Am I Getting Paid Enough? What Is My Market Value?

There’s a new website which tells Australians how much they are worth in the jobs market

There are plenty of salary checkers on the market today, but few have been created just for Australian job seekers. Until now. Are you getting paid enough?

Do you sometimes wonder what your true value in the jobs market is if your salary reflected all your education and career experience?

If you do, then a new tool that from online job search engine Adzuna called “ValueMyCV” will help answer that question.

Is ValueMyCV Just Another Salary Checker?

Adzuna says ValueMyCV uses the same technology as Apple’s Siri and Google’s image search. The site works by analysing more than 100 different aspects of a CV when it’s uploaded – including work experience, job title, academic background and location – to calculate an estimate current market salary from that data.

I tried it with my CV and it took less than a minute to calculate a salary which was a little below my last full-time role in banking, but still pretty close.

I’ve been working for 30 years and my CV was optimised a few years back, but Adzuna says the site will make suggestions to optimise a CV if necessary. It will also match people to relevant jobs based on skills and experience, and personalise an interactive “career pathway”, Adzuna said.

Adzuna’s Australian CEO Raife Watson said the free site will answer the question he thinks everyone wants to know – “What’s my value in the market?” It also has an “email my boss” feature which allows users to send their salary estimate to their employer.

“ValueMyCV makes it easier for Australian employees to negotiate their package based on their skills and experience and extensive current market data,” Watson said.

Besides current employees checking their value and discussing it with their boss, Adzuna says it believes the site will be important for the approximately 190,000 women returning from maternity leave each year, close to 200,000 students graduating from University each year, and Australians transitioning from declining industries like manufacturing and mining back to workforce.

So what do we think?

CV Saviour tested this site and found it to be pretty accurate. It does offer some advice through its CV Booster  that we don’t support though. For example, it said our 3-page resume for a job seeker who had 20 years experience was too long (we strongly disagree). It also extracted our job seekers company name instead of their lastname and said the resume didn’t contain any contact details (it did). ValueMyCV claimed that the naming convention we’d used (LASTNAME, Firstname – Advertised Job Title – Month Year) was too long – we disagree and know from research that recruiters (and ATS) LOVE that format; it claimed the didn’t include a summary (it sure did) and it highlighted the fact that we don’t include a full address and said it should (again, we disagree – including a full address can open candidates up for demographic profiling, and at application stage, an email address, mobile number, Suburb, City, State and postcode is more than sufficient.

Last but not least, the Career Explorer tool isclearly based on a candidates most recent job title, so the options for our job seeker were way off mark. Nonetheless, it’s a neat little tool, no doubt poised to offer hours of fun at the office while job seekers plot their next career move.

The site will be officially launched shortly, but you can beta test it here. Enjoy!

This article by Greg McKenna first appeared in Business Insider.

Why Are Australians Leaving Their 9 to 5 Jobs? Virtual Job, Anyone?


Is Virtual Working For You

Our friends over at Virtual Working Hub have come across some interesting statistics that support the anecdotal evidence that Australians are ditching 9 to 5 jobs for virtual jobs and remote employment. Read on for more.

Working At Home, Remote Working, Telecommuting, Virtual Working …

Call it what you will. The reality is that Australians are ditching the 9 to 5 in record numbers for freedom and flexibility to choose when and where they work.

It’s a new era for highly skilled workers who can now use digital technology to work remotely and on their terms.

The world’s largest job site Indeed has released data showing the number of Australians searching for flexible jobs online has more than doubled in the past two years.

Indeed’s statistics show interest in flexible work has grown 42% overall across the world’s 12 largest economies in that time, but Australia tops the list returning 85% more searches for terms like ‘remote’, ‘work from home’ and ‘telecommute’ than the nearest rival – the United States.

The growing trend toward flexible and remote work is beneficial for employers too, providing access to a borderless workforce and the best match for each job, not limited to applicants from a local geographical area.

The Indeed Hiring Lab’s research has also revealed Australia is a jobseeker’s market, with 11% of advertised jobs still vacant after two months.

This changing marketplace is seeing more employers flex to offer greater incentives to lure the best and brightest talent, including work-from-home opportunities and flexible leave.

For a while now, it’s been common for organisations to offer staff incentives like gym memberships, lunchroom entertainment or a day off for their birthday, but office pool tables and PlayStations are fast becoming nothing more than gimmicks to autonomous remote workers who choose their own hours, outfits and office views – café one day, beach the next.

Virtual Working Hub believe this is just the beginning of the future of work – more productive, efficient and cost-effective work arrangements, giving professionals greater flexibility and work-life balance, and employers a stronger, more highly skilled and better suited workforce than ever before.

Salary Checker | Australian Salary Survey

Are You Getting Paid What You Should Be?

Australian Salary Survey and Salary Checker: Everyone at some time in their working career wonders if they’re getting paid enough for the job they do. With the media frequently highlighting the gender salary gap and pay discrepancies between men and women, many job seekers are now questioning if what they’re getting paid is correct, legal and fair.

Others begin their search to find out what they should be getting paid when they’re thinking about a job move, a career change or preparing for an annual performance review or seeking a job promotion. Or they may be thinking about getting a professional resume written and wondering if a career move is the right one (and if they can afford a job move), or they may be anticipating that tricky interview question “What are your salary expectations?”

Whatever your motivation, these Australian Salary Survey guides will help.

LiveSalary – “a free community-based website where people exchange salary data”

Michael Page Salary Centre – Australia’s largest job board

People Bank’s Salary Index

Hudson 2016 Salary Guides

Strategy 2016 Salary Guide

Morgan McKinley Australia Salary Guide 2016

HR Partners ‘HR Salary Survey’ – a free portal and was specifically developed for Australian Human Resource Professionals to share salary and remuneration intelligence and help them ascertain what people in the HR profession are really earning.

Mining People International’s ‘Mining Salary Survey’ – The site was specifically developed for Australian Mining industry workers to share salary and remuneration data and help them ascertain what people in the mining industry are really earning.

Australian Legal Salary – The site was specifically developed for Australian legal Professionals to enable them to easily share legal salary data and help ascertain what people in the Australian legal industry are really earning.

Courtesy of JobMob.

The following are some of CV Saviour’s recommendations:

Glassdoor – see how your salary stacks up against others in the same sector, as well as company benefits and peer salaries.

Hays – the annual Hays Salary Guide remains the definitive snapshot of over 1,000 salaries across Australia and New Zealand.

Interview Questions Revealed: The One Interview Question Australia’s Top Execs Always Ask

40 Australian executives share the one interview question that they always ask

CV Saviour came across this article about interview questions, and it sheds some light on the reasons why recruiters ask tough interview questions in the first place. The usual suspects are here … ‘What are you passionate about? What do you know about our organisation? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?’  There are a few in here that are likely to throw the most practised job seeker, like ‘Tell me what you did in the last 48 hours?’, the terrifying ‘In 60 seconds, explain a complicated topic to someone who knows nothing about it’and ‘What did you eat for breakfast.’ 

What’s really interesting is the motivation behind the question.

Tough interview questions really aren’t so tough once you know why they’re being asked.

General Questions: Simple fact-finding interview questions such as “How many years have you worked in management?” are easy to answer. The best way to prepare for general questions is to study your own CV. Be very confident about dates, time frames, skill sets and job descriptions you have specified in your CV. Your interview answers should accurately reflect your CV details with no embarrassing discrepancies.

Behavioural Questions: Recruiters design behavioural interviews to illuminate specific personality traits. Examples of such traits include teamwork, leadership, analytical thinking and time management. The basic premise of behavioural interviews is that past performance is an accurate predictor of a person’s future performance in a similar environment. Interviewers will either ask direct questions or request you recount past experiences.

 In the interview, always be completely honest (don’t exaggerate) when recounting past achievements. Expect your initial response to be explored in detail with further questions. Word your response carefully, being sure to state how your experiences demonstrate desired behaviours.

Situational Questions: When asking situational questions, recruiters listen for demonstrated coping and problem solving skills. They want to know how quickly you can bring a positive outcome to common (often stressful) work situations. Situational questions focus on your response to a hypothetical situation. You will be asked questions like “How would you handle XYZ situation?” Explain how you would respond to the hypothetical situation based on your past experiences. Give examples of how you have successfully handled similar situations in the past. Your response to situational questions gives interviewers a good indication of your level of experience and readiness for the new position.

Open-Ended Questions: The majority of questions in any job interview will be open-ended. These questions have no straight yes or no answer. By posing open-ended questions such as “What skills make you right for this job?” or “Why would you like to work for XYZ Company?”, the interviewer is seeking a detailed answer. 
Take the opportunity to align your response to a known job requirement, or desirable character trait. Focus your discussion on how and why you meet the job requirements.

The Ultimate Answer: The best job interview answers align previous work experience to current job requirements. No matter how the question is phrased, always try to mention a relevant past experience or achievement. Illustrate how you can apply your knowledge and learned skills to your new job position.

The ‘STAR’ acronym helps with forming a good answer to a tough interview question:

S – Situation: describe a situation you experienced at work

T – Task or Problem: identify the problem you faced

A – Action: explain the action you took to rectify the problem
 R – Result: detail the result of your action and how the situation changed.

R – Result: detail the result of your action and how the situation changed.Never give an answer unless you fully understand the question.

Never give an answer unless you fully understand the question. It’s always acceptable to ask the interviewer to rephrase or repeat a question. Remember, each organisation adopts different interview practices. One organisation may conduct only behavioural interviews, whilst another organisation will focus solely on situational questions. Prepare for all question types by rehearsing five or six work ‘stories’ using the STAR technique. You’ll then be well equipped to adapt your stories to suit a variety of common job interview questions.
 Remember, not all positions you are applying for will be right for you.

The purpose of the interview is to help you (as well as the company) sort out if the “fit” is right.

Read on for more …

Interviewing potential job candidates can be a tedious process, but one you want to get right.

So, what if you could determine whether they will be the right fit for the role, and the company, simply by asking them one question.

Business Insider asked 40 Australian executives to share the one interview question that they always ask job candidates.

The next time you have to interview someone for an opening within your company, hopefully one of these interview questions will help you on your quest to find the perfect employee.

Gary Elphick, founder and CEO of Disrupt asks: ‘If I call up your current employer right now what three things are they going to say about you?’

I like this questions because there is so much to it, those that know me know I’m quite likely to actually pick up the phone and find out there and then, that element on enabling social proof means they are honest with their answer. Having to think about their current employer and their point of view also helps them consider themselves and the role in a more rounded manner

I care more for the truth, I can handle flaws and imperfections (we all have them), but I need to know what they are.

Working in a complex business such as ours means you need to be able to empathise with artists, local manufacturers and various third parties along the way, the only way to see their point of view to understand yourself well enough.

That, and ‘who’s the better Surfer – John John or Slater?’ This one normally catches the engineers of guard!

Justin Dry, co-founder of Vinomofo asks: ‘Tell me about one of your passions outside of work and why you love it?’

I want to see their eyes light up and hear the excitement in their voice. We want passionate people at Vinomofo and this is a good indication.

It also changes the feeling in the room. A nervous interview becomes a connected human experience. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes to the rest of the process, it becomes more real.

Jonathan Barouch, founder and CEO of Local Measure asks: ‘What do you know about Local Measure?’

I like to see research and understanding of our space, and some questions about our clients, strengths or weaknesses. In the response I’m looking for a genuine spark of interest and passion in the company. Someone who is a good fit for the company and culture will always answer this question well.

Beau Bertoli, joint CEO of Prospa asks: ‘What are your individual values and what culture do you want to be a part of?’

I want to see if the applicant’s values and cultural aspirations match our company. This isn’t about ‘sameness’; it’s about cultural fit. I hope to hear someone with a clear set of values and who can succinctly describe the environment they want to work in.

Ben Handler, CEO and co-founder of Cohen Handler asks: ‘Are you the smartest person you know?’

We pose this question to all our potential employees as it gives us a good sense of whether they’re the right fit for the company. There is no right or wrong answer, but if they respond with a ‘no’, it’s a sign that they are not confident with their own skills.

If they say ‘no’ and follow up with someone they believe is smarter than them, we tend to reach out to that person. Not only is this question helpful in determining the fit of a potential employee, it can also be a good recruitment technique.

Andrew Lin, CEO of CliniCloud asks: ‘Why work for us?’

I’m interested in why, because I want to hear that the candidate’s motivations align with our company vision. We want to change the world by making healthcare more accessible and only want to hire people who want to change the world with us. This is not just another job where you get paid well to do interesting things, this is a job where you actually can make a difference on a global scale.

Dave Fastuca, CDO and co-founder of Locomote asks: ‘What do your best day and worst day look like?’

It gives me an insight into what they consider good and bad and how they respond to challenge.

It’s easy to paint the perfect picture of work, but the truth is we all experience highs and lows. For me, a candidate that stands out from the rest is one who has a positive attitude and trusts in his or her capabilities on hard days. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. I just look for a sincere response that highlights what they consider a challenge and how they deal with it.

James Wakefield, co-CEO of InStitchu asks: ‘If you were the CEO of InStitchu, suggest one sales & marketing campaign you would implement in the next 6 weeks and why you think it would be effective?’

This question forces the potential employee to think on their feet and come up with an impressive answer on the fly. Their response gives us a clear indication of how well they understand our business model and gives them an opportunity to really make an impression on Robin and I. I’m impressed if they can come up with either : an impressive sales and marketing idea that we had never even considered or a sales and marketing idea that we may have considered internally but not yet implemented.

Matt Bullock, founder and CEO of eWAY asks: ‘How do you respond to change?’

In an entrepreneurial company like eWAY, employees must be able to move at lightning pace. We need employees who can pivot and change direction fast so we can take advantage of opportunities. We have a fun culture at eWAY where every employee values success, so the ideal candidate for us is one that shoots for big team goals.

Marcus Crow, co–founder of 10,000 Hours asks: ‘What do you love to do?’

The reason we ask this is to search for their passion. It doesn’t matter what that passion is: dress-making, bonsai, motorsport, baking. What matters is a capacity to be absorbed, fascinated and dedicated to a pursuit. We are looking to hire people with that level of zeal to join our firm.

Jo Burston, founder and CEO of Rare Birds asks: ‘Tell me what you did during the last 48 hours?’

This is always the first question that I ask because it allows me to very quickly learn the candidate’s behavioural aptitude and assess their ability to meet the brief of the role we are filling.

The question also allows candidates to demonstrate communication skills, time management, passions outside of work, and how they like to work (morning or evening person), along with sociability, humour and most importantly, their ability to share insights with a level of transparency.

It’s a wonderful way to understand the person outside of their key workplace skills and competencies and gives me a holistic picture.

Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice and Retail Zoo asks: ‘Can you give me an example of a time that a disaster happened and what you did about it?’

I am looking for someone that is calm under pressure, not a drama queen/king, is not a victim and is a problem solver.

Ryan Bonnici, director of Marketing, APAC at HubSpot asks: ‘Tell me, who is *insert interviewee name*?’

I love opening up the interview with this question since it’s incredibly open ended. What I’m looking for in their response is:

Do they ask for clarification?

Do they jump in and start talking, or do they ask for clarification? Neither is right or wrong, each tells me more about how they would be to work with. If they ask for clarification, they might be more naturally suited to a role that is more analytical, favouring precision over speed (e.g. Marketing Analyst). If they confidently jump straight in – and are not fazed by the ambiguity of the question – they might be more naturally suited to a role that requires interpersonal skills.

What is the focus of their content?

Do they talk predominantly about who they are at work, outside of work, or both? What I look for in their response is symmetry between their interests and attitude both in and out of the workplace, to gain an insight to their personality. While there isn’t a textbook response to this, I think candidates whose responses highlight elements of work and life tend to work well with my team. It’s important to me that my team knows the organisation cares about their interests both in and outside the workplace and respects their work/life balance. Furthermore, references to life outside of workplace is indicative that candidates understand the requirements to connect socially with team members, contributing to a strong workplace culture.

How do they close off their answer?

Does the candidate wrap the question up confidently, or ask whether they answered the question appropriately? This response provides a greater insight to the candidate and their requirements for feedback. I personally seek ongoing feedback from my team, and challenge my team to do the same. A candidate whose response invited me to share information about myself or discuss whether we have mutual interests –anything at all – shows to me that they’re open to two-way dialogue around these things.

David Raitt, commercial director of Criteo ANZ asks: ‘Please can you describe eCommerce as if you were talking to someone your grandparents age?’

I hope to hear candidates shine a light on what is a highly complex environment – delivering a distilled response that connects with the audience through anecdotes and examples. The ability to make complex challenges accessible to a wider audience are really important skills for Criteo – something that helps us inspire C level execs to act and drive change.

Mitchell Taylor, co-founder of Koala Mattress asks: ‘What did you eat for breakfast this morning?’

Sure, bananas don’t have much to do with business but you can discover a lot about a person from their answer to this question: their level of personal organisation, how much care they display for their wellbeing, and even how well-prepared they are for the interview in terms of how they deal with unexpected questions. At Koala, we are building the best team possible so, a successful interviewee would have allocated time to have a healthy breakfast. This shows me that they’re organised, care for their own well-being and committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Alec Lynch, CEO of DesignCrowd asks: ‘What would your previous employer list as your strengths and weaknesses?’

This question tends to get interesting answers and an honest self-assessment from candidates of their own strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, the strengths you hear fit what you’re looking for, the weaknesses you discover aren’t deal breakers and there are no red flags or issues hiding in the closet.

David Hickey, ANZ area director for Meltwater asks: ‘Can you give me an example of a setback you have faced that shows you have stamina?’

Typically, I am hiring for business development and account management roles. While there are certainly easier jobs out there, I like candidates that have been challenged and have faced hurdles. Even if they didn’t overcome them, I want to hear that they have at least persevered. Of course, there is no perfect answer to this question, but seeing how candidates qualify challenge, how they qualify stamina and how honest they are gives me great insight into their character.

Fred Schebesta, co-founder and director of asks: ‘What position in our company do you want to be in this time next year?’

I ask this for a few reasons. Firstly, it gauges their understanding of the current business by way of projection, which is a key reading to have on candidates. Secondly, I find the one year period an interesting time – not long enough that massive career progress is made, but enough time to identify the next breakthrough point and begin aligning yourself. This give me an indicator of how forward-pushing they will be in their role. Of course, depending upon the role, this answer will be different but ultimately drive looks the same from candidate to candidate. So, what position in our company do you want to be in this time next year?

Robert Kawalsky, CEO of Zeetings asks: ‘What’s an example of a recent problem you’ve identified inside or outside of the workplace, and what did you do next?’

I try look for people that are passionate about solving problems. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, it can be professional or personal, or something completely out of left field. The important thing is to understand if they are the type of person who simply accepts things as they are or do they have the curiosity (and chutzpah!) to question the status quo, right a wrong, or even just make some seemingly arbitrary process a little bit better.

Lana Hopkins, founder and CEO of Mon Purse asks: ‘You are faced with a serious challenge and need to make a decision here and now – you can’t reach your immediate manager what do you do? Walk me through a recent example.’

Why: I want to see how people think on their feet.

Answer I hope to hear: Proactive problem solving.

Heidi Armstrong, head of consumer advocacy at Liberty asks: ‘What is one thing about yourself that we don’t already know and that we are unlikely to learn about you from the interview process? Possibly something only your friends might know about you?’

The idea – it tells us something more about them personally. Can often illicit unusual insights into people… what people are prepared to share says a lot, not just about their personal lives, but about the way they work.

Lachlan McKnight, CEO of LegalVision asks: ‘In 60 seconds, explain a complicated topic to someone who knows nothing about it.’

The subject matter isn’t important – I want to see how people think on their feet and communicate. I’ve had responses about International Law, startups and the structure of a novel. Traditionally, law is characterised by incomprehensible jargon that alienates many clients. We are committed to democratising legal services through our free documents and articles and we need to be able to communicate with a broad church of people. We don’t want our employees using latin maxims or overcomplicating concepts when speaking with clients.

Drew Bilbe, co-founder of Nexba asks: ‘What is your passion?’

I ask this question because I believe building a culture of employees who truly love and are passionate about their work begins during the hiring process. Whether it’s running the whole company or just selling the product – passion always produces the highest-quality results. Discovering what people are passionate is also a great way of determining where they will best fit within your company and be the most valuable. Different ways of identifying passionate candidates includes paying attention to hobbies and interests, professional-growth goals, test their mettle, gauge what thrills them, and more.

We want potential employees to be truthful in their response because we need to know that we are bringing passionate people into the business that are going to put in 100% and love representing our brand. People have a different tone in their voice when they’re talking about something they have a passion for, so it can be easy gauge their level of passion.

Eric Schwantler, managing director of Dekko Secure asks: ‘Why should we hire you?’

It may seem like an obvious one, but you would be surprised at how many applicants have not had a hard think about what really sets them apart. I want to know the ways in which they have demonstrated their unique skills and experiences in the real world in order to understand how that could benefit the company.

I want to know what ideas they had, or how they executed on a project that led to a tangible (and positive) business result.

Ned Moorfield, CEO of GoCatch asks: ‘Have you used our service (GoCatch) before and how much do you know about it and our competitors?’

If people haven’t bothered to use our product before the interview, it is obviously a massive red flag. Anyone with their ear close to the ground knows about the big battles happening in the transportation booking and ride-sharing space so if they are knowledgeable about us and our competitors, it tells me they’re passionate about startups and are engaged with what we’re looking to achieve.

Klaus Bartosch, CEO of 1stAvailable asks: ‘What are you passionate about – both professionally and privately?’

I find it reveals useful insights into what drives someone. Building a company of people that have passion both personally and professionally makes for a very exciting and positive team dynamic, especially when innovation is such an important part of your business as it is with, which is seeking to enhance everyone’s experience accessing healthcare services — often complex and mysterious, albeit important to ensure that each and every person in the team has a voice, is heard and their contributions valued.

Deliveroo country manager, Levi Aron ask: ‘Why Deliveroo?’ 

Most candidates spend countless hours on their resume, their personal pitch, what they should and shouldn’t wear to an interview, how early they should show up etc. Some venture down the path as to why they would be a great Operations Manager, or perfect Business Development Managers etc. However, if they struggle to answer this very basic, but open ended, question – I pretty much end the interview there. What I am looking for is for them to demonstrate a deep understanding as to ‘why’ which can only be a passionate response backed up by their skill set, not the other way around. I can teach skills to almost anyone over a very short period of time, passion takes much longer than that – if at all.

Kate Morris, founder and CEO of Adore Beauty asks: ‘If you were at Hogwarts, what house would you be in and why?’

We ask it for two reasons. One is to try and understand the potential for cultural fit (trust me, you don’t want a workplace full of only Gryffindors). The other is that usually the candidate is not expecting the question, so their answer is not rehearsed and often provides insight that we might not get from the ‘usual’ interview questions.

John Winning, CEO of Winning Group asks: ‘How have you helped out colleagues in the past?’, or if they are in a customer service role ‘How have you resolved a customer issue?’

What I hope to hear in their responses is how they went above and beyond for their colleague or customer and resolved a situation. Teamwork, honesty and effort is everything.

Dean Ramler, co-founder of Milan Direct asks: ‘What makes you want to work at Milan Direct?’ and ‘What are the main types of furniture that we sell?’

We ask this as the very first question to see how much the candidate has researched our company and shown a genuine interest in the role. We simply won’t hire anyone who hasn’t researched our company, so this is a good way to keep those interviews short.

Martin Hosking, CEO and co-founder of Redbubble asks: ‘What questions do you have about Redbubble?’

A good candidate will have almost an endless series of questions. Often by the time I am interviewing them, candidates will have met with quite a few people. But they should have specific questions that only I, as CEO and cofounder, can answer. The level of insight and understanding they have will come through in the questions they ask. It is not a sign of good manners, or eagerness, in my mind to have no questions, But rather the reverse. It suggests the candidate has not really researched the opportunity and not really serious about it, or is cavalier about their own career. None of these are good things. I want candidates who are deeply inquisitive about Redbubble, and assume they do not know very much but are passionate to learn. Come with a folder of engaging questions if you are serious!

Nick Molnar, co-founder and CEO of Afterpay asks: ‘What excites you?

It’s a very open ended question which is what makes it so interesting. You learn a lot about people through the answers they provide. Do they talk about something personal or professional? Are they engaged by intellectual or physical challenges? Are they passionate about many things, one thing, or nothing? Usually you get a strong sense of cultural fit from the answer to this question and you learn something interesting about the person you’re meeting.

Christian Mischler, founder and CMO of HotelQuickly asks: ‘What would be your motivations for joining HotelQuickly?

I press really hard on this one and try to truly understand what the candidate is expecting, what drives him or her, and how aligned the motivations are with the company. I expect honest insights and hope to get unexpected answers that positively surprise me of the quality of the candidate.

Trudy McDonald, managing director of TalentCode asks: ‘Where do you see yourself three years from now?’

The candidate’s response provides a good insight into job fit which is one of the biggest predictors of job performance and retention.

I have had candidates tell me that they see themselves in another profession which then leads to the obvious question – what is the real motivation behind applying for this job? Others will discuss how they see themselves learning and progressing into more senior roles – this is a good indicator of personal drive and a desire to learn which provides some good clues around how to motivate and manage the person once hired. Others will share that they see themselves doing the same role. This type of response suggests that the candidate is likely to be stable however may not have a strong desire to learn which can be a challenge in some environments. There are no right or wrong answer to this question as it is all about the fit between the individual, the culture of the business and the role.

Ian Neal, NSW Chair of The Executive Connection asks 15 questions in 15 minutes, this includes: ‘What is the purpose of an organisation?’ and ‘What makes you happy?’

Getting the right people into the organisation is a critical success factor and one that is fraught. Most hiring methods have at best a 20 per cent success rate.

The ‘15 questions in 15 minutes’ technique offers rapid fire questions designed to find out how the interviewee perceives the world, what they believe and how they behave.

Simon Raik-Allen, CTO of MYOB asks: ‘What are your pet projects? What are your proudest pieces of work outside of the job?’

This really demonstrates to me what a potential candidate is passionate about and whether the position I am hiring for is really within their interests or just considered a day job. I always look for candidates whose passions and personal goals align with the position description. At the end of the day, if you are spending so many hours doing a job, you have to have a thirst for it.

Tania Austin, CEO of Decjuba asks: ‘What is one amazing thing you will do to create a difference, in your department at Decjuba?’

I love this one as its short and sharp and demonstrates the candidates ability to think on their feet.

Thinking on your feet, being nimble, fast and flexible is part of the Decjuba culture and I always find that this question exposes what drives the candidate. In the instance that we hire the candidate we then hold them accountable for making that difference and find with every team member being able to drive their own outcomes that they feel empowered which leading to amazing outcomes for the Decjuba brand.

Richard Appleby, managing partner of Conari Interim Solutions asks: ‘Tell me a time when you had a strategy or proposal/project rejected by your superior. Describe the situation, what were the circumstances of the rejection and what did you do about it?’

I ask this question because I am generally dealing with senior people who will have significant responsibilities around capital, resources and staff for the jobs they are applying for. As such they will need to be putting up strategies and proposals to their boss quite frequently. No one gets everything right the first time so I am asking this question to draw out their attributes around handling rejection, their strategic and lateral thinking, their influencing skills, their competitiveness and their resilience.

Jack Delosa, founder of The Entourage asks: ‘Why is our company’s vision important to you?’

You need the individual you’re interviewing to drop the mask so you can tap into the essence of who they are at their core. Having an authentic conversation around vision lets you see what really drives them to perform. Technical skill is still incredibly important, however the differentiator in creating a world class culture is finding people who are united by a greater purpose.

Rebekah Campbell, co-founder of Hey You, asks: ‘If you were an animal, what would you be and why?’

I always ask this as it gives the interviewee an opportunity to think creatively about their personal traits. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer, but I find it’s a good way to see how a candidate can interpret their strengths or weaknesses, without me having to ask them what their strengths and weaknesses are.

This article was written by Sarah Kimmorley and sourced from Business Insider.

Resume Writing Gift Vouchers

Give The Gift Of Hope This Christmas – Resume Writing Gift Vouchers

A lot of people would love to start the New Year with a new job and big uptick in salary, right? So why not help out someone you love this Christmas, with the gift that can help them get their career on track for 2016?

Contact us for details – all gift vouchers are tailored to suit.

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Would You Engage An Electrician To Write Your Resume?

You Wouldn’t Engage A Plumber To Do Brain Surgery, Would You?*

I’m like the Lady Mayoress of CrankyTown today, and I’m about to have a rant.

You pay a registered builder to build your house. You pay a licensed plumber to do your plumbing. So why would you trust your career, earning potential and livelihood to anything less than a professional? If you can’t pay a certified professional who will stand behind the documents they produce for you, you might just be better off doing it yourself. And if you’re going to that, you’re going to need this.


I’m having a bit of rant today, not least because I’ve had yet another call today from someone who has been applying for jobs for months without getting a single job interview after paying an organisation to write their documents for them, but also because the message clearly isn’t getting through.

What’s worse is that the errors on their resume were blindingly obvious with a brief glance.

The face of recruitment is rapidly changing, and  it’s changing so quickly it’s hard to keep up. I like to think that I’m all over what’s going on in my sector, however I fully accept that what I know barely scratches the surface of the reality of what is happening in practice.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years or have been out of the job market altogether, you should have heard about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or resume parsing programs by now. If you haven’t, you can read more about them here.

They are becoming more and more sophisticated, and so are the organisations that use them. (At best estimates, around 80% of organisations in Australia who have more than 100 employees, will use some form of ATS or parsing software).

So, before you spend ANY money on a professionally written resume, make sure you, and your resume writer (who should be certified, by the way) have the facts at hand.

Here are just a few recent advances in the job application process:

  • When you apply for a job online, you may be directed to a brief questionnaire to complete after submitting your resume. The way you respond to the questionnaire may screen you out as a candidate (instead of screening you in), simply because you are not a good fit for the organisation. So it won’t matter how good or bad your resume is, if you are not a good company fit, and you cannot prove that you have the skills, qualifications and psychological profile to fit that organisation, you will not get shortlisted.
  • Some organisations have actually STOPPED accepting resumes as part of the initial application process, instead directing candidates to online testing platforms that will test your ‘can do’, ‘will do’ and ‘fit to’ a position. Only then will they ask for your resume (which will need to be laser-focused specifically for the role in question). Failure to do this, will result in a failure to be interviewed if the few other candidates they shortlist have made the effort to tailor their applications.
  • If your resume has NOT been optimised for ATS, and the organisation to which you are applying is using ATS to screen all applications, a computer may make the decision about whether your resume gets read by a real person in the first instance. This is literally a situation where the computer says no! If your resume writer cannot speak knowledgeably about ATS and getting your resume through ATS screening, run away, and quickly, There are 16 certified resume writers Australia – any of them can help you.

So, before you spend anything on getting someone to write your resume, I’d use this checklist before giving it to someone who you are trusting your livelihood and earning potential to.

And if you’re not in a  position to pay for a professional to do it for, mine everything you can from this website, because all the answers are here. Or buy this book – written by a certified resume writer – and do it yourself. For goodness sake though, do not risk not putting food on your table by placing your career in the hands of an amateur. Please.

It’s  a false economy thinking you can get a resume professionally written for less than a few hundred dollars, and it will cost you  (quite possibly a lot) in the long term, as my client today has discovered.

Think about it in the context of the minimum hourly rate in Australia, and the fact that a certified resume writer PLUS a proofreader PLUS a QA reviewer will take around 12 hours to get your ATS friendly resume to first draft, before any edits or amendments are made by you.

How many job applications are you prepared to send off, and how many months are you prepared to wait for that elusive interview? I hope you know where I’m going with this …

Rant over.

If you’re a DIYer – good for you for having a go – but please get the guidelines from an industry leader here.

*No disrespect the Electricians, Plumbers or Brain Surgeons intended. Or anyone who re-trains from any profession to become a certified resume writer.