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Hints & Tips

Ready for Your Interview?

The interview process is a two-way street; although it’s a chance for your potential employer to learn more about your educational and professional background to determine whether you are right for the job, it’s also an opportunity for you to gain more of an insight into whether this job is right for you by asking intelligent questions.


CV Preparation

A CV should be well written and presented professionally in order to catch our eye. Here are a few simple rules which you should always follow – and could dramatically increase your chances of success.

Here’s our list of CV layout dos and don’ts:

  • CV do's

    • Keep it short and sweet
    • Keep it up to date
    • Tailor your CV to the role
    • Choose your font wisely - keep it professional
    • Have work experience in a logical order. Use clear section headings (e.g. work experience, education) and a reverse chronological order to keep things clear and easily legible
    • Play to your strengths. Format your CV to maximise the impact of your application
    • Use bullet points
    • Include contact details, keep email address professional ([email protected] won’t do)
    • Keep formatting consistent 
    • Ask someone to check for typos - we’re all human, it happens. But try to avoid it if possible
    • Explain gaps in your CV

  • CV don’ts

    • Be afraid of white space. Remember: Sometimes less is more
    • Try to include too much. The ideal CV should be a checklist of all of your accomplishments and should be no more than 2-3 pages long
    • Include irrelevant information. Before including any points in your application, ask the same question: will it help you get the role
    • Experiment with size i.e. Arial 11 or Calibri 12 will do. Steer clear of Comic Sans. Making your font larger or smaller to fit onto a page is never a good idea
    • Use crazy colours or fonts
    • Include unnecessary references
    • Include a selfie
Examples of good and bad CVs

Preparing for a telephone interview from the recruitment team at Rentokil Initial

Our interview structure is very much designed to get to know you.

We will want to talk through your CV and why you have applied for this specific role, also what you know about us? We will finish off the interview with some straightforward interview questions. So all in all it should only take 20/30 mins of your time.

  • What sort of things can you do to prepare -

    • First things first, make sure that you know your CV and know your strengths. We will want to know:
      • Reasons for leaving your previous roles?
      • Why there are gaps in your CV?
      • What were your roles and responsibilities? 
    • Look at the job description again and know what you are applying for.
    • Research us. Start with our website. We would always suggest that you look at the website and the different divisions we operate in. Once you have done that we would say to look at the specific division that you are applying to? Look at the different products and services we offer, so that you can show off how much you already know about us.
    • If you are applying for a graduate role then you will want to look at the graduate pages on our website as well.
    • Look at our company reviews on Glassdoor. You need to make sure we are the right fit for you as well as you being the right fit for us.
    • Make sure you have thought of some examples for any competency based questions we will ask.

Nailing Your Dream Job at Interview

We know Interview’s can be nerve wracking - we want you to take that nervous energy and make it a positive experience. If you are organised you will find your interview far more enjoyable.


Here are a few hints on what to do on the day of your interview to give the best possible version of yourself!

  • Research

    So you really want a job with Rentokil Initial? Prove it!! Get onto our website, Glassdoor and YouTube and find out as much as you can about us. What are our values, what do we do and how do they do it. You’ll almost certainly be asked “Tell me what you know about us?” and it will be easy for you to answer the question and show the hiring manager that you’ve put effort into researching before coming along.

  • Prepare

    9 times out of 10 we will ask you competency based questions. Find out how to answer these effectively here but more importantly have a think about your work experience and education and have examples of where you have provided a good customer service, where you have shown effective communication, where you have worked well as part of a team teamwork, for example, in your mind. Also think about what your strengths and weaknesses are and how this will help you in the role you have applied for and why you want to work with us, so when you are inevitably asked about this you have examples fresh in your mind!

    Also have some questions prepared for the hiring manager - these can be around responsibilities of the role, career progression, anything that is of importance to you!

  • Appearance

    Now this one is important. Stick with suitable office attire regardless of what everyone at the company wears. We wear fleeces, but I wouldn’t recommend that you do the same for interview.  You should look smart and professional. i.e. shirt / blouse and trousers or skirt. It’s also important to make sure you are well groomed – hair brushed, teeth brushed, beard trimmed, nails cleaned along with looking and smelling fresh. Think and dress like a professional and you’ll exude confidence.

  • Interview Location

    Make sure you know exactly where you’re going, who you are meeting and what time you are meeting. Usually we hold the interviews in our local offices but there may be times we can’t do this. Do a test run so you know where to park (we don’t always have parking available on site) and how long it’s going to take you to get there. Allow extra time on the day, it’s always good to be 5 minutes early rather than 5 minutes late!

  • The Day of the Interview

    • Relax. Be yourself and show us why you are ideal for the role.
    • Take a copy of your CV with you along with copies of your educational qualifications and be sure to show these to the manager.
    • Remember to switch off your phone - you won’t want to be distracted!
    • Be confident and try to be positive about your abilities but also about your employer.
    • Speak clearly and confidently when answering questions and whatever you do don’t swear or use slang
    • Make sure you give full questions to competency based questions. Use the STAR method.
    • But most importantly - BE YOURSELF! Allow your personality shine through and try to build a rapport with the interviewer. We are all human and at Rentokil Initial we are looking for our next family member - not a robot designed to ace interviews!

Competency based questions and how to answer them!

Have you heard of competency based questions before? At Rentokil Initial we will almost always ask one or more competency based questions at face-to-face interview. We want to hear your real life career examples or learning experiences and competency questions are a great opportunity to show off and highlights in your career and strengths.

We understand that when you hear the words ‘competency based questions’, it can often fill you full of dread and panic, especially at interview! There is no need to worry anymore. All you need to do is remember this simple and straightforward technique and you will never worry about answering competency based questions again!

Use the STAR technique to shine at your interviews!

If you are faced with questions which require you to talk through an example, for example; “Tell me about a time when you have…” or “Describe a situation where you….” or “Explain to me how you would”, try following STAR to help streamline your answer whilst still giving the interviewer the information they need and give you confidence in your presentation.


    You should always open any competency based question by briefly describing the situation. 

    An example of this would be:  “When I was working in a newly formed team as Team Leader with…”. This helps set the scene for the interviewer.


    Once the background is clear you should then begin to describe what it was you were tasked to do or what you were aiming to achieve. 

    For example “I had to resolve a disagreement within the team”.


    You should then describe what you did, how you did it, why you did it. 

    This is the most important part of your answer as it is your chance to show your actions and demonstrate your abilities. Remember to talk about what you did not the company or group as a whole. 

    Use “I” not “we”, the interviewer will be interested in you!


    What happened? What was the outcome?

    A “result” can be any number of different outcomes from achieving a goal, or hitting a target to getting positive feedback or learning something new. It’s always a good idea to give an example with a positive result!

Typical Competency based question and how to answer it using the STAR technique

Question: Describe a situation when you had to deliver excellent customer service following a complaint?

  • S - A customer rang up complaining that they had waited more than two weeks for a reply from our sales team regarding a product query.

  • T - I needed to address the client's immediate query and find out what went wrong in the normal process.

  • A - I apologised, got the details and passed them to our head salesperson, who contacted the client within the hour. I investigated why the query hadn't been answered. I discovered that it was a combination of a wrong mobile number and a generic email address that wasn't being checked. I let the client know and we offered a goodwill discount on her next order.

  • R - The client not only continued to order from us but posted a positive customer service tweet.