Saturday, December 22, 2007

Job Hunting

I woke up alone since everybody is gone for work. It was Nov. 12 of 2007. By the way if any of you is looking for a job here in Singapore here are my tips (although it may not apply to everybody or may not apply to the time of your reading):

1. Make sure you have at least 3 years of working experience on the job that you're looking for

2. Months before your planned resignation make sure you assess if your current job has a market in Singapore and if they accept foreigners because some jobs they prefer to hire Singaporeans or Permanent Residents (PR)

3. Register, create alerts and update resumes in job hunting sites e.g. jobstreet, monster, jobsdb and make sure it points to Singapore

4. Join Singapore forums. Just do a search in yahoo groups since there are tons of them. Make sure you configure it to send via Daily Digest so that you will not be overwhelmed

5. Ideally you want to be offered while you're still in the Philippines so always be on the lookout for job fairs and job alerts. Agents flocks the forums so check it out also

6. One good thing to do is create a spreadsheet that contains company names, agent/agency names and their contacts i.e. email address, address, tel. no. You can get it in your job alerts and forums. The idea is storing all of them in a single spreadsheet (ideally csv format) so that when you arrive in Singapore create an email informing your credentials, resume and that you are currently looking for a job in Singapore and make sure to include your current address in Singapore and mobile no. Yes, once you arrive in Singapore you need to buy a Sim Card. If you have a close friend who can show you how and where to buy the better. They have a Sim Card specially for Filipinos which is the Kababayan Card (i think). It can be bought in Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza

7. Make sure you know someone in Singapore to make life easier for you or at least learn how to go around and the Laws. Simple mistakes can be costly. It's also good to know someone in Singapore with the same job description as you are to ask for tips and advice

8. Apply for EPEC. Go to
I'll create a separate post entirely for EPEC in the near future.

So far these are the things that i can remember. I'll just edit these post when something pops up again in my head.
Back to my story. As i said before after i woke up i started e-mailing all the contacts i accumulated since i know everybody checks their e-mails early in the morning. After a couple of minutes, to my amazement, calls started coming. I realized that they literally ignore you when you e-mail them and your not in Singapore. I could understand that since it's pretty hard scheduling for interviews if you cannot guarantee 100% that you will arrive. Anyways i got an interview scheduled on that day at about 6pm and another one tomorrow at about 3:30pm. The agent texted me the details and called my Wife for directions on how i am going to get there. Well hopefully i didn't get lost. I stayed at the leftmost side of the bus so that i can have a better view of the bus stop name. I brought my Wife's bus guide and i must tell you that it's a must. They also have the Streetdirectory boon with all the maps. The bus guide and Streetdirectory goes hand in hand in traversing singapore using public transportation (bus and mrt) but once you get the hang of it you can just bring the bus guide.
When i arrived at the building i went to the security booth first to get a pass. However the guard won't give me a visitor's pass. He's asking for some kind of an ID but i left my driver's license and SSS ID since i thought it would be pretty much useless in Singapore. What i brought with me is my passport but the guard won't accept it. It's a good thing i have the contact no. of my interview. I called and informed her that the guard won't accept my passport for the visitor's pass. So she went down and told the guard that i am scheduled for an interview.

The Interview*********
She asked me the basic stuff to be expected from an interview like my past job and responsibilities. Then she showed my some flowcharts and asked me if i would be comfortable creating test cases based on those flowcharts. To me it's much easier creating test cases with flowcharts so i said yes. I think the answer that made me won them is that how long can i create test cases for the entire flowcharts the she showed me. I answered some of the flowcharts are simple and some are complicated. I told her that i would need time to estimate and that i can't answer that question outright. Finally she admitted that if i answered with a month or some duration of week that she would not believe me. Whew! That was close. I mean i almost blurted out 1 month. If that question was directed to me a couple of years before i would have answered differently. Work experience really makes the difference. All those scheduling and estimating deadlines it's almost second nature to you. Anyways overall i felt good about that interview.

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