Job Interview Advice

2

Replies

  • TheRealParisLove
    TheRealParisLove Posts: 1,909 Member
    First of all, when the interviewer asks you to talk about yourself, just summarize your resumé. So many times people talk about stuff like family status that the interviewer has no legal right to ask about after this question.

    On the weaknesses question, pull out the humblebrag. Say something like "Despite having the flu, I still managed to get to work on time and save the project. Of course, it is a bad thing to come to work with the flu and risk infecting my fellow co-workers. Sometimes, I just don't know when to stop working."

    On the communication question, try taking a different tactic by referencing something that happened in school instead of in the workplace. I know that teachers can be really vague about what they want on assignments and/or team projects can go very wrong in college. Pick one of those situations where you still managed to pull an A on the project despite the miscommunication.

    Don't worry about the job hopping. This can be a positive for you as it gives you the opportunity to explore different skills and corporate cultures. Having held several jobs while going to college is actually to your benefit, especially if you held a job you really enjoyed that is related to your current career. And/or you could say that you really, really tried to enjoy being an (insert boring job here) but you now know that it just isn't that kind of work you are suited for.
  • Lobster1987
    Lobster1987 Posts: 492 Member
    Yea, those are real questions that I've been asked....Last week actually.

    I definitely need to work on the confidence piece. It's hard to reference school because I've been graduated for 3 years now.....So I need to pull examples from more recent work experience.

    I really want to get a new job and I feel like I'm botching my interviews because I'm not prepared enough for the situational questions and end up answering it wrong or giving them an answer that they didn't want, etc.
  • Giddyduck
    Giddyduck Posts: 213 Member
    You have been given some great advice. I am in the health care field (I am an Advance Practice Nurse) and previously worked as a manager. I would not tell a person that you take constructive critism personally or that you like to gossip. The one thing that I did hear mentioned was that you may be stubborn ie. set your mind to a goal and meet it (weight loss). I would use that one. Perhaps, you may want to spin it in a more positive manner, like I have been told that stubborn because I can be very focused...etc. Also, share how you are working on this area to improve.

    As a manager, I did ask about weakness as it was telling, it provided an opportunity for the candidate to share (good or bad). My personal weakness is that I tend to spread myself too thin by accepting additional tasks and I am working on this by keeping a calendar an recognizing my limits and the time constraints.

    Try to think of specific situation as they are usually doing an "behavioral interview" You can google the types of questions to prepare. As a past manager, my organization did this. The candidate is scored, so to speak on the ability to give specific examples.

    I hope that helps some.
    Shana
  • loubeth22
    loubeth22 Posts: 72
    I just try to remember that all the questions are the way the interviewer gets to know what kind of person you are. Are you that person who will see a spill in a supermarket and just walk on or will you proactivly try to make sure noone get hurt? Thats one of my favouirte questions, when I hear that in an interview for an office position I always think they're asking "Are you going to be a superhero or a regular person who pretends not to see trouble becasue they don't want to be involved?" and the follow up of "What's your weakness?" is to check you aren't a busybody who wants everyone to see how great you are. Make your weakness something positive, mine is also stubbornness, I absolutely hate to be turned around when I'm working through a job. I'm stubborn to the point I'll get really upset and angry if I have to go back through and redo my perfect work to prove to someone else that the thing that I said was wrong is in fact wrong. I feel like I have already completed the work with all the possible information to find the reason why such and such issue was caused so why am I wasting time redoing all this information because a) someone doesn't like the result/recomendation or b)someone lied to me and provided false information to start with. Either way I would rather take the 8 or 9 files of paperwork showing everything I've done and through it at whoever wants to waste my time. Its a flaw but its also positve and the reason I got so far so quickly. My boss knows that once I've been given work it will be done with no effort to hide or minimize any mistakes, be they someone elses or my own.

    Right now I'm 22 and looking to downgrade to a more hands on job. The question I get is why would you want to do this after working in a high level office position for 2 years? I've got here faster than most, and a hell of a lot sooner than we get told when we're studying, and honestly, its boring. I don't plan to be in whatever position I get for 15 years, I'll stay with a company as long as I get to change or expand my job role every 2-3 years.
  • Lobster1987
    Lobster1987 Posts: 492 Member
    The interviews went good. I won't get one of the jobs because apparently my criminal justice degree doesn't count as "human services"...so I don't qualify as a mental health practitioner....lame.....

    but the other interview went great and I did the weakness where I take criticism personally and she actually seemed impressed with that answer.

    The closing date was yesterday for my dream job, so I'm hoping to hear back soon whether I get to interview for it or not. I'm REALLY going to be nervous for that one!!

    Thanks for the advice, and if anyone has anymore, please chime in. I really would like to do well.

    :)
  • Mallory0418
    Mallory0418 Posts: 725 Member
    I think I'm in the EXACT same situation as you...almost 25, looking for a "real" job. Ugh, it's a long process and is sometimes so frustrating! I've had a couple of interviews recently and I found that the one that went VERY well (and I have high hopes about) is one that actually started out kind of terribly. First, I got there way too early. I had written down that my interview was at 10:00 am and when I got there at 9:45 they were all surprised to see me because it was supposed to be at 10:30! Not that big of a deal I realize now but I was SO afraid that they were annoyed with me. Then, the first thing she says to me when I went into her office is "Well, from what I can tell of your resume, you are quite over qualified for this job." It's always either "you've got too much experience" or "you don't have ENOUGH experience" ....what are we supposed to do?

    BUT...this interview ended up going very well, and I think it was mostly because I was honest and real. I'm not a very open person at all so I surprised myself by just how "real" I got with some of my answers. Nothing weird or TMI, just a little out of my comfort zone, but they seemed to really appreciate it. So my advice is, just relax and be yourself. It really does make a big difference in how you present yourself. Trust yourself. Good luck!
  • Lobster1987
    Lobster1987 Posts: 492 Member
    What type of work are you looking for?
  • Mallory0418
    Mallory0418 Posts: 725 Member
    Well I got my degree in Instructional Design and Technology with an emphasis in graphic design so I would LOVE to find something in that type of field, but I'm willing to except about anything right now in the mean time. Girl's got bills!
  • lchiulli
    lchiulli Posts: 2
    One thing I have learned to do is try to anticipate some of the questions I might get during an interview and the weakness one is almost always asked. I prepare ahead of time by writing out a list of answers to the question and read through to become comfortable with the information I want to give.

    I would not be concerned that you have only had jobs for a year or two. For some college students that is a long time to hold down a job. It is perfectly ok to let a potential employer know that school was a prority.

    Relax, you'll do great!:smile:
  • pitbullmama
    pitbullmama Posts: 454 Member
    some good info here. bumping to file.
  • Lobster1987
    Lobster1987 Posts: 492 Member
    Good luck in your job search! My ex has a graphic design degree and it is very hard to get a job in the field. I know how that goes!
  • lilybear84
    lilybear84 Posts: 57
    BUMP
  • foxyforce
    foxyforce Posts: 3,078 Member
    The interviews went good. I won't get one of the jobs because apparently my criminal justice degree doesn't count as "human services"...so I don't qualify as a mental health practitioner....lame.....

    but the other interview went great and I did the weakness where I take criticism personally and she actually seemed impressed with that answer.

    The closing date was yesterday for my dream job, so I'm hoping to hear back soon whether I get to interview for it or not. I'm REALLY going to be nervous for that one!!

    Thanks for the advice, and if anyone has anymore, please chime in. I really would like to do well.

    :)

    why don't you find something in your field? i ask this because there are PLENTY, hundreds, of qualified candidates for the position you applied for, but you haven't had any formal experience and or education for that part. do something with criminal justice, if you want to work in human services apply at a group home that is justice oriented or something.
  • karen0214
    karen0214 Posts: 120 Member
    bump for later

    To the OP, best wishes for upcoming interview!
  • Lobster1987
    Lobster1987 Posts: 492 Member
    I'm trying. My field is competitive. I want to be a probation officer...so im trying to get some case management type experience. I've had experience working in a prison setting and i hated it, so my options for CJ are very limited by cutting out all corrections officer positions.
  • lilimini
    lilimini Posts: 56
    First of all, can I just say congratulations on losing so much weight! You look great!!

    I have never been to an interview where I didn't get the job - kinda weird, but it is true.

    My mentality when I go to the interview is this: 'They like me enough to interview me'. If you are down to the point where you are being interviewed... just go in there, confident that you can do the job.

    For the question you asked 'what is one weakness'. I have always said that I don't feel that I have one. If I start to feel like something isn't working when being in a team, I try and change what I am doing, so that the team can be better. You don't have to have a weakness. If you can't think of one, then you must not have one either. Don't feel like you have to have a weakness - but if they ask you what is a strong quality - then definitely have something to say for that! :)

    At the moment, I am a teacher in China. I would highly recommend doing that if you don't have any huge obligations at home. Most people never think of doing that as a job - but it has been a great experience!

    All the best with your interview! Go in there - be confident - and smile!
  • Lobster1987
    Lobster1987 Posts: 492 Member
    Thank you :) Losing so much weight has definitely helped with the confidence!!! :)
  • foxyforce
    foxyforce Posts: 3,078 Member
    I'm trying. My field is competitive. I want to be a probation officer...so im trying to get some case management type experience. I've had experience working in a prison setting and i hated it, so my options for CJ are very limited by cutting out all corrections officer positions.

    have you tried group homes, there are tons around here for boys from the judicial system, like operation springboard. or counselling firms that deal with anger management groups, here we have catholic family services and merge...that is usually court mandated too. or community service programs, elizabeth fry society and john howard society are the two main ones around here for that.
  • foxyforce
    foxyforce Posts: 3,078 Member
    i wish you luck, i have my second interview on friday for a position i desperately hope i get. i am too qualified to be sitting behind a desk where i am part time right now.
  • ScatteredThoughts
    ScatteredThoughts Posts: 3,562 Member
    That's a lot of good advice thank you!!! :)

    And no, I'm probably not your neice...hahaha

    biggest thing is to be honest and don't try to fake that you know something you don't. If you don't know an answer, say so.

    Very much agree with this. I work in the tech industry, and there is no way you can know everything. I've hated interviews where the person tried to BS me and failed miserably. Speak to what you do know, and show that you are someone who is willing to learn and improve.