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Need tips on interviewing for jobs


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#1 Mana Knight

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 01:58 AM

All right, usually I blog about everything, but I decided to start a thread instead. My current situation is that I've been interviewing for multiple jobs this year. I applied to MANY jobs, but I've also gotten many requests for interviews. Pretty much all jobs are Engineering (mostly Electrical, some have been more software/systems/etc. type of Engineering). Although I'm currently employed, I've been looking for a better opportunity which utilizes my college degree/skills/interests, one that gives me the good professional experience to advance my career, and a job I'd feel happy to go to each day. I've been really down about my current situation, so I'm trying to do better.

Anyway, I had over 15 interviews this year (mostly in-person, some phone interviews. One phone interview led to an in-person interview). Majority have been internal to my company or at a company which use to be a part of my company. I've traveled around on job interviews with my hotel paid, meals paid, trip paid, etc. but still no luck.

Anyway, I'm just looking for some helpful hints on job interviewing that could help me out such as questions to ask the Hiring Manager, what questions might I be asked and how to answer them, or even just general interviewing tips.

I really hope to land something soon because there's a chance I'll be laid off my current job in less than a year (with the downsizing going on) and it could be a massive financial drain if I end up going back to school (I'd like to go back, but would rather wait until I get the Professional experience that helps).

Edited by The Mana Knight, 15 December 2011 - 12:34 PM.

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#2 Dead of Knight

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 02:31 AM

Since I've quit my job for ethical/professional reasons, I've had trouble getting interviews in the first place, despite targeting jobs that I am well-qualified for, sending targeted resumes/cover letters, etc. I'm wondering if hiring is slow in December due to the holidays or what. It just sucks. I'm starting to wonder if I'm blacklisted somehow or if they just dump my resume in the trash since I only list having that job for 4 months (even though I wasn't fired and quit for good reasons). I don't know what to do- if I leave that job off my resume, there's about a 6 month gap in my resume that I'd also have to explain.

TMK, Google the topic and tons of interview stuff comes up. I'd say one of the more important things is if they ask if you have questions, don't say "no" or "I'm all set," even if you are. What type of questions are you asking/answering in your interviews? I could help but I'm betting the questions are different for accounting than they are for engineering. Additionally, make sure you appear confident at all times. Antisocial people like us get marked down in interviews a lot just for being ourselves.

#3 crystalklear64

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 02:45 AM

"Where do you see your company in 10 years?"

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#4 CaptainJoel

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 08:54 AM

Be extremely positive about everything and make sure to tell the person giving you the interview that you plan to do everything you can to climb the work ladder.

#5 Mana Knight

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:21 AM

"Where do you see your company in 10 years?"

That sounds better than how I asked a similar question. Thanks

"Tell me more about yourself". Sometimes they often ask an applicant like this. I learned that when answering this kind of approach you need not to start on telling them about your name etc etc that could also be seen on your resume. You must answer this differently. Like for example: "Actually Ma'am/Sir, there are lots of things to tell about myself. But I would like to focus on..." You must tell them of your good qualities and experiences about the job that you are applying but of course you must not sound boastful.

Hope this helps. :)

I use to stumble on that question, but I planned for it much better the last few times. Some job interviews I wasn't even asked that.
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#6 QiG

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 12:42 PM

Something I learned recently while I got to sit on in a couple interviews for a n00b in our department is that if you're at the point where you are in to interview, they know you're qualified for the position. They're looking for someone they know will fit in and that they'll get along with. As my HR person put it, "Someone you'd want on your bowling team."

We had two people come in for final interviews. The first person was composed, confidant and easy to converse with. The second person was clearly nervous, focused on emphasizing his computer skills (the focal point of what my boss was hiring for) and short winded. Quite frankly, he reminded me of what I probably come across as in interviews and it made me realize why I struggled in the past. In the end, I recommended the first person because they seemed more rounded and comfortable with us even though maybe the second person may be more computer apt.

Neither asked many questions to us but here are some examples of what I was expecting (This is for an accounting position):
What accounting software do you use?
How many people are in the department?
What you do you like about this job? Dislike?
Do you find the work challenging?
Are there points in time that are regularly more busy than others? (We have monthly closing.. the first few days of the month suck lol)
Is there a lot of cross training?
Is there room for advancement?
What is a typical day like for you?

Etc..
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#7 irideabike

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 02:26 PM

Just be yourself. I don't understand why people get so nervous about interviewing for a position, all you are doing is selling your best qualities, how hard can that be?

There are no shortcuts. No do-overs. What happened, happened. Trust me. I know. All of this matters.

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#8 Yagami

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 03:43 PM

eliminating "Uhh" and "Umm" from your vocabulary is a really good way to keep a conversation flowing. I used to do that when I was a teenager, and it annoys me to this day when people (still in their 20s, 30s) still do it. If you need time to think about something, you can add fillers, like "That's a really good question" or short pauses of about a second (don't pause too long.)

Talking slightly slower helps with thinking on the fly as well. Also helps for those who talk really fast in normal speech. Just don't be too slow.

#9 BizarroPunisher

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 04:07 PM

"I know it might seem like a good idea to walk in, stab someone, and say 'Well, it looks like you have an opening,' but... it's not. That's not a good idea."

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#10 Spokker

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 04:38 PM

Send a thank you note after the interview to every person who interviewed you.

#11 dmaul1114

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 05:01 PM

Just be yourself. I don't understand why people get so nervous about interviewing for a position, all you are doing is selling your best qualities, how hard can that be?


Some people are just nervous/awkward talking to strangers in general. Add in the pressure of many really needing a job to ramp of the nerves, and it's easy to see why some people struggle with them.

I've never had problems personally, but have friends who sweat bullets before interviews.

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#12 Broseph

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 05:18 PM

"I know it might seem like a good idea to walk in, stab someone, and say 'Well, it looks like you have an opening,' but... it's not. That's not a good idea."

- Justin McElroy, My Brother My Brother and Me


Oh man, that's awesome.

It's also exactly how I feel after three years of perpetual job hunting. I'm a master of interviews now, I just need to you know... LAND THE JOB.

I've also perfected a look of complete awe and disbelief when they call and tell me, "We're going through a lot of changes and we'll keep your resume on file" or "We were impressed by your qualifications and will keep you in mind for future openings". Stuff like that.

Anyhow, good luck OP. I'm convinced it's who you know, not what you know and COMPLETE LUCK when it comes to getting hired these days. Being the guy they want on the bowling team, that's solid advice. I always try to project that image.

#13 Muthafodder

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 05:22 PM

I really hope to land something soon because there's a chance I'll be laid off my current job in less than a year (with the downsizing going on) and it could be a massive financial drain if I end up going back to school (I'd like to go back, but would rather wait until I get the Professional experience that helps).



I'd really just try and wing a few without any preparation whatsoever.

I've found I'm much more comfortable that way...and am batting 1.00 with that method.

#14 irideabike

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 05:35 PM

You don't really want to completely wing it, you have to be somewhat knowledgeable about the company and the direction they are going etc.

There are no shortcuts. No do-overs. What happened, happened. Trust me. I know. All of this matters.

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#15 Muthafodder

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 06:36 PM

You don't really want to completely wing it, you have to be somewhat knowledgeable about the company and the direction they are going etc.


It's how I got a offer at a public accounting firm 2 hours after interviewing and my current one.

I guess it could help, not really a need in my profession though.

#16 Javery

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 07:24 PM

Just be yourself. I don't understand why people get so nervous about interviewing for a position, all you are doing is selling your best qualities, how hard can that be?


This is actually very good advice. No reason to be nervous - I mean, yeah, you want the job but just relax and be yourself. You wouldn't get the in-person interview if they didn't think you were qualified. At that point they are looking for a personality fit since they have to spend a majority of their day with whoever they hire.

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#17 Mana Knight

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:12 PM

Send a thank you note after the interview to every person who interviewed you.

I've been doing that for a bit. Sometimes I question if my thank you letters are good enough.

Some people are just nervous/awkward talking to strangers in general. Add in the pressure of many really needing a job to ramp of the nerves, and it's easy to see why some people struggle with them.

I've never had problems personally, but have friends who sweat bullets before interviews.

I have MAJOR problems stuttering. I try to improve it, but I say some filler words. I even do it around people I know.

Anyhow, good luck OP. I'm convinced it's who you know, not what you know and COMPLETE LUCK when it comes to getting hired these days. Being the guy they want on the bowling team, that's solid advice. I always try to project that image.

I believe it. Most who got into my company got in that way. After I interview for this job, I may tell my Dad what job I applied to at another company because he knows the president (due to hiring him many years ago).
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#18 lokizz

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:44 PM

never wear underwear. when you go in free balling and they see the way you hang and sway they will respect your manliness instantly and you will be in.

#19 Invicta 61

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 12:12 AM

My best piece of advice is to not tell them about your chicken finger fetish.
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#20 Dead of Knight

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:19 AM

My best piece of advice is to not tell them about your chicken finger fetish.


He's not DLF. For TMK it would be fried chicken or Sony.

Anyone have any advice for my problem?
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#21 willardhaven

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 05:39 AM

He's not DLF. For TMK it would be fried chicken or Sony.

Anyone have any advice for my problem?



I have to ask... What kind of ethical reasons did you quit for? If I were hiring someone I would be impressed if the reasons were good.

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#22 Invicta 61

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 07:37 AM

He's not DLF. For TMK it would be fried chicken or Sony.

Anyone have any advice for my problem?


LOL I swear I thought it was TMK that always put up dating advice blogs and talks about wanting to get chicken fingers at dinner. I guess I need to pay closer attention.

As for your problem, do you use your former employer as a reference? No company wants to be accused of being unethical and I'm sure if your name is mentioned to them they would not have good things to say. Also, if you mention to a prospective employer that you left your previous job for ethical reasons they may just view you as a trouble maker. They don't want to hire you and then have to watch their back.

Just my opinion, but I would leave that employer out of your history and see how it goes since it was only four months. Just go with the history from the employers before them and act like you never had that job.

Good luck.
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#23 Mana Knight

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 12:43 PM

Job interview today. I'm prepared on questions to ask, but didn't really prepare yet on "tell me about yourself" or prepare for their questions. I realized preparing for questions does not help because I most questions I'm asked are not what I expected. I just need to get better of thinking of a good answer quickly. Sometimes I give an example, then realized I could have given a better one.

More will be posted later.
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#24 pitfallharry219

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 01:22 PM

Tell them you don't understand why guys like pussy.

#25 Twilight Sparkle

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 01:43 PM

Job interview today. I'm prepared on questions to ask, but didn't really prepare yet on "tell me about yourself" or prepare for their questions. I realized preparing for questions does not help because I most questions I'm asked are not what I expected. I just need to get better of thinking of a good answer quickly. Sometimes I give an example, then realized I could have given a better one.

More will be posted later.


Much luck to you. In my experience, the best answer for "tell me about yourself" includes briefly going over some recent history, and how that helps your plans 2 years down the road, and then in 5 years. It isn't something that's touched upon in your resume, and it lets them know that you have a sense of direction.

#26 Number83

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 01:55 PM

It's all about telling your interviewer how you are going to either make the company money or save the company money.

That's it.

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#27 cochesecochese

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:40 PM

Good luck and keep on keepin' on, Mana.

It's a tough job market out there right now so just do your best.

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#28 Dendaman

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 04:41 PM

Fellow EE here (just graduated last weekend!)...one thing that I've been asked by everyone is what projects I've worked on. So try to incorporate projects you've worked on/been a part of, or at the very least things you've done at your previous job that are a good showcase of your skills.

Also, what area of EE are you looking into?
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#29 Spokker

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 06:31 PM

Here's one I'm experiencing right now. Make sure your reference didn't take off on a two-week vacation so your prospective employer can't call them to find out if you stole office supplies at your last job. Tracking down your reference is apparently harder than it sounds.

#30 Dead of Knight

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:34 PM

LOL I swear I thought it was TMK that always put up dating advice blogs and talks about wanting to get chicken fingers at dinner. I guess I need to pay closer attention.


It might be TMK then, I dunno, I don't read the blogs much. All I know is some poster here has fried chicken quotes from TMK. :lol:

The ethical reasons have to do with the application (or lack thereof) of accounting and auditing principles, which would kind of be a big deal for someone in the accounting industry. I haven't used them as a reference. I haven't even mentioned the ethical issues on the jobs I applied for. I've only mentioned it to external recruiters so they can say to employers that I had a good reason to quit, and I've never given specific details.
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