Interview Tips for Hiring Managers

Hiring managers need to prepare for interviews just as much as a candidate does. Hiring and on boarding new staff is an expensive part of business operations and preparation is key for the best chance of finding the right candidate, the first time.

Here are our top tips for hiring managers in the interview phase:

Know what you want

Don’t waste time interviewing a dozen candidates or anyone who looks like a poor fit for the role. Use the job description and make sure that candidates match your needs.

Clearly define the job title, responsibilities and expectations of the person. List all the skills – both technical and soft that you want this candidate to have.

Get a second opinion

Once you’ve established a solid shortlist of two or at max three candidates, assemble an interview team. Include people who will work closely with that candidate (even ones who are on the same reporting line and are no more senior than the new hire). Seek the opinions of those colleagues you trust who can provide an honest judgement if the candidate will be a good culture fit and can do the job.

Trust your recruiter

You need to let your recruiter help you. Which is why it is important you have a good rapport and trust the consultant you work with. They will have met with a lot of candidates who closely match what you are looking for and only submitted a small shortlist to you. Ask them why they chose them. Ask who they think is the best match and why. Work with your recruiter and let them consult to you. It’s what they know and what they do best.

Pace yourself

Don’t rush the interview. Whilst we know you are probably busy and have important tasks to get back to at your desk an interview is your opportunity to truly see if the candidate will be a good match to the role.

Start with a brief chat about the background of the company and role. Then dive deeper about the candidate’s experience and what they can bring to the role. Pay attention to the candidate’s body language, enthusiasm and the questions they ask in reply.

Preparation is key

Have a list of questions to ask ready to go. Ask the same questions to each candidate. You may naturally “go off course” from time to time and delve deeper on some answers. However, it is important to bring yourself back to the questions you prepared earlier and compare the answers across each candidate you meet with. Having prepared questions also keep the flow of the interview and helps to keep you on track.

Take notes

Not excessively, but you will need some prompts to remind you later. Trust us. The important answers will stay imprinted in your mind, but when you are comparing more than one candidate, it is best to scribble the important points down and then add more substantial thoughts after the interview.

Be ready to move

Remember that you are most likely not the only hiring manager that candidate is meeting with. When you decide on the candidate you want to offer, keep the ball moving and the pace going. You don’t want to get to offer stage and find they have already accepted another job with your competitor. There is also nothing more disheartening and no bigger turn off for a candidate looking at a potential new job, than the company having massive lags between each stage. Keep them warm throughout the process, start the reference stage, bring them back in to meet the team (at the very least keep the recruiter in the loop so they keep them warm for you).

Hiring doesn’t have to be overwhelming and it doesn’t have to be hugely time consuming. Let your recruiter do the hard yards so that you only have to meet one or two standouts who are the perfect fit for your role. Then, be prepared and ready to hire when you meet The One.



You’re overqualified for the role

What happens when you are clearly overqualified for the role? We hear it a lot. You want to take a step back, focus on family or study or just want to take your foot off the pedal for a bit. But why is it so hard to get a job when you are overqualified?

This is a tricky conundrum for a hiring manager. While they may be able to see that you’d bring a diverse skill set to the job and could perhaps even do the job with your eyes closed, it doesn’t mean you are the right candidate for the role.

We’ve listed the most common reasons why your application won’t be successful and some ways to overcome them too:

Too expensive

Hiring managers and businesses will have a salary and budget allocated for this role. While you may look impressive on paper. They quickly assume they won’t have the funds to meet your expectations or match what you’ve previously been paid.

Make sure on your cover letter and when speaking to the recruiter you make it very clear that you are flexible on salary. Also make it clear that you understand you will be paid the going “market rate” for the job in which you apply for. Not paid for your skills.

You will get bored

This new role won’t have enough challenges for you. Which is possibly the very reason you applied. You need to very clearly state what is driving you to apply for this role and why you are wanting to look for a position that has less demands on you.

You don’t understand the role

On first glance, recruiters or a hiring manger will assume you don’t understand the job ad and that you have applied incorrectly. Make sure you acknowledge the role and the responsibilities in your cover letter.

You’d have more experience than your manager        

This has potential to get awkward. A manager could find this threatening to have someone with more experience reporting to them. You need to reiterate your reasons for wanting this role and what is motivating this career change.

You will leave as soon as something better comes along

This happens when people are unexpectedly out of work or it takes too long to find a new role. They take on a job that is a few steps back and less pay, to tide them over. But as soon as something bigger and better comes along, off they go. Hiring managers have been burnt by this in the past, and they sense that you might just be another candidate looking to “fill in a gap”. Be conscious of their concerns and make it clear why you want this exact job, for the long haul.

The key areas you need to address when applying for a role that you are overqualified include:

Focus on the employer’s needs

Demonstrate your understanding why they may have concerns (see above points) and build a constructive case as to why you are a good hire.

Clarify why you want the job

Make it clear that you want this particular job and why. Without going into too much personal information, acknowledge the difference and explain what is motivating this change in direction/pace.

Highlight what you love about the role

A hiring manager wants to know you are enthusiastic and going to be a good hire. Tell them what you like about the job and the role. Tell them why you want to work for their company. Give them no room to assume that you are not interested in the day to day tasks or will get bored.

Don’t be put off if you get rejected when you first apply for a job you are overqualified for. It may take a few applications and some clear communication on your CV and cover letter to address your reasons and be considered. As Karen our MD has always said, the right job is out there for everyone and there is a right candidate for every job. Sometimes, it just takes a little time.


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.”

Can You Tell A Suitable Candidate From Their CV?

Can you tell a suitable candidate from looking at their CV? Here are our 5 Top Tips to spot a great candidate just from just their CV:


Sh&t happens! Travel, contracts, redundancy and life happens to the best of us! But -there comes a time in your working life where you should have stuck something out for a good 2 years plus .. that’s what we look for. Juniors are pretty much excused from all of the above.


Internal promotion, leading a project, being headhunted by an ex boss – these are all great signs!


If the header on a CV reads “Cirriculum Vitae” – pass!! Rambling and long winded cover letters also tell you something … having said that – not all roles require great spelling – so different horses for different courses!


Would you move from one company to another to do the exact same job? Nor would we – so look for the ability to step up and hire on attitude over a skill that can be trained. Will the candidate’s toolkit translate to your business?


This is tricky without meeting someone in person – however where they have previously worked may be an indicator i.e. huge multinationals or small family businesses. Are the types of company’s complementary or polar opposite to yours?


Remember – a CV is only a snapshot of a person and the whole picture doesn’t come together until you meet them face to face. Sometimes “left of field” candidates are the most successful. Trust your recruiter (if you use one) to fill in the blanks for you …

Should you take that Temp Role or Not?

While in-between jobs, it can be challenging for candidates to know if it is a good idea to accept a temp role or not. No matter what stage of the job search you are in, making a commitment to temp is not always an easy one to make.

We have broken down what questions you should be asking yourself if you are in between roles and considering temping:

Financial Gain?

Can you support yourself for the duration of your job search? Whether it is two weeks or two months, are you able to manage if you don’t have any income from working. If not, temping might be a good solution to keep the cash coming in.

Could It Open Doors?

Temping can be a great way to open a door into a company or role you may not otherwise have had access to. Once you are in, you have an opportunity to make a mark and leave a lasting impression.

Many of our clients ask for temps while they are in the recruitment process. Whilst on paper your skills might not be on par with what they are looking for, once you are doing the job, you are able to showcase your skills, adaptability and rise to the challenge.

It might be that while the temp role wasn’t the right fit for you, the company was. Meeting other team members and management might just open doors to other roles within that organisation.

Short Term or Long Term?

You may only want to commit to short-term temp roles. Any candidates who leave one job for another one, typically have a 4 week notice period. Most hiring managers will be flexible on start dates and will ultimately respect your wishes to complete any short-term contract you’ve committed to. Short-term roles are a great way to maintain a steady cash flow, keep you busy and give you exposure to new industries and roles.

Sometimes longer-term contracts can be better remunerated than a permanent role. It also offers you more flexibility, but equally more security that you have an ongoing role to keep you tied over. You wont be finishing up one assignment hoping to get news of the next one.

Whether you take a short term or long term contract we recommend being fully transparent with your recruiters and any hiring managers (in the temp role or who you are interviewing with) so that there are no issues when the time comes to leave your contract.

What will you get from that temp role?

It could just be as simple as needing some extra cash (don’t we all!). However, a temp role might mean:

  • You get an opportunity to get experience at an awesome company or brand and put that on your resume.
  • You get to trial travelling to a new location to test how the commute is
  • You get to dabble in a new industry
  • Does it do my recruiter a huge favour (which in turn means they will work even harder than normal for you)
  • You get to “try before you buy”. Taking a temp role means you can test out other roles and industries before committing to a perm position.
  • You expand your professional network and potentially meet someone who could open the door to your next role or be your next client

What could go wrong?

Not that we want to be cup half empty here, but what is the worst thing that could happen? You get your dream perm role one week into a four week assignment and have to start immediately? Not ideal. But definitely not the worst thing to happen (especially for you). Just be honest with your recruiter who you are doing the assignment with and be as helpful and flexible as you possibly can.

Of course there is always a chance that you hate the temp role. But, look at it this way, it is only short-term and it all goes as experience on your CV (plus all the other benefits we listed above).

Once you have taken into consideration all of the above questions, you should be ready to make a decision. Is temping the right option for you while you look for a perm role? Who knows, you might like temping so much you choose never to work permanently again!

If you do want to look at temp work, make sure you are registered with us here at qube. We work with some fabulous clients who are always looking for extraordinary temps.

Optimise your Linkedin Profile in 2018

It is time to optimise your Linkedin and make 2018 the year you land your ultimate job. Here are our top tips for optimising a LinkedIn profile before you start your job search.

Profile Picture

If you only do one update on your LinkedIn profile in 2018, make it your profile photo. According to Linkedin, profiles that include a photo are 21 more times likely to be viewed than those without one.

A good profile picture represents you as a worker and someone who your future employer would want to hire.

ILinkedIn profile Photot isn’t a selfie or a photo that has been taken so far away that you cannot see your face. It only has you in the photo (keep group shots and ones of your kids for Facebook) and it isn’t one from last Saturday night when you were out on the town. Keep it professional.

HINT – The new Iphone camera has a “portrait” function in the camera and takes really great photographs. Perfect for LinkedIn.

Create your Headline

Your headline should be keyword rich (yep – Linkedin works like Google). It should be a brief summary of what you do and how you do it. In just a few words. Sell yourself and your skills here! This doesn’t have to be your actual job title – just a summary of what you do.

HINT – Look at the summaries of people in your ultimate dream job and company. See what they are calling themselves and morph your own headline from the best you see.

LinkedIn Summary

Your Linkedin Summary will be the first and often only thing that is read on your LinkedIn profile. Make it POP! This is your 30 second elevator pitch to showcase your experience, achievements, skills and anything else that makes you stand out. Don’t forget to add some keywords!!

HINT – It is only the first two lines of a summary that are seen (you need to click to read more than the two lines). So you really have to sell yourself in those first two lines and get people to click and read your entire summary.

Background Image

Want to stand out? Make a good first impression with any potential hiring managers or recruiters checking you out on Linkedin.

Include a nice graphic as your background image.

HINTUnsplash is free stock image library. Plenty of high quality (non cheesy) stock photos to choose from that you can use to spice up your profile.


Make sure you include your location in your summary at the top of your profile. Profiles with a location get up to 19 times more views according to LinkedIn.

Current Position

This should be the title of your current job. It sits under your Headline and should follow on from your Headline and further explain your expertise, e.g. Team Assistant in Investment Banking.

If you are actively looking for a job and currently unemployed, you could change in your position title to reflect this e.g. “Looking for Next Opportunity || Executive Assistant”. By doing this, you are opening up to your network that you are actively looking for work.

HINT – If you are in between jobs, you can put an end date on your last role and leave a section blank. Alternatively, you can put in new dates and fill in a description of what you have done during that time since your last role. E.g. Maternity Leave, Sabbatical, Traveling or even say “Actively looking for a new opportunity”, etc. You need to be honest, as any possible Hiring Manager will check your work history via reference checks. However, it is up to you if you want to leave it blank or comment about your current situation.

Connect to Company Pages

When you add your experience, make sure you correctly connect to the company page where you previously/currently work. Including a logo and connecting to the company increases your credibility. It also breaks your profile up so it is easier to digest when someone is skimming over your profile quickly.


Summarise your experience in easy to read, bite sized pieces of information. Short sentences or bullet points will work best. Touch on your soft and hard skills as well as your achievements.

Add Skills & Education

These are important details to a potential hiring manager or recruiter. Make sure they are included and completed in your profile.

Ask for Recommendations

Put yourself out there and ask previous managers or colleagues, clients or customers to recommend you. You can do this through LinkedIn and getting a few recommendations is a super powerful way to showcase social proof that you are as good as your summary says you are. A good recommendation will set you apart from others.

HINT – Personalise your request you submit via Linkedin to the person you are asking. Don’t use the standard template as it impersonal.

Connect with your Network

Linkedin is not the same as Facebook. You don’t have to be “friends” with people to connect with them. It is ok and in fact it is best practice to connect with people you have had any form of professional interaction with. The more connections you have, the broader your visibility by other Linkedin users. Which increases your chances of being found by a recruiter, head hunter or hiring manager.

Be Active

Get onto LinkedIn every morning. Share an interesting article. Comment on a post from colleague or someone within your network. The more you engage, the more visibility you have and the more front of mind you are to people within your network.

HINT – Linkedin is most active in the morning between 9am and 12pm. So you should be using it during this time too. Download the Linkedin App and kill some time on your mobile on your way to work on the bus or train.

Once you have your LinkedIn profile optimised. It is time to start sending that CV out to recruiters and applying for jobs (make sure you check out what jobs we are currently advertising). Good luck with landing your ultimate job in 2018!

Hiring Managers – You Need to Work your Recruiter Harder

Hiring Managers, you might need to work your recruiter harder!

Recruitment is a competitive space in Sydney. Let’s face it – recruiters are a dime a dozen. Unfortunately, however, the good ones are not. Now is the time for your recruiter to be working hard for you.

If they are not working hard? You need to review your recruitment partner and either A. work them harder or B. find one who works hard without being asked.

Here are our Top Six Questions you should be asking to know if your recruiter is working hard enough:


1. They work on your role exclusively

A good recruiter will know the market that you are hiring in. They will know plenty of candidates in that space, but possibly not the best one for you….yet. Let them canvas the whole candidate pool and submit to you a shortlist of the actual best. If three agencies are working on the one role, most candidates will only meet with one recruiter. A recruiter cannot compare apples with apples if they are only seeing “some” of the current candidate pool. So go out on a limb and offer them exclusivity. You might find it’s in your best interests, not just the recruiter’s.

Furthermore, if a recruiter knows they have the role exclusively, they can prioritise finding you the best candidate. If a recruiter is competing against three other agencies, they might end up quickly scrambling and sending you whoever they have so that they are in the race. Without taking the time to ensure they are meeting your brief and sourcing you the best candidate.

2. They don’t offer you budget rates

You know the saying: ‘You get what you pay for’? It’s true for recruitment services too. If you are getting flat rates that seem too good to be true, they probably are. A good recruiter knows the value of the service that they are providing and they will work hard to earn that fee. If your recruiter is charging you full fees they should be worth it. This includes offering a true partnership with you, the hiring manager, to ensure that the hiring process is as seamless as it possibly can.

3. They know their candidates

Sending a hiring manager a shortlist of candidates is of course part of the job. However, a good recruiter who is working hard will have met with and know the candidates they are submitting. They will know what is motivating their search for a new job. They will understand their soft skills and hard skills. A good recruiter will understand what will be the right workplace culture for that candidate. They will know their candidates and be able to talk you through why they might be a good solution for your business.

4. They guarantee their work

If your recruiter won’t offer you a guarantee on the candidate’s placement, they are not working hard enough. It can take a good 3 months for a candidate to find their groove in a new job. Which is why businesses offer a probationary period. Your recruiter should be matching this with their guarantee period. Some recruiters even offer a guarantee of up to 6 months. Proof that they are working hard to get the right solution for you the first time. If they don’t, they’ll do the hard work for you again, without any cost to you or your company.

5. They do their due diligence

The recruitment process can be a little like match making. It’s not tinder though and a good recruiter isn’t swiping left or right based on a hunch! There is an initial telephone screening to get a feel if they are suitable. Then there is an interview process with the consultant, possibly even some testing and profiling. At some point in the process, there will also be detailed reference checks. This is not an additional service or a bonus performed by a recruiter. This is part of the job and part of a recruiter’s due diligence.

6. They partner with you

A good relationship with your recruiter is really important. You should feel that your recruiter is your partner during the recruitment process. You should be able to bounce ideas off them. Debrief with them after each candidate interview and talk through your concerns, ideas and objectives. You should trust their expert opinion. And trust they have you, your company and candidate’s best interests at heart. If you cannot trust your recruiter, it might be time to look at other options.

To sum it all up – a good recruiter should work hard for you to find the right candidate for your role. They should also work hard for their candidates. You cannot have one without the other. A good recruiter understands the importance of this and will work hard for both parties to find the best solution. If your recruiter isn’t working hard, you may need to look at why this is happening and decide what you can do to make sure you are getting a better outcome.

Changes to 457 Visa

We had some wonderful news last week with these changes to the 457 Visa conditions.


The Department of Immigration and Boarder Protection has confirmed that from March 2018:

People who held, or had applied for a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 will be able to access certain existing provisions under the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

This change means anyone who held a 457 Visa prior to 19 April can access Permanent Residency under the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

Providing that they:

  • Have worked in the same position for the same employer as approved for their 457 Visa
  • Remain under 50 years of age
  • Worked two out of three years prior to nomination on a subclass 457

HIRING MANAGERS – The Counter Offer

It pays to always be aware of the potential for a counter offer. It isn’t always going to happen. But being aware and prepared will help increase your chances of not losing that ideal candidate at the eleventh hour.

It should be expected. If the candidate you want to hire is as good as you think they are, their current employer won’t want to lose them. Remember – good candidates don’t get fired.

So how do you prepare for the counter offer?


When you are interviewing your candidate you need to try to understand the motivator for them leaving. Try to understand if they are leaving for more money, a better career opportunity, or perhaps a change in culture or leadership. By understanding the motivator, you are able to navigate the interviews with this potential candidate. During that interview you can explain to them how your role can offer them the new opportunities they seek.


Now you understand their motivation for leaving. During the interview process you should be educating the potential candidate on how your role will meet their individual needs and wants.

Don’t forget that the interview process is about the candidate too. Now more than ever. We are turning into a more candidate driven market and the job needs to be right for the candidate as well. During the interview process, don’t take for granted that this candidate wants or needs your job. Along with interviewing the candidate about their experience, make sure you are educating them about the role, company and opportunities that you are offering. If you understand their motivators for leaving, you will be able to cover these off during your conversations.


If you are partnering with a recruitment consultant, this is where they will be doing a lot of work behind the scenes. The recruiter will be talking with the candidate and workshopping through their options. A good recruiter will know what is motivating the candidate’s need for change. The recruiter will be helping find the right solution and fit for the candidate and guiding them to make the right decision. Work with the recruiter to help the candidate and ensure they understand your role will meet their needs and wants.


You need to know what the role is paying. You should know what you can afford to pay before you start the interview process. Don’t waste time interviewing people you cannot afford or who have unrealistic expectations about the salary they are after. Equally, once you have identified the candidate and there has been a conversation around salary expectations, don’t lowball your offer if you are hoping to get them across the line.

When money is in play, it is important to be transparent and honest with the candidate. If you have verbally discussed a figure, make sure you are true to your word or you will paint your company and its ethos in a bad light.

It might be too late to negotiate if you’ve lost integrity by offering a lower salary than discussed.


How a candidate handles a counter offer is a valuable time for you to learn about that person. A little negotiation is never a bad thing. However – how a person conducts themselves during this negotiation period can be very telling. Occasionally you can find more out about a candidate before it is too late and have signed on the dotted line.

If the hiring manager assumes a good candidate will be counter offered, they are able to prevent a lot of stress at the final hiring stage. Most candidates don’t want more money. They have other drivers for leaving. But money can cloud people’s judgement. So be prepared and ensure that during your interview process, you are covering off any issues that may come up once the candidate is given that tempting counter offer.