17 January 2009

Where am I? What day is this?

That's the way I feel right now. I don't know if I'm coming or going. You see dear readers I am looking for a job. In this current economic climate it's not easy, but none the less I will keep looking. I have two solid applications pending and I'm just waiting to hear if I've been shortlisted for the job. I have three more jobs that I'm applying for but I have to finish the selection criteria (see below for definition) for each of them.

There is is a difference here in the land down under compared to how I was used to looking for a job in the states. Generally in the states I sent my resume in with a cover letter and hoped they would give me an interview. Usually if there was an interview I would talk to someone in personnel and then if they liked me they would set up one or two more separate interviews and after all of that if they all liked me they would offer me a job. Here it's a bit different. Here not only do you send in a cover letter and you resume or as they tend to call it your CV (Curriculum Vitae) and then you also have to attach a copy of the selection criteria with your answers.

The selection criteria is a set questions and or statements pertaining to the skills that the employer wants you to possess and they want you to quantify not only that you have the skills but how you used the skills and if possible at which previous job. I'll give you a sample question/statement.

Ability to maintain confidentiality, exercise initiative, judgment and discretion and to work without direct supervision.

Now to that statement I would have to write no more and no less than a paragraph to explain how I am capable of doing this.

After I answer all of the selection criteria of which there are usually 5, 6, maybe more questions. I send that in as I mentioned along with my cover letter and a CV. After that I wait to see if I've been shortlisted (a short list of applicants that they want to actually interview) and if I have well then I get to have an interview, if not I get a nice polite thanks but no thanks letter. The interview process here for professional based jobs opposed to labour skilled jobs are different once again than what I'm used to in the states. Labour based jobs here consist of one or maybe two separate interviews with different individuals. Professional skilled jobs consist of one interview and a panel of at least two but usually three people from within the company. All of the interviewers have some direct knowledge or working experience of the job you are applying. Usually one of the people will be the person you will be reporting to if you get the job.

The interview process consist of a series of questions asked by the three panelists and each of them score your questions. A the end of the interview they say thank you and they will let me know in the next day or so rather or not they are going to offer me the job. Once I'm gone they all discuss me both on physical presentation and also the content of my answers. If they think I'm the one they then call my references and believe me the truly call all of your references, of which you have to have at least two and most times three. If that all pans out, they call me to offer me the job. Of course if any part of the interview process including the referee check does not pan out you get a thanks but no thanks letter.

So looking for work has been a huge learning curve for me but it is interesting. Now all I have to do is get an interview and then hopefully impress the interviewers with my knowledge, wit and overwhelming charm. Anyway that's what's going on here so the posts will be sporadic but I will do my best to, keep you updated. I'll be back, wish me luck.


Ur-spo said...

I wish you much luck.
I know so many people trying to find a job right now.
It must be very very hard.
I hope you find one soon.

Rick said...

Ugh, sounds painful. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat. And I don't much like it. The selection criteria thing is a royal pain.