My partner and I were recently looking for a rental in Auckland. Like many, we had been lucky enough to avoid this nightmare until now. It was overwhelming at first, hearing all the horror stories from friends and family of sending 50+ applications and eventually having to settle for a place that was… well, less than desirable to say the least.
The thing is, as I was scrolling through countless listing after listing, I realised that this must be how many of the candidates I talk with each day feel; exhausted and fed up. Looking for a rental in the city is a lot like looking for a new job and seeing as you spend most of your day either at work or at home, finding a place to live and work you enjoy is important for your overall wellbeing. So, I tapped into my experience as a Recruiter and approached this situation as if I were looking for a new job and the results paid off.
So, whether you’re looking for a flat or a new job, here are several tips that can help you do both.
Do Your Research
I can’t stress this enough. Do your research. We wasted so much time going to rental listings that we ended up having no interest in. They were either in locations that weren’t going to work for at least one of us or they didn’t even have room to fit an oven (which was non-negotiable)! After wasting our time, I decided to do more research before committing to any new viewings. We looked up rentals on Google Maps and checked its access to public transport and motorways and then checked the average travel times. We would also call in to ask the agent questions the listing didn’t provide an answer for.
You can do the exact same for a new employer. If a job vacancy doesn’t provide an answer to every question you have, contact the Recruiter. When you accept an interview and find out their location, check them out on Google and make sure you wouldn’t have any issues getting there each day. You should also find out as much as you can about the company. Their values, mission and purpose. If you can’t find it, ask your Recruiter so you can tailor your answers to interview questions and really impress the Hiring Manager.
Most flat viewings are only ten to 15 minutes long, so we had to ensure we were prepared beforehand. This meant having a plan so we arrived ten minutes early and had a pre-prepared list of questions to ask the agent that we hadn’t already had answers for yet. Sometimes these questions were simply to ensure the agent knew we were interested in the flat.
When it comes to your job interview, you can never be too prepared. In terms of arriving early, ten minutes is a good time. Remember to give yourself a little leeway to find parking, and whilst arriving too early can be disruptive – it’s always better to be early than late! If you are going to be late, call ahead and let your Recruiter know and lastly, be polite to the Receptionist on the way in!
You should also have a pre-prepared list of questions to ask at the end of a job interview. We covered this in an early blog so I won’t go into too much detail about them here.
Know What You Want
To make sure we found a flat that met both mine and my partner’s needs, we made a list of what most important to us. We knew it would be unlikely to get everything we wanted but it helps when it came to reviewing our options and comparing rentals.
The same advice applies when you’re looking for a new job. If you have a list of everything you want in a career move, a Recruiter will be in a much better position to help you and you’ll have a much easier time when reviewing your options, especially if you’re stuck between multiple job offers.
Dress the Part
My normal weekend attire consists of oversized jumpers and leggings – they’re extremely comfortable when relaxing on Sunday but not the best look when looking for a new flat. For viewings, I would make an active effort to look presentable because first impressions really do count, (we once heard that someone walked into a property with muddy shoes on much to the horror of the agent) – and the same goes for job interviews!
My advice here is to call your Recruiter before your interview and ask them what the dress code is like for the employer. If it’s a corporate office, then make sure you dress appropriately. If it’s a funky IT start-up though, you may be expected to dress down (as this could indicate you did your research) but overdressing for a job interview is always better than underdressing. That said, if you’re ever in doubt on what to wear – always call your Recruiter beforehand.
Our Property Manager once said that so many people fail to fill out the whole application or make mistakes, and hence reduce their chances of being selected. The same can be said for your CV. Spelling mistakes, missing dates or failing to tailor your CV to the role you’re applying for can damage your chances of securing a job interview. Even if you have a ‘perfect’ CV, don’t forget to talk with your referees before you provide your permission for them to be contacted if you want to give your application the best chance to succeed.
Finding a job (and a flat) can be a stressful experience. However, engaging a professional Recruiter can make a huge difference. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure you secure the job of your dreams and we might even be able to provide some advice on the next time you’re looking for a flat!