Career Tips
Career Advice

They say that if you don’t know where you are going, you may end up somewhere else! This is very true for one’s career. The right jobs will lead to a very successful and fulfilling career and it is a very important decision for many. In order to land the right job, one has to constantly hone the right skill-set and work with good recruiters who can connect them to the right opportunity.

Are you a
Good Candidate?
Working with a
What Makes a Good Candidate?

Our clients are some of the most elite financial institutions in the world and the people that they hire are amongst the top percentile of the population. Hiring standards are extremely high and only the best make it through.

Broadly speaking, our clients look for the following five criteria:

• Strong technical skills
• Relevant business/domain knowledge
• Good academics
• Excellent soft skills – good interpersonal and communication skills, leadership qualities, ability to take ownership of projects.
• High degree of motivation

The candidates that get hired are well-rounded individuals who are not only technically strong with relevant domain knowledge but also possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills with demonstrable leadership qualities.

More importantly, a candidate’s attitude can make or break a deal. It’s critical to most if not all managers, that the people that they hire are enthusiastic and keen about the role, the team and the company. At the end of the interview, don’t be afraid to explicitly state your keen interest and enthusiasm for the role and joining their team. A high level of energy and enthusiasm will help you stand out from the competition.

So good luck and be sure to impress!

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Why use a headhunter?

There are many excellent reasons why using a headhunter is much better than applying to a company directly or through a contact who already works there.

An experienced headhunter can guide you through every single step of the interview process and give you a lot more insight into the role and company. A good headhunter will help give you background information on the interviewers that you will be meeting with as well as some information on the types of questions that might be asked. Moreover, as you go through each round, they can let you know where you stand relative to the competition, provide you with feedback and help drive the process along. Last but not least, they can help you negotiate the best salary possible without pricing yourself out of the market.

The drawbacks of applying directly to a company or through a contact who works there is that you are pretty much left on your own. There’s no one to guide you through the process or let you know where you stand or how you are doing. There’s no one to help you chase the interviwers for feedback and each interview is a shot in the dark, without your knowing who you will be talking to or what they do.

So if you can, don’t apply directly to a company. Find out which trusted recruitment agents the company works with and go through them.

You’ll find that a good recruiter will add so much value to the job search process that you’ll never go it alone again.

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Interview Questions
What Makes a Good Candidate?

As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. So here is a valuable insight into the world of interview questions and the techniques best used to answer them.

There are some questions that are asked frequently in interviews and you should prepare your answers beforehand. The key things to remember when responding to interview questions are to keep your answers relevant, brief and to the point. If you are faced with a difficult question, make sure you stay calm, don’t get defensive, and take a moment to think about your response before you answer.

Remember, these responses are only suggestions. Try to personalize your response as much as possible.

Q. Tell me about yourself?

Q. What have your achievements been to date?

Q. Are you happy with your career to date?

Q. Tell me about yourself?

Q. What have your achievements been to date?

Q. Are you happy with your career to date?

Interview Advice

Research shows that people make their mind up about someone in the first few seconds of meeting with them. So it’s best to get off to a good start from the outset.

No matter how well qualified you may seem ‘on paper’ for a job, when recruiting, an employer will still be interested in your personality and presentation. Indeed with more than one suitable applicant for a role, interview performance is often the deciding factor. This makes the face-to-face meeting a critical part of the recruitment process and you will need to impress from the start.

Following the interview preparation guidelines below will help you overcome any interview nerves and instill confidence for a productive meeting with your potential employer.

Practical tips

Double check the date, time and location of the interview and be familiar with the name and title of the interviewer. Take your interview confirmation letter with you.

Prepare your interview outfit in advance – all of it. Ensure your appearance is both smart and comfortable.

Familiarize yourself with the journey to the location, to ensure you arrive in plenty of time. If driving, do a ‘dummy run’.

Anticipate delays, especially on unknown routes. Contact your interviewer swiftly if you are unavoidably delayed on the day.

Do not arrive over-laden with belongings! Take any requested certificates, references etc, a spare resume and a notepad and pen. A mobile phone is always useful, but ensure it is turned OFF before arriving at reception.

Be punctual for your meeting, but it is inadvisable to arrive more than half an hour early. Leave yourself enough time to use the restroom and freshen up if necessary.

Remember that you start making an impression on your prospective employer the moment you arrive at reception. Be courteous to the receptionist and any other staff you may meet prior to your interview. Their opinion of you is often sought and may even have some influence on the final selection.


Find out as much information as possible about your prospective employer in advance. Many now have websites which are packed with information. Familiarize yourself with mission statements, past performance, future goals and current analyst ratings. Be aware that if your prospective employer does have a comprehensive website, you may seriously compromise your chances if it becomes apparent you have not taken time to research it.

If there is no company website, it is still easy to research your employer. All national newspapers and professional magazines have online sites with archive articles. You can also use web search engines just by entering the company name. Talk to anyone you know who has worked at the organization. If all else fails, try phoning the company and requesting general information.

The interview

Greet your interviewer standing, with a strong, firm handshake and a smile! Good body language is vital. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Speak clearly and confidently. Try and maintain a comfortable level of eye contact throughout.
A standard interview will generally start with an introductory chat, moving on to questions specific to your application and experience. General information about the company and role may follow, finishing with an opportunity for you to ask your own questions.
Be familiar with your resume and prepared to answer questions from it. Similarly, ensure you have read any job description thoroughly and think of ways in which your experience will benefit your potential employer.
LISTEN to what is being asked of you. Think about your answers to more difficult questions and do not give irrelevant detail. Give positive examples from your experience to date, but be concise. Avoid one word answers, however. Prepare yourself in advance for likely questions (see next section for common interview questions).
Be ready to ask questions that you have prepared beforehand. This can demonstrate you have thought about the role and done some research on the organization. Ensure they are open, thus encouraging the interviewer to provide you with additional information.
Show your enthusiasm for the role, even if you have some reservations. These can be discussed at a later stage.

Writing a Technical CV
Your CV is the first impression you make. Make sure it’s a good one.
Here are some tips:
  • Target your resume to the role in question.
  • Be as specific and detailed as possible. Include technical and financial buzzwords that will attract the   Hiring Managers interest immediately.
  • Describe the projects worked on as well as the big picture. How do these projects add value to the  organization. What do they do? How do they work? What specific technologies and tools did you use?  How big was your team? What was your role within that team? What did you do that makes you stand  out? Try to provide as full and complete a picture.
  • For junior to mid-level candidates, CVs should be between 2-3 pages. For senior-level candidates, CVs  should be kept to a maximum of 3-4 pages, even in you possess 20+ yearsof experience. An overly long  CV shows an inability to summarise and prioritise your work.
Negotiating the Offer

We all know it. Salary is one of the most important factors when it comes to our job search. We all work for a living and whilst we ‘we might as well get paid as much as we can, right?

Sure. But let’s examine this sensitive yet important topic in greater detail and discuss some of the better ways of approaching this delicate subject.

We all know it. Salary is one of the most important factors when it comes to our job search. We all work for a living and whilst we ‘we might as well get paid as much as we can,

right? Sure. But let’s examine this sensitive yet important topic in greater detail and discuss some of the better ways of approaching this delicate subject.

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Matthew Chung’s Tips and Tricks!

One of our experienced Directors has made a series of YouTube videos to help aspiring candidates ace their interviews.

Please click here to view them! If you like, please let us know so we can make more of them!


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