One Day Recruitment Process – what you need to know?


Think about this scenario: you just lost your job (or is about to), bills are piling up, your family member needs medicine or an HMO coverage ASAP, and money is thin. You scan the newspaper, visited an online job site and found a few companies who dangles the following on their ads:

  1. Salary
  2. Sign in Bonus
  3. Weekend Rest Day
  4. Day shift
  5. One Day recruitment Process

It sparks your interest, you prepare your résumé and start planning around what you read, that if it is a one day process, you’d be able to get a job in a day or two, worst case scenario, a week. So you set out to apply and as your wait for your interview, minutes turn to hours, and the next thing you know, your final interview is scheduled a week or  two later. ‘Anyare sa One Day Process? Nakaka-inis diba?

What is One Day Recruitment Process?

Two things:

  1. It is an efficiency program that allows the recruitment department to process candidates  in the shortest time possible.
  2. It is a marketing maneuver for attracting more applicants who are desperate to get a job ASAP.

As far as process is concerned, recruiters are required to follow the recruitment flow, that is:

  1. Paper or online screening.
  2. Initial interview (phone or face to face)
  3. Testing/Call Simulation
  4. Final Interview
  5. Job Offer

Some companies follow a time limit for each step. For example, a phone or face to face initial interview should not be longer than five minutes (some recruiters are so good they already made the decision to fail or pass you within 30 seconds). Testing should be anywhere between 30 to 50 minutes. Finally, the final interview should be within 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the company to stick to the “one day processing” guideline.

Why does the processing time change?

Although structured, the recruitment process is not a perfect science. It is affected by a lot of factors which could lengthen (or shorten) the processing time. What are some of these factors?

  • You are blacklisted (shortens the time)
  • One or two recruiters called in sick.
  • There is an overflow of applicants (more than what the recruiters can handle, especially during the peak season – After the release of the 13th month pay, after graduation, or after the release of a major newspaper ad, during a very popular job fair)
  • During the interview, the recruiter wanted to fail you but saw that you are trainable and may endorse you for another interview (so you need to wait, again).
  • The recruitment department holds an urgent meeting (this happens a lot).
  • You were scheduled for an interview, unfortunately, the interviewer from operations is out of the country/in a meeting/has a death in the family/insert reason here, so you need to be re-scheduled.
  • The account you are being evaluated or applying for has a far off start date, is not hiring, or is just pooling for candidates.
  • The waiting game is a part of the recruitment process.

As an applicant, there are several things we need to remember:

  1. Do not expect to be processed in one day. Remember, expectation leads to frustration. Frustration shows your impatience. Impatience is seen by recruiters.
  2. Bring food (sandwiches, juice, chips, and gum to freshen your breath). If you need to find a restaurant for a full meal, tell your recruiter. Keep your breaks short during the waiting time – you do want to be there when the recruiter finally calls your name.
  3. Do not plan to visit several companies in one day, unless you have a succession of failures (in which case you need to ask yourself why).
  4. Be patient every time, all the time. Always remember that you are being watched – by the CCTV, the recruiters, other applicants, and the receptionist (she is a spy, you know).
  5. If (and only if) you pass the initial interview, ask the recruiter what the next steps are and how long each step will be. Also, ask if there is a possibility that you will need to stay beyond 5PM (this way you can make plans for food, transportation, etc)
  6. Spend time chatting with other applicants who’ve already been through the process, this way, you can understand how easy (or hard) the rest of the steps are and you can mentally and psychologically prepare for them.

It’s true that the line “one day processing” can often be misleading. However, knowing how the process works and what factors should be considered will arm us with more than enough patience as we go through the recruitment process. Finally, I have always believed that we need to keep our expectations in check. My experience has taught me that just because someone is not meeting my expectation doesn’t mean he or she is doing a poor job.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to message me.

Se7en

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When you are offered a job you don’t want…


I’ve received a lot of question related to them being evaluated for a post which is different from what they applied for. Case in point, James applied for a back office account but was evaluated and offered a job for an inbound customer service account. Another candidate, Amiel was applying for the email account but was endorsed to an outbound collections account. Why does this happen? What can you do to avoid it?

1. Remember that a recruiter is a match maker. He/she has several accounts he/she is evaluating you for and his/her priority is to put you in an account which he/she thinks best fits you based on the skills and competencies you have.

2. Remember to read about the company’s accounts/business units. You need to make the recruiter understand that you are applying for a VERY SPECIFIC position and that you should be evaluated for it. Make him/her aware that you know they have other accounts and that you are comfortable with the account/queue you are applying for. You need to say this in a friendly and professional way, that is, if you have the courage. Remember that  YOU ARE BEING EVALUATED, say this only if you are willing to waste time, money, effort, and opportunity and that your need for the job is not paramount. If you are the type who REALLY needs a job, then why be choosy?

3. Learn how to holistically evaluate a job offer. It’s not just about the basic salary, it’s about establishing a career so you can have the money you are aiming for. Keep an open mind when the recruiter tells you that you are qualified for a different queue and will be evaluated for such. When you pass and are being offered a job, take a look at the culture of the company, the opportunities for promotion or side-movement (growth is not just up you know), the job itself, the company mission and vision, the basic pay, the health and welfare package, employee engagement, etc. If you need a day to decide, tell the recruiter. Be professional enough to call the recruiter the following day to advise him/her of your decision.

There are several reasons why you are not being offered the job you are gunning for:

1. You are not qualified for it.

2. You are over-qualified.

3. Your asking is too high.

4. No more vacancy.

5. You are fit for another account.

Only accept a job that you think will be beneficial for you IN THE LONG RUN (not just because you need to get paid ASAP). When you take on a job, you goal is not just to get paid but to develop a career, to look at retirement, and if the job isn’t something you know too well you will not like, there is no point in accepting it. If you decide to accept a job because napipilitan ka at kailangan mo talaga, learn to love that job by removing the mindset that the job is temporary. It’s really all about mindset. It’s also about being able to discipline yourself to be loyal to the company you work for.

 

Hope this helps.

Se7en

Top 10 Interview Question and How To Answer Them


If there is one thing I know about job interviews, it is this:  it is competency based. Interview questions are designed to determine if the candidate fits the posts by comparing his responses (along with his work experience) with the skills and comptencies required for a post.

Interview questions are not meant to be answered mindlessly, doing so would be a waste of opportunity, in fact, if you have read my previous blogs, I heavily encourage preparation (read: research), including finding out what the competencies required for the post are, attempting to determine what possible questions will be asked during the interview, AND preparing responses which the candidate must know and understand (but not memorize) and mix and match it based on the questions and scenarios asked during the interview.

What are the common interview questions and how best to answer them?

1. Tell me something about yourself.

This is not an invitation to talk about yourself  mindlessly. The question is geared towards measuring your work attitude and behavior, therefore, you MAY discus some personal items, however, you must have direction, that is, your goal should be to talk about your personal qualities reflecting honesty, integrity, professionalism, and even your philosophy as an employee or as a student.

2. Why do you want to work here?

This question requires research.  Prior to the interview, visit the company’s website, find out their history, type of business, their mission and vision, their accounts (if available), and their culture. Knowing about the company makes you sound impressive, that you did your homework, and that you are really interested to get the job.

3.  What do you know about the call center industry/agent’s work?

You are not an expert (yet), therefore, the recruiter/employer does not expect you to know everything, but having a basic knowledge of the industry or the work involved is an expectation, and naturally, failing to meet that expectation results to failure.

4. Why should I hire you?/Why should I not hire you?/What sets you apart from all the other candidates outside?

The objective of this question is to determine if you fit the job based on the skills and competencies required by the post. The second question is a trick because of the word “not” but the answer is still the same. Question is, how can you make sure that you answer this question satisfactorily?

1. Study the skills and competencies required for the post.

2. List down your own skills and competencies. Compare it with the requirements.

3. Think about the interview question. Prepare a response. The bottomline of your response should be that you have the competencies and skills required.

For fresh graduates, it is often challenging to answer this question, plainly because they have no work experience. I suggest the following:

1. Study the skills and competencies required.

2. Consider your experiences while you were still in school: organizations you joined, meetings you attended, awards you won, your advocacies, etc. List them down.

3. Compare your personal list with the skills and competencies required for the post. Then, create a response to the interview question with the goal of proving that you are fit for the job because even as a student, you already exhibited the required comptencies and skills.

The above preparation will allow you to respond to the question with full confidence and ease.

5. Why do you want to work in a call center/as a call center agent?

No matter how honest you are, DO NOT answer this question with “because of the compensation”. Remember that you are being evaluated, therefore, the objective is to “sell yourself” and to pass the interview. Talk about how close this job is to your skills, competencies, and experiences. If you don’t have the experience (being a fresh graduate or a newbie), talk about how close it is your work and  personal goals, beliefs, and that you see yourself being successful in this field. The objective is to let the interviewer know that YOU ARE PERFECT FOR THIS JOB.

6. Why did you resign from your previous company?

This question has a lot of answers, the only tricky part is if your reason for leaving is negative (disagreement with the boss, your forsaw termination, you went on AWOL, etc), no matter what the reason is, BE POSITIVE. Truth is, it does not matter if your stint was short or long (so long as it is not a string of short stints, giving the impression that you are a job hopper). Tell the recruiter about what you realized while employed with that job, and what you (positively) gained by leaving, and that you are ready to move on. One example of a good response is the employee has had a lot of achievements from the previous company that he is now ready to move on to a bigger, more dificult challenge and achieve more success.

7. What are you strenghts and weaknesses?

Responding to this questions poses a bit of a challenge. We Filipinos tend to shy away from boasting, on the other hand, we do not want our weaknesses to be exposed for fear that we will be judged unfairly.

Remember what you are applying for, if it is a call center post, focus on communication, customer service/focus, friendliness, eye for details, etc. As for the weakness, think of one of your strengths and let it come across as a weakness – my personal example here is “I tend to be too attached to my work that I am annoyed when I am not able to achieve my goals.”

8. What is your expected salary?

Remember that this is not the negotiation part yet. The secret here is to know the industry standard. You do not want to give too high an amount that will make the interviewer think that the company cannot afford you, you also do not want to give too low an amount which will give you no room for negotiation. Know the going rate for the post then blurt it out. Be confident when you say the amount, don’t be coy, don’t be too proud. Being confident about your expected salary means that you know yourself, your experience, and your self-worth, your skills and competencies.

9. Can you work on weekends? Shifting schedules? Do overtime work? Graveyard shifts?

The recruiter expects that you know the industry you are applying for, therefore, the BEST answer here is a VERY CONFIDENT YES. Do not sound doubtful. Rememeber, you are  the one job hunting. (If the work schedule is not acceptable to you, why did you submit your resume in the first place?)

10. How do you see yourself five or ten years from now?

It is tempting to answer this with “I see myself getting married, having kids, 2 cars, a house on a hill”, but this is not the response fit for this questions. Again, remember that you are being interviewed, therefore, the best response is to focus on the job you are applying for. The answer must be work-related, examples would be establishing an impressive performance as foundation for promotion, getting promoted, etc. The more specific the future plan/vision is, the better. This means that you have proper direction in your life and you have plans for your career and that you intend to be there for the long haul.

While it is true that being interviewed is nerve-wracking, it is also true that if you are well-prepared, you will be able to respond to questions with confidence and ease.  Again, read and understand the competencies required for the post you are applying for, Google interview questions and write down your sample answers, let someone look at it if you’re still not sure , know and understand the responses you prepared but don’t memorize them. Be prepared to mix and match your prepared responses based on the questions given by the recruiter.

If you have other questions that you found to be hard, or if you have suggested answers to interview questions above, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

I failed the (behavioral) final interview…why?


I lifted this from www.pinoyexchange.com’s Call Center Forum, from Code_Red16.

Had an interview a week ago. But the interviewer’s question still bugging me. Here: (we’re like talking for half an hour already then she skipped to the final interview, so the behavioral questions started and since I’m a fresh grad, she couldn’t ask me something about my work experience. so for the 1st question she asked me *something like this* instead)

“Tell me a time in your college days when you had a mistake that resulted to a failure for the whole group.”

-I told her several things, like when we didn’t meet the deadline for a project because of me. When we were scolded because of me…pretty usual for her i guess, coz she rejected it all.
-I said that’s all i could think of and the question’s vague and tell her to give me an example. *in the politest way i can*
– Then she said she can’t ask further questions because I couldn’t answer. That means i failed and i can re-apply after a month.

I was like, WTH! What mistake should I have been fabricated for her to be satisfied?! Oh well, the hell i care! I’m still upset tho, knowing that i might encounter the same question again. Help!

 

My reply:

I’m not sure what preparations you made before the interview but your experience is a classic example of “an unprepared applicant.” Unfortunately, your response, even to me, was unacceptable and will result to an automatic failure.

Behavioral interviews are essential, meaning, recruiters use your past experience in determining what you have done, how you reacted, what were the steps taken, what was the effect, what were your thoughts, the thoughts of others about what happened, and if it was a negative turnout, what have you done to help the situation – saying you have no experience related to the situation means:

1. I have nothing to evaluate you against.
2. I need someone with a previous experience, not necessarily work-related, in order for me to proceed, and eventually tag the person as “trainable” or not (failed).

This is why I keep repeating (in my blog) that an applicant needs to prepare prior to the interview, especially for the behavioral part where the core competencies are effectively measured.

I have had trouble answering behavioral questions when it was first used for call center recruitment, so I hunkered down and took the questions seriously, studied the items measured and wrote answers for them. (Please visit my blog, I wrote an entry there and it can help you.)

Please search the internet for these behavioral questions and prepare responses for them – think of situations, tell the story….And remember the PAR format (someone already made a comment about it here). Remember, too, that you cannot skip a behavioral interview question, you have to answer it even if you have no such experience, again, use the PAR format if you don’t want your response to sound pointless.

Hope this helps.

How to evaluate a job offer


Seven,

I’m a fresh graduate and a first time applicant in the call center industry and I’m trying to decide between the four job offers given to me. I was not allowed to bring the document home, but I was able to take note of the details. Thing is, I am very confused now. I am unable to decide which offer is best. It would help me a lot if you can give me a personal insight on what to consider when given a job offer. Thanks in advance.

Jason

Dear Jason,

Thank you for sending me an email and for visiting my blog.

Ahead of time, I will tell you that I am very detailed when it comes to making a decision about accepting a job offer. What takes time is the fact that I conduct research, compare the result with a specific set of limits/expectations, and if the result is satisfactory, I sign the offer.

For a newbie, you are very lucky having received four different offers, others barely get any. When I first applied in the call center industry 15 years ago, I had to deal with several failed attempts which prompted me to constantly hone my customer service, language skills, and professional maturity. More than a year ago, when the last company I was working for folded, I went into a relentless job hunting spree and the result was 10 different job offers laid before me, and just like you, I was very confused considering how close and juicy the offers were. Being a research-oriented person, the need to make the best choice drove me to discover the Ben Franklin decision-making technique (nosebleed).  It’s not rocket science. In fact, it’s so simple that anyone can use it in his or her daily life, at work, or even in love. I urge you to click on the link and read the entire article about this wonderful decision-making strategy, especially beneficial when you are confronted with multiple choices whose benefit closely match each other.

Now to your question.

I mentioned that when I am given a choice, I set my own limits and these become the basis of my expectations. What are these limits, work-wise:

  • Salary – is it competitive? Is it better than my earlier salary? What about appraisals? When and how Often?
  • Health and Welfare – Who is the HMO provider? What is the feedback on this HMO? What is the Maximum Benefit Limit? Pre Existing Condition Limit/coverage? How many dependents are covered? When is it given (Start of employment? Six months later?)
  • Allowances and Night differential – Is the ND competitive?
  • Vacation/Sick/Emergency Leaves available – How many VLs/SLs? When are they available? How are they filed? What is the notice period before claiming a leave? Are there days we are not allowed to file for a VL?
  • Work schedule – What time is the shift? When are the rest days? Is it on a weekend? Is it a split RD?
  • Work load – What type of account? Concerns within the account? Account attrition? Number of calls taken per day? Will there be selling/up-selling? Is it a pioneer account? If not, what batch do I belong to?
  • Training – How long is the training? Schedule? Does it have a certification? What is the pass/fail rate for the certification?
  • Scorecard – What are the KPI’s?
  • Career Development – What kind? How is it implemented? How many has been promoted? To which positions?
  • Management and Leadership – What is the culture and style of the leaders?
  • Tenureship and attrition rate of the account (if info is available) – Will I belong to a new batch/team, or will it be to re-fill the empty posts? (an indication of high attrition?) Why did they resign?
  • Retention program? – is there any? (details are normally withheld by recruiters)
  • The image, stability, and culture of the company – Is it environment friendly? Always business-like? Pro-employee? Pro-management? Is the company viable? Stable? Did it change its name in the past? Declared insolvency? Is it a call center? A BPO? A captive site? A Fortune 500? A nobody?
  • The facilities and amenities – Do they have vending machines? Concessionaire? Smoking area? Gaming and internet kiosks? Sleeping quarters?
  • Security – Is my travel to and from the office safe?
  • Proximity to my residence – Will I be spending more than what I will earn? Is there free and safe parking? Do they provide parking and transit allowance?
  • Friends – Do I have any friends or relatives working there?

It may sound a lot, but all these items are equally important to me because they make or break my tenure and my career development in that company. More importantly,  I have graduated from just looking at the basic salary as the basis for my decision, after all,  there is more to work than just money. In my experience, I have made poor decisions simply by basing it on the salary offered and I end up resigning because I am not happy with the work, the company, etc.

With the four choices that you have, I strongly recommend you look beyond the peripheral benefits – look at your medium and long-term goals – if you give it your best, will you be happy six months later? A year? 20 years? Can you see yourself being promoted from within? Bottom-line, what will make you happy in the long run? What is or are your priorities in life? The answers to these questions will help you decide, again by using the Ben Franklin decision-making technique.

I wish you luck on this new chapter of your life, I’m sure you will find it fulfilling. Just remember, the choice you will make for the job offer is only the start of the journey, what you make of yourself in between will decide your success or failure.

Hope this helps.

Seven

Funny Lines from Applicants


When I was still a newbie recruiter, my boss asked me to collate responses from applicants, not to be laughed at, but to be used as a sample for a training material – something that belongs to: WHAT NOT TO SAY and HOW NOT TO SAY IT during an interview.

Btw, the reactions/comments insterted are not mine.

Here is what I collected:
1. I am a flexible and I am perseverance person (when asked to describe her personality)

2. I want to learn more English words. (when asked why he wanted to work in a call center). [Damn! Read the dictionary!]

3. Do you have any extra ordinary positions that I can take for granted (Roughly Translated: Meron po ba kayong ibang position na pwede ko’ng apply-an?)

4. “Ten” (When asked to count from 1 to 40 to measure her articulation)

5. “Kelan Po?” (When asked to count from 1 to 40 to measure her articulation)

6. “I would choose IRATE CALLERS, Sir.” (Answer to the question: If you will change the COLOR of the world, what would it be and why?)

7. “I want to entertain and satisfy customers” (hmmm….interesting concept…so…what are you wearing right now?)

8. “I want to expose myself to the customers.” (Answer to why he wants to work in a call center”) – Flasher ITO!

9. “Is there an opening for a call center?” (Oh so you want to become a call center now huh?)

10. “Hi. Good afternoon, my name is _____, and I’M a call center from the Philippines.” (solohin ba)

11. Chocolates, boys with tongue pierce.” (An applicants answer to the question: What are your weaknesses?”

12. “I think Grade 3 and 4 students are very childish!” (Answer to the question: What do you think is the most difficult part of teaching Grade 3 and 4 students?)

13. “Haller???!!!??? (knocks on the table) THE SALARY!” (Answer to Why do you want to work in a call center?)

14. “I’m a married person, I have 2 children, the same boy”

15. “It’s a colorful world.” (Describe the shirt you’re wearing.)

16. “It’s a boomed industry.” (So all agents are now dead, I guess)

17. “I like to explore other people” (ay sus…maniac ka ano?)

18. “I want to explore myself more.” (Answer to why do you want to work in a call center. bagay sila ni #17…)

19. “Hu u? How did you get my #? Text me back, huri. Send me load.” (Text from an applicant who failed to accept my call. The audacity of an applicant can sometimes appall you.)

20. “I was scheduled for an exam this morning….I wasn’t able to make it…because I WAS TONSILITIS.”

21. “Hi Maam, do you have an opening.” (Lokong to ah!)

22. “I want to adventure into the graveyard…” (Langya, mahiilig ka sa patay!)

23. “I would like to be a part of the graveyard…” (isa ka pa…thriller… thriller night)

24. “Gd pm sir, im realy Sri Wen u call me I cnt hears clearly coz d a raindrop of d rain is vry noisy. Rgrdng of *** u want 2 knw y u call me?” (A text message from an applicant)

25. “Do you accept walking applicants?” (No, we prefer flying ones)

26. Interviewer: So you’re an undergrad. What year are you in right now? Applicant: Oh I’m just here in the house. Interviewer: No, I asked you what year you’re in. Applicant: Year? I’m 25 years old! ( Nagkakaintindihan tayo pare….)

27. Applicant: Agency ba to? Interviewer: No sir, head hunting firm. Applicant (turning to friend, laughing): Egg-hunting daw pare! (He later apologized thinking that it was a prank call from a friend!)

28. “In the middle of my study at Adamson, my father fortunately passed away.” (FORTUNATELY? ??!!!)

29. “Hello, I just want to inquire about the application resume that I planted in the computer…” (Planted?)

30. “May inaantay ako na trabaho kaya gusto ko lang na may mapag LILIBINGAN.” (Answer to the question “Why do you prefer a part-time job?” Tagalog na yun ha! Mahilig talaga kayo sa patay!)