Being convincing to an employer in Malaysia

Hello everyone,

Finding a job in Malaysia is no easy feat. From applying for a job all the way to job interviews, the etiquette can be different abroad. Specially job interviews, that can already be pretty daunting, can feel even worse when set in a whole new country. If you’ve gone through a job interview in Malaysia before, how about giving a few tips to someone who might be preparing for one?

Do interviews usually take place in a formal or casual setting in Malaysia? Do you have any pointers for job interviews that take place over a lunch or dinner?

From application all the way to the job interview, what is essential to make an candidate stand out?

Culturally speaking, are there specific do’s and don’ts? What is the general take on bringing a parent on the job interview or a gift to the interviewer?

Can you tell us a little about your experience? What worked and what did not work for you?

How important is it to have a solid professional network prior to a job interview?

Please share your experience,


Well in my case I am not sure if I am lucky or skilled ..
I think Malaysia lack skillfull people especially when it comes to creativity , design , IT etc..

Yes most of the employers did not respond to my emails however I kept going on and I kept sending 10-20 applications everyday ...

My first job was in Ipoh a small Chinese company with 20+ people ..I worked there for 6months until they could afford me ..boss was bit fuzzy and not much money to invest so he just could not go for long ... environment was ok and my job was not much stressful.

New job I have now in KL is very good , very big company and office and they exactly needed some one like me .....

I think it's all about how skillfull you are and how confident you are about the same ..
If you know some one need you and you can solve something for them and bring something good to their business process becomes easier ...

I have been very confident and straight in my interviews, In fact I always feel I have a upper hand / advantage as a expat :)

Here is the problem......well first i'll say how i got the first job i ever had in Malaysia which was also the last.
1. I targeted a job nobody else wanted to do (including me)
2. I told the employer they made a mess of the prior work
3. I said I could do better and was ready to prove it (even though I had zero experience in the job)
Thats it, I got the job.

Let me say Ive never gotten a job I really wanted, I always got jobs that I hated which I knew before I took them. This is what led me to self employment and the ability to work on exactly the dreams I had and without distraction or competition. When you send your CV to yourself, you have 100% chance of success. (Actually, as an aside, i encourage you to send your resume to yourself as a test. Read it. Would you be interested in interviewing that person?)

Back to "here is the problem." Malaysians dont see shades of grey very well, they tend to see black or white. If you the applicant has what an employer thinks of as the right certifications, you are likely to get the job even if you are a boring fool and a miserable, inept idiot; if you have a colorful, fascinating background full of interesting pieces of information and a variety of locations and jobs which all add up to depth of character and abilities on different levels, chances are you will never get an interview. Asia is black or white, you have the correct EDU or you do not. This is reflective of Malaysians own lack of creative talent and the ability to see between lines. The second part of the problem is that Malaysians tend to hire Yes Men, not independent thinkers who can create innovative solutions to problems. They dont want you to think, they judge you by whether you show up for work on time and how many sick days you take. The pool is very shallow.

The job I got was writing un-creative books, somewhere in the vicinity of technical writing. I had no interest, no experience and couldnt see how doing this would fit into my plans. In fact, I tried to sabotage the whole thing by first insulting prior authors of similar work and then stating, "you know what, this sounds dreadful, i dont want to do this." They loved me. This happened to me once again in Malaysia except that I really did walk out of the interview. I cant stress enough that there are literally thousands of jobs available here that most people do not want to do. You can get those if you have the stomach for it, for pain.

On one level, Malaysia jobs work the same as any other place. Notice I say JOB, not CAREER. If your dream job is an IT professional, would you take a job in another field just to have the income? If you are an engineer, would you drive a taxi? Well? Often, its not about how to get a job but rather how you define a job in the first place. CAREER means love and dreams and even possible poverty at times; JOB means you eat. Eat yes, though the meals may be extremely boring. When moving to a foreign country, flexibility and adaptability are the norms, not the exceptions. Thats the tradeoff. If you come here full of expectations of dream fulfillment, the chances are slim but with some out of the box thinking, all kinds of things are possible.

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