Job hunting can be frustrating, particularly for people without much experience or higher qualifications. What do you write in a cover letter when there isn’t much you can use to talk yourself up? Sydney startup myInterview saw the problem and is trying to fix it.
Finding it difficult to get work after finishing high school, founders Benjy Gillman and Guy Abelsohn came up with the idea for a recruitment platform that would truly allow for a job seeker’s personality to shine through: video.
“Video is the best way to pitch ourselves to employers. It enables us to show our personality in a way that paper can’t. With long cover letters, employers scan them but don’t properly read them; you could write the most beautiful cover letter that might not get read, but through a video you can show your personality more, your facial expressions, and how you really are as a person,” Gillman says.
Having finished high school in 2009, Gillman and Abelsohn spent a few years developing the idea and creating the platform before launching last year.
“We’ve got absolutely zero experience…we outsourced pretty much everything. We were novices coming out of high school, so we found developers who were keen on the idea, some investment after pitching to a couple of people, and then it kind of morphed into what we’ve got,” Gillman says.
Businesses pay a fee to post job vacancies, set specific questions for applicants to answer in videos, and watch applicants’ videos, while myInterview is free to use for job seekers, who can search for jobs and record videos introducing themselves and answering questions.
Gillman says that while myInterview has the potential to become a useful tool for corporate recruiters in the future, the team is focusing on helping small to medium businesses for the moment. They has already been a significant take up in the hospitality industry.
“It works for restaurants, cafes, people who are working very hard and don’t have a lot of time to recruit. MyInterview is a great way to cut that time. We also found that finance companies are using us a lot, because they have a lot of KPIs for customer service and company culture is very important, and txhey feel video is a good way to get the right people in the door,” Gillman explains.
Though the idea for myInterview stemmed from the difficulties of job searching with no qualifications, Abelsohn is now studying a degree in IT at UTS, learning how to code and run the website itself, while Gillman is studying for a business degree. However, Gillman says the experience he’s gained building and running myInterview has been invaluable.
“I’ve learned to look out for every possible opportunity that’s out there and take it, and to analyse everything that comes across my desk. Don’t just act, think it through. The amount we’ve learned over the past year compared to the past three years of study is crazy.”