Recruiting 101: How to Land the Job
We spoke to Michaela Voss, our HR Manager about what's important and what's not in the recruiting world.
First of all Michaela, tell us about yourself, how did you end up in HR?
When I left high school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and therefore did an apprenticeship that gave me insight into various part of a company and right from the beginning HR resonated with me the most. Hearing people’s stories and understanding where they come from always fascinated me so helping them find a place to work where they enjoy the challenge, grow and develop combines this really well. And seeing how our HR efforts benefit both colleagues and company is very motivating. In general, it’s a great challenge and lots of fun to work in a field which is subject to constant changes in perceived value and responsibility!
What do you want to see in a job application?
There’s a few essentials. One would be to apply for the right job. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before but it still happens way too often. If you submit an application for a different job to the one being advertised, or addressed to a different company, it’s not likely we’ll give you positive feedback. We all understand that you might be applying to different companies, but the ability to proof-read and attention to detail is essential for every job.
Another thing that helps is writing a targeted motivation letter. A short text noting that you’re submitting your CV is fine but not especially impressive. We like to get some real insights into your motivations and background. And we love to hear your personality, so try to be authentic! This will help you stand out, especially for (entry level) positions that receive quite a lot of applications!
Finally, make sure your CV is easy to read and highlights a few of your achievements in previous positions, if possible give it some punch with some numbers. And it’s true, CV’s should be concise and not be longer than two pages.
What’s your best tip for interview preparation?
Besides preparing, treat the interview as an exchange of information. Interviews are also about you trying to understand if you want the job, if you would like to work for the company, or if you think you would get on with the team.
Ask yourself why do I want to work for the company and what do I want to learn. And when you have a good idea ask yourself, would you be convinced if you heard your story.
Oh, and be yourself! That’s the best way for both of us to work out whether we’d be happy together.
Any absolutely no-no’s?
There’s lots. One you should remember (especially in Germany!) is don’t be late. To be safe, give yourself extra time to avoid transport delays and to find the building. Then, if for some reason you are still going to be late, make sure you let your contact person know as soon as possible, and when you expect to make it. And try to be as prepared as possible, you don’t need to have the answer to everything, the effort to at least having tried to find it will always be recognized.