Interview questions, tips and how we hire now

Hi, this is Jason Poh, the new CEO for Gapture Malaysia. I joined just back in 1st of November 2018 with growth as my key business objective. Growth needs people, hence, the first thing I did was to get my recruitment contacts on board, to get some CVs for review (this process started a month back before I officially joined).

In marketing, we talked about funnels and in hiring, the same framework applies too. Below was the framework I used and it was borrowed from Rocket Internet.

 (I am a spreadsheet guy and was lucky to work with a Rocket Internet alumnus prior for 3.5 years. Any Rocket Internet alumni can tell you what 3.5 years mean.)

(I am a spreadsheet guy and was lucky to work with a Rocket Internet alumnus prior for 3.5 years. Any Rocket Internet alumni can tell you what 3.5 years mean.)

Pre-Interview

All in I received 64 CVs for an entry-level position, candidates with minimum criteria are then being bookmarked. This results in 34 being shortlisted. The time spent in this stage took me about 120 minutes or about 3.5 minutes per application. Slightly longer than the conventional 30 seconds glance for big corporates. At this top part of the funnel, I took extra steps to make sure my filter is of high quality as it would affect my bottom funnels. 

The rest not filtered are mostly CVs with irrelevant experience or not shown a particular interest in getting the experience. Most felt like they are trying their luck to get a job, any job.

The whole hiring process for me is so structured, I don't really depend on luck in hiring. Hence, I hope candidates reading this to reconsider their spray and pray approach that luck won't be at their side. Instead, think about what you really want, show achievements towards that goal, and reflect that in the CV. 

I then set up a phone interview session with the bookmarked candidates. The drop-off here is quite high as a lot of them didn't bother to reply, couldn't get through or decline right away. Another possible reason was also my recruitment contact didn't do a good job here in reaching them.

Phone Interview

The filtering process here then becomes simpler, if is a good call, 30 mins top and ask them for a face to face interview. If it is a bad call, 10-15 mins and I end the call gracefully and directly. 

A question I remembered the most is where's our office located. Distance apparently is a factor. Fair point, I wouldn't want such candidates too. Unknowingly that, we have Work From Home schemes and Travel Allowance. I didn't have the chance to touch on perks, unfortunately. As a hiring manager, perks and salaries are always the last topics. 

Skills matter a lot in this industry, there are unicorn companies who don't have office and employees just worked wherever they are based at due to the skills they have. Skills, is also a very valuable and rare commodity in our current environment, unfortunately. 

If you are a Gapturion, you already have skills and being a master of them. Even if you are an intern, you will develop them

How would a candidate pass the phone interview? Language and communication is the #1 criteria, I need to be able to speak to you and listen to you easily. In essence, you need to know how to speak. This is a very low barrier, but it speaks volume. Phone conversation happens a lot in my team, mostly between me and my team members. 

WhatsApp / Slack you may ask? I can't type faster than I speak, and those tools have their places. If team members and I can communicate, rest assured I can leave them to communicate with clients too. 

Next, in the phone interview, I asked questions that are not designed to trick but to test. It can be as simple as how good you are in Microsoft Excel, or tell me the best topic you know about. I let you showoff, and then I test you on what you just said. In 10-15 minutes, I assess your breadth and depth, your passion and your honesty. You most probably will fumble but this is also another test. 

If you are good, you will be stopped at 30 mins and is scheduled for a face to face interview. The whole cycle continues until I fully speak to everyone.

Actual Interview

This can last as long as it warrants. This is the final touch point and I want to go through every detail thoroughly. Hired right, the time is worth it. Hired wrong, the time spent is not long enough at this stage. This is the time not just about the candidate, but also about the company and expectation for the candidate. 

Candidates should ask as much as questions as they can and hiring manager to prick any holes possible. If something is wrong, it should be uncovered here, this is the ultimate objective of this interview at this point. Sometimes, I will bring in another interviewer and sometimes I will schedule further interviews. This is probably the least structured part of the funnel. 

Marketers would want quick conversion at the bottom of this funnel, hirers would want right conversion. To be fair so does the candidate too. 

Hence, welcome on-board to the new Gapturion. You are the lucky 1.6%.

With the above long post, I hope I can shed some lights and give insider tips on hiring for anyone that is looking to be in digital marketing industry. 

Most importantly, you need to know that being a Gapturion is not being lucky but being extremely qualified with clear career development growth. In return, this would ensure a Gapture client is being served by the best in the industry. 

With Stanley being a Google Regional Trainer, we don't just train competitors, we train talents for our competitors too. Thus, to ex-Gapturions, you are always welcome back! 

With that being said, we are hiring, and good luck to you. ;) 

Gapture Admin