“Approaching us directly shows initiative”
Marianne van Gils Nicolaou, general manager at Cult Vision, discusses the benefit of research and how it is not always about experience
31 October 2021
What is the one piece of advice that you would give to someone who wanted to work for Cult Vision?Research our company and who we are. Have a look at our website and social media. If you can see yourself working for us, get in touch directly and email your CV along with a short personal message. Approaching us directly shows initiative and demonstrates that this person is interested in working for our business rather than just any optical practice. Even if we are not hiring at that time, we will still keep CVs on file and when there is a vacancy, we will look through the direct applications before even announcing the role.
When you are shortlisting candidates, what is the very first thing that you look for?
If we get a lot of applications, we start to look for anything that makes a candidate ‘stand out’ and why a candidate may suit the role more than others.
How important is the cover letter in applications that you receive?
We generally don’t ask candidates to write a cover letter, we ask them to send in their CV. We then arrange a phone call with the most suitable candidates. Following that we then invite candidates for a face-to-face interview. Anyone can write a good cover letter (or get someone to write it for them), so we much prefer to talk to the candidate and get to know them in person.
If we did receive a cover letter with an application, we would look for a personal approach that is targeted at working for Cult Vision and what the person could bring to the business, rather than just a standard cover letter for any job application.
As an employer, it’s easy to spot who has done their research and who is especially keen to work for your practice.
As an employer, it’s easy to spot who has done their research and who is especially keen to work for your practice
What is the biggest mistake that someone can make in an interview for Cult Vision?To say what they think we want to hear. The more genuine we all are in the interview, the better. What is important in an interview is to find out whether the candidate will thrive in the working environment, not just for a few months, but ideally for a few years. As an example, we are more likely to hire a shop assistant who may not have years of experience in the optical industry but who is enthusiastic and keen to learn, rather than someone who has worked in optical practices before but who may not thrive in a smaller practice such as ours.
How do you go about ensuring fairness and equality in your hiring process?We are committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all staff and job applicants. Our staff/employer handbook ensures that we all comply with the equality and discrimination policies we have put in place. Being based in a multicultural and diverse city such as London, we naturally receive applications by people from a large variety of backgrounds and we ensure they are all given fair opportunities.
We are a friendly, independent opticians and we want customers to feel comfortable when they come in for their eye test. We encourage staff to talk to our customers when they come in so they feel welcome; this also makes the job so much more interesting
A new employee is preparing for their first week at Cult Vision. What tip would you give them to be successful?
Do a little research about us, and the local area. We are a friendly, independent opticians and we want customers to feel comfortable when they come in for their eye test. We encourage staff to talk to our customers when they come in so they feel welcome; this also makes the job so much more interesting. Apart from that, get plenty of rest as there will be a lot to learn, in the first weeks especially, and as long as you show up with a positive attitude, you will be fine.