Our session today was presented by Phillip Louis ( Barbados ICT Professionals) and Paul Marshall (JP Marshall) who offered valuable interview advice and insight concerning the working world.
Phillip is passionate about ICT in Barbados and entrepreneurship. He possesses 20 years experience in product development and business development at Cable & Wireless and has seen various CV’s from students.
Some of his questions for interviewees were:
- What experience do you have that is relevant?
- What have you done that is applicable for the job you are looking for?
How can I better myself and edge out the competition?
Phillip mentioned certain aspects that would make a good impression such as attitude, aptitude and zest for learning. Additionally, internships were said to be valuable for students coming out of university as they can open the door for securing a job.
Other aspects that Philip listed that could help you gain an edge were:
- Referrals and projects
- First impressions concerning your CV
- Job letter and performance during the interview.
- Good layout of your CV makes a difference.
- Your deportment is taken into consideration by interviewers ( before and during the interview)
Phillip relayed to CSS that interviewers make up their mind within five minutes. A summary of your courses is sufficient and students do not need to list all courses and the respective grades.
Paul, president of JP Marshall also gave some insight about interviews.
“Do not show up to the interview without a tie on!”, says Paul. He went on to mention that one should always look the interviewer in the eye and expressed the importance of being aware of your surroundings while waiting for the interview. He gave guidelines and things to look out for such as speaking to people as they walk through the door and informed the CSS members that you are being interviewed before you know you are being interviewed.
Paul had other points such as:
- Punctuality is of utmost importance.
- Come looking better than your interviewer.
- Dress and conduct yourself professionally.
- Don’t be uncomfortable asserting conversation
- DO NOT correct the interviewer
- What is your attitude?
- How can you benefit the company?
- What difference can you make in the company?
In the working world learning is a non stop activity. Paul gave light to the fact that for many interviewers, studying at UWI is a “checkbox”. Certifications such as CCNA, MISP and CISCO are impressive qualifications to have on your CV. “Gratitude and gratitude of attitude is important”, states Paul.
He also denotes three things potential candidates should have:
- leave no stone unturned
- be loyal and honest
- good value system
- How do you interact with others?
- How do you greet people?
- Do you enjoy each other’s company?
- Can you do the job?
- Have you done any internships?
- Do you have any work experience?
- Attention to detail
- Do you have the ability to earn the employer alot of money?
Paul’s Closing Advice
- The more you can bring profit to a company the more meaningful you are to the company. Your ability to contribute is the most important asset you have to give to a company.
- If your resume is not chosen at first, keep trying because it doesn’t mean you lost your chance.
- Make notes within the interview, come prepared with good questions and show the employer that you have done research on their company (not only from the website).
- Even flatter the employer. It’s super effective !
In closing, Paul opened his doors to CSS members and implored them to seek out advice should they so desire.