6 March 2019 FT — Articles to Read

6 March 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are 20 ways to improve your chances of getting a job?


China lifts defence spending as costs rise – Pg. 4

–          China will increase its defence budget by 7.5% …this year…

–          The rise to $179bn continues 25 years of increases that have made China the biggest military spender after the US, which will spend $686bn on defence this year.  Last year the Chinese budget rose 8.1%

–          As part of the overhaul, Beijing is downsizing its ground forces, upgrading the rocket and missile forces and creating an electronic warfare branch known as the Strategic Support Force

–          This year’s budget increase is in line with single-digit annual increases since 2016, but contrasts with average jumps of more than 12% a year during the preceding decade


Fears over forex trading going bump in the night – Pg. 21

–          Flash crashes are becoming a fact of life in late-night currency trading, and while regulators are poring over what lies beneath them, bankers say the changing structure of the industry means further slip-ups are inevitable

–          Sterling’s sudden 10% slump over just 40 seconds in October 2016, meanwhile, prompted close examination from the BoE

–          The problem is that the exchange rates struck in these incidents are not scrubbed from trading systems

–          They stand, which means companies’ and investors’ hedging contracts or orders can be triggered, sometimes to their detriment.  In a worst-case scenario, such violent moves could threaten financial stability.  But few are proposing any sort of fix

–          The world’s foreign exchange markets do not open or close through the working days of the week.  Instead, they operate continuously from Monday to Friday.  Over that long stretch, the start of the global trading day has always been very quiet

–          The slow overnight trading period is reflected in the cost of trading

–          It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that as machines have started to take over from humans, this sleepy period has become a perilous time

–          Lower numbers of human traders trained at spotting and defusing unnecessary market shake-ups clearly play a role but the nature of their replacement also matters

–          Computer-driven algorithmic trading firms tended to pull out of the market when volatility unexpectedly spikes…


Answer: (1) Dress the part (Prof Note: True but also be yourself); (2) Research the company and role (Prof Note: When I was interviewing, i.e. 90s, 90% of the interview was HR telling me about the job.  Of course this was really pre-internet); (3) Prepare insightful interview questions; (4) Show up on time (Prof Note: I recommend showing up 10 minutes early.  If you show up to early it can stress the interviewer.  I use to get so angry when people would stop by my office telling me someone was waiting in reception for me and they were an hour early.  I had calls and meetings!); (5) Know your interviews (Prof Note: With Linked-in and online profiles there is no reason not to know your interviewer  but do NOT stalk); (6) Smile and be courteous; (7) Be careful of what you say and do while waiting (Prof Note: I always received an email/call from reception about candidates.  Were they hitting on the receptionist?  Were they wearing goofy socks?  Were they inapproporiate?); (8) Ask for the job; (9) Prepare for the ‘Weakness’ Question (Prof Note: I tire of this question.  Here is the answer, “My writing must be more succinct.  While I have been told it is excellent, the more I can communicate in business with the least amount of words we all are!”  ‘nough said, say that!); (10) Talk about the value you’ll add to the company; (11) Stay focused; (12) Sound confident; (13) Do not fidget or bite your nails (Prof Note: Do not look at your phone.  Do not wear a watch and look at it); (14) Pay attention to your voice and tone; (15) Explain why you are switching jobs in a positive manner (Prof Note: While it may be accurate it is perhaps best not to say, “I have decided to let the light from the burning bridges guide my way!”  (gosh I wish this was my quote!)); (16) Prove that you fit the company culture; (17) Connect with the interviewer; (18) Be interested in the interviewer; (19) Thank your interviewers; (20) Follow up (Prof Note: Also, do NOT give references that could/may have a fiduciary duty to indicate you are looking for a job.  This, as a person doing references, put me in a tight spot when a person I called for a reference mentioned this could be an issue.  It was awkward and uncomfortable for me.)