Recruitment and Selection Part II – Phone screen and Interview

Welcome to Part II of our Recruitment and Selection tips.

Our Recruitment process has a few steps, and this is because we want to make sure we not only hire the person with the right skills for the job but also that we are going to enjoy working with each other. It is no secret that happy employees are more productive and stay longer.

How can we find out if we are going to work well together? We talk to you and we listen to what you have to say. This is why we complete both a phone screen and up to two interviews.

When you apply for a role with us, your application, cover letter and CV are the first touch points with the Company. This is when you first introduce yourself to us. If you are shortlisted, you will receive a call from us asking if you are available for a phone screen. Phone screens can take up to 20 minutes, so you need to make sure you are able to stay on the phone uninterrupted for this long. If you are not able to complete the phone screen then and there, please ask to schedule another time. Imagine you are introduced to someone new and that whole time you ask them questions, they are checking their text messages, answering someone else’s questions, or they are adding a new photo to their Instagram! You will have to admit this is not ideal when you are trying to find out more about someone.

Make sure you are in a place where you can speak freely. We need to hear what you have to say.

During the phone screen we will ask some questions about your background and skills. We will also make sure your expectations in relation to remuneration, location and hours of work align with ours and the role you have applied for.

Great! Your application has been shortlisted. This time, we are calling you to invite you to attend an interview. Some people dread it, even recruiters! Think about it as an opportunity to meet your future manager and to see the environment in which you will be working, if hired, of course!

Prepare for the interview:

By now, you should already have some information about the company, but you are encouraged to look at the website in more detail, research the company and think of some questions to ask your interviewer. Review the advert and understand what is required to be successful in the role and have a good look at the job description if it is available. Our interviews ask a mixture of competency based and behavioural questions.

Think about the role you have applied for and what situations you may encounter in the role.  Then reflect on similar situations you have been in and how you have handled them. For example, if you are applying for a receptionist role, think of some times you have had to deal with a difficult customer (we all have had one of those for sure) and how you have handled that situation.  Or, if you are applying for a Technician position, think of a particular vehicle you had difficulty diagnosing, and what steps you took to resolve the problem.  Reflecting on past experiences brings memories to the forefront which makes it easier to answer question on the spot and when under pressure.

On the day of the interview:

It goes without saying that you need to arrive on time for your interview. Don’t be too early either. Arrive at Reception between 10 and 5 minutes before your interview is due to start. All of our buildings require a Health & Safety sign in and that can take a couple of minutes.

Presentation is important as well. If you are not sure, ask your interviewer what the dress code is but we are more of a smart casual dress code type of workplace.

And the interview starts…

Again, most people get nervous during an interview, but this is an opportunity to get to know you, so take a deep breath and enjoy the ride as much as you can.

Answering behavioural questions is a structured exercise. This requires you to think of specific examples or situations you have been in and explain that situation, the process you went through to get to an outcome and the outcome itself. You may have heard of STAR or CAR structured answers. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result and CAR means Context, Action, Result. For example, if the interviewer asks: “Tell me about a difficult customer you dealt with?” your answers should go something like this: “When working for AAAA, a customer came in and the problem was BBBB. I took action CCCC and the outcome was DDDD”. Make sure your answer is clear and succinct but detailed enough so the interviewer can fully understand. If you have never experienced this particular situation, be honest and let the interviewer know.

You do not need to have all the answers ready, but it is helpful if you have prepared some examples of past experiences. If you are stuck on a question, let the interviewer know you need a minute. If nothing comes to mind, ask the interviewer if you can come back to this particular question later.

At the end of the interview, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. Make sure the questions are relevant to the role and the company.  You may want to ask about the managers management stye, company culture or team dynamics.  You may just want to know where the best local lunch bar is, but it is always good to go with one or two questions for your interviewer.

If you have impressed us in the first round of interviews you may be asked to complete some behavioural and cognitive assessments and be invited to a second interview usually with the head of the business unit.

You can expect to be contacted with an update within two to five days of the last interview.

We hope this was useful information. All the best with your application to join the Sime Darby family.