View Full Version : Job interviews

2007-07-03, 01:32 AM
I need some advice on job interviews.

I'm looking for a new job because my company's not doing well and I've done everything I can possibly do with them. The last month and a half, I've had over 15 interviews (last week I had five!). Only one ended as an offer, but it was in NJ, which would have been a hellish commute. I have a lease on my place for at least another year, so I had to decline. Besides, I moved to Bayside in January and have an awesome deal on my apartment, so don't really want to move again. Anyways, point is that one offer out of more than fifteen interviews is pretty dismal. I'm still waiting to hear back from a few companies, but I'm not holding my breath.

I know I made some mistakes early on when I probably showed a little too much desperation. I adjusted accordingly and the last few interviews went well, I think, but they haven't lead to anything.

Can anyone give me some pointers on what I should do? I used to be really good at these things (I admit, the last month has been really difficult and stressful for me on a personal level, so perhaps that has affected things). I think I lost my mojo or something! And if anyone knows of someone hiring in the accounting/economics/finance field, let me know!

Thanks a lot!

hiss srq
2007-07-03, 01:39 AM
Walk in confident. Not cocmky and flaunting it with the oh I got this attitude but just back strait and open minded is the big thing. You cannot go wrong woith that and a resume according. If you know in the back of your head as in make yourself know you have it you will get it. Do not act like you have it though.

2007-07-03, 01:48 AM
A couple of tips I've used.

-Learn everything you can about the company and use that knowledge to formulate questions that would concern you're role in the organization.

-Most interviews ask the standard questions, anticipate those questions before they are asked, answer them right upfront.

-List a top ten of your accomplishments and then write down a brief description of what the challenge was, how you looked at the issue, what steps you took to solve the problem, and what the positive outcome was to you're company.

-Ask questions, this ties into point one and remember you're interviewing them as-well. Make a list of what questions you want to ask and ensure they are open ended. Closed ended questions will destroy you. A great question to ask when you finally are interviewed by the person you will work for is "What do you see as my first challenge here at ABC company?" Use that to further the conversation and try to tie it to similar things you've done in the past.

Goodluck, there's no magic answer for landing a great job it takes practice. Call this crazy but I've gone on interviews with no intention of leaving my company but simply to keep my interview skills on par. You never know when you may need them or want to look for something better so might as well be ready.

2007-07-03, 08:44 AM
Further to Tommy's points (which are all excellent), here are some of my own.

When preparing for an interview it is important to get into ‘interview mode’. You never want to sound robotic in your responses and want to treat each interview as if it is your first. The last thing a potential employer wants to see is someone that gives off the impression that this is the 100th interview they’ve been on. It's hard to do...especially when you have been interviewing actively. Here are a few more tips to make it a bit easier to do...

Know the job description inside and out. - Research the company. Go to their website, Google them, if they have other offices (say, internationally), mention those in questions (we'll get to that later...). Most of all, act genuinely interested in their company.

Make an outline of your resume. No matter how well you know your resume, treat it like a term paper. Outline your resume and for each job extract 2 or 3 strengths you’ve learned while in this role (or skills you’ve really honed in on). Know this in your head...practice it. It will be relevant to the questions they ask you. Most of the time the interviewer will ask you to walk them through your resume, and remember....it's your time to shine (but NOT to look pompous!)

Never talk negatively about your current (or previous) job It's obvious they're going to ask you why you're leaving your current position, and even if it's the worst job IN THE WORLD, never ever say that. You can always say ‘it isn’t the right fit' or something like that. Think about this ahead of time so you're not stuck looking for words or caught in a lie.

What are your strengths/your weaknesses? The first part of this question is easy. You could even exaggerate if you chose to (I'm not encouraging this, just making a point)...but the latter is more difficult. How do you answer that question without raising red flags!? Think of one ahead of time that also sites some strengths. I'm sure you can think of something that has a positive twist.

What are you looking to earn? NEVER GIVE A #. Give a salary range. Most companies won't be insistant upon an exact number. If you do give a set salary, you'll often get shorted. If they are being insistant, you could say "I'd like my total package to be in the range of x to x."

Do you have any questions? THIS IS HUGE. This WILL make or break an interview. You must be prepared for this question. Ask questions even if you don't have any. They want to see you are a thoughtful, insightful candidate! Never end an interview with, ‘No I think you covered everything.’

Exiting Make sure to get the interviewers card. You always want to have that so you can send them a prompt thank you note. MAKE SURE IN THIS THANK YOU NOTE YOUR GRAMMAR AND SPELLING ARE PERFECT!!!! (I know that seems obvious, but....). Thank them for their time, firm handshake (not deathgrip). Make sure you don't leave anything behind (oh, and never ever bring anything IN with you, besides a briefcase or bag, jacket, etc. NO COFFEE, WATERBOTTLES, ETC.)

Good luck - I hope these are helpful. I actually have an interview myself this afternoon. You'd think I'd be a bit more confident after writing that, eh? :)

2007-07-03, 11:47 AM
psshh, the deathgrip is what always got me my jobs

tommy & Mel covered pretty much what I would've said

2007-07-03, 01:13 PM
Thanks a lot for the responses, guys! Those are definitely tips to take into consideration.

Generally speaking, I try to do as much research as I can and when I ask questions, I try to ask as open-ended questions as possible to make the interviewer ramble on a bit and take up more time. The way I see it, the longer the interview lasts, the better the chance they will remember you and hire you. My last interview was three hours long, but I haven't heard anything back from them yet. I also always try and ask questions about the interviewer themselves and about how they like working for the company and about the work environment and advancement opportunities.

As for the salary range thing, I notice that every place I've been to has asked what I'm expecting. I remember when I went on interviews a few years ago when I was looking for another job, nobody ever asked this. Has it changed so much the last four years? I usually try and counter asking what the salary range of the job is and then retort by saying my expectations are within that range, as well as giving my current salary.

Like I said, my interviews the first part of June weren't that great, but they did improve. I actually just got two calls for two more interviews at the end of the week, so hopefully one of them will end up as an offer!

Thanks again!

2007-07-03, 01:20 PM
I try to ask as open-ended questions as possible to make the interviewer ramble on a bit and take up more time. The way I see it, the longer the interview lasts, the better the chance they will remember you and hire you.

I'd reverse this train of thought... You should be the one doing most of the talking. If the interviewer is doing the talking how are they going to remember you? They won't. I've had interviews that only lastest 30 mins and was offered jobs because in that time I ensured I made my mark.

2007-07-03, 03:02 PM
I always start the interview with a nice off-color joke to break the ice and cut the tension. Ever hear the one about the priest, the hooker and the STD?

Matt Molnar
2007-07-03, 04:38 PM
5 critical questions:
• "Do ladies work here?"
• "Do they have a nice physiques?"
• "If you give me this job, can I put a camera in the lady toilet, please?"
• "Why not?"
• "If I work here, can I work in a room with a light, please?"


2007-07-03, 10:06 PM
Those are great tips from Tommy and Mel.

They are obvious, but easy to overlook if you just don't know better or are inexperienced.

I can remember making some of those cardinal mistakes years ago.
Just so dumb, but there it is...

Of course, its a strange world out there. I actually had a couple of offers (admittedly not dream jobs, but decent ones for my station at the time) when I behaved in an arrogant or pompous manner. I remember one of the companies was about to do a huge move from downtown to midtown.

I told them I appreciated the offer but to call me back when the move was complete... :)

I can tell you though, AMEX and Time Warner had a couple of nicest rejection letters I ever saw.


2007-07-04, 12:25 PM
What line of work are you in? Could be not totally your fault that your ratio of interviews to offers is low. Every line of work is different. In my business they don't drag in a crap load of candidates. They go by word of mouth and reputation then only sit downb 2 to 3 people. Since 99' I have had seven interviews and got offered the job 6 times.

I feel your resume is what you should concentrate on. The stronger it is the better chance you have walking in, don't just hand them a piece of paper, do it on nice resume paper and put it in a nice report folder. Dress properly for the interview, do your homework about the company like everyone has said here, I bring a notepad with my questions I want to ask and be very clear when you ask them, you have to remember that the interview works both ways. You have to get information to make sure the job is what you want as well as what they want in you. Don't seem desperate for the job, relax and answer the questions posed to you truthfully and confidentally. You will find you will get offered the job more times than not.