New Year, New Career

By: Stephany Ferreira, Talent Acquisition Specialist

It is safe to say that 2020 has had a severe impact on many businesses and individuals and that there are lots of individuals who either want or need to look for new opportunities in the new year. Traditionally at the beginning of every year we often use the phrase “new year, new me” to declare our ambitions for the upcoming year, however, 2020 has left us with a nontraditional phrase “new year, new career”.

As a Talent Acquisition Specialist in the US, Sectra’s fastest growing market, I spend a lot of my time interviewing candidates and trying to find them the best possible position within our organization. Two of the areas where we are looking to recruit heavily in the coming year is Customer Support and Professional Services. I interviewed two of our hiring managers in these fields to give you a better understanding of what Sectra recruiting managers are looking for: Brian Ruisi, Director of Customer Service and Support, and Kenneth Boone, Team Lead within our professional services department.

Hire for attitude and train for skill.

Sectra’s Hiring Philosophy

As a member of the hiring team, what do you look for in candidates both technically speaking but also personally?

From a support perspective, we are looking for individuals who genuinely think that computers are cool and that they can truly solve problems. From a personal perspective, we look for inquisitive individuals who do not just accept an answer or situation but who wants to know why something is done a certain way.

From a deployment perspective, we look for individuals who have a natural affinity for problem solving and puzzles. Those who enjoy picking things apart and putting them back together and people who think outside of the box to accomplish their goals. We always love to see individuals who are confident in themselves and their response and hear that their hobbies flow into their work.

Regardless of position, we are always looking for individuals who connect with our vision and culture. Sectra’s vision is “to contribute to a healthier and safer society” and we all believe that it is possible and important to make an impact by helping our customers make healthcare more effective. This shared belief is a corner stone in our strong corporate culture.

What is most important to you when conducting an interview?

The most important thing is cutting through the noise (smiling, key words, etc.) within interviewing and digging deeper to meet the real candidate. We want to see the individual’s critical thinking ability and see if they have the aptitude within themselves to get the job done. It is not only about having the skills to do the job, but about your passion, willingness, and ability to learn.

What can candidates do to be more successful before, and during an interview?

Generic responses will not get you far, but genuine and authentic responses will. It is important to prepare and conduct research before going into an interview. You should know about the organization that you are speaking with and what they stand for. During the interview, you should be confident in yourself. You should show that you have a naturally inquisitive nature and ability to problem solve and you should speak to the interviewer like you would to a customer.

Although there are things that you can do to prepare, you will always get questions that you never expected to receive, and this is where you show what kind of a candidate you are. Do you fold under pressure or do you rise for the occasion? Something that is truly important to all our hiring members is seeing that the interviewee is eager to learn and pushes themselves. If you get a question that you are unsure of, a “I do not know” is a perfectly acceptable answer.

What questions should candidates ask when interviewing?

Both Kenneth Boone and Brian Ruisi felt that the most important questions interviewees should ask are ones that truly show that they are interested in their long-term career with the organization. Some questions that display this include:

  • How does the team work together?
  • What do you see as the main challenges ahead for your team?
  • How is the team infrastructure?
  • What do you (the hiring team) like most about the organization and your team?
  • Who would I potentially work with and how will I be helped?

What has been your best/most successful interview and why?

Brian Ruisi mentioned that the best interview he ever had was when the candidate took the question given and analytically broke it down. While he was breaking it down, he was deciding what was most important and working through the problem to find the solution. Within customer service and support this is a critical skill to have. You are in the position of finding solutions as soon as possible because everything that you are experiencing is critical to the customers facility.

When you get a good gut feeling and the candidate starts ticking the boxes. You just know that they will be a great fit for your team.

Kenneth Boone, Team Lead, Professional Services

For Kenneth Boone, his best interview was when the candidate displayed confidence and humility. Right away he received a good gut feeling. The candidate was down to earth, real, confident, and displayed strong aptitude. “We were scheduled for a one-hour interview, but it was going so well that we ended up taking much longer. That is when you know this is the candidate for your team”. That feeling proved to be correct. Within just a few weeks of him starting in the Systems Engineer position he jumped right in and was willing to put his feet into the fire and roll up his sleeves to get things done. That is what our team looks for and most importantly what Sectra is looking for in its employees.

If there is anything that you should take away from this article it is that believing in yourself and your abilities are at the center point of you achieving the new mantra “new year, new career.” Remember that before you begin this journey that you first identify with the organizations that you have applied to. Being able to display your passion and show the interviewers where you get your energy from will only strengthen your abilities to succeed. Find organizations that are not just looking for your skills but those who are also interested in learning about your strengths, ambitions, and passions. Additionally, if the past year has taught us anything it is that we are resilient in the face of adversity.


Jan 12, 2021  |  Author: Stephany Ferreira, Talent Acquisition Specialist