Saturday 21 January 2012

Two Interview Types

There are two main types of job interview: the ones where you simply answer questions and the ones where you set the agenda.

 If you manage to turn your next interview into type #2, you're setting yourself up for success.

Let's see why:

Interview Type 1: The Question & Answer Pattern

This is the interview type that most people experience. It is is a common pattern that is ultimately frustrating both for the job seeker and the interviewer, leading to a protracted process.

The tendency to stick to the familiar and simply answer the questions posed to you in a rote fashion mostly serves to define you as 'typical', not so different from the person being interviewed next. You are merely someone else who think they can fill the role - but from the interviewer's point of view, simply do not understand THEIR industry and company enough to be offered the chance to join.

This type of interview has one typical conclusion: "we'll get back to you." They rarely do.

Interview Type 2: Problem & Solution Pattern. 

Understand that hiring is not a pleasant prospect for most companies, but it's something that must be done.
So instead of following the pattern, make sure you avoid the single most crippling mistakes many commit and posing questions yourself.

You can ask the right questions by coming highly prepared to the interview. Simply going on their website doesn't cut it. Here are some tips:
  • Research the industry trends and predictions
  • Search the local news for mentions of the company
  • Check the share prices if it's a public company
  • Look at their marketing material for the past 12 months and identify any weaknesses. 
  • Reach out to current employees through networks such as LinkedIn and instead of asking for advice, ask about what projects they are working on. 
Yes, it's time consuming, but it's also highly effective. Knowing all there is to know about the company helps you effectively prepare the right questions. This is where you can shine and take control of the interview, presenting yourself as the solution they have been waiting for. By providing solid plans and figures and understanding the hiring psychology, you can guide your potential employer into saying YES. 

What about you?

Have you experienced these types of interviews, or did we forget something? Sound off in the comments and let us know!

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Malta's booming financial industry

Malta is becoming a sophisticated international financial centre − FinanceMalta

Business professionals in the financial sector are finding that operating in Malta means successful growth both for business and personal careers. Since becoming a member of the EU,  international financial institutions have been setting up locally with some great results. 
"Malta currently enjoys a growing presence in four key sectors in the financial services industry − insurance, banking, trusts and funds, each of which registered a solid performance in 2011....Malta is clearly establishing itself as a dynamic, cost-efficient and English-speaking domicile in the European Union for the financial services sector." Source: The Malta Independent Online
As a sun-drenched Island which is a member of the European Union, Malta is not an offshore location, making it ideal for hedge funds to operate from here.  Since the financial crisis that has hit most of the Western world, and particularly Europe at the current juncture, the strong regulatory environment present here ensured that the amount of firms operating in the financial sector has tripled, and employment in the area has significantly increased. 

This exciting growth in the field was recently covered by Jeremy Khan in Bloomberg Markets magazine, focusing on the hedge funds moving to Malta (video).

This is definitely good news for business professionals hailing from Europe who are looking for a new place to start up again side. There currently are over 6500 members of the workforce employed in the fields of financial intermediation. This is significant n itself in a quite small pool of people in active employment (160,000). The growth in the sector contributes to an ever growing need for experienced financial industry professionals in Malta. 
Are you a financial expert struggling to find career growth in your own country? Why do you think Maltese financial services are growing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook!
If you operate in any of the fields and are willing to consider a move, take a look at the Financial service vacancies available in Malta on our website or get in touch with us for information and advice. 

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Failure is an option

Check out the story of some of the best people in the world, and how they did not give up.

Life is a videogame

Great careers are funny sometimes. 

They never take you to the places you planned to go. Most don't even start when they're supposed to. 

There are certain fundamental facts that we are trained to accept about the world around us, how it works. We are supposed to stick to one place and one job, but not any more.

The IT professional in 2011 can be the conference personality guru in 2015. The University student who just failed a final semester test could be entrepreneur of the year in a few years time. 

It's time to accept that like a videogame, great careers do not start off from base and then grow steadily until a plateau. What's more, failure is not to be avoided, but embraced as essential to learning how to be better. 

Personal success in a world of shifting opportunities means that any person can re-invent themselves or paint a new directions within a handful of years. Getting that dream job or perfect career is a challenge that requires dedication and consistency, and most of all ACTION. 

How are you playing the game? 

Sunday 8 January 2012

Interview with Alex Grech, director at MUOVO

This interview with Muovo director Alex Grech originally appeared in the Malta Chamber of Commerce publication The Commercial Courier  in the October-November 2011 issue, which focused on HR and recruitment start ups in Malta.

CC:  What were the main factors that led you to establishing the company – what opportunities did you see in the market?

AG: When we set up Muovo, we believed that there was a gap in the local recruitment market that we
could fill because of our local industry know-how and international expertise. We decided to focus
exclusively on sourcing professional positions, initially in the technology sector where all the founders
had extensive experience as industry consultants, technology and web developers. We gradually
added specialist outsourcing to our core recruitment services, to meet the requests of both clients and
professionals looking for project work, as opposed to traditional career paths. These days, Muovo
also specialises in sourcing executives for the financial sector.

CC: In your experience to date – what are the main obstacles that you have had to overcome
establish the company, penetrate the market and consolidate your client base?

AG: In 2007 we were a start-up in a market that was already dominated by a handful of large HR
recruitment firms. Soon after we set up, the emergence of the online gaming sector attracted a
veritable gold rush of recruiters, including overseas entities and individuals relocating to Malta. We
decided that we’d stick with sectors where we knew we had hands-on expertise, rather than follow the
scatter-gun approach of some of our direct competitors. The recruitment sector is a reputation game
– we focused on doing our absolute best, irrespective of the nature of the particular assignment or the
longevity of our relationship with the client. Since the best referrals are always word of mouth, we did
very little advertising, if any – our early clients became our best references.

CC:  What has your strategy been in response to these challenges?

AG: To survive in the recruitment sector, you cannot operate as a passive intermediary – those days are
long gone. This strategy has been totally about adding value to our clients. Any company needs to
differentiate its offerings to survive, let alone do well in a crowded market like Malta.

Over the past years, we had several instances of foreign specialists moving to Malta without much
prior knowledge of living and working in the country. We have a network of associates who work
alongside our team to ensure that the candidate’s move to Malta is as seamless as possible.
Conversely, we are aware that time is a premium for everyone: our teams are set up to acquire a
quick understanding of our clients’ business cultures and work ethics to ensure that we can provide
the right shortlist of candidates in the shortest possible timeframes.

CC:  Did the economic downturn affect the company and if so – how, and what action was

AG: The economic downturn hit all companies – particularly those in the recruitment sector, as many
organisations go for a headcount freeze when times get rough. In our sector, it’s also challenging
as in most cases we only get paid in the case of a successful placement. We’ve survived and even
thrived by working harder than ever at providing clients with innovative solutions, such as outsourcing;
and using down-time to cross-train staff.

CC: How have you ensured that you stand out from your competitors – what do you offer that
is different or better than others operating within the market?

We always wanted to be a boutique firm at Muovo. Our approach is about personalising the job
search and adding the intelligent human sourcing aspect to recruitment. We do not deluge our clients
with applications, but make sure that we create the relevant human connections. We do this by
immediately developing a deep understanding of the cultural issues at stake within the company.
We also use technology and lever on our in-house expertise in the strategic use of social media
tools to continue to enjoy an active database of valid candidates. We’re shortly launching our new
social-facing website to provide new features for our clients and candidates, wherever they choose to
operate online and offline. What differentiates us most is that we have some great people on board.

CC: What is your competitive strategy – is it price based, quality-based etc – or perhaps a mixture?

It has to be a mix of both – but if we had to choose, it’s always a quality solution.

CC: What are you plans and goals for the development of the company over the short, medium
and long term?

AG: We’re focusing on providing flexible options for companies who need to recruit for short term projects. One way we do this is by bridging the gap between companies and young people, specifically recent graduates, who are given the chance to work reduced hours for forward-looking organisations, gain soft skills and real work experience while they are still studying. We’re also looking at levering on our extensive overseas networks to also help people who are looking for a career move overseas.

CC: In a nutshell, how would you summarise the secrets to your success to date?

AG: We understand the challenges that our clients face because we’ve got first-hand experience
operating in the same sectors. We engage people who are curious and want to grow with us, and
our candidates trust us because we give them value to their job search, enabling the fruitful meeting
of professionals who are willing to work with those who want to engage them.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Looking for design ideas?

Inspiration is important in the industry of design. It fuels daily work, infuses passion in it, and stirs emotion in the viewer. It's very easy to just give up when the creative spark is running low. Fortunately nowadays inspirational sources are always just a click away. 
If you have hit a creative stumbling block, check out these incredibly designed sites for ideas! 
Have you come away with ideas of your own? Great!  Why not share them on Dribbble or your favourite site and let us know! 


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