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Other Interview tips and tricks

Discussion in 'General' started by ChromeX, 1 Sep 2011.

  1. ChromeX

    ChromeX Minimodder

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    Hi guys, I've got an interview coming up in a few weeks for an engineering officer position in the merchant navy, I'll admit I'm a little excited but also quite worried at the though of said interview. My question to everyone is, do you have any tips or strategies for success that will help me land the job?
     
  2. Tibby

    Tibby Back Once Again

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    If there is anything you don't know the answer to, say you had looked into this and was unsure, so was hoping that they could offer some insight/information/their standpoint etc.

    Always wear a suit and tie, smart shoes etc.

    Try not to fidget.

    And most of all be friendly, most interviewers put being friendly and someone who would get on with people in their team second highest on their list after capability.
     
  3. <A88>

    <A88> Trust the Computer

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    I can't say I've ever had a job interview for anything too high up but I've always got the ones I applied for and would echo what Tibby says- being friendly, personable and showing that you'd be really easy to get on with and work with has always been the biggest impression I've tried to give off.
     
  4. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    Display knowledge.
    Don't try to BS your way through.

    Your strongest asset is experience and the ability to learn.
     
  5. Digi

    Digi The not-so-funny Cockney

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    I'll echo some of the above and blow my own horn by saying I've never had an interview I didn't get the job for..

    - Be yourself, don't say anything out of character to please the interviewer, it will bite you on the ass if you get the job.

    - Be honest to a fault, if you need to say anything negative always try and spin it positively. For example, I mentioned to the job I'm in now that I had a problem with tardyness in the previous job (relating to problems at home) but that now that I had moved on I had been working on that and didn't think it would be a problem going forward. It turned out my previous reference mentioned it but a) they weren't surprised and b) that earned me bonus points.

    - Be willing to admit what you don't know but show an eagerness and motivation to learn it. Follow up on this if you get the job.

    - Relax and give confident, calm, measure answers. It will be noticed if you can carry yourself and are confident in your ability.

    - Take mental notes during the interview and try and ask at least a few questions back at them to show your interest and perception. This will give you bonus points.

    - Don't dwell too long on one particular subject and start waffling rubbish because you want to show them you know it all. Confidence will help here and they'll fill in the gaps.

    **EDIT** OT: Where is that picture you use for your avatar from?? I've been looking for that show for ages but simply cannot remember the name.
     
    Last edited: 1 Sep 2011
  6. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    A bit of nervousness is OK to show and admit to. It's almost expected.
    Still, don't stress too much. You might not be THE best candidate out there, but all you can do is sell yourself.

    So play to your strengths, admit to faults if they come up (it's actually a fairly common question in interviews here... faults you have) but ensure that you're addressing them.

    Have faith in yourself.
    oh, and DO HOMEWORK ON THE POTENTIAL EMPLOYER.
    It pays dividents if you know about the firm that's hiring and are asking questions about them.
     
  7. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    Off the top of my head...

    Make sure you have some questions ready for the end of the interview. If they ask you if you have any questions for them, and you say no, it looks bad. Very bad.

    Make sure you do a little research into them. Showing you know about the role and the company shows you are really interested.

    If you have to say anything negative about yourself/experience then turn it into a positive if at all possible.

    Think about what you have learnt in life, jobs, school ect.. that can be used in the job. They call them transferable skills.

    A minor tip this one, but if they offer you a drink during the interview, ask for water. People have a tendency to feel they have to finish tea or coffee and it can be a distraction.

    Either learn your cv off by heart, or take it with you (if you have one).

    Make eye contact.

    Don't fidget.

    Sit up straight.

    When you shake hands use a firm grip. People hate a limp handshake and they will judge you on it.

    Don't forget to smile.

    And above all else BE CLEAN.
     
  8. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    When you interview, you are essentially advertising yourself. With that in mind, don't simply list all of your strengths and experience. After a certain point, all candidates look the same. Degrees blend together and everybody has done all kinds of great things. What you need to do is identify exactly why your knowledge and experience is suited to that particular job. In other words, why does the manager need you aws opposed to one of the other qualified candidates?

    Some of the most effective advertising doesn't just rattle off statistics, it answers the viewers most basic question: Why do I need this? Exhibit A: Apple.

    Your job in the interview is to answer the manager's question: Why is this qualified guy in the smart suit any better than the other qualified guy in the smart suit? This is where is pays to do some research into the company and position to which you are applying. Identify something specific to which your great experience applies, and talk about how you can help in that area.
     
  9. Nedsbeds

    Nedsbeds Badger, Slime, Weasel!!

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    One thing I hate when interviewing people is if they simply answer the questions, then stop and wait for the next one. It really doesn't hurt to take a little bit of control and lead the conversation. If you they ask you how you would approach a particular task, relate your answer to something you have done, then relate it back to the job or company you are applying to.

    The best interviews I have been involved with (which usually end up with the interviewee getting a job or 2nd interview) are the ones where I haven't had to reel off the set list of questions, because they have become redundant by just having a normal conversation.

    A good question for the end of the interview. When they ask you, "have you any questions for us?"

    "Is there anything I have said/in my CV you have reservations/problems about?"

    An interviewer will have something niggling ( a gap in you cv, your notice period ) which depending on the interviewer you possibly wouldn't get another chance to address and justify why that particular "issue" really isn't an issue, or if it is, what you intend to do to address it.
     
  10. dragontail

    dragontail 5bet Bluffer

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    This is all excellent advice.
    Also check your CV and covering letter enough times to bore you silly and have someone else check it too. You have no idea how many basic errors I've heard and seen. A guy applying to our company recently claimed his graduation date was 20011. :lol:
     
  11. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    for competency based interviews, the best way to answer questions is the STAR approach.

    Situation
    Tasks
    Actions
    Results

    So you set the scene to the interviewer, talk about what needed to happen, talk about your individual involvement, then talk about the results and relate this to you individual involvement. Further this then by talking about what you learnt from this and any transferable skills you gained.
     
  12. ChromeX

    ChromeX Minimodder

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    Thank you for all the replies guys, this is all very helpful stuff! :)

    Digi: Its aqua teen hunger force :thumb:
     
  13. Throbbi

    Throbbi What's a Dremel?

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    Having once been in a position of conducting a few interviews the number one thing that pissed me off was during the 'What faults do you think you may have?' portion.

    For the love of god do not come out with some crap like 'Well actually I find that I'm a bit of a perfectionist.' or some other such garbage. Admittedly it might well be true (and credit if it is, do everything to the highest standard of which you're capable) but you will only ever come across as a pompous ass by openly stating it during an interview, no matter how nicely, politely or any other-ly way you say it. We even had one guy say he found it difficult to bring his abilities down to the level of being able to work with other people all the while with a sickeningly smug expression on his face......****, he didn't get the job (his references were shite regardless but i digress).

    As said many times already, honesty and openness are key :) Don't try to make yourself something you're not.
     
  14. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    DON'T WAFFLE.

    Get ot the point.
    As was stated above, after the 15th interview, all the candidates look the same.
    When I conducted interviews for a senior programmer and a DBA in my department, I had already picked the qualifications based on CVs.
    I knew that, on paper, every one of the candidates was suitable.
    So I stopped asking boring questions about academic background, did some spot-checks there (BSing on CV's is quite common here), and picked the one that I thought would fit the team best. The intelligent one that wants to learn, rather than the ***** that thinks the sun shines out of his rear end (but has the best possible paperwork behind him).
     
  15. BA_13

    BA_13 Minimodder

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    HI ChromeX

    I currently work as an Marine Engineer for one of the oil majors and one of the main reasons that they still operate their own manning agency is to develop sea staff for positions higher up within the company, also to maintain their expertise within the shipping industry.
    If your interview is with one of the large oil companies it most likely wouldn't hurt to suggest that long term (i.e. after you hold a D.O.T. class 1 combined ticket and have some experience as Chief engineer) you would most likely be looking to progress to a position within the managing office.
    If you're applying to one of the smaller companies or a training group they may not be quite so keen to hear that you're already thinking of what comes after you are fully qualified and they have invested quite a lot of time and money in your training.

    Is it a standard cadet-ship that you are applying for or do you already hold a degree in marine engineering?

    Mike
     
  16. ChromeX

    ChromeX Minimodder

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    It is a standard cadet officer program yes, its with clyde marine, they're a pretty small company but they supply a fair number of officers each year into the industry (according to their website). I dont hold a marine engineering degree, I have a degree in electronic engineering. Clyde said they'd be happy to fast track anyone with any decent engineering degree, I think the fast track takes 18 months to complete instead of 36 months.
     

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