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Interviews: "Showing Face"

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YankStuckinSuiss
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Interviews: "Showing Face"

Postby YankStuckinSuiss » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 10:03 am

I worked in Switzerland before for a year. To do that at my level of the corporate hierarchy I decided I could not get hired from the United States, so moved in with a friend in Switzerland for 3 months and it took me about 3 months to find a job. I started interviewing with a company that eventually hired me 2.5 months in, then I had to go back to America. They continued the interview process via Skype. They asked me to do a sort of case study problem, prepare a power point presentation, blah blah. There were 3 people who interviewed me, typical collaborative central Euro stuff. Then by law I had a 30 day probation period (probazeit). I was also called by a company in Germany, which was 4 hours away from me by train, it was for a bigger MNC, but I turned them down because I wanted to be in Switzerland at the time and the salary/taxes were far better (which is also why so many Germans work in Switzerland). The German company did everything by phone/internet, but when they had already pretty much made a decision, then asked me to come to Cologne.


Anyway, with Singapore, I am 3 hours away, in Taiwan, looking for a job. Is that too far away for Singapore companies? I feel that the labor market is a bit "less developed" and very "slow" in Singapore compared to Europe or North America.

I read often that companies can't find adequate talent. Is this really true?

Why don't companies interview more by phone and skype in Singapore? I heard this is unusual. Why? This is 2012, people are falling in love and starting relationships on the net, any child can use a laptop camera and skype. It is not rocket science.

I keep hearing that recruiters in Singapore are useless and the HR departments are not that great? Why? No one really explains what the problem is exactly. Why are they so slow? And why can't they match jobs with profiles as well as in the West (if this is true...)?


In any case, if you want international talent, if you want to expand the pool of applicants why do I have to quit my job in my country and travel to Singapore for months to show "face" when someone can easily get all the information they could ever want about me via internet in 2012? It seems primitive.
Last edited by YankStuckinSuiss on Sun, 26 Feb 2012 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

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Postby nutnut » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 10:12 am

I think it all depends on the company here currently.

I was recruited from out of town by phone only, both interviews... Since I've been here, interviews tend to be face to face (I suppose that makes sense now)
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Re: Interviews: "Showing Face"

Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 10:23 am

YankStuckinSuiss wrote:I read often that companies can't find adequate talent. Is this really true?


The factual answer would have to be "that depends", mainly on the position. Anecdotally, my position was open for nine months before I applied. No qualified locals were found. But the field I'm in is also an employee's market in the US and most of the rest of the world. I could have made 30%+ more take-home in the US (e.g., accounting for tax differential between US and Singapore), but wanted to be here for other reasons.

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Re: Interviews: "Showing Face"

Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 10:27 am

YankStuckinSuiss wrote:
I keep hearing that recruiters in Switzerland are useless and the HR departments are not that great? Why? No one really explains what the problem is exactly. Why are they so slow? And why can't they match jobs with profiles as well as in the West (if this is true...)?



I assume you mean Singapore not Switzerland? It's a hard reason to articulate except to say "if you live here a while, you'd understand". Everything here moves slower and less efficiently than you'd think. No one strays outside their box or off their checklist. So when situations come up that require someone to deviate even slightly, it takes time to resolve. Probably 3-4 emails back and forth, with each reply taking a day or two... And an American in Taiwan interviewing for a role in Singapore? Expect a lot of confusion :) Welcome to Singapore.


Another anecdote, my interview was two phone calls and one in person at their office in the US, with the actual business unit and team I would work for. HR needed 4-5 other phone calls of no value or substance that took an extra month of time. :)

Then after I had a "We want to hire you and will make an offer" from my hiring manager, it took HR another month to get everything together. Also, they agreed on a start date with me that was then determined to not be realistic because of the EP process and MOM. You'd think after a month of back and forth they'd have worked that detail out, but no.

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Postby carteki » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 3:34 pm

As much as there is skype etc I can understand why people will prefer to employ people they've met personally. Also there is an increased risk that if you employ someone from overseas they won't move (happens more often than you think) or do move, but their pre-conceived notions are at odds with their experience and therefore leave shortly or are unhappy.

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Re: Interviews: "Showing Face"

Postby olivia242 » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 11:07 am

zzm9980 wrote:
YankStuckinSuiss wrote:
Another anecdote, my interview was two phone calls and one in person at their office in the US, with the actual business unit and team I would work for. HR needed 4-5 other phone calls of no value or substance that took an extra month of time. :)



I agree with the above. I once had 7 interviews for a company. 6 of these interviews were just people asking me the same questions over and over again. I was even interviewed twice by the same person, again, asking the same questions.

I have also had interviews cancelled at the last minute and promises of second interviews that come to nothing.

As the poster says, welcome to Singapore.

It's hard enough finding work when you are here and I think next to impossible to if you're not.

Phone interviews are always harder because you lack the face to face contact so I think if you lived in Singapore, you would likely complain about having to have them. Nothing beats being in front of the person so you can establish a rapport.

I wish you luck because I personally think it is extremely hard to find work here.

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Postby Mi Amigo » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 11:43 am

I think a hybrid model is best - initial phone / Skype interviews work fine for me at the shortlisting stage, then a face to face meeting somewhere (not necessarily here in Singapore) with the preferred candidate(s).
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 1:38 pm

Well, I was sitting in a bar in Morgan City, Louisiana one May day in 1982, when a mate of mine, who worked for our competitor pulled up a barstool and asked me if I would be interested in going to Singapore for a 12 month contract (this was during the 81-82 Oil Embargo). I said sure, why not, sure as hell not much work around the GOM. He gave me the contact number of the Operations Manager here in Singapore and told me the guy was waiting for my call and I had till Monday morning to contact the guy and sort if out if I could, but Monday he would have to pass the JD to in-house HR. (This was the Thursday before the Memorial Day weekend in the US). I called the guy up, we spoke for a couple of minutes (my supervisory background had already been discussed, apparently, by my friend who gave me the JD)

2 days later I received a "TELEX" that was almost a metre long. He had sent me the entire contract via TELEX. 11 days later I was in Singapore. That was almost 30 years ago. I'm still here.

And NO, I didn't have a masters either. Still don't.

So yeah, you can get hired (poached, in my case) when overseas if you are bringing enough to the table. (That the key)

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Postby carteki » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 3:11 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So yeah, you can get hired (poached, in my case) when overseas if you are bringing enough to the table. (That the key)


SMS - while that is true - you also were connected to the employer through someone both of you knew which upped the stakes dramatically.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 3:14 pm

carteki wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:So yeah, you can get hired (poached, in my case) when overseas if you are bringing enough to the table. (That the key)


SMS - while that is true - you also were connected to the employer through someone both of you knew which upped the stakes dramatically.


Isn't that how most people get their jobs though? Professional networking!

I can honestly say I've only had one position where I didn't "know" someone or have an in, and just straight up applied. Funny enough, that was for the produce vendor, who is infamous (like Google) for stupid interviews that are difficult to pass.

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Postby YankStuckinSuiss » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 3:57 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
carteki wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:So yeah, you can get hired (poached, in my case) when overseas if you are bringing enough to the table. (That the key)


SMS - while that is true - you also were connected to the employer through someone both of you knew which upped the stakes dramatically.


Isn't that how most people get their jobs though? Professional networking!

I can honestly say I've only had one position where I didn't "know" someone or have an in, and just straight up applied. Funny enough, that was for the produce vendor, who is infamous (like Google) for stupid interviews that are difficult to pass.



Where are you from?

Only one job I have had in the last 10 years was due to a personal contact inside, the rest were recruiters or direct applications to companies, but most of the jobs I have had were in the United States, and I also worked in Japan and Switzerland.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."



-George Bernard Shaw

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 3:58 pm

US. Bay Area, and Chicago before that.

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Re: Interviews: "Showing Face"

Postby YankStuckinSuiss » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 3:59 pm

olivia242 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:
YankStuckinSuiss wrote:
Another anecdote, my interview was two phone calls and one in person at their office in the US, with the actual business unit and team I would work for. HR needed 4-5 other phone calls of no value or substance that took an extra month of time. :)



I agree with the above. I once had 7 interviews for a company. 6 of these interviews were just people asking me the same questions over and over again. I was even interviewed twice by the same person, again, asking the same questions.

I have also had interviews cancelled at the last minute and promises of second interviews that come to nothing.

As the poster says, welcome to Singapore.

It's hard enough finding work when you are here and I think next to impossible to if you're not.

Phone interviews are always harder because you lack the face to face contact so I think if you lived in Singapore, you would likely complain about having to have them. Nothing beats being in front of the person so you can establish a rapport.

I wish you luck because I personally think it is extremely hard to find work here.


The problem is that Singapore is very expensive to live in to just job hunt, basically they want to be an international hub, but make it very difficult for people to find work without taking a huge leap of faith and moving their for at least 3 months to look. That is inefficient.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."



-George Bernard Shaw

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YankStuckinSuiss
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Postby YankStuckinSuiss » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 3:59 pm

zzm9980 wrote:US. Bay Area, and Chicago before that.


One more question...what industry? I think that may be a big difference.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."



-George Bernard Shaw

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 4:11 pm

YankStuckinSuiss wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:US. Bay Area, and Chicago before that.


One more question...what industry? I think that may be a big difference.


quite possibly, yes. what I do is a bit unique. IT, specifically Information Security.


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