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How to Use Body Language Effectively at Interviews

When going for a job interview, your body language can make it or break it. From the second you walk in, to the moment you leave, your body language can say a lot about you as a person. How you sit, talk and shake hands can be a deciding factor in whether you get the job or not. Your body language will create potential employers’ first impression of you, so you want to cover the nerves and show off your personality in the right way.

Try to initiate the first handshake, this will make you seem confident and ready for the interview. Make sure to give a firm handshake, not too soft which could make you appear unsure and nervous, and not too strong which could make you seem aggressive. Always make sure to give a handshake with a genuine smile.

Don’t Slouch
How you sit at an interview is important in making a good first impression. Sit up straight, leaning slightly forward to show that you are engaged in the conversation. Don’t slouch or slump in your chair, you want to look comfortable, but not too comfortable.

Eye Contact
Having good eye contact with your interviewer(s) will show that you are interested in the conversation, as well as making you seem approachable and engaged. No eye contact can make interviewees seem nervous or distant. It is important not to stare but to make eye contact every couple of seconds instead.

Nod Your Head
When being asked questions or spoken to about the company by your interviewer, nod your head, but not constantly. This will show attentiveness and will also reinforce to a potential employer that you are listening and understand what is being said.

Hand Gestures
When people are nervous, they tend to either do nothing with their hands, or use them too much. Use your hands subtly to emphasise the points you are making or place them comfortably on your knees with your palms slightly facing upwards. Don’t cross your arms across your body as this may make you come across as defensive instead of open when talking to your interviewer.

Place Your Feet Firmly on the Floor
Once sat, place both feet on the floor. If you would naturally cross your legs, try crossing your ankles instead so if you want to move during the interview, it creates less of a movement and prevents you moving your legs a lot throughout.

One of the most important things to do in an interview is smile. Having a genuine smile will show off your personality to interviewers, and make you open and warm, someone a potential employer would want to hire. However, it is important not to smile too much and appear false or that you are trying too hard. Relax, and let your natural smile follow.

Using body language effectively can show off your personality and help you make the perfect first impression to potential employers. If you’re looking for your next job or to find out more, give us a call.


10 Perfect Interview Questions to Ask Engineers

When preparing for an interview with an engineer, it’s important to plan your questions carefully. As well as delving into subject-specific questions to find out about the skills and passions of a candidate, asking common interview questions is equally as vital. Enquiring about an interviewee’s interpersonal communication skills, teamwork and work ethic will ensure you are hiring the best applicant.

What has been your most challenging project?

This question will cause a candidate to think about a past project and allow you to see which part of their field of work they find challenging and why. It will highlight how they overcame a problem within the project and what the outcome was, showing their problem-solving skills.

Tell me about a demanding written technical report you have completed.

Again, this question will make a candidate reflect on a challenging part of their job, but this time focusing on their written and communication skills. A candidate should be able to go into detail about a report and describe why it was demanding, whilst highlighting their strong communication skills which are vital to any job within a team.

What processes do you have in place to check for mistakes and errors?

A strong engineering candidate will have their own system in place to reduce their margin of error. This question will highlight candidates’ own specific ways to check for mistakes, whether they write down a checklist when starting a project or discuss their process with a colleague. Asking this question is important to ensure your company hire someone who will be conscientious and will avert losing time and money on mistakes that could have been prevented.

Tell me about a time when you have demonstrated leadership skills.

Asking a candidate about a time they have stepped into a leadership role is a useful question to ask candidates applying to roles not only at a leadership level. This question will ask a candidate to describe how they define leadership, as well highlighting how they have demonstrated leadership qualities even if just from working on a small project with a team. It is important to have colleagues who can step up and steer the way when needed.

How do you ensure you stick to project deadlines and schedules?

Any candidate should be able to display strong time management skills. In the field of engineering, sticking to project deadlines is imperative to save your company’s time, money and resources from being used unnecessarily.

What has your workload been like in previous experiences?

This important question will establish a candidate’s expectations of workload within your company. It will also show how well they can handle a heavy workload and get tasks done to a deadline.

What do you enjoy most and least about engineering?

In any job, there are parts that not everyone will enjoy. This question reveals more about the passions and skills of a candidate, and how they deal with the parts of the job they don’t enjoy as much – a fact that is good for an employer to know.

Tell me about a time you became aware of a hazardous workplace condition. How did you handle it?

Asking a candidate this will show their respect for workplace safety, as well has how proactive they were about removing the hazard. This question is relevant to most engineering jobs, but especially to manual engineering.

As there are 6 branches of engineering – mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, geotechnical and management – it is always worth asking subject specific questions.

Why did you choose your specific strand of engineering?

This will show an interviewee’s passions and why they chose to go into their specific strand of engineering. Again, this is a question that will highlight a candidate’s interests and focus, making it clear if they’re suitable for the job they’re applying for.

How much oil is necessary to pollute the ocean? Describe a process for writing a piece of code.

Questions similar to these, for environmental and electrical engineers etc, are perfect to nail down a candidate’s expertise, as well as get them thinking to show their logical reasoning and how they communicate processes and hypothetical queries.

For more information on the perfect questions to ask candidates at an interview, please call us.


Supplying positions for geotechnical engineering

Big Fish Little Fish has been involved within the construction recruitment industry for several years, more recently we became involved within the Engineering industry supplying an array of different positions, which has been a large success to various different engineering companies both large and small.  We are now pleased to advise we are heavily involved within Geotechnical Engineering – working with some industry specialists sourcing excellent calibre candidates.

Geotechnical Engineering has large synergies with both our construction and engineering recruitment, and we are very excited to now be part of a fast-growing industry.

Currently, the roles we are looking at are as follows;

  • Drilling Roles – Management/Hands-on
  • Geotechnical Testing
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Technician
  • Cable Percussion Lead Driller
  • Geotechnical Rotary Driller
  • Assistant Driller
  • Senior Site Investigations Manager
  • Senior Engineering Geologist
  • Groundworker
  • Engineering Geologist

Above are a selection along with various national locations, with key employers within the Division.

We look forward to speaking with both prospective clients and candidates.


The benefits of hiring temporary staff

The Benefits of Hiring Temporary Staff

The cost of hiring temporary workers is often cheaper than permanent employees. A boost of manpower at your business has many benefits. Whether you’re stocking up for a seasonal rush or bringing on extra talent for a special project, short-term hires can help your company in a number of ways.

Access to New Skills

A temporary staff member can bring a variety of new skills and abilities to your company, thereby improving the efficiency of the business. It keeps things moving smoothly if the worker is occupied on a project outside of your present teams own skills.

Morale Boost

Assigning your current team with too many tasks can be quite a burden at times, often decreasing their morale. By hiring temporary staff to assist them, it improves their spirits and lets them focus on assignments that need their talents rather than doing multiple tasks at once.


There are bound to be times when one of your team members goes on holiday or is off sick. Taking on a temporary staff member is an easy solution to this, as they will be able to cover whoever’s off and help out with any further projects.

Faster Recruitment

It’s all very well employing a permanent worker. However, if your business is focusing on a project that requires certain skills, all you would need to do is hire someone with those skills. It’s a quick process, helps benefit your team and spares you from looking for a long-term worker.

Test Drive

The benefit of employing a temporary worker gives the employer a chance to test the worker and see what they can deliver. That way, you can assess the employee’s skills before deciding on whether to keep them on. It is also a good way of seeing what happens when you want to expand your team.

Possibility of a Permanent Post

If the employee manages to do well in their role, there could be the potential of a permanent contract. That, therefore, reduces the cost of interviewing another person.

Big Fish Little Fish is an independent recruitment consultancy with a difference. We care about getting the right people in the right jobs, whether that be a permanent or temporary position.

If you’re looking to recruit a new role for your business, get in touch 0845 0943694


Questions to ask at an Interview

Successful interviews aren’t just about having the right answers. As an interviewer, being asked good questions shows interest and an eagerness to know more about the role. The interview process is about you getting to know the business you may potentially be working for, as well as them getting to know you. Make the interview work for you so you can make a smart career decision based on what you hear.

Can you tell me more about the responsibilities of the role?

This is an ideal question to consider asking. Not only does it help you learn more about what the job role (and the company) is asking for, but you can also prepare yourself for whatever skills are required, as well as how the business works.

How would you describe the working culture?

Linking back to the responsibilities of the job title, this question will help you understand more about the workplace, and whether you feel you are best suited for working there. You should consider asking the interviewer what a typical day at the company is like, and whether there are any out of work social activities.

What skills do you feel make an ideal candidate?

Understanding what makes a great worker is crucial for whatever job you’re applying for. Once the interviewer lays down the requirements for the role, you’ll immediately have a good picture of what you should be striving to achieve if you get the position. Listen carefully to what the employer wants from you.

How can I impress?

Asking this question shows the interviewer a great deal of confidence in you, potentially signalling that you may be the person they need. Pay attention to what they say and if the job becomes yours, you’ll know what to offer them.

Are there any further training opportunities?

Enquiring about training opportunities is a good sign, showing that you’re keen to improve on any of your strengths and that you want to put a lot of effort into the workplace. You might want to ask them what potential projects you would be working on, in case the job is offered to you and then you can prepare yourself.

How are work performances reviewed?

Delivering great results are what matters when it comes to a new job. By asking about how your work is assessed, it indicates to the interviewer that you understand the importance of hard work and that you’re eager in bringing forward excellent quality to their projects.

When do I hear back if I’ve got the job?

This is an archetypal question that most applicants save until the end of the interview. In a way, that’s a good thing. It displays that you’re enthusiastic about starting work and it puts your mind at ease after all the stress of preparing for the interview.

An employee to employer relationship will not work if the employee doesn’t feel they fit, or the employer doesn’t believe the employee is a good candidate. Interviewers often speak to dozens of candidates, who will answer their questions and talk about themselves. Asking questions about the role has a good psychological impact as it helps you to become memorable.


Six signs that it’s time to change jobs

If motivation is dwindling or you feel like you’re not moving in the direction you want to anymore, it may be time for a fresh start. Your interests and goals naturally change over time, but how do you know if you’re ready for a job change? We’ve outlined six signs that indicate it’s time to change jobs.

1.     Not the Right Job

It’s easy for us to start a new job and enjoy it at first. However, if after a while you start to lose your passion for the job, then it’s possibly time for you to contemplate looking elsewhere. Don’t be tied down by a job that doesn’t satisfy you. Think of a career that you are passionate about and go after it.

2.     Feeling Underappreciated

Let’s say that you have great working skills, but none of your colleagues appreciates them. Other workers are being promoted ahead of you, and you’re receiving constant negative feedback from your boss. If you feel this way, then perhaps you need to find another job where you will be valued like everyone else.

3.     Negative Environment

A nasty environment isn’t exactly the ideal workplace. Your colleagues are complaining all the time, your boss is in a bad mood, and it’s all affecting your state of mind as well. It’s important that, if this is the case, you should find another workplace that won’t be so hostile.

4.     Boredom

It’s quite common to feel bored in a job. Unfortunately, feeling bored can be frequent, especially if you’re thinking about working in an area that fulfils your needs. Don’t be ashamed if you feel like that. Focus on what you’re passionate about and start finding a career based around that passion.

5.     No Room for Advancing Skills

Not every job offers you a chance to improve your skills. Even if there is an opportunity, it may be in something that won’t benefit you. Staying in this scenario will only hinder your career, so feel free to find a place that will allow you to grow.

6.     Health

This is the most crucial thing to contemplate if you’re not happy in your current workplace. You end up feeling stressed about coming into work, your sleep patterns are affected, and it can often lead to being ill all the time. Please think of your health. You must consider finding a new job that won’t take such a toll on you.

Sometimes it can be hard to accept that a role, however much you like the company, is just not substantial enough for you anymore. If it’s time for something new and you’re actively seeking new roles or just want to have a chat about your career options, give us a call.


Top 10 tips for choosing the right candidate

When considering recruiting a new employee to your team, it can be quite an intimidating task. You never know if the person you’re hiring is going to be the right one for the job. Listed below are ten tips on how you can choose the right candidate.

1.     Assess the Company Culture
In order to recruit the best candidate, you will need to know what exactly it is your company needs. For example, what specific skills are needed? Assess what your business needs first, and then you’ll be aware of who you will want to recruit.

2.     A Clear Job Description/Specification
Before you begin recruiting the candidate, you should write up the criteria needed for the job role. This includes a summary of the job, the responsibilities and qualifications. With this in mind, you can be specific about the kind of person you want to employ.

3.     Employment History
A perfect candidate is measured by their employment history and qualifications. Be sure to check out an applicants CV and whether their employment history is compatible for the job. It’s important to ask them about what they did in their previous job posts. The more information you gain will help you understand the person a bit more.

4.     Researching their Social Media presence
Social Media is a new tool that helps us to understand the type of person you’re hiring, and if they’ll be a good fit for your team. By researching a candidate’s social media presence, you’ll be able to learn what work experience they have done and who they are as a person.

5.     Developing your Website
You might want to try to develop your career website a little more. This could include biographies about your team, quotes from clients and any exciting projects that you’re currently working on. The more you reveal how your business works, the more likely that an ideal candidate will apply to work there.

6.      Appropriate Questions
In addition to the job criteria, it’s advisable to think of what questions to ask the applicant, as well as the correct answers. It’s alright to take your time with the questions. Make them relevant to your business and see how the applicant answers them. You’ll know then if they’re appropriate for the role or not.

7.     Body Language and Deadlines
Body language is crucial in deciding whether or not you’ll want to hire the person. During an interview, take a look at the way the candidate is sitting, what gestures they use and if they engage in eye contact with you. That way, you’ll have a good idea if they’re ideal for your business. At the same time, ask them how they would go about working towards deadlines. Pay attention to their answer, and their reaction will dictate if you want to employ them.

8.     Any Questions?
One last sign to look out for in an interview is the questions that the candidate asks at the end. Listen carefully to what they’re saying, and how they speak. After that, you’ll easily be able to deduce what kind of person they are and if they are right for your business. You should also encourage them to ask questions about the business and make a note of what they say.

9.      Test Candidates
Depending on whatever business you’re running, you could set the candidate a little exercise during or after the interview. This can be something related to the company, and it will give you the chance to assess how well they work. You could also propose a what-if scenario to them (related to your business) and by listening to their answer, you’ll soon know if you want them on your team.

10.    Outside the Interview
If it is at all possible, you may want to consider taking the candidate outside of the interview and give them a tour of the workplace. This is a good tactic, because not only will it help the person feel relaxed, but it will allow you to see how they react to the company.

Make sure you look beyond the skills and how candidates look on paper. The best candidate should have the most necessary skills but also have the potential to grow and be a culture fit for your team.


Writing a CV: What to (and not to) include

Writing a CV can vary depending on the job you’re applying for. There is no one size fits all solution for the perfect CV, however, it should always be clearly formatted, short enough for a recruiter to scan quickly and tailored to the role you’re applying for.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together some basic rules on what to include and what to leave off.

What to include

Personal Details

Start with your personal details including, name, address and contact details (phone number and email address). Unless otherwise told to, don’t include your age or date of birth.

Personal Statement

This needs to consist of a single paragraph that focuses on your main skills. Make sure the skills relate to what the job title is asking for, but no one likes a show-off, so don’t brag.

Work Experience

When writing about your work experience start with your most recent place of employment, and then work your way back to the beginning of your employed career.

If there are any areas of your work experience that you feel will add value to the job title, be sure to incorporate a lot of detail into them.


Much like your work experience, start off with your latest qualifications and then list all the qualifications that came before. Be sure to only include the grades that you feel are appropriate to the job, particularly the ones that the employers will be interested in reading.


This area will need to be short and relevant to whatever job you are applying for. Pick the interests that are not only related to the job but can also give an insight into why you would be ideal for the role.


For your references, you must include two; either from a previous employer or someone from your academic background. It is vital that you ask permission from your references first, before putting them in your CV.

If there are any key skills that you think will be worth showing to the company, then feel free to create a section based on your achievements. These must still be relevant to your job application, so no waffling.

What to avoid

Irrelevant Information

Be careful not to go on too much about your personal information. As mentioned above, include only the relevant evidence that is suited for the intended job title. We don’t need the full story.

Private Information

In terms of your personal data, don’t mention anything about your date of birth, religious belief, gender or nationality. This information is unnecessary and won’t add much to your chances of getting the job.

Clichés/Bad Writing

You must be very clear with your writing and avoid stock phrases and generic answers.

Proofread your finished CV or get another person to read through it, before sending to potential employers.

No Photographs

This can be either a necessity or not. Unless the organisation wishes for you to include a photograph of yourself, don’t put one in. If they do, make sure that it’s more of a headshot than a selfie.

Too Bright

A CV needs to be simple and straight to the point. Try not to brighten up your CV by putting in fancy colours and font. Unless you’re applying for a creative position where employers will appreciate the finer details.


Show off your skills and experience by all means but be truthful when doing so. If you aren’t caught out in the interview process, the lie will eventually creep up on you.

Whilst these points are what we recommend for writing a basic CV, make sure you’re adapting to the job you’re applying for and what any requirements the employer is asking for.

It takes just seven seconds for an employer to save or reject a job applicants CV, this means creating a succinct CV is vital if you want to land that all-important interview. If you get the interview? Make it a good one. We’ve identified the top five most common interview mistakes and how to avoid them.

Top Five Interview Mistakes [ ]


5 Signs that it’s time to expand your team

As a business owner, seeing your company grow can be exciting, however, we understand the resistance when it comes to dealing with the overhead of hiring extra employees. As you approach the decision of whether to expand your team, we’ve outlined some red flags that may signal its time.

1.     Friction in your Team

This is a crucial sign to watch out for. Whether they’re putting stress on themselves to meet multiple deadlines due to a high workload, or there’s friction between team members when working on specific projects. Friction and stress within your team can cause unhappy employees as well as work being rushed.

Be careful not to push your employees beyond their limits. A new team member can help to assist with the workload and bring a fresh perspective to the working environment. Keeping your company culture positive and providing an enjoyable working environment is vital for any business.

2.     Deadlines aren’t being met

Where there’s stress, there’s the chance of missing out on deadlines. If extra effort is needed for a particular project, other deadlines are likely to be missed or extended. This could result in promises to clients not being met, or other employees not being able to do their job until others have completed their tasks.

If this is the case, new employees can help to assist in workload and as a result, meet deadlines set either internally, or by your clients.

3.     Business Loss

Nothing hurts more in a business than an unhappy client. Whether the work your producing is not up to the usual standard, or not getting done at all, keeping your clients happy should be one of the main priorities of your business. If your clients are a little too quiet or have multiple complaints, it’s time to look into how hiring an extra team member can fix this problem.

4.     Turning Down Offers

With business growth comes an increase in sales. Whilst this might be music to your ears (or bank account), if your team can’t handle the mass amount of work they currently have, they’re not likely able to handle anything new coming in the door.

If you’re having to turn down offers (and money) take a look at areas in your team where expansion can help to handle the extra business you’re signing.

5.     A Fresh Perspective

Whilst you might have hired ‘experts’, new employees can help to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to your team. We don’t doubt that your team members are more than capable of carrying out their jobs, however, hiring someone new can help to elevate the level of service you’re providing. As they say, two heads are better than one.

If you’re looking to expand your team, get in touch. It’s important for us to find the right people for the right jobs. This is more than just a skills match, but a personality matches too, making sure that the candidate and the company are the perfect match for each other.


Top Five Interview Mistakes

Damn. I knew I shouldn’t have told them that.
It’s happened again. You made a fatal error during a job interview. Blown your only chance to impress the panel. And now, you’re kicking yourself. Stressing that it may happen again at your next opportunity.

Fear not, fellow reader! We’ve all been there, done that and bought the T-Shirt. The important thing to do is move on and learn what to dodge when another interview comes along. Listed below are five mistakes that can occur during an interview, and how you can avoid them.

Always dress for the occasion

The most crucial detail in a job interview is the dress code. A common mistake is not being dressed in smart clothing and walking into the room with inappropriate or casual clothing, which doesn’t exactly paint you in a good light. No matter which company interviews you, the key to success is to always dress to impress.

We decide on someone in the first 5 seconds based on appearance, dress to impress is so important.  Wear colour, this always makes you remembered – it doesn’t have to be grey or black.  Think about the company you are interviewing at – do research on their culture – this will help.

Know Your Enemy

Think of it like this; the interviewer is your opponent and the interview itself is the battlefield. If you want to win the job, it’s advisable that you research what it is that the company you wish to work for does. Look at everything they have to offer, and see what you can bring to the table, in terms of responsibilities and qualifications. If you haven’t researched, then you’ll stand out like a sore thumb.

Explain Yourself

This is an obvious trap for interviewees to wander into. You stride into the room, only for them to frown if you come up with a vague answer to one of their questions or if you’re not being clear about something on your CV. Be prepared for anything in that moment. Listen carefully to the questions. Have your CV at the ready, that’s what’s important right now: Pitching yourself and what you can do. Match your skills to what they are wanting and give relevant examples.


It’s very easy for you to be yourself, and rightfully so. But in the case of an interview, it’s important to be confident in all of the above reasons. The worst thing you can do is show no confidence whatsoever, whether it be in the form of fidgeting, not looking the interviewer in the eye, or just simply mumbling your answers. Remember to sit up straight. Give them eye contact. Show them what you’ve done on your CV. Walk into the room, and give it your best shot, otherwise, it may not happen again.

Full of it

I know we’ve mentioned confidence being important in a job interview, but don’t overstretch it to the point of being arrogant. This can also manifest itself in body language, such as slouching, telling too many jokes, and interrupting the interviewers. It is important to be as honest as you can in the interview, even if you don’t end up getting the job.

Make a good impression but don’t be arrogant.

There you have it. Five interview mistakes you need to avoid if ever applying to a job.

Any questions? Let us know, we’ll be happy to help