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Thread: Job Interviews

  1. #1
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Default Job Interviews

    I know this has been discussed in various ways in this sub-forum thus far, but I have questions. I have only been in two job interviews my entire life (I'm 19), and I did not get the job for either. Ironically, the job I did get I did not have an interview for and was hired before I had even been offered the job (i.e. my mom said "you got hired for a job today". I worked for her employers, it was a good job, great experience in many ways).

    What I am curious about is what the interviewers are trying to accomplish through the interview, and what the best way to answer is. Of course, this will vary greatly depending on the interviewer and the job being interviewed for, but bear with me.

    So far what I have gathered is that obviously they want to see you are qualified for the job technically speaking, and that you would fit in to the social atmosphere of the work place. They through curveball questions to try to throw you off and especially get you to answer beyond simple, conventional, standard answers.

    What advice do you have for a young man with many interviews ahead of him?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sparrow's Avatar
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    At my current job I got a chance to interview people (as a group with my co workers). Dont talk too much (rambling on and on is bad), dont be cocky, and dont be negative! Be confident and be prepared, research the company a little before the interview, think about what your strengths are, and before hand think about the possible hard questions you might get asked so you dont stumble over your words, its best to be prepared .
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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
    Dont talk too much (rambling on and on is bad), dont be cocky, and dont be negative! Be confident and be prepared, research the company a little before the interview, think about what your strengths are, and before hand think about the possible hard questions you might get asked so you dont stumble over your words, its best to be prepared .
    This.

    At my company, we use critical behavior interviewing. A lot of companies use that. You might want to research it and understand how to respond to questions in the right way (e.g. get down to specific situations, a point in time, and talk about what you did, what you thought, what you said, etc.). Also practice makes perfect.

    It's a hard thing to do - to make decisions about people with so little time. The process is inherently error prone and highly varied based on the people you end up talking to, so I wouldn't take anything too personally.

    Here are a few issues I've seen:
    - People talk about what "we" did vs. what they did. I don't know what you did if all you talk about is "we".
    - Follow directions - listen to what the interviewer is asking for and respond to their direction and their questions. It is amazing how many people don't do this. I have had numerous candidates who come in with canned stories and they communicate them even if they have nothing to do with the question. Or, I will ask them to give a quick 1 minute summary response to a question and they talk for 5 minutes.
    - They don't have any idea what the job entails or how they would be suited to it
    - They don't understand their strengths/abilities and weaknesses (low self awareness)
    - They don't come across as confident, seem nervous or don't make eye contact

    Anyway, those are some quick things I can think of off the top of my head.

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  4. #4
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I interview people and have somewhere around a 99.9% say over whether or not they are hired!

    - I tend to ask some out of the blue and strange questions during the interview to catch the interviewee off guard and get a more genuine view of how they think and how they view humanity- this is because I know that everybody lies during job interviews

    What I look for-

    - how naturally personable does the person seem? (are they relaxed and friendly in the presence of others? this is a social job!)
    - do they pay attention to what I've said to them?
    - have they done outside research?
    - do they have a positive mindset?
    - how cocky are they?

    Reasons that I will say no to hiring somebody-

    - they don't listen well
    - they're cocky
    - they are negative whineybutts
    - they can't get comfortable around people- which spells failure in this job
    - they are incurious

    hope that helps some
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  5. #5
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    i've interviewed before... here's what i look for in general:

    - genuine interest in the position -i understand mainly needing a job for the money, but i need to know you actually care about what you're going to be doing
    - engagement - especially as in, you are actually paying attention to me lol
    - social skill - can range from just being attentive and understandable for a behind-the-scenes position to being highly engaging and diplomatic for a more social position
    - skills and overall demeanor that match the position you're applying for
    - evidence that you've researched / thought about the position and the institute
    - values and attitude that fit with the position and institute
    - attention to appearance - you don't have to look incredible, or like someone who's not you, just put-together and appropriate. in my personal book, extra points for dressing especially nicely, as long as it's not overdone or out of place

    things that aren't such a big deal to me especially with younger interviewees include being nervous and tripping over words a little, needing a little time to reflect (like 30 seconds, not several minutes), asking if you can start an answer over, saying something a little awkward once or twice, doing something clumsy, speaking really fast (though i'll probably ask you to slow down, lol), other general nervousness indicators that don't really have any bearing on your ability to do the job

    weirdest things i've experienced / who not to be like (lol):

    - a guy with one-word answers and no eye contact
    - a chick who played with the zipper on her bag the whole time and applied lip gloss very carefully (mirror and all) while i was asking her an in-depth question - then asked if i could repeat the question
    - a chick with clothing better suited to prostitution, who had a lot of trouble walking on her 4" heels
    - more than one person with an apparent lack of hygiene
    - a chick coming in and admitting she hadn't really prepared at all - don't tell me that!!! either you've prepared well, or your skill in acting on the fly will be evident in that i don't know you're doing this on the fly) unfortunately in her case she wasn't very good on the fly :[
    - a guy with a huge beef with his last employer who really wanted to share that with me
    i really do understand hating your boss, but an interview isn't really the best time to bring that up

    - a chick who shook in fear the whole time - still ended up hiring her, she's good at what she does and does not shake anymore
    - a guy who went off on so many tangents he never actually ended up answering 3/4 of the questions posed to him
    - a chick who used a "cute voice" when she was giving examples of things she would say to people in certain scenarios -
    it was so unbelievably annoying - i was on a panel of people who interviewed her, and when we discussed things afterwards, this was our #1 turn-off. we couldn't imagine her being socially appropriate on a day-to-day basis if she was doing this during a professional interview.


    my #1 advice is don't be late!! i usually advise students to go to the interview location 30 minutes beforehand to give them a big time cushion in case anything should happen. if they're early, they can just hang out somewhere (car, lobby, nearby cafe, etc) and review their resume, notes, and cover letter, go to the bathroom, double-check their appearance, and just meditate a little to relax and center. then go in 5 minutes early and give the secretary or whoever a heads-up that you're here whenever they're ready.

    ps if you run into some horrible circumstance like getting stuck behind a car accident in traffic, call ASAP, explain, apologize, and ask if you can reschedule (and don't be picky about when). we know that shit happens but we expect you to have done everything you can within reason to prevent it

  6. #6
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Always lie as much as possible when searching for a job. The moment I stopped being honest was the moment I started my career. But it was more than that, it was like the entire world fell perfectly into place.

    Never project weakness, EVER. It is better to bullshit your way through and get paid, than to not be employed, so do whatever is necessary to get paid. I hated myself at first when I started stretching the truth about everything I had ever done, but the results are incredible. Now I wouldn't have it any other way.

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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Always lie as much as possible when searching for a job. The moment I stopped being honest was the moment I started my career. But it was more than that, it was like the entire world fell perfectly into place.

    Never project weakness, EVER. It is better to bullshit your way through and get paid, than to not be employed, so do whatever is necessary to get paid. I hated myself at first when I started stretching the truth about everything I had ever done, but the results are incredible. Now I wouldn't have it any other way.
    A good interviewer will pin you down in a corner and you won't be able to do that unless you are amazingly adept at making up things that are consistent and fit together on the fly. I tore a guy to shreds (nicely) who was doing this a couple months ago. He still was sending me messages afterwards. I couldn't believe it.

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  8. #8
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    If I think that someone is lying on an interview I spend the rest of the interview tricking them into revealing that... and then I give them a no
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #9
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    This.

    At my company, we use critical behavior interviewing. A lot of companies use that. You might want to research it and understand how to respond to questions in the right way (e.g. get down to specific situations, a point in time, and talk about what you did, what you thought, what you said, etc.). Also practice makes perfect.

    It's a hard thing to do - to make decisions about people with so little time. The process is inherently error prone and highly varied based on the people you end up talking to, so I wouldn't take anything too personally.
    i conduct fairly structured fit and behavioral interviews as well.
    basically i'm just trying to examine your past accomplishments
    in depth, the best way to do this is to focus on your specific
    role, and describe the key actions you took that were critical
    to success.

    i'll ask the interviewees to go in depth into a leadership
    experience, ie. how other people reacted to their ideas, how
    did they handle resistance to their leadership? and probe on
    all the details: "and then what did you do? what was the next step?
    would you have done things differently?
    "

    the best tip i can give is : KNOW YOUR RESUME. it's one of the very
    few things you actually have complete control over, yet people fill it
    up with so much fluff, and can't explain it when asked. it's very, very
    funny to watch especially when they get little details like dates mixed
    up without even knowing so. know what you want to talk about and
    practice, practice talking about your achievements and overcoming barriers.

    know how to sell yourself when asked to give a quick run through
    of your resume. i don't really care about your summer backpacking
    through south america with your two best friends. because all you're
    doing is just showing your lack or prioritization skills : wasting my time
    and yours when you could be hilighting more interesting aspects of your
    strengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Here are a few issues I've seen:
    - People talk about what "we" did vs. what they did. I don't know what you did if all you talk about is "we".
    - Follow directions - listen to what the interviewer is asking for and respond to their direction and their questions. It is amazing how many people don't do this. I have had numerous candidates who come in with canned stories and they communicate them even if they have nothing to do with the question. Or, I will ask them to give a quick 1 minute summary response to a question and they talk for 5 minutes.
    - They don't have any idea what the job entails or how they would be suited to it
    - They don't understand their strengths/abilities and weaknesses (low self awareness)
    - They don't come across as confident, seem nervous or don't make eye contact

    Anyway, those are some quick things I can think of off the top of my head.
    hahaha. and the all time classic when asked "what are your weaknesses?"
    and they answer with a “strength disguised as a weakness” answer.

    hahahah don't do it!
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  10. #10
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Do interviewers really ask "what's your weakness?"?

    "My weakness? What, suddenly I'm in therapy?! GIVE ME THE DAMN JOB, ASSHOLE!"



    "So, well, yeah, anger issues, I guess."
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

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