Friday, May 25, 2012

A Few Tips for Job Hunters

So you’ve submitted your resume and you finally got that call for an interview. This is the point where many of us make or break it, and here are a few tips to increase your odds of securing that job you applied for, as well as to know if you really want the said job for the long run.

Remember that asking questions is one way of showing your interest towards the open position!

Look up the company background.

This should be a no brainer, but a lot of people tend to rush in blind towards an interview. One common question applicants receive is how much do they know about the company they’re applying for. A quick search on Google, or Wikipedia (especially if it’s a well-known company) would be enough to know what the company does as well as give you an idea of your possible role within the organization.

Look up the company culture.

It’s a given fact that companies treat their employees differently. It’s also a known fact that people of the same feather flock together. Some companies are laid-back, while others enforce very strict rules and metrics. If you want to gauge if you’ll fit in with the company culture, you could try to look up online forums and check the feedback from former and current employees of your dream company. Be prepared to read some harsh words though, as sometimes the threads turn into flamewars. Sites like Pinoy Exchange could cater to this.

Ask if there would be any training opportunities.
This is always a big plus. While we learn things while doing actual work, you cannot replace actual classroom training with certified instructors (or being sent abroad). It’s something you can add to your resume in your list of acquired skills and would show that the company cares for an employee’s career growth. Just remember to ask if there would be a bond (where you cannot switch companies for a certain period of time after being trained). In case there is, keep in tip number two in mind and see if the bond is worth it.

Ask for their arrangements during holidays, especially if it is a foreign company.

As we are all aware of, the Philippines has become one of the largest BPO hubs in the world. This means that chances are that we’re working for companies under different time zones and different cultures. Some companies give employees days off when it’s a holiday on the host country, some give days off when it’s a holiday here. There are cases where neither or both are observed. Just remember that whatever the case may be, you’re entitled to a benefit of some sort (ie. holiday premiums or additional days off). When in doubt, ask!

Ask them to give the specifics of the position you’re applying for.

This bit is tricky but it is worth doing. Make sure to ask the interviewer the scope of your job. This would help avoid any misunderstanding when you finally get hired. If you’re in IT, for example, you may not like programming but you like doing support work. Make sure that it is clear from the beginning that this would be the case.

One last thing. Read your contract before signing!

Remember that most of the things described above should be in your contract. In case some of your demands have been met (additional days off, health benefits, etc.), make sure they’re specified in the contract as well.
So those are just a few pointers to keep in mind during job interviews. Just make sure that whatever job you apply for, make sure that you know that you’re actually interested in doing it and that you’re learning from the experience.

Happy job hunting!

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