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The dos and don'ts on what to do before and during a job interview.
Dragon
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Posted 3/30/14
Always bring extra copies of your resume - about 5-10 if possible, depending on how many people you expect to be talking with. I keep them in a folio along with a notepad and at least two pens, since most interviews I've been through need some writing, either by me or the interviewer. If you have personal business cards, bring some of those as well, and make sure they're fresh, not dirty or worn.

Show up a few minutes early if possible, so you can get a drink of water and relax before your first meeting. Eat enough for breakfast that you can miss lunch if there's no time, but be prepared to go to lunch with the team if the interview is going well.

If someone asks what appears to be a silly question, be willing to joke with them about it (one of the points of the interview is to see how you'd mesh with the team), but also have serious answers ready (another point is to show you can do the job).

If you are interviewing with multiple people, be sure to get business cards from them, and arrange them in front of you in the same order as your interviewers are sitting. That way you can cheat to remember their names


1. How did you handle your first interview?
I showed up way too early (the company got a late start), and was so nervous I only picked over lunch. The team was incredibly nice, though, and we had a lot of fun working through the programming and logic problems they had prepared for me.

2. Was the interviewer intimidating, kind, funny, laid back, mean, or serious?
A mix. That day included 8 interviewers, mostly working in teams of 2. Only one stuck out to me as incredibly serious, the rest as somewhat more laid back and fun. The lead worried me because he kept pressing me to find an error in some code I'd written, but in the end he admitted he just wanted to see how I worked through stress like that, since there was no error to be found.

3. How long did you last on your first job?
About 4 years, until the company did massive layoffs, at which point I moved over to the company that published our last game.

4. What was your first job?
Video game programmer
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Posted 3/30/14
I think is is a great thread,
I've been on both ends of the system as interviewee and interviewer.
My pet hates as an interviewer,

Late arrivals,
if possible get there at least 15 mins early. More is better. If your going to be late phone the person as soon as you know. If you arrive late and haven't phoned in don't expect an interview. If you can't be bothered to get to the interview on time why the hell should i waste 10mins of my time interviewing you.

Scruffy clothes,
I work in the contracting trade as an electrician, many of the people I interview turn up in work wear. This isn't an issue but I still expect them to have washed there hands and face and brushed themselves down and at least try to make an effort, clean foot ware is always good. If you don't know what to ware put a shirt and tie on (tie the tie using a proper knot AKA the big tie knot, your not in school now so no half windsors) and get some proper shoes.

other stuff to consider.
Questions, if its the first time going for a job interview then its safe to say you have little to no work experience (if you've been doing a paper round for the last 3 years make sure to let them know, it's better then nothing and shows you are capable and willing) your probably going to get the full Human resources interview, these are Bull Cr*p and are only used on 16-18 year olds that have no work experience. These are questions like: Whats your greatest achievement, What do you aim to achieve in this position Etc.
The worst questions to answer are the classics (your gonna get asked these so get a good answer).
1. Why should we employ you.
2. What are your strengths and weaknesses.
3. What do you feel you can offer the company.

You will get asked these. It would take me hours to answer those, in short try to play your good points (a perfectionist is not a good point and I would not even consider hiring one, I want my staff to make money not try to achieve the impossible) Things like, I'm self motivated, I thrive on challenges, I like new and different work, I have a very high standard of work, just tailer it to your job. Have your answer ready.

Then there are the interviews you know went well. sometimes you just click with your interviewers, if this happens the job is yours guaranteed. My last job interviews took 2.5 hours each. Mostly because me and the interviewers got on well and spent most of our time gasing about jobs and electrikery.

Questions to ask:
you will need to fire back some really good ones. Sitting silent is not the right way to go here.
Questions about holidays and other contract areas your unsure of are always good and safe. Try asking the interviewer what they think of the company to help gauge the firm your going to be working for. If you don't like the interviewer or don't want to work for the company then fire the ultimate bullet WHY SHOULD I WORK FOR YOU, this is great as the interviewers will squirm like fish :D

And just remember getting the interview means your 90% there you just need to convince them your right for the job.
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Posted 3/30/14

BLACKOUTMK2 wrote:

Infact, to anyone who reads this there's a question: Should you display a sense of humour in your interview (obviously not overdoing it) or should you be very serious? I'd like to have a joke here and there if I can, but I don't want them thinking 'oh he's a joker, making me laugh alone won't get you the job' (assuming I could make them laugh) or having the most cynical thoughts to make that seem like a negative quality. Obviously we're talking as generally as we can.



When we say "sell yourself" it does not mean that you sit there and brag all day to the interviewer. Most likely they'll see right through you and immediately judge you for the worse. The thing about modern workplaces is that it doesn't matter if you're the best. They don't want to hire the best. They want to hire someone who will fit in well in their company, will work well with their team, and they can train to be the best. In any serious job, you'll spend anywhere from six months to two years in training to do your job.

So "selling yourself" is not about bragging that you're the best, because you aren't. It's about convincing the interviewer that you can do the job and do it in a way that makes the entire company better. If you're funny, tell the interviewer how you make everyone around you more productive and raise morale. If you're serious, then talk about how good you are at keeping everyone in your team on task and how hard of a worker you are. The point is to show the best of you (DO NOT LIE).

To answer your question: be both. The interviewer is a person too, and probably someone you will be working with. Hell, they may have googled "What to ask an interviewee" the night before. Go ahead and be humorous, but make sure you're also being serious about wanting the position.

Here's a sell-me story that I've heard:

"I went to one of my classes twenty minutes early, and I noticed someone in the class had a paper written up. It dawned on me that we had a short essay to write for class that day. So I ran to the computer lab, typed it up, and arrived five minutes late but managed to finish the paper and turn it in. The teacher then complimented my work and said it was the best in the class."

Notes - they're punctual, they're hard working, they're intelligent, and they know the value of getting work in completed.

Does it have negative points too? Sure, but the benefits of that story outweigh the fact that the kid procrastinated and showed up five minutes late. It shows the kid is human but hard working, and really sells him.

Lastly: Never, ever, ever, brag that you're a perfectionist or meticulous like one of the earlier posters said unless the job is for solo work. Perfectionists are awful to work with and tend to bring the entire work team down. People that are meticulous tend to slow down the work place and create a bottle neck that costs the company money and cause drama. Interviewers know this.
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Posted 3/30/14


Well that's a relief. At the end of the day I just want to be myself and more of a 'what you see is what you get' kind of person more than anything. Give me a job and, assuming it's something I'm capable of, I'll do it to the best of my ability.
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23 / M / Bolton, England
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Posted 4/1/14
On my first interview, the guy was alright, was pretty informal. Had a second guy there too. First 'job' was unpaid work in a Warehouse, which I did for EXP of working and such. Yet to have a real paid job ;-;
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Posted 4/1/14



I had an interview yesterday and I was too nervous. That last time I had an interview was last year I believe.
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Posted 4/1/14
Is it justifiable to use on your statements that "I'm a minority" in order to get the job?
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 4/1/14

onibrotonel wrote:

Is it justifiable to use on your statements that "I'm a minority" in order to get the job?


Have you tried it yet?
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Posted 4/1/14

qualeshia3 wrote:


onibrotonel wrote:

Is it justifiable to use on your statements that "I'm a minority" in order to get the job?


Have you tried it yet?


I haven't. But I will, after rejection upon rejection on my next interviews.
I got my current job for being way too blunt.
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27 / M / America
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Posted 4/1/14

onibrotonel wrote:

Is it justifiable to use on your statements that "I'm a minority" in order to get the job?


There are certain circumstances that you could use that excuse. "Non-competitive employment" is a term used when a company (although it's more commonly done by the government) restricts a job announcement to only those of a certain group of people. Veterans, handicap, racial minority, etc.

Keep an eye out for those. If not, then I strongly recommend not bringing up your minority status. If it's obvious, then the interviewer will already know that you're a minority. If it's not obvious, then you could subtly sneak it into your resume via any organizations you're in that might cater to your minority group.
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Posted 4/1/14
Some specific advice.

Tailor your resume to the position you are applying for. If you are applying to be a java developer, and if you previously worked at a brokerage firm, the company is probably not going to care about your Series 7 certification or prior cash handling experience. Include enough to give the interviewer an idea of what kind of job it was, but only go into specifics if its relevant. You want your resume to be as densely packed with things the interviewer is going to care about as possible, otherwise they're going to just gloss over it.

Be able to present your resume and explain everything on it. Bring a copy of it, enough for each interviewer and yourself.

Make sure that you are nourished, awake, and relaxed prior to the interview. Get plenty of sleep beforehand. Eat something before leaving. Get there a little early. Drink some water. Relax. Avoid caffeinated drinks, as they will increase adrenal response, making any nervousness more pronounced. Instead, eat an apple. Studies have shown that an apple in the morning is better at waking up the average person than a cup of coffee anyway.



Before you go in for the interview, memorize the job posting. Along with the list of certifications, education, experience, etc. that are required, the job posting will typically include a list of qualities they're looking for in potential employees. There will be key phrases like "self-motivated" and "able to to prioritize tasks in a fast-paced environment", etc. These are the characteristics that you need to have to get the job. Which means these are the characteristics you need to tell your interviewer that you have when they ask you about your qualities. Obviously, you need to know what these qualities mean, and you should be able to restate them in different words. If you don't understand it, don't bluff, because you will get called out on it, and it will be really embarrassing. Also, you most likely won't get the job, so there's that. Unless you reasonably believe that its relevant to the job or company, there's no need to talk about other qualities.

It's always better to tell the interviewer what you have done rather than what you would do (so long as its demonstrably relevant to what they're asking). You're going to get behavioral questions, as someone else mentioned previously. Meaning, the interviewer will present you a scenario to you, and they want to get an idea of how you would handle it. If you have handled it (well), then tell them that story. Keep in mind the qualities they're looking for. If they want "attention to detail", then the story should demonstrate that you have that. Be concise. Unless you're applying for a creative writing position, there's no need to be creative or longwinded. Just stick to the salient details.
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Posted 4/2/14
Wash your hands before going to an interview, you don't want them to touch your gross Cheetos-and-sweat-covered hands.
Dress appropriately, that means you can't wear your Naruto headband.
Try not to soil yourself, this can be easily prevented by going to the bathroom before being interviewed.
Shave.
Shower, lord knows that if you're unemployed and live alone then you don't do that anyway.
Don't ask them what their favourite anime is after you've been interviewed; you will not get the job.
Don't tell them what your favourite anime is; you will not get the job.
Just don't mention anime.
Sogno- 
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Posted 4/2/14 , edited 4/2/14

Widdiful wrote:

Wash your hands before going to an interview, you don't want them to touch your gross Cheetos-and-sweat-covered hands.
Dress appropriately, that means you can't wear your Naruto headband.
Try not to soil yourself, this can be easily prevented by going to the bathroom before being interviewed.
Shave.
Shower, lord knows that if you're unemployed and live alone then you don't do that anyway.
Don't ask them what their favourite anime is after you've been interviewed; you will not get the job.
Don't tell them what your favourite anime is; you will not get the job.
Just don't mention anime.


that's just a cryin' shame
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Posted 4/2/14
Dont pee your pants. If they ask you to its a test.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 4/2/14



I see.
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