Not long ago, you were overjoyed upon checking the results of your final semester and finally, you are a graduate. However, that joy was short-lived as you are now stuck with being part of the unemployment pool while your friends are already hired. It has been months of massive resume sending and numerous interviews but to no avail.
A friend of DollarsAndSense had an opportunity to have a coffee session with an experienced recruiter of a Multinational Corporation and a founder of one of Singapore’s leading company in cyber security and digital forensics.
In this article, we take a look at some of the experiences and advice that they both have for fresh graduates when searching for a job.
Some common questions during interviews, and common mistakes
Question: So are you more interested in Job A or Job B?
Answer: I am fine with anything/both.
If job A and job B are jobs from two different departments, one should never commit the mistake of stating that you are alright with both. It will appear to the interviewer that you are desperate for a job, which may or may not be the case.
Even if you are desperate for a job, do not reveal that to the interviewer.
Question: What is your expected salary?
Candidates usually commit the mistake of not understanding what the “ market price” is for a fresh graduate’s salary. This may result in candidates being paid lower than the market rate, which the company will be more than willing to give.
It also gives the interviewer an impression that the candidate is not familiar with the market that he or she is applying to as well as the lack of effort to communicate with anyone in the industry.
Question: Sell me ( an object) in two minutes
A common question for sales or marketing positions. Candidates that went on to describe how the object look usually end up not getting the job.
This question is a test of one’s creativity and how he or she is going to create demand for something so ordinary.
An example of a successful candidate would be his attempt to sell a tie as a professional looking napkin to prevent stains from permanently leaving marks on his shirt for salesmen closing deals with clients from overseas who wish to try the famous Singapore Chilli crab at Jumbo Seafood restaurant.
Mentality of Candidates
The founder of the cyber security and digital forensics company shared an actual account that took place. Digital forensics deal with the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices, often in relation to computer crime.
A fresh graduate with high potential was accepted into his company. The company had also promised the pay he desired and was determined to train him to be able to handle his own investigation one day.
However, after having learnt that it takes an average of 6 years of experience before he can handle his own investigation, the candidate rejected the role due to the long period required.
The founder, however, does not encounter as much of the above with foreign talent.
In conclusion, although paper qualifications may grant you an interview, it is important to have a proper backing to your qualification. This can come in the way you carry yourself, or how well read you are on the industry, or any relevant experiences that may serve as plus points to the job you are applying for.
Set a realistic timeframe to reach your dream job. One may aspire to be a professional or an expert in his or her desired industry, but be prepared to invest a good few years in order to achieve that. As much as paper qualifications are important, professional experience also play a major role in your search for jobs.
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