Looking to get a job at Day Lewis? Get your personality and experience across – and make sure you're well-dressed while you're doing it – says Dilesh Patel, the company's recruitment officer
What do you look for in a written application?
In a good CV, you need job consistency. Obviously some people may have gaps, but that's not a problem if you can explain it. I would expect at least three years in each position – it shows commitment that they've actually stayed there.
Applicants should give bullet points on how their experience relates to the position and relevant facts, for example how many people they served to show how busy they were. Spelling and grammar are important.
I don't do a ‘maximum length' on CVs. I know there are a lot of people who say two pages because it's easier to read, but I just want to see who the person is. You don't want five pages, so it's a balance, but they need to demonstrate that they want the employer to know who they are and what they've done.
A brief personal profile is good. I'm very interested in what they do outside the job – if you did bring them in for an interview, it's something to talk about. I know people who have done mountain climbing, for example, and it shows a bit about them. It shows they've got a life outside work as well.
In a covering letter, they should highlight things relating to the position they're applying for and what they've done – examples of customer service, even if it's in Tesco or Primark.
What do you look for at the interview stage?
[A good] first impression is the main thing, so come smartly dressed, suited and booted – that's an important thing. Get there on time, so aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before. Sometimes you do have problems and we try to understand. What I tend to do is give my number out, so they can contact me if they're running late, because there may be a genuine reason.
Do your research. A lot of people don't tend to research what the company does, or what their mission statement might be. I'm not saying they should know everything, but even if they just jot it down on a bit of paper and refer to it in the interview, it shows they've looked it up and have an overview of what we're doing.
It's a good sign if candidates ask questions. A lot of people might think their questions are silly but often they're not, it's showing they want to find out about the company and the opportunities.
Top interview questions asked by Day Lewis
Why have you applied for the position?
What can you bring to the role?
What are you expecting from us?
Mistakes that put applications on the reject pile
● No covering letter
● Missing employment dates
● Gaps of over six months in employment (without giving a reason)
● Poor grammar