Monday, January 17, 2011

Tips Temuduga Untuk "Fresh Graduates" (Part II)

6. Come early for interview but not too early
Many people always advice us to come early for an interview; at least 1 hour or so. The reason being is to avoid you feeling restless and panic if any unanticipated event happens, i.e car broke down, traffic jams etc. You will have an ample of time to handle should any of this thing happens.
What I want to add to the above 'usual advise' is that; it is good to come 1 hour (or more) early, BUT only enter the interview place 30 minutes before the interview. 30 minutes will be sufficient for you to fill in any personal data forms or anything.
This is because; many companies do not like people 'flooding' their reception area. They might think that you have no respect for time. This rule only applies for scheduled interview. For an open interview, crowd is something normal and has already been anticipated.
Therefore, if they ask you to come at 3.00pm, please don't come at 2.00pm. You have to understand that the company has made the necessary arrangements to make sure a smooth interview process. That is why only a certain number of candidates are entertained at a certain allocated session. By coming too early, you are becoming a liability to them and an 'eye sore' at the reception area. Respect the time, unless you are instructed by them to be in 1 hour early. If not, then 30 minutes will be just nice.

7. Don't worry so much about your English
Yes, trust me, the employer is not hiring an English teacher, so don't worry so much about your English. What the employer is seeking is the way you express your mind, construct your argument as convincing as possible and how mature are you in responding to their questions. This is what most Malay candidates lack of. Candidates from other races would just "belasah jer even English tunggang langgang".
This is the most important tip I got during my 1st interview (thank you Puan Sharifah, wherever you are). Usually, Malay candidates took quite sometime in answering because in their heads they are trying to translate their thoughts into English. They are also trying to get the best English words for that matter. It is quite normal for those who are not using English for their daily conversation though.
So, this is where the negative perception arises. It is not so much about how Malay candidates failed to provide excellent ideas, but the time taken to convey the message is the main issue. The delay in responding to questions will give the impression to the interviewer that you are not confident enough or hesitated to answer. You may have plenty of bright ideas and top class arguments but if you are wasting time looking for the right words, then it makes you look bad... as if you are not prepared, not confident and emotionally unsecured.
So, what to do? "Belasah jer" as it was told to me by Puan Sharifah. She said that the interviewer is more interested in your thoughts rather than your grammar. It is because; your grammar is something that is fixable later by sending you to any English short course. So, my dear friends out there, guys and girls, please, "belasah jer" and make your opinions heard!

8. Be prepared for IQ and Arithmetic Test
Some companies (mostly Banks and Factories) like to set an IQ test for the candidates. Don't worry, it's not quite to gauge how smart are you but it is more on how are you doing under pressure.
a) They want to know how you handle pressure - How many questions you can answer correctly in a limited time frame and in that stressful environment;

b) They want to know what kind of worker you will be - Are you carelessly try to answer all questions but failed in most questions in the attempt to do that? Honestly, no one ever managed to finish all the 100 questions in 1 hour or half an hour, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Answer it carefully but quickly. The number of questions does not count but the number of the correct ones will be your benchmark.
c) They want to quickly eliminate the non potential workers from potential ones (this is due to the number of people turn up for the interview which is usually very high).
So, I would like to share with you a few tests that you may DEFINITELY pass if you know the twists and turns.

Sharing my experience - Number crunching test:

I went for an interview back in 2002 in one of the Japanese electrical manufacturing company. The test; every candidate was given 1 sheet of paper containing simple numbers 1-9. There was 50 numbers in each row and there were 100 rows.

The instruction was very simple, add the 2 numbers side by side but only write down a single number (1+2 = 3 write down 3, if 9+8 = 17 just write down 7). The exam was timed, and for every row they gave 30 seconds only. When time's up 30 seconds, they would shout "NEXT!" to answer the next line.

Interesting enough, people were very eager to answer at the beginning and starting to slow down as the test progressed to the 30th or 40th row. Mainly it's because your hands already tired and you could no longer think straight.

At the end of the exam, what the HR people did in front of us was; he took a marker pen and started to link the lines (last answered in row 1 down to row 100). Hahahaha! Busted! For those who already slowed down half way, they would get a declining graph. Interesting isn't it?

Myself, of course I scored handsomely because my Business Math lecturer back at the University, Prof. Razak (thanks dear Prof) had already shared with us in class his experience and how to tackle this kind of test. What you must do is, 1) start slow, take your time 2) then only start answering aggressively towards the end.

The philosophy behind it was:

a) People is expected to perform better (improve) when doing repetitive/routine work (answering row 1 to 100 requires the same method of calculation).

b) People is expected to maintain a good performance as time progresses (if you show declining traits, it gives the impression whether you are a quitter or easily loose motivation)

c) It is normal for people to get really enthusiastic during the early employment (aggressively answer the early questions and slows down towards the end).

Sharing my experience - Cue Card Role Play:

This was one of my latest 3 interviews which I attended (my current job, the Islamic Bank and this one). It is a multi-national shipping company. There were 3 levels, 1) you have to pass the written test; 2) you have to pass the cue card role play 3) then only comes a formal interview.
What I wanted to highlight is the cue card role play. You are given 1 situation, then you must act (role play) to handle the issue. If you succeeded the 1st, a 2nd card will come with more challenging problem but you still maintain your role.
In my case, the situation was, I was a Factory Manager of a chemical company. People around the area started getting sick and they blamed my factory for causing the problem. My factory had all the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in place and we did not dispose any harmful material into the drain.

Card 1 : Villagers send their representative to talk to me and demand my company to pay for all their medical expenses.

Card 2 : The "green peace" demonstrate in front of my factory. They did not want to move until I meet their representative. All of them blocked any vehicle from entering the building by laying on the road.

Card 3 : The Y.B interfere and came with the Health Ministry Director. They demanded to close my factory for a week to do investigation.
Card 4 : An employee of my factory was sacked for disciplinary problem. As a revenge, he made up stories that my factory was polluting the drain with harmful material. The media is now covering the story.
Well, my tips to you guys is - defend your company at all cost! In fact, it's not like your company was involved in any illegal operation or anything. This was more towards 'crisis management' and showing your loyalty towards the company.
Of course, we will not just sit there and defend bluntly. Try to create something that was not mention in the cards i.e your company already got approval from Jabatan Alam Sekitar or complied with Akta Kualiti Alam Sekitar 1972 or anything you can think of that can give alibi to you. Be creative :)
After they were convinced with you, then only they would start with the formal interview (Level 3). This cue card was fun though, looking at the interviewers' faces when you counter their facts with made up facts which were not mentioned anywhere in the cards, ehehehe!


attiyah binti ariffin said...

salam..tq 4 a good info..i'm going for interview neks week..cuak sgt..tkt de iq test,math test,personality test n segala jenis test r..adeh

Pedang Bertuah said...

Dear Attiyah,

Good luck in your interview.

Don't worry, interview tak susah kalau kita tahu selok belok macam mana dia berjalan.

Tips tu diturunkan bukan nak menakutkan, tapi supaya readers dapat buat persediaan awal.

Insyaallah berjaya!