The GradGreenhouse Family is Growing

We have big plans for 2018.

With new strategies, fresh faces, and an ever increasing client base, 2018 has already been a more successful year for GradGreenhouse than any other. We have expanded our horizons dramatically, and are now an established presence not only in Singapore and Malaysia, but in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, China, and Australia as well; and this is just the beginning.

To help make our plans a reality, we’ve been expanding our team rapidly. In addition to our growing complement of interns, we’ve made 2 full time hires already this year:

Introducing MJ – the latest additions to the GradGreenhouse team:

MJ Lay

Relationship Manager

+65 6922 0824

[email protected]

MJ has over 3 years’ recruitment experience in Asia Pacific. Her role as “Relationship Manager” includes helping universities, employers and students have the best recruitment experience possible on the GradGreenhouse platform.

As a professional recruiter, MJ fully understands the needs, requirements and aspirations of all parties and has successfully made placements with clients throughout the region with some of the world’s leading financial institutions and multi-national corporations.

MJ has an excellent reputation for listening to clients’ needs and providing them with viable solutions which help them reach their goals faster and more accurately.

She developed this passion working at OCBC Bank in Singapore as a financial consultant providing financial solutions to the banks clients.

MJ professional “can do” approach to clients enables her to share her extensive knowledge and experience with her clients in the education industry and is highly regarded as trusted recruitment partner to universities, employers and students alike.

MJ was educated at University Tunku Abdul Rahman with a Bachelor Honours Degree in Mass Communication and she speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Malay as well as English.

GradGreenhouse System Requirements

GradGreenhouse System Security
GradGreenhouse hosts its systems behind CloudFlare which provides a world-class protection against standard denial-of-service attacks, downgrade attacks, and standard OWASP attacks. Our servers behind CloudFlare are hosted in Singapore in data centers owned by DigitalOcean. Our database servers are not accessible on the Internet and therefore provides added security for your data.
GradGreenhouse Ideal User Requirements
We recommend that you use a DELL Latitude E6540 laptop with Google Chrome installed to access our website reliably. If you cannot procure such a laptop, any computer with a Google Chrome and a working webcam should suffice.

We do not support Internet Explorer versions older than 11. We provide minimal support for Internet Explorer 11 until Microsoft stops providing support for it. We cannot support Apple Safari browser and all browsers on iOS because of the difficulties experienced with its video conferencing capabilities.

GradGreenhouse is compatible with the following operating systems and browsers
GradGreenhouse works with the 2 most recent versions of the following browsers. Make sure cookies and JavaScript are turned on for your browser.
• Chrome
• Firefox
• Windows only: Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge
Other browsers may work, but you might not be able to use all of the features.
Note: GradGreenhouse won’t work with Chrome 23, Firefox 23, IE9, or older versions.
Apple Safari is unsupported. You’ll need to update your browser to use GradGreenhouse.
Computer operating systems:
• Windows: Windows Vista and up.
• Mac: Lion (10.7) and up
• Linux: We have tested it successfully on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS. Your experience may vary on other distributions.
• Android: We have tested Android 7 Nougat for large screen devices. On smaller screens the layout will be affected.
Note: GradGreenhouse won’t work with iOS the operating system on Apple Devices.

Finding Your Inherent Strengths

As a new graduate, you’re still learning, adjusting and adapting to the working environment. You’ve managed to secure the role of your dreams, from the organisation that you’ve always wanted to be a part of. In this regard, you will want to show them your positive qualities, and you are always going to need to play to your strengths. How does one actually identify what their strengths are?

Let’s start with explaining that strengths are an accumulation of your talents, knowledge and skills. It is built upon the key attributes that allow you to show your best qualities about yourself. The notion of what strength personifies, from the school of thought of Positive Psychology, indicates that; strength contributes to personal qualities that make up a good individual.

Organizations rely on an individual’s recollection of their gathered knowledge of their skills experiences and when prompted to indicate ‘what your ‘strengths’ are; responses can be rather subjective. This is because no two interviewing candidates are the same, and no two examples of defining their strengths are either. Thus the responses would be varied on a case-by-case basis.

So how does one learn to understand their strengths better? A proposed way to identify such a trait, would be to take a cognitive assessment test, specifically dedicated to evaluating your personal key attributes of strength. Cognitive assessment tests are usually administered by organizations, due to the nature and purpose of the tests. These are created in order to assist in assessing candidates with the future of their work performance. In this context, it would be to measure an individual’s strengths.

When you use your strengths, you are focusing more on what you are good at, than what you know you are capable of doing. High achievers are consistently exercising, pushing their strengths, in that they are taking their experiences, be it positive or negative, and learning how to actively manage them.

A key factor to remember, is that when you are taking cognitive assessment tests, these are being administered by your hiring manager, to help them in assessing your cognitive abilities and deductive reasoning. Do not focus on the fact that just because you score lower in certain areas, that you are generally ‘weaker’ in that aspect of talent. This is often enough a common misconception amongst individuals who take the assessment. Do not be disheartened by this, as assessments of cognitive capabilities, gives organizations a better understanding into increasing business performance. It is an indicator of an individual’s ability to acquire, retain and organize information.

Organizations want to know your strengths, so that they are able to analyse individuals, when they work autonomously, as opposed to working in a team environment. By being able to understand the strengths of each individual, recruiters, can better recognise and assess which candidate complements their organization.

In a survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management, roughly 18 percent of companies are using cognitive assessment tests in their hiring process, with a rate of growth of 10-15% each year. Companies that have chosen to implement cognitive based assessment tests, can reap benefits in terms of reducing turnover, and improving morale. This is because companies want to hire high-quality candidates in order to help place them into the right role. Almost 90 percent of firms that test out job applicants, state that they will not hire job seekers when pre-employment testing finds them to be deficient in basic skills. Additionally, companies have seen a high correlation between high cognitive ability and optimal job performance.

Rather than letting this be a deterring factor, consider cognitive based assessment testing as your opportunity to shine. This is a way to showcase where your strengths lie, and how organizations can benefit from optimising from them.

So what would you consider your inherent strengths to be? Find out and take your assessment now to see what you shine in!

Advice from… Eric Schmidt – chairman of Alphabet Inc.

“Don’t bother to have a plan at all. All that stuff about plan, throw that out.  It seems to me that it’s all about opportunity and make your own luck. You study the most successful people, and they work hard and they take advantage of opportunities that come that they don’t know are going to happen to them. You cannot plan innovation, you cannot plan invention. All you can do is try very hard to be in the right place and be ready. You know, the pacemaker for example was invented 70 years in one form or another before it was applied. It was applied to this one poor fella, and 25 pacemakers later he was still alive. But the important part is he wouldn’t have been at all had the pacemaker not have been invented. You never know.”

Ace that job interview with a great Video Profile

Gone are the days where having the most impressive resume on a piece of paper will guarantee you a spot in the company. As mentioned in my previous blog, first impressions matter and how you present yourself will play a vital role in your chances of getting employed. Countries such as the UAE as well as employers are now looking at video profiles as a part of their recruitment process. Sending out emails to prospective employers are now considered as outdated, and job applicants have started to approach video profiles in ways that a traditional, 2-dimensional profile can’t.

At Careers UAE 2015, a video booth was set up by BigScreen Middle East to provide Emirati job candidates an opportunity to create a lasting first impression on prospective employers, with a new method of assessment and communication for both parties.  In this way, employers are able to screen their potential hires faster and better, while candidates get to put their best foot forward.

For fresh graduates who are looking for an apprenticeship or their first professional career, this is a great way to market yourself, especially if you do not have any extensive work history. Not only will this display your communication skills, it will also allow potential employers to see your personality, confidence and attitude — all the traits that can make you a strong contender for the job, and help you stand out from the competition.

Competing with hundreds of candidates is tougher than ever, so here are 5 key steps to help you achieve the best video profile:

1. Professional Attire Only, Please

Like any other job interview, first impressions count. The moment you walk into the room, your hiring manager would have already started screening you — to see if you’re fit for the job. The difference between pictures on traditional Profiles and Video Profiles are the dimensional view of each: traditional Profiles only show ⅓ of the applicant’s outlook, while Video Profiles show almost half or sometimes a full view of the applicant.

So dress well. This doesn’t mean dressing smartly on the top half, and wearing shorts for the bottom half. Remember, even if it’s a video interview; it’s always a good practice to treat it like a job interview in person. This will not only put you in the mindset of being a professional employee, but it will also leave a good impression of you. Always be smart – ironed shirt, tie, etc.

2. K.I.S.S (Keep It Short and Simple)

When recording a video, remember to always keep it short and simple. It’s important to take note that the first 60 seconds is the only time frame that should matter to you. As this is the exact amount of time where you grab the most attention, you should have your 60 seconds well-planned in advance.

Always write a script first and rehearse to ensure it is exactly what you want to portray about yourself to your prospective employers. By following a script, this will help you cut down on rambling and get to the point more effectively. If you’re still unsure, get your family and friends to review a rehearsal first, before recording your final video. Also, always keep your video recording up to 3 minutes max.

And practise, practise, practise.

3. Be Aware Of Your Body Language

Treat your Video Profile as you would a job interview. Don’t fidget and stutter. If you find yourself stuck in between sentences, compose yourself and repeat the whole sentence again. Since it is a video profile, you have more than enough time to re-shoot and plan your profile, as compared to a job interview.

Another way to overcome this is to present with confidence. Not only will you be more assured about your abilities, but you will also be able to clearly relay your understanding on what you can bring to the role. The confidence that you have in your abilities instils a similar confidence in the hiring managers watching your video.

4. Be Creative

Unlike traditional Profiles, video Profiles have no standard format. This means you can present yourself as creatively as possible. For example, if you’re applying for a job as an animator, it will make more sense if you include graphics in your video to showcase your skills.

As seen in the example here, Nick Belling spent close to 4 days perfecting his video PROFILE before sending it out to prospective employers. This includes re-editing and re-shooting scenes that did not comply with his creative vision. And it worked as he won the job he wanted. So don’t be afraid of showing off your creativity and think out of the box.

5. Always Review Your Video

Continuing from earlier points, always review your video before sending it out. The last thing you want to do is to ruin your chances of getting employed by prospective employers. These include scenes that could be distracting to the viewers such as background noises of your dog barking, incessant phone ringing, etc. Inaudible audio and blurry image quality reflects badly and highlights a lack of attention. Hence it is always important to review, get feedback from peers, family and friends and work towards the best version possible.

While more companies are slowly embracing video Profiles, traditional Profiles are still the industry norm for a job application requirement. A well written resume is still going to provide enough information for a hiring manager to determine if you’re the right candidate for them.

A video profile helps you stand out, and ultimately gives you the best opportunity of getting your foot in the door.

Employers love the speed and accuracy and efficiency Video Profiles offer their recruitment process.

Most people retain 95% of the message in a video compared to only 10% of what they read in text” – Insivia

Advice from… Larry Page – co-founder of Google Inc.

“I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. I know that sounds completely nuts. But, since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition. There are so few people this crazy that I feel like I know them all by first name. They all travel as if they are pack dogs and stick to each other like glue. The best people want to work the big challenges. That is what happened with Google.”

How to make a great first impression

As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and this is particularly applicable in a job interview. Whether your first ‘meeting’ is face-to-face, over the phone or even over the internet, there’s no room for error. From your very first greeting, others will be evaluating your potential suitability for both the job and the company, ultimately leading to a decision on the next stage – a second interview, an offer, or rejection. In short, the pressure’s on and there’s no time to waste: you need to make an excellent first impression.

However, just as no two individuals react to the same situation in the same way, not everyone is able to leave good impressions when under pressure. It pays to understand how people make their first judgment and what you can do to be in control of the results. In this blog I have identified some of the pitfalls, issues and ways to shine.

Put your best foot forward

By being prepared. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how few people prepare intensively for an interview. For a start, when applying for a job, learn everything there is to know about the company and who you’re talking to. Research on products and services, as well as the company’s history and future direction. Learning about their competitors will give you an added advantage too. Then, if possible, prepare a video profile stating your aims, aspirations, why you’d be a great fit for the company and why the hiring manager should consider you.

(We will discuss the strengths of video profiles in future blogs.)

Once that hurdle is cleared and you’re invited in for an interview, bear in mind that when you meet someone face-to-face, 93% of their perception of you in the first few minutes is based on non-verbal data – your appearance and your body language. Ensure that you are well-groomed and appropriately attired while appearing relaxed, engaged and confident.

If your initial encounter is over the phone, however, be aware that 70% of how you are perceived is based on your tone of voice and 30% on your words. So remember that it’s not what just you say – it’s also how you say it that counts.

Be prepared to be tested

Employers use many tools to screen potential applicants, and these days to prepare yourself for the interview itself, chances are you’ll also need to be prepared for psychometric testing and cognitive assessment. More and more businesses are taking a deeper dive into candidates’ minds by using formal tests – like Myers-Briggs, for example. It’s all about hiring the person who will best fit the job from a skills, intelligence, personality and cultural perspective. Psychometric testing results provide employers with a behavioural profile of you – your level of intelligence or aptitude and your personality characteristics. The profile will indicate whether you can solve problems, are a team player or whether you prefer to work individually, and other relevant attributes. To succeed in psychometric tests, you’ll need to do some preparation in advance:

* Get yourself in good physical and mental shape (you need to be at your best to produce your best results).

* Find out what the employer is looking for in the right applicant (is it a team player or an individual problem solver?).

* Get to know the types of questions (familiarising yourself with the typical content and format of psychometric tests will give you an advantage).

* Practise, practise, practise (there are a multitude of psychometric tests you can take online).

Be prepared to be personable

An interview is a chance for you to sell yourself to a potential employer so it’s important to come across as someone interesting and engaging. It’s not uncommon for employers to hire someone they like and train them on what they are missing from the job description rather than employing a candidate who ticks all the boxes but doesn’t resonate on a personal level.  So if you have hobbies, talents and outside interests, mention them. Your interviewer(s) will be keen to see factors such as your personal development, growth, and choices you’ve made and the reasons why.

Another great way to build rapport with someone and identify how they feel about you is body language. Mirroring other people’s expressions and body helps build rapport, and you can tell whether someone is agreeing with what you’re saying by watching if they cross their arms or legs (in most cases this can be taken as showing disagreement).  Don’t overdo it though as in worse case scenarios it can feel intrusive. More importantly is intensive listening. The greatest salespeople (and we all need to sell ourselves) are great listeners.

The current market is very competitive and companies want to hire the best talent available.  And whilst there’s no definitive method to follow when trying to create a positive and memorable first impression, as you can see there are a few things you can do to help the process.  Don’t miss out on an opportunity by not doing them.

‘A good first impression can work wonders’ — J.K. Rowling

Advice from… Steve Ballmer – CEO of Microsoft 2000-2014

“Passion is the ability to get excited about something. Irrepressibility and tenacity is about the ability to stay with it. If you take a look at all of the companies that have been started in our business, most of them fail. If you take even a look at the companies that have succeeded, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, you name it, all of these companies went through times of hardship. You get some success. You run into some walls. You try a formula for a new idea, a new innovation, it doesn’t work. And it’s how tenacious you are, how irrepressible, how ultimately optimistic and tenacious you are about it that will determine your success.”

Dressing to Impress (Literally!)

From the late Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg, they’ve disrupted the industry in more ways than one, down to the clothes they wear. Jobs made black turtlenecks seem avant-garde while Zuckerberg brought the advent of the “entrepreneur hoodie.” But these entrepreneurs have a very valid reason for donning their “uniform” of success – running is a multi-million dollar company is not easy, and to simplify their morning routines, the last thing they want to think about is “What to wear?”

However, this does not mean that anyone can now take liberties with their choice of clothes, especially for an interview. Attire is an important component in the interviewing process as it is an extension of self, helps create a favourable first impression and speaks volumes to recruiters in terms of suitability at first glance.

The Psychology of Image

While enlightened society still extolls “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” this rule simply does not apply when hiring. In general (beyond just recruiters), people size you up within the first 7 seconds of meeting you based on your posture, handshake and your dressing – from the choice of clothing item, down to the colours worn.

So it is imperative to ensure that your dressing sends the right messages across.

What to look out for:

By now, it is safe to say that office wear is essentially the safest bet to dressing for an interview.

For the ladies, that means:

● A simple dress that isn’t short or tight, or in too loud a colour or print

● A blouse or shirt that is not low cut, paired with dress pants or a skirt of appropriate length (no shorter than an inch above the knees)

● Comfortable heels – opt for kitten or a stacked heel, as opposed to stilettos

For men:

● Business shirt and pants.

● Depending on the industry, a suit may be in order. If not, a well pressed tailored shirt, tie and pants are fine.

● Avoid loud prints and colours as well.

For Video Interviewing:

● No checks / patterns

● Look in a mirror – check hair/ teeth/ complexion

Stay away from clothes that are too fitted, too short, too baggy or too revealing. If you’re unsure of a clothing item,then don’t wear it. The safest bet is your best bet. But aside from the basics, there are other details that many miss out on. Before your interview, here’s a quick checklist:

1. Look out for wrinkles and missing buttons. Details like these ruin your image by making you look sloppy.

2. Pay attention to your nails. Everyone looks at hands, especially as you go in for a firm handshake, so keep your nails clean and trimmed. For ladies, ensure that your manicure or nail polish is not chipped.

3. Watch the shoes and accessories. Ensure that your shoes are not scuffed or dirty. Do not over accessorise as it can be distracting during an interview.

While you wish to leave a memorable impression, careful consideration should made as you don’t wish to be memorable for the wrong reasons. Remember that attire is an extension of oneself; aside from speaking well and being articulate, dressing is also a very important part of the interview process as it is especially apparent when you first walk through the door. Take extra care in what you wear and you just might be able to “clothes” the deal at your interview.

“Good clothes open all doors” – Thomas Fuller

Advice from… Jeff Bezos – co-founder of

“I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.”