Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Monday January 14th 2019

Jobless graduate rejected by foreigner interviewers at a management consulting firm

Dear Mr Gilbert Goh,

Hi I am writing to you to highlight my experience.

I recently went through an interview process at a management consulting firm. From sending of application to final decision it took a whopping 3+ months. There were 5 rounds and all my interviewers were foreigners, from Europe, India, China etc.

Management consulting interviews are difficult and test your logical and analytical skills. In that aspect I aced the 8 case studies and brainteasers thrown at me during the rounds as highlighted by the final interviewer who had all my feedback forms. However, in the end I was rejected because of “cultural fit” issues.

I am just wondering is this “cultural fit” a new euphemism for legalized discrimination? I supposed they thought that me being a Singaporean will not fit in with their highly diverse group of foreigners – I have checked Linkedin  and the majority of Singapore-based employees I can find on the website are not from Singapore too.

In the end I am left feeling very numb and unsatisfied. Could it be that I was just used by the company to show MOM that there are suitable Singaporean employees, and in the end they will just hire another FT? I have heard rumours of such procedures conducted but did not expect them to be so blatantly true! If there really was a cultural fit problem, shouldn’t it have been highlighted during the previous interview rounds, and shouldn’t I have been culled from the herd straight away? The entire process was really unprofessional too, with interviews rescheduled at the last minute and being postponed to more than a month later. In hindsight, these were all red flags I should have considered.

I am hoping that you can advise me on this issue, and whether its possible to spot such “Fake and for show” interviews in the future. I would also like to meet any career coaches you have if possible.

Thanks and best regards,


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6 Responses to “Jobless graduate rejected by foreigner interviewers at a management consulting firm”

  1. George says:

    Haha… Did you and/or your parents vote for the PAP? If so then no sympathies..

  2. Gary says:

    Workplace cultural fit is just only an excuse to make the potential candidate ineligible for the post. The HR will KIV the potential candidates & tell the company boss tat the local candidate can’t ‘mix’ or even communicate with a diversified multi-cultural, multi-races work environment, in a sense the candidate got downplay & discriminated at interview. It’s also keep a record to inform authority that local candidates were considered in the interview before they hire the foreign talent, in a way, the employer exploit this loophole of hiring their own kind. Even if the local candidate were to be selected, the recruited new local candidate will find it too harsh to work in a very hostile multi-faceted kind of work environment, in the end the he/she work performances will be affected & being ask to resign or leave…bingo, these r all the dirty tricks do unto the local residents here …

  3. Texas says:

    Evil Warlord … Foreigners help to create good jobs for Singaporeans !!!

  4. Wei Sheng says:

    I think it is better to come out with a regulation that all HR need to be a local and must be licensed. The local to foreigner quota need to enhance. Don’t give or renew any work permit to the company if cannot meet required quota. MOM need to get extra tough on errand employers.

  5. Noob says:

    Dear M,

    Have you heard of the Chinese proverb “burning down a bridge after a person has crossed over it”? I have similar incidents, numerous time, where foreign employers lacked certain local operational knowledge and than make use of interviewing processes to gain such knowledge from local by asking questions. Once they have learned sufficient knowledge through their interviewee, they rejected them.

    There was this music company which applied similar tactic and continue to do so until now. The interviewer asked interviewee to submit sample of interviewee’s previous companies management report and minutes (even though they were confidential). When I asked the interviewer why the need to request such confidential reports from my previous companies, the interviewee told me that they wanted to make sure the candidates is genuine for the post and suitable for the role which require writing minutes and churning management report. I didn’t give them what they asked and was instantly rejected the same day.

    Be wary of what interviewer wanted during interview. Some of them just wanted to be entertained with no sincere intent to shortlist Singapore real talent because we were bought by Singapore “tripartism” for decade and foreigners ain’t fearful of Singapore faked union. It seems, this year our leader is bankrupt of what to say on Labour Day, stark sign of failed policies go bring Singaporean jobs.

    • xyz says:

      Harrr?!?! Asking you to give confi info from prev companies is both ethically & contractually wrong. If prev company finds out, they can come after you & the interviewing company. The interviewing company may be big & rich enough to fend off the prev company. But your prev company can easily sue you & make future work difficult for you.

      Need to confirm whether you’re genuine/competent is a flimsy excuse. That’s what professional references are for. If they really want to find out, I’ll give them the contacts of my previous director, GM, and CEO, as well as HR Dir to confirm my performance ratings.

      But in the 1st place, if the interviewer even asks me to reveal confi info, I’ll simply stand up & walk out. Integrity & ethics is most important when dealing with people. Unless you’re very hardcore and have a lifetime experience associating with criminals & gangsters and fully prepared for what will happen eventually.

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