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One has to overcome hurdles to earn a contract from a leading fund house which manages a total asset of nearly US$5 trillion. Noreen Dooner, former head of campus recruitment, discloses that after screening résumés, the company will arrange online interviews before asking the candidates to take four to six rounds of in-person interviews.
"All students look very bright on their résumés. Everyone knows three languages and five coding languages. It is very difficult to identify the right person from résumés alone. Major subject is not the most important in our eyes. The candidate's skills, hobbies and interest are far more important!" Noreen has interviewed graduates from Music Department and Arts Department. Among her colleagues, there are History graduates and Geography graduates. They believe that diversity helps create new ideas.
"Show me your passion and interest in this industry."
After the preliminary résumé screening, applicants will be arranged to take an online interview which aims to see whether they would be uncomfortable or unable to make responses in "an empty room". After that, there will be four to six rounds of real-person interview. The interviews are one-on-one or two-on-one. "We are not hiring for the divisions but the firm. Managers from different departments will take part in the interviews, they give us more insights and an extra set of eyes on candidates."
During interviews, Noreen does not make it harsh on applicants but the applicants must know themselves well. "If you are applying for a post related to information technology but you like fashion or a coffee, then you have to tell me why you are not applying for a job in a clothing company or a drink company but here for a job in financial services. You have to show me your passion and interest in this industry."
"If you don't have any questions at the end of the interview, there is a problem."
"At the end of an interview, I always ask the applicants if they have any questions. Many people say they don't have any, which actually means you seem to be uninterested in the company. This last question you ask can actually help us understand you better!" She reveals that the company aims to hire back 70% to 75% of summer interns. As long as their performance is good during internship, they will be hired back after graduation.
Fresh colleagues from around the world will go to the headquarters in New York to participate in a two-week orientation program. During the first week, they will get a chance to meet the peers from around the world and the top management including the CEO. The second week is more division-specific training including generic knowledge and business skills. After returning to Hong Kong, they will be assigned a mentor to be their guide in their career.