Are You Sure You’re Hiring?

By Gerald Goh

It should be an employee’s market in Singapore right now – when we last checked, the official unemployment rate was low – 2 per cent, or thereabouts on average in 2012 – and job listings are still plentiful.

Not to mention that you’re either raring to kick-start your career, or have recently gotten your annual bonus and have your eye on your next career move.

But are companies in Singapore really hiring, and in quantities that the numbers suggest that they should be?

Three in four Singapore hirers use online channels to snoop on candidates

By: Alythea Ho

Had a bad case of Monday blues? Hold back that angry tweet or Facebook rant about your boss first.

An employer survey by JobsCentral found that 75% of managers and hirers use online channels to snoop on job candidates. Of these, one in three say they prefer using social media sites like LinkedIn (38%) and Facebook (34%). Search engines ranked third at 28 per cent.

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How to explain being fired?

During my three year tenure at a company, I made significant contributions and acquired good annual reviews. However, following a change in management, I was given a termination of employment. How do I explain this at my next job interview?

Firstly, understand that getting fired does not automatically place you in a bad light. Various factors are involved in this complicated process and your interviewer should be aware of that.

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How to dress for an interview

Job interviews are similar to the presidential debates that occur every election season. Two people are given the opportunity to ask and answer questions so that they can see if the candidate is right for the position. In both an interview and a debate, much thought is given to wardrobe. If you’re running for president, you’re probably going to incorporate the patriotic colours of red, white and blue. If you’re applying for a job, you’re going to stick with conservative tones. Why? Because clothes are the first impression you make — even before you speak a single word to the interviewer.

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5 ways to combat lying job applicants at interviews

By Juliet Soh

Remember those whodunit stories? It’s always hard to tell who the real criminal is because they all look like good people and have strong alibis. In a similar way, when most job applicants come in their best suit, show lots of enthusiasm about the position and have good resumes to prove that they’re suitable for the job – all thanks to great career guidance in school or training seminars – it may be hard to tell if any of them are lying or exaggerating about their credentials.

That’s why recruiters may be “fooled” into hiring an unsuitable candidate by their performance during interview and their exaggerated resume. How can you sieve out the wheat from the chaff? Here are five tips:

#1: Tell them you’ll do checks
At the start of the interview, let the candidate know that the company practises reference checks. By pre-empting them, candidates will naturally be deterred from lying during the interview, because they know that they may get found out eventually.

#2: Get them to talk
Always ask open-ended questions and follow-up questions. For instance, if a candidate said he was top salesperson for six consecutive months, ask questions like “How far did you exceed your sales target?”, “How did you manage to achieve consistent results?”, and “Which clients were most challenging and how did you convince them?” to get him to talk more.

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4 questions you shouldn’t ask at an interview (and what to ask instead)

By Juliet Soh

Most recruiters end interviews with “Do you have any questions for me?”

This is a great chance for you to ask questions that will help you assess if the company and position are right for you. Interviews should be a two-way conversation and the questions you ask at an interview may be as important as the answers you give.

But that’s not to say that you should simply fire away. There are indeed out-of-bound questions and here are four you should NOT ask:

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What Your Interviewer Is Secretly Thinking about Your Appearance

By Farhan Shah

First impressions are incredibly important, more so in job interviews. As you walk into the room, your interviewer (or interviewers) is already forming pre-conceived notions about you based on your appearance, even before the obligatory handshake.

According to a study done by Princeton psychologists, people form first impressions about you almost immediately in the blink of an eye, about a tenth of a second to be exact, and longer exposures do not necessarily equate to a different or better impression.

Before your mouth has opened, your interviewer has already sized you up, so make sure your interviewer has not mentally removed you from the shortlist even before you present your case.

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Why you should be the last candidate in any interview

By Farhan Shah

What do goodnight kisses at the end of a date and being the last candidate in job interviews have in common?

Much more than you think, according to Ed O’Brien, a psychologist from the University of Michigan says.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that when it comes to last experiences, be it your final dinner in a restaurant or that final goodbye, the act is somehow more poignant and emotional than usual. However, Ed O’Brien and his colleague, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, have discovered that it might not even actually have to be the last, but just the idea that it is the last.

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Acing Interviews Workshop

Congratulations, you have successfully made it through the resume screening! Now how do you make a positive impression to someone who has the power to make or break your career or scholarship opportunity?

Going to an interview can be nerve-wracking. Even a brief 15 minutes may seem like an eternity.

How can you go into this situation feeling cool, calm, and collected? How confident are you in outdoing the other candidates?

Winning Impressions

A good first impression is absolutely vital if you want to ace that job interview. To that end, we collaborated with The School of Personal Excellence to bring two workshops - How to Write Winning Resumes and Achieve Employment Success and How to Ace Your Interviews and Get Your Dream Job - to help you with that goal.

Held on two consecutive Saturdays, the workshop attracted a healthy number of participants with employment aspirations in their minds.