IT Employment

10 ways to be liked in your job interview

Everyone wants to make a good impression in job interviews. But did you know that too much smiling or asking too many unrelated questions can circumvent that goal?

Everyone wants to make a good impression in job interviews. But did you know that too much smiling or asking too many unrelated questions can circumvent that goal?

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I received a press release in my e-mail box this morning for a new career guidance book. Normally, those things go in one eye and out the other, but the title of this book just made me laugh.

The book, I Hate People! Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What you Want Out of Your Job, is written by Jonathan Littman and Marc Hershon. As you know, I favor advice that doesn't lose itself in the gray areas. Simply stated, there are some tried and true facts about interviewing, and it's refreshing to see someone point them out in blunt terms.

Here, from the book, are 10 ways to be liked in your job interview. My notes are in brackets following each point.

1. Don't be a smiley face.

Excessive smiling in a job interview is seen for what it is -- nervousness and a lack of confidence. A Smiley Face exudes phoniness, which will quickly be picked up by the interviewer. Instead be thoughtful and pleasant. Smile when there's something to smile about. Do a practice run in front of a mirror or friend.

[Look, I'm as friendly as the next guy, but if you're wearing a stuck-on smile while I'm describing the rigors of the job, I'll just be creeped out.]

2. Don't be a Know-It-None

Your job is to be knowledgeable about the company for which you're interviewing. Random facts about last night's episode of Dancing With The Stars episode or your favorite blog will not get you the job. Never feel you have to fill an interview with small talk. Find ways to talk about serious subjects related to the industry or company. Pockets of silence are better than padding an interview with random babble.

[I think small talk is OK if the interviewer starts it. But be hyper-aware of your interviewer's demeanor. If he or she starts to zone out, nip it.]

3. Don't Sweat

You can lose a job by wearing an undershirt or simply a little too much clothing. Sweaty palms or beads on your forehead will not impress. You are not applying to be a personal trainer. Sweat will be seen as a sign of weakness and nervousness. Do a practice run with your job interview outfit in front of friends. The job interview is one place you definitely don't want to be hot.

[Ew.]

4. Put down that Stop Sign

Interviewers are seeking candidates eager to take on challenging projects and jobs. Hesitance and a naysaying mentality will be as visible as a red tie -- and seen as a negative. Practice saying "yes " to questions about your interest in tasks and work that might normally give you pause.

[If you're naysaying in an interview with me, I won't be able to show you the door fast enough. I realize that some people consider naysaying a method for displaying their knowledge of a situation, but if you're negative at the interview stage of the relationship, what can I expect from you as an employee?]

5. Don't be a Sheeple

Asking the location of the lunchroom or meeting room will clue the interviewer into your lack of preparation and initiative. Prepare. Don't ask questions about routine elements or functions of a company: where stuff is, the size of your cube and company policy on coffee breaks.

[At first I thought this tip meant that you should wander around aimlessly in the office building instead of asking someone where the interviewer is located. But I think they mean during the interview itself. Good points.]

6. Don't be a Liar Liar

Studies show that employees lie frequently in interviews. Lying won't get you the job. In a job interview even a slight exaggeration is lying. Don't. Never stretch your resume or embellish accomplishments. There's a difference between speaking with a measured confidence and engaging in BS. One lie can ruin your entire interview, and the skilled interviewer will spot the lie and show you the door.

[I once had a job candidate claim that he had worked at a now-defunct company. The problem is, I'd worked at that company nearly from its inception and knew that he'd never been employed there.]

7. Don't Be a Bad Comedian

Humor tends to be very subjective and while it may be tempting to lead your interview with a joke you've got to be careful about your material. You probably will know nothing about the sensibilities of your interviewer, let alone what makes them laugh. On the other hand, nothing disarms the tension of a job interview like a little laughter, so you can probably score at least a courtesy chuckle mentioning that it's "perfect weather for a job interview!"

[I've written about the subjectivity of humor in an interview before. When it's done right -- that is, you're engaging in a quip-trading tennis game of sorts with your interviewer -- then all is good. But it's a fine line to walk. Remember, too, that some people have no discernible sense of humor.]

8. Don't Be High Maintenance

If you start talking about the ideal office temperature, the perfect chair for your tricky back, and how the water cooler needs to be filled with imported mineral water, chances are you'll be shown a polite smile and the door, regardless of your qualifications. Nobody hiring today is going to be looking for someone who's going to be finicky about their workspace.

[That's a red flag if I ever heard of one.]

9. Don't Be A Minute Man

At every job interview, the prospective hire is given the chance to ask questions. Make yours intelligent, to the point and watch the person across the desk for visual cues whether you've asked enough. Ask too many questions about off-target matters and you'll be thought of as a Minute Man, destined to waste the company's resources with insignificant and time-wasting matters.

[Yes -- don't ask questions just to be asking them or to exhibit your interest. Ask questions that you really want answered.]

10. Don't Be A Switchblade

Normally the Switchblade is thought of a backstabber, often taking credit for someone else's work. In an interview setting, the Switchblade can't help but "trash talk" his former employer. If you make it seem like your former workplace was hell on Earth, the person interviewing you might be tempted to call them to find out who was the real devil.

[See my blog on this one: Never trash former employers in interviews.]

For more information about the book, go to www.ihatepeople.biz.

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About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

87 comments
MissDorkness
MissDorkness

Yeah, you have to know who your prospective employer knows. I got a call from a friend whose company was looking to hire someone I knew. He'd wanted to display his leadership skills and involvement in the industry by listing that he'd been President of a local trade organization (now defunct, ergo, no web presence). The hiring manager knew that my friend had been a member of the organization and asked her if one who'd worked under him could speak for his skills. And, of course, she knew that I'd been Vice President of the organization for it's entire life (except my term as President), so she called me up... and I burst out laughing. I told her that, not only had that guy never been President, he was the only board member we'd ever had to remove due to unprofessional behavior. SO, if the guy had simply stated that he'd been a member of the board of directors, I would have just agreed, yes he had and told them how long he'd held that role. But, since he lied, I revealed a little more about him than I might have otherwise done. So, they did end up hiring him (it wasn't a leadership role), but, they all knew he was a liar from the get-go. Oh, and I show my humor during interviews. With engineering people, it shows that I fit in, with others, it shows that I would not and I'd rather know that up front.

ray.browell
ray.browell

Given the "need for speed" in many organization, I wonder how much checking is really done anymore. Perhaps others know more about HR.

highlander718
highlander718

and I loved (NO) the "don't sweat" rehearsal idea. How on earth would you know the temperature in the interview room ??? Would it not be easier to just ask permission to take off your jacket in case neccessary ?

charlesux
charlesux

information on the dynamic phases of resums/job interview necessities.

csmith.kaze
csmith.kaze

Some people sweat more than others. Especially someplace like here, where the temps and humidity levels are both in the 90's, it is hard not to. I personally have to wear an undershirt(with antiperspirant/deodorant, of course), so I think this point is not only stupid, but just shows how shallow this poster is.

clareburrows
clareburrows

I have to be High Maintenance because I am disabled. So, you won't hire me because I am disabled???

ltreff
ltreff

I am appalled at the trivia in this article. Possibly my reputation always preceded me, and likely why I never had to write a resume. The single, most important thing in an interview is to develop an absolutely clear understanding of the needs of the employer, and an absolutely clear assessment of your ability to fulfill those needs. Anything else is a waste of time. If you can explain to the interviewer your assessment of their stated needs and why your background and experience is particularly well suited to fulfilling those needs, you may/will likely get the position. I subscribe to the logic of: "I'll come in and work for free for a week or two, then we can discuss salary - never lost on that one !! Once they are chasing you, to bring you on board, you can carefully delve into the "trivia" if you like, but not before. My thoughts, Lee Treffinger

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

Just my own opinions, worth nothing more than that. "Don?t be a smiley face." Don't be a FAKE smiley face. Smile if that's your nature, but don't force a smile. Let's face it, some people are the perpetually smiley types. Its just their nature. OTOH, the much practiced in front of a mirror faked smile can almost always be detected by a person experienced in dealing with people. It won't impress him or her, and is more likely than not to cause the other person to wonder what else you're faking. In short, IMHO, be your normal, real self. That is, your professional self. Not the private, among select friends side of you. At this point in the process, you are NOT close friends with the interviewer or future boss. Its probably best to keep your private, personal self ... to yourself. As concerns the various points made in the original post that deal primarily with small talk and off topic subjects. Consider this, you do not truly know much, if anything at all, about the interviewer. Avoid any mention of the "hot topics" like the plague. i.e. Sex, religion, politics, race, etc. In fact, its usually best to avoid discussion of anything that's largely a matter of personal opinion or preference unless the topic is raised by the interviewer. You do not REALLY know the person in front of you, or anything about what that person privately thinks about any subject in particular. And I've seen more than a few times where someone assumed "everybody" thinks or believes this or that about something, just to have that ASSUMPTION come back and bite em in the a**. What's the old saying? Something like, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Stick to work related topics. "Don?t be a Know-It-None" I'd add, don't be a Know It All. I've met more than a few such. Have yet to meet any that weren't more bluster and boasting than real ability and actual performance. I know a little about a lot of subjects, and a lot about a few subjects. But one thing I have learned is that the more I know, the more I become aware of just how much there is I do not know. That includes the areas in which I know quite a lot. As an example, I recall one character we hired. I was myself doubtful about the hire. But it was one of those situations where my input was not wanted. This guy had come to us strongly recommended by one of the personal friends of a senior member of the board of directors. He had to go through the usual hiring procedure but it was a farce, he was going to be hired regardless. Anyway, my first impression wasn't good. To hear this guy talk it would seem that he could walk on water. He was being hired into a specialty engineering job. And, according to him, there was nothing about that specialty he did not know, and which he did not know better than anyone else. In fact, when he set up his office he mounted a sign on the wall declaring himself as "Mr Automation". His specialty being the design and programming of automated digital controls. Oh, he came with references and recommendations ... good ones. Testimonials from others that seemed to verify that they'd personally seen him walk on water. Okay, I'm quite sure he was a BIG FISH back where he came from. I also became sure that it'd been a very little pond full of some mighty small fish. From the start with his very first project the rest of us in the department started to see the truth. That in the kind of projects we routinely worked with, in size and complexity, his knowledge and performance was at best mediocre. In truth, he was out of his league. We tried to help, to give him hints and pointers, but he didn't really want to hear it. He was firmly convinced he was #1, and that his ideas and methods were superior to anything else. So after a while, the rest of us just shrugged and backed off and let him do what he would. Let him sink his own boat. The real problem was not that he was terrible at what he did, as I stated he could turn out a mediocre performance. The real problem was that he was being paid a premium salary. AND had been made the department head. His performance simply wasn't up to his boasts. Not even close. He might have been Mr Automation where he came from, but in our pond he was just an average to somewhat below average fish. In my lifetime and experience, I've become VERY doubtful about know-it-alls. More often than not I've come to find that people who portray themselves as such are just fooling themselves. "Don?t Sweat" I find this a bit ridiculous. Perhaps the person is nervous or trying to hide something. But it could also be simply a matter of the person being over warm and unable to do anything about it at the moment. Egad, I've sat in the offices of people whom I'd swear must have some sort of health problem because evidently they feel cold if the temperature is below 78 degrees Fahrenheit, so they keep the temperature turned up. In other cases, the office simply had poor ventilation and/or cooling. I'm sorry if it bothers folks that I sweat when I'm over warm. BUT, OTOH, I'm probably not sorry if this bothers you so much that you don't hire me. Because its likely that this is not a place I'd want to work anyway. Want the honest truth about what I think of the subject? I bath regularly and well. And use a non-scented deodorant. TOO many folks, IMHO, seem to think that -I- really want to smell their idiot choice of perfume or cologne. Many of which I find to be not all that pleasant. And not infrequently I wonder if the person has dumped the entire bottle on themselves. It is sometimes overbearing and I can often smell the person long before I can see em, and often long after they're gone. And if one is going to fairly complain about a little sweat, then isn't it also fair for me to complain about the particular odor that women emanate at certain times of the month? Ladies, if you do not know, I can smell you when you're having your period before I see you. And no amount of perfume can cover it up. However, it doesn't bother me. I dismiss it as something you can do nothing about. Much the same as I dismiss the fact that someone who is too warm might be sweating. FWIW, dousing one's self with perfume or cologne as a substitute for a bath or shower is not a good choice. Old, stale body odors are worse than fresh sweat. Myself, when I'm speaking with someone who is obviously sweating, I ask the obvious. "Are you nervous, or just too warm?" Depending on the answer I then either tell them to relax and try to assist them in that, or offer the alternative of turning down the heat, moving to a different location with better ventilation, or whatever. This is not to say that a person should not prepare for an interview properly. Which means that a shower or bath that day is a good idea, and so is the wearing of clothing suitable so that one can take something off or put something on, as appropriate, if one is too warm or too cool. My recommendation ... keep the perfumes or colognes or after-shaves subdued. YOU might think it smells great, the other person may not have the same opinion. "Don?t be a Liar Liar In a job interview even a slight exaggeration is lying. Don?t. Never stretch your resume or embellish accomplishments." Okay, I agree with the idea that one should not tell an out and out lie. OTOH, if you're trying to convince me that some exaggeration or embellishment is NOT the norm, and that it is NOT the case that almost everyone does it ... I'm thinking you are mistaken. If one is going to be ABSOLUTELY truthful, then one needs to keep in mind that omitting relevant facts can also be considered lying. Which is why in many judicial courts of law one is required to "tell the truth, the WHOLE truth" ... which means the good, the bad, the ugly, the embarrassing, etc. Otherwise you might be thought to be lying to the court. By withholding relevant information. Of course in a job interview one is going to put "their best foot forward" and fail to mention their past failures and mistakes. Likewise they will somewhat exaggerate or embellish their accomplishments. Quite normal, and to be expected. And quite different from an out-and-out, bold lie. IMHO, some exaggeration and embellishments are okay to get through initial interviews, especially with HR people. About anything short of out and out lies I consider fair ploys for getting past HR people. In many (most?) cases they're just not all that knowledgeable about what the workers REALLY need to know in order to do their jobs, or what they really do on a day to day basis. OTOH, lying to them outright is foolish. Even if they don't catch it the odds are that your prospective boss will, sooner or later. And if someone like me is your prospective boss, a flat out lie means I'm not likely to trust a single word you have to say to me thereafter. As concerns the exaggeration or embellishment thing. I'd keep that to an absolute minimum when being interviewed by the new prospective boss or someone from within the department/office/branch of the organization where you might actually be working. That is, someone who actually knows something about the field in which you'll be working. I expect to hear some exaggeration or embellishment. Fine, its normal and natural. Won't upset me in the least. But then you can expect some very pointed questions from me to establish to my satisfaction whether you're being entirely truthful, exaggerating a bit, or out and out lying to me. #1 is acceptable. #2 might be acceptable as long as I can determine that despite a bit of exaggeration or embellishment that you still have the qualities I'm looking for. #3 will get you shown the door, interview is over, and no I'm not gonna wish you a good day or future luck in finding a job. "Don?t Be A Switchblade" I consider it perfectly fine if yah bad mouth a previous boss/employer on your own time, among your friends. But DON'T DO IT during the interview/hiring process. I'm not impressed by the Blame Game. In general, people who point fingers and bad mouth others are the sort who'll always blame someone else for their own failures, lacks, and inabilities. They tend to be excuse makers, and will find excuses in their new job to blame for their inability to perform up to expectations. Not always true ... but true more often than not. Add, that bad mouthing previous employers/bosses can also lead to other problems. For instance, this happened with a new hire where I work. He really should have known better. At a company socializing event he went on a rampage of ranting about and bad mouthing his previous employer. Not good ... when the department head was present. AND the department head was personal buddies with that previous employer. Not only that, but part of the guy's rant was about the "stupid ideas" that his previous employer had about how things should be run and get done. Which happened to be ideas shared by our department head. As it happened, this guy had not yet completed his probationary hiring period with us (6 months). It was no surprise to any of us that when he came up for his 6 month review that our department head decided not to keep him. I've seen this same sort of thing happen over and over again. It's one of the reasons that when and if I do feel an irresistible urge to bad mouth a previous employer, boss, coworkers, etc ... I mention no names and avoid giving any clues as to precisely whom I might be talking about.

Tony K
Tony K

The concept of at will employment started so that employees could quit jobs without being blackballed and prevented from finding new work. An employer couldn't punish an employee for leaving. Reciprocity being fair, employers could sever their relationship with the employee at any time, too. However, the corporate world has managed to tip the balance in their favor. There's a common myth that employers can't say anything bad about you in a reference. Absolutely not true. They can only say things that are true, even if they're bad. You, however, do not have that option. Most employers will give you either a bad reference or list you as "ineligible for rehire" should you leave without two weeks notice. It's unprofessional to just walk out the door and not come back. They, however, do not have to follow that rule. The fact is, in the states that have at will employment an employer can fire you for any or no reason. When you then have to explain to potential new employers that you were fired for wearing white after Labor Day...well, make sure you don't try to sound too negative...

ericgyoung
ericgyoung

I agree with all of this, and it applies to all interviewees, not just IT ones. I would make one small comment re: no. 2 - as bad as a "know-it-none" is, as a hirer of workers, I can't stand a "know-it-all" either. I much prefer someone who honestly admits that they may have a lack of some skill or need further exposure to a particular type of project than someone who says, "Oh, I can do this and that and the other," only to learn later, that they over-sold themselves.

Englebert
Englebert

My most unusual interview was for a 6-month contract where the interviewer came to my house on a week-end to interview me. I cleared the basement, set up table, environment to look as professional as possible. Got the contract. Next most unusual was a call from a Headhunter that employer wanted to see me immediately on a Friday. Said I was casually dressed in jeans, sneakers, short shirt..etc. Responded dont worry, they understand. The 2 interviewers then started arguing amongst themselves on a minor tech issue. I knew at that point I was going to get the contract...and did.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

A couple of days ago I had an interview where the interviewer at the end made an ethnic comment that was borderline unacceptable. What do you do in that case? Me personally I stayed the neutral ground.

Buff Loon
Buff Loon

From my own personal experience, the three major things a prospective employer targets are: experience, accomplishments and adapabilty to new and unknown circumstances. How you present yourself in your dialouge with the interviewer will give him insights into your personality. B.S. will kill you, be honest in your presentation and your performance, bring your best dog and pony show to the interview. thats my 2 bits... Buff Oon

Patrick Donahue
Patrick Donahue

Avoid negativity toward your previous employer. During the interview, you should focus on the positives when discussing past employment. The interviewer will expect you to be honest, but expressing hatred toward previous employers will send him or her back into the pile. Job bashing is a no go, regardless of how bad it was. You should focus on the positives such as the knowledge and skills you acquired. In other words, don?t project yourself as damaged goods. Employers like people who can work through the challenges of the job, minus the bad attitude.

Techtoo
Techtoo

When it is my turn to ask questions, I usually will ask the interviewer why I was picked for the interview and then go from there. Normally, their answer will give me a glue on whether I will be given a second interview.

tarose.trevor
tarose.trevor

...as to why ANY rational business person would entrust such an important decision as who to hire for their company to someone who doesnt even work there & they barely know... a person who also may be applying really superficial criteria about whether a person smiles too much or sweats too much, instead of looking at that candidate's real potential... i will never know. If someone sweats too much, well maybe they need to get fit, maybe you can be a positive influence on that part of their life. If someone smiles a lot, i fail to see how that is somehow "fake"... someone NOT smiling much could be equally fake in a different way, why pick on the smiling person? If a person is lacking confidence in a job interview, maybe its because they really need the money, and they are afraid they wont get the job... that's perfectly understandable... why pick on them for that? ...and why the hell would anyone think that it has even the remotest influence on their ability to perform the job in question? maybe this article made one or two valid points... but overall it just proves to me what i already knew about the HR industry... and i must say i am very underwhelmed that it still hasnt evolved any further than it has. talk about shallow.

keith2468a
keith2468a

Don't lie. But at the same time, don't be afraid to cast the truth in the best light.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

No, in the UK you can't give a bad reference. It is either a goog on or none. None, as in decline = Bad.

gary
gary

These are superficial aspects that interviewer uses to excuse not looking deeper. I know that is a cruel remark. The military taught me that you have field soldiers and garrison soldiers. Of course, the garrison soldier makes a better impression but the issue is being able to fight. There are some real dirt bags out there that you do want when you go to war. Twenty years in the computer business has taught me that most people (particularly human resource folks) do not know how to interview. Either they are explaining to the candidate how great the they (the interview) are or how wonderful the company is. You even run across interviewers who are not look at the candidate's talent for the job but rather how this candidate is going to impress their boss.

Justin James
Justin James

I have interviewed so many people who mess up #5. It is really damaging. It makes them look like all they care about is minor stuff, as opposed to the job itself. Like they'd be happy slinging trash bags, so long as they had a comfy office. The joke of it is, 90% of those questions can be answered by taking a 5 minute tour. Instead of asking those questions, simply (politely) ask for a tour of the area. By the by, if the interviewer offers you the tour, you are probably going to get an offer. After all, why bother taking someone around at the end of the interview if you aren't going to hire them? J.Ja

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If I start getting negative in an interview, I'm just giving you some free advice before I leave for my next interview.... People interview me for what I have done and can do. If I think what you want me do sucks, I don't want you, whether you would have employed me if I'd have kept my gob shut is utterly irrelevant. Don't forget I'm interviewing you while you are interviewing me, and the crap joke about the weather and the expectant smile waiting for a sychophantic laugh tells me you're nervous and ill prepared...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If he can't back it up he isn't fit to employ me. If he keeps it up I don't want to work for him. If he backs down, his ass is mine. Can't lose.

dstadler66
dstadler66

Say nothing at all. But I never have that problem because I can always find something good to say. Nothing is entirely bad, and no employer is completely evil. If nothing else there are always work colleagues I enjoyed working with.... What you have to stay away from is the negative. I try to think about how I could have performed better. Others? I have no control over them, it's not my life, and it does no good at all to obsess about others.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

My regular is Have I said anything that's put you off?

seanlangesean
seanlangesean

Another question that I have found very helpful on several occasions is something along the lines of "Based on what you know of me at this point how do you see me fitting in with the rest of the team?". It shows real interest in the position and demonstrates that you place value in the success of the team. I have noticed a positive visible change in the interviewer almost every time I ask this question.

a.barry
a.barry

I've once been pulled into an interview. Since the position who I was interviewing was going to be my direct manager, I was confident that my input would be around zero. I had no briefing, no agenda, and about 2 minutes notice of the interview. After the usual "what I did", "what is your background", etc, the candidate took the lead and started asking me questions about what I expected from a manager. I really liked this, but nobody asked for my opinion.

Shellbot
Shellbot

are a bit of a joke here.. its all in how you write it.. Can't give a bad one, so keep it short and sweet..and hopefully the next employer gets the idea why your reference is only 2 lines long. Some employers here have gone the route of making it policy to NOT give referneces , other than confirming that you have indeed worked for them. Its at the stage where a reference is worthless unless its highly detailed.

MRHaupert
MRHaupert

To many times over the past 20 years, when I talk to a perspective employee - I find out things that the HeadHunters should have found - Unable to get a Security Clearance, Drivers License revoked for 6 months and they will be required to drive all in search of that quick Buck. I am sure not all Headhunters apply to this practice, but it seems odd that many of the perspective employees do not really know the job they are applying for until our interview. I would have thought they would have been better screened. My 2 cents worth!

rbmfernandez
rbmfernandez

How can we really say that by asking the interviewer about the location of the interview, that one is not prepared?.. One book that I have read before is the story about an interviewer who is trying to test his applicant by trying to roam him around the floor. The interviewer along with the applicant just keep walking around. The applicant did not even ask about the place where they will conduct his interview. He just keep following the interviewer and did not ask any question (Which is the suggestion of #5 i think). After several minutes of walking, the interviewer then starts the interview with the applicant. After that, the latter didn't land the position. Moral of the story?.. Its not really bad to ask at all. You just want to know something, not necessarily that you are prepared. But i guess it's still a case to case basis.. :)

Shellbot
Shellbot

My main objective at an interview is to see if I am willing and able to fill the position. I no longer see it as an employer interviewing me. I know some of you managers might take exception to that, but its just the way I am. I've turned down several jobs because I felt I wasn't the right fit, or I had no interest in it. Did an interview about 18 months back where the 2 idiots interviewing me couldn't even phrase proper questions..and they were the existing DBA and Lead Dev. I couldn't run form that interview fast enough..

CG IT
CG IT

Been there done that with customers. Not the best thing for busines or even getting a job but I've had one or 2 come back and ask for a paid consultation. More often than not, the "free advise" falls on deaf ears.

Justin James
Justin James

#5 isn't about stories like what you are talking about, it's about asking appropriate questions. Many job applicants ask questions that make it seem like they do not really care about the job. They will focus on things like what kind of desk they will have, or where the lunch room is, or other things that either do not matter, or should matter much less than questions like, "what would my responsibilities be?" and "why is this position open at this time?" J.Ja

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

But I don't struggle to find work, business's struggle to find people with my skills and experience. I've turned down lot's of opportunities before the other guy even got a chance to voice their opinion. Nothing makes me laugh louder than the regular email from HR/Recruiters starting "Unmissable opportunity". Wrong from word one....

dstadler66
dstadler66

Not sure whether this is a general tip, but when it works it can be a real winner. Show enthusiasm for the work, for learning new things. When I interviewed for my current job I did the normal stuff, then found a way to drop a mention of the latest thing which had turned me on. This was an interview for a senior development role with an architect (I'd already passed the business interview stage with the manager). It was something really geeky, but I think it got me hired. Second tip: keep your enthusiasm. I pursue 'cool stuff' on my own time & am known to take on projects like this around here. It's fun (can be, if you pick your own projects), and gets you a rep as someone who enjoys the work & not just in it for the paycheck.

Shellbot
Shellbot

I've got a few bits to do on it..completely new to it.. Even if its an older version, you might have a clue or two on which area to direct me to. Right now I'm in "what the h*ll is this???" mode... its some step back from a SQL backend and web front end :)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

it all by now, then you do a bit, a few facts surface and all of a sudden you strart rembereing all sorts of drivel you hoped you never need again. I did it for nearly three years solid, and it was my first commercial IT environment, so once the brain has been kicked started probably a good deal. It was the DOS stuff thought, I exited stage left as paradox for windows came out.

jdclyde
jdclyde

You can be confident in who and what you are able to do without looking like a cocky bawstard. People like to have someone that can get a solution to their problems, no one likes a "know it all". Depending on how you live your life makes a big difference on how picky you can afford to be. If you live paycheck to paycheck because you have to have the huge house/fancy car, you make yourself a slave to that paycheck. If you live within your means and only buy what you can afford, it gives a whole new freedom to be able to walk away anytime you want.

Shellbot
Shellbot

so....how much do ye remember?? haha ah, they've a few legacy bits hanging around here that i've inherited.. all i do is try and keep em running, other than that i generally don't go near em!

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

1987 I think that was. One of the reasons I got my current job was to get rid of it, in favour of SQL Server.

Shellbot
Shellbot

I'm pretty demanding when it comes to work. I like things to go my way..but don't we all :) And the attitude generally shines through..lets just say I an have a hard time "taking direction" from people...don't mean that I'm not willing to take comments on board, action requests, or take sensible direction from a knowledgeable person, but nothing gets me more irritated than someone who knows nothing trying to tell me what to do. Its gotten me in trouble before..and will do so again I presume. Working with me is an experience.. a good one though :) Things are tighter here as well, I hope I'll be ok for work. I hear ya on the pay scale issue, but something is better than nothing and I'm not too proud to take a schit job to pay the rent.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Attitude? Here? :) I'm sure you've heard me say I've done just about anything and everything I can (including sweepign chimneys but that was by accident, I will continue to do so until I die however, in certain areas of work, I am pretty damn demanding of what I want, otherwise I won't take it. However, when times fall hard, I can suck it up and know exactly what you mean. I've done a lot of very different jobs, mostly by choice, and gained work experience in a lot of fields which makes it a lot easier when times are tougher. The only issue I have is adjusting to a new pay scale if i have to use a fall back to bring in money, hopefully that doesn't happen too often here, employment is very easily found and not very competitively fought for due to abundance of jobs. Things are a BIT tighter now, which I why I decide to stay put a few months back, but doors are always open and I always accept offers with great interest.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Just an offer of a cold beer and a cigar will get me throwing on the kneepads. :D

Shellbot
Shellbot

I'm trying to do some work on a Paradox database at the minute..fun fun..I don't think I was even born when Borland released it! :0 Its basic enough, but just one more friggin thing I gotta learn..

Shellbot
Shellbot

changes ones priorities. If I had to take a job I would, but fortunatly I am able to be more choosy. Don't get me wrong, I would clean tables to pay the bills if thats what I had to do..I've done it before and I'm not so arrogant that I don't think it might not ever happen again. I know I have an "attitude", but currently I can afford that luxury.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

in the candidate, the role, the organisation. Anything else means you could have got an equivalent result with the job as a lottery prize.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Delphi, Croydon, 10k pay cut. So lets see now, career killing dead tech, relocate to somewhere where the cost of livinhg is about half again as much, and take a massive pay cut. Yep it's unbelievable you sent me this....

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I know back in the dim and distant past I kept my opinions to myself. I'm sure you may have zipped it as well. We put a lot of effort in not having to do that anymore though. I've done a good few interviews, never succeeded in getting offered anything of worth starting on my knees.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I've made similar comments before and have been lambasted for it. I too interview teh employer, I don't usually set up formal interviews or become part of a process where multiple people are interviewed at different times in a specific period. I usually create interviews based on me going after an employer, whether they are planning on hiring or not. I make my case and, if I find them a viable enough employer to offer me a challenge and some interest, I'll take it. However, you must realize that many Americans are sittign on harder times these days, employment is not something where the picky can be choosey, so I am told anyway. If people get the wrong idea, which usually results in them sounding cocky and standoffish, it'll actually hurt their chances of employment. That said, I agree, pass MY interview or you won't get to hire ME. ;)

santeewelding
santeewelding

Were the ones I had to convince to work for me.

Shellbot
Shellbot

I can't say any job is unmissable..(well, ok, i mean as long as you've got work) I always get "unbelieveable opprotunity"..eh..ya sure... like I should feel honored that they might consider little ole me to grovel at thier feet for a job. Not in a million years.