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Author Topic: I scored a Job Interview. Now what?  (Read 2492 times)
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lildrgn
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« on: June 19, 2009, 03:36:16 AM »

Finally, after many weeks of searching, I have secured something called a "Job Interview". Since I've never had a "Job Interview", what can I expect and how shall I prepare? I am getting a haircut this Saturday to get pretty, but aside from that, seriously, what should I do?

It's an office position with a local YMCA scheduled to open in a month or so.

My friends, thank you.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2009, 03:43:58 AM »

Over dress.  You want to be in a suit if possible.  Always look better than the people that are talking to you.  Don't be afraid to ask for a moment to gather your thought if a question takes you by surprise.  Research job interview questions so you have an idea what will be asked.  Look at the behavior-based interviews, as they are becoming more prevalent than skill-based interviews.  Skills can be taught.  Showing poor behavioral skills will get you round-filed quicker than not knowing every last detail of the job.
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kratz
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2009, 03:47:18 AM »

Be yourself, don't say 'fuck', and don't tell them about your furry fetish.

Practice talking about your experience... if you talk about negative things, talk about what you learned from them, and don't blame anyone (yourself included) for them... think about the technical skills you have (if it's an office job, then experience with stuff like word, excel, etc.) and be ready to drop that stuff into the conversation

Be your normal, cheerful, intelligent self, and I can't see how it could go badly.

Good luck!
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lildrgn
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2009, 03:49:57 AM »

I'll drop your name. Instant in!
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 03:56:10 AM »

1.  Congrats!  smile
2.  Have an answer prepared for the "What is your biggest weakness" question (I've been asked this in nearly every interview I've been on), other than "I tend to work too much".
3.  Wear pants.
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Godzilla Blitz
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 04:04:20 AM »

Have a few questions ready for them relating to the job and the company. It's likely your only chance to interview them as well to see if you'd like to work for them.

I'm a big believer in posture and presence in an interview. Sit with your hands relaxed. You should sit straight, but lean slightly forward. Watch a news anchor to see what I mean. If more than one person is in the room, speak to everyone with your answers. You should be engaging everyone in the room with your answers. I've seen a lot of interviewees just look at me when they answer my questions, and it's not as effective as when the interviewee engages the whole room.

Answer questions with the right amount of length. Too many people babble and don't get to the point. A thoughtful one-minute answer is perfect in most cases. Be concise yet friendly.

I'd also offer that the best thing you can do is get a friend to conduct a mock interview with you. Set up a camera over his or her shoulder and video tape you as you go through sample questions. Then analyze the video with them. It's a bit contrived and awkward to do this at first, but I guarantee you'll notice a handful of things that can be easily corrected with a little practice (fidgiting in your seat, saying "um" too often, etc.). Three practice sessions scattered over three days and you will be a much better interviewee. Ideally this friend should be someone who will give you honest feedback and not just say things to make you feel good. You don't need praise in these practice sessions, you need to know what you're doing wrong so you can hone your skills.
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Jancelot
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2009, 04:11:20 AM »

Research the company and know their products/services/history/etc.  I give a lot of interviews and that is now one of the first areas I drill down on.  People who do that bare minimum research show me that they have common sense initiative.
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Moliere
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2009, 04:56:58 AM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 19, 2009, 03:43:58 AM

Over dress.  You want to be in a suit if possible.  Always look better than the people that are talking to you. 

Like a tux?

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CeeKay
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2009, 05:26:43 AM »

forget the tux, get one of these t-shirts and wear it  icon_wink



(and yes, the blacked out image is what you probably imagine it to be)

seriously though, be prepared for questions like 'what is your biggest weakness?' or 'if you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?'
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McBa1n
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2009, 09:30:10 AM »

Quote from: Jancelot on June 19, 2009, 04:11:20 AM

Research the company and know their products/services/history/etc.  I give a lot of interviews and that is now one of the first areas I drill down on.  People who do that bare minimum research show me that they have common sense initiative.

^-- win

Heck, if you can talk with someone in the department you are interviewing for prior to the interview, you're ahead of the game.
It's very hard to land a job unless you have some kind of orientation into what they are looking for.

One other point: own the interview. Be yourself and be confident (not cocky). Go in there and be the guy. Also - if you get the weakness question, it never hurts to have a story about how you learned from that weakness.

GL and f some shiznit up!
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kratz
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2009, 03:07:03 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on June 19, 2009, 04:56:58 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 19, 2009, 03:43:58 AM

Over dress.  You want to be in a suit if possible.  Always look better than the people that are talking to you. 

Like a tux?



You're just coming off as stupid right now.
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Brendan
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2009, 03:11:30 PM »

When I interview people, I like them to "show their work", so to speak, while answering questions.  I want to hear their entire thought process.  It's okay if they don't come to the right conclusion as long as their methodology is sound.  So while I'm not sure what you'll actually be asked for this type of job, don't be shy about explaining, clearly and slowly, what you're thinking as you answer it.

Anyway, good luck!
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hepcat
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2009, 03:12:22 PM »

I can't stress the importance of pants.  Show up without them and security gets called, I've found.
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2009, 03:18:56 PM »

congrats on getting an interview..i have been looking for months and have not secured an interview yet..last time i was out of a job(1998) i was practically falling over job interviews...now,i look on the internet and there is nothing
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Moliere
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2009, 03:36:17 PM »

Quote from: kratz on June 19, 2009, 03:07:03 PM

You're just coming off as stupid right now.

Have you seen the movie "Step Brothers"? Do you understand that I am making a reference to the scene where they show up for job interviews wearing a tux? Why is this me coming off as "stupid"?
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PeteRock
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2009, 04:07:19 PM »

Quote from: kratz on June 19, 2009, 03:07:03 PM

You're just coming off as stupid right now.

Edit:  I stand corrected in missing Kratz's reference to dialogue from the film.   icon_redface
 
If you lived in Arizona I'd advise against wearing a suit.  I can't tell you the last time I saw one in the wild.  Most interviewers I've sat before have been dressed in slacks and a polo shirt.

Do your homework on the company, write down a list of questions you have for your interviewer (and the most important part is writing them down as it's easy to forget things during the interview), and it's important to try to be calm and at ease.  Responses flow and answers come a bit easier when you're relaxed, and a good way to work toward that is doing your homework on the company, on the position, think about your own experience, consider your strengths and weaknesses, and be confident in who you are.     
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hepcat
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2009, 04:08:10 PM »

Guys, I think Kratz is paraphrasing the movie...

Quote
Interviewer: "Whose this gentleman sitting behind you?"
Dale: [peeks from behind Brennan] "Hello Miss Lady!"
Interviewer: "You can't..."
Brennan: "Shu... shut your mouth."
Interviewer: "You shouldn't tell the person who is interviewing you to shut their mouth."
Brennan: "You're sounding stupid now."
Interviewer: "I'm sorry, what did you just say?"
Brennan: "You're just coming off stupid."
Interviewer: "Please leave this office."
Brennan: "Do we get any sort of souvenir?"
Interviewer: "GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!"

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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2009, 04:12:36 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on June 19, 2009, 04:07:19 PM

If you lived in Arizona I'd advise against wearing a suit.  I can't tell you the last time I saw one in the wild.  Most interviewers I've sat before have been dressed in slacks and a polo shirt.

For my company, I have sat 2nd chair on several interviews.  The dress code here has slacks and polo as acceptable. 

On the interview sheet, everything is given point values of 0, 1, or 3.  Under dressing gets you a zero, obviously.  Dressing like we do gets you a 1.  Wearing a suit gets you a 3. 
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PeteRock
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2009, 04:20:32 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 19, 2009, 04:12:36 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on June 19, 2009, 04:07:19 PM

If you lived in Arizona I'd advise against wearing a suit.  I can't tell you the last time I saw one in the wild.  Most interviewers I've sat before have been dressed in slacks and a polo shirt.

For my company, I have sat 2nd chair on several interviews.  The dress code here has slacks and polo as acceptable. 

On the interview sheet, everything is given point values of 0, 1, or 3.  Under dressing gets you a zero, obviously.  Dressing like we do gets you a 1.  Wearing a suit gets you a 3. 

I am a fairly candid and honest person and prior to every interview I've had I have simple asked about expectations on attire and use the more casual standard in Arizona versus other areas of the country as justification for the question.  In each and every instance I was directed to dress in business casual and in many instances I was told not to wear a suit.  Plus, you have to consider the industry you're in.  When is the last time you've seen a geologist in a suit?  My last time was when I got married and fellow geologists were in attendance.  I wouldn't recommend showing up in a cut-off belly T-shirt, but attire depends on region and field of work.  Simply suggesting a suit regardless of these variables may not be ideal advice.  Some places around here would look at you funny if you came in wearing a suit, and usually "you're not from around here, are you" follows shortly after.   
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2009, 04:22:53 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on June 19, 2009, 04:12:36 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on June 19, 2009, 04:07:19 PM

If you lived in Arizona I'd advise against wearing a suit.  I can't tell you the last time I saw one in the wild.  Most interviewers I've sat before have been dressed in slacks and a polo shirt.

For my company, I have sat 2nd chair on several interviews.  The dress code here has slacks and polo as acceptable. 

On the interview sheet, everything is given point values of 0, 1, or 3.  Under dressing gets you a zero, obviously.  Dressing like we do gets you a 1.  Wearing a suit gets you a 3. 

Lame. 3 points should go to the person who can figure out what the normal dress is like on the job and dress like that. Overdressing is easy, being dressed in the proper attire without underestimating is the correct way to do it.

No pants is a -5 for men, +5 for women (sexist I know, but I don't make the rules, just follow them  icon_razz).


EDIT to add: See PeteRock knows what I am talking about.
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2009, 04:23:38 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on June 19, 2009, 04:08:10 PM

Guys, I think Kratz is paraphrasing the movie...

Quote
Interviewer: "Whose this gentleman sitting behind you?"
Dale: [peeks from behind Brennan] "Hello Miss Lady!"
Interviewer: "You can't..."
Brennan: "Shu... shut your mouth."
Interviewer: "You shouldn't tell the person who is interviewing you to shut their mouth."
Brennan: "You're sounding stupid now."
Interviewer: "I'm sorry, what did you just say?"
Brennan: "You're just coming off stupid."
Interviewer: "Please leave this office."
Brennan: "Do we get any sort of souvenir?"
Interviewer: "GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!"


Yep. smile
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Moliere
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2009, 04:26:00 PM »

Quote from: kratz on June 19, 2009, 04:23:38 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 19, 2009, 04:08:10 PM

Guys, I think Kratz is paraphrasing the movie...

Quote
Interviewer: "Whose this gentleman sitting behind you?"
Dale: [peeks from behind Brennan] "Hello Miss Lady!"
Interviewer: "You can't..."
Brennan: "Shu... shut your mouth."
Interviewer: "You shouldn't tell the person who is interviewing you to shut their mouth."
Brennan: "You're sounding stupid now."
Interviewer: "I'm sorry, what did you just say?"
Brennan: "You're just coming off stupid."
Interviewer: "Please leave this office."
Brennan: "Do we get any sort of souvenir?"
Interviewer: "GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!"


Yep. smile

Must of been part of the movie that I was fast forwarding through.  ninja2
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kratz
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2009, 04:27:13 PM »

Dude, it's the part you posted a picture of!

Well, not that exact interview, but that exact part...
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2009, 04:53:38 PM »

I'll cede the point.  My company works exclusively with banks and frequently has them on site.  While we don't wear suits around the office, the older rules still apply as to how the bigwigs want things to run and be scored at the interview level.  We're a bunch of programmers.  A suit requirement would cause a riot, I'm sure, but you won't see the pop culture image of programmers around here.

I agree with Pete that it depends on who you're interviewing with.  A suit is right out if you're answering that ad for a rock guitarist.  smile
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Moliere
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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2009, 05:17:54 PM »

Quote from: kratz on June 19, 2009, 04:27:13 PM

Dude, it's the part you posted a picture of!

Well, not that exact interview, but that exact part...

I remembered the scene, that doesn't mean I remember the dialogue. And in the context of your post it looked like you were critiquing my post. Well played.
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« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2009, 05:28:56 PM »

One of the keys is to be able to tie your skill sets to what they are looking for.

Typically you can use the job description to get an idea of what is required and then think of real world examples of where you were able to use your skills effectively.
The general idea is to convey on both your Resume and your interview --> My skills and experience equal these results.
Many people just list the functions they performed in a job without showing the results.
I have interviewed hundreds of people in my career and to be honest it's not what you did it's how effectively you did it that matters.
Many people perform their jobs adequately, but those are not necessarily the people I am looking for if I have many people to choose from, I would be looking for top performers.

Don't overthink the questions and don't try to elaborate too much unless asked. You want to have clear and concise answers and use real world examples.

Often you will be asked if you have any questions. Ask up to a maximum of three questions, but don't ask if it has been covered in the interview. Some examples of questions to ask are:

*Who will I be working with and who will I be reporting to, and can you tell me a little about them?
*What will be expected of me?
*What do you like most about working for your company?
*When would I be expected to start the position?

These questions require you to have a good sense about how comfortable the interviewer is, but they are great questions that most people never ask.

*Based on what you have learned about me so far is there anything that would stop you from hiring me? (This I would use if it is a sales position)
*If you could change anything you have seen during your career with this company (you can insert the name of the company instead), what would it be?

You can learn a great deal from the answer to this question.

Also keep in mind that there are varying degrees of interviewing competence. Some people are hacks and they are just looking at what feels right.
They won't ask very good questions, and they won't do a great deal of research.
Quite often they won't even create questions that get the answers that show if you have the right skill sets.
This will force you to try and fill in the blanks so to speak, but you have to do this carefully.

Also, there are varying degrees of interviews. There's the quick getting to know you interview up to multiple full day interviews being interviewed be numerous Managers and Executives.
With that said many opinions on how you should prepare will differ, but being over prepared is better than being under prepared.

Definitely relax and show confidence. Try to do something fun before going in to the interview. Do not fidget and look the interviewer (or interviewers) in the eye when answering their questions
Sit up straight, but don't be too rigid

Always be honest with your answers. You don't have to have a good memory if you tell the truth.
Good interviewers will dig into your answers not just accept them. (Don't take insult to this, they just want to see how solid you are)
Everyone has had failures in their lives including the interviewers. It is your response and how you handled those situations that matters.

Always follow up with a thank you e-mail (Put "Thank you for the interview" in the subject line) or a thank you phone call.
Make sure to acknowledge all the interviewers and the people's names you met. (This shows you paid attention)
Advise that you look forward to hearing from them and that you are excited about the opportunity.
Also advise to feel free about asking more questions and how they can reach you.

If you don't get the position always ask what you could do to improve your standing and if they have any suggestions.
Advise that you are still interested and hope that if any other openings become available that they consider you.
If you genuinely liked the people and the company then say that, and that you would be willing to try a different position.

(Many times things open up unexpectedly or they were going to post another position that they thought you would be great for)

Good luck to you and let us know how you did.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 05:31:57 PM by DamageInc » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2009, 05:44:17 PM »

Considering the place you are applying to, I'd recommend dressing as either an Indian or a construction worker.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2009, 05:51:24 PM »

Quote from: stimpy on June 19, 2009, 05:44:17 PM

Considering the place you are applying to, I'd recommend dressing as either an Indian or a construction worker.

LOL.

I have worked for the Y before, many years ago, right out of high school. I met my wife there. My kids went there. The current facility is in my former elementary school. The new facility would be about 5-7 minutes drive from home.

Pay wouldn't be stellar, but the indirect perks (new facility, employee discounts on childcare/fitness center, proximity to home) might make up for that.

RE: dress for interview. Someone upthread mentioned you wouldn't wear a suit to a rock guitarist audition. The position I'm interviewing for is an administrative/office position. I'm guessing the current employees would wear work casual to casual (Dockers/button down or jeans/nice shirt), but for the interview, I'm thinking pants, button down, maybe a tie. You know, generic Workforce America look.

The contact person contacted me yesterday and said she'd have the position's direct supervisor and one other person in the interview.

I'm looking forward to it!
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« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2009, 08:09:01 PM »

I try to go into interviews thinking that the worst thing that could possibly happen is that they offer me the job. If I don't get the job, then everything stays exactly the same as it is now...but if I get it my entire life could change. That helps to reduce the nerves, and allows me to be more natural and myself.

I also spend awhile before hand trying to find a way to link my current skills into something that can be useful to the new company. Just because what you are doing now doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the new job, doesn't mean you can't take what you know and apply it.

And I'll echo the sentiments that you should have good, unique answers for the eventual "Where do you see yourself in five years?" and "What's your best and worst qualities?" questions.
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