Wouldn’t it be nice to know ahead of time what to expect from the hiring process before you even start so you can tackle it with more confidence and less anxiety?
Lucky for you, the awesome people at EF Educational Tours Canada agreed to provide an inside look at what to expect during EF’s hiring process and how to stand out along the way through the experiences of three recent graduates who have been hired into entry level jobs over the past year.
Meet the graduates
|Name: Anne Bouvier
Job title: Tour Consultant
Start date: November 2012
Previous role at EF: Customer Service Representative
Education: Business administration and history, St. Francis Xavier University
|Name: Jon Robba
Job title: Tour Manager
Start date: March 2013
Education: Business psychology and marketing, Western University and Fanshawe College
|Name: Victoria Channell
Job title: Account Service Representative
Start date: August 2012
Education: Political science, Queen’s University
While Jon originally heard about EF’s career opportunities from his sister, who joined the company as a Regional Manager back in 2003, Anne and Victoria both found their jobs with EF through TalentEgg! “TalentEgg helped me narrow down my search,” Anne says.
Applying to work at EF
After choosing the role she wanted to apply for via EF’s employer profile on TalentEgg, Victoria says all she had to do was upload her resume and cover letter, and answer a few questions online.
“My best advice is to be positive, really understand what our core values are at EF, and include these values in your resume, cover letter and application.”
—Anne Bouvier, Tour Consultant, EF Educational Tours Canada
“The application process was really straightforward,” she adds.
Like most new grads, aside from a bit of retail sales, food service, administrative and – in Jon’s case – modelling work, none of them had much professional experience.
What they did have, though, was extra-curricular and volunteer experience as well as a real passion for travel, so they took that and ran with it in their applications.
How they made their applications stand out
Anne: My application highlighted my appreciation for travel and why I wanted to work in the industry – and specifically at EF. My best advice is to be positive, really understand what our core values are at EF, and include these values in your resume, cover letter and application.
Victoria: I tried to use experiences that were unique to me, but also memorable. I answered the questions using a conversational tone to make it feel more personal and genuine, so whoever was reading it could really get a feel for who I am!
Jon: I made sure to highlight my travel experience and sales knowledge. Knowing the role you are applying for is crucial.
Getting – or making – the call for an interview
Both Jon and Victoria received a phone call from EF’s Recruitment Co-ordinator, Carrie Bedesky, within about a week.
Anne, on the other hand, decided to take a more pro-active approach. “Rather than waiting for a call from EF, I picked up the phone and called the company. I was very fortunate to be able to speak with Carrie,” she says. “In our brief conversation, I explained to her why I wanted to work for EF and that I would be delighted to have the opportunity to have an interview with her.”
The result? “My biggest dream came true – I had an interview.”
EF’s interview process
Jon, Victoria and Anne each started off the interview process with a 30-minute phone interview, either with Carrie or the hiring manager.
“I made sure to ask tons of questions to convince them of my interest in the role. The most important question, in my opinion, is: What must I do in order to achieve success in this role?”
—Jon Robba, Tour Manager, EF
“Carrie asked me to tell her a little about myself, why I wanted to work for EF, why I wanted to be in customer service and my previous experience in customer service,” Anne says.
“After that, I was invited in the following week for an interview with a few of the team members,” Victoria elaborates, “and a one-on-one interview with both of the Customer Service Managers.”
Jon’s second interview was a group interview with other candidates and managers from several different departments. “It was more like a discussion session than the standard question-answer method,” he explains. “They introduced the topic of motivation in a room of nine candidates and said, ‘OK, go!’ Great opportunity to stand out and set yourself apart.”
How they stood out during the interview process
Victoria: I did my best to stay calm and confident. I also asked a LOT of questions – you can never be too informed!
Jon: I made sure to ask tons of questions to convince them of my interest in the role. The most important question, in my opinion, is: What must I do in order to achieve success in this role? The key is to show your dedication by letting them know how much you want the position.
Anne: I asked questions, smiled a lot, and did my research on the industry and the company before the interviews.
The first day at EF
“We spent the majority of the day in training, where we learnt all about the other departments at the company,” says Victoria. “With someone from each department doing a training session with us, it really helped give me a better idea of how the company works and how I would fit into my new role. It was also a great way to meet people in other departments.”
The training didn’t stop after these new recruits’ first days, weeks or even months. According to Anne, they receive daily feedback from more senior colleagues, have monthly one-on-one meetings with their managers and also participate in a mentorship program that helps them achieve their goals.
Jon says he was nervous on his first day, but not for very long. “Everyone was so welcoming and it calmed my nerves,” he recalls. “Management took the new recruits out for lunch to break the ice and I knew right then this was no ordinary company.”