Three questions, three answers: Felix Lüther
In his role as Manager of Recruitment Operations for Central and Eastern Europe, job interviews are Felix Lüther’s core expertise. In this interview, read what puzzles him about interviewees’ answers, learn about his advice for applicants and find out why openness pays off.
This article is posted on our Sartorius Blog.
Felix, you've interviewed over 500 candidates for Sartorius. What tips do you have for applicants?
In interviews, I notice repeatedly that candidates have little access to themselves. In my opinion, the best preparation for a job interview is intensive and critical self-reflection: confront yourself about your drivers, interests, abilities, ambitions and expectations, but also consider your limits, learning fields, aversions or even fears. If you stick to the facts of your background and career progress and can tell it “like it is” in all its facets, you will make every interview much more interesting and personal than just using polished standard phrases you have memorized. Conversely, no applicant would want to hear these phrases from us.
Some applicants also think that they can shine through memorized, seemingly perfect answers. I am surprised, because the opposite is true. As a result, some of them disguise their true personality, and that is exactly what we want to get to know. We want to find out what made them the person they are today. What are their strengths? How did they overcome failure? Clearly, strong personalities are rarely developed just by experiencing only the bright side of life.
My tip: Have the courage to deal with yourself honestly and dare to share your story.
Please share an example of a candidate that succeeded by being authentic.
I particularly remember a candidate who impressed me after the official portion of the job interview ended. He was professionally well qualified, charismatic and eloquent - exactly what we were looking for. Nevertheless, I was puzzled by his resume: it was volatile and incomplete. During the interview, I got to the bottom of it, but the applicant's response was evasive and superficial. This made me doubt whether he was the right choice for the job.
Later, the colleagues from the department had already said goodbye and I accompanied the applicant to the exit when he opened up: "Felix, I know that I have not been particularly ambitious in my career so far. However, I have now reached a point in my life where my friends from university are developing professionally, making progress and passing me by. My life and career are not moving forward. For me, a job at Sartorius is an opportunity to finally get started.”
His openness paid off: We decided to give him a chance. This, in turn, has paid off for us. The colleague still works at Sartorius today and has grown with us. Today, he is an IT project manager.
Who is Sartorius looking for? What does the company offer?
We are looking for strong personalities who are creative and courageous. They are ambitious and want to develop further. They will find ways to make the complex simple, lead critical discourse and still feel at home on the team. Finally yet importantly, the ideal candidates will make a meaningful contribution to our goal: better health for more people. It is quite a comprehensive package, and we are aware of that.
Nevertheless, we also offer something in return: an opportunity to join an international team of the perfect size and make a contribution to society. As a company with nearly 10,000 employees worldwide, we have all the structures and concepts that go with it. Yet we have been able to maintain a familiar atmosphere. In addition, there are short decision-making paths and the opportunity for everyone to make a difference with their own work. This distinguishes Sartorius from the very large companies in the market and it’s highly valued by many employees.
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