Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: Accent

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    16

    Default Accent

    Hi All.

    I am a chinese singaporean and a tax specialist with 6 years of experience.

    I applied to and got calls from 2 firms in NZ. Both firms are top tier firms in the industry and were my ex-employers (Singapore offices). They are in the middle of arranging skype interviews and i'm really concerned about whether my distinctly singaporean accent would be a tripping stone to a job offer. I am not ashamed of my singapore accent, but I am not denying that it doesn't go very well with a lot of native speakers (common complaint is that Singapore english is monotonic and way too fast).

    I suspect they were sold to the fact that I am bilingual and have certain specialized knowledge that is pretty rare anywhere else ( i was pitching for their china business practice). Communication skills are a big part of my job here in Singapore and it may well be the case in NZ, unless i'm put into some technical position or some mandarin hotline desk (which i wouldn't mind).

    Any Singaporeans with similar experiences?

    I started the NZ job hunt with a lot of conviction but after my first phone interview with one of the recruiters, i became rather apprehensive. These could very well be client facing positions and i'm really not sure how well NZ-ers will take to my non-native accent.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    NZ (Auckland; via Canada)
    Posts
    1,321

    Default

    My husband and I were talking about this recently: he's recruiting for a role in his unit; I've recruited for 2 in mine in the last 12 months.

    We are in Auckland and wouldn''t generalise, but both of us like that our organisations focus on what the candidates can offer. Solid experience is good enough: unless there's a requirement to understand local laws, NZ experience isn't vital. Doubtless there are some xenophobic or racist people involved in recruitment...but lots that are more merit-focussed.

    Good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by D.a.n View Post
    Hi All.

    I am a chinese singaporean and a tax specialist with 6 years of experience.

    I applied to and got calls from 2 firms in NZ. Both firms are top tier firms in the industry and were my ex-employers (Singapore offices). They are in the middle of arranging skype interviews and i'm really concerned about whether my distinctly singaporean accent would be a tripping stone to a job offer. I am not ashamed of my singapore accent, but I am not denying that it doesn't go very well with a lot of native speakers (common complaint is that Singapore english is monotonic and way too fast).

    I suspect they were sold to the fact that I am bilingual and have certain specialized knowledge that is pretty rare anywhere else ( i was pitching for their china business practice). Communication skills are a big part of my job here in Singapore and it may well be the case in NZ, unless i'm put into some technical position or some mandarin hotline desk (which i wouldn't mind).

    Any Singaporeans with similar experiences?

    I started the NZ job hunt with a lot of conviction but after my first phone interview with one of the recruiters, i became rather apprehensive. These could very well be client facing positions and i'm really not sure how well NZ-ers will take to my non-native accent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    2,235

    Default

    I would have thought that this really depends on your position and the role you are applying for. There are a number of people I have come across in my working life so far whose accents I have had problems understanding, but their role was never one that demanded great communication/language skills. I believe they were recruited for their (in this case technical and computer) skills, and the accent was not an issue. If you are customer focused, I do think it matters that you can be understood, but there are so many different accents around that I don't think it is a matter of liking your accent or not, but simply of being understood.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    UK - France - Wellington
    Posts
    387

    Default

    Hi there,

    I agree with the other responses. There are lots of accents here, some strong, others not so! Try not to let that worry you when you're being interviewed. Just think about how experienced you are and right for that role!
    Good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    .
    Posts
    300

    Default

    Don't worry, if you talk in a normal relaxed pace, without the lahs, ehs etc, you will be understood. They won't hesitate to ask you to repeat if they didn't understand you. And, they really need someone strong in both languages if that's what the role is after. With your Asian experience, you'd add value too.

    All the best!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Thank you guys. Just got off the interview and the friendliness of the interviewers really put me at ease.

    I didn't get the impression they had problems understanding me (at least I wasn't asked to repeat). Hope it works out.

    Thanks for all the responses!

    Cheers,
    Daniel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    35,961

    Default

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    UK - France - Wellington
    Posts
    387

    Default

    Glad you had a positive experience
    Fingers crossed for you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Good to hear. Did you hear anything back further?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Hi guys,

    Just an update on my interviews.

    I got an offer (subject to reference checks)! That was after another round of Skype interview. The guys were extremely friendly and I really felt at ease.

    But I’ve got a dilemma (if somewhat a pleasant one). I got off a phone interview yesterday with the second firm which was my ex-employer in the Singapore office. The partner sounded really interested and explicitly said that certain areas of my skills and experience resonated with him. We closed off the interview with him requesting me to supply character references but no official job offer was mentioned or discussed. I’ve got a very good feeling about this and he gives me a very good vibe.

    Both these two firms are at the top of their game and very attractive places to work. One firm has come extremely close to making an offer and the other firm gives me very good vibes (hoping they’ll also make an offer soon). My emotions are mixed now and I really need some third party opinions:

    First firm:
    1. Intermediate role with a view to progression to manager
    2. Based in Auckland
    3. Relocation allowance provided
    4. 4 year visa
    5. Close to making an offer (subject to reference checks)
    6. No earthquakes! Cheaper than Wellington?

    Second firm:
    1. Intermediate / manager role
    2. Based in Wellington
    3. Ex-employer and gives me a very good feeling.
    4. Requested references but no official offer. Not sure when I’ll hear from them again.
    5. Earthquakes :-(

    I’m in a dilemma because both are great firms and I’m inclined to minimise any risk and grab the first offer that comes through. However, at the same time, I don’t want to miss out on a potentially better offer. How long will NZ employers be willing to wait for a candidate and would it create a negative impression (or will they rescind the offer) if I tell them I simply want to weigh my options before I decide?

    I am a bit nervous now because I mentioned to the first firm that I’m also interviewing with the second firm and they are also at the reference-check stage. I hope this does not annoy them in any way.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •