Read Interview #1
Read Interview #2
Before I begin sharing the general tips I've compiled, I think its a good idea to share my interview experiences. I haven't attended a lot, but every session I've attended provided me with valuable information and contributed to the next. So here's another that I've experienced:
Before the career fair began, students were encouraged to deposit their CVs online. That's exactly what I did. I then received an email from the institution, offering an interview slot during the fair. Was advised to bring along a copy of my latest transcript as well as the original copies of supporting documents.
I heard it's tough to get in. So I was understandably nervous when I met the interviewer for the first time. She was serious and blunt. She asked me to introduce myself as she analyzed my transcripts. As I was doing the talking, she interrupted when she needed clarification and she was so hardcore that if I were lying, she would have caught it. I was asked to explain, among others:
- Why I was there
- What I was studying
- Why I chose to further my studies
- Whether it was my own initiative
- How my skills may contribute to the organization
- My recent achievements
- What I've done to overcome a recent failure
Apart from that, I was also asked to elaborate on the roles of the institution, its mandates, divisions and the current news in Malaysia (at the time the New Economic Model was a hot topic, so she asked me a lot about that). Can't remember what other things that were asked, but I remember it being the most nerve-wrecking preliminary interview session!
Minutes after the interview, I was called to fill in my details because they were issuing a conditional letter of employment for me - the condition being that I should get at least CGPA 3.0 when I graduate, to be able to go to the next stage.
I did, so I contacted them again.
Case study and role-playng
After I graduated and returned to Malaysia I resubmitted my updated transcripts, CV, certificates and professional references (letters from lecturers stating how awesome a student is). I was invited to an assessment session at its office. The office got me stoked. It's so beautiful! With see through elevators and a concourse area, the place reminded me more of a posh shopping mall than an office.
I was brought to a discussion room and was given an article and a set of questions to answer. The answers weren't on the paper because they're not trying to measure comprehension skills, but one's level of critical thinking.
Once done, I was brought to a larger meeting room. There, I shook hands with two panels (friendlier than the one who interviewed me in Melbourne). I introduced myself briefly and was given another paper to read and answer on the spot. It was a case study on mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances - asking me to differentiate between the three and explain its advantages and possible disadvantages (I think it's something like that). That one, I answered without an issue. After studying several units and of international business studies, I should be able to! I had real-life examples at the tip of my fingers.
As soon as I was ready, they later provided me with a scenario and I was asked to solve the issue that was faced by this imaginary company. After answering, the situation would change, they'd twist it up a bit and I was asked to answer again and again, "How would you handle this situation?" For a while there, I was mind-blown. Man, these people are really trying to assess my decision-making skills! But I took my time, answered them, questioned and argued when I should. At the end of the session, (even when they say there's no right or wrong in answering), I asked them how well I fared compared to the other candidates and how they would answer the questions.
I think I did well. Next thing I know, I got an invite to go through their online assessment
This online assessment is basically a personality questionnaire. I don't believe there's a right way to do it, I suppose they just want to see how you will fit in the organization and what department may suit you best. It took less than half an hour to complete.
I received an email, inviting me for a medical check-up at a panel clinic. Organizations do this to make sure that candidates are illness-free when they apply for the job, to stop the candidates from taking advantages of their insurance scheme (I assume).
At the time, I thought that this was arguably the most interesting and challenging interview process I've been to, ever. I repeat. Thought.