Words of “recruitment” wisdom by Panashe Banhire
Looking for a new job can be a real challenge; a multiple-stage interview process, where you meet different people and repeatedly showcase the best side of yourself, can be nerve-wracking.
What if you looked at things from a different perspective? What if you decided to approach interviews as an opportunity rather than a challenge; your chance to discuss your passions, talents, and expertise? What if you asked questions about the company, its workplace environment, its culture, and growth opportunities to see if what they offered fits your needs?
In this situation, you become the owner, the very creator of your own career path! The fast-growing environment is exactly the place where everybody needs that level of ownership, accountability, and mentality to take things into their own hands.
Let’s explore how landing your dream job in a fast-growing company works, through some quick tips and tricks.
- What’s the number one tip for getting a job at a fast-growing company?
Do your research, get prepared! Find out everything about the company, the culture, the values, and the job openings. Ensure that you are the best cultural fit for the company and at the same time that the company offers the cultural and workplace environment that you are looking for.
Adjust your CV if you need to and contact the right person on LinkedIn. During the interview showcase the competencies and values that most resonate with the position you have applied for.
Preparation will help you to stand out from other candidates, and be on top of your game.
- What are the most common mistakes people make in their job applications?
The first one would be not investing enough time and effort in preparing their CV. Spelling mistakes or sloppiness can be discouraging for both recruiters and hiring managers. CVs and application forms are the very first “encounter” the candidate has with the recruiter.
It takes less than a minute for a recruiter to decide if you are going to have an interview or not, so this is a critical step. Make their decision easy, by adjusting your profile to the specific role you have applied for. Be on point by highlighting your relevant experience in a clear way.
This simple trick should increase your chances of getting to the interview stage.
- How can I make my application stand out?
A clear CV along with a motivational cover letter would do the work.
In the cover letter let recruiters know why you are applying for this position and what you can bring to the table – both from a technical as well as cultural perspective. There’s no need for you to write about your experience, as it is available on your CV.
A cover letter is also a great opportunity to explain any time gaps in your experience; if for example, you have taken time to study a new subject, travel the world, take care of your family, etc.
Authenticity and honesty will be much appreciated.
- How can I prepare for the interview process?
Preparation is key – I cannot stress this enough!
Learn about the company, its culture, and the day-to-day of the job itself. Think about your experiences and how they apply to this job. Come up with examples that illustrate how you can transfer your skills and knowledge in the new position. Showcase your knowledge about the company and explain why this is the right place for you.
At the same time, ask for more information about the employee experience the company offers; do they have wellbeing and employee engagement programs, skill-building tools and learning and development opportunities available?
A genuine(!) interest in the company’s culture will help you stand out of the crowd. We want people who choose to be with our company and know why they do so. Your motivation is the key to a recruiter’s heart.
- How can I ace the first interview with a recruiter?
Why is this the right company and role for you? How will your hiring prove beneficial for both parties, if you embark on this journey together? In fact, motivation and communication skills are crucial for every position, so make sure that you show your best side on those.
Startups, scaleups and fast-growing companies are looking for people who share the same passion for growing their products or services. Very often curiosity, motivation, adaptability and eagerness to learn, plus the urge to have a positive impact through your own work are more important than the skills that you can learn on the job.
During the interview try to really listen and understand what the question is and be precise with your answer. Don’t overload the interviewer with all the information you can think of, stick to examples that showcase your relevance to the company goals and the position’s duties.
- What kind of tests and/or assignments are involved in the interview process?
Every role has a different assessment. If you are applying for a software engineering position, you should expect a coding test. If you are applying for a language-specific role, then you might get a language skills assessment. If you are applying for a Business Development or sales role then expect a relevant case study that will assess your business acumen, critical thinking and commercial awareness among others.
Assessments are an opportunity to experiment and learn more about the day-to-day of the role, so please be open to them, as they will help you get more insights of what the job entails.
Make sure to first practice on what’s needed, before actually doing the test, so that you can ace that assignment!
Summing up, I would like to once again stress out the importance of culture, both from a company and a candidate perspective. This is a key differentiator. Apart from your experience, your ability to do the work and your assessment score, what’s crucial for a recruiter is to see that you are an excellent fit for the business in terms of culture. At the same time, you also need to decide if the company offers the ideal workplace environment for your individual cultural needs.