Great Eastern Life Assurance (Malaysia) Berhad
Head, Talent Management and Learning & Development, Human Capital
Certified Public Accountant, 1998; Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner, 2010; Certified Professional Coach, 2015; Cert IV in Training and Assessment, Australia, 2017; TRACOM Social Style Master Certified Instructor, 2017; Associate, Life Management Institute, 2021
Has been with the company for
How has the covid pandemic affected your graduate recruitment efforts?
The Covid pandemic did not greatly affect our recruitment efforts. In fact, the pool of talents that we were able to look at was larger, given that more graduates were returning to Malaysia or had continued their overseas study virtually back home instead.
What was affected was the opportunity to interact with the graduates via in-person interviews, as these had largely been replaced with virtual interviews.
How would you advise a candidate to make a good impression during a virtual interview?
Have a conducive environment – that would be my first and most important advice to make a good impression.
As the camera is turned on in a virtual interview, you'd want to ensure you have a suitable background (avoid using virtual background), as well as be in a place where it allows you to concentrate on the interview and not be distracted.
Other important things to note are to dress right, and to have a good understanding of the company and the role that you are interviewing for. Avoid single-word replies and do speak slightly slower than normal.
What is the one skill (or quality) you think is more important for fresh grads to have now compared to pre-pandemic times?
Adaptability. This may sound cliché but it is something fresh grads should have. Interviewers are keen to know how you have managed yourself during the time after your graduation. Have you been idling around or that you have been upskilling during this time to prepare yourself to stand out? Learning and enhancing your digital skills are also a definite plus.
The other thing about adaptability is about whether you have been able to apply your qualification in a related or even divergent direction if more traditional roles do not offer the opportunities now.
How would you recommend students increase their chances of landing a job in our tough times?
Remember, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do”. The important thing is to be persistent and to not give up.
Look beyond just the traditional roles for your qualification. And when you are sending out your applications for the various roles, remember the basics: Customise the introduction in your e-mails; include a cover letter and your resume.
To increase your chances, you need to ensure that your resume and cover letter highlight the skills and competencies that you have that the respective role is seeking.
How feasible and/or effective are non-face-to-face internships? How has your organisation prepared for this?
Unfortunately, not all roles are suitable for non-face-to-face internships. Roles that are more customer-facing and require more regular touch-points with supervisors aren’t suitable for interns.
Having said that, for more suitable roles, we have ensured that the structures are in place for an engaging and enriching experience as an intern with Great Eastern.
Supervisors have regular check-ins with their interns. From an infrastructure standpoint, we ensured that there's stable online access to the office network and teleconferencing facilities to make working remotely seamless.