#RecruitMe: What’s the smartest thing to do in an interview?

Before we all went on our holidays at the end of last year, we asked our students what kind of posts would they like to see us publish to help them. Most of our students asked for us to post recruitment and job seeking tips. So this year, we have decided to put up a #RecruitMe post once a month – filled with recruitment tips to help you land a job. This job could be the job of your dreams, or it could be a job to help you get to the job of your dreams. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

In our very first #RecruitMe post, we have have listed some job seeking tips and what is the best thing you can do in an interview.

The Australian job market

Every year, hundreds of thousands of job applicants in Australia (and millions more worldwide) go through the gruelling interview process to get a job. For some, it is a very daunting process. For others, it is just seen as a rite of passage. But, let’s face it, most job seekers are in the earlier category instead of the latter.

Australia’s economy has been tremendously fortunate in posting a quarter of a century of unbroken growth. Through a combination of good management and fortuitous timing, we narrowly dodged the full effects of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the dot-com bust in 2000 – 2003, and the mother of them all, the global financial crisis in 2007 – 2008. This translated into there being enough jobs on the market. But, what if our luck is about to run out?

Last month, the Australian unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.8%. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, our labour force participation was slightly down from November, at 64.6%. This disappointed economists who had expected it to hold stead. By the end of 2017, it has been predicted by the ABS’ econometric models that our unemployment rate is estimated to rise to 6.2%. What this means it that we currently have 725,230 unemployed people at 5.8%. At 6.2%, we will have 775,245 unemployed people. This is an increase of 50,015 people who are predicted to be unemployed by the end of 2017.

Why is it so competitive to get a job?

What does this all mean for job seekers? It means that it will be a very competitive job market out there – not only have economists predicted a lower net gain of full-time and part-time jobs to be added to the job market compared to 2016; but there will also be more job seekers in 2017 as school leavers, university graduates and stay at home moms look to re-enter (and enter) the workforce.

What can you do to edge out your competition?

What can you do to set yourself apart from the competition? Will your qualifications be enough? No. You will need to UP. YOUR. GAME.

Whilst having more relevant qualifications and experiences will definitely help (every single volunteer gig or a relevant supplementary course will improve your chances), you will also need to master the following:

  1. Be proactive – after you’ve submitted your resume for a position, call them later during the day to find out if they have any questions about your CV.
  2. During that first phone call, ask relevant questions about the role – such as what are their expectations of you and what targets are they expecting you to meet. Look up the company and what their strengths are and what areas they may be able to improve on. This is your time to impress them before the actual interview. Recruiters and HR Managers usually get hundreds of resumes and they most likely rely on a software to narrow down a list of potential candidates. A phone call will definitely help you get recognised. Just make sure you ask intelligent and relevant questions. Don’t ask what time lunch is and whether breakfast is provided. No! No! No!
  3. After the phone call, send them an e-mail thanking them for their time and that you look forward to hearing from them soon regarding your application.
  4. When you do get that phone call for the interview – BE GRATEFUL and appreciative. Do not go overboard but show your appreciation for the opportunity.
  5. Dress well for the interview. First impressions last forever. So make sure there are no stains, marks or spillage on your attire (unless there’s a really funny story behind it that the interviewer might find funny, if not, make sure that you are immaculate)!
  6. Make sure you smell nice – this is very important because sometimes, the little things are what sets you apart and smelling as though you’ve just run a marathon will not help.
  7. Always MIND YOUR MANNERS. Sometimes, an employer might purposely set up an interview at a cafe to watch how you treat the wait staff. Many do this to find out what your character is like to those you don’t have to please or impress.
  8. Finally, always, always, always ask what your future boss or manager is like. Not many think to ask this question but this gives you a chance to find out more about what your future boss or manager is like, and gives you the opportunity to speak highly of your current boss or employer. Everyone loves to hear glowing things about themselves. One thing any employer likes is that you don’t speak ill of your previous employers. No matter how horrible they were! It will give them a preview of how you’ll speak of them when you part ways with their company down the track and this also speaks volumes about your character. Don’t embellish, but don’t ever speak badly of your current or previous employers. Not in an interview, not ever. Not even to your friends or family!

What qualifications are beneficial?

Employers tend to favour accredited, nationally recognised qualifications over unrecognised courses. We offer a wide range of nationally recognised qualifications which have all been developed according to AQF standards. You can undertake these courses online or via blended delivery, meaning you get the benefits of a Trainer-led classroom session from the comfort of your own home!

For all those looking to enter the workforce, or looking to re-enter the workforce, good luck and always stay relevant and connected! We hope this post has been beneficial for you and has helped you get a job!

Let us know what you think of this post and if you know someone who could benefit from it, feel free to share it with them! If you have any of your own recruitment tips to share, email us at: [email protected]!

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