It was reported that employers will now face prosecution in court and other harsh penalties for discriminatory hiring practices, including those involving making false declarations on fair hiring consideration.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo had warned that employers found guilty of engaging in workplace discrimination would not be permitted to apply for new work passes for a minimum of 12 months. In the “most egregious cases”, she said the debarment period may extend to up to 24 months.
Under the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF), employers are required to advertise job openings for positions with a monthly salary of under S$15,000 on the national Jobs Bank for a minimum of 14 days for locals to apply before they are allowed to apply for an Employment Pass (EP) to get a foreigner in.
In particular, MOM publicly named and penalized a few companies which were caught for flouting FCF. These companies have submitted EP applications for foreign job applicants and not fairly considered any local applicants. They did not conduct any job interviews for Singaporean locals for one reason or other. One company even lied to MOM saying they had when they had no intention of interviewing any locals. All of them have already pre-selected their foreign candidates before putting up job advertisements on Jobs Bank just for show.
All these companies could have avoided legal troubles with MOM if they had taken the trouble to at least “wayang” a bit to interview some local candidates. In such cases, the companies can still give the excuse that they have interviewed the locals and did not find any of them suitable. It would be difficult for MOM to find fault with these companies.
Interview Expert Academy: 41 reasons why candidates fail at interviews
So, if companies are bent on hiring their favorite foreign job applicants, they can still fool MOM by inviting some of the local job applicants for interviews. But what excuses can these companies come up with in case MOM asks them for the reasons for rejecting the local candidates?
Interview Expert Academy, which helps people to overcome difficulties and challenges in job interviews, compiled a list of 41 reasons why candidates fail at interviews from their past experience dealing with interviewers in companies, and told by interviewers themselves:
- Poor preparation
- Displaying a negative attitude or generally being negative
- No enthusiasm for the company or the role
- Being dishonest
- Vague or uninteresting interview answers
- Arriving late
- Arriving too early
- Being rude to the receptionist
- Smelling like a cigarette
- Dressed inappropriately
- Wearing sunglasses
- Keeping a scarf on during the interview
- Wearing too much perfume or aftershave
- Shaking hands too weakly or too strong
- Complaining that you were kept waiting for the interview
- Sitting in a too relaxed or aggressive manner
- Chewing gum, a pen or playing with your hair
- Forgetting or mispronouncing the name of the interviewer
- Forgetting what is written on your CV/Resume
- Being unprepared for the standard interview questions
- Lying about your skills, experience, knowledge and qualifications
- Being rude or uncomplimentary about your previous company or boss
- Sharing too much personal information
- Failing to explain how your skills match the job in question
- Interrupting the interviewer
- Asking too many questions or irrelevant questions
- Not asking good questions
- Not making eye contact or making too much
- Getting angry or defensive
- Using phrases like “you know”
- Laughing at inappropriate moments
- Sounding desperate or overeager
- Checking the time
- Asking about the salary too early
- Having poor manners
- Being overconfident
- Not building rapport
- Not listening to the interviewer’s questions
- Inappropriate photos or comments on social media
- Keeping a tissue for cleaning your glasses in your bra
As can be seen, if a company doesn’t want to hire someone, there are indeed plenty of reasons for the company to use. It would certainly mean wasting more of Singaporean applicants’ time by inviting them to come for “bogus” interviews so as to help fool MOM, for those companies which have already pre-selected their foreign candidates. MOM’s latest FCF updates would not be of help at all.