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Science and Research
Rolls-Royce Singapore: How to Get Hired
Sarika advises graduates on key qualities Rolls-Royce Singapore looks for in candidates.
Please describe the assessment process for fresh graduate applicants in your organisation.
We welcome all fresh graduates to apply online, and they will go through a screening process where selected candidates will be invited for a day-long assessment centre (AC). In the AC, they will go through interviews, numerical/abstract tests, presentations and group exercises.
What are the soft skills that you look for when you hire fresh graduates?
At Rolls-Royce, we are always on the lookout for well-rounded graduates who not only excel academically but also take a keen interest in personal development. We look for candidates that have interesting internship experiences, exposure to different cultures and may have undertaken leadership roles in their extra-curricular activities.
We rate their ‘soft skills’ as much as the background of their academic qualifications. Professional memberships will let us know the level of interest and commitment they have to a specific area, which is always good to know.
It is also critical that they possess a positive attitude and good work ethics. They must be effective in communication and have confidence in themselves. At the end of the day, these candidates must be passionate about what they do in order to excel in their roles.
Please explain how a prospective job candidate can make a good impression on you during the job interview.
Prospective candidates need to exude passion for our sector and our business - even if they aren’t applying for an engineering discipline, we expect them to have a broad understanding of and be excited about our products and services. We expect them to have done their research! We want to see commitment and motivation and a yearning to grow professionally and personally in whichever field they hope to have a career.
What qualities/skills do you find lacking in fresh graduates today? Why are these important?
At Rolls-Royce, "critical thinking" is an essential skill set. Graduates are responsible for developing alternative solutions for high-profile projects and programmes.
Graduates who can apply and use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to different problems are in good stead. This is something that we look for and do not always find in fresh graduates.
What can fresh graduates do to increase their value at the workplace?
Fresh graduates should bring fresh eyes, ideas and ways of thinking. It is important to bring a solution-minded approach to the workplace as well. It is well and good to highlight problem areas to your boss, management or team, but it is important to suggest a solution or approach as well.
What support does your organisation provide for employees who want to pursue further education?
At Rolls-Royce you’ll be responsible for your own training and encouraged to create your own tailored development programmes. This includes professional accreditation and support with professional memberships wherever appropriate. We’ll try as hard as we can to match your career aspirations with our business needs. If we think you have a lot of potential, we’ll help you gain fast-tracked leadership positions.
In an interview, what is the number one important question that you wish more candidates would ask?
Questions that focus on "passion" for the job, such as “What do you love most about working here?” Asking such questions demonstrates they know how to engage and connect with people, and are eager to learn about our working culture.
DSO National Laboratories: How to Get Hired
Serene gives an insight on key qualities candidates should possess when applying for opportunities at DSO National Laboratories.
What kinds of knowledge and skill sets do you look for in applicants?
DSO’s mission is to develop game-changing technological surprises to sharpen the cutting edge of Singapore’s defence capabilities. Defence R&D is our core business. Our work spans across multi-disciplinary domains, so we need passionate individuals with a good degree in the sciences or engineering.
Beyond qualifications, we want individuals with a keen interest in R&D, a bold imagination, and a relentlessness in transforming ideas into reality. The key attribute we look for is a desire to make a difference for the nation with your work.
Describe the assessment process for applicants to your organisation.
We try to match fresh graduates to jobs most suited to their interests. To do that, shortlisted candidates will meet with our senior management early in the recruitment process. Because work environment is also a crucial factor, candidates will be invited on lab tours where they get to see our exciting work, get a feel of their work areas, and interact with their future co-workers and immediate supervisors.
What aspects of a graduate's academic experience would you consider most important?
It is important that your degree and modules reflect your keen interest in a chosen area of R&D. This includes project work which may involve research or design. A degree from a reputable university as well as good grades in key engineering or science modules are important.
In addition, your involvement in co-curricular activities and internships will also bear testimony to your range of interests, hard and soft skills, as well as practical experience.
Candidates will also stand out from the crowd if they have spent time in internships or relevant jobs that build up their practical experience.
What advice would you give to keen applicants who do not possess the relevant academic qualifications?
If you have the passion for the job, you will have the determination to start somewhere. Be specific and clearly express your interest and determination to get into the field. Highlight relevant skills. Read up and be prepared to discuss the position in depth with your interviewers. Don’t give up!
Does your organisation offer any internship programmes?
DSO offers internships of varying durations both locally and overseas. They are specially designed such that undergraduates are exposed to real-life defence R&D work. On top of that, interns get to be immersed in various programmes just like a DSO employee would.
To make the most out of these programmes, have an open mind and a positive attitude to challenges. All interns will be mentored by one of our DSO’s scientists and engineers. So be inquisitive, ask lots of questions and learn from experience. Don’t be shy – offer your point of view!
How do you identify culture fit during the recruitment process?
We want the interviewee to be able to identify with the values of the organisation. DSO’s values are Knowledge Seeking, Integrity, Excellence, Teamwork, Innovativeness, and Customer focus (KINETIC). The fit can be established when we discuss your experience working in teams (internships and CCAs), and the examples you cite about challenging work and people relationships.