Tag : Afghanistan

Winning Interview Tips

I have interviewed hundreds of individuals in the past couple of years for different positions, including; management, development, research, telecom and many more. I believe there are a few factors that lead to a successful job interview.

I usually compare a job interview with a sales meeting — they both have a lot of similarities. It should be pretty easy for a good salesperson to deal with a job interview and vise-versa. Below are a couple of tips to help you have a successful job interview anywhere, whether a small business or a corporate:

Talk to the point

I have seen many individuals taking more than five minutes to answer a simple question. If you are asked to explain “How many people have you supervised?” then only give them the number saying “I have supervised a team of 30 people during the last two years” and that should be enough for them to move on to another question. Do not provide additional information including examples of your management, unless you are asked to do so. So the first tip is to talk to the point, don’t make it difficult for the panelists to understand what you just said. Talking is good but talking too much can sometimes lead to making the panelists feel bored and make them want to end the interview as soon as possible.

Be Honest

I have seen candidates coming to job interviews with the ultimate goal to prove that they are the smartest among the candidates. I am not saying it’s a bad intention but sometimes some of the candidates begin to provide false information or answers out of the sky, no matter what you ask them. If you don’t know the answers to the questions asked from you during a job interview then you will probably not get the job but why would you damage your reputation and end up not getting the job? Therefore, it’s always best that you provide the honest possible answers.

Don’t Say

Whether you are making a sale impression or giving a job interview, you will some times face the panelists asking you the same question multiple times. They may do it intentionally to see your patience and to see if you would provide the same answer or maybe unintentionally but the mistake the candidates make is when they say in response “As earlier said….”. No matter how many times they ask you the question, always provide the same answer and never use “As earlier said” as a prefix to your answer. The interviewer may some time take it as if you are telling them that you’ve already responded to this question so why are you asking me this again? Be humble and patient.

Choose the right kind of a position

Sometimes businesses end up recruiting people that tend to be very smart but then after spending a couple of months — they begin to realize that the recruitment of the individual was nothing but just a mistake. The point I am trying to make here is that there are people good at talking but not so good at work and vise-versa.

Try to avoid the above, be confident or don’t attend the interview at all because otherwise, you will end up disappointing yourself. I have seen people applying to a telecom position from a business background which doesn’t match and wouldn’t work for you either even if you pass the interview.

Those were my tips from interviewing more than a hundred people. I hope it will help you next time you attend a job interview or a sales meeting.

Thanks!

How is M-Paisa solving the banking problem in Afghanistan?

In a country where only 9% of the population have access to the banks, it’s always challenging to pay and get paid – especially when you live in a rural area and far away from the cities. There are many reasons why banks couldn’t get more people on board in the last 16 years; one of which is security. In a country where you have to keep armed guards for schools and universities; what would you have to keep for banks to remain open? Moving money is another challenge, what would you do with a bank account that has no money to give you at the time of withdrawal?

Solution

M-Paisa – a mobile money provider in Afghanistan is an innovative solution to many of the problems the banks couldn’t solve in the last decade. The mobile money provider does not have branches in the country but rather agents. Those agents help people with many things including; deposit, withdrawal, bill payment, mobile top-up, etc. None of the agents are paid a fixed salary; they have their own businesses to run and besides they act as an M-Paisa agent. In return, they get a commission on every payment they process. This approach has made mobile banking much easier in the country, people have access to a large number of agents for withdrawals and deposits. In addition to that, they can also go to a number of selected banks like Azizi, AUB, Pashtany, etc for withdrawal – that means the beneficiary has multiple options to make a transaction happen.

M-Paisa launched its services with the aim to create a cashless society. Therefore, they encourage people to pay each other through mobile money instead of cash withdrawals. They also have hundreds of merchants that accept M-Paisa payment instead of cash only. Not only that, but they also have an API for developers and e-commerce business owners to use to accept payments online. They are currently integrated with a mobile application for payments called Hesab.af and are in the process of integration with Afghanistan Payments Systems (APS) to enable interbank transactions.

For more on M-Paisa visit their website; https://www.roshan.af/en/personal/m-paisa/

Online Payment in Afghanistan

Getting paid online for your work in Afghanistan is one of the biggest challenges. Majority of the payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe are not interested to get their feet in Afghanistan and the local market does not have the capacity to build similar systems. Though there is one called Hesab Pay developed by Afghanistan Holding Group (a private company) but that only helps people with internal transactions and cannot process international ones – which means people still can’t get paid online.

In order to get PayPal or Stripe for your business in Afghanistan, you must open a bank account in Europe or in the U.S. which is only possible if you are a permanent resident of those places. That means a no go.

How to receive money online?

Payoneer is a unique payment gateway that enables thousands of people from countries like Afghanistan to accept payments online. There are two ways to get paid. You will have to use the traditional wire-transfer until you hit 5,000 USD threshold but once you do that. Then you will be given the option to receive payments through payment cards including Master and Visa. The wire-transfer details could be used to receive payments from Google Adsense and other sources. The beneficiary details may look like the following:

USD RECEIVING ACCOUNT (ACH)

Bank Name First Century Bank
Routing (ABA) 06112****
Account Number 401954615****
Account Type CHECKING
Beneficiary Name Sher Shah Rahim
Connecting to a marketplace?

How to withdraw (cash-out) money?

Once you open a Payoneer account, they will send a debit card to your physical location. You can use the instructions to activate your card online and once you have sufficient funds, you should be able to withdraw money from your nearest ATM. There are charges associated with the use of Payoneer such as everytime you withdraw money from an ATM, you must pay $4 but I think it’s worth it. Let me know in the comment below if you have a difficult time opening an account with Payoneer.