Job interview help

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cheezdoodles, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Cheezdoodles

    Veteran

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Messages:
    3,930
    Likes Received:
    24
    I have a big job interview on monday, with a huge financial institution.

    Being fresh out of uni, i dont have much experience with going on interviews. Im a bit nervous, as this job oppurtunity can mean a lot for my future. A reason for my nervousness is that they only speak english, and while my english is reasonably good, i sound like a norwegian turist if i get asked a very hard question.

    What is a good answer for "What is your weaknesses"?

    Any general tips, do's and don'ts would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. suryad

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,479
    Likes Received:
    16
    I have found being honest and straightforward helps quite a lot. I have also found that if you dont know the answer to something say it straight away that you do not know the answer instead of trying to drag it out.

    Being fresh out of a uni has some advantages because they already know sort of what to expect. I am not sure what type of level of skills is required in the job whether they are ok with someone from a uni where they know there will be a lot of learning involved for the job candidate or whether they are looking for someone with experience. So what I just said could be a good thing or a bad thing.

    Make sure you are dressed appropriately. Do not look tired at all. Attire and appearance is a big thing especially at a financial institution. Even the subtlest things like fingernail size etc etc will be noticed. When you shake hands, firm grip is definitely the best and make sure your palms are not all cold and clammy.

    I can only give these sort of 'external' tips the job interview I usually just wing it on the fly. And I have found it works for me because it is obvious when someone is just replying with canned answers or if someone is actually taking a little bit of time to think it through when replying. If you need a bit of time to answer to gather your thoughts when asked a question do not hesitate to mention that. Try to pre-formulate your sentences in your mind so you dont sound like a norwegian tourist. It is tough believe me I know but it pays off. Do not speak too fast. Do not fidget. Be confident but dont be overconfident.

    Also when you get a chance have some good questions prepared to ask them because an interview is a 2 way street. Learn a little bit about the company beforehand.

    Hmm thats all I got for now. If i come up with something I will be sure to post. Good luck!!
     
  3. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    6,363
    Likes Received:
    82
    "Blondes" :wink:

    Try not to be too nervous. Get talking and you should relax. Remember that you are there to sell yourself, so make sure you talk, and not just let the interviewer do all the talking. Listen to what you are asked, and answer the question (not some other thing that wasn't asked). Talk about the things that you have done in the past that you are proud of, and the kind of person that you are. They will not just be looking for a person with all the paper qualifications, but also a person that will fit in and can learn to do the job, so you must show your personality as well as your skills.

    Do a bit of research on the business, find out what they do, who their partners are, and a bit about their world. Think up some questions about the job and where it can take you. Don't say anything negative, either about yourself or any previous jobs/people/whatever. Anything you do say (like your weaknesses question above) should be tempered with good things that will mitigate any downsides. You want to come across as positive and enthusiastic.

    This is basically a snapshot. Unless they give you some formal tests, they will expect that you can do the things you say you can do (unless they think you fibbed on your application forms), and want to find out what kind of person you are. They will probably ask some questions to make sure you haven't exaggerated on your resume, but it's an opportunity for them to find out what sort of employee you'll make, and you will have a limited time to give them a feel of who you are. Just try to relax and enjoy it, you will come across much better.

    Interviews are something that you get better at with practice, and there's not much to do other than to keep going to them until you get the job you want.

    If they do any psychometric testing, just be completely honest. The tests will show if you are fibbing.
     
  4. RobertR1

    RobertR1 Pro
    Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Messages:
    5,576
    Likes Received:
    610
    Don't give one word answers. If they ask you a business/experience question, they want to examine your thought process.

    Dress nicely. Make good eye contact to whomever is asking the question and address everyone at the table when speaking.

    Don't be the asshole who tries to turn a weakness into a strenght when asked that question. That's annoying.

    Just relax. If you're tense and uncertain, it'll show immediately. Go in there confident with the mentality that "yeah, I am what they are looking for" and you'll come across well. Don't go in there with "please, oh please, i hope I get this job!!!" mindset. You'll psyche yourself out.
     
  5. mcsven

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    UK
    RobertR1's advice is good. I've been on the other side of graduate recruitment and the goal of the interviewer is absolutely NOT to trip you up or catch you out. There's nothing more than an interviewer likes than an interviewee that provides all the evidence they need to determine whether this person is what they're looking for. If they ask questions like: "tell me about a time when you...", they're just trying to help you out. So respond in kind; say "I can provide you two examples of that" - and then provide copious details about the examples. Of course, your examples need to be legit; bullshit doesn't fly. The key is not to be bashful or modest; just tell them what you think you really did (but be prepared for questions about it).

    As for the weaknesses question - my favourite response is to say "none - or at least none that I'm going to tell you!" Of course, you then need to provide the usual list of legit but non-critical things (perfectionist etc etc).
     
  6. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    17,264
    Likes Received:
    1,780
    Location:
    Winfield, IN USA
    If it's a chic, stare at her tits; if it's a dude, stare at his crotch.

    It'll unnerve 'em and give you the upper hand. :yep2:
     
  7. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,137
    Likes Received:
    5,074
    This, can be extremely important with regards to financial institutions, insurance companies, large corporations, etc.

    At some point it is likely that you'll get asked about what you know about the company and why it is you want to work for them.

    Having some knowledge of the company and what they do goes a long way to showing the interviewer that you were interested enough to look them up.

    Looking them up also shows them that you are diligent in getting information to accomplish your goals. Something that can be beneficial for certain job positions.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  8. StefanS

    StefanS meandering Velosoph
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,608
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Vienna
    * Dress properly and make sure you pay enough attention to details and etiquette. Make sure you shave properly, etc.

    * Learn about the company you're applying for beforehand, it might come up in the interview. Also look at their website, some companies list interview scenarios on their website, thus giving a rough idea of the ballpark of interview questions

    * Be honest. HR personal at bigger companies is most likely very apt at spotting lies and reading body language. So if you lie, expect to be caught.

    * The "What's your weakness" question is IMO not a very good one and fairly ancient as far as HR techniques goes (it is still around though). If it comes up, don't go with "I am a perfectionist" or similar trite responses. Mostly likely they're looking for self assessment and striving for self improvement. So whatever you choose here, make sure to stress that you re aware of your short coming and that you re working on it. Also, don't name a weakness that is detrimental to your job experience like "I am a cleptomaniac" etc.
     
  9. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    2,204
    Likes Received:
    103
    Hell, I've said several of those thing and still gotten an offer... :)

    IMO, It's all about the dynamics of the situation in an straight up interview. Eager but not needy, honest and direct but not inappropriately so, confident but not cocky, and so on. I've had my share of train wrecks in this regard, but I've always done been the most successful when I've been able to tell my self that it doesn't matter how it turns out.

    I don't mean indifference, and I guess it'll depend both on the position and the competitiveness of the market, but "submissiveness" seems to be pounced on. Interviews have always seemed the the most conductive to me when they've been a frank evaluation from both parties regarding whether they're "right for each other".

    On that point, the "Do you want to ask us any questions" question is not just a formality. You really do want to ask some questions. There's always something a prospective employee should want to know about the position (and couldn't simply find out beforehand) that gets left out (maybe even deliberately) during the course of an interview.
     
  10. 3dcgi

    Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    2,435
    Likes Received:
    263
    My weakness is trying to figure out a good answer to such a dumb question.

    Of course I'd never say something like that unless I were sure the interviewer had the right sense of humor.

    Another question I hate is "where do you see yourself in 5 years." I answered that honestly one time and it kept me from getting the job. Seems like they didn't think I'd hang around once the economy rebounded. :wink:

    That segues into what others have said. Ask some questions so you can figure out if you'll like the job.
     
  11. obonicus

    Veteran

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,939
    Likes Received:
    0
    Make sure they see your masonic ring, don't forget the secret handshake.
     
  12. _xxx_

    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,008
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Get a good book about assessment center, there you'll find all the usual questions/tests and what to do in interviews etc. I had four different books and they really do help.
     
  13. rpg.314

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,298
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    /
    How the hell did it go?
     
  14. jrub

    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    interview help

    Always try to play a strength off as a weakness. Like "I make sure the job gets done no matter what and I sometimes expect the same out of others and can get frustrated when I don't see others working as hard or giving 110%"



     
  15. Davros

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    14,889
    Likes Received:
    2,304
    ....
     
  16. jrub

    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    All in all it depends on the firm, casual firms may like the quick wit, more corp firms will want an answer similar to what I provided above. "I am a perfectionist" might be a little extreme but similar "trite" responses that are sincere not PAT answers are what you should say.

    I have been working downtown Chicago as a corp recruiter since 1995. I've seen the pitfalls of "blown interview questions". In this economy, employers are picky! You may be a developer but the day of the interview, you best be a salesman! Stay out of the "whats in it for me questions." Explain how the firm can get "value" by bringing your skill set to the firm. Set yourself apart from the competition. Give examples of successes in high pressure situations. Be specific and informative without being too long winded, sit back and listen.

    JRUB
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...