Hints from HR: Practical Job Seeker Advice from an Experienced Recruitment Specialist

You’ve searched. You’ve applied. And, there you sit waiting for the call that never comes.

What could you have done wrong? You’ve dotted all your “i’s” and crossed all your t’s. You’ve done your research and yet, nothing. The sentinels of employability were uninspired by your charms this time, it seems.

The harsh reality is, sometimes you can do everything right and it just comes down to it wasn’t the right “fit.” 

Finding “a good fit” for a job is very much like the dating game. It’s touch and go. You have to get a feel for the person and if it’s a right fit, then it’s a go.

In this edition of “Hints from HR,” Samia Haque Sheikh, an experienced Recruitment Specialist in both white and blue collar roles, speaks about that “good fit” and some other practical job seeker advice. Short, sharp, and right to the point. Just like we like it.

Meet Samia

What was your first job?

A cashier at McDonald’s.

How long have you worked in HR/recruitment?

Over 5 years.

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

A pilot.

What do you like most about your job?

Helping candidates find the opportunity they desire.


What I look for in candidates:

If the candidate is a good fit for our brand, which can include, attitude, team player, problem solver and who has the passion for our brand.

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

Team player, hard worker and adaptable.

My advice to applicants who want to stand out:

Be confident, be presentable, and sell yourself.

The biggest mistake you could make:

Not turn up!

The first thing I notice about a resume

Current role, duties, and responsibilities.

The first thing I notice about a candidate at an interview

Their presentation.

Questions a candidate should never ask: 

Avoid any personal/political questions.

Don’t shy away from asking: 

About the company’s structure and future opportunities (this shows that you’re committed) about work culture (shows that you’re interested).

Don’t let this hold you back: 

Lack of work experience. Some skills can be transferred and companies like to train you according to their standards.

What I want to know about you as a person: 

If you will fit our work culture.

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

Know the brand and the role.

My advice to an unsuccessful candidate:

Do not be disheartened, take every interview as an opportunity to learn and improve your personal and professional self. 

Want more hints from HR? Click here to view all… or skip straight to hints from the “people” people at Dymocks or Coco Republic.


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