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Old 01-31-2014, 06:50 AM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,302,267 times
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Back when I was a manager I was generally shocked how ill informed most applicants for jobs I talked to.

Yes, some of them had done a one minute review of the company website and had some knowledge about our company. But what they had no knowledge of was the basic duties, responsibilities, challenges, and expectations of the job they were applying for. They never bothered to really look at the job description, or the advertisement for the position opening.

This really put them at a disadvantage. It was similar to a sales person coming and trying to sell a product and not knowing anything about the needs of the customer. They barely knew about their own background but knew almost nothing about the organization's needs.

So, when you interviewed for a job, what did you do to understand the position you were applying for in advance of the interview so you could create talking points to sell your background against the needs of the position and the company?

 
Old 01-31-2014, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,170 posts, read 41,773,101 times
Reputation: 82919
To be honest, an applicant can't know EVERYTHING about a position.

Sure, there's a job description, but lots of employers leave out stuff they expect you to do. WHat an employer means when they post the job and what the employee understands when they READ the post are often pretty far apart.
 
Old 01-31-2014, 07:52 AM
 
1,049 posts, read 2,519,181 times
Reputation: 1369
So many job descriptions are very very vague. They will give an overview of the company and expect you to extrapolate all of the job duties from the recommended qualifications. Then, on top of that, you don't want to ask about the job position too much in the interview, because then the interviewer assumes you don't know about the company, so you clearly weren't prepared for the interview.
 
Old 01-31-2014, 09:02 AM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,302,267 times
Reputation: 1611
We sent out a very detailed job description to the candidates who were scheduled for an interview. Few read them.

If it were me I would go item by item and describe in talking points what my skills and accomplishments were in each of them.
 
Old 01-31-2014, 09:23 AM
mcq
 
Location: Memphis, TN
336 posts, read 544,773 times
Reputation: 293
I can only speak for myself, not for others. I personally read every description over and over again before I even apply. Then if an interview is eventually scheduled, I will go and re-read it multiple times. I think some people just mass-apply to jobs and will take whatever hits they get. I know what I'm looking for and don't like to waste my time on opportunities that don't interest me. The interviewer will know I read the description because I ask many questions about the position and the company. Biggest challenge for me is to not ask too many questions.
 
Old 01-31-2014, 12:16 PM
 
1,073 posts, read 1,225,730 times
Reputation: 1100
I often go into interviews with only half an understanding of the job. This stems from employers not putting a lot of detail in the descriptions, or in their obsession with "selling" the job by using keywords and corporate-speak. They're usually very general. Now, if they do list job duties, they often leave stuff out. I'll never forget, I interviewed for a position, met every single qualification, and then at the end of the interview they asked me if I had any experience teaching teachers. Nowhere in their job description did they list that, and you wouldn't have figured it from looking at the company's website.
 
Old 01-31-2014, 02:11 PM
 
8,974 posts, read 8,096,455 times
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Quote:
I interviewed for a position, met every single qualification, and then at the end of the interview they asked me if I had any experience teaching teachers. Nowhere in their job description did they list that, and you wouldn't have figured it from looking at the company's website.
There is no way to put in a job description everything about an employment opportunity.

This the reason for the Interview. The interviewer is trying to learn about you, and try to assess your abilities, and your ability to fill the job they have open. Sometimes you ask questions, to see how well the applicant can think and give an answer. The question may have nothing to do with your duties if you are given the job. Often the interviewer is asking random questions to evaluate your ability to think and develop an answer. Can they quickly answer the question, or do they just look at you with a dazed look and show they are not the person you want, as you cannot quickly evaluate what you were asked and give an answer.

Every question, will not be about the job. Some questions will be to evaluate you, and your ability to handle something that comes out of left field, that you have not had a chance to come up with a canned and practiced answer. Often these questions, will be what makes or breaks your chance of getting the job.
 
Old 01-31-2014, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,103 posts, read 4,271,822 times
Reputation: 10054
My buddy just interviewed for a role at a large corporation and the job posting wasnt even close to the actual job they explained to him in the interview. The posting made it look like a 9-5 mundane accounting role, then he got to the interview and they explained a very team project oriented, black belt environment.
 
Old 01-31-2014, 02:41 PM
 
1,073 posts, read 1,225,730 times
Reputation: 1100
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
There is no way to put in a job description everything about an employment opportunity.

This the reason for the Interview. The interviewer is trying to learn about you, and try to assess your abilities, and your ability to fill the job they have open. Sometimes you ask questions, to see how well the applicant can think and give an answer. The question may have nothing to do with your duties if you are given the job. Often the interviewer is asking random questions to evaluate your ability to think and develop an answer. Can they quickly answer the question, or do they just look at you with a dazed look and show they are not the person you want, as you cannot quickly evaluate what you were asked and give an answer.

Every question, will not be about the job. Some questions will be to evaluate you, and your ability to handle something that comes out of left field, that you have not had a chance to come up with a canned and practiced answer. Often these questions, will be what makes or breaks your chance of getting the job.
You're telling me you can't put the main qualifications? If adding one more bullet-point to a job listing is too hard for them, especially when that point makes or breaks a candidate, then that's insane.
 
Old 01-31-2014, 02:56 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
2,279 posts, read 3,923,913 times
Reputation: 4008
The last job I interviewed for, I was an internal candidate. I know a fair amount about the job through internal networking. I'd identified a few positions I would be interested in (if there were ever openings) and set out to make connections with folks who had these positions already, so I could learn more about what they did.
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