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Thread: Job Interviews

  1. #31
    Premium Member Yeti Long Shot: Porpoheus Champion
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    I agree with Applesauce. Each of those things are important.

    I would also add:

    1. Have a nice resume. A perfect resume. And format the resume to the job for which you are applying. Changing a word here or there where you can fit your experience into that position might be what gets you the interview. Your resume should be no more than one page. References are not necessary on the resume, but be prepared to bring a list to an interview. Also bring plenty of copies. Memorize that resume.

    eta: it has recently been suggested to me that after you have your completed resume, read it backward. You may catch errors you previously missed.

    2. Always send a cover letter with your resume. Make sure to spell the name of the company and the interviewer correctly. Call the receptionist ahead of time and ask. You don't need to tell them who you are or why you are calling (usually).

    3. During the interview: Although this is redundant, don't dis your former employers. Interviewers know that if you bad-mouth a former employer, you will bad-mouth them just as easily. When asked questions regarding "how would you handle [insert situation here]," use examples if you have encountered that situation before. The two most difficult questions I've been asked are "what is your best/worst quality?" and "why should I hire you?" I've been able to say that my worst quality is that I might be too friendly sometimes - this is not always a bad thing, it shows that you can work well with others, and have a positive outlook. (It has always worked for me.) Best quality - depends on the job you are applying for. The answer to that question that has worked best for me is loyalty. It's not a good idea to ask about benefits during an initial interview. If they are interested in you they will tell you.

    4. Finally, as has been mentioned above, send a thank you letter. Go directly home, type it up while the interview is fresh in your mind and make sure you get it in the mail that very day. I've been told more than once that the thank-you letter has been the weight that tipped the scale in my favor.

    Sorry this was so wordy, it wasn't my intent. I've had several jobs, since the best way to get a raise in this town is to shuffle from firm to firm. There is a core group of legal secretaries/paralegals that rotate every year or so. Sad but true.

    This applies to a professional position however, and if you are only looking for a short-term, summer job, certainly tone it down.

    Good luck and keep us in the loop!

  2. #32
    Cy Young 2010 Mariner's Avatar
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    One comment on thank you letters: they are a very good idea. However, if you interviewed with multiple people at the same prospective employer, do not send them all the exact same thank you letter. At the very least, have one paragraph that is varied from letter to letter. Ideally, each thank you letter should mention something unique about your conversation with that interviewer.

  3. #33
    Glad 4 Vlad! :) Tigrazhia's Avatar
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    Dang I just lost an entire big post I wrote here lol, hate it when I hit random keys for no reason & lose my writings.

    Anyways, here I go again... Great thread! I'm currently on a lookout for a job and have been going to interviews and hopefully I will be called in for a couple of more... I hope, I hope, I hope.... So this thread has been very helpful! I love it!

    Every interview I've been too lately, they all start by saying: "So...tell me about yourself" .... and altho I know this is coming now, I still get thrown by the request.
    They already have my resume and know my qualifications etc, what exactly do they want to know about me? Where do I start? What do they wanna hear? Personal stuff? Career stuff, even though it's on the resume? Why I'm suited for the job? (even tho it's in my resume & cover letter...)

    Also, usually when it gets to that part of "Do you have any questions?" I rarely have any. I tend to "over-research" everything about the company and the position I apply for before I go to the interviews, and by the time the itnerview is happening & over with, everything is usually pretty clear to me. Is it rude NOT to ask anything?
    (Although thanks to above posts, I now have a few questions that I can write down & bring with me next time I go to an interview... very clever, I love it.... :-))
    "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how."

  4. #34
    FORTfruity applesauce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner
    One comment on thank you letters: they are a very good idea. However, if you interviewed with multiple people at the same prospective employer, do not send them all the exact same thank you letter. At the very least, have one paragraph that is varied from letter to letter. Ideally, each thank you letter should mention something unique about your conversation with that interviewer.
    Good point Mariner...and everyone else. We should all start an interviewing consultation service...

  5. #35
    Cy Young 2010 Mariner's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Wyndemere
    Also, usually when it gets to that part of "Do you have any questions?" I rarely have any. I tend to "over-research" everything about the company and the position I apply for before I go to the interviews, and by the time the itnerview is happening & over with, everything is usually pretty clear to me. Is it rude NOT to ask anything?
    It's not that it's rude. It's just that the interviewer doesn't know that the reason you aren't asking questions is because you've thoroughly researched the organization. They might think you are disinterested. Personally, when I've interviewed people, I've been really impressed by questions that show they've done research. For instance, a question about whether the interviewer thinks that something you have read is accurate. Maybe that's just me.

    And, applesauce, that sounds like a darn fine idea! I'd also be interested in advice on interviewing techniques from the standpoint of the interviewer. I no longer have to plow through 200+ resumes a recruiting season, but I still have to interview prospective employees and am always looking for good questions to draw them out.

  6. #36
    FORT Fanatic Blue_cool's Avatar
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    THanks everyone for replying! I do realize most of you are 'working adults' and here I am going on and on about my summer job :rolleyes . But yes, yesterday's interview went quite good. I think I managed to impress him, because from the two other applicants who were there for the interview as well, I was the only one with "reference" and "work experience" So while he was looking through he was like "Wow, really you worked there?" So it did help, I was really nice, maybe even overly nice. He said something, which I think he thought I was offended of, and he kept apologizing to me, pretty hilarious. Overall, I think he was impressed. The only downside, is that 'legally' here since I'm a "student" I'm only legaly allowed to work 30 hours a week. :phhht What I'm looking for is the big $$$ at the end of it. But since it's some sort of law/regulation, theres nothing much I can do about it. One good note (I think) the pay is $6 an hour. THat would be in local currency which is about $4 US. I know that's really low, but compared to MacDonald's which pay out $4.80 (singapore dollars) I prefer this job offer. But at the end of it, they just gave me the whole "we'll call you about it" :rolleyes *crosses fingers*

  7. #37
    FORT Fogey AIWANNABE's Avatar
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    Good Luck Blue_Cool! Looks like you did great with the interview!

  8. #38
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Wynd, Mariner has good advice. You could say something like "I've done some research on the company, but I'd like to know more about the working environment here. What do you like best about working here?" Or something along those lines...

    And they ask the same questions they can get off your resume to gauge your communication skills, and make sure you're comfortable talking about the experience on the resume.

  9. #39
    FORT Fanatic masashi's Avatar
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    Blue - I feel like your interview went just fine

    I went to an interview this morning, because I myself need some work. Actually my parents sort of told me, I need to work, and that I can't go on slacking off, and sucking money out of them . So I applied for this job at Starbucks (free coffee )

    I think being yourself, and being true to yourself is key. (cliche'd but oh well ) I was going to kiss-*ss just to please the boss, if he was going to hire me, then he's going to hire "me" and not some person I made up. I was laid back, said I was hard working yada-yada yada....so I'm hired! Right there ... exact words "When can you start?"

    BUT -- less time to slack, less time to sleep, less to to be online :phhht I guess that's what's it's all about huh?

  10. #40
    I...... 13 times's Avatar
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    I love this thread! I wish I had read this about a year ago. I always leave job interviews thinking... why did I answer that like that? Why didn't I say this? etc etc... sometimes it takes me a couple days to let it go.

    Recently... I applied at a place that was quite clear that they didn't want anyone under mid-twenties. I'm 19... and I went in and talked to the office manager and gave her my resume (it was typed in blue because my printed decided to run out of black ink... I told her to think it was creative. Not that I recommend this, because I'm sure companies hate that... I just didn't have black ink) and expressed my interest. I guess she liked me, because she told her boss to interview me even though I was the youngest out of the 50 applicants.

    Well, after my interview, when I left... the boss told the office manager that she REALLY liked me. A couple days later she called me and told me I got the job, and I love it. It is stressful right now... but I can't wait to move up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wyndemere
    Also, usually when it gets to that part of "Do you have any questions?" I rarely have any. I tend to "over-research" everything about the company and the position I apply for before I go to the interviews, and by the time the itnerview is happening & over with, everything is usually pretty clear to me. Is it rude NOT to ask anything?
    I know someone already answered you on this.. but I usually say. "I had a couple questions in my head during the interview, but you answered them all with the job description." or whatever. Which is usually the case.

    Another tip I have... I don't know if it was mentioned. But always bring your references on a sheet of paper with you to an interview if it's not on your resume. And... let your references know you are using them! I can't believe how many people don't, and then your reference is left confused and wondering why and sometimes will say "no comment"... which almost worse then a "bad" reference.

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