The piece of advice that helped me out the most was to be forthcoming. For instance, you're going to be nervous, so when you inevitably say something -- then immediately afterward regret saying it -- say something like "Oh, I'm sorry I'm really nervous, what I meant was ..." They'll understand that you're nervous and will appreciate your willingness to get things right, and it'll make sure you aren't misunderstood. Being nervous is fine, too. Nervous is better than cocky.
edit: Wait... last Friday or this upcoming Friday? I... think OP already did his interview.
If you're an introvert, don't let them know. I had to do a personality quiz for a place I applied to which was going to be sent to "corporate headquarters" and be evaluated. The person who interviewed me had stated that I was a great person for the job but he had to get approval from headquarters to hire me (which required them to approve of my personality). Basically I answered the quiz honestly stating I was an introvert and had trouble interacting with people. Never got a call back from the interviewer.
Job interviews are bullshit. You hear things about not wearing a red tie or a certain colour of shirt or blah blah blah because it makes you intimidating or it makes you seem aggressive and the interviewer will shit themselves. But it's not the advice that is the problem (although it is a major part of the fallacy), it's the way they are conducted. Every guide or piece of advice for interviews always help you with questions that, outside a job interview, would be easy to answer completely and honestly.
What are your strengths? Lie. Overstate one of the common "strengths" that everyone says.
What are your weaknesses? Lie. Turn one of your weaknesses into a strength.
Why should you be hired? Restate your topic sentence. Er, I mean, tell them again because the same answer is restated in almost every other question.
With all these overbearing and nonsensical guidelines that everyone universally follows, every interviewee looks as boring and plain as they do on paper. Whoever gets the job is usually who interviews best. But when it comes down to it, those that interview best usually aren't the best for the job. Yet with most positions tracing themselves back through corporations or needing higher education there is rarely an opportunity where a job isn't regulated by these idiotic standards.
Hell, now that I think of it, if I ever try to employ someone, no one would pass the interview. I don't give a fuck about your dry cleaned suit and your blue tie. I don't give a fuck about your perfectionism being a weakness. I just want to know if you can clean the shitter down the hall three times a week. That's it.
1) Wash yourself and dress appropriately - Comb your hair, trim facial hair, etc
2) Be on time...leave plenty of time to get there even with huge problems.
3) Answer ever question the best way you can. Be honest, but be brief and do not talke too much. Nver answer a question with Yup or Nope...this isn't Archer.
4) Stay relaxed.
5) When they ask if you have any questions, ASK at least two. Such questions are NEVER asked to see if you are dumb, misinformed or confused...THEY WANT TO KNOW IF YOU'RE INTERESTED. Ask them what a typical work day would be like. Ask someone who has a job there would like how they started there or to to their position. Show interest, show you know something about what they do there, and be polite.
6) Seriously, do the above!!! If they ask if you have any questions, but you don't ask any ...you look like an IDIOT. However, never talk about money until they OFFER the job and only ask about pay after they cover hours, responsibilities, benefits (if any), etc. It doesn't matter what job...janitor or vice president...money talk comes last.
7) Be upfront about hours you can work and hours you cannot. But don't be a fracking child, only children don't want to work weekends or late shifts. Tell them when you CAN work, not when you want to work! If you have kids, other jobs, etc then fine you can work at certain times ...but if you are just lazy...well screw it you need to grow up.
@strangestories: I think it helps to reject the "introvert/extrovert" dichotomy. Those are the two extremes of the spectrum, but if you don't have absolutely crippling social anxiety at all times, don't think of yourself as introverted. Even if you don't do group socializing often and are kind of quiet, that describes plenty of people. You're right, in that lots of HR people will red flag that as "keeps to himself, bad teamwork". So there's nothing obligating you to phrase that as being introverted or quiet; you could easily just omit that, or say that you put effort into saying what you mean the first time instead of getting into idle chit chat and wasting company time. My point is, there are ways to describe yourself accurately while still stressing that you'll be able to communicate with coworkers and not just keep to yourself and say very little.
Uh I don't really have any good advice here. Job interviews have always been a formality, I pretty much have always had the job before showing up. I could have not been wearing pants and it wouldn't have mattered. I guess my advice would be to look for work were they are so desperate for warm bodies that they don't really care.
@bisonhero: I don't think introvert and extrovert are the extremes but I do think there are differing levels of each. In my case I can interact with people easily if it's required by my job but in actual social situations it takes me a while to warm up to people. The problem with the test I took is that it asked me very basic yes/no questions such as, "Are you normally reserved?" to which I answered honestly. They didn't give me the option of saying at what level I was reserved or if I could interact with people when it was required of me.
Two things I learned from my extended post-college job hunt that I didn't see scanning the thread were: 1. bring a bottle of water as talking for an hour combined with nerves will dry your mouth out something fierce, and 2. Blast some pump up music in the car on the way there to get energized (I used 80's hair metal, but whatever works, works.)
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