$30.00
Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
25 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Chit Chat

Subject: If you have the time I would appreciate job interview advice. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Austin Bordeaux
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This coming Thursday I have the first real job interview I will have had in nine years. By "real job interview" I mean one where it is not a friend having already used their influence to get me the job and the interview is just a formality. I have nice clothes prepared and I have looked into the company, so I know what they do and what their product is.

Any job interview advice you can think of or stuff that may have changed in the past decade about how things are done? Know about any "trick" questions that employers may ask and the "right" answers for them? I appreciate you all's time and hopefully this thread can potentially be useful to others as well.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon
United States
Edmond
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
admin
Convention Committee
badge
BGG.CON! BGG.CON SPRING! BGG@SEA!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Relax.
Be yourself.
Make eye contact, be personable (and professional).
Think, then speak.
Before going in, also think about what you want to ask the interviewers, as well...you're interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Australia
NSW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Probably depends on the industry a bit.

But it's a good idea to respond to questions with examples from your working life.

I think there is some fancy acronym for this style of answering questions.

But when they ask about your ability to work with others for example, you respond by saying how well you do in general (i'm really good at encouraging my colleagues) but then provide an example - describe the situation briefly (I had a person on my team who was very disorganised) and then explain what you did about it (I had a quiet conversation with him and we organised a task list for him to be able to tick off).

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Don't think of it as a one-sided interview -- make sure you have questions prepared for them, and don't mis-represent yourself -- make them want to hire you because you are legitimately a good fit, and not because you tricked them into hiring you, the same way how you wouldn't want them to mis-represent their company.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dane Peacock
United States
Stansbury Park
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
That tickles
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jon's advice is really good.

I am on an interview board for engineers at my company. I am not an interview expert, but some things come across loud and clear.

1. Be real. Fake is easily spotted. Easily. If you are confident in the area of questioning, don't be afraid to show it. Also, Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" if you don't know. Relax and be real.

2. Be positive. Negativity is a real deal breaker.

3. Show that you are a do-er. There are more than enough thinkers. Companies want do-ers.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M C
United States
Mount Dora
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Go to reddit.com/r/coolguides they have a most asked job interview question thread now. Sorry, can't link right now.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt H
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
AnakinOU wrote:
Think, then speak.


Very important but imo:

Breathe, think, breathe, then speak.

Breathing is a very natural thing to do (take a deep breath) - it gives you a few seconds to think and process, and if you take a breath or two before answering, it seems totally naturally.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jeff
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Don't take your pant's off unless you think it will really help.

Don't think about the itch on the end of your nose, it will make it worse until it takes all your thought and concentration to not scratch it. When you do scratch it just full on commit to it and go ahead and pick it while your there.

Firm professional handshakes, while looking people directly in the eye are over rated, go for a high five instead.

Be sure to ask them their detailed policy on sick time and calling out to make sure that calling in a "me time" day or a "treat yo self" day is ok.

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anna F.
United States
Mississippi
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just went through this, and without knowing much about the field, I can offer some generic advice.

I can't stress how important it is to ask about the company. Ask about the culture, the workers, whether people hang out, the goals of the company, just ask a ton of questions. I actually googled "questions to ask at this type of interview" and jotted down the best ones. Ask the same question in multiple ways if you aren't satisfied with the answer.

Then ask about the town/area, especially if the job involves relocation.

Although I wouldn't ask about them first thing, be sure you come away with a solid idea of the HR policies and benefits. Ask if you can chat with an HR person at the end of the day if all goes well, it shows you are interested. Benefits can sometimes make or break a job so be sure they will work for you.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Australia
NSW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chewbacca390 wrote:
AnakinOU wrote:
Think, then speak.


Very important but imo:

Breathe, think, breathe, then speak.

Breathing is a very natural thing to do (take a deep breath) - it gives you a few seconds to think and process, and if you take a breath or two before answering, it seems totally naturally.


In my experience it's not the worst thing to ask if you can have a few moments to gather your thoughts for a particular question.

Most people recognise that interviews are quite stressful and don't necessarily reflect how you'd behave in other work-related stressful situations. As well, it kind of shows you are able to reflect on something before jumping at it.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
howl hollow howl
United States
Hillsboro
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmb
AnakinOU wrote:

Before going in, also think about what you want to ask the interviewers, as well...you're interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.

I disagree with the degree that this is being emphasized in this thread. The point of an interview is to get a job offer. After they extend the offer, then it is time for you to interview them. A good interviewer isn't going to make a hire decision based on your slavish interest in the company. However, knowing about the company and position ahead of time shows that you can prepare, and that is what's valued. Trying to wrest control of the interview can be a turnoff, as it demonstrates that your attitude is "what can the company do for me" rather than vice versa. If it is a good interviewer who cares about your interest, he will likely find a way to probe you on it; if it is a bad interviewer, no one piece of advice can help.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
flag msg tools
Nothing happens for a reason, but everything happens by a mechanism
badge
Nitrogen Conservation Awareness: I pee in the yard
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've always gone with "bleed all over your collar and dump coffee down your front," and it's made me the man I am today.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
S. Deniz Bucak
United States
Havertown
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
As Above, So Below
badge
My books are forgeries. Nobody wrote them. - Philip K. Dick
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Managers hire people they like and think they can get along with. Show your sense of humor. You're not just an automaton with job skills. Be personable.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul - the
Sweden
Lund
flag msg tools
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
badge
...and the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Having interviewed quite a lot of people for different positions within larger tech companies I have one major rule apart from the "normal" ones.

DON'T LIE!

Elaborate, obfuscate, meander, but please do not lie to me. If I ask if you have a certain skill set or knowledge it's ok to say no but I'll learn or no but I have this knowledge instead that I think might be useful or similar. I usually spot the lie and then you're fucked, and if I don't and it surfaces later on I won't be happy.

It's also good practice to have answers to some common questions semi-memorized at least. Don't read from an internal teleprompter, no-one likes that, some spontaneity needed, but be prepared. Also show that you can laugh at yourself, a big plus in my book. I always ask the persons I interview to list a couple of strong skills they have and one weakness. This weakness is so interesting to hear. If they answer with some platitudes like I'm perhaps too ambitious or I work too much they'll have a hard time the rest of the interwiew. devil

When it comes to clothing I couldn't care less as long as they are clean and doesn't smell and they're comfortable in them. I mainly meet developers/testers that don't have much contact with external customers which affects this of course.

So, honesty, humour, ability to laugh at yourself is a must for me and after that it's knowledge and skills. Those can be learnt, the first things can't.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul - the
Sweden
Lund
flag msg tools
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
badge
...and the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
galad2003 wrote:

WAYS YOU WILL SUCCEED ON INTERVIEWS:
22. Maintain your health, exercise


A lot of lofty words in the list, half of which I think is pure bogus, but things might be different in different countries.

The health part though is interesting though. Normally it shouldn't affect anything, who cares if you're a bit overweight, but even if it's not said outright, who want to hire an obese smoker if someone else is available?

Off the record I'm very reluctant to hire a smoker at all, he or she has to be perfect in more or less all other aspects to even be considered. The constant smoking breaks and the smell is a nightmare at least here in Sweden when it comes to team spirit. Depends on where you work I guess, very few tech people smoke in Sweden. Having worked a lot with companies in Asia where everyone smokes more or less it is of course different there.

Is general health/smoking a factor when hiring in other countries? Curious.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Klinck
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Do some research about the company beforehand, and ask some questions that show you're at least interested enough about the job to have done so.

We've interviewed people who come into the interviews having no clue what our company does, and they never get called back.

(In fact, it doesn't even matter if the information you found is incorrect or incomplete - the fact that you put in the effort to try to find out about the company is the important thing. My company has a consumer-facing website that is a minuscule portion of our business - most of what we do is actually B2B. A lot of people come into interviews thinking that that website is the core of our business, and that's fine. It's the ones that haven't even bothered to look that far that might as well not show up!)
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Do NOT eat a banana during the interview.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rich Charters
United States
Chandler
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When they ask for your greatest weakness, look them in the eye and say: "Kryptonite"
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
howl hollow howl
United States
Hillsboro
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmb
casualcasual wrote:
But when they ask about your ability to work with others for example, you respond by saying how well you do in general (i'm really good at encouraging my colleagues) but then provide an example - describe the situation briefly (I had a person on my team who was very disorganised) and then explain what you did about it (I had a quiet conversation with him and we organised a task list for him to be able to tick off).

A good interviewer will already point you in that direction:
Behavioral interview questions often start with phrases like, “Tell me about a time when…” or “Describe a situation in which…” or “Give me an example of…”
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walt
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
In memorium. Bob Hoover died 25 Oct 2016 at 94. In WWII he was shot down in a Spitfire and stole an FW-190 to escape. He spent decades at air shows flying Ole Yeller, shown
badge
Please contact me about board gaming in Orange County.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think I'm repeating some other advice, but look online and be able to respond to the standard interview questions for your industry. If at all possible link them to positive events in your career: gently turn the trick questions to your advantage, but stay on topic! As someone said, don't memorize stories, just bring them to mind so they'll come to mind in the interview. Don't say your greatest weakness is perfectionism--interviewers are tired of hearing that. Here are three questions you're likely to hear, and my answers (which may not be your answers).

What's your greatest weakness?

"I'm pretty obsessive. I control it at work, but I keep thinking about stuff after work: on the drive home, in the shower.... Occasionally, I can use it at work. For example, I once worked on a database that was going to live in a layer-cake of other modules. I realized it would be impossible for quality assurance to know if a bug came from the database or somewhere else, so I obsessed about my module testing plans and automating the testing as much as possible. The database never had a bug in the field, and another company bought it for their project."

What's your greatest strength?

"Options. I always think about alternative ways of doing things. I was doing a design review, and I realized it had a potential performance problem. I did the math to show the problem, but then I started looking for options: I hate presenting a problem without a solution. I found an alternative design that side-stepped the problem with the initial design, and it was adopted."

What's your goal out five years?

"Honestly, my goal is to come into work each day and do the best job I can. I find keeping focus on that leads me to more opportunities than trying to draw a straight line to some long term goal. For example, a friend hired me to do technical support for Marketing. I did all kinds of little tech jobs, and when they launched a new product, I got tapped to support the launch. It overwhelmed the rest of the products."

Once when I was laid off, part of the severance package was interview training coaching. When I did the above to the coach, she lost it, in a good way.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't had the greatest strength/weakness question in ages. It seemed like a typical question a lesser company, think retail, would ask. The eventual better jobs I went for companies wanted to know if I could blend in with their culture.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Mitchell
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
Do I have overtext?
badge
Yes I do.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
AvidHunter wrote:
Don't take your pant's off unless you think it will really help.


The last job I interviewed for, the first interview was a phone interview, and I made a joke about not wearing any pants...despite later thinking it was very cringe-worthy and a terrible idea, I got the job (or more specifically I got the second interview, and my second interview got me the job.)

I agree that you need to ask good questions and interview the company. That attitude shows that you've got confidence that you have other options. There's nothing attractive about desperation, and my experience is that having confidence goes a long way.

Granted, I'm still with the same company that I started with 16 years ago out of college, so maybe I'm not the most experienced interviewee (the no pants interview was an internal posting 4 years ago.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mystery McMysteryface
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lots of good advice, so far.

My #1 advice?

Make sure you TURN OFF your phone before you go into the interview!


Also, can't stress enough: professional attire, grooming/shaving, cleanliness of your person and your clothing--clean, ironed, fits you correctly, and is not torn or stained.

My last interview, I typed up a list of accomplishments in my past work (1 page) and handed it out at the interview. A little something extra can give you an edge over other candidates. Depending on the position, I've known folks who've showed a binder with detailed examples of their work and accomplishments at their interview.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.