On July 19, 2016, I shared with you the details of my interesting interview with EY in Abu Dhabi So what happened next? here is the second part of the story!
After the interview, I sent a formal email thanking both of Mr. Buland Iqbal, General Director (the interviewer), and Mr. Doglus Horne, Senior HR Associate, for their warm welcoming and professional way to introduce EY culture. Then after ten working days, another diplomatic following email had been sent. The final decision received after five days later.
As a university student waiting for the final exam mark, I was feeling anxious about the content of the email. Yes, it was a rejection email! And even of the disappointing feelings about losing this great opportunity to join EY team world, I sent another thank email to not select me!
But what caught my eyes was the email itself. It was not a short typical template email which we usually receive from the recruiters or HR officers, but more personal and written in a way to show how a valuable candidate I was for them. Mr. Doglus left the doors open as a welcomed applicant and mentioned twice that they were satisfied with my skills, the way I introduced myself during the interview and good impression left behind.
Here are the learnt lessons:
" We May Lose The Battle But Not The War "
The dream came a true, and I received the invitation email for Face-to-Face meeting to discuss my application for “Executive Secretary” position opened in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The interview was with Mr. Buland Iqbal, an Executive Director with 20 years of career at EY. I knew, this interview will not be as similar as the previous ones. I have one chance, one shot, one try!
The preparation for the interview started once I got the confirmation of interview time and location. Going through dozens of articles and brochures about EY, matching and highlighting the major of my skills with the mentioned requirements in the job description, and little training courses with my lovely mirror! I mean, double check my language body and lovely smile.
With high testosterone level, I walked to EY office in Etihad towers, floor 27. With a warm greeting from receptionists, I waited in the meeting room with WOW view from the window (attached down) and because I came before 15 minutes of arranged, I took my time to organise my breath, ideas and papers.
The door was opened, and Mr Buland entered with so interesting charisma used to see it with senior managers and CEO. Immediately, I understood the name of the game! He acted as busy, and uninterested about our meeting. So negative signals raised in the first 10 minutes which could let anyone down and announce the surrender. Now, it is my turn! And I have to show him who is the next EY Executive Secretary!
I tried in each answer I provide, attach an example of my current/previous experience related to his question and as a bonus, something related to EY vision or theories. For instance, for the question “Describe your current role responsibilities?” I made sure to mentioned that ones which are highly demanded on the job description and when I moved to Teamwork skills, I just added “… because I believe in EY Chairman and CEO message about teamwork culture, …”
And when my time came to ask, the list of questions was well prepared. The first two ones just a review and a feedback about my interview in general. Then followed with questions about EY teamwork and my next position, and at the end, a conclusion to make sure everything is covered.
Here were my questions:
At the end, any candidate should make his/her touch. I just asked him to accept my personal card which includes my name, website, contact number and email. He was happy to tell me that I have so exceptional and professional way to introduce myself.
Now, While I am waiting for the golden call from HR Dept. I just review his comments about my skills to improve and polish it more!
Please do not hesitate to ask my help about my secret plans to prepare for job interview :)
I got the honor today, to pass into the second stage, the face to face interview, for the position of “Consul Assistant” in the Consulate General of Canada.
To be honest, the professional way I had been welcomed and introduced to the interview details made me comfortable, relaxed and more confidence that “Oh, Yes, This the place I want to work”!
The first question was the typical one, which was “Why do you want to work here and how do you fit this position?” then followed with four behavioural questions, which I would like to discuss my answers with you. The main purpose is reaching the benefits of this kind of open global discussion, so I will give more attention to my weak answers, develop my techniques and learn new ones. In the other hand, the same will apply for who is reading the comments.
So, let’s start!
FYI: The job description could be found at the end of my post as it advertised.
Q1- A new consul is appointed and you have to introduce him/her. To who will you introduce and how you can arrange it?
A1- I selected two target categories, government body and businessmen/women who are in concern with the consulate. The arrangement will be through the media channels and invitation emails (the database which the consulate own)
Q2- A demanded journalist told you that he/she has an information about illegal stuff done by your colleague and it concerned to the consulate reputation. Taking in your consideration that the consulate is absent (not available). What will you do?
A2-First, I explain that it depends on the power of authority which will be provided to me to take an action in similar cases. But, the first two things that I’m sure about, are: 1- Asking the journalist to provide what he/she has through the official channels to the consulate. 2- Asking the lawyer of the consulate about the importance and risk level of these kind of information so I can take an action to inform the Consul or not.
Q3- The Consul asked you to not disturb him/her at all as he/she is so busy. You got a call from governmental party asking you to meet the Consul urgently. What will you do?
A3- It’s the time to apply my diplomatic and professional communication skills! Where I have to understand this official request, I mean, the subject and purpose of it and calm down who request the meeting with Consul if it’s necessary. Then according to my experience gained during my work in the Consul office, I can decide the urgent level of this request. And the usual action I take in similar scenario is passing a piece of note on Consul office, so he/she can later decide if he/she will take or pass it. The main idea is the both sides should respect the time and schedule of each other.
Q4- The Consul asked you to prepare an invitation cards for an event. This is the first time you are facing this kind of task. What will you do?
A4- First, I explained that I never hesitate in asking for help from my work colleagues, but on the other hand I have almost nine years of administrative experience. So, first, I’ll prepare my plan and the best way to handle this task then I’ll discus it with the Consul and ask my colleagues to amend it where the changes should be done.
This was the end of behavioral questions interview and I believe that there are no right or wrong answers but only “good” and “better” answers.
Clue: At the end of interview, when it was my turn to question them, I asked: “What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 days?”, and his answer was: Quick learner, Good character, Good relationship with the colleagues and supervisor, and Quick “do it”.
Here you can find the job description:
Job Title: Assistant to the Consul General
Location: Consulate General of Canada in Dubai
Summary of position: Under the general supervision of the Head of Mission, provides personal administrative assistance; reviews correspondence requiring Head of Mission’s action, signature or received for his information; prepares quarterly budget reports and performs other duties.
Education: - Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent combination of experience, education and training
Language: - English (oral and written)
- Minimum 5 years of recent* experience working in an office environment in an administrative support or similar capacity with at least 2 of these years being in the role of an Executive Assistant
*Recent is defined as within the last 10 years.
- Knowledge of policies and procedures related to official hospitality and organization of events
- Knowledge of protocol and etiquette
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)
- Effective Interactive Communication – Oral and Written
- Ability to plan and organize workflow, coordinate information
- Attention to detail
- Client focus
- Ability to perform under pressure
- Discretion and professional integrity
- Ability to adapt quickly to procedural and technological changes.
Asset Qualifications: Preference may be given to candidates who have the following asset qualifications:
- Previous experience in a Government or Public Sector environment.
- Fluency in French
- Fluency in Arabic
Operational Requirements: - Occasional overtime will be required