What is one thing you look out for in a job candidate?

The ability to fit into the organisation in term of values and cultural fit.

What is one blunder you see when candidates apply for a job in your company?

Not knowing what is expected of the job and not knowing what the company does.

What can candidates do to separate themselves from the rest of the pack?

Be passionately knowledgeable about the job that you are applying for and understand the expectations of the company.

What is the one skill employees would need for the future?

Communication skill – the ability to communicate at all levels and with all types of people.

In three adjectives, how would you describe your company culture?

Speed, focus and accountability describe the Agilent culture.

What is the one biggest candidate misconception about your industry and the work your company does?

That we are an electronics company. Agilent is a technology company focused on bringing its measurement expertise to the electronics and bio-analytical markets.

Agilent’s electronic measurement business provides standard and customised electronic measurement instruments and systems, monitoring, management and optimisation tools for communications networks and services, software design tools and related services that are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronics equipment and communications networks and services.

Agilent’s bio-analytical measurement business provides application-focused solutions that include instruments, software, consumables and services that enable customers to identify, quantify and analyse the physical and biological properties of substances and products.

What is one piece of advice you would give to jobseekers now?

Understand what your employer wants and be willing and open to learn from the ground up, if need be.

How do I know if a company is the right fit for me?

Belief in values must be the same, thus there must be an alignment between  company values and personal values e.g. if one believes in a healthy living lifestyle, then one should not be working in a tobacco company as there is a mismatch in values.  Other factors like job expectations , working environment, and people mix will also determine if the company is the right fit.

What are some pitfalls I should avoid in my first few months at a new company?

Do not create enemies by stepping on someone else’s toes. Do not be hostile and unfriendly with your colleagues and do not go against your boss(es) or peers. Don’t form cliques too soon, don’t over-promise and under-deliver. Open your eyes and ears and be alert on what you  are doing.

How should I prepare before asking my boss for a raise?

Know where you stand with your boss in terms of performance, capability and relationship. Review your accomplishments and the feedback from your boss. If your performance has exceeded expectation and your are ranked high in performance, then you are in good shape to have a “raise” talk with your boss. Also, be aware of the company’s performance – you do not want to ask for a raise if the company is not profitable.