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  • #2247908

    Job Interview


    by shellbot ·

    Ok, job interview on Monday.

    Now problem is, i always freeze up in interviews. In my head i know what i am going to say, but when i go to say it, it comes out comepletley different.

    And even worse, when asked specific tech questions, i completey blank.

    I feel like such an idiot during the interview and beat myself up for it.

    Now having said that, i’ve not exactly wanted for a job lately, someone always seems to think i’m worth it, no matter how much of a simpleton i come across as.

    Any ideas on how to relax and not look like i should be wearing a hockey helmet?
    And how not to freeze up on tech stuff?

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  • Author
    • #3202605

      Good luck and a couple of suggestions

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      Obviously you’ve been employed several times so you can’t be all bad in interviews.

      One great tip – scout out the place in advance. Know where you will park. Know how long it will take to get there. Scout out a place to grab a coffee before the interview, and plan to be at the coffee place 30 minutes before the interview. Not feeling rushed will help.

      You will feel less nervous if you prepare. Its hard to prepare for the tech questions. But you should prepare for the behavioural questions.

      Check out this link :

      I would try and match up a “story” with a few of the behavioural traits you think they will ask about. Even if they don’t use the technique it will help you do a better interview.

      Don’t rehearse a word for word answer for certain questions. That comes across as nervous.

      Do not forget to sell yourself. What do you have to offer that they need.

      Get a good nights sleep for a few days prior to the interview.

      Don’t forget to breathe. Better to pause and collect your thoughts and take a deep breathe than to rush in and have to backtrack because you said something badly.

      Dress in something that makes you feel good about yourself.

      If you have the chance to practise with a mentor/friend who is a manager, do it – people get better at interviewing through practise.


      • #3202521

        Shell, I will keep you in my thoughts

        by tig2 ·

        In reply to Good luck and a couple of suggestions

        And hope you take Mae, James, and Max’s advice- it is all good.

        I am terrible in interviews. I understand completely what you are going through. I tell myself it will get easier. I lie.

        My favourite interviewing technique is to go into the interview as if I were interviewing the interviewer. I learn as much as I can about the role and the business. I want to know as much as I can about the culture, the business focus, and the specific project goals.

        Remember- a great interview with a bad company is not a win. A poor interview with a great company can be.

        I tend to start interviews with a statement- “I am really excited to be interviewing with you for this role.” Takes some people by surprise but if the statement is true, so what.

        Many people forget that the greatest technique is to remember to ASK for the job. Indicate your level of interest. It isn’t enough to ask for a timeline to decision. If you want the job, ask for it. Tell your interviewer that you have more than a passing interest.

        I tend to answer questions from the standpoint that I already work for the company. Until my last interviewer pointed that out to me, I had no idea that I did that. But in my mind, I have already taken up residence in the job and am answering questions about the work I am doing. Don’t ask me about my insanity… but the interviewer that pointed that out to me hired me for the contract BECAUSE he felt a sense that I was committed. Not that I should be…

        Tony and James are right- breathe. Sometimes we forget.

        I wish you the VERY best of luck. I know that you will be fine.

    • #3202604

      Easier Said Than Done

      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      If you can accept the fact that they need you more than you need them, then you can feel more in control of the situation, and relax.

    • #3202575

      Good Luck!!

      by cmiller5400 ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      Good Luck on your interview. In my current position I have interviewed with 5 people. (5 different interviews!!) I have only had 2 jobs in my life, but the first one was working for a supermarket for 4.5 years. The second job I went to 4 different interviews with 4 different people. The company was then bought out and I had to reinterview/reapply for my job because they were decreasing the number of tech posistions. I still have problems freezing up during interviews, but my main issue is saying the word “basicaly”.

    • #3202574


      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      When they offer you a drink before starting or if they don’t, ask them for one. Any lock up moment then you can take a sip and a breath. The key is to take your mind off the anxiety that’s afflicting you, count to three and it should have gone.

      Remember you are inteviewing them to see if the position they have is suitable, not the other way round. This is done by them asking intelligent questions that you deign to answer from your lofty perch of experience and ability. 😀

    • #3202571

      Fake it.

      by maecuff ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      If you DON’T get the job, you’ll still have your current job, right? So really, everything will be the same as it is right now. While that might not be want you want, it IS your reality. So, all in all, if you DON’T go to the interview, or DON’T get the job, everything is the same. With that it mind..where is the pressure?

      They will be LUCKY to have you. (Tell yourself that a million times before Monday). Talk yourself up. Don’t go in with an ‘I don’t care’ attitude, but talk yourself into the ‘I don’t care’ attitude.

      Don’t make this the most important event in your life. Either you’ll get it or you won’t. Tuesday will come either way.

      Pretend confidence eventually turns into genuine confidence. Trust me on this, I worked very hard to get over being extremely shy by faking it. I don’t get nervous on job interviews because I go into a ‘play acting’ mode and it almost becomes a game. That’s not to say that I haven’t flubbed an interview, but for the most part, I do pretty good.

      Good luck!

      • #3202544

        Walking the fine line

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Fake it.

        I think you need to show interest. It helps to read up on the company, and have a few questions ready to ask them – what are the biggest challenges the company faces etc.

        Asking them questions that allow you to show you did some research, but shows you want to know more is always good. And it puts you in more of a conversation rather than a one way dialogue. As an interviewer, I welcome the chance to have the interviewee take over – it shows me what they are made of, and I can relax and show them I am human too.

        I always tried to put myself in the position of knowing that I had something to offer them, and if they didnt want it, no biggee I would find someone who would.

        Back in the 80s and 90s I had a great record of getting almost every job I ever interviewed for (with one exception where I was overqualified). Much of that was confidence. I had my confidence shaken after I was laid off, but I think by now, its pretty much back.

        Shell, I can tell you’d be a good employee by your attitude. If you know that too, you are much of the way there to getting the job you want.


        • #3202536

          I agree

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Walking the fine line

          Externally, you should care very much. Internally? Give yourself a break and know that whatever the outcome, things will still be okay.

    • #3202563

      RELAX!!! JUST BLOODY RELAX!!! X-( X-( X-(

      by neilb@uk ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      There. Hope that helps.

      Good luck

      Neil 😀

      Look, I won’t tell you again! JUST BLOODY RELAX!!! X-( X-( X-(

    • #3202530

      Ask a “mentor” to sit-in FOR you!

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      What! Ask a mentor to do the interview FOR me, you ask? And what “mentor” do you have in mind, you might wonder?

      Well, who do you admire and/or would like to emulate in some way? Who do you know — or know of — who would handle this situation without any problems? This could be someone you know, or perhaps someone you don’t know. It could be someone alive or someone who’s no longer alive. When you think of a person who paints your picture of a strong and confident man or woman (whichever you are), who might that be? Well, that’s the person you become in the interview. That’s the person you become in front of that audience. That’s the person you become asking that girl out on a date.

      Hillary Clinton, Kathryn Hepburn, Margaret Thatcher, or someone closer to you such as a former teacher, your mother or sister. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George Clooney, Bill Gates, or, again, someone closer to you.

      In your mind, kinda’ picture how they might come across or how they might answer a question, and it will be personified within yourself. And it won’t at all come-across as though you’re trying to be someone you’re not, but rather as sharing the same qualities you’re trying to emulate.

    • #3219481

      Know how you feel, Shell…

      by jck ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      I blank out too a lot in interviews. It’s like I go to a 4 year old vocabulary even though I could sit down and do what they asked if the computer was in front of me.

      BTW…good luck to you…fingers crossed 🙂

    • #3219468

      Good luck for Monday, Shell!

      by gadgetgirl ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      I’d just back up James suggestion of a deep breath before speaking. Gets extra oxygen to the brain and gives time for mouth to get into gear properly. (yeah, ok, thought formation time, but my way sounded better!)

      Fingers, toes and everything else crossed and prayer mats out.

      Let us know how you get on.

      G’Luck again!


    • #3216206

      thanks guys

      by shellbot ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      ok..i’ve rehearsed a bit, gone over my CV, gone over the job spec, read up on the company..

      i’ve decided who i am going to emulate, and i’m just going to bloody relax and remember to breathe!!! 🙂

      I’m going to interview them to see if i want to work for them right. They aren’t going to grill me over..and hey if they do and i don’t like thier attitude, well then i might as well relax anyways, because i probably woulnd’t want to work for them if they are arrogant and mean 🙂

      Ok…T-3 hours..i’ll let ya know how i get on

      • #3279644

        Okay, then…

        by maecuff ·

        In reply to thanks guys

        How the hell did it go?

        I’m on vacation…I have NO idea what’s going on a work right now..and that’s cool, but I really want to know how this worked out for you! And did you keep your cool??

    • #3279499

      it went good!

      by shellbot ·

      In reply to Job Interview

      I think anyways.

      The IT manager was really nice and put me at ease right away. The HR guy didn’t say a whole lot, but seemed nice enough.

      I think i did ok, i don’t think i put my foot in my mouth at all, but i didn’t say all i should have. When i left the building i was like “DOH” why the heck didn’t i tell them this???

      They didn’t ask much technical stuff, i was surprised, i thought they would have.

      So all in all, I’m happy with the way it went..

      If they do make an offer, i think i am going to decline. I think it would be a nice place to work, but i don’t think i am going to get the expereince i need. I will end up going in another direction that i am currently on.

      They are wanting me to learn a bit about each of these (they will teach) Perl, Oracle, DB1, AS400(?), somehting called ISeries, plus a host of internall applications and reporting packages. I don’t mind learning, in fact i’d love to get a bit of oracle , but with doing my MCAD right now, i think its just too much to be taking in all at once.

      Add that to it being in a location thats not easy to get to its not like i am out of work, so i don’t need to take it.

      2 funny things:
      – I was fidgetting with my pen and the cap flew off and hit me in the forehead..feck anyways i felt like such a tool.

      – girls..the IT guy was seriously good looking, was hard to maintain eye contact without feeling like i was checking him out!!!

      Ok so..i’m in the process of lining up a couple more now that i’ve had one, the rest should go smoother..

      *note to self: take cap off of pen*

      • #3279496

        Glad it went well

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to it went good!

        My last question at an interview is always

        Is there anything I’ve said or not said that would make me unacceptable?

      • #3279493

        AS/400 – Iseries

        by maecuff ·

        In reply to it went good!

        is my background. If you have any specific questions, I would be happy to answer them!

        • #3279489

          The funniest thing went through my head …..

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to AS/400 – Iseries

          An earwig….”Walk the Dinosaur” came into my head right after reading about AS400….

          Open the door,
          get on the floor
          Everybody walk
          the dinosaur…


        • #3279472


          by shellbot ·

          In reply to The funniest thing went through my head …..

          thanks a lot James!!
          Just what i needed *not*

        • #3279470

          On the other hand…

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to aaaarrrrrrgggg

          Oracle is always a good thing to get into 🙂

          Private mail me about Turtles….

          Edit to add: I’m sorry I can’t help but add:
          Boom boom, acka,lacka,lacka boom
          Boom boom, acka,lacka, boom boom


        • #3279469

          yes it is

          by shellbot ·

          In reply to On the other hand…

          but not sure the time is right for so much on my plate, just don’t want to mess up my studying by trying to learn too much at once!
          🙂 🙂
          turtles, turtles ra ra ra
          turtles, turtles ha ha ha
          oooooooooo, I love turtles


        • #3279460


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to yes it is

          I have seen my first Christmas ads, just not the Turtles ones yet….

          …but like the taxman and death, they are coming and its inevitable.


        • #3288763


          by maecuff ·

          In reply to The funniest thing went through my head …..

          it’s old and it’s not all that sexy, but it DOES pay my bills.. 🙂

        • #3288618


          by rob mekel ·

          In reply to AS/400 – Iseries


        • #3288617

          AS/400 <- S/38

          by rob mekel ·

          In reply to AS/400 – Iseries

          It’s my background too 🙂 Nice to know Mae. That was back in the 80’s.

          Did you work on its predecessor S/38 or S/36 aswell Mae? 🙂


        • #3288582

          When I went to school

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to AS/400 <- S/38

          I worked on a S/34. Yes, I am old. I really didn’t get back into IT until 5 years out of vocational school. When I got back in, I worked on a S/38 just months before converting to an AS/400. I’ve had to do maintenance on S/36 code before and I HATE it. Too many indicators, they give me a headache. 🙂

          I still work in an AS/400 (iSeries) shop. I probably will until I retire. It’s what I know.

        • #3288558

          I got ya beat

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to AS/400 <- S/38

          In university I worked on a Honeywell CP66. At my first IT type job I used a WANG VS 100 mini – similar to an IBM 360. The WANG word processor was commonly seen as the precursor to Word Perfect, but we used the machines for developing COBOL development tools. The WANG terminals had Z80 processors. I used to do minor sys admin tasks – mounting HD packs and doing backups.


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