Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

interview

Summary – 5 uncommon interview tips
If you google the keywords “interview skills”, you will be presented with all the basic, which generally includes –

  • Dress sharp
  • Speak confidently
  • Research the company
  • Be polite
  • Etc

Can I suggest another few tips that may also help? :)

1) Talk to stranger.
Try this, get on a bus. It can be any bus. And immediately say hi to the stranger besides you. Please don’t just pick seats to flirt. The idea is not for you to flirt. It’s for you to practise your interview skill.

Expected results:

  • You are no longer afraid to speak.
  • You can generate question on the spot.

2) Redo a sketch of your favorite sitcom.
You will need the help of another fan for this. For example, you love “Friends” the sitcom. Pick one scene about 1 -2 minutes long and memorize the dialogue.

Now redo the whole scene without looking at the script. I’m very sure you will forget most of the line, so improvise. Make up your own line. It can become another story.

Expected results:

  • You should be more confident in improvising your interview script whenever necessary.
  • You will learn how to be witty with your words and make you memorable to the interviewer.

3) Go for a “mock” real interview.
Spend some time to go to a shopping mall and apply for a job there. Any job. Practise everything you have learn to get the job. You can try being very funny, or very aggresive. It shouldn’t matter if you were accepted or not, this is just for you to practise. So go crazy :)

Expected results:

  • You will get used to the whole interview scenario, it no longer terrifies you.
  • You can actually ask the interviewer how you can actually improve yourself.

4) Help a friend to haggle.
You have a friend, and this friend wants to buy a laptop. You should follow him and do the haggling part for him. Haggle the price until you can get what you want. After all, you have the buying power. Why not get the most out of it.

Expected results:

  • You will have more confident in discussing your salary or benefit.
  • You will learn a few tips on how to haggle.

5) Monitor people being interviewed.
Assuming you have a friend of a friend who interview people. Why not ask him to let you in in one of the interview session. You are not interviewing people, you are just going to watch how people are interviewed. Take note on what works and what’s not.

Expected results:

  • You will have an updated and real version of interview skills.
  • You will see that the interviewer is actually not that scary.

/end list

Conclusion – Being interviewed is actually not that difficult. They are not going to ask you why you fail English, or make fun of the weird society you joined. They already have all the details in your resume. What they want to see is how you behave, what’s your attitude and motivation, and most importantly how you potray yourself.

The best part is they can only see all these via the way you express yourself (listening and speaking). Concentrate on those as suggested by the 5 items above. You will do fine

– I wonder –
Any other interview tips you would like to add?

——— Personal Note ———–
I still remember my first successful interview. To tell you the truth, I was not that prepared. I didn’t research the company, I have no idea what my job scope is, and I think I was very hungry at the time. :) It’s a difficult time then. I needed a job ASAP.

However I believe they accepted me to the company simply because of the following conversation that happened in the interview (written from memory)

Interviewer – So banji, do you have a girlfriend?
Banji – Yes, I do

Interviewer – I must inform you that this job will require you to be sent to Sabah and maybe Indonesia. Most girlfriends will not understand this. What would you do if you were sent there and your girlfriend doesn’t approve?

Banji – Hm I can always find a new girlfriend there :)
Interviewer – (Laughing out loud.. both of them)

Photo Credit – Nathan Callahan

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Internship

Summary – Get the most out of your internship

This time around a lot of my blogger friends (younger friends anyway) are doing their internship. Basically internship is a part of their requirement to get a college degree where they need to work at a company for a period of time and learn all there is to learn about working experience.

Today’s post will be dedicated for them. A collection of my own experience on what the hidden lessons in internship they need to acquire to get the most out of the program.

1) Learn real people skill
Working people are quite different from students. They often view other people competitively, or sometimes they are too self-centered that they just ignore you completely. Yet there are still people who is kind hearted. Colorful people.

You should learn what is the best way to introduce yourself to them. And more importantly how to get their coperation on your task at hand. Basically you need to

  • Befriend one quick and get the inside story of everyone (of course casually)
  • Identify who people listen to, who people hate, who people like etc.
  • Your aim is to get your task done, and if you ask them for help (what ever group they are), they will more than happy to help. Find out how exactly to achieve this.

2) Learn how a boss become the boss
Once you had observed your colleague, you should start monitor your superior or your boss. Try to pinpoint what quality he has that makes him the boss. If for example, to be a boss you will need to have certain specialization certificate, jot that down. You now know what you need to get to sit on his chair someday.

  • Study how he handle people
  • Observe his working attitude, can you do that?

3) Secure your future career
The next thing you should question yourself is whether or not you would want to work in the company after you graduated. Well, you should because job hunting after you graduated can be a very tiring thing to do.

  • Obviously you will need to perform well in that internship.
  • Do some research on the company’s hiring process. It will be a good idea too to get to know the HR manager of the company and casually hinting to him about your intention of working there.
  • Insist on a recommendation letter from your superior. This will help a lot in your job hunting later on.
  • Take note on the details of other similar companies, such as contact person, type of industry. You may very well be working there.

4) Learn surviving work
One great thing about internship is that how ever you do, be it good or bad, you will stop working there after your internship is over. So do take up some experiment. Here’s a few ideas

  • Identify what motivates you to come to work
  • Try out the many ways to manage your stress
  • Get involve in the office politics
  • Make mistake, get yelled at by the boss and learn how to get up from that
  • Experiment with management system of the company such as 5S, or Decluttering etc. See which works on you

5) Learn how to manage your money
Most of the time, intern are underpaid, so this is a great challenge. How to survive with that small amount of allowances.

As easy as it sounds, this may be one of the hardest thing to do. It’s almost come naturally that when we have money, we will spend more. This is the basis of all budgeting.

  • Start by analyzing your expenditure everyday. Keep track of them and make a summary by the end of the month
  • Categorize your expenditure to maybe food, entertainment, travel, phone, bill, etc.
  • Now find a way to cut down 10% of expenditure in every categories.
  • You are now saving 10% of your salary. Keep increasing the percentage.
  • Other tips on managing your finance

/end

Internship can be heaven or hell. However, since we must undergo it, why not take full advantage of it. You know people will take advantage of you.

– I wonder –
Any interesting stories from your internship?

———— Personal Note ————-
I actually did my internship at a petrochemical company. Unlike most universities, I worked there for 7 months. Hate waking up early then to catch the bus. Love the continuous supply of hot milo :) Can’t forget the time I hitchiked a car to go to work, Good times good times

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Summary – Associate

Anybody here actually hate their job say “Yes” :) I know the feeling. The fact is we are not hating the job every single day. It’s just that on some days, the idea of quitting our job and do our dream job can comes to mind. And it is tempting.

But a job is still a job. Who’s to say that when we quit and do our dream job, we will not suffer the same hate feeling sooner or later. So what we can do is to try to find a way to be in love with what job we are having now.

This is what I do.

I searched my heart for the one thing that I really enjoy. One that I can do 24 hours a day without realizing it’s already 24 hours.

Upon checking, I realize that one of the things that I enjoy is playing games. Not any kind of games, specifically Role Playing Game. For those who has no idea of role playing game, it is basically a game where you play a character in the game. And you start with a mission for your ultimate goals and as the story folds you encounter a lot of adventure, mini mission, upgrade level etc.

Still clueless? No problem. Let me explain further. When I’m bored or starting to dislike working, I will imagine that I am the character in the game. And that with completing all the mini task, I am gaining experience point. I can actually see the point being added (Of course in my imagination)

Sometimes I was assigned by my manager to negotiate with the worker’s union on some matters. I quickly get into my game mode. And with every successful negotiation, I imagine 1 point of Communication Skill is added to my stats :) I’m sure those who play RPG game will understand.

I don’t know about you, but this alone will help me get through some tough day.

You too can do just the same. If the thing you enjoy the most is gardening, and you’re working as human resource manager. Try imagining your workers are like plant. You need to give them attention and all the right nutrition for them to grow. When they do grow into a more efficient worker, take the time to enjoy your success.

– Disclaimer –
This method may not work for everyone. But try away, maybe you can further expand it to cater yours :)

– I wonder –
What are the thing you enjoyed the most? The thing that you will lose track of time the minute you started on it.

———- Personal Note ———-
I have to make it clear that I don’t hate my job. It’s just sometimes, I feel like quiting my job and maybe start blogging professionally. :) Anyone hiring?

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interview

Summary – 3 interview lessons learnt from working temporary

As previously mentioned in my post on mindset needed to survive job hunting, just after I finished my study, I worked as a customer service assistant at a department store in Kuala Lumpur. Generally my task involved assisting customer’s query and complaints, help in membership registration, wedding gift registry and most importantly, wrapping present. :)

The work was very rewarding, and in a way had helped me greatly in my quest for job hunting. In fact it helped me a lot in my coming interview. Here’s how :

1) Interview = Communicate = English
There’s no way you can sell a product just by pointing, smile and giving a thumbs up. You need to speak comprehensible and confident English. Please notice that I didn’t use the word fluent and good English :) I can testify that out of the years of learning English, these periods were the time I improved the most.

2) Know the product in and out
In my line of work (at the time), I need to know how to differentiate between red wine glass and a goblet. I need to know how to point out the reason why some bedsheet are expensive and some don’t. In general, I need to know how to sell everything there.

Let say I’m selling the expensive bedsheet, and the customer ask why is it more expensive than the other one. If all I can say is, “I’m not so sure”. Do you think the customer will buy it?

The same with interview, everyone is trying to sell themselves. They say that they are more special than the others. But when asked, they usually don’t know how to describe their strength.

Tip : Try to describe your strength with respect to what you can offer to the company, and not just by saying that you are this and that.

3) Don’t sell the wrong thing
When potential customer call me and ask for some information on a product, I was advised by my manager to avoid persuading them to buy. All I need to do is to provide all the information needed and help him in any way I can.

Most of the time, the customer will buy the product, simply because he is impressed by the attention given.

Similarly in an interview, the interviewer usually have read your resume and they were already impressed. The interview is just their way to see your attitude, confidence and passion for the job. Highlight these as often as you can. No need to worry about technical knowledge or your present perfect tense.

When they’ve already like you, the job is practically yours.

– I Wonder –
Any interesting stories on your experience undergoing interview? Please share

———- Personal Note ———
One of the thing I love the most about my job then is wrapping gift. I learnt there the actual art of wrapping gift. I really take pride of the work done.

Anybody want their gift wrapped? :)

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