If there is such a term as an "avid job hunter", I would definitely fit the description perfectly - not that I take pride in being one. After dozens of interviews for an analyst role with financial institutions, small setups, boutique funds and corporates, I can safely say that I have met many people from different background at different levels.
To put things in perspective first, I am just your average job hunter, with few years of analytical work experience. I have a reasonable, but not fantastic CV. Here's what I've learnt from my interviews in Singapore so far.
1) The fund managers
This group came across as highly aloof, to the extent of being almost cruel. "Do you have experience in this industry?" "No, but I ...." And you can see that you have already lost their interest. Which amazes me: Why was I even selected for the interview?
2) The banks
The process is highly structured: personality profiling, situational profiling, verbal and reasoning tests etc. You would have thought that you are participating in a graduate recruitment programme as a freshie all over again. You think you've done really well, but you end up getting a rejection, or not even a rejection - you don't even hear back.
3) The local MNCs
Unfortunately, in my dealings with these corporates, most of them have failed to impress me. One interviewer told me that he can construct a financial model in five minutes when I was telling him about my previous job scope. Another went so far as to say that he is acquainted with some government officials. How was that relevant to the role? I simply have no idea. The interviews were painful, and seemed more like an avenue for these bosses to talk about their accomplishments than for me to discuss about my potential contribution to the company.
4) The public sector
In a Singapore context, the first word that comes into everybody's mind about government-related jobs is "bureaucracy". And this is what I observed as well. Despite the proclaimed effort to introduce new creativity and fresh perspectives into the sector, the notion to play safe and hire candidates with excellent academic results is still there, even when the positions are not entry-level ones.
Most of the time you have to fill in four or five pages of application forms, which require details down to specific grades for each subject taken at the GCE 'O' level examination you sat more than 10 years ago. What is the relevance of my school chemistry results to the investment role I am applying for? Again, it beats me.
The views are those of the author and not of eFinancialCareers