Michelle Hew

In this section, we speak to Michelle Hew on her ideal job candidate. Let's see what she has to say!
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Michelle Hew
Talent Acquisition Lead
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Employer

PwC Malaysia

Position 

Talent Acquisition Lead

Has been with the company for

10 years

How has the covid pandemic affected your graduate recruitment efforts?

With recruitment engagements shifted online due to the social distancing guidelines, this has opened up more opportunities for us to engage a wider audience without being limited by the need to travel. However, the downside of virtual engagements is undeniably the quality of our interactions with participants. 

Taking turns to speak in a virtual setting can easily turn an engagement from a two-way session into a solo presentation. Along with screen fatigue, this can make both parties feel disconnected. 

Virtual engagements also make it harder for us to reach out to potential candidates when they are just one of the many names we see on the computer screen, as compared to seeing and talking to them in a physical setting.

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

A simple set of tips to making a good impression is the 3 Ps – Prepared, Punctual, and Professional.

  • Prepared: Apart from preparing to talk about yourself and your experience, think about questions you’d like to ask the interviewer. This is an opportunity to get to know more about the employer, or even the interviewer personally. Get ahead of technical issues by testing the interview link to make sure you can access it, and familiarise yourself with the platform beforehand if it’s not one that you are familiar with.
  • Punctual: Like a physical interview, punctuality is important. On the day of the interview, try to get ready at least 30 minutes prior by setting up your device(s), testing the connection, camera, and microphone to ensure they are working properly. Log in 10 minutes before the interview starts to settle in.
  • Professional: Apart from dressing professionally for an interview-from-home, one quick tip for confidence is by doing a few tongue twisters prior to avoid stumbling through words. Speaking with confidence will help you make a good professional impression and build rapport with your interviewer.

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

For me, be it pre- or post-pandemic, the one important skill for graduates to have is agility. The working world is fast-paced and constantly evolving. The ability to adapt to change and the different environments are key to help you navigate through both good and challenging circumstances. 

One example of agility is by having a growth mindset and being willing to unlearn and relearn throughout your career to better yourselves.

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

In this increasingly competitive market, knowing enough and scoring ‘A’s can no longer guarantee you a job opportunity. Instead, like our PwC professional framework which consists of five attributes, an all-rounded candidate would stand out from their peers and increase their chances of landing a job. 

For example, graduates can build their business acumen by staying updated on the latest trends in their field of study or area of interest. They can also develop professional relationships by speaking to people who work in the field. 

Given the chance, one should showcase these attributes in an interview. Who knows, the interviewer might be impressed by them!

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

During pre-pandemic, we’ve already implemented flexSpace, under our flex+ programme, which allows our people to work away from the office if the need arises. That has paved the way to allow us, including interns, to work from home as soon as the first Movement Control Order was announced. 

This is also thanks to the technology that the firm has invested in before the pandemic. With cloud technology, we are able to work from home seamlessly and even our onboarding process is now fully virtual. 

Despite working from home, our interns have access to collaborative tools to work with team members as well as online training, such as e-learn, on how to handle confidential data and information to complement their internship experience.