1. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    Job interview requirements.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MatrixGravity, Jun 10, 2011.

    What do you guys strongly recommend you do before going to a job interview? All I can think of is


    -Appear presentable
    -Dress in appropriate attire

    Can you add anything to this list? I want this list to have at least 5-10 different things.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Here are some more key musts:

    -- Bring a resume with you in a folder. It doesn't have to be an uber-professional expensive folder, but you also don't want one with Scooby Doo or anything on it. Just get a plain blue one for $1 at the store if you don't have a special portfolio or anything.
    This one is big: interviewers almost always ask if you have a resume with you, and it's expected, not just a nice plus. If you don't have it, it's a red flag for them.

    Make sure you don't have bad breath or gross-looking nails or any other small detail that could leave a bad impression.

    Make sure you're diplomatic and thoughtful with your answers. If they ask you "Do you think you're fit to handle a management position," don't just say yes or no. Say yes and explain why in a way that convinces them they should give it to you (or, if you don't feel comfortable with a higher-up level, instead of saying "no," say something like "While I will happily accept wherever I'm deemed most fit, my strongest skills lie in ___(this area)___."

    Bottom line, make everything seem positive and dynamic, but not in a way that's fakey. Get the handshake down right; you want it to be firm and assertive, but not a death grip or sweaty or too long or anything.

    Also make eye contact, but not in a creepy way that stares them down; don't fidget or dart your eyes everywhere or anything.
     
  3. Kontrast
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    Kontrast Member

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    Do your research...I still laugh when I remember a friend of mine who thought she had applied for a management position, but they were only hiring janitors! Make sure you know a little bit about the company, especially if its in the food industry. One of the first questions I was often asked (back in my teens) was; "Have you eaten here, and what do you think of our food?".

    Make sure you have REAL references, if you've gotten as far as an interview, they WILL check them if they haven't already.

    Know what they are going to ask....
    the most common are:

    Why should we hire you?
    What skills do you have that would help you in this position?
    What is your strongest strength and your weakest weakness? (it won't be phrased so directly, but it WILL be there)
    Why did you leave your last job? (this is important, make sure to give a GOOD reason)



    I actually get to sit in and observe when my manager is interviewing someone new (sometimes he lets me ask questions too :D). And I will tell you that most interviewers can see right through anything fake- so be (a polite version of) yourself!!!! Don't try to stick in vocabulary words if you don't in every day life, and don't give ridiculously perfect answers like "Oh, I would NEVER miss work!". Something like, "I consider my job as being top priority and if I had to miss a day due to a family emergency or illness, I will give advanced notice when possible."


    knock em dead!!!!!
     
  4. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I second doing your research. It's always good to know a little bit about the place you're interviewing with before you go in for the interview.

    Also, be as friendly and open as possible. I'm pretty reserved when I first meet someone, and my boss at my last job told me that he had considered not hiring me because I was kind of quiet in the interview, so he wasn't sure I would be outgoing enough.
     
  5. Venusian31
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    Venusian31 Member

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    This made me laugh and reminded me of one of my former bosses. I, too, am a quiet, reserved person when I first meet new people and my boss told me that when it came down to a decision between me and another person, they originally chose the other person because I was so quiet in the interview my boss thought I was "boring" and wouldn't fit in with the other personalities at the office. They only offered me the job after the other person turned it down.

    For the first few weeks I worked there, I was really quiet. Once I got to know everyone, I started talking and never shut up. My boss always told me I was one of the best employees he ever had. I ended up working there for five years. When the company went under and he had to let me go, he wrote me a glowing letter of recommendation for future employers and even told that story in the letter, warning other employers not to judge me based on my "personality" in the interview. It worked! My next employer said he hired me because of that letter.
     
  6. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's pretty close to how it was for me, too. One of the other managers actually talked him into hiring me, and he said he was really glad he did. It made me nervous about future interviews, though, because while I know I'll be competent and I do tend to be more vocal and outgoing than quiet after meeting someone, I can't seem to shake the whole reserved, feeling-you-out vibe that I give the first time I interact with them...
     
  7. Pallas
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    Pallas Contributing Member Contributor

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    Definitely figure out the proper directions and travel time. One time I headed into New Jersey without planning it well enough I suppose. I got off at a wrong stop, had to take a taxi to the place, expensive, and was still 30 minutes late. Needless to say I did not get an interview or a call back for another one.

    Plus make certain you have an interesting take on the tired strength and weakness answers.
     
  8. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    It would depend on the type of job you are applying for.

    I once got turned down because I dressed too nice because I was applying to for a stage hand job in a suit. Dress for the job +1. Example: if it is a garbage man then Dicky Pants, button down shirt and black boots.

    If it is a technical job then study up on common trouble shooting answers for that field.

    Some of the craziest question I have had are:

    What music do you like?
    If you were an animal what would you be?

    Typical questions are:

    Why should I hire you?
    Why do you want to work for us?
    When can you start?
    Any questions for us?

    Don't be afraid to ask questions like:
    Dress code?
    Benefits?
    Salary? (Do not be afraid to negotiate if the interview goes well.)

    Number one thing to do is be confident and if you do not know the answer be read to show them that you are ready to look it up. You can use work experience to show that you have come up against problems in the past that you did not know the answer for and how you resolved them.

    Oh yes show up on time: If you are early then you are on time. If you show up on time then you are late. If you show up late then you are fired. :p
    Good Luck.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Exude competence and confidence. If you are quivering like Jello in a massage chair on the inside, don't let it show on the outside. Look your interviewers in the eye, speak clearly, and sit/stand up straight.

    Be alert. A little caffeine or energy drink night be good, as long as it doen't make you nervous and jittery, or give you talkamileaminuteuncontrollablyitis.

    Arrive early for the interview, but only walk in a few minutes before you are scheduled for. Use the extra time to compose yourself, drain your bladder in the rest room, and to breathe.
     
  10. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Shake hands well. Seriously. The ability to shake the person's hand like a man rubs off well. If it's a woman, be gentle, but for a man, you need to be rigid and strong in your hand shake. Not, like, trying to break them, but strong. Practice on someone in your family.

    Walk with your shoulders and chin up and level. Don't look at the ground too much. Look dead on at eye level, and, again, hold your shoulders up.
     
  11. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good advice, except as a woman who appreciates a firm handshake, I really have to disagree with the "if it's a woman, be gentle" part. Seriously, people shaking my hand like "oh, I don't want to break you" kind of makes me want to punch them in the face. Most people can tell the difference between exerting enough pressure for a handshake to be firm and trying to crush someone's bones...just shake hands firmly, regardless of the gender of the person on the receiving end. A good handshake says a lot about you.
     
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  12. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    Yes, appearing presentable and dressing appropriately are important.
    It's also important to look into the company you're interviewing with, have any questions prepared if necessary. Work on filtering out verbal crutches such as "like" and "um" (they make you look less confident). Make sure you know exactly the job you're interviewing for, read and re-read the job description.

    That's all I can think of right now....
     
  13. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is why it'll be hard for me to give a good impression in interviews (albeit, I've only had one job interview). I'm always quiet and reserved. :/

    I agree with what the others have said. You have to appear confident and friendly, show that you have the necessary skills, good appearance (clothes, the way you sit/stand, don't fidget etc.), be prepared (research the company, think of the answers for the typical 'why do you want to work for us' and 'what can you offer to us' etc. in advance). And of course, be punctual for the interview. I'd say better to get there a little early and not just on time.
     
  14. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Take a shot or two of vodka before you go, it's how I get jobs. Otherwise I'm too quiet and reserved to make much of an impression, unless I somehow get easy questions, and even then I mumble or whatever. Don't be falling over, or smell like a brewery, but a little liquid courage can do a world of good.
     
  15. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Well, I'd try a bit of Rescue Remedy, perhaps not the Vodka though. I'd be under the table even on two shots.

    Plus, guy might not drink.

    Go in there brimming with confidence and totally sell yourself like your life depends on it - even if it doesn't. Just by being adequately prepared you'll be fairly confident.

    CV, Suit, Research - maybe a list of question to ask your empolyer because they sometimes ask, do you have any questions? Better to get any vital info there an then. And it looks like your on the ball and pay attension to detail. (if it's that kind of job).
     
  16. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    As someone who has been in and out of work recently I can give you a few pointers on this.

    Dress Appropriatly. Depending on the company and the post you're going for then you're clothes would change accordingly. I would always advise a person to wear smart shoes and pants with a shirt and tie. If you're going for a senior position then you would have to dress in a posh suit.

    I would not advise taking notes or a resume with you as the employer should already have a copy of your resume or your application form and they may take notes off you if you end up reading them often.

    Prepare before hand. Know where you're going and always plan to arrive ten to twenty minutes early. Have a run through a couple of days beforehand if you're unfamiliar with the area.

    Generally most employers ask a series of questions based around the companies competencies and values. Before the interview think about what you've done in the past and write down examples of the situation or task, the action you took and the result that was achived and then memorise these examples.

    Don't ask about the pay. This should either be in the initial job advert or the employer should mention this to you beforehand. If you ask about it then it could give off the wrong image. You can about the dress code but most employers should mention this beforehand.

    There's nothing wrong with being nervous. When you talk to someone speak calmly and confidently and in a tone that they can understand you.
     
  17. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    I completely agree with your whole post except for this part. It's true that the employer should have your resume, but having a couple extra copies on hand just in case is never a bad practice. (Though I agree that reading off of it often probably isn't a good thing, either). I would also advise bringing a notebook to take notes- even if you don't take notes, having a notebook on hand shows you are prepared and interested.

    For whatever reason, even though I get a bit nervous before interviews, I do quite well at them. I've been on about 10 job interviews in my life so far, and only one of those ten companies didn't offer me a position.
     
  18. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha, I absolutely loved reading this. Totally agree.

    One other recommendation I'd have is to go to the bathroom ahead of time especially if you've fueled up on caffeine.
     
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  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What. you mean employers aren't impressed with you shifting from side to side to keep your bladder from letting loose?

    In the same vein. avoid the onion soup before the interview, and for God's sake, if you have a barking intestine, take some anti-gas pills!

    Having had to be on the other side of such an interview, I certainly don't want the applicant to end up in the adjoining cubical to me if his or her emanations are making my eyes burn.
     
  20. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    If only I hadn't given you rep too recently, you'd have some from me right now.....
    Seriously, I completely agree with this, you don't want to seem patronizing or "poor little woman." Same goes for if the person is old, too. A professionally firm handshake isn't going to break anyone.

    Cog, your comments were hilarious.

    Matrix, what kind of job are you applying for?
     
  21. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Haha! Yes!

    And to add to this.... if you have a cold, or god forbid, allergies, please take your meds and/or blow your nose! I have actually been SNEEZED ON, yes, you read that correctly. SNEEZED.... ON... while giving an interview. Not just once, not just twice, MULTIPLE TIMES. Please don't do that. Please.
     
  22. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I never had that happen, granted I have only ever done like 10 interviews in my life. I had a girl try to flirt one time. That was, for me, a sure fire way to get the resume thrown away. Plus, she had no clue how to do the job. Don't flirt, it does not work.

    One time I did not take a job because of how the interviewer asked the questions. The question were like:

    How do you work in an aggressive environment?
    How do you handle agree employees?
    Have you ever had anger issues at other places you worked?

    Remember Interviews are two ways. You should be judging the company at the same time they are judging you.
     
  23. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Very good point, Jim. Also, if you're a guy and a female is interviewing you please remember she has eyes.... look at them. Eyes on face, k? Otherwise it's a no-go no matter how qualified you are. If you absolutely can't maintain eye contact look at the table, look around, do NOT stare at her chest (I don't care how pretty her "necklace" is).

    Heh... sounds like that place had anger issues.
     
  24. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I only said to be gentle because the majority of women will have much slighter hands than the majority of men. I always give a firm handshake, but you can be a lot more rigid and strong with a man's hand than you'd want to with a woman's. Women have nice hands. C:

    That cracked me up. I do have to fix what you said, though. "That was, for me, a sure fire way to get a job." ... if you take my meaning.
     
  25. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Women don't like to be treated like a china doll in a professional situation though, as a general rule. I've had men shake my hand like they actually think I'm going to break. It's annoying and makes me feel like they don't take me seriously (a problem as you can probably see especially if I'm the one doing the interview). As Hidden said, it makes me want to punch them in the face. They'll take me seriously then, won't they?
     

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