honest and make sure that you write down the skills you genuinely think you are great at.


2) Pick Specific, Relevant Skills

Now from the list of your strengths, think about which ones are actually beneficial to the role you are applying for. So instead of opting for the obvious, pick something that has been demonstrated consistently over the course of your career/education. It’s vital that you’re able to add some context to how you found out that this was one of your strengths.


3) Give Examples

Now you’ve got context, expand on that further and add some examples as to when you have used that strength.  

It’s important that you grab hold of this question and guide the interview exactly where you want it to go. You should highlight a strength that is crucial for the position you are being interviewed for and make sure you provide an example and evidence. Your strengths should align with the company needs, and show that you have the qualities, skills and/or experience that set you apart from the competition.

It’s vital that you are honest – don’t lie. If you lie at any point in the interview, you will be caught out and it’s easy for a little white lie to expand into something much bigger.


An example of a great answer is:

‘I have extremely strong writing skills. Having worked as a copywriter for the past two years, I have a strong attention to detail. I have also written for a variety of different outlets, which means I know how to shape my writing style to fit the publication, task and audience. As a marketing assistant, I will be able to write and edit copy with accuracy and ease.’


Check out our other blogs here.

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

What is the Secret to Success?

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Most people want to be successful – that’s just a fact. However, the definition of success varies from person to person, but on the face of it, it’s achieving what you want to achieve.

Regardless of your definition, success often springs from opportunities, ideas, perspectives, connections or ventures. However, there are various things you can do in order to increase your chances of success. Prestige Recruitment Group have therefore created this blog in order to let you in on a little secret, and that’s the secret to success. Here’s what you should do:


1) Identify What Matters Most

Throughout life, and even throughout your day, there are multiple elements that compete for your attention. It’s therefore vital that you recognise your top priorities and:


2) Set Aggressive Goals

Establish what you want to achieve and stick to them - whether that’s in a decade, a few years, a couple of months, or just what you need to achieve for the day. By setting your goals, you will increase your motivation and when you have realistic deadlines, you are setting yourself up for success to complete what you want to complete! It’s also vital that you:


3) Ignore the Noise

Even though you’ve decided what matters most and you’ve set aggressive goals, there’s still going to be distractions and noise. In order to be successful, it’s vital that you ignore these. Obviously, if your manager tells you something needs to be done and it wasn’t originally scheduled into your plan, you’re going to have to realign your goals for the day rather than block it out! But anything that’s not important, ignore it!


But how should you spend your time?

1) Daily Routines

Many successful people get themselves into a daily routine. Tim Cook gets up at 3:45am and goes to the gym and Tony Robbins has a set exercise regime which he sticks to every day. If you wake up, get ready and rush to leave, you’re not setting yourself up correctly – you’ll be stressed before you even get to work. If you need to, wake up a little earlier (even if it means going to sleep a little earlier too!) and set yourself up properly for the day.


2) Carry a Notebook

Carry a small notebook round with you – when you have ideas, jot them down. Too often, great ideas are forgotten about. If you write down every little thing you think about, there’s a chance these ideas can develop into something amazing. In fact, people like Sir Richard Branson, David Allen and Cheryl Sandberg famously carry a little notebook with them everywhere they go.


3) Self-Development 

You need to schedule time to self-develop and learn, regardless of your goals. You can do this through taking online courses, researching and… reading! When you schedule time to read, you develop multiple skills, and you can find out more about this here.

Oprah Winfrey states that you need to stop worrying about other people and what you don’t have, focus on you and what you do have, as well as what you’d like for the future. When you focus on yourself, you’re already increasing your chance of success.

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


Why You Should Schedule Time to Read


As we get older, we tend to either read less or completely stop reading books altogether.  Of course, in the modern world, we’re always ‘reading’ and inhaling information through social media, whether that’s seeing a funny tweet or liking your friends Facebook status. However, going back to the basics and reading a couple of pages (or chapters!) of a book every day can have serious benefits to you and your future. Therefore, Prestige Recruitment Group have created a list of the top five reasons why you should be scheduling time into your week to read a good book!


1) Reading Supplies Mental Stimulation and Improves Memory

In the words of Joseph Addison, ‘reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.’ It’s true! Scientific studies have shown that reading makes you smarter – it increases blood flow and improves connectivity in the brain.

Other studies have also shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of Dementia as keeping your brain active prevents it from losing power. When you read a book, you have to remember characters and their backgrounds as well as subplots that weave their way through the story – doing this is great for your memory in the long run! Every new memory you create forges new synapses and strengthens existing ones and so assists in short-term memory recall.


2) Reading Reduces Stress

Reading is a great way to relax and ease tension in your body while stimulating your brain and letting it wander to new ideas and places. No matter how much stress you are feeling at work or in your personal life, being able to pick up a book and escape to another world can help you forget about your worries and chill out, even if just for a little while. 


3) Reading Makes You a Better Writer and a Better Conversationalist

When you take the time to sit down and read a book, your brain will absorb writing techniques and vocabulary, even if you’re not aware of it. New words will appear in their natural context and you are able to figure out what they mean by reading the words around it, and so your vocabulary will increase.

 Basically, the more you read, the more words and writing techniques you will gain exposure to, which will make their way into your everyday writing and speaking style. By reading and increasing how you articulate, you can seriously aid your career as managers are always looking for individuals with great communication skills!


4) Reading Increases Analytical Thinking Skills

When you’re reading, you are often trying to solve and understand the plot before you have even finished the book. By doing this, you are putting your critical and analytical thinking skills to work. This ability is also used when you review a novel and think about whether you liked the characters, and whether the plot developed well. The more you read, the more you use and develop these skills.


5) Reading Increases Your Knowledge

Depending on what your reading, reading can teach you politics, cultures, economics and history. When novels are set in the past, even if they’re fictional, they are often submerged into truth with historic dates and facts. As well as this, if a novel is set in a different country, you will pick up information about that country and further expand your knowledge on different cultures across the world. This is particularly true in regard to non-fiction books. There are tonnes of books that exist, such as self-help books which not only increase your knowledge, but also your motivation and determination.


With all of these great benefits in mind, what will your next book be?

Our other blogs can be accessed here.

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

How to Ace a Phone Interview


So you’ve organised a phone interview and you’re expecting your potential employer to ring you at a specific time. Perfect. Now, the only thing to do is prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview. Just because it’s not a face-to-face interview doesn’t mean it’s time to throw all of the interview rules out of the window.

Some employers may ask for a phone interview for a variety of reasons. It may be to quickly eliminate you as a candidate. This is especially common in big companies so that they don’t waste the time and resources needed to bring you in for an in person interview. Or, you may be having a phone interview if you aren’t available for a face-to-face meeting just yet, or you are planning on relocating for the role. Either way, it’s vital that you don’t give your potential employer a reason not to see you! That’s why Prestige Recruitment Group have prepared this document with some top tops on smashing your phone interview and ensuring you get through to that face-to-face meeting.


1) Take It as Seriously as an in Person Interview

Just because your interviewer won’t be able to see you, doesn’t mean you should be doing the interview from your bed. On the day of your interview, get up and ready like you would for a normal day at work. We’re not saying you need to wear your three piece suit, but wear something you’d wear to go out for the day. That way you will be in the right mindset when it comes to answering your phone as you will be out of bed, ready and prepared for that phone to ring.


2) Focus and Cut Out All Distractions

It’s tempting to have the television on in the background or to unload the dishwasher while you talk, but don’t. This is not the time for multi-tasking! Sit down (at a desk if possible) and focus on the phone call when you’re interviewing. The dishwasher will still be there to be emptied after!


3) Do Your Research

Find out some information about the company you are interviewing with. Find out the answers to:

·      What does the company do?

·      What’s the company mission?

·      What’s the company’s history?

·      What’s the company’s latest venture?

·      Who are the company’s competitors?


4) Listen

This might sound obvious, but over the phone it’s very easy to end up talking over the top of your interviewer. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital that you take the time to listen fully to the questions you have been asked and only begin speaking after your interviewer has stopped asking the question. Communication over the phone is slightly more difficult than that in person as you don’t have any visual cues so it’s important that you listen to everything that is said.


5) Prepare A Cheat-Sheet

As you’re not interviewing in person, you can actually create a cheat-sheet to help you with your answers to the questions you may be asked. Write your research down, prepare some questions and write down some things you need to remember to ask your interviewer. Don’t write your answers down fully – your interviewer will know if you are just reading from a sheet – but you can jot down some notes to remember to mention over the phone.


Be sure to check out the rest of our blogs here.

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Why a Messy Desk is Bad For You

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Do you ever find yourself getting distracted at work and aren’t too sure why? Do you ever feel that you’re not being as productive as you could be?

One of the reasons for this could be your messy desk.

Do you often find yourself spending ages searching through all the paper on your desk and in your draws to find the stapler you had earlier or the file from this morning?  If the answer is yes, you’re not being as productive as you could be! That’s why Prestige Recruitment Group have compiled this list on why a messy desk is bad for you as well as offering you advice on how to get on top of things and clean up that desk!


Here are 3 reasons why a messy desk is bad for you:

1) It Creates Stress

A messy desk is a sure way to increase stress in the workplace. If the first thing you come into work to see is your desk which is sprawled with paperwork and notes, it’s human nature that you’re suddenly going to feel much more stressed than you felt when you went home on the Friday!

If you do have a lot of tasks you need to focus on, having a messy desk just isn’t great for your productivity and stress levels. When it comes to actually getting through that to-do-list, little things like finding that stapler or the file from the morning will be harder than it needs to be as you sprawl through other documents, which decreases productivity and increases stress levels!

As well as this, if you start the day feeling like you’re already behind and need to tidy up, you’re already beginning the day feeling deeply discouraged!


2) It’s Actually Unhealthy

Did you know that the average office keyboard has almost 8,000 bacteria on it? When you have more things out on your desk, whether that’s paperwork, mugs, pens, pencils or folders, you’re increasing the bacteria on your desk! A messy desk can have a real impact on how often you’re sick or feel unwell in the office, so it’s absolutely vital that you take the time to clean it. Taking care of yourself also includes taking care of your work surfaces too.


3) It Affects Your Reputation

At the end of the day, if you have a shared workspace where other people can see your messy paperwork and mugs, they are going to judge you.

If your colleagues think you’re messy, they are also likely to think that you’re unorganised as tidiness and organisation are two features that tend to go hand in hand! If you’re colleagues think you’re messy, they are unlikely to take you seriously in the workplace and this can seriously affect your reputation!


So how can you change?

1) Create a Weekly Cleaning Habit

Every week on a Friday afternoon, take the time to clean through all of the documents that you may have accrued over the week. Organise them into a certain place where you will know exactly where everything is on the Monday morning when you get into the office. By doing this every week, you start the following week in a positive, organised way.


2) Purge Based on Frequency

If you’re not really too sure where to start when it comes to cleaning your desk, you should purge by frequency and look at how often you use certain items. Anything that you tend to use everyday can stay on your actual desk (or inside the top draw), anything you use once a week can be put into a bottom draw and anything you don’t use can go straight in the bin!


3) Treat Yourself

A great way to become organised and clean up your office space is to treat yourself to some new organising tools. Folders, coloured pens, stationary and stickers – anything that will help you label the paperwork or other documents you have clearly which will make it easier for you to stay away from the messy desk!


For more advice on how to organise you and your office workspace, check out our other blog here.


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


5 Skills You Should Develop to Improve Career Prospects

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Once you have a job, it’s so easy to stop developing. However, in order to improve career prospects, it’s vital that you continue to develop a variety of skills so that you’re always on top of your game. Knowing what skills to continue developing can be difficult, and that’s why Prestige Recruitment Group have compiled this list of the top skills you should be developing in order to improve your career prospects.


1) Time Management and Deadline Skills

As you continue to develop within your career, chances are, you’re going to end up doing more. Therefore, it’s important that as your workload increases, you develop your time management and deadline skills. Time management skills are vital in the process of increasing productivity in the office – in fact, due to lack of proper time management skills, researchers have found that some employees lose up to 6.2 hours at work in a day - every day. Proper time management skills would help with this missing time!   


The best way to do this is to pay special attention to the way that you already do tasks. Once you know roughly how long something actually takes you, you can plan better and meet your deadlines much more easily.


2) Communication Skills

Communication skills are absolutely vital, regardless of the career that you work in. From the initial moment you get in touch with a potential employer, they will be scrutinising and looking at how you behave. Therefore, it’s vital that you take the time to develop in all aspects of your communication, whether that’s by improving how you speak over the phone or adjusting your email etiquette.


Make sure that you pay attention to the details with any work that you do and take the time to listen when you are having a conversation. The way that you communicate should be impeccable, as this shows you have strong communication skills and so will improve your career prospects in the future.   


3) Flexibility and Adaptability

If you are both flexible and adaptable, you are likely to increase and improve your career prospects in a huge way. The ability to manage multiple assignments at the same time and being flexible enough to work under ever changing conditions is highly appreciated.

In today’s working world, a job description is fluid, and often employees find themselves doing jobs that they didn’t know they had to. This ability to adapt from one responsibility to another is a big advantage and demonstrates your commitment to the organisation. This will influence and increase your chances of career progression and makes you a more sought after candidate!


4) Public Speaking

As you progress throughout your career, chances are that you’re going to meet more and more people and have to speak in front of them. A great way to prepare yourself for this is to practice public speaking and really nail it!

Public speaking is a crucial skill to have and it requires a lot of self-confidence and practice. Even though, it may come more naturally for some people, it’s a skill that is sought after by employers so it’s important that you take the time to develop it!


5) Ability to Learn from Criticism

It’s easy, especially when you’re in your first job, to dread receiving feedback. However, in order to improve your career prospects, it’s vital that you learn to take criticism on board as it helps you in the future. All types of criticism are things that you can change.      

If a person demonstrates an attitude that is appreciative of feedback, it can show to employers that you are willing to learn. Everyone should always be learning in the workplace, so this will improve your future career prospects.


Be sure to check out our other blogs here.

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

How to Promote Work-Life Balance in Your Office

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In the modern office, the work-life balance is something that is vital to everyone’s experience. However, as society is more social media dependent and technology makes it so easy to work from home, sometimes it can be difficult to separate work from our personal lives.

Undercover Recruiter recently conducted a global study to discover which countries ranked the best for overall work-life balance and cross-compared the findings with the last World Happiness Report. The study found that two-thirds of the world’s happiest nations were also rated the highest for work-life balance. Unfortunately, the UK only ranks 28th in the world for work-life balance and 19th for overall happiness. This illustrates that there is room for improvement.

So how can employers improve the work-life balance in the office?

1) Ask Them

The first thing you should do is ask your employees what they think would improve their work-life balance. It’s all well and good thinking about what allows you, as their manager to get a break, but it’s vital that you actually ask them to fully understand your team and what’s important to them. Even by asking your employees about what they want and need in the office is a massive positive – it shows that you value them as people and not just a number.


2) Encourage Time Off

For most people, work isn’t their entire life. Your employees have friends, partners, families and a tonne of other things they love doing outside of the office. When your employees have plenty of time off work in order for them to enjoy these things, their work-life balance is improved heavily. Time-off isn’t a luxury, it is vital to your staff’s well-being and mental health. It’s also vital that when your staff do have time off, you try not to disturb them. Allowing them to switch off and have that break from work allows your employees to recharge, which increases focus when they do return to the office.


3) Encourage Breaks

Some people will refuse breaks, choosing instead to work throughout the day non-stop. In order to increase the work-life balance, it’s important that you do encourage your employees to take a break from their job in order to meet friends for lunch, or pop out for a walk. Giving your employees that much needed break will increase their happiness at work and breaks up their day. If you can, you should install a social area in your office where your employees can talk and take their minds off work for a little while.


4) Don’t Expect Overtime

Some members of your team may do overtime occasionally, but it should never become the norm within your office environment. When employees are working more hours than average all of the time, they are less likely to be happy in the office – even if they adore their job. Everyone’s human, and everyone experiences burn-out. Sometimes, if there’s a project or something that is really time-sensitive, employees may need to work overtime – which is fine, as long as you show your appreciation and make sure they understand that it is not a normal expectation for every day work life.


5) Make Sure You Do Too

When you’re telling all their employees to take time off and to take their breaks, it’s also important that you do it too.  Everybody needs to find the right work-life balance, and even as a manager, you need a break. If you don’t need to, don’t send emails out of work hours and try not to bother employees when they are trying to find that right work-life balance! You will also find that by doing the same things you are encouraging your employees to do, you will be happier in the office as well. 


What would make you happier at work? Have you found the right-work life balance? Leave us a comment and let us know. If you’re after a new job, please get in touch. You can find our other blogs here.

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


Is it Time to Rethink the 9 to 5?

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The ‘9-5’ has always been the standard when it comes to working in the UK, however, as more Millennials make it into the workplace, attitudes and opinions to the 9-5 are beginning to change. With businesses across the world offering alternative working options, and with increased importance on employee satisfaction, do you think it’s time to rethink the 9-5?


UK Workers

According to the recent results of a ‘Global Attitudes to Work’ survey, UK workers believe that over 36% of their time spent at work is unproductive. These insights were gathered after questioning 6,250 employees in different countries and found that European workers rated themselves as more productive than those in the UK.

With technology advancements, it is estimated that the possibility of a four-day work week is likely to happen in the UK by 2100 – which is still quite a way away. However, countries like Germany, Norway, Sweden and France are already showing that you don’t have to work eight-hour days to be more productive.


Other Countries

In other countries, the 9-5 is pretty much dead:  

  • Germany works the shortest hours with a weekly average of 26.37 hours.

  • Netherlands and Norway work the second and third shortest hours, working just 1% less than Germany respectively.

  • Germany can also request a reduction in their hours if they work for a company with fewer than 15 employees.

  • Sweden has introduced six-hour work days to motivate employees to work smarter while having more time to spend at home.

  • Germany offer 30 days off annual leave.

  • Norway offer 21 days each year.

  • In Denmark, the average paid vacation allowance is five weeks. In fact, they’re allowed to use three of these weeks during school vacation periods so that families can spend time together.

  • In Germany, flexibility is a popular working arrangement in larger organisations and is agreed between the company and the employee.

  • In France, a two-hour lunch is allowed. In fact, smaller businesses will shut for lunch.

  • In Germany, there is much a more relaxed atmosphere when individuals clock off for lunch. It wouldn’t be unusual for employees to have a lunch beer.

  • In Germany, management are completely banned from calling staff after hours so that employees can appreciate their time away from work.

  • In France, there are established out-of-work hours where nothing outside of work should impact their day.

  • Norway, Sweden and France take a strong stand when it comes to preventing worker burnout. There are thorough strict paid leave programmes, compulsory vacation time and maternal and paternal paid leave.


So, What Do We Want?

Research has found that employers find it easier to attract top talent with flexible working options and a better work-life balance. UK workers state that flexible working is a benefit that they are attracted to – with 35% listing it as their top benefit. Workers don’t just want these benefits for no reason, a 2017 YouGov survey of British businesses and employees found that 89% of individuals believed that flexible working would make them more productive. But how?


Less Is More

It appears that employers have traditionally followed the logic that the longer someone is on the job, the more work that they produce. This isn’t always the case. Extra time in the workplace can make people unfocused, especially if there’s no advantage to finishing tasks faster. However, when employees are rewarded for working more quickly, some surprising results emerge.

A study in Sweden investigated two groups of people – some who worked 40 hours and some who worked 30 hours in a week. The researchers found that those who worked fewer hours worked more efficiently.



Not only this, decreased working hours improves employee health. The researchers from the Sweden study found that participants who worked six-hour shifts rather than eight actually used 4.7% fewer sick days. The participants stated that working fewer hours made them feel happier, which made them feel less run down.

What do you think? Is it time to rethink the 9 – 5?

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Characteristics of High-Performing Teams

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There are a variety of characteristics involved in a team of high-performing people, regardless of the industry or sector that you work in. Although with different roles, the quality of being high-performing may be completely diverse depending on the responsibilities or expectations you and your company may have. However, in general, many of the qualities of high-performing teams are similar, and a recent article by Forbes has listed the ‘13 Characteristics of High Performing Teams’.

The list states that one of the most important characteristics of a high-performing team is recognising individual strengths.  The article argues that ‘great teams are built with people who have great talent and skills’ and that these teams have leaders who ‘not only recognize these strengths, they enable individuals to work within them and ensure team members appreciate one another.’

With increased diversity in the workplace, people have different strengths and qualities that make them unique. In order to be a successful company, Prestige Recruitment Group appreciate the individuality of each person and invest highly into our staff and their uniqueness. We believe that blanket KPI’s simply do not work. If you have seen our other blog about our Training Academy, you will know that from the very beginning, we train our employees in a way that understands the needs of an individual and so tailor our training to the employee’s individual needs.  Of course, we appreciate that each person within our team will perform their tasks differently, but we do have high expectations, which has worked exceptionally when building our reputation within the recruitment industry. 

Linking onto the second characteristic on Forbes’s list, Prestige Recruitment Group have a high focus on hitting goals. Our goals vary from role to role, depending on the position our employees hold. However, we do have high expectations and expect our employees to reach their goals in order to increase success for not just the company, but for each individual too. Personal goals as well as working goals are something we focus on heavily within the workplace, which allows our employees to thoroughly flourish. Sometimes, reaching these goals may be difficult, but as we invest heavily in the individual, it is always worth it when these goals are reached.

The third quality on the list is alignment. Every member of the Prestige team are aligned with our company culture and focused values. Here at Prestige Recruitment Group, we pride ourselves on our recruitment success rate and have always tried to be forward thinking, employing new strategies, systems and approaches that are in line with our long-term ethical commitment to our market sector.

In order to hear more about our company culture, please check out the video below. Here we interview Hannah Knight, who in the words of one of our directors is a ‘one-in-a-million, quirky and creative individual.’ Hannah’s driven and hungry nature and the increased emphasis on her strengths within the company has allowed Hannah to flourish into one of our top billers. One of the key areas that has facilitated this growth is our company culture, so check out this video to find more:

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

5 Interview Questions for a Fashion Buyer

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Here at Prestige Recruitment Group, we recruit for a variety of roles within the fashion and retail industry. Some of our most common roles include managers, designers, merchandisers, sales and marketing and fashion buyers. There are a variety of questions you should prepare for when you have an interview (check out our blog on this here) but here are five specific questions you should definitely prepare for if you want to become a fashion buyer.


1)   Why do you love fashion?

This will be one of the first industry specific questions you get asked during your interview, so it’s vital that you are able to explain your reasoning. This question doesn’t seem too difficult on the surface, especially if you have a genuine love for fashion, however you need to be able to literate your love coherently. Your interviewer doesn’t want to hear about how much you love shopping (most people do!) but they want to hear what it is exactly about fashion that makes you want to work in the industry. Bring in some examples and mention some names! Bonus points if you mention the brand or company you are interviewing for. They also want to hear about what you hope to achieve during your time working in the field.


2)   What do you know about our company?

This question tests how much you actually know about the company and how much research you have actually carried out in order to prepare for the interview. The best way to answer this question is to do your research! Take a look at the company website, research their history and see how their styles have changed over time.


3)   What are your thoughts on our current range?

Again, this is another research question. Make sure you look at what styles and brands they have in the company at that exact moment. Don’t just say lots of positive things – mention something you think could be changed or show some of your ideas for the future of the range. Here’s a great opportunity for you to show some of your industry knowledge off!


4)   Who are our main competitors?

Again, this tests your knowledge of the fashion industry. Competitors of brands should be quite easy to figure out, so once you’ve done this, make sure you do some research on those other companies too. When you speak about them in the interview, be sure to make the company you are actually interviewing for stand out in comparison. Talk about what that brand or company does differently to every one else and why it is you want to work at that company specifically.


5)   Tell us about a time you have negotiated successfully

This question is a personal one. When you work as a fashion buyer, there’s a lot of negotiating that will take place.  When they ask this question, think of an experience that you’ve had where you have been successful. Use the STAR technique to talk about how you brought success previously. (Don’t forget – the STAR technique is Situation, Task, Action and Result.)  If you can think of a situation that would be similar to the roles of a fashion buyer, make sure you mention that. An example of this would be negotiating payment terms and rates with distributors or designers.


If you’re interested in a career in fashion, make sure you get in touch! Our other blogs on fashion can be seen here, so carry on reading!

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

Prestige: Mental Health Awareness Week

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It’s mental health awareness week and with mental health being a subject we care thoroughly about here at Prestige Recruitment Group, we have compiled some tips on how to support mental health at work.

A recent survey showed that 20% of people have gone to work while experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings. This statistic is high and shows that workplace mental health support is something that needs to be available for everyone. If you’re worried that someone within your workplace may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, the best thing you can do is explicitly ask them. Talking about suicide does not make it more likely, and so it is vital that you encourage the person you are concerned about to get help. They should contact the Samaritans straight away through their free 24-hour helpline on 116 123.

Other people may not have depression as severe, and there are also other mental health disorders you should be concerned about including Anxiety, Bipolar and Substance Abuse and Addiction. Regardless of the illness, if you feel that someone is struggling with their mental health, it is vital that you reach out and be there for a colleague that needs it.


How Can You Support Mental Health at Work?


1)   Informal Checks

Even if you don’t think anyone in your team is suffering with any mental health problems, it’s vital that you check in with colleagues informally. Check regularly to see how they are doing, how they are managing their workload and how they are feeling at work. Stress is a serious cause behind mental health problems, so it’s vital that everyone knows you are there for them should they need you.


2)   Performance Management

You should make sure you check in with individuals on a professional level too – consider meetings and confidential supervision sessions. These are great for mental health and staff engagement. Sometimes, drops in performance can illustrate potential mental health problems, and therefore it’s vital to keep an eye on staff performance.


3)   Active Listening

If someone is opening up to you about something, you need to give that person your full support and actively listen. Try and keep eye contact with the person, and look interested in what they’re trying to say. Make appropriate acknowledgements, and repeat things back to them to check that you got it right. Don’t probe for more details than they are prepared to give – just listen. If they want advice, you can give them some but don’t give advice if they’re just after someone to listen.


4)   Time off

Sometimes staff may need time off because of their mental health. It is important that you look at this the same way that you would look at a physical injury. If someone had broken their legs, they wouldn’t be able to get to work, the same way that someone with a mental health disorder can’t get into the office. Mental health issues should be treated with the same attitude you treat physical illnesses when it comes to work. Make sure you communicate with the individual who needs time off. 


5)   Coming Back

If an employee is coming back to work after having time off for their health, you should support them with their re-induction. See if they need anything specific for their first day or week back and greet them enthusiastically when they’re officially back in the office. They probably won’t want a fuss but they will appreciate the fact you are happy to have them back.


This advice is mainly guidelines and it’s vital that you remember that every mental health disorder is different, and different people will be affected in different ways. The best way you can support mental health at work is to treat everyone as an individual – see what they want you to do and support them the best way you can.


Happy World Mental Health Awareness Week – don’t be afraid to speak out.

Be sure to check out our other blogs here.


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


Company Culture: The Video Series

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If you’ve seen our previous article 'How Do You Create a Happy Workplace Culture?' you’ll know that we are currently running a series of videos on the company culture here at Prestige Recruitment Group.

Here at Prestige, we understand that having a great company culture has a positive effect on the people that work for us. Although nice, we believe company culture is not all about the flashy perks. Culture comes from how the company is run, with directors and managers really setting the stage for the tone of the organisation. It really all starts with the companies values that are a foundation for everything. Core values tend to drive a business and the culture, so getting these right from the start is key to a successful business.

Our first video was from our Birmingham branch and here is our second video from the Wilmslow crew:

If you did miss it, here is our video from the Birmingham office!

Our third instalment comes in the form of an interview with Senior Consultant Hannah Knight. You can see her video here:

Keep your eyes peeled for future videos in our company culture video series!

How to Promote Yourself at Work

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Most people at work will keep their head down, work hard and hope that their accomplishments will get them noticed. Unfortunately, in today’s modern workplace, you are actually hindering your own progression. Whether you like it or not, promoting yourself at work is actually a necessary part of the workplace. It’s important that you take the time and effort to ensure that your managers and co-workers know what you do, what you excel in and what you have accomplished. You don’t need to brag as such, but just make sure you promote yourself well so that your company knows exactly what you do.  

 By doing this, you can establish yourself as an authority and a valuable member of your working team. Prestige Recruitment Group have therefore compiled a list of our top five tips to help you promote yourself at work!


1) Understand Your Best Skills

Before you can promote yourself at work, you need to make sure you know what it is you excel in! Once you have an understanding of your best skills, you can put yourself forward to helping out with certain jobs you feel that you’re good at, especially those outside of your working responsibilities. For example, if you think you will be good at training employees because you did it before in a previous job, mention it to management and say you wouldn’t mind helping out with training new recruits because you were good at it in your old job. You might be doing them a favour – and will get your name out there! 


2) Become An Industry Expert

If you are really serious about your career and the industry you are working in, make sure you carry out some research to ensure that you are up-to-date with all the relevant facts and news! Create a LinkedIn page, post blogs about your industry and attend seminars. If you are constantly trying to learn more and attending different events, you will quickly brand yourself as someone significant in the industry.


3) Talk!

The small talk office chat you find yourself partaking in every day is a great opportunity for you to self-promote! If your boss asks ‘What’s new?’ this is a perfect opportunity for you to let them know all about the important event on recruitment marketing you went to on Saturday – or about how you have just finished a blog post on your LinkedIn page.  Casual office talk makes up a large percentage of interaction in the workplace, to take this opportunity to discuss what you are working on and how it will affect the company. Show off your enthusiasm. These conversations can build up your positive reputation and will illustrate all of your hard work.


4) Never Compare Yourself to Others

When you’re promoting yourself, you don’t need to put others down. Avoid comparing yourself to others at all costs because you don’t want to make other people feel bad in order to make yourself feel better. This will reflect badly on you anyway, and it won’t really be a beneficial way of promoting yourself. If you do want to compare something you’ve done to something, compare it to your own previous experience to illustrate that you’re growing!


5) Help Others

Linking back to this previous point, if you do see someone who appears to be struggling, you should offer them some help. Everyone has their own work, and sometimes you genuinely can’t help someone else out but if you have the time and knowledge, make sure you use them!  Step up when people need you, and don’t shy away. This gives you a great opportunity to show that you know your stuff. Not only will it build up your reputation, it will also show management you are happy to help others.


If you are looking for a new role, get in touch. Be sure to check out our other blogs here.

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


How Do You Create a Happy Workplace Culture?

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Nowadays, work is much more than just the job you are doing. Over recent years, there’s been an increased emphasis on workplace culture and atmosphere, as well as happiness in the workplace. People want to be happy at work, so adjusting and changing your workplace culture to ensure that your employees are content, engaged and excited is absolutely vital. In fact, companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%! Prestige Recruitment Group have therefore created a list of the top five things you can do to try and encourage a happy workplace culture: 

1) Deliver Praise and Recognition 

In a working environment, it can become easy to only pull your employees up when they have done something wrong or not performed as well as they should have. In order to keep a happy workplace culture, it’s absolutely vital that you also deliver praise and recognition when your team do well. Feeling under-appreciated is one of the main reasons why people quit their jobs so make sure you encourage and motivate your employees by constant recognition. When you notice someone going above and beyond, let them know that you have noticed it. 

2) Make Work Fulfilling 

If people feel like the work they’re doing doesn’t matter or make a difference, they’re not going to find it fulfilling. If someone doesn’t find their work fulfilling, they’re not going to enjoy their job and working environment. Therefore, it’s vital that you explain the importance of each person and their roles so that people can feel important and happy within your organisation. This is quite an easy process – you can actually just write down and illustrate how each team member’s role is important to the company. 

 3) Meaningful Benefits

Jobs are so much more than a salary now and new generations of workforce appreciate other perks and benefits that come along with the job. There are tonnes of different perks you can offer your employees to illustrate that you appreciate them and the work that they do – from free breakfasts and gym memberships to unlimited holiday entitlement! Even little things will make your employs feel appreciated and happy, which emphasises the happy workplace culture! 

4) Invest In Your Team’s Personal Growth 

Personal development is something that shouldn’t stop just because your employees are working for you. When employees feel stagnant and like nothing is changing, they are likely to start scrolling through the job boards in search of something new. There are a few things that you can do to help your members of staff with their growth from sending them on courses or letting them attend conferences! It’s important that as a team, everyone is always setting personal goals. Everyone should aim towards these goals over the period of a year, and when employees reach their goals, they will feel like they’ve achieved something from work – which makes them feel motivated, engaged, and most importantly, happy.  

5) Build and Share Trust

One of the most important things about having a happy workplace culture is that your employees need to feel trusted! If you’re constantly micromanaging or making your employees feel unworthy, they’re not going to feel happy at work! Give your team responsibility because it shows that you’re confident in their abilities, which makes them feel appreciated and responsible! 

If you saw our blog last week, you’d have seen our blog about company culture and what it means to us. As well as this, Prestige Recruitment Group are currently busy shooting videos on the ‘Art of Company Culture,’ but we do have a prequel video to give you a flavour of what to expect. (There are doughnuts too!)

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

What ‘Company Culture’ Means to Us

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In today’s modern workplace, company culture is an integral element to every business and it affects nearly every aspect of a company. Company culture means something different to every person, but without a positive culture, many employees will struggle to find real value in their work. According to Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe that a distinct corporate culture is vital to a business’ success. The survey also found that there is a strong correlation between employees who feel happy and valued at work and those who say their company has a strong culture.  

Thinking about company culture, we asked our employees if they felt company culture was important, and if so why. We also asked them about how they would describe Prestige Recruitment Group’s culture.

Our results found that 100% of respondents believed that company culture is important, with 80% believing it to be ‘very important’. When asked why, 40% of respondents made reference to the amount of time spent at work, responding with comments such as:

‘You spend more time with your work colleagues in the week than anyone else so the culture is vital…’

As well as this, 50% of respondents made reference to how company culture may affect work performance, responding with comments such as:  

            ‘A positive work culture also has a massive impact on performance,’ and  

‘I also think a positive company culture encourages better performance and employee satisfaction.’

Another 40% of respondents also made reference to company culture setting expectations, with comments such as:

‘I feel that culture is important as it sets the pace for how the team works and what the expectations are.’  

When asked to describe the company culture here at Prestige, the most common responses were found to be ‘supportive’, ‘inclusive’, and ‘great teamwork’.

The next most common responses were ‘friendly’, ‘positive’, ‘fun’, ‘flexible’, ‘open’ and ‘honest.’  

Here’s what some of our employees had to say:

‘From my perspective I feel we have a lovely balance of a high energy and a fun environment combined with being surrounded by people who love performing to their highest ability. This is all rounded off with a friendly, supportive and inclusive atmosphere!’  

‘I would say our culture is bright, innovative and has an flexible open door policy.’

‘I would describe our company culture as fun, exciting and challenging.’

‘We have a strong family culture, close knit with an ethical work ethic, loud and vibrant.’

‘I would describe our culture as calm and very supportive in the way that everyone helps anyone if needed regardless of what department they work in.’

‘ We are recognised as an important part of the business not just a number.’

 ‘We all work as a team to achieve the end goal and support each other. They understand my commitments outside of work and offer a work plan that allows me to have the work life balance I need. It is the type of culture where you can be yourself and not be afraid to ask question or speak out.’  

‘Open, honest, family feel and collaborative.’

We are currently in the process of working on a great video all about our company and our culture! It will be released next Tuesday so keep your eyes pealed! Our other blogs related to culture can be found here!

Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004

How to Answer: ‘What motivates you at work?’

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If you’ve read our previous blog post ‘The Top 10 Interview Questions You Should ALWAYS Prepare For!’ you’ll have seen that one of the questions you should prepare to answer is ‘What motivates you?’ This is a question that throws off many candidates because it’s quite broad and can be very easy to misinterpret. Because of this, Prestige Recruitment Group have decided to decipher this headache-inducing question and break it down into an easy and answerable subject.   

So, let’s decode the question. Firstly, it’s important to note that the question is not asking you ‘What are your motivations for applying for the job?’ and ‘What are your career goals and aspirations?’

The question is actually asking what gets you out of bed in the morning, what makes you want to go to work?

Your interviewer wants to know what makes you tick, what you enjoy doing and what you value at work. They want to see how you would fit into their business.

The first questions you should ask yourself when preparing to answer this question is:

·      What do you enjoy doing? What did you enjoy at school/college/university? What have you enjoyed doing while working at part-time jobs or internships?

·      When you got home feeling like you’d had a good day – what kind of tasks projects had you tackled? 

·      What sort of tasks are you best at? In what sort of environments do you work best?

·      Do you work better in a team or by yourself?

Once you have a bit more of an idea about what it is that does make you happy to go to work, the best way to answer this question is to be honest. As well as this, you should also connect to the vacancy you are going for by suggesting that you would be suited to the role because of what motivates you.

Whatever you say about motivation, you need to back it up with examples. Here’s an overview of types of experience that you may find motivating:

·      meeting deadlines, targets or goals

·      mentoring or coaching others

·      learning new things

·      coming up with creative ideas that are innovative and fresh

·      analysing complex data to make it simple and understandable

·      leading a team to success

·      being in a team

·      completing a difficult project because of the pride you feel after

·      being able to physically see a project come to life

·      solving problems

Whatever answer you pick, it’s absolutely vital that you make sure you choose an answer that is personal and relates to your own background.

An example of a good answer is:

‘I am motivated by being able to see the work I have created – it gives me a real sense of accomplishment. For example, when I was working as a journalist for the student newspaper at University, I would feel so proud when I could look at my work in the newspaper and see all my hard work come into physical form!’

This response answers the question and supplies evidence. It’s also important that your answer is relevant to the role you are applying for – so this answer would be relevant if you were applying for a journalistic role or a content creator. If, however, you were applying for a job in sales, you could answer the question by talking about how motivated you feel when you reach sales targets!

As we said, it’s vital that you prepare for each potential interview question before you’re actually in that interview room. Check out our other blog posts here to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for whatever question gets thrown at you!


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004



Is it Time to Rethink the Meaning of Work?

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In recent years, there has been a great deal of information written about the development of automation, tech and artificial intelligence, and although many people have different opinions – the general census is that this development is something to fear. There are reports of predicted mass unemployment and declining wages. In fact, a recent study from Oxford University estimated that that 47% of all American jobs and 54% of jobs in Europe are at a very high risk of being replaced by machines over the next twenty years. So is it time to rethink what we thought we knew about working?


Work: The Definition

If you were asked to define the meaning of work, what would you say? For some, it’s a moneymaking enterprise that they’re not too bothered about whereas for others, it’s a place of paradise where they are truly happy. What’s most surprising is that the number of people who enjoy their job is slowly decreasing as technological developments grow.

In 2013, a survey by Harvard Business Review surveyed 12,000 professionals and found that 50% of participants felt that their job had no ‘meaning and significance.’ Another poll carried out later among 230,000 employees in 142 countries showed that merely 13% of workers actually enjoy their job. The most shocking statistic is probably the fact that a recent poll found that 37% of British citizens think their job is actually useless.

In Britain specifically, our education system is used as a way to train individuals so that they are suitable for employment later into their life. So it’s surprising that these people who are deemed successful and knowledgeable after preparing to join the workforce, have said their job is actually useless. Is this just another sign that we need to rethink the meaning of what it means to join the workforce?

The World Economic Forum believes that the meaning of work depends on what you define the meaning of life as, which for most, is probably true. If life is about making money to you, the job you have should probably reflect that; whereas, if your life is about freedom and flexibility, you’ll probably find yourself working less hours and earning less money.

The WCF argue that for too long, people have been working jobs they don’t enjoy to buy things they don’t need, and that maybe the time has come to ‘stop sidestepping the debate’ and answer the question ‘what would our economy look like if we were to radically redefine the meaning of ‘work’?’ In fact, Rutger Bregman, an author who writes about modern day utopia states:

‘I believe in a future where the value of your work is not determined by the size of your paycheck, but by the amount of happiness you spread and the amount of meaning you give. I believe in a future where the point of education is not to prepare you for another useless job, but for a life well lived. I believe in a future where jobs are for robots and life is for people.’

The fear of tech and artificial intelligence has certainly shaken the concept of what we believe work to be, and as we look into redefining the meaning of work, what do you think that means for higher education and the way we prepare future generations to join the workforce? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer, but it’s clear that attitudes and opinions will change over the next few years as technology continues to develop. What do you think?


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004






What Will The Top Jobs Of 2020 Be?

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Society is constantly changing, and with that, so is the working landscape. With the development of tech and artificial intelligence, many jobs have already become less important and less needed. For example, warehouse workers can be replaced by machines, proofreading can be carried out by computers and even passport control can be done through imagery systems! ‘The Future of Jobs,’ a report by the World Economic Forum, surveyed executives from more than 350 employers across nine industries and studied what jobs would still be relevant in 2020. After analysing these results, Prestige Recruitment Group have made a list of the top five roles we believe will be relevant in a couple of years.


1)    Data Analysts

The world of technology will expand at an increasing rate, so there will be a focus on computer occupation roles, specifically data analysts. According to the report by the World Economic Forum, data analysts will become increasingly important in all industries in 2020. It is believed that as technology develops further, we will need data analysts in order to make sense of the data generated by technological disruptions. Other important computer occupations will include computer programmers, software developers, information security analysts and more.


2)    Architecture and Engineering

By 2020, the demand for architectural and engineering experts will continue to increase. The World Economic Forum states that there will be a growth for biochemical, nanotechnology, and robotics engineers. Demand for these roles will increase, as they are very specialised roles where design is vital – it’s predicted that 2 million jobs will be created worldwide in the architectural and engineering fields!


3)   Salespeople

With further technology developments, there will be an increased need for specialised salespeople who will be able to understand, explain and sell products to a wide range of consumers. For example, salespeople that fully understand their products are the best – so as the products get more technical and specialised, so will the salespeople.  


4)    HR

With the changing landscape, new jobs will be created and people will need to fill them. Human Resources will become vital in this process – specifically with training existing employees with new skill sets. According to the ‘Future of Jobs’ report, 65% of respondents said that they will be investing in reskilling current employees. Therefore, thorough training programmes carried out by HR will be vital – regardless of the company or industry of the business. 


5)   Regulatory Relations Experts

With the introduction of GDPR earlier this year, many companies discussed regulations and standards with legal experts who made sure that the business was fully covered and not breaking any legal regulations. These legal experts will become more sought after as the years go by. With the development of tech, traditional rules are expected to change. For example – what would the legal requirements be for driverless cars? Drones? Supermarket VR? It’s expected that there will be more rules, and so legal experts will have to be on hand to help businesses and companies the same way they supported through GDPR!


It’s difficult to know for sure what roles will actually be relevant in 2020 until we actually get there, however, this blog is written following the findings from the ‘Future of Jobs’ report. Regardless of the technicality of roles, there is absolutely no doubting the power that the tech industry has to completely change the work landscape. With the development of tech, you’d be silly not to read our blog about Birmingham and tech! You can read it here


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004


A Day In The Life of a Digital Marketer

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What’s it like to be a Digital Marketer at Prestige Recruitment Group?

We caught up with Jessica Greaney who is our digital marketer based in our head office in Birmingham. Here’s what her role involves:

‘Working as the digital marketer for Prestige Recruitment Group, every day is different. I have a certain routine I try to stick to, but other tasks may be more important so I often have to prioritise.

‘Something I have to do everyday is work through my emails, where I receive candidate consent forms. I then update our Customer Relation Management System to ensure we are GDPR compliant at all times. I will update this system three times a day, as it’s an essential element to my role.

'On a Monday, after I have updated our CRM, I sort through our social media channels. Using a social media management programme, I will schedule relevant content and posts for the week. This takes a lot of time, as I have to read through different types of content to check it is appropriate and relevant to the audience our social media channels have. After I have done this, I often create Instagram posts using Photoshop, which will drive traffic to our website.

'Throughout the week, you can usually find me creating content, content, content! I write blog posts for our website, and create images and photos to post alongside it. This is fun, and I spend a lot of time making sure our content is relevant, unique and targets the right people.

‘Other tasks I do throughout the week include updating the website and doing things like adding testimonials and updating the Meet the Team page. Sometimes, I use programs such as Illustrator and Photoshop to create Newsletters and eBook documents too.

‘I’m currently in the process of training, and I can’t wait to learn more! I’ve only worked at Prestige Recruitment Group since January, and it’s been a great seven months so far. I have enjoyed learning what I have learnt so far, and the atmosphere in the office is very friendly.’

A Fact About Jess: She graduated from the University of Nottingham last year with a 2:1 in English Language and Literature! 


Jessica Greaney
Digital Marketer
0121 244 5004