Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Of Interviews - Engineeing Fresh Grads

I haven't been to a lot of interviews. I've been to 4. But not all very fruitful in terms of interview tips. But there's something that I think worth sharing.

The 1st was an interview for an internship placement. Nothing much to tell just standard procedure.

The 2nd interview was with the first company I work with right after internship.
The boss (the Malaysian branch manager) who interviewed me did ask some technical question based on my internship experience but I figured out he just want to see how I response to questions. So basically, communication skills.
So I got the job, and as I can see the company doesn't need someone experienced at all, he just need someone who can get a sale and do the documentation needed and all the technical side will be done by engineers in their Singapore HQ. So I left the job after 6 month to pursue other job that could give me some satisfaction and an opportunity to grow.

My 3rd interview is for my current company.
This time the Design Manager straight away ask for simple technical questions, basically things I've learned in my uni years. But nerves got to me and I answered it with no confidence whatsoever (Turns out my answer was right though). He also asked me to explain about my FYP.
I got the job. Which I believe it's more cause of luck and I thank God for that ever since.

My 4th interview is just a few days after I start working for that company (the 3rd interview). So I went anyway mainly because it's a big Swiss Electrical company and I just want to have the experience. But the post I went for is not actually the post I want. It is for Sales Engineer post, the post I left at the S'porean company. So I ended up talking a lot about designing and what I want to do after 5 years is more designing. I did get the HR person's attention but I lost the Sales Manager at the 'Why do you want this post' talk.

So in short,

1.Just be yourself. Well, your better self at least.
2.On top of knowing what the company do, you also have to know what YOU want to do. This will give the clear picture to the interviewer of the direction you're heading.
3.Do not afraid to say you don't know/not sure of something, nobody knows everything.

Another point that I'm going to make is that LUCK plays like 40% of the role in getting your job.

The important key is you just have to be confident to communicate with the interviewer. Nobody expect a fresh grad to know everything. Most SME company just want to hire someone who can get the job done. As long as you have Engineering degree and a good attitude, they will take you because they know you will learn stuffs during the job itself.

HR people will look at your confidence- the way you present yourself, the way you talk and the way you answer questions. Basically how well you can communicate with them.

But the Engineering manager will question your knowledge and interest on the job you wish to apply for.
So be prepared for technical questions if interviewing for bigger companies.

For Engineering almost always they will ask you basic questions like
'Explain V=IR in your own understanding'
'Explain Kirchoff's current/voltage law?'
'How do I calculate the current for a given motor rating and Voltage supply in a three phase system'
Simple right? They won't ask you to derive Maxwell equation or anything there. Well if you're interviewing for a lecturer post you might be. I don't know. Hehe
But then again control your nerve. When you're nerves you can't even answer what's 100 divide by 10.

This is generally speaking based on my limited experienced only. And for fresh graduates. I believe experienced people will need to prove more technically but that's another story.

So if you've done your part well, you will already feel satisfied with yourself regardless you get the job or not.
The experience can be used for the next interview so Good Luck.

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