1. Your energy level and drive
You've heard it many times, but your first impression matters. The energy level and drive you bring into the room can determine whether you pass the first round of interview. Don't be afraid to express your enthusiasm for the job, as long as you don't overdo it.
2. How well you fit with the company's culture
84% of job candidates chose job culture over high salary. Similarly, almost all employers placed culture fit as their top priority. For Kim Lim, co-founder of The Picha Project, her litmus test for culture fit is this:
“If you can hang out with the person off work, I believe you can work with that person.”
Ultimately, employers want to hire people who will fit in and complement the existing workplace community. This is because people define culture, and culture can either make or break a company.
3. The long-term potential you bring
Filling a job opening isn't as simple as it seems. Employers need to consider:
- How long will a candidate stay at the company?
- What is the candidate's growth potential 3 to 5 years down the road?
- Will the candidate be able to grow into a bigger management role?
- Can the company offer enough incentives to retain this candidate?
4. Your resilience stories
Employers don't just want to know how much you've succeeded in life, but how you've responded to failure. That's why Ko Chuan Zhen, founder of Plus Solar, loves people who have resilience stories because they have a different level of hunger and know how to handle tough moments.
5. How you carry yourself
“I look at their overall appearance. How they carry themselves. How they talk. Do they have confidence, are they humble, are they attentive, do they show critical thinking abilities?” says Tracy Yap, HR Manager at General Electric.
The way you dress, the firmness of your handshake, the tone of your voice—all these are taken into consideration. So make sure to watch your non-verbals and present your best self from the start to the end of your interview.
6. The way you apply for the job
Get creative when it comes to applying for a job! Employers are looking for exceptional talent and have hundreds of CVs to go through each month, so you'll need to make sure you stand out.
Also, put extra effort into your cover letter. Your CV can only tell so much about you, but your cover letter can convince employers why you're the right fit. If you're extra gungho, make a 3-minute video cover letter—that will get any employer's attention!
7. How quickly you can think on your feet
Beyond technical skills and presentation flair, employers are looking for problem solvers. That's why they may intentionally throw you curve balls to catch you off guard. As much as you can prepare for your interview, be ready to think fast and think smart.
8. How flexible and adaptable you are
Another thing employers ask candidates is whether they're willing to explore new roles after a few months on the job. Some people will get excited immediately at the possibilities, while others may be more cautious, asking questions to clarify along the way.
Both approaches are acceptable, as long as you show your willingness to be flexible. This gives employers the confidence that you can be adaptable in multiple situations.
9. The technical skills you bring to the table
Of course, to qualify for a job you need to meet the job description. This is where your education, training, and experience come into play. Make it a point to highlight your technical skills as well as relevant software programmes you are familiar with using.
For certain industries, you may be required to showcase a portfolio or sample work. Others may put you through an actual hands-on test to gauge your ability.
10. Your attitude and personality
This could make or break your interview. Even if you lack the technical skills, employers are willing to overlook that if you have a teachable attitude. That's because skills and knowledge can always be taught, but not attitude.
"When the attitude is right, then I believe you can mold that person into greatness."
11. Your passion projects and side hustles
According to Kim Lim from The Picha Project, after asking all the usual questions, one thing she wants to find out is what motivates the person in life.
Beyond your personality and skill sets, employers are interested to know who you are as a person. If you have a passion project or side hustle, don't be afraid to talk about it, because it will show employers a different side of you!
Finally, we asked employers what tips the scale when they have to choose between a few candidates
“Going back to my answer above – their attitude."
"But assuming that everyone is on par, I would then say intuition. Who I feel is right or better suited for the job. I know it’s so subjective and some would call it favouritism, but sometimes you just can’t describe that gut feel and most of the time, your gut feel turns out to be right," says Tracy.
There you go, now you know how to get hired in Malaysia!
Wanna work in a vibrant environment with great people and culture? Get creative with your CV and send it over to [email protected] today!
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#HireMeLah is a personal growth series to help young Malaysians be the best they can at their workplace. In the series, we interview directors, hiring managers, and employees across Malaysia, and bring you the best tips to advance in your career.
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