From Job Applications to Accepting a New Role: This Recruiting Expert’s Advice Will Help You Excel

Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America

Phoebe Brathwaite. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America.

Phoebe Brathwaite. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America.

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June 18, 2024 at 3:56AM UTC

When thinking about the job search process, we often discuss the challenges that come with applications and interviews, but what about after you’ve accepted a new opportunity? 

Phoebe Brathwaite, the Recruiting Operations Manager at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America (MBRDNA), has a key piece of advice to help you look out for yourself during this time of change:

“Do not rush into starting your next opportunity,” suggests Brathwaite. “Take one-to-two weeks off between the end of your current role and the start of your new role. If your new employer cannot understand the need for you to be at your best and prepare for this new role, you might want to rethink the environment you are about to move into.”

And this is just the beginning of the advice Brathwaite has to share with you! As a person who spends her days building and leading a world-class recruiting team to enable hiring efficiency with a focus on top talent, Brathwaite knows exactly what the modern job seeker needs to succeed. And, today, she’s sharing this advice with you!

Let’s start with the application stage. Do you recommend candidates do outreach to current recruiters or employees for informational interviews before applying? 

It is absolutely okay to do outreach — but make sure it is purposeful and brief. It’s better to inform than to make requests. So, reaching out to the hiring manager to let them know that you applied and why you are interested and qualified is great. But reaching out and requesting that they review your profile and advise if you should apply probably won't get you a response.

What tips do you have for women who are considering a career change and want to break into a totally new role or industry? How can they best make their application and skills standout? 

When transitioning between new industries or roles, you must consider that a lateral move might not be possible. You might have to come in at a different or lower level and work your way back up.

In doing this, you will likely need to reformat your resume, LinkedIn profile, and elevator pitch. You cannot lead with your previous roles and accolades, you must lead with your aptitude to learn and transferable skillset as it pertains to the new role and industry

On the other hand, what are your biggest tips for what NOT  to do when applying or interviewing at a company?

  1. Do not email everyone you can find, and do not email multiple people in the same department.

  2. Do not apply to different jobs with completely different requirements; stay in the same job family.

  3. If the process is taking too long or if you feel like you are being ghosted, you should provide feedback but keep it professional.

  4. Make sure all correspondence is referencing the correct company and person.

Next, how do you suggest candidates prepare for an interview?

Research the company, research the interviewers, and research the role and what it means for the industry. And, most importantly, study your resume and application. Anything you have submitted as part of the application can be a topic during the interview. So, if you included a research project you did five years ago, you might want to brush up on that or remove it. 

Being able to build rapport is highly underrated. For instance, if you see that an interviewer came from pharmaceuticals and is now in automotive, that’s an interesting transition that you can inquire about. But be genuine in your curiosity; don’t ask for the sake of taking up time.

Overall, what are your top five pieces of advice for acing an interview?

  1. Research and leave no stone uncovered.

  2. Get some rest. You can’t be at your best tired.

  3. Ask intelligent, meaningful questions.

  4. Imagine yourself working with the interviewers, and ask yourself if there is good rapport.

  5. Be confident in yourself, not everyone gets to this step, be proud of yourself.

What advice do you have for women who are looking to elevate their career in your industry?

Look for allies and mentors. There are very few people who have reached a career goal without the support and encouragement of others.

Lastly, as a recruiter, what are three things about MBRDNA that you always make sure to highlight when talking to a candidate? 

  1. Life-work balance.

  2. Great benefits offerings (including a focus on wellbeing).

  3. Training/advancement opportunities.

Fairygodboss is proud to partner with Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America. Find a job there today!

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