Deepti, how did you come to be involved with Fitted for Work?

Fitted for work happened to me about a year ago. I was like any new migrant going to a country, I was looking for jobs. Even though I was applying for jobs every day, I wasn’t getting any calls. After two months I finally got a call for an interview. So I was searching for some practice interviews. Because Australia was new to me I wanted to groom myself in terms of how to prepare and trends here. I was Googling and, since I use to live in Parramatta, that’s how Fitted for Work came up.

I really needed some help with practice interviews and also the fitting services because I saw the Australian standards; the way you dress is a bit different from my country. That’s why it was a one stop solution for me. They provided me with interview appropriate clothes. I had never had an interview overseas before, I actually overcame that fear by practicing once or twice with the mentors and the volunteers who were there. It really helped me. Everything fell into place for me. I was really happy with the services and with the volunteers. I lined up a job. I now work as a talent management and sourcing specialist with 100 Mums in the CBD area, 3 days a week. It’s been a year now and I enjoy my work.

I really wanted to give back. It’s been a year now that I’m volunteering as well. It has been an amazing journey. I enjoy being part of Fitted for Work.

We love having you.

Thank you. And the team is amazing. It’s a wonderful scene. The team and volunteers are very nice. We get to meet different people and hear different stories. [The volunteers] have a sense of belonging, that we can make a difference to somebody’s life, in the same way somebody made a difference in my life.

You mentioned earlier that there were some differences in terms of looking for a job in Australia. What are some of those differences?

Here, the approach of applying for a job was a bit different. Back in my country, we just apply for jobs and the recruiters are just waiting for us. But here it is completely different. You have to tailor your application to each job, individually, and also prepare a particular job description, cover letters, resume and only talk about what they are looking for. And the way you present yourself in an interview is also a bit different.

In what way?

In India, we talk overall about what we have done in all the companies. You have to go into detail about your very first company until the last company you worked at, your roles and responsibilities, irrespective if the job matches the description or not. Even if the interview goes for one and half hours they have to sit there and listen to you. But here they just want you to be straight to the point, about whatever you have done. If it matches the job description, they want you to talk about it, talk about your strengths and what difference you made in that role. That’s how you need to prepare yourself before applying for a job interview in Australia.

With your professional background, you must have many insights to offer people give them even more confidence.

Confidence is definitely key here. You need to be confident about the role you’re applying for. A few things are different, I’ve been taking interviews for about 9 years and been in HR back in my country for 9 years, and still I sense a difference.

How has your personal experience with Fitted for Work affected the way you conduct your job?

I think because now I’m a recruiter at my company I understand the importance of when people apply for jobs and when I talk to the clients who come to Fitted for Work I know what challenges they face. Sometimes they talk about how they’ve already applied to 50 jobs and nobody has called, I really understand where they are coming from. And being on this side, as a professional, I know sometimes these recruiters don’t have that much time to go through applications.

I try to find a balance between the two because of my personal experiences and Fitted for Work. Sometimes client stories are really touching. Whenever people apply for jobs in my company, I take a bit of extra time in terms of reading their application and cover letters. And even if they do not really match, I try and give them a call.

Did you have any preconceived ideas before you came to Fitted to Work about what it might be like?

No, because nobody told me about it, I just read about it on my own. Everything was on the website. I was kind of aware but it was actually more than I expected. One of the mentors, she had about 20 years of experience who helped me in terms of my practice interview. She sat with me with about 20 minutes and gave me full confidence before I went for an interview. It was more than I expected. I was so impressed. We never had that in my country.

And of course if you’re new to a place, you don’t have a job, you really can’t afford things. I was really so overwhelmed by the [Boutique] services. they weren’t old clothes that I tried on, they were absolutely good attire that I could go to an interview in. And that was more than I expected.

I feel really good about being a part of this particular organisation. I talk about it to people and refer clients. What we do is fabulous.