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17th May 2011

It's the recruiting season again here at Oxford Web, and I'd like to share with you some little secrets we've picked up over the years, which can make the difference between hiring a useful member of the team, and hiring someone you immediately want to get rid of.

1. In the interview, set the prospective employee a task that is as close to or equivalent to the real job as you can get.  It's surprising how many people don't do this.  Perhaps your candidates don't expect it - but they can hardly complain!  If it's something like design, you could ask your candidate for a portfolio, or to prepare something for the interview, or to talk about their web design process.

2. Hold multiple interviews.  Impressions are often made in the first few seconds, but remember too that first impressions can be wrong.  Have your second interview somewhere different.  Having met you already, your candidate should be more relaxed and you should be able to get closer to the real person.  If you haven't yet formed a complete picture, say so and ask to see your interviewee again.

3. Ask open questions.  Questions with yes/no answers or specific 'right' answers won't allow you to see much of your candidate's thinking.

4. Follow up references. You should have made your judgement on the candidate's interview performance, but a glitch in a reference may help you to avoid a big mistake.

5. Finally, have a probationary period.  Your contract should state the terms of the probationary period, which is effectively a 'get out' clause for both you and the candidate if things don't work out.


EU cookie directive madness

9th May 2011
Categories: cookies, legal

In recent newsletters to our customers we highlighted the European directive coming into force which will unfortunately impose changes on all of our customer websites.

The directive will make it mandatory to inform users about the purpose of any cookies stored on their computers and allow them to refuse the storage of cookies.

Cookies allow users to login, buy products, and carry out other activities on websites, so this unfortunate ruling will affect the majority of dynamic websites on the internet, and every website owner will need to decide how to react.

There are many options to consider, and they will depend on your website set-up.

There is some related guidance from the Information Commissioner's office, here, which we summarise below:

  • you will need a user's explicit consent if you want to store a cookie on their device.
  • there are a number of ways of gaining this consent, but it cannot be buried in a terms and conditions link.
  • The only exception to this rule is if what you are doing is 'strictly necessary' for a service requested by the user, for example they are adding something to a basket.
  • The first step to complying with this directive is to examine your website thoroughly for cookie usage.

Ecommerce websites will still need to be examined in order to eliminate or receive permission for cookie usage before the basket stage.

We are charging a flat-rate fee of £75+VAT to investigate each website, whether it is a ten-page site or a multi-community ecommerce site. The report will list all of the types of cookies saved by the website, and recommended actions.   

The cost of carrying out changes will depend on the report. In some cases it will be negligible; in others it may be significant.

Please request this report from us by emailing Work will be carried out on a first-come first-served basis.

If you have any questions please contact support at the above email address.

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8 Standingford House
26 Cave Street

01865 596 144

Oxford Web is a trading name of Alberon Ltd, registered company no. 5765707 (England & Wales).