Being convincing to an employer in Singapore

Hello everyone,

Finding a job in Singapore 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 Singapore 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 Singapore? 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,

Priscilla

The Singapore employment market is as diverse as its economy of multinationals from all corners of the earth. That means there are no standards, every employer has its own style and expectations!

Singapore is very competitive, so keeping a short and sweet CV is one of the biggest keys to landing an interview. 2 page is about enough, and try to list just 3-4 recent jobs. If you are switching career, edit all of the job descriptions to highlight achievements that relate to the job you are applying, e.g. if you were from retail and F&B, applying to Marketing, highlight everything from events quotations and operations, social media, communications, hosting VIPs, etc. Every achievement counts, and be truthful, you are selling yourself but not upselling too much, you might end up with a job you can't do.

Get good recommendations from previous bosses, print a copy of the most recent reference letter with signature of the previous boss. Tip: Write a draft and send them, so they can edit and still know what you want to highlight for your interviews. Include your CV for your reference.

Prepare all your documents e.g. CV set, photocopies of certificates and IC/Passport, any supporting documents e.g. PLOC from MOM (if you hold LTVP), reference letter

To land an interview easier, try to apply through big websites like Jobstreet, JobsDB, Recruit.net, where a lot of recruitment agencies are posting. Go to those prominent recruitment agencies and drop your CV as well, to open up new opportunities. With recommendations from agent you will have higher chance to land interview.

Once you get an interview (usually short lead time like 2-3 days), study the job description super well til you remember every aspect of the job, and research on company's background to prepare for any test questions. Prepare 3-4 questions you might have for the company. Can't think of any? Google it :)

Turn up 30 min early, dressed professionally, wipe away your sweat and go toilet to fix your appearance. Step in 15 min early and wait for the interviewer. Be confident, be yourself, smile and just be natural. Some interviewers might seem intimidating but it's part of their job to "scare" you, to see how you react to negative situation. Be prepared for tests e.g. what would you do if....., sell me this phone......, what are your strengths/weaknesses/plans for next 5-10 years. You can Google on questions to prepare for.

After the interview, it would be good if you have the interviewers' email to send a thank you note and express how keen you are on the position. Ding ding, brownie points for the eager one!

Above are all the tips I have curated after 10 years living in Singapore ^^ Hope it helps you guys!

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