Bonnie Tham

In this section, we speak to Bonnie on her ideal job candidate. Let's see what she has to say!
Bonnie Tham
Head of People & Support




Head of People & Support


BA in Accounting & Finance, University of Strathclyde, UK; Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW); Member of the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA); Member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA); Member of ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountants

Has been with the company for

14 years

How has the covid pandemic affected your graduate recruitment efforts?

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, many businesses were badly affected by the lockdown and travel restrictions. There was plenty of uncertainty in the economy and business prospects that resulted in a slowdown in recruitment activities. However, BDO quickly adapted to effective remote working after having invested earlier in technology and digital enablement. 

By the fourth quarter of 2020, we had resumed graduate recruitment. Our recruitment momentum continued well into 2021 and presently, our recruitment activities are quickly increasing to pre-Covid levels.    

How would you advise a candidate to make a good impression during a virtual interview?

  • Ensure your background is professional and uncluttered with good lighting
  • Arrive early at the interview to test audio & video functions
  • Dress professionally
  • Greet the interviewer with a smile once he or she enters the virtual room. It would be a plus point if you can find out the name of the interviewer(s) beforehand 
  • Maintain good body language throughout the interview. For example, look into the camera and maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Treat the camera as the ‘eyes’ of the interviewer.

Preparation is Key!

  • Conduct thorough research on the company, the role you applied for and the common interview questions 
  • List down key points that you wish to highlight during the interview, such as your unique qualities and what differentiates you from other candidates
  • Practise, practise, practise! 

What is the one skill (or quality) you think is more important for fresh grads to have now compared to pre-pandemic times?

Digital skills and the ability to adapt: 

  • Have a basic understanding of how current digital tools such as cloud computing, machine learning, data analytics and robotics have impacted our lives. 
  • More importantly, learn how to use them to improve the quality and efficiency of your daily work.

How would you recommend students increase their chances of landing a job in our tough times?

  • Build a stand-out resume and prepare well for the interview
  • Start building connections on LinkedIn and be proactive to network with professionals from the industry and recruiters
  • Highlight your key strengths (skills and experience) when speaking to recruiters 
  • Capitalise on digital platforms and information available via company websites or social media platforms when applying for jobs
  • Be well prepared in every application, consider every little detail leading to a successful job offer, and remember, practice makes perfect!

How feasible and/or effective are non-face-to-face internships? How has your organisation prepared for this?

Technology and virtual meeting platforms have enabled and supported remote working as well as remote internships. Some of the key success factors to effective non-face-to-face internships are: 

1) Regular communication and check-ins. Checking on interns' progress from time to time is key to ensure they are coping well remotely and on the right track.

2) Interns’ ability to work independently, take proactive approaches and be curious and inquisitive. 

It takes two to tango!