Guest: Fadi Shannan, former “Expats Job Offer Guarantee” client

Fadi Shannan is a medical engineer who is currently living in Kuwait. Fadi tried for 4 years to get a job in Germany. Then he booked Chris Pyak's Expats Job Offer Guarantee – and got a job offer in Germany within two months! Chris interviews Fadi about his “best practices”.

More about the Expats Job Offer Guarantee here.

Ask German employers LIVE questions. Sign up (free) to get invited.

Upcoming Podcasts

19 June 2018. One Year “How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans.” Lessons learned.
03 July 2018. Expats Career Webinar with Chris Pyak (Free registration required).
09 July 2018. Meggy Sailer, Head of Recruiting at Lilium Aviation

Listen to all episodes. Great managers offer great jobs.

Sie sind ein Arbeitgeber? Bitte hier klicken!

Transcript of the employer interview with Fadi Shannan, former “Expats Job Offer Guarantee” client.

Chris Pyak: Hello, Fadi. How are you?
Fadi Shannan: Hi, Chris. How are you?
Chris Pyak: Yeah, I'm fine. Thank you. Congratulations I say.
Fadi Shannan: Thank you very much. It was a long, short ride. Didn't take more than two months, but it was very stressful, to be honest.
Chris Pyak: Yeah, I can imagine. Fadi, tell us a little bit about yourself, professional-wise, what are you doing? Let's start with that maybe.
Fadi Shannan: My name is Fadi. I'm 38-year-old. I have a degree in biomedical engineering. I work as a division manager for a medical equipment in Kuwait, but I come from Egypt, but I live and work in Kuwait. For the last two years, as I said, I became a manager for our whole division. Possible a little bit for service and sales.
Chris Pyak: Yeah. And how long have you been looking for a career in Germany?
Fadi Shannan: To be honest, I started my search in 2013. I made my first contact through the website, Make It In Germany. They told me too many things. The first thing that at least I have to reach level B1 in German. And they said, “Okay, after that we will help you to get a job.”
Chris Pyak: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Fadi Shannan: I said okay. And I continue, because at that time this was my only reference to look for a job in Germany. And started from that date I was sending email like crazy, like almost every medical company in Germany, I think they already have my CV.
Chris Pyak: Yeah. What do you think, roughly, how many applications did you send over the time?
Fadi Shannan: Starting from 2013, not less than 400 to 500 applications.
Chris Pyak: Wow. And how many job interviews did you get out of that?
Fadi Shannan: Only one.
Chris Pyak: Oh, wow. That took a lot of effort for you, but you have … Your person, I mean, we got to know each other over the course of the last two months. You are someone who is very determined to reach your goal.
Fadi Shannan: Thank you. Thank you. This is an honor coming from you, but as I said, of course at the beginning I started to send my application in English. The response was coming very quick, they didn't take more than two days, just to get a refusal letter. Then I said okay, maybe my problem was in the German language. I start taking some German courses. I reach, as they told me, the B1 level. This was almost one year back. And I then I started to make my application in German. I had to write my CV in German, my cover letter in German, and still, I was getting the same refusal message.
Chris Pyak: This is an interesting point, that you make there, because the usual replies always are, “You have to speak more German.” But you already learn German-
Fadi Shannan: Exactly.
Chris Pyak: … And you applied in German, it didn't make any differences.
Fadi Shannan: Exactly. Nothing, nothing. I didn't feel any different, it was the same. Maybe it just took them a little bit longer for the refusal, instead of two days, it will take them one week. Still, same response. “We are sorry, we found a better candidate.” And I'm sure, I will tell you the story about this one job, where I told you, I already had an interview. They send me an email, they told me after the interview, we are sorry we found the right candidate. I said, okay maybe there is someone there and is better fit for the job than me.
Chris Pyak: Yeah.
Fadi Shannan: After two months, they put the same job announcement again in the website. I applied for it, I've been refused again. After three months they put it for the third time, same job, same area. And I applied for it again and still get refused.
Chris Pyak: This is a very typical story because what really is holding you back, it's not the lack of German language, it's German angst. The fear to try something that hasn't been done a million times before. So how did you find out about my Expats Job Offer Guarantee?
Fadi Shannan: I reached a very desperate point like I didn't know what I was doing wrong. Is it my application? Is the type of jobs I'm looking for? So I said, okay, let's search for an English-speaking job in Germany. When I search in Google, I think your website Immigration Spirit came in the first or second result.
Chris Pyak: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Fadi Shannan: So I checked it, then I find for the newsletter. I continue monitor the website for almost four months. At the beginning I told the offer for the career coaching for a duration of six months. To be honest, when I saw that amount at the beginning, I was a little bit afraid. I said, okay I will pay you the whole amount, and still, for the last four year I was getting no. What's going to happen in six months, what will be new?
At the beginning, I was so afraid.
Chris Pyak: Yeah.
Fadi Shannan: And then after getting a point that really I was willing to take a new risk, I saw this by looking at your website, and buying your book, and see all the tips in there, I was pretty sure that this guy know what he's doing. He know the German market very well. I said, okay, this will be my last try to get something start in Germany.
Chris Pyak: I think you also watched a webinar, right?
Fadi Shannan: Yeah. I watched every single video on your YouTube channel. Yeah, as I said, I was monitoring the website for almost four months, before I took the decision and really I'm so glad that I took that decision.
Chris Pyak: Yeah. I'm really wondering when you got finally this job offer, I think it was yesterday that you got the reply?
Fadi Shannan: Exactly.
Chris Pyak: I mean, this is something that you have been working towards for years. When you read … I don't know, was it in a phone call, or was it an email? How did you find out you got the job?
Fadi Shannan: The whole procedure, of course, started with the introduction. When you introduced me to the right person-
Chris Pyak: No, no. I mean exactly yesterday when you finally-
Fadi Shannan: … Ah, yesterday. Yeah, I-
Chris Pyak: … When you found out you got the job.
Fadi Shannan: … I got a phone call. Yeah, I got a phone call from them. They said, will you after the interview, all of us, we are happy with your experience, we know that you got the right tool for this, and we would like to offer you the position.
Chris Pyak: What went through your head in that moment?
Fadi Shannan: Really, to be honest, before that phone call I received an email from them, it was a very graymail. Like, I didn't know if I got the job, or they don't want to offer it to me, so I was really depressed for almost two days. I went through four interviews for almost one and a half months, and then I got nothing. So I was very depressed. To be honest when they told me, “We want to offer you the job,” I felt a little bit dizzy.
Like, okay, it's a dream that's haunting me for four years, and this is the phone call that I'm waiting for four years to tell me that we offer you the job. Really, I literally, I was standing, I sit down just to be able to continue the phone call, and just don't give them the feel that I'm so excited about.
I had to play it cool, keep it down a little bit. I said, “Okay, okay. Thank you for that. I pursued, of course, your job offer. But let me know why you think that I was fit for the job?” And then they start to tell me, oh, that I have all the right tool for that [crosstalk 00:06:28]
Chris Pyak: [crosstalk 00:06:28] yeah, please go.
Fadi Shannan: Yeah. No, no, I'm saying that it was very exciting moment.
Chris Pyak: Yeah, I can imagine that. Because we just spoke on Friday when you got the email from HR, which was very noncommittal. To be honest, I felt very much the same. I said like, “Oh, mein Gott.” He went through this huge process and it was not only one interview that you had. You had several interviews with them and now they sent you such a message. So I was depressed too, all Saturday I walked around the house, I had a very bad mood.
Fadi Shannan: Just imagine what was happening here.
Chris Pyak: Yeah, yeah. I can imagine. Then to get on Sunday such a news, is of course, is wonderful.
Fadi Shannan: Literally, before the phone call, I was decided that's it. This is just a formal call to tell me that we are sorry, we're not going to offer you a job. And then I was ready to move on and start looking for another job.
Chris Pyak: If you look back, I mean, now you are at your goal that you worked for, for four years. And we worked together for two months.
Fadi Shannan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris Pyak: If you turn around a little bit, and you look back at the road that you brought you here, from the moment that we started working together til now. Which single step, which single decision helped you the most to get this job?
Fadi Shannan: To be honest, if you put it in this way, by looking the whole road, I will tell you something, that definitely I wasted four years of my life in the wrong direction. If I know that, starting from the day one that I was looking for a job, that you are out there in the market, and you can do whatever you do, believe me, I will [inaudible 00:07:54] in 2013. The decision of getting you as a career coach for me. This is the whole thing that made difference for me.
Because you have a different thinking of the whole job application procedure. Like everybody is going with the same direction. Seeing a job announcement, or a job offer. And then start applying for the [inaudible 00:08:13], and then getting refused. What it doesn't matter if you have the right qualification, if you have a good knowledge of the language, really it doesn't matter.
Chris Pyak: Yeah.
Fadi Shannan: So really, what you did, was great. Really, there is not much words to thank you for that, really.
Chris Pyak: Thank you, Fadi. But actually, I didn't do that much. The only thing that I did was, to shift your focus a little bit. And then help you get in touch with the right people. And the rest is actually all the things that you did, and you did them superb. And actually, I have the numbers to back it up, because I evaluate after I finish a placing. Like with you, I evaluate everything we did together. And I would like to walk together with you, step-by-step through each step of what we did so that our listeners can basically learn from your best practices. Because you have-
Fadi Shannan: Yeah, yeah [crosstalk 00:08:54]
Chris Pyak: … I don't know if you know this but, you achieved on every measurement that I do, you are way above the average client that I work with. And so I sent-
Fadi Shannan: I'll say something.
Chris Pyak: … Yeah?
Fadi Shannan: It doesn't matter if you, like as a candidate, as I said, I had the right tool, but I didn't know how to use them. I have the experience, I have the language, it's still not a perfect, but I know I got some language with I can survive in the normal in Germany. But with all this tool that I had, I didn't know how to use them. I didn't know how to offer them.
So yeah, maybe I did most of the job, but without showing me the right way to go through, I wasn't able, because as I said, four years back I was doing every single step the same. Seeing a job offer, applying for it, get refused. But-
Chris Pyak: Maybe that's a good point-
Fadi Shannan: … Understand … Yeah? Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris Pyak: … Maybe that's a good point to very quickly explain to the listener. What I'm actually doing. I'm a business coach, I introduce international professionals to managers in Germany. So that they can talk with each other about the real requirements of the job. And that is actually what gets them the job. And my clients, like you Fadi, you basically do two things in the up to six months that we work together. Number one is you find the jobs that you're interested in. And number two is you find the managers that are offering this jobs. And I show you how you find these managers. And then I introduce you to them-
Fadi Shannan: Exactly.
Chris Pyak: … Exactly. And then from that moment on, I take over, I build a connection to the managers, I introduce you to the managers, the managers agree to talk to you, and they know already that you are looking for a job, that you are interested in working for them. And everything else after that comes from your own interaction.
But let's take our listeners through this process, step-by-step because you did a few things really, really successful and I would like them to have the opportunity to learn from your experience. So I have a few questions if it's okay with you?
Fadi Shannan: Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure.
Chris Pyak: Good. The first question that I have is, when I look at the numbers, we worked together sciatically you booked the Expats Job Offer Guarantee in the last week of December. So basically in the Christmas-time, when nothing was working. And we really started to work in January together. And in this time, you reached out, you sent me 24 managers that you were interested in and 24 different jobs. And 16 of them agreed to talk to you. Two-thirds of them, they were willing to talk to you. And that's already … The average is 40%, which is very good, but you are, with two-thirds, you are way beyond that.
Can you explain that? What do you think helped you the most, that so much more people are interested in your job application than in the average one?
Fadi Shannan: Mm-hmm (affirmative), I will tell you something. The first part is to be sure that the job description is fitting you. Like, this is really what you are doing. You have a really solid background and experience about this job. The second thing, you teach me how to use the XING website, which is a really, very powerful tool.
Chris Pyak: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Fadi Shannan: By understanding how this website, in Germany of course, similar to LinkedIn, but it's very powerful tool to search for people background in Germany. And just by understanding how to use the search tool, it was very easy to identify who's really behind this job, who's the-
Chris Pyak: Can you walk us, I mean, to find the job and qualify if you're really qualified for this job? I think that's something that most people do, but can you walk us through your process, how you define, “Okay. This is the most likely manager for this position?” How-
Fadi Shannan: … Yeah, so-
Chris Pyak: … Do you have a process that you use? Or how do you do this?
Fadi Shannan: … Just I use the normal hierarchy for employment. If I'm looking for a service engineer, then my target will be the service manager. And also, mostly with medical equipment, there will be many different service managers. You need to identify which location the job will be, so you can identify which service manager. In my case, it was in the service department, so I was looking who will be their service manager in that position? So I looked, I found out, okay, there is three of them. So I had to go back to the job description to see at which region the job is for. I can identify that it will be mainly in Germany and Europe, which is, they call it the DACH region, or the DACH region-
Chris Pyak: DACH, is standing for D-A-C-H. Which means Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Fadi Shannan: … Exactly. I found out you can always … Using the XING, I search the company, and then I look who's the employee in this company. Normally, if it's a small-sized company, it will be between 100, 150 person working in there. And of course, with bigger companies, can reach up to 1,000 employee. With that search tool, I just have to identify the position that I'm looking for in this company, is a manager. So it will give me all the list of manager are working in this company.
Chris Pyak: Yeah. Fadi, what I like about this is your attention to detail. I mean, you look for the person who is basically, who will be your concrete boss. You don't reach out to the CEO. Because-
Fadi Shannan: Exactly, exactly.
Chris Pyak: … Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay-
Fadi Shannan: Normally, the CEO, he don't know every employee, he sometimes … Because this is, I know it from my experience here in Kuwait, the CEO just don't know what his manager want. Like, okay, we need to expand. Do I need two employee? Okay, hire them. He don't know which type of employee. Maybe he want them in sales, or in service, or in marketing. He doesn't know what exactly is the type of people he needs. He know that one of his department need to expand. So he gives the approval. So if I target this guy, he told me, “I don't know what even you are talking about. We are a big organization, we have like 100 position. I'm not the right person to talk to.”
Chris Pyak: … Yeah. And the same is true with human resources.
Fadi Shannan: Yeah, this is a nightmare. Those guys just receive the application and literally, they are willing to just delete the message, or just throw your whole application in the trash. Because it was a really a case, when you said for me, as international candidate, it is more work for them. And really, I understood that when I got the job offer mail, because after the phone call they send me an…

Click here to read the rest of my interview with Fadi Shannan.


Click here to book my Expats Job Offer Guarantee

Leave a Comment