Hints from HR: Ali Crowe, People Coordinator, kikki.K

For the record, it’s not easy to find a job. It’s not a matter of sending off your application, then sitting back and waiting for the offers to start rolling in. And there is that matter of competition. There are other people applying for those same jobs and you don’t want to end up at the bottom of the Hiring Manager’s pile of applications.

So, JobGetter is bringing you advice straight from the people who make those hiring decisions on a daily basis.

In this latest instalment of “Hints from HR,” kikki.K People Coordinator Ali Crowe offers you her insights into what you can do to have the best chance of being one of the resumes at the top of her pile.


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Inspired by a dream and the passion for the simplicity and timelessness of Swedish design, kikki.K grew from a one bedroom apartment to more than 80 stores nationwide, provides beautiful stationeries, one of a kind gifts, and organizers “that bring a sense of fashion and style.”

Today, kikki.K is widely recognized as an Employer of Choice because they are passionate about being a great place to work. In fact, 95% of their team members say that kikki.K is a friendly place to work. They take a lot of pride that they have been recognised in the BRW Best Places to Work in Australia in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and BRW Best Places to Work in Asia in 2015.

Meet Ali

What was your first job? 

Working at the local bakery in the small town I lived in.

How long have you worked in HR/recruitment? 

4-5 years

When you were 9 years old, what did you want to be when you “grew up?” 

A Teacher and/or Ballet Dancer (such a cliché!)

What is your favourite part of your job? 

The people, definitely.


What I look for in candidates: 

Passion and engagement with our brand. You can coach on the required skills but passion comes from within.

To me, the most employable skills a candidate could have are: 

flexibility, great communication skills, emotional intelligence, self-motivated

My advice to applicants who want to stand out: 

Nail the basics – have a clearly structured, uncluttered CV and always check spelling. We often get CVs from people who LOVE stationery but stationery is spelled incorrectly. It’s hard to look past that when it’s what your brand is all about. If you have questions, write them down and ask them! This shows you are genuinely interested in the role and the brand.

Something you might not know about working for kikki.K: 

We provide our Team Members free access to our suite of workshops and this includes a free gift with each workshop they attend. It’s important to us that we live and breathe our purpose to inspire and empower people, including our Team, to live their best lives.

The biggest mistake you could make: 

Not being yourself – we want to see the real you. It’s important that we are the right fit for you, as well as you being the right fit for us!

The first thing I notice about a resume: 

Simple, clean layout, easy to read and shows your transferable skills even if you don’t have relevant experience with like-brands (this is a big plus though!) 

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The first thing I notice about a candidate at an interview: 

The candidate’s level of engagement and presence. If someone seems disinterested or unsure, it’s hard to imagine them in the role they are interviewing for. 

Questions a candidate should ask: 

We love it when a candidate has questions for us about the role or the brand – it shows they are genuinely interested in working with us. It is always great to have some knowledge of the brand already though!

Don’t shy away from asking: 

What it is I love about the brand, more about our culture, what challenges they can expect from the role.

Don’t let this hold you back: 

Experience with similar brands – if you can talk to and show why your skills are transferable, we are completely open to that. 

What I want to know about you as a person: 

What your dreams are: What lights you up? What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

What homework I expect you to have done before the interview: 

Knowledge about our products and our company culture and purpose.

My advice to a candidate who wasn’t successful: 

Find the learnings from the experience and use this as an opportunity to grow. If you really want the role, what could you up-skill in? Who do you know or who inspires you in a similar role? Perhaps you could catch up with them for a coffee and chat to them about how they got to where they are.

If this Q&A with kikki.K’s People Coordinator has sparked your interest in working for this Employer of Choice, check out the video below — and current vacancies here

Want more hints from HR? Click here to view all… or skip straight to hints from the “people” people at Dymocks or Sussan Group (Sussan, Sportsgirl and Suzanne Grae).



  • Jess

    Had an interview with Kikki.k recently, was told it went we and that the manger would be back in touch with me about a result within 3 days. A month later and I still never heard anything back. For a company that claims to respect and value people this is very very insulting to me as both an application and a customer, it also says a lot about kikki.k as a company.

    • Matt Jepson
      Matt Jepson

      Hi Jess,

      Sorry to hear that you are still waiting for feedback. That is annoying. Sometimes though the hiring process takes longer than you might think. Have you reached out to kikki.K to see if they can tell you about your status? Good luck!


  • Dori West

    Hi Ali,

    Your personality came through as an energetic, creative and inspiring entrepreneur who is looking for similar qualities in the candidates. This is great and I would like to think about those people who interview candidates the same. However, my experience is rather the opposite. I have been interviewed by some boring and aggressive young recruiters who seemingly have been in their first or second jobs since left education and their unconscious bias was there behind every question their have asked. They tried to work out if we could work together instead of if I’ fit into the team they were recruiting for! At the end they were comparing me and my skills against their own and I was asked the most ridicules things at the end of the interview. It made me feel straight away that if that was the standard in that company then I have just wasted my time whilst being there!

    Not to mention that the interviewer’s attitude does affect the candidate’s feel and will be mirrored by the candidate. This opens up another avenue for a long discussion here!

    • Matt Jepson
      Matt Jepson

      Hi Dori,

      Excellent points! I totally agree that the interviewer has a responsibility to put their candidates at ease. While it is the applicant’s responsibility to minimise their nervousness before an interview, an interviewer who can reassure them and help the applicant loosen up will always get better results. Being bored or aggressive like you said can really put people on the back foot which doesn’t help anybody.

      You also raised a good point about how interviews are as much a trial for you as they are for the company. If you don’t think you’ll be a good match at this point, why put yourself through any more pain! Employers shouldn’t forget the candidates are judging them too.

      Thanks for your comment Dori,


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