Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Excelling at job interviews. More tips for job seekers. We told you so.

Who are we to give advice to job seekers? We've been asked this question a million times...for as long as we can remember. As for the exact date, we'll leave that to your own calculation. This blog's been alive since 2008, what in the name of Mike! (Well, we've started to take blogging seriously just last year, but still...) Interested in how we answer every time this question is posted to our facebook wall or delivered on our mailbox? It's already become a routine for us, really -- to suggest people to pay a visit for more (or if the asker is on the skeptic side -- "better") insights.

This blog's main inspiration is Career Advice. But of course, we don't limit our posts to what's written over there. This IS our blog, after all -- we're as free to express our ideas on things on this blog as much as you're free to criticise them. In the first place, is a website for working professionals and job seekers. To be able to maintain our relevance, it's imperative that we keep up with the news and interview career experts on a regular basis. Getting inspired to write about the Singapore job market, job interviews, and resume writing for this blog seems inevitable.

Job hunting is included in this inevitability list. Allow us to explain our point using the topic as example. There's something about job hunting that makes us fancy it as a topic -- it's not like we're ashamed of this "call it what you want" writing disease of ours; in fact, we've always been open about it. Blame this to what you will: the fact that we're a website for job seekers, or that it's a part of our job to interview experts for job hunting tips -- there's relevance somewhere in the resulting posts and that can't be denied, no matter how subjective the articles have turned out in your perspective. Seeing as how broad a topic job hunting is, it's pretty much safe to assume that nothing's fixed as far as the topic's concerned.

That and the fact that information overload will make anyone want to talk. This applies to other career topics as well, not just job hunting. Another good explanation on why we make summaries and incorporate our views on what the experts have shared with us on Career Advice on this blog, so to speak. Especially when the tips are on the obscure side, we can't help but talk to make the point clearer to you.

This isn't intended to be a disclaimer (those who are skipping "pointless" paragraphs can start reading now), but it just makes sense that we start this write up with our babbles on freedom of expression and likes. When it comes to ideas about job hunting, or more specifically, acing job interviews, we have a lot in common with Aimee Young, the career expert we're set to feature today. So yes, we can't help but go about with the blabs first. From dressing to impress to researching like crazy before attacking, the Consultant (Secretarial & Business Support division) at Robert Walters guarantees the effectiveness of these interview tips. This is going to be an insightful discourse, so we suggest you take notes.

On dressing up. Trackback from "What to Wear on an Interview", April 12 2010: "You want to look "professional" enough for the company, more than anything else." Aimee believes that it is always better to be overdressed than under dressed when it comes to job interviews.

On researching. Trackback from "Job Singapore style", July 28 2010: "In order for you to answer with intellect and poise, you have to research -- about the company and their pursuits." Aimee have capitalised the word "research" in the article she's shared with us for a reason. This isn't a hard task at all. Aimee doesn't want you to get discouraged. She's mentioned the convenience the internet offers and Linkedin.

On relaxing. Another trackback from "Job Singapore style": "It's normal to feel nervous, but hide it with a smile. Nothing beats being positive when it comes to impressing employers." Aimee reminds that the purpose of job interview is to give the employer a better idea of whether you and this job would go well together. There's no room for anything unnecessary -- relax and you'll be able to say everything that needs to be said.

On thank you notes. Trackback from "Yet another job interview-related post from Singapore", May 30 2010: [A thank you note] "can strengthen your chances of being invited for a second interview or give you another shot at the job." Aimee thinks that doing this will open up an opportunity for you to make a follow up.

On asking questions. A favorite among career experts, really. This trackback features another career expert who believes in the importance of doing this. His name is Jonathan Kwan, Principal at Kwantum Leap ("Expert Advice : Best questions to ask on your job interview", July 11 2010): "An ideal interview is when both parties take turns asking and answering questions; asking questions can add points to your personal brand as a job seeker." Aimee believes that this is vital. "How can they make a proper decision on their career without asking for more information?", Aimee wants you to ponder.

Aimee has provided a lot more in the article in discussion. She wants job seekers to take note of these points as well to ace their next job interview: know their CV inside and out (memorise it), prepare extra copies of their resume (again, you never know), study the job ads they've applied for again so that they can best answer the questions that will be asked, and stay positive. Expect us to get inspired by these new ideas in the future. You can read more from Aimee at

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