How to get a job at NOVA Entertainment

If you apply for a job at Nova Entertainment you’re likely to be vetted, in the first instance, by HR Advisor Samantha Barsic and HR Consultant Chantal Madi.

If you don’t get a tick from them, you won’t get on the shortlist which means you won’t even get an interview let alone a job.

Here Sam and Chantal tell how to give yourself the best chance of at least getting on that shortlist. Here’s a tip: you need more than just a good CV to land a position at Nova Entertainment. “Cultural fit” can be just as important as experience and formal qualifications.

radioinfo: Walk us through the process of vetting a bunch of applications to arrive at a short list. Who does that short list go to? How many applicants are on it? Does it get pared down further before you arrange face to face interviews? Apart from the applicant, who attends the interview? 

Sam & Chantal: Once a role has closed, we begin sifting through the applications and try to narrow down the shortlist to no more than 10 people. Depending on the role and the number of applications, our shortlist may be shorter. 

The shortlist then gets sent to the manager to assess and give us their thoughts on the skills/background of the candidate based on their CV. From here, the shortlist is potentially refined and the process of phone screening can begin. Phone screening allows us to get an introduction to a candidate without having to commit to a lengthy face to face interview. 

A quick 10 minute conversation allows the HR team to gauge several things including what the candidate is looking for in their next role, whether they are a cultural fit, whether they have the skills/experience they mentioned on their CV and what their salary expectations and notice period are. 

Often phone screening candidates allows you to narrow down to a list of 2 or 3 candidates who you believe would be a fit for the organisation that you would like to invite in for an interview. We don’t have a standard list of attendees that should be present in interviews however we usually try to ensure that the line manager, 2 up manager, HR and team members have had a chance to meet with the candidate throughout the 2 step interview process. Depending on the role, our General Managers may also be present in the 2nd round interview. 

radioinfo: What are the top few things that will almost certainly keep an application from advancing to the short list?

Sam & Chantal:


1.     Spelling, grammatical and formatting errors on their CV – this shows that the person has not taken the opportunity to put their best foot forward in order to land a role in a competitive industry. Particularly if their role requires attention to detail, this is a tell-tale sign they might not be up for the challenge!


2.      Failure to provide evidence that they have done some research on the company – its great to hear that a candidate likes listening to Kate, Tim & Marty but what do you know about NOVA Entertainment and our brands, competitors and products?


3.      Not providing specific examples – saying that you are hardworking or enthusiastic means nothing if you can’t give us an example to showcase this in practice.

radioinfo: What are the must do’s to give you the best chance of a face to face. 

Sam & Chantal: Ensure that you have done your research on the company and be prepared with some specific questions about the role, team dynamic and company. Show that you have thought about how your skills and experience can benefit the team and provide your thoughts on what you think you can do to enhance team performance or a current project they are working on. Be genuinely interested in the radio, media and entertainment industry – we have an enormous sense of brand loyalty and you should too!

radioinfo: What are the do’s and don’ts of a successful job interview.

Sam & Chantal:


    •    Research the company and the direction they are heading in the future – be in the know about their brands, competitors and products

    •    Ask insightful questions – ask about the culture, team dynamic and upcoming projects

    •    Be realistic with your expectations about the role – a promotion in the first 6 months might not be achievable


    •    Provide too much personal information – keep your examples as professional as possible (work or study related)

    •    Act arrogantly or appear disinterested

    •    Present yourself inappropriately – business attire and neat hair/facial hair is a must to make a good first impression

radioinfo: What is the most bizarre application you’ve come across? 

Sam & Chantal:  A entirely handwritten CV and cover letter which was mailed to us. It’s very rare to see a handwritten note let alone a document these days, it was quite a shock!

radioinfo: What kind of background checks do you do… facebook, past employers references, other social media? 

Sam & Chantal: We recommend that managers complete at least 2 references from past employers. I’m also aware that managers do check out the Facebook profiles of perspective staff and often Google them too. So it’s always a good idea to have your profile set on private and have a sensible profile photo on social media!

radioinfo: What are you looking for by way of personality type?:

Sam & Chantal: In terms of personality types, all staff at NOVA are recruited in accordance with their fit to our “Bond and Values.” Our Bond is a collection of our foundational belief statements which underpin everything that we do. 

They are:

1.      Our audience starts our story

2.      We are challengers

3.      Own it

4.      Be direct with respect

5.      Our passionate people drive success

6.      Mediocrity doesn’t live here

7.      Celebrate every victory

The reason why so many people want to work for us, has to be attributed to our people. They’re the most hard working, passionate and dedicated in any industry – that’s why it is so crucial for us to recruit new people who fit this mould. 

radioinfo: Specifically what kind of personality and qualifications do you look for in various job functions?

Sam & Chantal: 

On-air talent

Bubbly, enthusiastic, collaborative and have solid on-air experience and presence. They clearly have a finger on the pulse of all things pop culture, current affairs, music and they know what is happening in their city.    


A degree in journalism, communications or a related field is required. Previous news experience in a radio or television environment is preferred.


Previous media imaging and commercial production experience is required. Applications should be able to show they have up to date knowledge of industry relevant culture and music trends appropriate to the station format.


Experience and/or qualifications in sound engineering/production in radio or television. Demonstrates outstanding ability to articulate concepts effectively both written and verbally.


Proven experience in media sales is a must. Our reps are sales guns who are attuned to the concept of solution based selling – their aim is to give our client the most value and provide them with a bespoke solution.


Experience and qualifications in using broadcast studio and transmission systems. These staff should show they keep abreast of regulatory changes pertinent to radio broadcasting and digital media services.

radioinfo: Of these categories, which tends to attract the most and least applicants? Which is the easiest to fill and which is the hardest?

Sam & Chantal: Generally our Technical/IT and Sales roles are hardest to fill. 

Finding a candidate with relevant experience AND cultural fit is often hard to pin-point for these roles. 

Sales can go either way – the thing that makes it easy is reputation and relationships, we’re lucky enough that so many people want to work for us because of the organisation we are, but at the same time individual reputation within the industry is so important. 

There’s a lot of Sales people out there but to be successful within this industry, you need to be tough, resilient and a superstar – while we might get a lot of applications, they’re not always the right fit.

We have so much success from talent banking and relationship building with top talent, if you’re great we want you to work with us. What also makes it tough is that to work in the industry you need to be extremely passionate, driven and fantastic to be successful. 

Sam & Chantal: Compared to other businesses, does radio tend to attract more or less applicants?

All roles at NOVA generally get a healthy number of applications, however fairly often we are inundated with irrelevant applications. Some people apply for any role just to try and get their foot in the door in the radio industry. 

Applicants should tailor their application to the role they are applying for and showcase their relevant skills for that role. I would say that radio tends to attract more applications for on-air and creative roles but less applications in other areas that aren’t typically ‘radio’.

radioinfo: So that’s what applicants need to have a chance of a job with Nova Entertainment. But how did Chantal and Sam get their jobs in HR?

Chantal: My background is in media, having previously worked at Fairfax Media I have a fairly good understanding of the changing landscape of the industry and the focus on digital. I think the skills required to be an effective recruiter are all based on having a solid understanding of the role, team and organisation you are recruiting for. Recruiting someone that is strong technically and can perform a role does not necessarily mean that they will succeed within your organisation. I’m a big believer in recruiting for cultural fit, technical aptitude and capability alignment.

Sam: I actually started my career in banking, which as you can imagine is very different to radio. But the key take away for me from both industries on recruitment is that not only is it essential to have an understanding of the role you’re recruiting for, but you also need to have a solid understanding of the company you are recruiting for. 

It’s just as important to recruit someone who can technically perform the role as it is to find someone who is a cultural fit for the organisation and team, and finding someone that shares the same values as the company. It’s also important to be transparent in the interview process, you need to paint an accurate picture of the role and your company to ensure long-term success of the candidate in your role.




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