Thursday, April 30, 2009

How to Impress Your Potential Employer in an Interview

A flashback: You have entered the interview hall with a pounding heart, the interviewer asks the first question and you are tongue-tied. You feel bad to have attended the interview. Well, that was then, next time you’ll be confident in the same hall. How? Read on:

If you’ve got an interview scheduled for tomorrow, here’s how you move forward,
  • Don’t even imagine going for the interview without doing research on the company. You should be able to answer any questions regarding the company and its competitors. In short, get updated on the products and services of the company, markets, financial position-market value, value of shares, profit-major achievements and the projects in the pipeline.
  • Then, decide on the clothes to wear. In general, it’s safe to wear formal clothes. Try to trim your beard and cut your finger nails. Check out the fastest route to reach the destination. Compile your certificates, resume sheets and references. Make sure that you have updated the phone numbers of your references. After this get a good night’s sleep
  • Reach the interview venue at least half an hour before schedule. Talk to the receptionist and confirm your arrival. Greet and have polite talks with the other candidates as this will help you relax. On entering the interview hall, greet each person in the room. If your mobile phone beeps now, you’ll know what would happen, so switch it off before entering the room. Be confident, maintain eye contact and have a steady pose. If you have a good sense of humour, express it as a good joke can break the ice. However, if humour means some jokes stolen from the internet avoid it. Maintain your cool on tricky and testing questions. Next, listen to the question before you speak.

Some common questions asked are,

Tell us about yourself?

Do a clear analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. After this analysis, you be able to describe yourself better. Be precise and brief. It’s not necessary to enumerate your qualifications though you can touch upon them.

What do you think your responsibilities in this company are?

If you have done your research you’ll be able to answer this question convincingly.

Why do you want to switch jobs?

This is a tricky question. Whatever be the problems you’ve had with your company, don’t condemn it. More challenges, responsibilities and career growth can be some of the answers to this question.

What are your expectations on the salary?

Don’t forget to include your perks and incentives along with your salary. Even if your salary is low, don’t give a wrong figure as your employer would be able to check it.

What’s the last book you have read?

Ah, sounds easy but another tough question this is. Be enthusiastic and make it sound as if you had enjoyed every bit of the last book. A short note on the author is also desirable.

After the interview thank the interview panel and close the door politely. There, congratulation on your new job.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

MOM Report on Redundancies and Re-Employment in 2008

On the Redundancies and Re-employment matters in 2008, MOM has released below facts in its website. It's not a very good news but that's the facts:


Layoffs surged to a record quarterly high affecting 9,410 workers in the fourth quarter of 2008, nearly triple the 3,180 laid off in the preceding quarter1. For the whole of 2008, redundancies hit 16,880 workers, comprising 13,920 workers retrenched and 2,970 workers whose contracts were terminated prematurely. This translated to 11 workers made redundant for every 1,000 employees, nearly double the 6.0 per 1,000 in 2007. Nevertheless, redundancies in 2008 remained below the highs hit in 1998 during the Asian financial crisis (32,800 or 33 per 1,000) and in the 2001 economic downturn (27,570 or 26 per 1,000)2.

More workers across all three broad occupational groups were made redundant in 2008. Professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) saw a rise in share of redundancies from 31% in 2007 to 37% in 2008, while the share of production & related workers displaced fell from 56% to 52% and clerical, sales & service workers from 13% to 11%. Nevertheless, production & related workers still had the highest incidence of redundancy with 14 workers made redundant per 1,000, followed by PMETs at 9.9 per 1,000 and clerical, sales & service workers at 5.5 per 1,000 in 2008

Redundancies in 2008 rose faster in percentage terms for foreigners (153%) than locals (72%). Although locals formed the majority or 61% of the redundancies in 2008, their share came down from 70% in 2007. Correspondingly, the foreign share of total redundancies rose to a new high3 of 39% in 2008, slightly more than the proportion of foreigners in our workforce which was 36% as at December 2008.

Companies cited the recession/downturn as the top reason for retrenchment in 2008, affecting four in ten (41%) workers retrenched, followed closely by business restructuring (39%). High labour cost (22%) and high operating cost other than labour cost (20%) were other reasons cited. This was unlike in 2007 when the top reasons for retrenchment were the discontinuation of the production line and business reorganization.

Due to the global nature of the current recession, the number of workers retrenched in exercises involving businesses relocating overseas fell from 1,520 in 2007 to a record low4 of 1,260 in 2008. They accounted for only 9.1% of workers retrenched in private establishments, compared to 20% in 2007.


Possibly reflecting more realistic expectations given the weak job market outlook, seven in ten (70%) locals retrenched in the third quarter of 2008 were re-employed by December 2008, higher than the 62% recorded by the previous cohort in September 2008, but slightly lower than the 73% in December 20075. The rise was generally felt across the board, with the major exception of degree holders whose re-employment rate fell from 68% to 62%.

Among locals retrenched in the first nine months and re-employed by the end of the year, 56% secured employment in the same industry from which they were retrenched. This was slightly lower than the 58% a year ago.

Mature residents with tertiary education were the most vulnerable groups in 2008 with above-average risk of retrenchment and below-average re-employment. This was unlike the previous downturns when the less educated were the most vulnerable.

The report is available online on the Ministry of Manpower's website. It goes beyond the quarterly reporting to provide additional analysis on the incidence of retrenchment, reasons for retrenchment, retrenching establishments, time taken to secure re-employment and the shift in industry among those re-employed.

1 Data series on redundancies started from Q1 1998 onwards.

2 Before 2006, data pertain to private sector establishments each with at least 25 employees. From 2006 onwards, data also include the public sector.

3 Highest since the data series started in 1998.

4 Data series on workers retrenched in exercises involving overseas relocation started from 1995 onwards.

5 Based on CPF records.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Managing Workplace Related Stress

Consider this, you enter your office and slump on the chair thinking, ‘another day in hell’. The pile of works to be done flash through your mind and you feel tired. Sounds familiar? Welcome to the world of workplace related stress.

So, since when did this stress creep into your workplace? Was it when you heard the sombre economist use confusing jargon to present his worst for the economy? Or was it when you mistook the pink ribbon for a pink slip?

Reasons for stress

Stress at the workplace can be caused by crashing deadlines, additional and unreasonable responsibilities, long working hours, personal conflicts with colleagues, intense pressure, unmanageable targets, and so on.

Ok, is this the end of the road then? Of course not, there are many ways to beat stress.

Keep a diary

It may not be of great help just to keep a diary, write in it. A diary doesn’t judge you but listens to your complaints and grudges. As you write your problems, solutions emerge which can, in turn, take you to office fresh every day.

Get in shape

If joining a health club or doing yoga/tai chi doesn’t appeal you, try walking, climbing stairs or doing simple exercises for half an hour every day. Thus, you will inch closer to drive out ulcer, hyper tension, diabetes, heart problems and weight loss/gain. Start now.

Reduce bad habits

Stress can make you take solace in coffee, alcohol, nicotine or drugs. Be aware of these addictions as they can increase your stress levels. If you are already addicted to any of these, try reducing them and sip a glass of water instead.

Sleep well

Stress can also be caused due to insomnia, and vice versa. Ironically, if you try hard to sleep you may find yourself awake the whole night. Instead, try to relax by listening to music or reading books. A good night’s sleep will kick start your day on a positive note.

Start Planning

A day planner can help you plan your time and reduce anxiety. Once you start planning your day, you’ll be able to prioritise your tasks and work better. Try to get up thirty minutes earlier which will help reduce the mad rush to office.

In the office

If the manager is bent on giving you additional responsibilities you can’t handle say a polite ‘no’. This is better than non-performance and irritability at the workplace. However, if you are brave to do that only in your dreams, learn to delegate. Misunderstanding with colleagues can increase your stress; talk it out over a cup of coffee. Yes, an occasional cup of coffee won’t do any harm.

Be positive

Talk to your friends and don’t wait for December to take a vacation. During weekends, saunter to the nearby parks, galleries, cafes, museums and festivals. If you are worrying about your job, learn some additional courses in the evening and make yourself indispensable to the company.

Also, remember to smile. Life isn’t that hard, is it?

Labels: , , , , , , ,

By using any service in this website, you indicate that you agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions of the site
Jobs in Singapore by Job-Q.com - Singapore Business Registration Number: 53065983B