Career Advice 進修新知

IB hones interview skills

Remus Yu Chung-hei, who this year graduated in marketing from the City University of Hong Kong, found a job as a broker at property consultant Knight Frank shortly after graduating.

As a strong presenter, Yu had no problem impressing his employers in his job interviews. He credited his performance to years of training in presentations and, more importantly, having the right attitude towards learning.

Before university, Yu studied the IB (International Baccalaureate) curriculum at Sha Tin College - operated by the English Schools Foundation - and is grateful for what he learned in secondary school.

"IB is not about coming up with model answers. It challenges students to think out of the box and solve problems. It made me curious and inspired me to strive for the best. This has helped me excel in school and now in my career," he says.

To be successful at a job interview, Yu stresses the importance of being presentable. Going through a group and then a panel interview is the most common format for university graduates and Yu thinks his IB experience has helped him become a confident presenter.

"Looking back, the things that I studied in the IB are very similar to job interviews. This format is imprinted firmly on my mind. In class, students are involved in group discussions of a topic. This is similar to a group interview. Everyone presents their ideas and tries to persuade others to accept their point of view," he says.

For panel interviews, Yu says he learned to be persuasive in his presentations by writing extended essays in his IB. "I had to present my ideas to a teacher to get him to understand and agree with them. This trained me to be a confident presenter who knows how to get my point across directly, and helps me impress bosses in panel interviews," he says.

Having been at Knight Frank for about a month, Yu says he has had little problem adjusting to life at work. "My social skills and ability to work as part of a team have helped me transit smoothly from school to work," he says.

Yu has also put the experience and training he gained from the IB and university into practice by starting his own business. After winning a wine-tasting competition, the Left Bank Bordeaux Cup, he founded Liquidz, an alcohol distribution and marketing firm, in 2012.

Yu thinks his IB experience has contributed to his becoming an entrepreneur. "The IB programme encouraged teamwork, out-of-the-box thinking and a sense of individuality," he says. "With the content being so dense, and perhaps overwhelming in terms of workload, you are trained to endure pressure and stress better," he says.