Lead optometrist at Cubitts, Jewlsy Mathews (pictured), discusses the importance of the cover letter and how a little research can go a long way
How can prospective employees apply for a position at Cubitts?
Sending in a CV and covering letter to [email protected] is the first port of call.
If we are specifically recruiting, we update the jobs section on our website and share the job specification on LinkedIn. We do have rather ambitious plans for expansion so we’re always keen to meet good optometrists.
Do you use locum optometrists?
We use locums for additional weekend cover, as well as some weekdays and holiday cover. In fact, it’s often how optometrists start out with us. Three of our current five residents were hired from our locum bank. As we’re always looking to expand our locum bank, emailing [email protected] is the best way to get a foot in the door. Soon we will be adding two new test days to our current 22 days test days per week across the five central London shops, and it won’t be long before we add even more.
What is the internal process after an application is made?
There’s a couple of interviews, one with myself and one with a shop manager. If the candidate has never previously done any locum days with us, we’ll also invite them to a couple of trial days to see if it’s a good fit for us and them.
What is the interview process?
Our optometry mission statement is: We strive to provide eye examinations which are enjoyable, informative, interesting and honest. We love eyes and how they work, and we share some of that wonderful knowledge with our patients. We’re constantly fishing for the ultimate compliment from patients: “that is the best eye exam I’ve ever had.”
To get these compliments, we give our optometrists 40 minutes for each pair of eyes. The interview process is to ascertain whether a candidate subscribes to this mission statement. I’m looking for optometrists who would excel on the following criteria: Bedside manner, clinical ability, brand fit, and an interest in wider business.
"You only get one stab at the first impression. Background knowledge of our brand gives the candidate the confidence to run free in the interview"
What makes a CV standout?
A broad experience of different settings both within and outside of optometry.
What are you looking for in a cover letter and why?
I’m often more interested in the cover letter than the CV if I’m honest. It’s a blank canvas for the candidate to showcase themselves. They can talk about their wider experiences and how that informs them professionally, which is limitless.
How should a candidate best prepare for an interview?
Get to know us; visit our shops. We’ve got a journal on our website that showcases our often non-optics related projects, our beautifully designed modernist chess set for example.
Plus, they should check us out on Instagram and Twitter, as well as the other usual suspects, to see what we do. It’s never more impressive than when a candidate tells me something like who the artist in residence is that did our latest release of lens cloths. Spoiler alert: Tracey Emin is doing the next round.
What three interview tips would you give a candidate?
Be confident. Be enthusiastic. Be sincere.
What are your interview ‘pet peeves’?
If a candidate has no idea what we’re about, it’s a shame and a missed opportunity. You only get one stab at the first impression. Background knowledge of our brand gives the candidate the confidence to run free in the interview.
Sum up your ideal candidate in three words…
Empathetic, industrious, ebullient.