How to prepare for an interview


Having been selected for interview the next step is to prepare for that interview. Often, you may have limited time to do this and so it is essential to use your time wisely. Here are our top tips:

  • Review the job description – carefully read this through and consider how you can demonstrate that you have the experience to fulfil the required criteria.  Simply, you need to be able to show you understand the role and are suitable for it. If appropriate, bring samples of work with you that are relevant to the job description and refer to these to demonstrate your skills during the interview.
  • Do your research – It is crucial to show an interest in the company and its products. Therefore, look at the company’s website to get a thorough understanding of its values, market, structure and customers. The news section will give you an update of its most recent developments and press releases and an idea of future plans.
  • Let yourself be interviewed – It is important to let the hiring manager control the interview and try to answer only the question asked. Although it is tempting to provide a detailed run down of all your experience, limit answers to only those details relevant to this role. If more detail is required, the interviewer will ask follow-up questions. Interrupting or providing long monologues will only use up the interview time and may mean that the hiring manager is unable to ascertain whether you are suitable for the role in the time available.
  • Consider what questions you may be asked – You are likely to be asked questions to ascertain your technical abilities and your ‘softer skills’ such as presenting skills, teamwork, report writing, problem solving, dealing with difficult customers etc. Brush up on your technical knowledge prior to the interview and consider examples you can use to demonstrate how you have put these and other skills into practice in previous positions you have held.
  • Your questions – You will always be asked if you have any questions and it is advisable to prepare these in advance. Your opportunity to ask questions will usually be in the final part of the interview and consequently this is your last chance to make an impression.  Request clarification on any aspect of the role you are not clear on,  ask about the company’s future plans/upcoming projects or perhaps any announcements the company has made about new products etc. Use this as an opportunity to show you are interested in the company, you have done your research and that you want this job.
  • Confident or anxious?– The two extremes of anxiety and over-confidence can both put your prospects of a successful interview at risk. Feeling nervous is to be expected and can come across as a sign that you want the job. Better this than a detached and over-confident approach which could be mistaken for arrogance or that you do not want the position at all. Finding a balance is key.
  • And finally be professional – First impressions do count so dress appropriately and try to be approachable, professional and friendly.

For further advice on how to prepare for an interview, please contact us.

About Us – Premea is a specialist recruitment consultancy offering permanent and contract engineering positions within the Automotive, Motorsport, and Aerospace sectors. If you would like to search our current vacancies please visit our website at

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Premea achieves REC accreditation

REC Member Logo

We are pleased to announce that Premea Limited has been approved as a Corporate Member of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).  The REC is recognised as a leading professional body within the recruitment industry. Premea has successfully satisfied REC Corporate Membership Criteria and has committed to its Code of Professional Practice.  Adherence by Premea to this Code demonstrates our commitment to professional and ethical recruitment.

Membership of REC provides assurance to both candidates and clients of Premea’s commitment to quality and adherence to recognised industry standards.

Further information on REC can be found at

Posted in Accreditation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Flat Rate Scheme for VAT – FAQs

What is the Flat Rate Scheme?
If you are a limited company contractor and are currently VAT registered or thinking about becoming VAT registered then you may want to consider joining the Flat Rate Scheme. The scheme could reduce the time you have to spend working out your VAT and potentially could result in a saving to you. This is because the scheme enables you to calculate your VAT payments as a fixed percentage of your total VAT-inclusive turnover. The percentage will depend on the type of business you have. You will need to show a VAT amount on each sales invoice but you do not need to:

• Record how much VAT you charge on every sale in your accounts; or
• Record the VAT you pay on every purchase.

In comparison under standard VAT accounting, it is the difference between the VAT charged to your customers and the VAT you pay on purchases that will be the amount of VAT you pay to the HMRC (or claim back from them). Therefore, under normal VAT accounting you would claim back the VAT charged to you by other businesses. Under the Flat Rate Scheme, you do not claim this back as the flat rates are calculated to make allowance for this (i.e.) VAT is paid back at a lower percentage.

Should I join the Flat Rate Scheme?
The scheme can help small businesses by reducing the administrative burden of recording VAT on sales and purchases. Remember that you will still have to calculate and issue VAT invoices if your customers are VAT registered.

Whether or not the scheme will benefit your business will need to be carefully considered and advice from your accountant should be sought.

If you operate in a business sector that has a low Flat Rate Scheme rate and you have limited purchases, this may result in a saving to you. However, remember the flat rates are averages and so some businesses may end up paying more VAT. Whether or not your business will benefit financially from the VAT Flat Rate scheme will depend on the number of purchases you make.

Who is eligible?
Your business may be eligible if your estimated VAT taxable turnover (excluding VAT) in the next year will be £150,000 or less. Your VAT taxable turnover is everything you sell during the year that is liable for VAT. There are certain circumstances where a business will not be eligible to join and the HMRC guidance should be carefully considered.

What percentage will be applicable to my business?
The percentage applicable will depend on your business sector. These are detailed in the HMRC guidance and you must choose the one that most closely describes your business. For example, the HMRC guidance suggests that ‘Engineering Consultants and Designers” will be classed under the trade sector for “Architects, civil and structural engineers”. This is currently set at 14.5%.

What if my business is newly VAT registered?
If your business is in its first year of VAT registration, you can reduce your flat rate by a further 1% until the day before the first anniversary of your VAT registration.

What about purchases?
Generally, you will not reclaim the VAT you pay on purchases (although you may be able to reclaim VAT on high value capital asset purchases of more than £2000 – see HMRC guidance).

How long can I stay in the scheme?
Until your total business income is more than £230,000.

How do I join the Flat Rate Scheme?
Full details of how to join the Flat Rate Scheme can be found on the HMRC website. Please remember that professional advice should be sought in respect of VAT registration and in particular the Flat Rate Scheme with your chosen accountant. The HMRC guidance should also be considered and information on the scheme and how to join can be found at the following address:

Posted in Limited Company Contractors | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 5 CV tips for Engineers


First impressions count and when searching for a new job your CV is the first contact a prospective employer will have with you.

Here are our top 5 tips:

Tip 1 – Tailor your CV

It is crucial that you review your CV for each job you are applying for. Carefully review the job description and ensure the required skills and experience standout on your CV. Consider having a key skills section at the top of the CV tailored to the role you are applying for.

Tip 2 – Consider the layout

Your CV is an advert for you and the layout and style are key. The best CVs adopt a simple and clear layout and limit the content to only the information relevant to the job being applied for. Be careful not to make the CV too long and be aware that any use of colour, graphics and pictures may distract from the content of the CV.

Tip 3– Highlight recent experience

The hiring manager will be interested in your recent experience so make sure that this is at the top of your employment history. Highlight recent projects and demonstrate how the experience you have gained makes you perfect for the job you are applying for. Technical skills are of course important but do not forget to highlight the other skills that may be equally important for the role such as presentation skills, report writing, client/supplier management, project delivery and leadership skills. Include good examples to demonstrate the quality of this experience.

Tip 4- If in doubt leave it out

Whilst it is tempting to detail all your achievements in your CV, providing too much information may mean that relevant content is watered down or even missed when your CV is reviewed. Consider leaving out anything irrelevant or surplus to the requirements of the role. Also take care when detailing courses or qualifications that were not completed. If you think these may be relevant to the role then explain why in your CV but also ensure you make clear the reasons why the course or qualification was not completed.

Tip 5 – Leave them wanting more

Remember that the purpose of your CV is to demonstrate why you are right for a role. Drafted well it will provide an overview of why your skills and experience qualify you for the role which you can then expand on should you be asked to interview.

And finally …

Before you submit your CV, always spell check and carefully proof read the contents.

If you would like to discuss the contents of your CV please contact us

Posted in CV Tips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment