How To Prepare For Your Interview

Posted on June 23, 2015 by


No matter how many interviews you’ve attended in the past, there is no such thing as too much preparation for each and every interview you score.

You’ve taken the time and effort to create and submit your application, and it has clearly been noticed enough to warrant an interview request, so don’t sell yourself short by neglecting to thoroughly prepare before the big day.

Research is the first step. How much do you really know about the organisation? It’s always wise to obtain some background information so as to add to your confidence of company knowledge and history.

You must also learn about the values and culture of the establishment. After all, these aspects will help you decide if the job is a good match for you in the first place. Read as much as you can online, and see if you can quiz some past and present employees, who are usually easy enough to find via LinkedIn. This kind of information could help form the basis of your answer to the inevitable ‘why are you interested in this job?’ question.

In fact, it’s imperative you anticipate all types of questions before your interview, based on the role you’re applying for. Think about the position. Is it a leadership role? Does it deal with customers and clients? Is there lots of writing expected, or public speaking? Will you be required to operate machinery or have an understanding of computers and particular software?

You be sure you will be asked something in relation to each facet of the role. It is not only important to articulate a thoughtful response, but to provide examples where appropriate. You might be asked for details of a time you solved a particular problem or resolved a curly issue for a client. You might be required to demonstrate your understanding of team building or leadership by giving a recent example.

The trick is to be prepared with ideas, past experiences, insight and of course, examples. Be sure to keep your answers succinct and direct rather than long winded and sloppy. Practising out loud at home might sound silly, but it’s an excellent way to prepare.

Depending on the type of job, you might also like to take with you a folio of past work, achievements, projects, ideas or any other relevant items to show your interviewers. It will reinforce your interest and hopefully offer an opportunity to highlight some of your strengths and skills.

The final hurdle – REFERENCES

Posted on June 15, 2015 by

final hurdle

With the time and energy required to find that perfect role including searching, resume preparation, testing and the actual interview, an important final step of the process is often overlooked. References.

It is reported that around 85% of hiring managers will check at least one reference as part of their recruitment process. More importantly, hiring managers have indicated that they are less likely to hire a candidate who cannot provide easily contactable and acceptable work related references.

Gone are the days of handing a hiring manager photocopied letters from your neighbours and Nana detailing what a nice person you are. Personal and character references are rarely requested in today’s recruitment process.

The fact is that your employment or work related referees can have a huge impact on your chances of being hired. A good reference can definitely be a deciding factor in securing a new role.

Be prepared

It is not usually a good idea to detail your references on your resume unless you are specifically requested to do so. Instead it is best to note that ‘References are available upon request’ and then have them readily available when required.

Think carefully about who is best to use as your reference. Hiring managers often prefer to speak to someone from your current workplace but this is not always possible. Look to other companies you may have worked for and consider not only direct supervisors and managers but also close business acquaintances, educators, colleagues, co-workers or even long term customers. Someone that can make valuable comments and good assessment on your strengths, abilities and skills.

Prepare others

Always get permission from your referee before you use them. Provide them with a copy of your latest resume and keep them updated in regards to what sort of roles you are applying for. If appropriate you may also like to provide them with a brief description of the job opportunity or a copy of the position description for the role you are interested in.

Provide business phone and email details for your reference in an effort to make them easily contactable. Also, have a backup or alternate contact as a reference just in case your chosen reference/s are not available.

Follow up

Finally, always remember to say thanks. Regardless of whether you are successful in securing the role or not. Some job seekers find that they use a particular reference several times throughout their career and others maybe just the once, but a good, reliable reference is often the final job hunting hurdle!

Apply Direct focuses on direct employer roles only and specifically supports companies who wish to source candidates directly.

Passive Job Searching

Posted on June 10, 2015 by


Passive job searching is anything but passively minded.

To passively job search is to maintain a state of openness and readiness should bigger employment opportunities present themselves, or if you unexpectedly find yourself out of work.

This is not to say one is unhappy in their current position or looking to change it for any reason. On the contrary, a passive job searcher is probably great at, and loving, what they do, yet are universally minded about the endless opportunities that exist in the workforce, and at the same time, aware that no job is 100 per cent secure.

Their attitude tends to be geared towards making the most of their careers, and climbing as high up that ladder as they can.

Passive job searchers, therefore, are often very busy, driven, and focussed workers, because they are career-centric and place a huge emphasis on results and achievement.

This leaves little time to regularly scope out the wider job network, however, there are still ways a passive job searcher can keep abreast of marketplace activities and ensure they are inside the networking loop.

An up to date LinkedIn profile is essential, as many organisations use the site to headhunt and scout for specific ‘types’. Also, your profile will be ready to use at short notice. A cleverly-worded mission statement alluding to your wider and future aspirations can suggest you are ambitious and open to opportunities at all times.

While a passive job searcher may not actively troll the internet for job openings, they certainly should and do network whenever possible whether internally in their current organisation or at outside events such as conferences and networking functions.

Having a reputation for being great at what you do with good interpersonal skills and a knack for making contacts will hopefully put you on the radars of those whose help you may need in future.

Keeping in touch with relevant businesses and employers is a way of job news potentially coming your way without having to seek it out.

Any organisation can suffer financial strain or decide to make changes or cutbacks at any given moment, no matter how secure things may appear.

As a passive job searcher, if you find yourself suddenly out of employment, you are in a strong position to turn to your networks for immediate guidance and can begin active job searching at a moments notice.

Lights, Camera, Recruitment!

Posted on June 2, 2015 by

apply direct blog post

Technology is an essential part of any good HR Consultants tool belt. So it should come as no surprise to us at Apply Direct, that there has been a huge increase in the use of video interviews or ‘Skype’ interviews being conducted. In fact, many recruiters are using online video interviews instead of a phone interview as part of their screening process. What was once reserved for candidates unable to attend an office interview or for applicants who lived interstate or overseas, is now being widely used as standard procedure. So while a video interview might not be the ‘norm’ for your average job seeker, for recruiters they are time saving, convenient and definitely on the increase.

The good news for candidates is that with a bit of preparation, an online or ‘screen’ interview may not be all that daunting after all. Let’s face it … not having to battle traffic, parking or even having to leave your lounge room is a good start.

Look behind you.

Being aware of your ‘on screen’ environment is of the upmost importance. Consider what the internal recruiter will see in your screen shot. A simple and orderly background is recommended and if possible, it is best to avoid too many personal effects or clutter. A plain wall, indoor plant or neat bookshelf creating an office or professional environment is ideal.
Lighting is also worth considering. The area should be well lit, but avoid bright direct overhead lighting as this can cause dark shadows on the face.
Ensure you are in a quiet place, setting phones and other devices to silent. Remove pets from the room and consider other incidental noises like televisions, fans or air-conditioners.

Look the part.

From a sitting position at a table or desk you will only really be visible from the waist up. Even though you may be enjoying the comforts of your lounge room, be sure to still look the part. Dress as you would for a normal job interview keeping your appearance neat and professional.
At times it can be more difficult to build rapport with an internal recruiter on screen. Be sure to smile, speak clearly and take your time in answering questions. Be aware of the camera position and speak to it instead of the actual screen. This will ensure easy eye contact.


As interviews are such a crucial part of the recruitment process, it really is best to have a ‘dress rehearsal’ … or even several. Take time to down load Skype or the relevant technology. Call friends and family and get comfortable using it. Experiment with volume levels, different types of settings and lighting.

And finally, because we all know that technology is only good when working properly, be prepared to speak up in an interview if you encounter technical issues. If you are having trouble hearing or if there is an unexplained delay or buffering, it is much better to raise the issue with the recruiter than to try and muddle your way through.

Apply Direct focuses on direct employer roles only and specifically supports companies who wish to source candidates.

What Good Mentoring Looks Like

Posted on May 25, 2015 by


In theory, great managers should be like mentors to all members of their team, counselling and supporting staff as part of their ongoing responsibilities as an inspiring and passionate leader.

In reality, though, great managers are extremely scarce, commonly lacking any thread of passion due to being consistently stressed and time-poor.

However, some do possess the necessary skills and competence whereby mentoring comes naturally or at the very least, has been practiced enough to integrate into their daily routine.

A true mentor, however, must have relevant credibility including qualifications, skills and experience in order to gain and maintain such a position.

Of course, good mentoring is much more than teaching and offering support. It takes a certain type of communicator who is professionally minded, guiding one with detail and focus, yet with a human enough approach to inspire and motivate on a personal level.

Mentoring is often tailored to be appropriate to particular individuals rather than a more blanket fashion which might be applied to a group. Imparting information is straightforward enough, but developing a comfort level, two-way understanding and connection is where good mentoring shines.

The best kind of mentor will ask questions and encourage their pupil to do the same. They will provide regular feedback and take the time to constructively unpack areas of concern or uncertainty.

A good mentor considers their pupil an investment, whereby they have a duty of care and personal and professional stake in the outcome of the mentorship. If the pupil isn’t grasping something adequately, a good mentor will persist until he or she does. This might materialise by changing tactic or explaining in more detail and using varied examples, or simply with continued practice.

Good mentors are patient, thorough and passionate in their practice. They should understand that each pupil is different and will possess his or her own finesse rather than being a clone of the mentor.

An exceptional mentor will understand that, occasionally, they themselves might learn new approaches and ideas from their own pupils and should embrace rather than resist where appropriate, for even the best mentors are still open to continually learning.

How To Get Noticed For That Promotion

Posted on May 18, 2015 by

Image: Shutterstock

If you’re of the mindset that brown nosing the boss and elbowing your colleagues out of the way is the right technique in obtaining that sought after promotion, you might like to rethink your strategy.

Transparency in the workplace generally holds far more weight than game playing and sly moves, so, aside from quality work and good time management, the key to heading on up is open, respectful and positive communication and behaviour.

Actions definitely speak louder than words when it comes to being noticed for promotion. If you’re spending much of your time boasting about how well you’re doing or how bad someone else is doing, chances are you’re being noticed for the wrong reasons, while someone else is busy achieving results.

Noticeable effort and improvement are often among the strongest elements on an employer’s checklist. A competitive edge certainly isn’t a bad thing, and it’s fine to possess that drive for success, but it should never be dirty or at the expense of others. In other words, keep on wanting and striving, but always play fair.

The fundamentals certainly never go amiss either, so don’t hold back from putting in extra hours and getting ahead of your workload so you can ask for additional tasks or assignments or to help others in some way. Just don’t ever let your motivation be for ego-based attention or to show your colleagues up. It’s usually fairly obvious when that’s the case and it’s not an appealing impression.

If you can somehow manage the balance between remaining on top of your own jobs while willing to also help your teammates with an overall calm, diplomatic and friendly disposition, you’re certain to be heading in the right direction for promotion.

Asking the right questions and always keeping interested and engaged will add to the right mix, as will punctuality and willingness to participate in all things save for workplace gossip and disrespectful behaviour.

It can also pay to politely let upper management know, if appropriate, that you are interested in certain internal opportunities which may arise, so that you’re placed on their radar when it comes to staff planning.

Building Self Confidence

Posted on May 12, 2015 by
IMAGE Getty Images

IMAGE Getty Images

In the workforce, skills and qualifications alone are not necessarily enough to excel. Self confidence is imperative in maximising those skills and driving yourself and your work into the foreground for the greatest exposure and results.

For some, self confidence is inherent and comes easily. For many others, however, it is an elusive quality which seems far from reach.

Shyness, self-consciousness, low self-esteem and anxiety are rife these days, and very often in the workplace. All is not lost, however, as there are several helpful techniques.

Building self confidence is essentially facing fear. It’s initially tough and feels scary, but with practice it lessens, and more confidence emerges.

Practice is, therefore, the definitive keyword. If you lack confidence in speaking with colleagues, for example, then start engaging with them more and more frequently. You might hate how it first feels, and those fears will emerge, but they will lessen if you push through it and keep going.

Find any reason you can to be social or make contact with your co-workers and run with it in spite of your trepidation. These peers form an important part of your experience within the company, so building confidence among them will contribute to building your confidence at work overall.

If meetings and presentations are your weakness, carry your social practices into this area as well and rather than being the wallflower, be the opposite. Engage and interact. Pretend you feel bold and courageous as if it were a performance. Some find it helpful to pretend they are someone else. The idea is you learn how to convey self confidence and after lots of practice, it becomes your own useable skill.

If your job requires you to interact with clients or customers, focus on the service or product you are offering rather than yourself. If you ensure you know your service or product inside out, then you are simply a conduit for imparting the information. Remind yourself that it is not about you, and focus on the client’s needs. By practising this focus technique, your delivery will become stronger and less self-conscious.

If you are applying for jobs, some self confidence is necessary to convey competence, edge and tenacity. It is, of course, normal to feel nervous during a job interview so most employers will make some allowance for that.

One technique for quashing those nerves is preparation. If you thoroughly research the position and the organisation, you will go in armed with knowledge, and that fuels self confidence. Going in blindly with uncertainty only fuels the nerves. Practising answers to potential questions is another way to feel prepared.

It is also helpful to remember not to waffle during an interview, which nerves can encourage. Listen carefully to the questions and be clear and direct in your responses. Don’t veer off in random directions but do engage with interest and enthusiasm.

Again, the more interview practice you get, the more self confident you will become.

How To Find A Job Through Social Media

Posted on May 4, 2015 by


The term social media has, understandably, lead many to believe that its sole function and purpose is socialising.

What many don’t fully appreciate is the likes of Facebook, Twitter and particularly LinkedIn can be very effectively utilised to network, make important job contacts and discover job listings and opportunities.

LinkedIn is not simply a site to upload your CV for your current connections to peruse. It is an intricate networking hub where you can search companies of interest while discovering who works where and who does what. In turn, you’re able to introduce yourself to these employers with a view to being considered for future opportunities.

One great aspect to LinkedIn is it will tell you if your current connections have any relationship to the organisation’s you’ve got your eye on. If so, it means you can ask your connection for a formal introduction, which LinkedIn is geared to help generate.

A formal introduction from someone who knows you, and knows them, is many times more effective than going in blindly. And LinkedIn is there to help you unearth these connections which you would otherwise not likely realise you had.

Moreover, with your resume and work history already neatly packaged as part of your profile, LinkedIn contacts don’t have to ask or search for your credentials. It’s made easy for them and for you, and there are even industry specific forums where you can chat and make connections that way.

Additionally, Twitter is more useful for job networking than some might think. By pro-actively following companies and establishments in your realm of interest, you increase your chances of hearing about opportunities which may be announced as public tweets.

You are also able to compose your own tweets informing your followers that you’re in the job market and looking to make contacts. Twitter is very direct and to the point, and others may even help you in re-tweeting your original posts for further saturation.

Meanwhile, Facebook, while being the most truly predominantly ‘social’ of the three sites, still presents opportunities to job network.

A status update advising you are job hunting in a particular area, for example, can alert a connection who knows somebody who knows somebody else working for a business offering the perfect opportunity.

It’s quite often our casual acquaintances or very distant connections who are our most valuable when it comes to networking, as they present potential entry into whole other worlds of which we are not part of. So never dismiss even the most remote of connections, as they could be your next ticket to the right opportunity.

Welcome To Adzuna

Posted on April 30, 2015 by

Fairfax Media announced the joint venture in Australia with leading international job search engine Adzuna in January 2014. Adzuna is now Fairfax’s primary online job listings brand in Australia.

In October 2014 Fairfax Media transitioned its MyCareer online jobs board to Adzuna (, a leading international job search engine.

Following on from this merge we are proud to announce the transition of to Adzuna.

From May 2015, the job search and alert functionality provided at will be migrated to Adzuna.

post an ad

Adzuna is a job search engine which makes it easier to find the right job for you. Adzuna searches thousands of websites and brings together hundreds of thousands of ads so you can find them all in one place. Adzuna provides a consolidated and comprehensive view of Australian job listings, powerful and targeted search, as well as real-time employment market data and social job hunting tools. It is a compelling alternative for recruiters and job seekers and is an innovative step forward in the evolution of the Australian recruitment and job search market.

We look forward to you finding your next job on

5 Career Mistakes You Will Regret In 10 Years

Posted on April 27, 2015 by

Your career is a lifelong journey. It’s something much bigger than just the industry you work in, or the current job you hold. 

Your career is a series of work, life and learning experiences that you undertake. It’s the journey that helps you to reach important life goals.

However, all too often we make career decisions that are short sighted and based purely on emotion; you don’t like your boss, you’re busy competing against others for that next promotion or you don’t get on with one of your colleagues.

What may seem like a little decision now could have bigger consequences to your career pathway in the long run.

Here are 5 career mistakes to avoid:


1.    Choosing a career for money rather than job satisfaction

Don’t make the mistake of measuring your success on how much you earn.

You spend a lot of time at work and so it’s really important that you like what you do.  Look to pursue a career that matches your skills and passions, and evaluate what you personally want from a career. Make sure you consider the bigger picture and don’t focus solely on the here and now.

2.    Avoiding challenges and making mistakes

One of the worst things you can do in your career is to avoid a challenge. Sure it’s daunting, sure you might feel nervous or a little uncomfortable to start with, but putting yourself in challenging situations enables you to learn and grow as an individual.

Everyone makes mistakes; it’s how you learn from them that really matter.

3.    Not investing in yourself

At the end of the day you are the boss of your own career, and the only person that’s really accountable for your success at work is yourself.

In today’s market place you must work hard to stand out from the crowd. While hard work and passion will help you progress, enhancing your skills and knowledge by investing in training or qualifications will help to move your career in the right direction.

While investing in your career may cost you time and money now, it can bring career rewards in the long run.

4.    Waiting for something to happen

Today’s workplace is competitive and more often than not you have to be proactive in going after what you want.

If you wait around for the right moment to ask for a raise, to step up and take on more responsibility, or to do that extra training – you could miss out on opportunities.

Once you’ve taken the plunge and been assertive, you’ll feel more confident in going after other things you want out of your career.

5.    Not maintaining a healthy work life balance

“I’m really glad I spent all those evenings working late, and so little time hanging out with my friends and family”, said no one, ever.

According to The Australia Institute think tank, the balance between life and work is deteriorating for 4 out of 10 people, with Australians donating $110 billion in free labour every year.

If you are in the habit of working late and weekends then make a start by addressing your work life balance by:

  • Creating an exercise plan you stick to
  • Scheduling in dinner dates with friends and family
  • Remembering your passions and making time for them every month

Avoid these 5 mistakes and you will progress in a career that you are passionate about, and enjoy a balanced and healthy life.