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#1 Posted by Ramone (2976 posts) -

I've very recently graduated from Uni and have been on a job applying spree trying to find some source of income so I don't feel like I'm leeching off my parents/the government. Today I got an email saying I had an interview at midday on Friday.

At first I was really excited until I realised I've never had a job interview before and I have literally no idea what I'm doing. So I thought I'd source the endless knowledge and experience of the GB forums for some useful tips. WHAT DO(N'T) I DO?

#2 Edited by RazielCuts (2987 posts) -

#3 Posted by falserelic (5407 posts) -

- Be on time

-Make sure to wear something nice.

- answer ever question the best way you can

- and relax

#4 Edited by cloudymusic (1230 posts) -

Be honest, and don't bullshit when asked questions if you don't know the answer. At the same time, don't sell yourself short and have some pride about the skills and experience you have that would be relevant to the position.

#5 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6141 posts) -

Be good at answering questions, that's pretty much it. Some people aren't good at answering questions, some people are; there seems to be a slight flaw with the employment system in this country. Almost everything else is subjective to the interviewer.

#6 Posted by falserelic (5407 posts) -

Yeah, don't lie about something. It could comeback to haunt you like me.

#7 Posted by Slax (962 posts) -

Here are a few more:

Make good eye contact

Make sure you are smiling

Dress a level above what you are expected to where at work (ie if it is a slacks and polo dress code where slacks and a button down, maybe even a tie if that's your thing)

Have good questions to ask at the end of the interview (this might mean doing some research on the company before hand, and listening intently whenever they give information to you)

Good luck duder!

#8 Posted by thomasnash (585 posts) -

The best piece of advice I can give is to do as much research as you possibly can into what the company you've applied to do, and the job itself.

The main reason is that they will probably ask you if you have any questions, and most people will tell you it's good to have some questions here to show you're engaged in the whole process; knowing as much as you can about the company not only helps you to formulate those questions, but also make sure they come across as insightful and intelligent.

It also helps if when you do this research, you think of it as doing prep for a job you already have, because that makes it easier to project a bit of confidence in the interview, and also make good contributions during it.

Good luck with it! Try not to get too excited about it because it can still go wrong, just remember that the experience will do you good!

#9 Posted by chiablo (999 posts) -

- Bring a pen and pad of paper to take notes on. Even something as simple as writing down names of people you're in an interview with helps. Oddly enough, they will notice this and it will put into their minds that you are thorough and attentive.

- Put your phone on vibrate or airplane mode if you're going to bring it.

- Practice what you're going to say when they ask what your strengths and weaknesses are. When you describe your weaknesses, make sure you say what you're doing to fix it. DO NOT SAY "I'M A PERFECTIONIST" AS YOUR WEAKNESS!

- Always bet DBZ.

- If interviewing with an HR person, they usually like to hear stories. Don't just say "I have leadership skills...", follow it up with an example.

- Don't be afraid to say "I don't know." They will be forgiving if you lack knowledge, but if you try to bullshit your way out if it, they can smell it a mile away. Try to say things like "I don't know, but I'm willing to learn" to soften the blow.

- Don't wear any perfume or cologne. This isn't a date, it's an interview. Worst case scenario, you wear a fragrance that an ex-husband wore and immediately nullifies your chances.

- Never bet DBZ.

- If this interview goes poorly, don't feel bad. It's rare to get the first job you interview for. If you want some practice in interviewing, apply for garbage jobs at places like Walmart where you are guaranteed an interview. When they offer you the job you can turn them down, you're just in it for the practice. Also, most universities have Career Councillors who are willing to do mock interviews with you.

- You're trying to sell yourself as being beneficial to the company. Never think of what the company can do for you... have the mindset of "this is what I can bring to your company."

#10 Edited by Aetheldod (3723 posts) -

I wouldn´t know ... strangely all my job offers have come through connections , not in a despot matter but rather casual conversations/ or relatives sugesting me as a good employeee (which I am really .... I maybe lazy as hell but when it comes to do a job I do my best and the word gets around and people hire me). But I suppose that the best you can do is be honest and not a bullshiter.

#11 Edited by Ben_H (3430 posts) -

If you bomb it don't worry. You will just look back on it and laugh. That's what I do for the one interview I had a while back that I bombed (though I kinda bombed it deliberately because I had a really bad feeling as soon as I walked into the place. Everyone there looked miserable and there was a lot of negativity).

Also, eye contact and being friendly goes a long way. Even if you don't have an answer to a question they have, being able to admit you don't (but are willing to learn) while not freaking out will reflect much better on you than looking panicked or trying to make up some BS answer.

I've discussed the interview process a ton with my boss (He admits to being super picky when it comes to interviews. He rejects people a lot for small things. He had 14 interviews for a new position this summer and rejected all but one even though he was looking for two people to hire) and his opinion is that being able to communicate and being able to display a willingness to learn will get you way further than anything else (Basically, credentials only get you so far. A lot of people try and get by on credentials alone and it does not work that way). Also, showing that you are personable is a big thing for him. He vastly prefers you tell a story or discuss your view on something than simply listing a set skill (@chiablo mentioned that too. It seems quite common these days. Less formality, more openness and candidness).

Don't just repeat your resume. Think of it like a Powerpoint presentation, if you just read the resume you will look lazy and it will be a bad presentation (The best presentations use the Powerpoint only to steer discussion and have little useful info on the powerpoint itself. Think of it like that). Expand on things you have listed as a skill (why do you think said skill is something you are good at? What are some situations where you have applied this skill in the past? How can you improve? How can this skill benefit the company?).

#12 Posted by coakroach (2492 posts) -

Just make sure you CALM THE FUCK DOWN MAN JESUS CHRIST.

#13 Edited by warpr (91 posts) -

@ramone said:

At first I was really excited until I realised I've never had a job interview before and I have literally no idea what I'm doing. So I thought I'd source the endless knowledge and experience of the GB forums for some useful tips. WHAT DO(N'T) I DO?

When I first started looking for jobs I always thought I had to impress the interviewer by getting all their questions right, etc..

But as you get older eventually the tables turn a bit and you want the company to also impress you because it just isn't fun to work at a shitty company. So, during the interview you should also ask questions about things you care about in the job -- so for example as a software developer I will ask if they use version control, I will ask what their release process is, but also what their business model is, etc.. If you ask smart, relevant questions that will show them that you know wtf you are talking about.

#14 Posted by RonGalaxy (3266 posts) -

Just make sure you CALM THE FUCK DOWN MAN JESUS CHRIST.

AHHHHHHHHHH

#15 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

Be honest, look them in the eye, and then flirt with them real nasty sexy like. If they recoil from your advances, eye-fuck the hell out of them because that's always flattering and will 100% get you that job. Always. If they don't recoil, you're already making sweet love to them and you're hired. This works for every gender, sexual preference, religion, language, and species.

#16 Posted by Haziqonfire (227 posts) -

Research the company, show them that you know what's going on with their business. Dress nicely and seem interested!

#17 Edited by MentalDisruption (1670 posts) -

Don't get too worried about it. Answer the questions with a well thought out answer (no one or two sentence answers that don't mean anything), show an interest in the job/company you're applying to, dress well, and be pleasant personality-wise. Do some research beforehand so you can ask questions specifically about the company and the position. For example if you're going for an IT job for a company in the fashion business, you're going to have to show that you actually have some interest in the business they do. They'll get plenty of people who can prove they're good at IT, so you have to go a bit further than that. That'll vary depending on what job you're actually going for, but you get the idea.

Interviews aren't a big deal really. You're mainly just trying to sell yourself and show that you'll have the drive and competence to do well in whatever position you're going for. It's actually really hard to do the wrong thing in an interview, so don't be nervous about that. The main difficulty is just the number of applicants a lot of jobs get. You can do a lot of things right and still get beat out by the guy who just barely one upped you in some way. Which is out of your control of course, so beat that by just sticking to it.

#18 Posted by LeYcH (216 posts) -

Research the company and have questions to ask at the end; shows you're interested and initiative... and stuff.

I had an interview once, they told me I didn't get it because I was too quiet. So I guess... look like a team player and try to answer questions in a way that doesn't involve one word answers?

#19 Posted by TruthTellah (9472 posts) -

Depends on the job, but besides what everyone else has already noted, I'd say to make sure not to lick the interviewer. Not everyone likes that.

Good luck!

#20 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5985 posts) -

Dress nice and be respectful.

#22 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

Be honest and be genuine. At the end of the interview when they ask if you have any questions, ALWAYS ASK THEM AT LEAST ONE QUESTION. It shows that you give a shit. Try to reference your knowledge of the company / position a few times during the interview. It's nice to ask them a question like "i saw on your website ... blah blah blah". They love that shit. Be yourself, be friendly, stress communication skills positive attitude, and show up on time.

I'll do great. I believe in you.

#23 Edited by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

Depends on the job, but besides what everyone else has already noted, I'd say to make sure not to lick the interviewer. Not everyone likes that.

Good luck!

I only want to work at a place where licking the interviewer is seen as a positive quality in an potential employee.

#24 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6310 posts) -

A LITTUL DABBA SPEED IS JUS THA TICKET! You're the shit for posting this.

#25 Edited by SmilingPig (1341 posts) -

1-Bring a truly ugly friend with you; it will make you look and feel way nicer.

2-Smoke a big one 20 minutes before the interview, it will relax you.

3-If the HR person is a women (and let’s face it; it will be) stare at her breast intensely; it will make her feel special.

4-Fake a major handicap but deny that you are handicapped when they talk about it...they will feel obligated to hire you.

I wish you luck.

#26 Posted by jerseyscum (925 posts) -

Take about five shots of vodka about an hour before the interview. It'll help you relax.

#27 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (681 posts) -

Dude, honestly, just be yourself. Just talk to them like you're talking to anyone else. Don't stress when you're doing it, and don't bullshit your answers.

Shake their hands and introduce yourself when you walk in, as you walk out shake their hands again and say their names as you shake.

#28 Posted by chiablo (999 posts) -

You better follow up and let us know how it went. :3

#29 Posted by Rorie (2987 posts) -

The "have questions prepared" thing is pretty good advice. Beyond that, just try not to be nervous. Easier said than done, for sure.

Staff
#30 Posted by mosespippy (4441 posts) -

As others have said, have a question or two prepared for when they inevitably ask "Do you have any questions?"

If the person who would be your manager asks you what kind of manager you work best with the correct answer is, "I'm pretty easy to work with. I can get along with just about anyone."

#31 Edited by mlarrabee (3060 posts) -

So, today I went in for an interview (my first, actually). That turned into two when my interviewer had me interview with his supervisor a few hours later.

Dress as though you will be managing your prospective position. I went for the warehouse manager of an electrical supply company, so grey slacks and an open necked button-up was nice but not ostentatious. If it's an office position, a good suit is appropriate.

Be completely honest. Both of my interviews said, "We don't want experience, we want character." A good interviewer at a good company is looking at not only your qualifications but the consistency of your claims. Impressive credentials don't mean a thing if there is any suspicion about them.

Firm handshake, eye contact, pausing to think can be OK. Pen and small notecard, people hold their names dearly so say them, silence the phone. I'd advise against bringing in coffee or water, but bring your resume if you have one, and a list of references from past work and your personal life. If you've a resume, don't forget to update it. I realized halfway through that a date was off by nearly a year.

I got asked several unexpected questions, some of which I couldn't answer (this is where my pausing came in). I think it's all right to have to recall events; it'd be worse if it seemed rehearsed.

Have the company in mind. The interviewer doesn't care if YOU get the job; they care if the RIGHT PERSON gets the job. "Ask not what the company can do for you, ask what you can do for the company." Maybe this job means money, but maybe you wouldn't feel fulfilled working there. Maybe the company wouldn't be best enabled by you holding that position. A job is about a mutually beneficial agreement, and if your goal is to make the company better through your presence, that's already an impressive stance.

I had to fumble for questions at the close of my first interview. Have a few prepared. "What's the likelihood of overtime?" is a good one. "What's the management structure?" is another.

Never give up hope. After four minutes I was pretty sure I was no longer a candidate. Thirty minutes later he was asking me to come in for a background check and drug testing the next day (tomorrow) because they want me to start as soon as possible.

Best of luck!

#32 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

@keres said:

Be honest, and don't bullshit when asked questions if you don't know the answer. At the same time, don't sell yourself short and have some pride about the skills and experience you have that would be relevant to the position.

yeah, this is pretty good advice. Don't be evasive when answering questions. It's surprising how many people mess this up. If we're asking you the question you better believe we already have a good idea what the answer is. We just want to see how you handle a difficult question.

#33 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2609 posts) -

Most of the good advice has been said on here, but one thing to add: If it's a soundproof room with no windows and a black leather sofa, run while you still can.

#34 Edited by BisonHero (7036 posts) -

Don't get an erection. Don't get an erection. Don't get an erection. Don't get an erection. Don't get an erection. Don't get an erection.

#35 Edited by TyCobb (1973 posts) -
  • Show up early!
  • Wear a suit or the best professional looking clothes you have.
  • Do not mumble and do not go "Um..." or "Uh..."
  • Relax, however, that will be almost impossible since this is your first interview. Let's hope it is not a gauntlet style interview where you basically get interviewed by 1 person and if they like you, they send you to interview with another person. Basically you are interviewing up through the corporate food-chain.

It's your first interview and it doesn't sound like you have any real work experience so it is going to be tough no matter what. Interviews are a something you get used to, but will always be hard if you don't already have a job and/or aren't confident in your knowledge of that field.

Godspeed!

#36 Posted by myketuna (1756 posts) -

@chiablo said:
If you want some practice in interviewing, apply for garbage jobs at places like Walmart where you are guaranteed an interview. When they offer you the job you can turn them down, you're just in it for the practice.

Is this true? I don't want to hijack this thread because it seems very informative, but I am actually on the lookout for a "garbage job" part-time, so I can pay for my remaining classes.

I've never worked before, so I'm wondering what it's going to be like. Does the advice in this thread help with those interviews as well or are those interviews more lenient and "easy" and thus do not warrant such attention to detail?

#37 Posted by laserguy (455 posts) -

Don't fuck it up. Make your parents proud.

#38 Posted by SpoogeMcduck (191 posts) -

Dont do this... And good luck!

#39 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

@ramone said:

I've very recently graduated from Uni and have been on a job applying spree trying to find some source of income so I don't feel like I'm leeching off my parents/the government. Today I got an email saying I had an interview at midday on Friday.

At first I was really excited until I realised I've never had a job interview before and I have literally no idea what I'm doing. So I thought I'd source the endless knowledge and experience of the GB forums for some useful tips. WHAT DO(N'T) I DO?

DON'T FUCK UP!

Also be honest and when they ask you to ask questions ask some questions because it makes you look interested, interesting, and that you are creative and can think about the job beyond the information offered in the interview.

Online
#40 Edited by TyCobb (1973 posts) -

@myketuna said:

@chiablo said:
If you want some practice in interviewing, apply for garbage jobs at places like Walmart where you are guaranteed an interview. When they offer you the job you can turn them down, you're just in it for the practice.

Is this true? I don't want to hijack this thread because it seems very informative, but I am actually on the lookout for a "garbage job" part-time, so I can pay for my remaining classes.

I've never worked before, so I'm wondering what it's going to be like. Does the advice in this thread help with those interviews as well or are those interviews more lenient and "easy" and thus do not warrant such attention to detail?

There's a difference when it comes to looking at shit jobs. You can actually oversell yourself or be overly qualified. Places like Wal-Mart will not hire you if you are overly qualified or realize you will be out of there as soon as you find some other job. They want people who will be there for several years and people who really can't get a better job if their life depended on it. It's expensive for companies to hire people so they want to make sure the turn around is at their will and not the employee's.

The best example I can think of is this: You're an employer that has a 40hr/wk job that any high school drop out can do that you pay the employee $10/hr to do. That $10 an hour is really $13 after payroll taxes, unemployment and insurance.

  • 1 hour Interview: $32.50 if the HR person makes $25/hour
  • Hiring process: Imagine it takes roughly 4 hours to hire someone and do all the paperwork needed +$130
  • 1 Week's worth of training: +$520
    • But wait! Someone had to train him: +$520 (assume it was someone with the same position and pay)
  • The person worked for 7 weeks after training and then quit: +$3,640.

So... that person made $2,720 after 15% taxes for 8 weeks worth of work. You as the employer spent a total of $4,842.50 on this person who quit after 2 months. You now have to hire someone else to do the work so go ahead and add in another $682.50 to go through the hiring process and training process again.

With all that said and done, who would you rather hire? The guy out of or in college or the guy who's resume lists accomplishments such as Employee of the Month at McDonald's. Remember this is a job that a high school drop out could do.

#41 Posted by myketuna (1756 posts) -

@tycobb: Yeah. This is the reason I'm kind of worried about it. I'll be moving back in with my parents in WA after I finish next May. That's only 8 or 9 months and then I'll just basically leave the job.

#42 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1092 posts) -

Yeah, don't lie about something. It could comeback to haunt you like me.

What did you do? lol.

#43 Edited by afabs515 (1326 posts) -

Yeah, don't lie about something. It could comeback to haunt you like me.

lol. My uncle told me a story once about how he was doing this interview where the guy looked perfect for the job, but looked really nervous prior to the interview. So, my uncle looked at the resume of the guy and saw he was the captain of his college's chess team. To relax the guy, my uncle, who was an avid chess player, pulled a chess set out and said they would do the interview less formally. The guy didn't know where the pieces went on the board. Oops.

#44 Edited by bemusedchunk (734 posts) -

"Where do you see yourself in the next five years?"

(Don't say doin your wife. Don't say doin your wife. Don't say doin your wife.)

"Doin your...son?"

#45 Posted by Intro (1212 posts) -

Make eye good contact, don't lie, be confident in yourself and with your answers.

#46 Posted by JohnnyAtom (11 posts) -

Lie, and use large intricate words when answering any question.

#47 Posted by Hunter5024 (5962 posts) -

Be white? I've heard that's useful.

#48 Posted by Castiel (2733 posts) -

I'm also looking for a job for the first time and this has been really helpful.

#49 Posted by BisonHero (7036 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

Be white? I've heard that's useful.

Be white, but not white trash. Also, it is usually a no-no to bring up white supremacy during a job interview.

#50 Posted by BisonHero (7036 posts) -

@afabs515 said:

@falserelic said:

Yeah, don't lie about something. It could comeback to haunt you like me.

lol. My uncle told me a story once about how he was doing this interview where the guy looked perfect for the job, but looked really nervous prior to the interview. So, my uncle looked at the resume of the guy and saw he was the captain of his college's chess team. To relax the guy, my uncle, who was an avid chess player, pulled a chess set out and said they would do the interview less formally. The guy didn't know where the pieces went on the board. Oops.

Haha, oh wow, that is one of the best job interview anecdotes I've heard in a really long time.