Tag Archives: job interview

Hiring Managers – Here is what you should be asking your recruiter

Hiring Managers, you shouldn’t just be asking potential candidates questions. You need to ask potential recruiters a few important questions before you engage their services. Even if your company has used that agency before, you need to make sure that you are getting the right consultant for your vacant position.

Here are 8 questions you should be asking your recruiter the next time you engage an agency/recruiter:
  1. How long has the recruiter been working in recruitment for?
  2. Why are they the right recruiter to find the best candidate for you?
  3. How do they maintain relationships with candidates? What is their candidate care process?
  4. What areas do they specialise in?
  5. What type of clients and industries do they typically work for?
  6. Are there any other consultants in their agency that they work with to source candidates?
  7. What is the process after our initial brief? Do they send a shortlist? How long should I expect it to take?
  8. What happens after the candidate is placed? Do we stay in touch before the candidate start date? After the candidate starts?


Just like most things in life, go with your gut. When you meet with a recruiter for a role, you should have a good rapport and see yourself being able to establish a long term, professional relationship! There are a lot of great recruiters out there, make sure you are working with the best.


Your voicemail just cost you the job

It’s true. You just missed out on your dream job because of your voicemail. It’s unfortunate because your resume was excellent and you really were a perfect fit. Unfortunately though, every interaction a recruiter or hiring manager has with a candidate is part of the screening process – even your voicemail!

Candidates often underestimate what a voicemail can say about them as a first impression. We’ve pulled together some of the most common and outrageous mistakes candidates are making with their voicemail:

No voicemail at all

We get it. A missed call is suffice. You see your friend called. You call them back when you can/want to. Who leaves voicemails these days anyway? But when you start sending your CV out to recruiters and hiring managers, we don’t want the phone ringing out or have a machine tell us to try again later. We want you to call us back when you can talk. A recruiter will want to know we have got the message through to you. We also want to hear your voice.

We’ll convert your message to text

Yeah, no. This doesn’t work. Ever. And a recruiter cannot explain what they want to say in 10 words. You are not a robot and we don’t want to talk at your phone like you are one.

Barely audible message

An unclear and crackly message or a loud background that we can barely hear the message is not selling you to us. If you cannot leave a clear and concise message on your own phone, how will you be communicating with clients and customers in your job? It rings alarm bells.

Inappropriate Recorded Message

“Yo Yo Yo – leave a ****ing message” – Sounds made up right? Unfortunately, not. This is an actual message of a candidate applying for a senior role within a corporate organisation (and on paper they looked good). PLEASE do not have an inappropriate or rude voicemail on your phone. It’s never a good idea. Ever.

Telling us your life story in one message

“I can’t answer the phone right now as I am busy at work and in meetings. I will however be available between 12pm and 1pm to take and return calls. Alternatively you can phone me after 5.30pm when I will be able to answer. If I still miss your call, I might be on the bus or on another call. Please do leave a message with your phone number and reason for calling. Let me know the best time to call you back and I look forward to speaking with you soon…”

While, incredibly polite and helpful. You lost us. Too many excuses and options and sounds kind of desperate…

The perfect voicemail is short, sweet and clear

It tells us you are efficient, professional and polite. Definitely a candidate worth speaking to!!

“This is Joe Bloggs. Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I can. Cheers.”

What Not to Do in an Interview

It’s important that you know what not to do in an interview. We conduct interviews every day. All day. We know a thing or two.
So we asked the team to share some of their best job interview advice (pet peeves).

Our top No/Nos:

*Bring a water bottle or coffee cup

*Taking notes when you should be listening

*Not making eye contact

*Rush your answers or use one word

*Ask for a higher salary

*Monosyllabic answers

*Not asking questions

*Don’t fill in forms correctly (forgetting the detail)

*Asking what’s in it for yourself

*Chewing gum

These might all seem like small things, but they can cost you the job you want. Make sure you check out our biggest interview blunders to ensure you are not making costly mistakes and are prepared for your next job interview.

Six Biggest Job Interview Blunders

Much of your job interview performance comes down to common sense and professionalism. However, every now and then we hear of some really big job interview blunders. Some of them are so obvious but seemingly all too common in today’s job market, while a few are just plain outrageous. Either way, we wanted to share a few with you and hope that you can avoid these mistakes at all costs.

1.     The Mobile Phone Attachment Disorder
We get it. We love our phones too. Most of us are glued to our phones one way or another all day. It’s part of our job and probably part of yours too. But a job interview is one of those rare times that the phone has to be put away. And by put away, we mean, left in your bag, in the car or tucked in your back pocket with the vibrator turned off!!  Most people understand they can’t answer their phones, but really, if you are checking your phone when it lights up, or getting distracted from the conversation when it starts buzzing on the table or in your pocket, you are at risk of blowing your interview.

2.     The ‘My Last Boss was an Ass’ Rant
Yep. This happens. All. The. Time. And you know what? We understand. Lots of people leave their job because they didn’t get along with their boss for one reason or another. HOWEVER, your next potential employer or your recruiter, shouldn’t get the inside goss on this. It’s not professional. Especially in Sydney, where the market is incredibly small and everyone knows someone who knows someone. Whether the issue was any fault of yours is not relevant, it can reflect badly on you and begs the questions: What would you say about your potential new boss if you didn’t get along, and is this a red flag for how you are as an employee?

3.     Getting Too Personal
It’s never a good idea to get too personal with your interviewer. Obviously getting comfortable is one thing, but divulging personal (non-work related) information, is too much too soon.  Don’t sound off the crazy bells. Keep the conversation on track with professional, informative information that is work related.

4.     Don’t Do Any Research
Otherwise known as ‘winging it’ – this won’t work. You need to research the company you are interviewing for. We are not proposing a 10 hour research project and if you are working with a recruiter, the recruiter should be able to give you a lot of this information. However, you do need to go online and have a snoop around. Do some social media stalking. Get familiar with the company in any way you can: who are they, what do they do, where have they been, where are they heading and who you are meeting with. In 2017, there is no excuse not to be doing this online research as a very minimum.

5.     Rock up as Captain Relaxed
This is a job interview. For your career. Being cool, calm and collected is great, but don’t get complacent and assume the job is yours.  Whether you are meeting a recruiter, HR, the line manager or the CEO, you need to treat your interview with professionalism and respect. This means, toss the take away coffee in the bin beforehand, wear appropriate attire for the job and keep your posture in mind. Slouching over or getting too relaxed in your chair is not a good look.

6.    Don’t Respect Everyone
This is a motto for life but you’d be surprised how often people get this one wrong. Don’t dismiss someone because they are not who you are being interviewed by. Many of our clients will ask the receptionist, or anyone else you interact with prior or post your interview what they thought of you and how you treated them. It’s a big deal and if you are dismissive or don’t show all members of the company the respect they deserve, it could come back to bite you. So as in life, make sure you respect everyone in the process and remember that first impressions count.

A job interview is an opportunity. Grab it with both hands, and see what comes of it. Just make sure you are professional and use your common sense. The rest should fall into place.