Job search stuff-ups: common mistakes among mining recruits
By regular MiningFM contributor Brooke Martin
In boom times and bad times, first impressions ALWAYS count. This seems to be forgotten by many job seekers when it comes to interviewing for mining jobs. Whether you're looking for an entry-level position or professional role, here are some basic things to remember leading up to, during, and after your interview.
- Grammar and Spelling: In today’s market, there are many people applying for the same job as you. Getting the basics right is the first step in creating a good impression and scoring you an interview ahead of your competitors. Do not underestimate the importance of knowing the difference between "your" and "you're"! Always get someone to check and edit your resumé and cover letter.
- Dress sharp: Also under the banner of 'first impressions' is the way you look. No need to dress for an audience with the Queen, but dress appropriately for the nature and location of the interview. If you’re not sure, ask.
- Company facts: If you're applying for a job at company 'A', what do you actually know about company 'A'? Why are you applying for a position at a company you know nothing about? Get to know some basic facts (i.e. how long has the company been operating? Do they have offices or sites in other locations? What are their core values or their organisational culture?) Do some research and be prepared to answer this question: "Is this the type of company I want to represent and would be proud to work for?"
- Tick, tock, tick, tock – be on time to an interview! So clichéd, I know. But there’s nothing that peeves an interviewer more than being held up by even just two minutes. If you don’t arrive at the interview at least five minutes beforehand, then consider yourself late. Promptness never goes unnoticed. Also a tip for young players ... be nice to the receptionist! Consider yourself as being interviewed from the moment you step on site/into the office building.
- Blah blah blah: Who wants to listen to someone talk about themselves for 30 minutes in a one-hour interview? Yeah sure, the interviewer would like to know a bit about you (mostly your SKILLS and KNOWLEDGE). Not whether you like to watch CSI every Sunday night and have 10 brothers and sisters. When asked by the interviewer "Tell us a bit about yourself" – do just that: 'a bit'. Not a novel. Focus on your experience, qualifications and how you and your values can benefit the organisation.
- Ask questions: This shows enthusiasm and initiative. Make a note of questions you want to ask before going into the interview. Don’t be afraid to pull out your little notepad and pen and place it on the table in front of you. This also shows organisation (another attribute that recruiters and interviewers love to see).
- That dreaded word, REJECTION: If you are fabulous enough to land the job, good on you and well done! If not, do not throw your toys out of the pram and hang up in the ear of the messenger. This doesn’t show good character, and reinforces the interviewer's decision not to offer you the job. In today's market, you could be declined one opportunity but then contacted soon after about another opening. So play your cards right, be thankful for the opportunity to apply for the role, and make it clear that you are interested in hearing from the organisation about other positions.
And if all this fails, try and try again!