April 06, 2006

Do you want the job or not?

I have all my access of today at work. At this point I’m still in shock it only took three weeks. For the first time I had to do direct interviewing for work. I have two open positions I need filling, and I’m the one that has to make the decision. Which leads me to where I’m going here.

DAMMIT PEOPLE! If you are going to interview for a position, internal or external posting, prepare for the damn interview. How hard is it to:

A) Dress nice, or at least as nice as the interviewer? I wear a shirt and tie every day to work. It’s not a secret that I dress nicely. By god, wear something that is business appropriate, not something you would wear to go out drinking or picking up a date!

2) Know something about the position other then you want it. Good lord, how are you going to convince me that you are the best person for the job if you don’t even know what the job is?

D) If you’ve ever been interviewed before, you have an idea of the types of questions they ask. Prepare for these, be honest, but prepare. When asked, “What do you think your greatest weakness is?” or “Give me an example of when you had to sacrifice a personal goal for the betterment of your team.” Don’t say, “I don’t have any” or “I’ve never had to do that.” Trust me you do, and you have! When you are put on the spot it’s better to have an obviously rehearsed answer then not to have any answer. Also it’s a good idea to have multiple examples to use for multiple questions.

5) Just because one person is asking questions and another is writing down answers, that doesn’t mean the one asking the questions is making the decision. Do NOT ignore the second person. I let the person assisting me do all the talking; I’m doing all the writing. The decision is ultimately mine, in 2 of the interviews I had today I swear the people being interviewed didn’t even acknowledge I was in the room. No eye contact, not even looking in my general direction. Okay, so I intentionally didn’t look at them very much. So how did I know? An old interviewer trick I was taught years ago. I had an object on the table in front of me that worked as a mirror; I was trying to observe their reaction and body language with out letting them know. No, I’m not the only one that does this. I’ve had four interviews in my life where I’ve seen others do the same thing. I’m not saying spend time looking for their mirror, just look in their direction and acknowledge their existence. Trust me, it makes an impression. Every time I looked up they where always looking at either my assistant interviewer or the table, yes I took marks off the interview for that.

That’s all I’m going to share with you now. Those are just the observations from today. I have three more days of interviews to complete, I’m sure I’ll find some other tips for you job searchers out there.

Posted by Contagion in Tales from the Work Place at April 6, 2006 04:51 PM | TrackBack

I know - I just don't get people and interviews.

I actually enjoy them. I look at is as an opportunity to learn something about another department (internal) company (external) or industry (way out). Folks need to remember to go with questions as well as answers. The questions you ask reflect how much you've prepared and how interested you are in the job.

Just my 2 cents worth....

Posted by: Tammi at April 6, 2006 07:21 PM

Sorry, I'd fail your interview. I would spend my time looking at the person I'm talking to and that is talking to me. I think it would be rude to talk to one person and look at another.

Posted by: Ogre at April 7, 2006 05:37 AM

About the dress thing. In my previous job they did a lot of hiring for floor operators. The clothes people would wear in for their interviews blew me away.

Yes, in your job you will be wearing a uniform and it's an hourly job but for gods sake a belly shirt and to tight jeans with your fat roll hanging over the top is not a good look for an interview.

Neither are jeans with huge holes in them or shirts cut so low I could have sworn I saw something I shouldn't have seen.


Posted by: Quality Weenie at April 7, 2006 06:23 AM

Yeah, I'd think somebody who doesn't bother to put any effort into it at all is probably somebody who wants the *raise* but isn't that excited about the job itself. (For example how another of my competition for the upcoming (hopefully) interview explained why he wanted it - "Duh! It's 3 salary grades higher!")
And the fact that you happen to work in a casual workplace isn't an excuse to wear jeans and a t-shirt to an internal job interview.
People reaaaaaaly make me wonder sometimes.

Posted by: Shadoglare at April 7, 2006 06:25 AM

Speaking of that, the other day I was wearing jeans and a bowling shirt, and another person who is planning on trying for that job asked if I was so dressed up because I had an interview that day o.O

Posted by: Shadoglare at April 7, 2006 06:27 AM

The way some of these people dressed really made me cringe.

Ogre: And not acknowledging the other person in the room isn't?

Posted by: Contagion at April 7, 2006 06:06 PM

None of the interviewees shook your hand when they entered the room? That's just bad manners.

How do you view an interviewee who answers the questions appropriately while at the same time checking out everything in the room?

How do you feel about companies that adverstise a job opening but fail to provide the name of the company in the classified ad?

Posted by: seawitch at April 9, 2006 07:55 AM

Well, I'm glad you wrote this... I have never done a "real" interview for a job.

As a nurse and nurses aid - way back in the mists of time - I talked to the director of nursing - which I suppose counts as an interview... but it always seemed to me that they wanted to determine if you could string words together and had a pulse so they could hire you.

With my current job - I already knew my boss before working for him. My interview consisted of

Him: Do you want a job?
Me: Um - sure.

That was 15 years ago. I still work for him.

But, if I ever do have to interview, I would certainly be thrown off by a second person sitting there who doesn't make eye-contact... only because I wouldn't be expecting it. Now that I know - I'll be prepared. *grin*

Posted by: Teresa at April 10, 2006 11:17 AM