Youth Awareness












“We in Saudi Arabia are not observers in Pakistan, we are participants.”

Saudi Arabia is the third largest state in Middle East, biggest oil supplier in the world, extremely close and loyal ally of USA, staunch rival of Iran and finally supposedly time tested friend of Pakistan.
Saudis have been playing very active role in Pakistan from the day they recognized her as an independent Islamic state in 1947. From acquiring of nuclear technology in Bhutto era (funding) to the testing of nuclear warheads in Nawaz Sharif era (they promised to support Pakistan’s economy after the tests) Saudis proved their loyalty. On the other hand Pakistan also tried her level best in strengthening the bilateral relations of the two states. From flying of Saudi aircraft in 1969 to the episode of seizure of Holy Kaba, Pakistan also showed their metal.
After USA, undoubtedly Saudi Arabia is the major socially, religiously and politically contributing factor in Pakistan either positively or negatively. Though nowadays her negative factors are more clearly showing their effects on Pakistani society. Even Wiki leaks gave evidence of this symbiotic relationship, when Saudi Ambassador, Adel al-Jubeir, was showing off in front of USA Ambassador,

“We in Saudi Arabia are not observers in Pakistan, we are participants.”

Pakistan is paying a very heavy price for this relationship in the form of ongoing sectarianism, extremism, Talibanization of Pakistan and constant political chaos as they keep on supporting corrupt politicians of the state.
Throughout history Saudi Arabia’s main focus in their foreign policy was on the spread of Wahabism and containing of influence of Iran in Muslim world. They make huge donations from USA to developing states around the globe with one condition that they will be allowed to send their preachers and scholars to preach their Wahabist ideology. They provide funds for building mosques and research centers. Wahabis are devoted believers of force or extremism in Islam.
Madrassa system of Pakistan based on Wahabist ideology was completely funded by the Saudis. Young boys were taught glorified image of jihad and even were physically trained for the future purpose of jihad. Taliban were the direct outcome of this Madrassa system. They support and propagate Terrorism which is against the teachings of Holy Prophet (PBUH) who actually taught, peace and harmony.
Saudi Arabia funds extremist activities all around the globe especially Taliban in Pakistan. The former Director of CIA James Woolsey described Saudi Arabian Wahabism as “the soil in which Al-Qaeda and its sister terrorist organizations are flourishing.” Until recently they themselves had to suffer extremist activities in their own state, they pulled back a bit but still all the global Saudi charities, which are headed by the Saudi cabinet ministers, are still actively fanning radicalism.
Pakistan is a victim of proxy war of two Middle Eastern states. As Iran supporting the Shiite Muslims of Pakistan and Extremist groups of Sunnis, being supported by Saudis, gave rise to the sectarianism in Pakistan, resulting in total wipe out of the highly skilled and educated lot of Pakistan, like doctors, scholars and even high profile political figures. This proxy war especially accelerated after the Iranian revolution, Saudis wanted to contain their influence in Middle East. During 80s and 90s they funded many extremist organizations for instance Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) which started propagating against the shiites in Pakistan. In response Iran funded Tehreek-e-Fiq-e-Jafariya.
This interference not only paved the way for many more coming future extremist cells and groups but also gave rise to the Taliban regime (current disastrous turmoil of the state). That ongoing war between both states neither affected Iran nor Saudi Arabia but it destroyed the peace and social infrastructure of Pakistan. Saudis are even not satisfied with President Zardari as he wants to maintain good relations with Iran. Saudis are scared of Pakistan, Iran and Iraq (under Shia authority) triangle. Saudis also called him “rotten head.” Shows the state of mind of the Saudi regime.
Saudi Arabia is playing active role in Pakistani politics as well.One of its main examples was bailing out of Nawaz Sharif from the hands of Musharaf. He and his family was not even given political asylum but also provided with business license, main reason behind the Sharif family’s complete allegiance to Saudi Arabia, they not only saved his neck but his economic interests are also tied to the Saudis. Now Sharif brothers keep their eyes closed over the jihadi activities and invisibly support them.
Saudi Arabia, constantly supports the corrupt and dishonest politicians of Pakistan. Whenever there is a deadlock, case is referred to Saudis, as ultimate authority. Saudis are enjoying the status of puppet masters causing worst political turmoil resulting Pakistan to lose its prestige and honor in international platforms. Ironically, they themselves also do not trust these politicians, during flood crisis, they gave aid to the flood victims in the form of food and other daily use articles instead of liquid money, even this was made possible when General Kiyani himself went to Saudi Arabia and gave his guarantee.
Recently, it’s being speculated that being a close ally of USA Saudi Arabia played the role of mediator in deal between USA and the families of the victims of Raymond Davis case, though Saudia denied it but PM Gilani gave the hint of Saudis’ involvement. Again this was a direct hit on the sovereignty of the state. Though this was the case of Punjab government, Shabaz Sharif referred it to the federal authority and they to Supreme Court and one day before his release Nawaz Sharif suddenly left for UK in pretext of bad health conditions. Ironic still Saudis deny their involvement.
This over all analysis of the current relation shows that now Saudis are interfering way too much, first it was only being run by USA now Saudis are also deeply involved. Saudis’ positive contribution cannot be neglected or forgotten but we need some space. We need some air to breath. This constant involvement is causing Saudi Arabia to lose her good reputation in Pakistan. People know how deep USA and Saudi relations go and most of the time it is speaking the language of USA on Pakistan’s part.



A Symbolic Depiction of Continual Struggle

The Generations Striving for a Prosperous & Progressive Pakistan



{January 11, 2011}   When politics trumps the economy

Dr Maleeha Lodhi
The writer is a former envoy to the US and UK, and a former editor of The News.

 

 

 

 

 

By winning back the MQM’s support in parliament, the PPP-led coalition has managed to avert a potential collapse and ease a political crisis. But this has been secured at a heavy price – the abandonment of urgent reforms that have put the economy in serious jeopardy and will place the government in a bigger bind later.

When the MQM walked out of the ruling coalition the PPP saw itself confronted with a choice between saving the government and saving the economy. To no one’s surprise it opted for the first. Political expediency trumped the urgency to fix the economy.

The PPP government first announced the decision to reverse the fuel price increase that was to take effect from the start of the new year. This was followed by the deferment of legislation in parliament to enforce a reformed general sales tax – demanded by much of the opposition and the MQM.

These decisions won the government a political reprieve that may yet turn out to be temporary. But they entail serious repercussions for an economy in disarray especially if compensating actions are not taken to offset the impact on an unsustainable fiscal situation. And these will also not be politically easy to take.

The rollback of the petroleum price decision will involve an additional subsidy of at least Rs5 billion or $53.8 million a month. As an IMF spokesperson put it, the bulk of this subsidy’s benefit will go to higher income individuals and large companies. Most deleteriously it will add to a spiralling budget deficit, which will likely be financed by printing more currency notes. The inflationary impact of this will soon offset the ostensible ‘benefit of rolling back the fuel price’.

The government’s economic team hopes to limit the damage by persuading its political principles to remove the fuel subsidy after one month – when the political crisis begins to recede. But it is not clear how such a weak government will make another policy U turn especially when the political environment remains charged and its position so fragile.

If the government fails to reduce the burden of the subsidy, mobilize additional revenue and cut inessential expenditure, the fiscal deficit will soar to a record level – around eight per cent of GDP. Financing such a large deficit mainly by borrowing from the State Bank will accelerate inflation, begin to deplete foreign exchange reserves and put pressure on the exchange rate.

The external side could then rapidly deteriorate and the present ‘record’ level of foreign exchange reserves slip quite quickly (as there is no offsetting financing and the oil import bill is rising) despite the continued robust inflow of workers’ remittances. The government will then be compelled again to seek external funding.

As the programme with the IMF is off-track loan disbursement by the Fund remains suspended. This together with the oil price decision will make it harder to receive financing from other international financial institutions – the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Instead of phasing out subsidies and address the vexed circular debt problem the latest government move compounds it. In the absence of other action on energy sector reform this will further complicate management of the country’s crippling energy crisis.

In an imploding fiscal situation created by the failure to mobilize revenue, limit expenditure and stem the losses in public sector enterprises including the energy utilities the government has been resorting to printing more currency notes as a politically convenient way to cover the widening fiscal gap. In an environment of high inflation further borrowing from the central Bank will undermine public confidence in the country’s currency, fuel greater inflationary expectations, move the economy towards dollarization, and push it a step closer to a state of hyperinflation.

Thus the celebration over the government’s rollback of the fuel price increase and RGST by most political leaders and much of the media overlooks the grave implications of these decisions in contributing to a deepening fiscal crisis and the danger this poses for the country’s stability: the prospect of runaway inflation which is the most cruel tax on the poor, erosion of everyone’s real purchasing power, retarding sluggish growth, crowding out the private sector, deepening poverty and ultimately engendering civil strife, even political instability.

It has been left to finance minister Hafiz Sheikh to warn parliamentary leaders about the gravity of this situation and the inflationary impact of continuing general subsidies particularly at a time when domestic resource mobilization measures in the form of the RGST are stalled in parliament. Many leaders seemed to understand the heightening risks but are unable to square the economic imperative with their politics.

Little understood by many who virulently oppose the RGST is the fact that this is the single most effective instrument that can generate substantial revenue. This is not to suggest that a VAT-like measure can unilaterally solve the country’s fiscal problems but its ability to enhance tax revenue by 2-3 per cent of GDP in the medium term makes it a more important option relative to others.

The unstated presumption behind the lack of official resolve on reforms and a similar attitude among opposition politicians is that the US-led international community will prevail on the IMF to resume lending and prevent an economic collapse in a strategically vital country. The stream of messages sent by Islamabad to top officials of the Obama Administration to weigh in with the Fund indicates this.

These have so far got little traction. Instead, in a public rebuke, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized the reversal of the petroleum price increase and described this as a mistake. Ministers of other development partners have been more blunt in stating that their country’s taxpayers cannot be expected to help when Pakistan cannot get its own taxpayers to pay up.

Government leaders and others may therefore be miscalculating that Washington can or will ask the Fund to bail Islamabad out. At a time when the IMF is participating in programmes that entail sharp adjustments in many cash-strapped European countries is it realistic to think that it will apply different performance criteria here?

Can IMF funding be expected to resume to Pakistan without any national revenue effort or correction of fiscal policy and an automatic, flexible mechanism for administrative price adjustments that is by some measure symmetric and fair? Absent structural reforms to deal with the haemorrhage in public sector enterprises and worsening circular debt as well as significant control of expenditure, can any rescue plan even work?

Irrespective of what the IMF does, the growing economic disarray in the country should concern all leaders in and out of government. An economy with no direction and no policy reforms to halt the slide and the spectre of dangerously high inflation should engage the attention of all public representatives.

Tough economic decisions will ultimately have to be taken but the longer they are postponed the greater the adjustment that will be required. The political pain of necessary reform will have to be shared if Pakistan is to be saved from an economic breakdown.

This means forging a political consensus on a set of reform measures needed to restore financial stability. This can only be achieved by an informed debate in parliament and the media and an agreement not to politicize economic problems on whose resolution rests the very future of the country.

In today’s strained political environment evolving consensus on a minimum reform agenda may seem a vain hope but the alternative – a descent into economic chaos – should serve as a reminder of what might happen if no policy correctives are implemented. This ought to urge different stakeholders to review their stance of putting short-term expediency before the country’s economic security. After all without such stability their political gamesmanship will be in vain.




By Martin Parry

For (AFP)

An anti-corruption tribunal against Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer ended Tuesday with no decision and a further hearing scheduled for February 5.

The three face charges of spot-fixing during Pakistan’s tour of England last year in a scandal that rocked the sport. It is alleged that they conspired in the bowling of deliberate no-balls in the Lord’s Test — claims they all deny.

They were provisionally suspended by the ICC in September, with the world governing body’s code of conduct carrying a minimum five-year ban and maximun life out of the game if corruption charges are proved.

The hearing began last Thursday but Michael Beloff, commissioner of the three-man independent tribunal, said they needed more time to consider the issues.

“The tribunal have throughout been very conscious of the importance of these proceedings to the three players and the wider world of cricket,” he said in a statement read to media waiting at the Qatar Financial Centre venue.

“Representations have been made to it to reserve any decision on the charges still before it until it has had sufficient time to give the issues careful consideration and until it is able, at the same time as handing down its decision, to provide written reasons.

“This would not be feasible in the timeframe agreed for this hearing in Doha.

“The tribunal has therefore determined to continue its deliberations and hold a further hearing in Doha on the fifth of February of this year, at which its decisions will be handed down to the parties and any consequential matters will be dealt with.

“Until that date, all three players will remain suspended from all cricketing activities.”

None of the players or their lawyers were immediately available for comment although fast bowler Aamer told reporters earlier in the day that it had been one of the hardest times of his life.

“You can see my eyes are sore because I have not been able to sleep for the last few days,” he said.

“I have been talking to my parents and they have tried to raise my confidence. I know a lot of people are praying for me because its a matter of my career.”

Former Pakistan players expressed disappointment that no verdict was reached.

“It’s absurd,” former captain Zaheer Abbas told AFP.

“The International Cricket Council has kept the players hostage for the last five months and now they have deferred the decision, which is inexplicable.”

Another former captain Asif Iqbal was also surprised at the delay.

“The ICC has taken so much time on this case and have spent so much money on it and yet could not take a decision… it is strange,” said Iqbal.

“I am surprised at the delay.”

The scandal came to light when Britain’s News of the World claimed that seven Pakistani players, including Butt, Aamer and Asif, took money from bookie Mazhar Majeed to obey orders at specific stages in the Lord’s Test in August.

Scotland Yard detectives raided the team hotel in London, reportedly confiscating a huge amount of money from former Pakistan captain Butt’s room.

All three men enlisted serious legal heavyweights to state their cases them with paceman Asif, 28, represented by Allan Cameron, brother of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Former Test captain and opening batsman Butt, 26, was represented by British-based lawyer Yasin Patel, while 18-year-old Aamer’s legal team was headed by Shahid Karim from Pakistan.

It is seen as the worst scandal in cricket since that of South Africa’s Hansie Cronje.

A decade ago the former South Africa captain, who died in a mysterious plane crash in 2002, was revealed to have accepted money from bookmakers in a bid to influence the course of games as well as trying to corrupt his team-mates.

 



{January 9, 2011}   FACEBOOK WILL END ON MARCH 15th!

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be shut down in March. Managing the site has become too stressful.

“Facebook has gotten out of control,” said Zuckerberg in a press conference outside his Palo Alto office, “and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness.”

Zuckerberg went on to explain that starting March 15th, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts.

“After March 15th the whole website shuts down,” said Avrat Humarthi, Vice President of Technical Affairs at Facebook. “So if you ever want to see your pictures again, I recommend you take them off the internet. You won’t be able to get them back once Facebook goes out of business.”

Zuckerberg said that the decision to shut down Facebook was difficult, but that he does not think people will be upset.

“I personally don’t think it’s a big deal,” he said in a private phone interview. “And to be honest, I think it’s for the better. Without Facebook, people will have to go outside and make real friends. That’s always a good thing.”

Some Facebook users were furious upon hearing the shocking news.

“What am I going to do without Facebook?” said Denise Bradshaw, a high school student from Indiana. “My life revolves around it. I’m on Facebook at least 10 hours a day. Now what am I going to do with all that free time?”

However, parents across the country have been experiencing a long anticipated sense of relief.

“I’m glad the Facebook nightmare is over,” said Jon Guttari, a single parent from Detroit. “Now my teenager’s face won’t be glued to a computer screen all day. Maybe I can even have a conversation with her.”

Those in the financial circuit are criticizing Zuckerberg for walking away from a multibillion dollar franchise. Facebook is currently ranked as one of the wealthiest businesses in the world, with economists estimating its value at around 7.9 billion.

But Zuckerberg remains unruffled by these accusations. He says he will stand by his decision to give Facebook the axe.

“I don’t care about the money,” said Zuckerberg. “I just want my old life back.”

The Facebook Corporation suggests that users remove all of their personal information from the website before March 15th. After that date, all photos, notes, links, and videos will be permanently erased.

 




By: The Hindu

China and Pakistan on Sunday decided to strengthen communication  and coordination in regional affairs  on “hotspot issues” like Afghanistan, and agreed to “advance pragmatic cooperation” in pursuit of common development and enhance collaboration in border management.

In a joint statement issued at the end of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s three-day visit to Pakistan, the two countries reiterated their resolve to work in tandem on major

international issues including United Nations reform, climate change, and food and energy security. Earlier, addressing a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, Mr. Wen assured Pakistan of China’s steadfast support while maintaining that terrorism should not be linked to any one country or religion.

Acknowledging Pakistan as an important member state of the region, the Chinese leader said Islamabad played a vital role in safeguarding peace, security and stability. “The Chinese side held the view that Pakistan has made great efforts and endured great sacrifices in fighting terrorism, and reiterated that it respects the counter-terrorism strategy constituted and implemented by Pakistan in light of its own national conditions,” said the statement.

The two countries reaffirmed their resolve to cooperate through bilateral and multilateral frameworks to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism — all of which threaten regional peace, stability and security. On the specific issue of Afghanistan, the two voiced support for the unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and also Kabul’s bid to advance peace, reconstruction and national reconciliation.

Rejoicing in their enduring relationship that turns 60 next year, China and Pakistan shared the view that “against the backdrop of a complex and ever-changing international and regional situation, it is of high significance to consolidate and deepen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation”.

In keeping with this spirit, both voiced respect for each other’s territorial integrity and the joint statement reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the One China policy. Pakistan also supported the “peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and China’s reunification” and the efforts made by the Chinese government to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On developmental matters, China and Pakistan have decided to intensify cooperation in infrastructure development, energy and agriculture on a priority basis. Currency swap arrangements will be established and qualified Pakistani banks will be allowed to open branches in China.

While the possibility of establishing trans-border economic zones will be explored by both sides, Pakistan has decided to establish a Special Economic Zone for Chinese businesses to attract more investment from China.

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{December 13, 2010}   Tips for Success in Interviews

  • First impression is the best impression. You will be judged by ; the way you dress, your educational qualification, work experience, body language, manners, ability to absorb the information and interpret it intelligently and clearly. So take care to be at your best.
  • Carry your relevant documents in order – like certificates, copy of application sent, bio-data etc. in a folder so that it can be easily shown when asked. Take a pen also.
  • Present the documents only if the interviewer ask for it.
  • Never be late for an interview.
  • Greet the interviewers as soon as you enter.
  • Sit down only when you are asked to. It is better not to pull the chair, either lift it or move it and always enter from the right side of the chair.
  • Say ‘please and thank you’ whenever required.
  • Listen carefully and pay attention to the question. If the question is not clear to you ask politely for a repeat.
  • Reply confidently and immediately to the point, keeping your answers short unless asked for a longer description.
  • While answering, look directly at the person asking the questions and try to be pleasant.
  • Replies connected to any details regarding your bio-data should be authentic.
  • It is better to admit if you don’t know something.
  • Remember to say ‘sorry’ if your opinions or answers are rejected.
  • Avoid indulging in certain mannerisms in your speech or behavior.
  • You can ask when you can expect to hear from them before you leave.
  • Don’t forget to say “Thank you” at the end of an interview to every interviewer before leaving.
  • Shake hands only if the interviewer initiates the gesture.
  • Walk out confidently without looking back.
  • Gently shut the door behind you as you leave.

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Review these typical interview questions and think about how you would
answer them. Read the questions listed; you will also find some
strategy suggestions with it.

(Excerpted from the book The Accelerated Job Search by Wayne D. Ford, Ph.D, published by The Management Advantage, Inc.)

1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short
statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound
rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise.
Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to
the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest
back and work up to the present.

 

2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major
problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers
or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep
smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an
opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking
reasons.

3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for.
If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.

4. Do you consider yourself successful?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good
explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and are
on track to achieve the others.

5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific
statement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith
Company, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever known. It
is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview herself.

6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization
before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are
going. What are the current issues and who are the major players?

7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide
variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement.
Have some good ones handy to mention.

8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus
on this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything else is
a distraction.

9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the
research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely
important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term
career goals.

10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This
can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not
relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought
of.

11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if
you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like,
That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position?
In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not,
say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide
range.

12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready.
Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team rather
than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do not brag,
just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.

13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I’d like
it to be a long time. Or As long as we both feel I’m doing a good job.

14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?
This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you
like to fire people. At the same time, you will do it when it is the
right thing to do. When it comes to the organization versus the
individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the
organization. Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in
force.

15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here.
Do you have strong feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That’s the
type of answer that works best here. Short and positive, showing a
benefit to the organization.

16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the type
of work you prefer. Do not say yes if you do not mean it.

17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying
negative things about the people or organization involved.

18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to
highlight your best points as they relate to the position being
discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.

19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not
mention any other candidates to make a comparison.

20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted
and was then considered successful. One related to the type of work
applied for is a real plus.

21. What irritates you about co-workers?
This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with
anything that irritates you. A short statement that you seem to get
along with folks is great.

22. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples:
Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability
to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects, Your
professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive attitude

23. Tell me about your dream job.
Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job you
are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say another
job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with
this position if hired. The best is to stay genetic and say something
like: A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and
can’t wait to get to work.

24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.

25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23

26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the organization,
violence or lawbreaking to get you to object. Minor objections will
label you as a whiner.

27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is
no better answer.

28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
There are numerous good possibilities:
Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise,
Initiative, Patience, Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver

29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of
your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former
boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay positive and
develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.

30. What has disappointed you about a job?
Don’t get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include:
Not enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company did
not win a contract, which would have given you more responsibility.

31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an
example that relates to the type of position applied for.

32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want
another job more than this one.

33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are:
Challenge, Achievement, Recognition

34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.

35. How would you know you were successful on this job?
Several ways are good measures:
You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a
success.Your boss tell you that you are successful

36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if
you think there is a chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to get
the job if the real answer is no. This can create a lot of problems
later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself
future grief.

37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead ofyour own?
This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about
the deep ethical and philosophical implications. Just say yes.

38. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like progressive,
salesman or consensus, can have several meanings or descriptions
depending on which management expert you listen to. The situational
style is safe, because it says you will manage according to the
situation, instead of one size fits all.

39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make
it small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An
example would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and
thus throwing coordination off.

40. Do you have any blind spots?
Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer blind
spots. Do not reveal any personal areas of concern here. Let them do
their own discovery on your bad points. Do not hand it to them.

41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.

42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well
qualified for the position.

43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know about,
bring that up: Then, point out (if true) that you are a hard working
quick learner.

44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of
humor, fair, loyal to subordinates and holder of high standards. All
bosses think they have these traits.

45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute betweenothers.
Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving technique
and not the dispute you settled.

46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.

47. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to
get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.

48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. Show
acceptance and no negative feelings.

49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.

50. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on? are
examples.

 

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{December 12, 2010}   When in the hot seat

By: Mariam Naeem Khan

Interviews can be nerve-racking especially when you have little clue on what might impress the interviewers. A weak performance in answering questions can sabotage your chances of getting the job, hence read between the lines. While answering, be specific and match your skills with the company’s requirements, staying within the parametres of your job description.

A fter submitting your resume to numerous vacancy advertisements in the newspapers, networking with many contacts and filling thousands of on-line application forms, you finally receive that long awaited interview call.

However, are you ready to make the impression of a lifetime? Here are a few interview tips that can help you make a lasting impression and can increase the likelihood of landing you a job offer: Choose your outfit carefully In lots of cases, interviewers make a mental decision in the first 10 seconds of the interview whether a candidate is right for the position. This is why personal presentation is essential.

Select an outfit that fits nicely and makes you feel confident. Avoid wearing dark colours as they generally represent authoritative personalities; medium shades are more approachable and pleasant. Remember to cut and file your nails; if you wear them long and like applying nail varnish, make sure they are manicured.

Also, while you should always wear a deodorant or a perfume, don’t over-use them. Your employer/s may be allergic or the scent may simply make them uncomfortable. Shoes must be polished, hair combed and adorned with sober accessories to give you a professional look. Go prepared Before appearing for an interview, it is essential for the job seeker to do some primary research about the company and learn about its projects, its products, its services and most importantly its recent development in the industry. An interviewee should be prepared to respond to the most common question a majority of employers like to begin their interview with, “What do you know about our company?” A wrong or misinformed answer can be disastrous.

Next, know your job description. Why? Because most of the interview questions are likely to revolve around your job description and the skills needed to deliver the tasks. Match your skills with those mentioned in the job description and evaluate which skills you’ve used on your previous job. This will save you from any unannounced hiccups during the interview. Also, do not forget to take your CV along. Remember your manners Punctuality and good manners can take you to your dream job! Be punctual and arrive only five to ten minutes before the interview time.

“Reaching too early makes a candidate anxious and they keep rehearsing the interview in their head. It’s a bit frustrating on the interviewer’s part too, as they need to rush things to facilitate this individual who’s been waiting for long. This could affect the performance of both the parties,” says a top recruiting manager from a multinational company.

Smile a bit and be courteous. Don’t appear shy or confused. Politely ask the receptionist for the officer who will be interviewing you. Greet and shake hands firmly when they appear. Don’t take a seat until asked and thank the panel after being seated. Interviewers usually start by introducing themselves, so listen attentively and acknowledge each one of them. Your body language counts The old adage, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” is still a relevant motto. Slouching back in the seat with disinterested eyes will not help your application even if you’re giving the best possible answer. Similarly, leaning too much in the chair with clasped hands and an extremely earnest look will put the interviewers off.

The best position is to sit up straight and slightly lean towards the interviewer when they ask a question. If there is more than one interviewer, change your body direction to the individual who’s putting forth the question. Carry an interested countenance and nod moderately to show your enthusiasm. Maintain a direct eye contact with the interviewer whose question you’re answering, but also, occasionally, look at other examiner.

Do no fidget about as it shows nervousness. Sitting crossed-legged with one shaking above the other is bad manners. Also, folding your hands on your chest implies that you’re getting defencive. Interpret the meaning of questions Interviews can be nerve-racking especially when you have little clue on what might impress the interviewers. A weak performance in answering questions can sabotage your chances of getting the job, hence read between the lines and hit the nail on the head.

A common interview question is, “Why do you want to work for us?” This is a tricky question. While answering, be specific and match your skills with the company’s requirements, staying within the parametres of your job description. A detailed response would show the interviewer you’ve done your research and that you are worth investing in.

For instance, they may ask you about your greatest weakness. You may reply that you have none or that you’re weak at Math. But a better response would be to identify a weakness during your inter view preparation phase and say, “I’m emotional, but I’m practising self-reflection on my behaviour, responses and thinking patterns.” Such a response would show the employer you’re self-aware, are willing to take feedback seriously and will take action in the areas that need improvement. Always ask a question when they give you a chance Towards the end of the interview, employers always give candidates a chance to ask questions. Sadly, many job seekers don’t realise the importance of the questions they ask. The kind of question you ask will give interviewers a fair idea of how professional you are. Asking either silly questions or no questions is a mistake.

A common question that interviewees do ask is, “When can I expect the result of this interview?” Please, ask something more productive and informative. Ten candidates before you have asked the same question and this leaves no difference between you and them. A few good interview questions can be:

“How would you describe your management style?” This will give you an insight of how things work in this company.

“Can you please describe the qualities that you’re looking for in the ideal candidate?” This will give you a chance to evaluate your answers during the interview.

“What do you like the best about this firm?” He/she gives his/her opinions and feels valued. ¦

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{December 12, 2010}   Chaotic Karachi

By: Naushaba Burney

W hen, as an excited schoolgirl, I first arrived in Karachi from the big and beautiful New Delhi, I was delighted. The first capital of newly-independent Pakistan was relaxed, uncrowded and with the added attraction of a breezy seaside. It was also as clean and safe as can be.

It didn’t take Karachi very long to change and we are all familiar with our thrusting, jostling metropolis that has bloated into one of the world’s largest cities. Until recently though, this port city was an exciting place with people of every hue and variety engaged in trade and industry, art and cultural activities and a host of other professions. Job-seekers, not just from the four corners of the country but from across our borders east, west, north and south flock to this metropolis to earn a livelihood.

The focus of these enmeshed and inter-connected millions started to change some years back and today the countless divisive groups are at each other’s throats. Violence, in other words, has become endemic. Newspapers print a daily tally of death — young men mostly plus a woman or two — that is going up alarmingly. That large numbers of highly trained and heavily armed Taliban are holed up in various parts of the city today is no secret. Their ferocity and total absence of humanity, the bloodletting of countless innocent souls including children are no longer unknown to Karachiites.

I heard an interesting story about tolerance at a recent meeting I attended. At a new housing development for people of average means there was only one mosque. All the different groups that constitute Islam today wanted to take over the mosque for their exclusive use. Since that was not possible and violence loomed, sensible leaders from all the diverse factions got together and actually, yes actually, agreed to share the mosque. Harmony was restored without a shot being fired or a head broken.

But let’s focus at this point at the daily struggle we wage on the city roads as we head towards offices, schools, markets, whatever. Homeward bound in the evening, it’s the same story. In other big cities the incessant traffic flow, even heavier than Karachi’s, appears well-managed since everyone obeys the traffic rules. Nobody, not even the police, bothers about road rules and regulations here and push, shove and thrust forward as if moving ahead of the other drivers is a matter of honour and pride, even if it means scraping or knocking down other road users.

The staggering escalation in the number of motorbikes swarming on Karachi roads, exacerbated by the recent explosion of modernised motor rickshaws has made getting anywhere not just a difficult but dangerous activity. Especially since the bikers insist on crowding in the fast right lane normally designated for automobiles. Karachi must be the only giant metropolis without a mass transit system. All three big cities in neighbouring India now have acquired mass transit systems. Even tiny Dubai has launched mass transit, can you believe that. The bridges, flyovers and underpasses that have appeared on the Karachi road network in the last few years are a boon no doubt. But they cannot substitute for a mass transit system, preferably underground.

The traffic police who look so smart in their starched white outfits tend to act as if modelling their uniforms on the city roads is their sole function. Getting nearly killed by a speeding car which drove right through a red light, I stepped up to a nearby traffic policeman and asked him why he hadn’t hauled up the offending driver. His reply: ‘What can I do? It is big people like yourself who should write in the media about drivers who break traffic rules.’ While quite baffled by his response, and upset too, I suppose the traffic policeman should be commended for at least being aware of the power of the media. It would help, of course, if traffic policemen were also aware of their own power. But wait a minute! Haven’t we all seen people break all kinds of rules and laws and get away with it simply by dropping a few big names? So until this city gets a mass transit system, it would help if the police strictly enforced the traffic rules. Also, shouldn’t the educated, or at least literate, white-collar types also stop cutting corners when driving and scrupulously obey traffic regulations?

Introducing any kind of change in a monolithic metropolis like Karachi is a laborious process, but the crazy wedding scene which had broken all bounds, with rukhsattis taking place at 3am, has, of late, improved markedly. The lights-out-at-midnight rule has taken hold, and with food being served on time guests start to leave around 11pm. But then event managers or wedding planners have moved in and what a difference that can make. Wedding spaces are now decorated with such flair and taste that they compete with the bride for your attention. And the profusion of flowers, with heaps of roses massed in elaborate arrangements, can only be called dazzling. Life in Karachi during this heavenly winter weather can be great if only the violence and crime graph could be lowered. ¦

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