U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Work and Employment > Job Search
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 12-18-2015, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,202 posts, read 2,653,228 times
Reputation: 2231

Advertisements

I recently had a phone interview, and I felt like I did little to stand out. Basically I stated my qualifications, answered their questions about them, then they asked if I had any questions for them. I asked about corporate culture and how they got involved in the position and what they like about it...

So when they ask, tell us about yourself... what's the best way to do it? Express the interest I have in the positions? Tie skills listed in the cover letter to the requested qualifications? I feel like I tended to just rehash my resume and cover letter. They already have those and can look them over if without me telling back to them. How do I not do that but still answer the question, tell me about yourself.

Likewise at the end of the interview, they will almost always ask if I have questions, and I want one or two that stand out. I've heard it's good to ask them about themselves and such... But I think a lot of people do that.

Do you guys have any good ideas for a question or two to ask the interview that gets them thinking and allows for me to leave an impression on why I may be preferable to other candidates? One question I thought of is "what common mistake are you looking to try and avoid with a new hire" but that's kind of negative. How about "If I was hired for this position, what type of specific projects would I be working on?" And then go on to explain why I would be capable of performing them...

I'm trying to get ideas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-18-2015, 01:24 PM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,732,489 times
Reputation: 4944
tell us about yourself is a quick summary of where you are in your career. maybe a little bit about your education. what brought you to this point. this is definitely something you should think about in advance, plan out, and practice (just not so much that what you're saying doesn't sound natural) because it will be asked at almost every interview.

for questions, think about them as a chance to assess if the job is right for you. asking about specific projects is fine. you could also ask:

- what would you expect the ideal candidate to accomplish in their first year?
- if there was a previous person who excelled in this position, what set them apart? if not, what were they missing?
- how would you describe the office culture?
- how would you describe your management style (if the interview is with the supervisor of the position)?
- can you walk me through a typical day/week in this job?
- how will my work be evaluated?

you can also bring a pen and paper and jot down any more specific questions that the interview raises for you.

i wouldn't go TOO far with treating the questions as an opportunity to talk more about yourself. you can do that a little but you don't want to seem like you're just asking questions to give yourself openings to talk yourself up. you need to seem genuinely interested in the responses. and you SHOULD be interested in the responses because it's important to know whether a job will really be a good fit for you. sometimes we do what we have to do to survive, but if you have any kind of choice or leeway, wouldn't you rather end up in a job where you're happy and you do well, instead of doing everything you can just to get a job, any job?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-19-2015, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Denver
3,202 posts, read 2,653,228 times
Reputation: 2231
Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
tell us about yourself is a quick summary of where you are in your career. maybe a little bit about your education. what brought you to this point. this is definitely something you should think about in advance, plan out, and practice (just not so much that what you're saying doesn't sound natural) because it will be asked at almost every interview.

for questions, think about them as a chance to assess if the job is right for you. asking about specific projects is fine. you could also ask:

- what would you expect the ideal candidate to accomplish in their first year?
- if there was a previous person who excelled in this position, what set them apart? if not, what were they missing?
- how would you describe the office culture?
- how would you describe your management style (if the interview is with the supervisor of the position)?
- can you walk me through a typical day/week in this job?
- how will my work be evaluated?

you can also bring a pen and paper and jot down any more specific questions that the interview raises for you.

i wouldn't go TOO far with treating the questions as an opportunity to talk more about yourself. you can do that a little but you don't want to seem like you're just asking questions to give yourself openings to talk yourself up. you need to seem genuinely interested in the responses. and you SHOULD be interested in the responses because it's important to know whether a job will really be a good fit for you. sometimes we do what we have to do to survive, but if you have any kind of choice or leeway, wouldn't you rather end up in a job where you're happy and you do well, instead of doing everything you can just to get a job, any job?
Thanks for the advice! As a recent college graduate with not much experience, I don't feel like I have too much to say about how I got to where I am careerwise. Should I keep that portion smaller?

Yeah, I didn't want to take the whole time of asking them questions to talk about myself, but I want one or maybe two at the beginning that wasn't such a cookie cutter question. Good suggestions!

After those questions, then I'd move to the information gathering about the position. It is important to figure out what the job is like.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-19-2015, 12:42 PM
 
Location: california
5,673 posts, read 4,895,222 times
Reputation: 6693
I don't think a person knows how they are going to fit in a job, till they are actually doing it.
Other employees can make the job good or bad depending on their attitudes and behaviors, but you can't know that till your out among them.
Proceses can change from one plant to another and office procedures vary as well.
Upper Management might have an agenda, but if they are too far disconnected from the actual work area they are still in the dark even if they are depending on the lower management to share that information.
Often it is not shared in totality, and some upper management don't care to hear about it.
How well HR knows the culture and the direction upper management wants that culture to go and the cooperation in lower levels with out direct supervision people often have their own agendas .
All that to say this,

One's ability to learn quickly and listen to what the priorities are , not getting caught up in social politics ,may help maintain a level of sanity.
Some one that wears heir feelings on their sleeve, is not likely to do very well no matter how good the are at a job , Patience is an important tool both for the candidate and the employer, but patience must have balance and not a source for excuses to continue failure.
I remember the first time I did a fibre glass repair on a boat , it covered the damage, but it looked irregular , fortunately it was on a piece of rental equipment, and the boss assured me that as time goes by I would improve with practice, and I did .
Given a non critical project clearly over my head in the beginning, taught them how I deal with problems, and choosing ask questions and improve, showed them how much I cared about my work.
A person with to much pride is hard to teach.
Some times employers are fearful of those that brag about previous training.
site it. don't emphasize on it.
Some bosses want to be asked about every thing to do ,and some like to see the person finding ways to keep them self busy.
Being flexible in this, is important.

Not sure if this is what your looking for , it's just my observations
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-19-2015, 02:04 PM
 
1,372 posts, read 1,118,143 times
Reputation: 2199
Tell me about yourself: Talk about your strengths & passions that led you to that particular job. Highlight what you'd bring to the table based on your experiences. If you interned somewhere you can talk about what you learned that can be beneficial to them. Maybe talk abit about your hobbies, what motivates you etc. Be sure to tie your responses to the job. Think about all these things and jot them down, then practice out loud. But, you're right, don't just repeat what's on your resume.

As for questions, ask what's the biggest challenge the department is facing at the time? Depending on how they answer, proceed with how do they envision your skills will be used to solve it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-20-2015, 09:04 PM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,732,489 times
Reputation: 4944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Thanks for the advice! As a recent college graduate with not much experience, I don't feel like I have too much to say about how I got to where I am careerwise. Should I keep that portion smaller?

Yeah, I didn't want to take the whole time of asking them questions to talk about myself, but I want one or maybe two at the beginning that wasn't such a cookie cutter question. Good suggestions!

After those questions, then I'd move to the information gathering about the position. It is important to figure out what the job is like.
yeah as a recent grad i'd just talk about the fact that you just graduated, with what degree, and if you can what draws you to this field, why it's something you've been working towards all along with your field of study or if it's a departure from that, why things changed. it doesn't need to be a long schpiel.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2016, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,202 posts, read 2,653,228 times
Reputation: 2231
Thanks for the help!

I like those questions and I'll keep them in my arsenal and see if the time is right to drop one or two of them.

So where there isn't a ton of experience to hash over, talking about interest and the path it has manifested itself on is a good addition.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Work and Employment > Job Search
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top