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Old 08-09-06, 05:23 PM   #1
cupcake jesus
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I have a job interview on Friday - last minute advice requested.

I have been at the same job for over three years, but trying to relocate for about the last year or so, and I finally have a lead on a job for which I'd be willing to move. I thought that my phone interview was a minor disaster, but to my surprise, they asked me back for a face-to-face interview, which will be on Friday.

I'm pretty nervous because it's been a while since I've been on a face-to-face interview. I had a few last summer for jobs in D.C., but after getting offers from two, I decided not to move there. Nevertheless, I've also never felt like I've really nailed an interview. I want this job, bad. Please help assuage my trepidation.

cheers,

-the Jesus
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Old 08-09-06, 05:26 PM   #2
Numanoid
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Since it is only Wednesday, I'll have to wait before I can offer any last minute advice.
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Old 08-09-06, 05:33 PM   #3
cupcake jesus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Numanoid
Since it is only Wednesday, I'll have to wait before I can offer any last minute advice.
Point taken, but I leave early tomorrow, and won't have much access to a computer until after the interview on Friday. How about some general advice?

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Old 08-09-06, 06:22 PM   #4
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Old 08-09-06, 06:23 PM   #5
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Try not to say Uhhh or Ummm when speaking.
As someone who is responsible for hiring on occassion I can't stand that.
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Old 08-09-06, 06:52 PM   #6
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This may all be simple stuff that you already know, but I've been interviewing quite a few people in the past few weeks and you'd be surprised that not everyone does these - above all else, be outgoing - engage the interviewer. Ask questions of the interview that give you a glimpse into their relationship with the company/job. (What do you like best about working here/What are your biggest challanges/oppurtunities)

Stuff like that. Also, talk a lot. Nobody like 1 or 2 word answers.
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Old 08-09-06, 07:04 PM   #7
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Old 08-09-06, 07:30 PM   #8
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Old 08-09-06, 07:49 PM   #9
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Old 08-09-06, 07:51 PM   #10
NCMojo
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Three quick interview tips:

1) Be prepared for the obvious questions. They're going to ask you where you see yourself in five years. They're going to ask you what your strengths and weaknesses are. They're going to ask you why you think you're the best candidate for the job. Don't walk in with canned responses, but think ahead of time about what kind of answers they would want to hear.

Example: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

What do they want to hear: you're a go-getter, but you're not really a threat to their position.

Best answer: "I see myself establishing a professional career with a good company with plenty of room for growth, in a position that challenges and interests me. From everything I've heard so far, I think Widgets, Inc., offers me that kind of opportunity."

2) Make a personal connection Find some kind of common ground with your interviewer. Family is good, or sports teams if there's an obvious connection -- I walked into one company and saw a big poster of Dean Smith, so I knew I could talk up Carolina basketball and stand apart from everyone else. Ask personal questions, especially in response to interview questions. Compliment them on their office, or the location, or their clothes. Do something to stand out from the crowd.

3) Don't say anything stupid. You'd be astonished at how many people will say stupid things. "Well, I was fired from my last job because my boss didn't like me leaving early." "Just so you know, I might be moving in a few months." Or my personal favorite: "Well, honey..." or "Sure thing, sweetie..."
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Old 08-09-06, 08:26 PM   #11
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Have a good answer for questions like:

1. What do you see yourself doing 5(10) years from today.

2. What are your strengths.

3. What are your weaknesses(don't really answer with your weaknesses)

Those 3 questions have been asked of me at every important interview.
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Old 08-09-06, 08:30 PM   #12
NCMojo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhk
Have a good answer for questions like:

1. What do you see yourself doing 5(10) years from today.

2. What are your strengths.

3. What are your weaknesses(don't really answer with your weaknesses)

Those 3 questions have been asked of me at every important interview.
The best answer for number 3 is one that something you say was a weakness before that you've actually worked on and turned into a strength. Good example: "Well, at one point, I found myself taking on so many projects in so many different areas that I was having difficulty keeping up. I guess I just didn't want to let down anyone on my team. I had to focus on just the immediate projects at hand, so I learned how to set priorities and multitask to maximize my effectiveness."
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Old 08-09-06, 08:33 PM   #13
bhk
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I was thinking more along the lines of:
Sometimes I work too hard.
I am a perfectionist.
etc.
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Old 08-09-06, 08:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhk
I was thinking more along the lines of:
Sometimes I work too hard.
I am a perfectionist.
etc.
Yeah, but those are almost cliches at this point. Especially if it's not true. Much safer to cop to a "weakness" but then immediately say how you addressed it.

Unless your "weakness" has to do with shooting heroin.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:05 PM   #15
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While most of the questions will be them asking about you and what you want, be sure at least some of your answer very directly tell what you can do for the company and how you think you can help them (with specific examples).

Read thru some business magazines or articles. Just about anyone. Why? See what the "hot" catch phrases are. Some things like "customer service" or "efficiency"never go out of style. But lately many a company talk about "value". How do you add value to the company.

Never, never, never complain about your old job or boss. Even if you have good reason to. No one likes a cry baby.

Keep your answers short, direct, to the point. Do not ramble. In general, I recommend give a single example to an answer.

If they ask a follow up question it usually means one of two things:

-they were interested in your answer and want to explore it. This is good!
-you stepped on a land mine and now they want to see if you totally blow up. If you think you did this, be careful. Don't try to wimp out, but also turn it into a positive if at all possible.

Unless this is a job in fashion, dress pretty conservative. Sure you can add your own style with a little splash of color say in the tie, or really nice shows. Or maybe ditch the plain white shirt for a rose color one, but overall you should be conservative, clean and neat.

Learn as much as you can about the company and try to drop this in every now and then.

They will ask you if you have any questions and there is nothing wrong in asking when you can follow up with them, or when do they hope to make a decision. But I would also try to ask a meaningful question about your job. Even if you don't know a lot, ask about recent projects, etc. Do not put them on spot, but don't be scared to ask.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:34 PM   #16
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The question I hate the most: Tell us about a difficult situation you've had to face and how you handled it.

Would it be too honest to answer being asked that question is the most difficult thing I've had to face?
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Old 08-09-06, 11:32 PM   #17
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be sure to shake the interviewers hand and say "cheers, the jesus" at the end. that will really impress them.
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Old 08-09-06, 11:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calhoun07
The question I hate the most: Tell us about a difficult situation you've had to face and how you handled it.

Would it be too honest to answer being asked that question is the most difficult thing I've had to face?

It would be both too honest and too dumb to answer that way. I'm sure you can think of a professional challenge that you faced and overcame.
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Old 08-10-06, 07:38 AM   #19
NCMojo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calhoun07
The question I hate the most: Tell us about a difficult situation you've had to face and how you handled it.

Would it be too honest to answer being asked that question is the most difficult thing I've had to face?
I'm assuming you worked previously as the product tester for the Oh-So-Fluffy Pillow Factory?
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Old 08-10-06, 09:22 AM   #20
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the interview isn't so bad. it's the wait for the callback that sucks.
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Old 08-10-06, 09:26 AM   #21
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1. Be confident (or work hard at faking it).
2. Speak slowly, clearly. Make eye contact.
3. Remember that the interview goes both ways. Be active in asking questions and making sure if it's a good fit for you as well.
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Old 08-11-06, 09:45 AM   #22
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If the interviewer asks what your weaknesses are, reply with "kryptonite."
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Old 08-11-06, 10:01 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
If the interviewer asks what your weaknesses are, reply with "kryptonite."
"People questioning my authority, bub."
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Old 08-12-06, 06:24 PM   #24
cupcake jesus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
the interview isn't so bad. it's the wait for the callback that sucks.
Thanks to everyone for the advice - I think I nailed it down, but, yes, waiting for the callback really sucks - especially since I just signed an apartment lease. I also hate the "what was the hardest situation/describe a disagreement you've had" questions, too. They make me feel cornered. I'm also always tempted to give the Mitch Hedberg answer to the "where do you see yourself in 5 years" question. Ever since I heard Hedberg's "Celebrating the five-year anniversary of you asking me this question!" reply, it seemed like the most appropriate way to answer the question. Good thing that I got most of that stuff out of the way during the phone interview.

It was a second interview, so a lot of it ended up being about the technical aspects of the job, and mostly, actually, about my approach to problem-solving.

I really want this job, and I can see myself working there for a long time, and I think that I was able to convey that without seeming desperate. If anyone cares, I'll probably post to this thread when I hear back. Thanks again!

cheers,

-the Jesus
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Old 08-12-06, 06:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
If the interviewer asks what your weaknesses are, reply with "kryptonite."
I'd laugh someone out of my office if they tried that.
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