Experience of Conducting Interviews in Lahore: Part 1

Yesterday, I had a privilege to be part of an interview committee in Lahore which was conducted in order to hire Financial Analysts. We are looking to build a local team for research, consultancy and investment banking projects in North Pakistan. Sadly we ended up hiring only 1 candidate from Islamabad and the committee has decided to hire the rest of the team from Karachi despite its higher cost. The reasons for such a conclusion are:

1. The most obvious of all was the lack of experience and know how. All those invited for the interview had good qualifications in their pocket but they lacked the practical know how of any of the mentioned fields.

2. Research, consultancy, Investment banking, all three of them require good grip on language and presentation. Most of the candidates interviewed were not able speak and present well. Two foreigners among the interview committee were shocked at how on earth could people with such regarded portfolio of qualifications be weak in speech and presentation skills.

3. Two specific cases were encountered where the interviewee had commendable experience in audit and assurance services. Both of them were thinking to switch from audit and assurance industry to finance industry. Since they were better than inexperienced candidates, they were expecting to be paid high considering their experience. Though it was not mentioned to them but our concern was that all the experience they had was of nil value for us since we needed finance experience.

4. Over confidence in qualification was another thing that I noted in the candidates. I really acknowledge that having certifications like ACCA, CFA, CA is good, but merely having the qualifications and certifications is almost negligible. It is a basic expectation. It’s the experience that counts.

5. Lack of knowledge about major economic indicators like current inflation was another important factor we noted.

6. We asked the candidates an off topic question. We asked them the reason of extreme load shedding in the country for the past 2 days and to our astonishment, a very few were able to reply it.

In the next post, I will continue this post and will point out the conclusions I have drawn from each of the points I have already mentioned.

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