At DFP we take great care to provide you with the tools you require that will make your job search more effective. Whether you are a first-time job seeker or moving into the next stage of your career, DFP is committed to helping you find a job that suits you.
Our career support resources offer guidance on resume writing, preparing for interviews as well as advice on making the most of your assignments should you wish to pursue temporary employment.
Write an effective resume
An effective resume will assist Consultants in navigating through your information efficiently in order to progress to the next stage of the recruitment process. It is critical that you present your information in a format that will promote the benefit of your experience, your potential and strengths.
Following are some tips that will help you create an effective resume:
Tip 1 Create a succinct picture of you and your employment history. Keep your resume to three to five pages.
Tip 2 Place your work history and educational details in reverse chronological order by starting with the most recent. Include memberships of clubs or organisations.
Tip 3 Use bullet points.
Tip 4 Minimise the use of pronouns such as ‘I’ and ‘we’.
Tip 5 Apply an easy to follow format with clear headings.
Tip 6 Write in plain English. Do not use jargon.
Tip 7 Highlight personal achievements where possible and be specific.
Tip 8 Briefly summarise your duties and responsibilities.
Tip 9 Do not exaggerate. If you are shortlisted to the interview stage you will be required to back up what you have presented in your resume.
Tip 10 If referee details are not readily available indicate they will be provided upon request.
Preparation is the first step for a successful interview!
Ensure that you have the correct time, address and contact person to ask for. It is wise to research transport options to the client site if you do not have access to a car. Ensure that you allow yourself more than enough time to arrive calm and relaxed and to find parking if needed. If you find that you are running late, contact your consultant immediately so that they can contact the client.
Do some company research
It is important to research the position and the company. Your consultant will provide you with current information about the position, company, type of interview you will be attending and people conducting the interview. Make sure you read over the job specification and anything else given to you by your consultant, so you are fully aware of what the position requires and to gain an understanding of the types of questions the interviewer may ask.
Visit the company’s website if they have one and find out as much information as you can. You can then demonstrate this knowledge and interest during the interview. Seek additional information that will provide you with a well rounded appreciation of the company and include information from online sources such as recent news, media mentions, press releases and social network sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Acquire information about the company’s performance and future objectives through annual reports where they are available and relevant industry publications. Researching the industry in which the company operates and key competitors. This level of knowledge will enhance your level of understanding of the company’s business as well as demonstrate your eagerness to gain employment with them.
Dress for success! Your first impression will be critical and you will only get one chance to make the first impression. Ensure you are dressed appropriately and feel comfortable. For more presentation tips, please refer to our Interview Tips – Presentation guide.
It is important during an interview that your non verbal communication mirrors your verbal communication to reflect your interest and enthusiasm.
Always maintain good eye contact with the interviewer. Gazing around the room may convey to the interviewer that you are not interested in the position.
Sit up straight facing the interviewer, be attentive and interested. Always have a firm hand-shake as this is further confirmation of your professionalism and confidence. You should shake hands at the beginning and the end of an interview, and with all interviewers.
Finally, don’t forget to smile!
Be prepared for questions
The aim of an interview is to obtain as much information from you as possible in an allocated time frame. The employer will base the decision on a number of areas including skills, knowledge and abilities, personality and cultural fit, attitude, presentation, availability and references. A range of questions will be asked of you to assess as many of these things as possible and as such a typical interview will contain many standard questions, for which you can be prepared.
These questions may include:
Tell me about yourself
What kind of position are you looking for?
Why do you want to work in this industry/ company?
Why did you leave your last position?
What did you like least / most about your last position?
Can you give me some examples of the most difficult problems you encountered in your previous position? How did you resolve them?
Why should we hire you instead of other applicants?
What can you offer this company?
What do you know about the company?
Why did you apply for this position?
What skills / qualities do you think would be important to this job?
How long do you expect to stay in this role / company?
What are your strengths / weaknesses?
Where do you see yourself being in 2 / 5 year’s time?
Whilst you may not be asked all of these questions, you can expect to be asked some of them, or a variation on them. Think about what your response may be and rehearse how it may sound.
Prepare some questions of your own
This is your opportunity to learn more about the role and the organisation and show how interested you are in the position. It is wise to prepare some questions before hand. You may also think of questions as the interview progresses. Some more common questions may be:
Could you tell me a little bit more about the company?
Could you tell me about the training program?
What is the process following this interview?
Being well prepared before attending an interview will assist you in presenting to the employer as a confident, assured and interested candidate, worthy of definite consideration for the role.
Behavioural Interviewing is becoming an increasingly popular way to conduct interviews. It is based on the premise that past behaviour is the best indicator of future performance in a similar situation. A role specification will be developed and key competencies for the role determined. From these competencies questions are then designed to elicit details of behaviour in past circumstances similar to those you may encounter in the new position.
A competency may be defined as the skills, ability, knowledge and/or experience required to perform tasks.
In order to do well in a behavioural interview it is important to prepare examples of particular situations that you can discuss without having to pause too long for thought. By considering possible questions and answers in advance you will also be able to maximise the positive impressions you make and reinforce your interest in the position.
To anticipate questions you may be asked look at the advertisement or job description and analyse the key competencies. Then think about experiences in your past positions that have demonstrated your skills in these areas.
Some common competencies include:
Customer service orientation
Tolerance for stress
Attention to detail
STAR Interview Method
Behavioural questions generally start with “Tell me about a time” or “Describe a time when” and there are 4 parts to the answer to which the employer is seeking details:
Situation – Set the scene and provide the details of the situation
Task – Describe your responsibility or role in that situation
Action – Explain the specific actions you took to address the situation
Result – Describe the outcome you achieved through your actions
You can remember this using the acronymSTAR (Situation,Task, Action, Result) and you should ensure that you cover all 4 of these areas when giving your response to a behavioural question. Ensure that you demonstrate how you used your skills to deal with the situation and what the outcome was as a result of your actions/behaviours.
Some sample behavioural questions include:
Tell me about a time when you have had to deal with a difficult customer. What did you do? What was the outcome?
Describe a time for me when you had to win someone over to your point of view. Was it successful?
Tell me about the biggest sale you have ever made.
Tell me how you went about sourcing the biggest client you brought into your last company.
Tell me about a time when you have done more than required in your job. What was the outcome of this?
Tell me about the most significant contribution you made to your team.
Tell me about a time you had to complete an important task on time. What steps did you take to ensure it was done?
Describe a time for me when you have felt impatient with a customer. How did you go about handling it?
Describe your most frustrating work experience in the past 12 months. What made it frustrating and how did you go about handling it?
Describe a time when you wish you had responded differently to a member in your team.
If you analyse the job brief and highlight competencies you think will be inherent, you will be able to think of some working experience responses ahead of time instead of having to ‘wing it’.
Behavioural interviews offer you a wonderful opportunity to show what you have accomplished in your past working experience so that prospective employers can see you as an asset for their future.
Common Questions and Answers
An interviewer has the difficult task of discovering and assessing what kind of person you are and how well you will fit the job and the company in a very short period of time. Therefore, you may be faced with fairly common or standard interview questions.
You should ensure that you listen carefully to the questions and tailor your responses accordingly, answering truthfully without exaggerating. Communicate in a clear and logical manner, not speaking too loudly or too fast.
Whilst it is a good idea to be prepared for some of the common questions, your responses should not appear rehearsed or ‘rote like’. Following are some of the more common questions and some ideas about what the employer may be looking for and suggested ways to respond.
Q. Tell me about yourself
This question may be used to learn about your personality, communication skills and ability to think on your feet. You should talk about your skills and experience, focusing on work related factors. This should include your interests and experience as it relates to the job, past working experience, training / education / qualification and a summary of your career. You should always try to link your experience to the position.
Q. Why do you want to do this job / work for this company?
The interviewer is looking to see if you will be satisfied with your job and want to stay. You should demonstrate your knowledge of the company and highlight why you are interested in the role and company. Re-emphasise your suitability for the position.
Q. What do you think you have to offer this company?
This is an opportunity for you to talk about yourself and your achievements, concentrating on the skills you have that are required for the position. Describe without exaggerating, but ensure you provide enough information to show your strengths and successes.
For example: “I have strong sales skills which is evident in my achieving 150% of my sales targets last year. I am a good team player and am keen to be involved in the new division you are establishing to work the Asia region.”
Q. What do you enjoy most about your current / last job?
The key to this question is to respond with what you have enjoyed about work that strongly relates to the key competencies and requirements of the position you are applying for.
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
This question is designed to assess your aspirations, ambition and career planning. You should demonstrate that your long term goals are appropriate for the position being discussed and your commitment to them.
Q. Do you work well under pressure?
Ensure you give a specific example when you were under pressure and how you resolved the situation.
Q. Why did you leave your last position?
People leave jobs for many reasons and you should clearly explain reasons. Some common reasons for leaving jobs include:
The company was retrenching
It was part time and you were / ideally looking for more hours
It required too much travel away from home
You had gone as far as you could career wise in that company
The company was taken over by another
Q. Why should we employ you instead of someone else?
You should list your skills and attributes you have that show you will make a valuable employee. You may have mentioned them before but this is like a summary for the interviewer – a snapshot if you like.
At all times you should appear professional, confident and enthusiastic. Try not to sound like you have been practising your answers. Always relate your answers to practical experiences and show how those experiences are valuable to the position for which you are being interviewed. Finally, if you don’t understand the question, do not hesitate in asking for it to be repeated.
Presentation for the Interview
The first impression is what counts. An interview is a ‘make or break’ situation for even the most experienced interviewee. Studies have shown that it may not always be the person who is most qualified that gets the job, but the person the interviewer relates to the most.
Your appearance will make an immediate impression when meeting people for the first time. Statistically it has been shown that an impression is formed within the first 30 seconds and the impact we make is via:
The way we dress, act and walk through the door (55%)
The quality of our voice, grammar and overall confidence (38%)
What we actually say (7%).
With this information in mind it is easy to see why it is vital that you dress appropriately for an interview. Present in a professional, tidy manner that is appropriate to the environment and culture of the organisation. It is always better to dress up than to dress down – you never get a second chance at a first impression.
Tips on Temping
Welcome to the Temping Team! As a member of this team we want to work closely with you to achieve the best possible results for your career and our clients. In return we ask that when you work on assignments you do so with a positive, dedicated and enthusiastic manner.
To help you out, here are a few handy hints:
Ensure that you have submitted your timesheet by 10am each Monday
If you submit your timesheet by fax, ring Payroll (1300 337 729) to check that it has been clearly received
Timesheets can be downloaded from our website
Wages are paid directly into your bank account and are generally available on the Wednesday, unless there has been a public holiday
Ensure that payroll always has your current banking details
Superannuation is paid in accordance with Government regulations.
Keeping us informed
It is very important that you keep us informed when you are working on assignment for us. You should contact us when:
You are given a direct number at your workplace on which we can contact you
You are running late, are sick or cannot make it to an assignment
You need time off during an assignment
You are offered a permanent position by our client
Your assignment finishes early or is extended
You are requested to work different or extended hours
You are asked to perform a different role or use more of your skills than originally specified
You suffer any injury while on assignment or notice unsafe working conditions
You are having a problem of any kind whilst on assignment
You are unable to work on any assignments (e.g. you are on holidays, sick, working elsewhere)
You are available to work. It is a great idea to contact your Consultant regularly with your availability so we can continue to look for work for you.
If at any stage during your assignment you feel that you are unable to meet the clients performance standards or expectations, please call us immediately so that we can look at a better option for you and our client.