Big job interview coming up...please help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ryan_x, May 3, 2002.

  1. ryan_x

    ryan_x Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a big job interview with a IT consulting firm for a summer placement in tech support...after spending the last three summers working crappy factory jobs...this could be my big break...how should I prepare what kind of questions could they possibly ask?
     
  2. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Don't eat your lunch when being interviewed and, most importantly, don't bring your mother!
    Actually, just be yourself. Dress appropriately. Don't be too talkative when responding to questions. Look the interviewer directly in the eye when responding.
    Good luck. The job is yours if you really want it.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Greg Rowe

    Greg Rowe Stunt Coordinator

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    I say just be yourself. When I was looking for jobs (software engineering) about a year that is exactly what I did. I got offers from all but 2 of the places I interviewed with (3/5 companies IIRC). TO me, dressing appropriately meant wearing my "good jeans" - no holes in them. I did actually break down and wear a golf shirt (with those stupid collars on them) for some of the interviews. I figured if they were going to hire me because I dressed nice then I didn't want to work for them (since I won't dress up for work anyhow). Of course, I had nothing to lose (except living with my parents) so it wasn't a big deal to me.

    Good Luck!

    Greg
     
  4. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    First
     
  5. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    Prepare for the interview by doing a little research on the company. Knowing a little bit about the company may help when answering questions or if you have the opportunity to ask questions.

    As Peter said don't be too talkative. Nothing can lower the impression you are making more than rambling. Also, don't fidget around or slouch. You don't need to be rigid as a board, but don't appear as if the "ants are in your pants" or that your relaxing at home with your buddies.

    Finally, relax and be confident!
     
  6. Chris Lock

    Chris Lock Second Unit

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    Be sure to ask questions, too- details about the job, the specific responsiblities, etc., & if possible, mention how their answer ties into your knowledge or experience. Don't ask about pay or benefits, especially since this is a consulting gig; your consulting firm is the place to go for that. Also, don't assume what you've been told about the job by a recruiter is true; often there's a big gap. You need to hear from the employer directly exactly what the job is. I'd ask the interviewer if he would be your supervisor, if not, who would be, how many others work in that group, etc.
    It sounds like you don't have paid experience in your field, so expect some questions about your classes. What projects did you enjoy, what major problem did you solve, etc.? Since it's tech support, they should ask questions about your problem-solving & logical thinking skills. Plus the dreaded "Where do you see yourself in five years?"
    If you don't ask questions or have much to say beyond quick answers, some interviewers will think you aren't interested in the job. So you need to look like you are, & they aren't your only option. Ask some questions that imply you're interested in more than just a summer job, like coming back later to work as a programmer or whatever your goal is.
    Some of my best interviews were ones where I decided halfway thru that I wasn't interested, based on something I learned. I guess that's because I stopped caring & relaxed. Then they were ready for me to start the next day. [​IMG] So if you're ever in an interview & decide you're not interested, don't say so. Just keep going & try to get an offer from them. You can always turn it down later. Better to get the offer & turn it down than to NOT get it & decide you want it.
    Also, send the interviewer a brief thank you note afterward. Just say thanks for taking time to talk with you, & that you think you're a good fit for the job (assuming you want it). If the person has biz cards around, take one so you can get the name & address right. (I guess email is acceptable now, but an actual paper letter has more impact.) Or the recruiter who sent you should be able to get the name/address info. Very few people send notes like this any more, so you stand out from the pack if you do.
    A couple good books on the subject are Sweaty Palms and Ace the Technical Interview. The latter has specific questions about various hardware & software products that you might be asked.
     
  7. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Believe it or not there was a book many years ago that featured the crazy things people do on job interviews. Sorry, can't remember the name but it was a hoot.

    Chris, excellent comments particularly about sending a note to the interviewer.
     
  8. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Since I have interviewed a ton of people for technical and non-technical jobs through my career my advice is somewhat similar to what's described above. Be yourself. Don't come across contrived, too slick or a know it all. Be comfortable being yourself.

    For you particular position your interviewing for I would try to stress wanting to service the end customer since its an IT support role especially to the HR person (if they're involved) and the hiring manager. Secondly, your knowledge in the technical areas required as well as showing how you would deal with situations where you didn't know the answer or couldn't readily get it. That shows problem solving which I would find key in an IT support role.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    great advice already given.
    i'll just emphaisize that you need to:
    dress appropriately
    no jeans, sneakers, etc. you don't have to wear a suit, but at least some khaki-style pants, an oxford shirt and some doc martin/sketcher style shoes. tie is optional. when i interviewed people, if they didn't dress nicely, i knew they couldn't be serious - maybe that's a bias i have, but i think most interviewers will agree with me.
    be honest
    this one is obvious. if the interviewer smells that you're faking it, you're done. they'll appreciate an honest answer more. i think most people realize that most experience comes from on the job (otj) training. if you don't know, tell them so but that you feel that is something you could learn, etc.
    be courteous
    use your manners. shake their hands, be attentive during the interview, smile and be polite, thank them for their time, send them a thank you note, etc. good manners have a big impression.
    smile
    as if often said, a smile goes a long way! [​IMG]
    good luck! [​IMG]
     
  10. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    Hello. All good advice above, and I had two last week, so I can relate. I'll relate my experiences:

    Dress for the job. I looked at the websites for the two companies I interviewed at. They each had pictures of staff members so I could get an idea of the office atmosphere and dress appropriately.

    Listen and take notes. Remember that you will learn alot about the job, and you might want to recall some information when you get home and have time to think about the job. I always thought that showed good attentiveness too.

    Think of questions you might want to ask beforehand. Nothing is worse than thinking of questions you should have asked when you're in the car on the way home.

    Banter. Try and come off charming, witty, friendly, and energetic. If they have several people to interview, they'll remember you easier that way when they talk to their supervisors. They'll think...I talked with this guy Chris, he seemed really nice...that's the key. They'll have to consider that this person will be in the office with them and they want someone with a personality who will fit in with everyone there.

    Good luck to you and anyone else who may share the same predicament.

    Chris
     
  11. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    Be prepared to answer the following generic questions:
    1) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    2) What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
    3) If your co-workers could describe you using two words, what would they be?
    4) What two words would you use to describe yourself?
    Etc....
    They seem to always ask these mundane, generic questions in every interview.
    Must have picked them up at a "how-to interview" seminar. [​IMG]
     
  12. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  13. Chris Lock

    Chris Lock Second Unit

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    So when is/was your interview? Let us know how it goes.

    The strength-disguised-as-a-weakness is an old trick. You might get called on it, so have a real weakness ready to go. If you don't deliver it right, it can backfire. If I were interviewing someone who said, "I work too hard" or "I take my jobs too seriously", I'd ask for a real weakness!

    I'd suggest "admitting" a true weakness that isn't really a negative for the job being sought, like in your case, the fact that you haven't done tech support before. That's an honest weakness, but they probably assume that already, & it's probably true of your competition as well, so it shouldn't hurt you.

    Also, when you get a question for which you have a canned answer prepared, pause before talking, as if you're thinking about it. Don't come across like you're reciting something you memorized from a book.

    Finally, keep in mind no matter how well you do, you might not get the job. They may decide to hire nobody, or whatever. Try to get interviews with several companies in a short time period so you don't get too reliant on a specific one coming thru.
     
  14. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Take control of the interview yourself....

    Make sure you ask questions of the interviewer concerning the company and where the company is going, how one would benefit into the company, and of course how would one grow if given an opportunity.

    Most people just let the interviewer lead and then respond. As someone noted above, find out what you can about the company and place YOUR questions well. A good rule of thumb is for every answer given, ask 1 question. This makes you seem much more interested..... that is if you ask the right questions.

    Try to think of yourself as a salesman.... since you ARE trying to sell yourself. Prepare, prepare, prepare. After gathering info about the company, write down your assests or "features" and how they would benefit the company. Also try not to be really spontaneous. Try to count to 3 before answering any questions as it will make you seem analytical and thoughtful. It just shows you put thought in what you have to say.

    Yes, this technique takes a little to master but is a tried and proven way to a succesful interview.
     
  15. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    1) If you have any jewelry in/on your face. Get rid of it!

    2) Make sure your hair is a natural color.

    3) Your clothing should fit your body. (Wear a suit & Tie)

    4) Do not use any language that may be offensive.

    5) Humor never got anyone a good job.

    6) Yes sir, No sir, not "Man" or "Dude"

    7) Treat the interviewer with as much respect as is possible.

    8) Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.

    9) Before leaving the interview tell the person you interviewed with that you appreciate the opportunity to meet with them and that you look foward to hearing from them again.
     
  16. Michael N

    Michael N Auditioning

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    Ryan, good answers to your questions above! I still think at least smart casual dress would be a MINIMUM requirement.
    Don't be afraid to admit to the interviewer if you are a little nervous. They have been in the very same situation and it may help to break the tension with a laugh between yourselves!
    Finally, prepare yourself for the tough question: why do you want OR why do you feel you are suited to this position? That is the one that always gets thrown in! Just be honest with yourself and the interviewer with your answers. Don't be shy about your current job and why you want to get the hell out of there into the position offered!! [​IMG]
    Remember, YOU are the best person for the job.
    Best of luck mate, Mike
     
  17. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    So Ryan... Your leaving us hanging. Did you hear anything about the job or have you even had the interview yet? [​IMG]
    KyleS
     
  18. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    I'm surprised no one mentioned this one: you are there to show the employer what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. If the person asks what you can do for the company, a simple yet all-encompassing answer is, "What do you need?"

    "What can you bring to the company" is #1.
     
  19. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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    Keep in mind that every interview question that you are asked is based on a fear, usually the fear that they are going to hire the wrong person. So try and identify the fear behind the question and put the fear to rest with your answer.

    Whenever I get the "What's your greatest weakness?" question, I don't hesitate. I say, "Oh, that's easy. M&M's!" Once you get a laugh, the real answer you give after that never seems as bad and it shows you don't fold under pressure.

    Good luck.

    Rob
     
  20. ryan_x

    ryan_x Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks guys for all the input...the interview went well...but im one of those people whos never really happy with any interview im in...i always look back and think of a million things i should have done different...I thought they would ask a lot of technical questions, but they didnt...they seemed to repeat the same type of questions over and over again...just worded differently...Why do want to work for this company...why do want to work in this position...why do want to work in this position in this comapany...why are you taking what your taking in school...what makes you an ideal candidate for this position...etc etc...they also gave me an english proficiency/business communication test...that really threw me off...a lot of questions like rewrite the following sentences and fix the punctuation...what should be capatalized in the following sentences...fill in the blanks with the proper verb tense...circle the proper word for this sentence ex. site sight cite...

    they said they will let me know by friday whether i made it to the second round of interviews...all this for a summer job...but i think it would be a great opportunity...and the company seems pretty cool....there is one major problem though...the hours are from 4 to 12 midnight...and i just signed up for a evening course that i need as a prereq for a course i need to take in order to graduate next year...what to do what to do
     

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