In 2016, 54,103 Malaysian graduates were unemployed even after six months of completing their studies. The truth is, having a qualification or being a graduate won’t guarantee you a job these days
Therefore, it is crucial to make sure you do the right things and are well prepared to ace interviews. This is bearing in mind that you will be competing with many other candidates, along with the existing numbers of unemployed graduates in Malaysia.
Here’s a guideline of the do’s and don’ts for you to keep to during a job interview.
Among the reasons why Malaysian graduates find themselves unemployed is because of their poor command of English according to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF). Additionally, our Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad acknowledged that the Malaysian education system needs to be revised for English to be widely used.
From the employer’s side, lack of communication skills was also mentioned as the setback to them employing fresh graduates.
A study done by JobStreet found that the top 5 reasons why fresh graduates don’t get hired, with 2 relating to communication skills.
During job interviews, your communication skills will be scrutinised even more so. Below are some tips to follow during job interviews:
- Slow down
Speak at a slower pace so you can get your points across clearly, and avoid sounding nervous.
- Use clear and simple words
By doing so, you can get your point across better instead of trying to sound pompous. You don’t necessarily have to use fancy words to show your English proficiency.
- Avoid using filler phrases
Words such as “uhhmm”, “ermmm”, “like”, “you know” can imply that you don’t have a sure answer and should not be used in a professional context. Using the word lah at job interviews is also a big no-no.
Mind your Body Language
While we’ve discussed communication skills, you should also note that non-verbal communication will also play a part and can influence the outcome of a job interview. Whilst at job interviews, take note that you should:
- Avoid distracting movements such as tapping your legs, spinning your pen or drumming your fingers.
- Practice good posture by sitting upright during the interview and have an open posture. Avoid crossing your arms, pulling on your sleeves or fidgeting with button or zippers.
- Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
- Avoid excessive usage of hand gestures when answering questions.
Sell Yourself Right
While a certain amount of self-phrase, or strategically mentioned words can build a good rapport between you and the interviewer, do practice caution when selling yourself during interviews. Most people who carry out interviews have many years of working experience, and often can spot early on whether the candidate has potential.
As such, overselling yourself may make the interviewer think that you are simply using the right words when answering questions. Instead, what you should do is to show that you have the right background and experience, and provide examples to show you are a good match for the role and the company’s culture.
Practice Good Etiquette
Aside from poor communication skills and command of English, employers have also stated that poor character or attitude among the top reason of not employing fresh graduates.
So, don’t take the manners and etiquette lightly! You should also be familiar with basic business etiquette. Below are etiquette examples you need to be mindful of during interviews.
- Greet the receptionist and the interviewer.
- Ensure your mobile phone has been turned to silent or better yet, switched off as even a vibrating phone on silent can interrupt the interview process.
- If you have been offered a drink you can accept it. However, don’t ask for refreshment or a drink if you were not offered.
- Place your items such as your bag, umbrella or other loose items next to you on the floor. Avoid putting it on the table where the interview will be taking place.
- Be mindful and only sit when you have been invited to do so.
Are you serious about improving your skills and ensuring that you ace job interviews? Check out the JobStreet Education Successful Graduate course.
Each module of the program is designed to help you prepare for your job application process, learning about who you are, and even guide you up to your very first day of your new job.