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Interview in a few hours...Any last minute tips?

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Interview in a few hours...Any last minute tips?

Old 02-15-06, 08:47 AM
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Interview in a few hours...Any last minute tips?

So I have an interview in a few hours in about 4 hours. This is a job that I really want to get. I won't go into all the details about how much better it is than my current job, but I could name about 10-15 just off the top of my head. I bought a new suit which I look pretty sharp in so I hope that will make a positive impression. Here is the layout of the interview:

3 consecutive interviews with 2 people each for about 45 minutes. No breaks in between, so after one interview, I go into another room and I am grilled by 2 more people for another 45 minutes, and then to the 3rd and final one. It will take about 2.5 hours or so. The interview is going to consist of mainly situational and behavioral questions. "Tell me a time when..."

I also plan on bringing a file folder with extra copies of my resume/cover letter, and some spreadsheets that I have created at my current job and incorporate them into some of my responses.

I have a 25% chance to get this job due to the number of people being interviewed to the number of people they are hiring. Even though the interview is today, 02/15, they won't be making their decision until around the 1st week of March so I will have to wait it out.

Keep your fingers crossed
Old 02-15-06, 08:50 AM
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I don't have anything to offer other than Good Luck!

Originally Posted by ElementZ
The interview is going to consist of mainly situational and behavioral questions. "Tell me a time when..."
I seriously suck at these types of interview questions and it's held me back from getting jobs/promotions I'm a lot more qualified for than the people they eventually hired.
Old 02-15-06, 08:59 AM
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Don't truthfully answer the following question:

"What little things make you happy?"
Old 02-15-06, 09:08 AM
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We do behavioral interviews here. Here are my quick tips:

-Refrain from using the word "We". Always use "I" instead.
-When describing a situation refrain from using gender specific pro-nouns unless it is vital to the story. Use "My supervisor", "The agent", "The customer" instead.
-If they ask you to name a time where you did something or how you handled a specific type of encounter and you've never experienced the situation they are asking about then it is okay to tell your interviewer that you have never encountered that . They should have a back up question that will tell them what they need to know about you.
-If you do have an answer but need a moment to edit it/prepare it in your head it is okay to ask them for a moment. It is better to do this than slip up on your story.
-If you're unclear about whether you have answered their question completely ask them if you have. They will tell you.
-Have a 2 minute "Commercial". A quick summary of why you fit the job qualifications. If you can't fit this into one of your answers than give it at the end of the interview when they ask if you have any questions.


Good luck man.
Old 02-15-06, 09:12 AM
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i just went on 3 interviews. Dont appear nervous. Try to be a people person and down to earth. oh and make sure you throw in the team player thing
Old 02-15-06, 09:16 AM
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Everything Mrs.Nesbit said, but pepper each answer with a fact about Chuck Norris. If they look puzzled, they're part of an elite black ops team that's not there to interview you, and you know what needs to be done.

Konichiwa!
Old 02-15-06, 09:18 AM
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My favorite question to presently-employed persons is:

"Why do you want to leave your current position?"

Do you best to keep it solely directed at the new job. I would say as little as possible about your current position, and especially say NOTHING negative.

I've actually had people say "those people are jerks" (this probably means that it's YOU that are the jerk) but even "I feel stifled at my current job" isn't that good of an answer because that may mean you are pushing to do things that aren't in the best interests of the team. Just state every reason why you want this job that have nothing to do with your current one.

And the best advice I can give is to make sure they know you WANT the job. My favorite story is from a friend on his hiring committee at his law firm. They were down to two candidates - one who was in every way what they were looking for and another who was more junior and green experience wise. Both interviews went extremely well and they were deadlocked. Then my friend remembered that the more junior candidate, before he left, said that he really wanted the job and here is where he wanted to work and build a career. The other candidate never said that he did. That meant alot to them (because in law, having offers to leverage is very valuable!). He got the job. They found out later that the other candidate (when they called to tell him they did not choose him) did actually have another offer!

Also don't forget PROMPT thank you e-mails, and personalize them. I always like when people remember what we talk about and add an individualized line. One person said "I hope we can catch some ACC games together!". It also shows they don't find you to be a cut and paste job.
Old 02-15-06, 10:10 AM
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Only thing I would add in: if you can, try and make a personal connection with at least one of your interviewers. If all you are is just a name on a resume, then you're right -- your odds of being hired are about 1 in 4. But if you stand out in someone's mind, if they remember you -- and better still, if they like you -- then you'll have someone on your side who'll go to bat for you.
Old 02-15-06, 10:16 AM
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Best way to make that connection? Wink at one of the interviewers (preferably one of the men) after you answer each question.
Old 02-15-06, 10:18 AM
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watch for questions like "what do you dislike about your old job" and "name some things you liked about your old job"

say positive things... no one wants a person who is negative
Old 02-15-06, 10:44 AM
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Thanks for the ideas and tips...Keep em coming, 2 hours until its time.

My problem is I always know what I want to say to the interviewer, however, it comes out like I am babbling.

Edit: Is it acceptable ettiquete if I bring pen and paper with me that have questions that I would like to ask and their responses. Also to write more details about the job.

Would it look bad if I brought a bottle of water in with me. I get pretty dry when I am talking
Old 02-15-06, 10:47 AM
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In most cases it will look good if you come prepared with questions for them and the water shouldn't be an issue as long as you don't say you brought it to help with the cotton mouth.
Old 02-15-06, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Also don't forget PROMPT thank you e-mails, and personalize them. I always like when people remember what we talk about and add an individualized line. One person said "I hope we can catch some ACC games together!". It also shows they don't find you to be a cut and paste job.
Thank you emails are acceptable now?
Old 02-15-06, 11:02 AM
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Yes they are.
Old 02-15-06, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrs.Nesbit
We do behavioral interviews here. Here are my quick tips:

-When describing a situation refrain from using gender specific pro-nouns unless it is vital to the story. Use "My supervisor", "The agent", "The customer" instead.
What's with the gender-specific pronoun hatred?

Otherwise I agree. But that sounds to me like a personal preference.
Old 02-15-06, 11:20 AM
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please explain your job throughly.... make sure you know what you do... and what you can bring to them...

one question they asked was "why are you leaving"
Old 02-15-06, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TracerBullet
Thank you emails are acceptable now?
They are acceptable, but the recuriter I was working with when I was job hunting said it was better to mail them. The VP that interviewd with me for my current job, made a comment on how nice my thank you card was when they made the job offer. I think that sending thru the mail just looks better. Good luck on your interview.
Old 02-15-06, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ElementZ
Thanks for the ideas and tips...Keep em coming, 2 hours until its time.

My problem is I always know what I want to say to the interviewer, however, it comes out like I am babbling.
Just be aware of this. Try to keep your answers short and to the point; at the end, briefly summarize your response. Don't be afraid to pause at any point -- pausing makes you look smarter, like you're carefully considering your answer. It will also help you with nervousness.

Originally Posted by ElementZ
Edit: Is it acceptable ettiquete if I bring pen and paper with me that have questions that I would like to ask and their responses. Also to write more details about the job.

Would it look bad if I brought a bottle of water in with me. I get pretty dry when I am talking
Definite yes to the pen and paper. You should be OK bringing in a bottle of water -- that way, you get around the whole awkwardness of the "can I get you something to drink" question. ("No, thank you, I brought a bottle of water with me.")
Old 02-15-06, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ElementZ
So I have an interview in a few hours in about 4 hours.
I would make sure not to start as ungrammatical as this.



Regular "bottled water" = probably fine
Slurpee = No

And make sure you take all the tags off your suit, and that if you also bought a new shirt, it doesn't have that "straight out of the package" folded look.

Good luck!

Last edited by Y2K Falcon; 02-15-06 at 11:43 AM.
Old 02-15-06, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Bushdog
What's with the gender-specific pronoun hatred?

Otherwise I agree. But that sounds to me like a personal preference.
As stupid as it sounds some HR people/interviewers will view it as gender bias if you use any gender-specific pronouns. Also if you happen to only use male or female examples when describing difficult situations that could lead to problems.
Old 02-15-06, 11:54 AM
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Well, I guess I am as ready as I will ever be. I am pretty damn nervous since this is a pretty big job. Wish me luck.

I will report back in a few hours

I hope the interviewers are personable
Old 02-15-06, 07:18 PM
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No update yet? $10 says he walked in with a Slurpee and winked at the VP. He's probably sharing popcorn and Jujubes at a matinee of Brokeback Mountain.
Old 02-15-06, 07:42 PM
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Well, I just finished interviewing ElementZ, and aside from the constant winking at me and the gross application of gender-specific pronouns, I'd say he did a fine job. We're not going to make our decision for some time, but after promising to take me to a few ACC games, I'm putting him at the top of the list. Well done!
Old 02-16-06, 08:53 AM
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Sorry, I tried to log on numerous times to dvdtalk but it was too slow and i wasn't able to post.

So I have no idea how the interview went, I think I did decent with the first 2 interviewers but bombed the last one. I pretty much answered the same answer for 2 similar questions from different interviewers. I also felt that I didnt answer the question directly enough.

It was tough. I guess I will find out in about 3-4 weeks.
Old 02-16-06, 08:56 AM
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It is hard to tell how well you did in a behavioral interview. Unless you really bombed the last one I wouldn't worry.

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