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Job interviews: Advice?

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#1 SushiKitten

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:59 PM

So I have a job interview tomorrow morning with a hydro company that I would love to have. I really don't want to mess it up, so I just wanted to ask you guys some questions and maybe get some tips and such about job interviews?

The last job interview I had with Altera, I think I lost the job because I had tried to memorize so many of the acronyms and so much information about the company that I lost sight of the bigger picture. What are they looking for when they ask to tell them about their company? Like, is it too much to comment on how 80% of their generated energy is clean and that I really admire that? Are the company values something that I should memorize? And if they work under another company (this hydro company works under Nalcor Energy), how much should I know about the head company? How in depth do I need to go?

I've decided if I get the dreaded question, "what is your weakness?" I would talk about how university has helped me grow to become more confident in my abilities and less shy. Is that appropriate to talk about or would that make them think I'm unfit for the job?

#2 Guest_ElatedOwl_*

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

Context is important here, what would you be doing for them?

Just go in confident, no reason to be nervous, just makes things harder. Remember that the interview works both ways; you should ask questions as well to see if its a good fit for you.

#3 SushiKitten

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

I would be a co-op student, so I would be assisting project managers with generation plant and terminal station designs. I'd also occasionally travel around the province and help with some maintenance work, as well.

I try to tell myself that, it's just a conversation to get to know you better and see if the job is the right fit for you. It still makes me rather nervous though.

#4 Guest_ElatedOwl_*

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:20 PM

I'd say it'd be good to know about what they do but don't worry about extreme specifics. One of the most common questions is "why do you want to work for us?" (in which case, the clean energy comment would be a great reason; shows passion) As far as your weakness, that's generally regarded as a bullshit question so hopefully a large company isn't still asking that, but the shyness comment and appending to it that you've been getting better about would be fine.

Make sure you bring a couple copies of your resume with you as well, it isn't uncommon for them to ask for it. At the end make sure you thank anyone involved for their time.

Most importantly, make eye contact. If I was interviewing someone and they couldn't look me in the eyes I'd be extremely concerned about orienting them with the work. This especially holds true if you make the comment about being shy, prove that you've been working on it!

update: it's also a great idea to bring in any sample work relevant to the job (if you have any). It's brings up more to talk about and helps you stick out.

#5 Calvary

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

It takes 12 seconds for an interviewer to know whether or not they want to hire or fire you according to some psychologists. You must exude confidence, be polite, make constant eye contact with all the interviewers and gesticulate with your arms when speaking to come across as if you care about what you're talking about. Paralinguistics are pretty important.

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#6 No-Danico

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:17 PM

Sleep a lot the night before. Eat before you get dressed, dress professionally. Don’t talk too much, keep your answers short and concise. The exuding confidence this is totally right, but don’t go too far. Appear confident, but not overtly aggressive. They need to see you on level with them, not above or below. Think wolf pack, they’re the alpha and you’re a newcomer wandering into their den. Not act scared, but don’t back down.
Knowing about the company and things they might ask is a good idea, you seem to have that covered. And ask questions, but not overtly familiar questions. Asking about the salary and benefits and such. The questions you ask tell them more about you than you about them. And when they ask a question, give just a second of pause to think about it. It makes you seem thoughtful, and gives you time to think.

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#7 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:32 PM

Emo has things set up right. Getting the line right between confident and cocky is the hardest thing to do.

As far as the weakness question, you need to go with something that sounds more like a strength if they ask it. Since you're a student, I'd give them an answer like "My main weakness is lack of experience. Being a student of *subject* I've gained a large amount of classroom knowledge, but I still need to work along side senior members in the field to learn the ins and out of the trade."
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#8 Guest_ElatedOwl_*

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:33 PM

As far as the weakness question, you need to go with something that sounds more like a strength if they ask it. Since you're a student, I'd give them an answer like "My main weakness is lack of experience. Being a student of *subject* I've gained a large amount of classroom knowledge, but I still need to work along side senior members in the field to learn the ins and out of the trade."

That's a really good answer, good way to twist a weakness into a strength. (a "weakness" they're already aware of, at that)

#9 (V) (`m`) (V) ︵ ┻━┻

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:34 PM

Titties.

If you got em, flaunt em.

ΝΙΨΟΝ ΑΝΟΜΗΜΑΤΑ ΜΗ ΜΟΝΑΝ ΟΨΙΝ

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#10 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:35 PM

Bullshitting is my strength. >.>

Many employers want a lack of field experience so that they can train the worker easier with how their particular system works.
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#11 Guest_ElatedOwl_*

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:36 PM

Bullshitting is my strength. >.>

Many employers want a lack of field experience so that they can train the worker easier with how their particular system works.

And they're significantly cheaper. <.<

#12 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

Yep. >.>
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#13 Wolf

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:43 PM

Titties.

If you got em, flaunt em.


Unless you're male, then you might wanna wear a sports bra

#14 SushiKitten

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:51 PM

Emo has things set up right. Getting the line right between confident and cocky is the hardest thing to do.

As far as the weakness question, you need to go with something that sounds more like a strength if they ask it. Since you're a student, I'd give them an answer like "My main weakness is lack of experience. Being a student of *subject* I've gained a large amount of classroom knowledge, but I still need to work along side senior members in the field to learn the ins and out of the trade."


I really like this answer. That was the hardest potential question for me to answer, and you've given me a great way to answer it while being truthful and not seeming unfit for the job.

Thank you guys for the advice! I'll keep it all in mind tomorrow morning

#15 SpleenBeGone

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:53 PM

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
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#16 No-Danico

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:16 PM

Titties.

If you got em, flaunt em.


'I went in and flashed my boobies and the female lady boss said ‘What!?! Aboot time!’ and she took off her red skirt suit and from nowhere dubstep music started playing and the ceiling folded out and a strobe light descended and now I’m the regional district manager in charge of gettin' parties started, eh!’

...That’s how these things go, right?

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#17 SushiKitten

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:40 AM

Thanks again for the advice, guys!

I was really nervous in the beginning but I think I pulled it back by asking questions that proved I'd done my research and sincerely showing I wanted the position. Unfortunately, they won't have decided until next week, so it's back to applying for more jobs until I know.

#18 Calvary

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:14 AM

What job are you applying for, if you don't mind me asking? =)

I can't remember if you said in the first post and..well...I'm lazy. >>

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#19 SushiKitten

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

The job was to work with the province's hydroelectric company for a semester. My degree requires at least four co-op positions before I can graduate, so this would've been my first one.

#20 Calvary

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:03 AM

Ahh, well good luck! They'll pick you if they know what's good for 'em. :D

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