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How to Get Hired Follow Up

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

Checking in here with our post-event roundup from How to Get Hired (HTGH). It was great to see a mix of regular and new attendees, and the new space – at the Hive Taipei – was perfect for networking – more photos coming soon! As a refresher, here are the panelists for HTGH, with their companies in parenthesis: Elaine Huang (KKSTREAM), Eleanor Lin (B. Braun), Kim Yang (Linker Networks), and our own Danny Miller (Pagoda Projects). Unfortunately, we didn’t arrange an audio recording of this event, so we hope you’ll settle for this thorough summary (more pics here, too!). Finally, before getting started, we’d like to thank Rushi for shooting great photos of the event.

Diving In

After the panelist introductions, Danny got the discussion started with a question about the importance of cover letters and the differences between a cover letter and a personal bio. The three HR professionals were somewhat dismissive of personal biographies, noting that it’s a bit of a dated local practice that seems to be dying off. Regarding cover letters, though, the panel agreed that this piece of paperwork is essential in helping HR teams consider your candidacy. Eleanor pointed out that while in America and other places in the West it has become the custom to keep both your CV and cover letter to one page, that’s not really the expectation here in Taiwan. Each of the three ladies shared that they commonly see CVs and cover letters that run 2-3 pages, but they were also quick to point out that it’s no secret to HR people that quantity does not guarantee quality. The resounding recommendation on cover letters was to take as much space as you feel you need to communicate your interest in the opening, the reasons you’re qualified, and your personality. As a closing point on cover letters, Elaine reminded the audience that a cover letter can be much like a personal essay in format, and she emphasized that the first paragraph should clearly state your intentions and show some familiarity with the position.

From there, the discussion moved on to different interview practices that are common in Taiwan. For instance, while Eleanor and Elaine said that their companies generally perform phone interviews as a first step, Kim’s company makes that optional for the HR team. It was noted that at some companies candidates should expect multiple rounds of interviews, possibly meeting first with team members or the direct manager, followed by another interview with a higher-ranking member of the team. Later on in the evening, Elaine also pointed out that job seekers shouldn’t hesitate to inquire about who will be present for their interviews. By knowing who will be in the room, you give yourself the best chance to be as prepared as possible.

The crowd listens intently at How to Get Hired.

You’ve Earned the Meeting, Now What?

The conversation then flowed into a very colorful exploration of interview etiquette and tips. While we covered a lot of classic interview etiquette, there were also a couple of interesting and different points. Notably, the ladies all agreed that it’s important to know the difference between confidence and arrogance. Speak confidently about things that you know and have done, but don’t overdo it. An interview is as much about assessing your personality as it is verifying your professional capabilities. A number of great tips were shared throughout the night:

  1. Anticipate certain questions. By brainstorming questions you might be asked in your interview, you can prepare thoughtful, coherent answers.

  2. Be prepared to talk about how your experience is relevant to the position you are interviewing for.

  3. Two suggestions of what to do if you don’t know the answer to a question: either admit that you don’t know or ask for a moment to consider the best way to answer. Some companies will appreciate the honesty of the first approach, while the second approach buys you a little time to find a response.

  4. Don’t bad mouth a previous employer or boss.

  5. If you have gaps in your resume, have a clear explanation of why. The same applies if you have more than one instance of short tenures with companies.

  6. Don’t BS, ever. The people you are meeting with know this