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Old 25-10-2011, 10:35 PM
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Seems like most of the post are on Professional Positions like Engineers etc. So I may appear completely ignorant with my question. Nevertheless, really need some advise.

I am just an ordinary early-20s girl who completed a Multimedia Engineering course at Polytechnic. I did administrative job for the past 3yrs+ in a Government-related Company doing a specific Government job earning $17xx after 3yrs. I recently resigned in hope to pursue a career in the Secretarial/Personal Assistant line. I am also currently pursuing a Secretarial Diploma.

I attended an interview at a local Company with 100+ staff today for position of Junior Secretary given the fact that I have no experience as a Secretary. The interviewer barely viewed my profile and asked me questions like do I know English, when he just mentioned that the Company deals STRONGLY with Associates from China. Anyway, I believe with Singapore's English education background, even successful completion of at least 10yrs basic education, most of us probably know enough English to get by. For me although i did not study University, i completed Poly at least. Like many of us fellow Singaporeans, I have no problem in understanding, speaking or writing in English. Now comes the remuneration scheme, proving that he seriously did not look at my profile at all. After 3yrs of working at my old Company, I was getting $17xx for 5days work week and now, this Company, citing my inexperience, offers me only $1600-$1700 for 5.5days work week. During events which occurs a handful of times per year, employees had to work on Sunday with NO OT PAY. Maybe its just me, but its kind of humiliating. Would anyone change a job that offers lower pay with such working conditions?

I know I have no experience. But what baffles me is that, not all Polytechnic graduate comes out and do what they studied. Does this mean all this time spent in Poly is all wasted and the Certificate is just rubbish if you do not pursue a career in what you studied? Haiz..

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Old 26-10-2011, 12:29 AM
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It's the reality, so face it. What do you mean by "deal strongly with associates from china"? Are you from china?

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Old 26-10-2011, 02:15 AM
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It's the reality, so face it. What do you mean by "deal strongly with associates from china"? Are you from china?
Learn to read. She said "...the Company deals STRONGLY with Associates from China..."

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Old 26-10-2011, 02:54 AM
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Learn to read. She said "...the Company deals STRONGLY with Associates from China..."
Can you translate? I don't understand her chinglish.
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Old 26-10-2011, 01:22 PM
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I am a Singaporean. -.-"

What I meant was, since he said the Company deals strongly with Chinese Associates, he should be much more concerned whether I can read and write Chinese instead of asking a question like Do I know English, when he should be the one looking at the applicant's profile more carefully.
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Old 26-10-2011, 01:42 PM
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I am a Singaporean. -.-"

What I meant was, since he said the Company deals strongly with Chinese Associates, he should be much more concerned whether I can read and write Chinese instead of asking a question like Do I know English, when he should be the one looking at the applicant's profile more carefully.
My experience is that dun be in a rush to take up an offer that u feel is disadvantageous or not so fair to you. Be patient and look for other jobs. Try and get a slightly higher pay and don't give in so soon. Good luck!
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Old 26-10-2011, 01:45 PM
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Thanks for the positive reply!

Is it my problem or that this Company is really out to "eat" people giving such remuneration offer and working conditions?
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Old 26-10-2011, 02:09 PM
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Reject the offer and blast out more job applications. Newspaper just reported many companies are short of staff. One even offered 2.5k and still can't get candidates. If it's true, you're in luck.
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Old 27-10-2011, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellmiko View Post
Seems like most of the post are on Professional Positions like Engineers etc. So I may appear completely ignorant with my question. Nevertheless, really need some advise.

I am just an ordinary early-20s girl who completed a Multimedia Engineering course at Polytechnic. I did administrative job for the past 3yrs+ in a Government-related Company doing a specific Government job earning $17xx after 3yrs. I recently resigned in hope to pursue a career in the Secretarial/Personal Assistant line. I am also currently pursuing a Secretarial Diploma.

I attended an interview at a local Company with 100+ staff today for position of Junior Secretary given the fact that I have no experience as a Secretary. The interviewer barely viewed my profile and asked me questions like do I know English, when he just mentioned that the Company deals STRONGLY with Associates from China. Anyway, I believe with Singapore's English education background, even successful completion of at least 10yrs basic education, most of us probably know enough English to get by. For me although i did not study University, i completed Poly at least. Like many of us fellow Singaporeans, I have no problem in understanding, speaking or writing in English. Now comes the remuneration scheme, proving that he seriously did not look at my profile at all. After 3yrs of working at my old Company, I was getting $17xx for 5days work week and now, this Company, citing my inexperience, offers me only $1600-$1700 for 5.5days work week. During events which occurs a handful of times per year, employees had to work on Sunday with NO OT PAY. Maybe its just me, but its kind of humiliating. Would anyone change a job that offers lower pay with such working conditions?

I know I have no experience. But what baffles me is that, not all Polytechnic graduate comes out and do what they studied. Does this mean all this time spent in Poly is all wasted and the Certificate is just rubbish if you do not pursue a career in what you studied? Haiz..
First off, no need to feel offended, humiliated, insulted or any of such nonsense emotions. At the end of the day, whatever they choose to call you, you are applying for a basic admin close to brainless job & nobody really cares about your qualification, career aspiration, culture fit etc.

Last time when I hire for this kind of job in a Dutch MNC, our only criteria is “dun sound like an idiot, dun look like a gangster”. Of course we go through motion pretend to read CV, ask “strategic” questions etc, but that’s the truth for you.

I mean no insult, just telling you the truth. As for salary, although you dun have direct experience, my take is you should take up jobs that at least match your current pay. Any company that tell you no direct experience etc. is lying, there is not much specialized expertise that can be gained from having a few years of experience in a basic admin job. Important thing is attitude and resourcefulness, that’s all.
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Old 27-10-2011, 04:59 PM
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Thanks for the positive reply!

Is it my problem or that this Company is really out to "eat" people giving such remuneration offer and working conditions?
This company, is a SME company, and my guess is that, it's a local one.

Well, most SME offer low to average pay as they are well, small to medium enterprises. They are unable to pay the rate which MNCs are offering. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the bosses themselves are struggling. Not putting the SMEs down, but it's a matter of fact that many of these SMEs put up their white flag once market conditions change and they are unable to react accordingly.

As for the interview question posed to you, no need to worry much about it because interviewers just ask anything they want to say then. It might seem too much to you but take it from me - I had attended over 30-50 interviews in my whole life and after 10-20 ones, you will know how to react to them. The interviews would be like eating mee goreng.

I had an interview before where the interview asked, "would you prefer a present to be wrapped or without wrappers?" I replied, "with wrappers." The lady said, "This means that you are someone are more concerned about the marketing than the actual content. We cannot employ you."

Just as I was walking out of the room, I overheard another interview from another room where an interviewer asked the same question. (It was a mass interview). The male interviewee replied, "I prefer my present without wrappers." Guess what the interviewer said? She said, "Sorry we cannot take you because your answer reveals that you don't appreciate the finer things of presentation..."

WTH??

So don't concern yourself too much on the questions or exact words, etc then. If they want you, even if you didn't brush your teeth when you open your mouth, they will say you smell nice. If they don't want you, whatever you say would be noise to them.

As for the Sunday no OT pay thingy, it's quite common actually if your post is an executive position. Executives are not paid OT. And if you want to be duly paid for that, my advice is to apply for a MNC or govt position; unless you can find that benefit in another local SME, which I think it's not very common.

Most SME company would take this as 'calculative.'

As for the pay, you need to ask yourself whether you can learn a great deal out of it. If yes, you just pretend you are in internship. If not, you might want to consider again.
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