Why are university graduates finding it hard to get a job in spite of their qualifications? According to Coby Liew, Student Services and Welfare Manager of CIC Higher Education, it is not because there is no job available. It is because students have a hard time acing their interviews.
To answer this need, CIC Higher Education organised the Job Clinic Program to provide and train students with valuable and unique skills in the application and understanding of human psychology when applying for a job.
“The program is about teaching and encouraging international students to look at employment and employers from different perspectives through the lens of psychology – understanding human needs and behaviours, why people do things the way they do, what motivates them to think and behave in certain ways especially at interviews,” he explains.
He adds that there’s no shortage of quality and qualified individuals in today’s job market. Thus, there is a lot of competition for international students in today’s global job market. There’s no need to fret and worry. As Coby emphasises, preparation is key but developing the skills necessary to ace the interview and land the job is of utmost concern.
CIC’s Job Clinic Program was conceptualised and facilitated by Coby as well. It comprises of the following:
- 1 x one-hour presentation
- 2 x three-hour workshops
“As we all know, employment and careers are very big topics to talk about and there is no way that I could explain everything in such a short time; hence, the one-hour presentation is an introduction to the upcoming two workshops which I am going to organise in Term 4 (date and time to be confirmed)” he qualifies.
Using psychology to understand the job interview process
The workshops are carefully designed and culled from Coby’s long years of experience working across different sectors, as well as his understanding and training in Human Psychology and Behavioural Science.
In Workshop One, students will learn how to apply psychology of words and colours in their job application documents (e.g. cover letter, CV, key selection criteria). In Workshop Two, students will learn how to apply the psychology of human needs in helping them to understand interviewers’ perceptions and how to address tough interview questions more effectively.
The first batch of the program had 38 students attending. Students mainly from the second and third year Accounting and Management programs were happy that they learned some fascinating new things about the application of human psychology in job interviews.
The first session briefly tackled the Cover Letter, CV, and Key Selection Criteria and how psychology plays a very important part in these documents. “The documents are a digital representation of the candidate and the reader(s) form their first impression of the candidate in the first seven seconds. So it’s really important to get this right from the beginning.”
Coby points out that it is very unlikely for the applicant to proceed to the interview stage if the applicant fails to catch the prospective employer’s attention in the crucial seconds. Afterwards, he talked about how colours affect human behaviour and thinking as well as how students can harness their soft skills.
Given the positive feedback from students, Coby and his team expect that the Job Clinic Program will be able to help international students and fresh graduates to land their dream job. It will definitely go a long way as a tradition at CIC campus!