Successful candidate engagement: AAT’s Kelly Huntington in conversation

Anthony Haynes writes: FJWilson Talent Services (FJWTS) have worked with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) since 2012, initially focusing on a number of new, regional and field-based business development roles.  Here we publish the latest in the resultant series of case studies.

Kelly_Huntington-0057Kelly Huntington was, in recruitment industry terms, a passive candidate when FJWilson Talent Services (FJWTS) approached her for a role at AAT in 2013. At the time, she was content working in business development in the further education sector. Here Kelly shares her experience of FJWTS, informed by her previous experience in the recruitment industry, where Kelly worked for over five years.

In Kelly’s words:

The approach from FJWTS

When Fiona Wilson contacted me via my LinkedIn profile it didn’t even include my up-to-date CV. I explained that I’d only consider moving if it was the perfect job – it would have to tick all the boxes. Fiona persuaded me that the new post at AAT might tick many of these boxes, so I agreed to find out more.

Fiona explained in detail what the job involved, explained the business, and gave background details on the team, including its various personalities. She clearly understood the business, the job and the team inside out.

The selection process

So I updated my CV and agreed to be put forward as a candidate for the role of Regional Area Manager at AAT. The turn-around was very quick and I was shortlisted. The service provided by Fiona and by Dilly Clack  at FJWTS was very personal and the interview preparation was exceptional.

Fiona explained aspects of the interview – without teaching me how to suck eggs – giving information on the structure of the interview, explaining who would be interviewing, what interview techniques they would use, likely questions which would come up. She also stressed the importance of reading the interviewers’ body language in the interview.

Fiona didn’t over-prepare me – it wasn’t a case of telling me what to say – she concentrated on the interview structure and on making sure I gave specific, personal examples when answering questions.

On the interview day FJWTS sent me a good luck message and, after the interview, I spoke to Fiona for a debrief. Fiona wanted to know whether AAT was a company I could see myself working for. To my surprise, I was given feedback from the interview immediately and was invited back for the second – and final – round of interviews.

The second interview centred on a presentation on what I’d do, if appointed, in her first three months. Again Fiona and Dilly helped me with the focus of the presentation and how best to construct the presentation for this interview audience. They suggested I should concentrate on getting my voice across, rather than be distracted by the minutiae of the business.

Fiona and Dilly offered to check my presentation – but I declined (an offer I immediately regretted as I went to the interview and spotted a spelling mistake!) I also prepared questions to ask the interviewers about working for AAT, such as the practicalities of working from home.

Again the feedback from the interview was carried out quickly and I found out I’d been successful on the same day.

Ongoing contact with FJWTS

FJWTS sent me a congratulations present, rang me on my first day, the following week and month to check that everything was going well. I still get Christmas cards and work-anniversary cards from FJWTS:  I really appreciate these personal touches – they’re lovely!

Final thoughts

Whilst initially not interested in changing jobs I moved to thinking the AAT job would be nice to have and by the second interview I’d really bought into AAT and wanted this job desperately.

FJWilson Talent Services are an absolute pleasure to work with. I’m always recommending them as they are really, really supportive and the service I had from them was second to none.


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