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Old 2012-09-21, 17:49   Link #41
NoemiChan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post

Note that some people are fantastic actors, so the above may not work everytime. The professional part, IMO, tend to work most of the time - hence I have little or no respect for people who act and follow professional guidelines for the sake of "being professional", they aren't finding any way to improve on themselves or the system they work on.
You have my respect.. The same thing I don't like with some of my so called professional co workers. They based their work for promotion and higher pay rather that humanitarian.....in the nursing field that is

Last edited by NoemiChan; 2012-09-21 at 18:01.
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Old 2012-09-21, 17:57   Link #42
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
You have my respect.. The same thing I don't like with some of my so called professional co workers...
I don't deserve any respect because I can be the "wayward coworker" who goes out of the line often, giving the impression that I suck at teamwork.

I do have a huge amount of grudging respect for those who silently agree and nod, they are the ones with the shrewdest minds on the field and they will stop at nothing to get something out of you. Even if I lose to them, there is alot to learn, most importantly, loss control when dealing with aggressors like them.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-09-21, 19:23   Link #43
DonQuigleone
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
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I've been doing a fair number of interviews lately. One thing I'd say to anyone on the other end from me is that you shouldn't necessarily limit yourself to the top 5% of class leavers. willx said it himself, they're all "cookie cutter". A lot of the people with less stellar grades might have more personality to them, I myself graduated towards the bottom of my class (I was feeling extremely cynical about the university process). Also, performance in University does not necessarily correlate to performance in real life. For one thing, you don't need any social skills to get a 4.0 GPA, but social skills are of incredibly high importance in real work conditions. Likewise, many people may not like University, and find it difficult to motivate themselves in such an environment, but may find it much easier in real life work environments. You have to judge each candidate individually. I would say success in extra curricular activities like a school newspaper would be more predictive, as that's an environment where the candidate has to actually work with other people.


Personally, I hate the "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" question. It's complete bullcrap. It's impossible to predict with any real certainty where you're going to be in even 1 year, let alone 5 or 10. I ask any poster here, how close are you to where you thought you'd be 5 years ago? My current response to this question is "I'd like to have gained sufficient skills to be easily employable, and so have a measure of job security". I don't care to really think further ahead then that. It pointless to rigidly plan, instead you have to be opportunistic and flexible. The winners of life don't follow any kind of detailed plan, they just play the best they can with the hand they've been given, and are always on the lookout to improve it.

As for other aspects of interviewing, as a Mech engineering Grad, I've done a fair number of tests. As for willx's post, I think those 4 areas are a good thing to test, here's how I see it:

1.Technical Knowledge: Very difficult to test, and in terms of graduates, I'd say most of what they'd know will not be directly relevant to what you're actually doing. I'd instead focus on raw intellect. The only real indicator of technical knowledge is their degree, and not necessarily their grades in it. For instance, a grad with low grades may not have the greatest knowledge of 4th year courses, but his knowledge of 1st-3rd year stuff will be usually equal to the top students, because just to graduate you need to know that stuff inside and out to complete the 4th year courses. Another thing about this part is that it's easy to lie about this stuff on a resume, and very difficult to give a comprehensive test.
2. Personally I think "Leadership" is far too much of a cliché. It's just as important that the person be a good "follower". And by follower I don't mean mindless yesman, I mean someone who works well and harmoniously with fellow teammates, isn't a narcissist, and is capable of standing up to his superiors when necessary (has a bit of backbone). Being a leader is comparatively easy. As for achievement, I think this is a good idea, but I wouldn't necessarily focus on prizes and awards. Other things are just as important. Like the candidate was promoted to junior manager at his part time job, or he started his own small business at school, he played in a band.
3. Social fit: The only real way to assess this is in the interview itself. See what the person is like. Talk to them!
4. Raw Intellect: I think this area is probably one of the easier ones to assess. There's an approach that's been taken by several of the companies I've interviewed for that I think is a good one. They basically take some materials related to the job, that the candidate could not possible have any prior knowledge of, and ask them to solve problems based on it. There are several ways to go about doing this, depending on the nature of the job:
a) The problem is simple enough, but to get anywhere the candidate will need to be able to intelligently ask questions to figure it out. In this case, give the candidate the problem, ask them to solve it, and don't say anything else, don't mention that they are allowed to ask questions. Then observe how the candidate behaves. If they panic, or give up, probably not a good candidate. If the candidate approaches it cooly, and asks intelligent questions, you're on the right track. Repeat with several other problem sheets with similar underlying principals, and see how quickly they learn how to do it.
b) For more qualitative problems, present them with real material from something your company has worked on, and ask them to draw up a brief outlining the main problems in the case, and the best way they believe the problems can be solved. Don't allow them to ask questions, and isolate them in a room for several hours(with a specific time limit), with just a word processor and the materials for company. The case in question should be way beyond their technical knowledge, but you can see how much they're able to understand of it without outside interference.
c) Group exercise, it's easy for a candidate to say they work well in a group, but a lot of people are actually very poor at this. Put several candidates in a room together and observe how well they're able to work together. If you can, observe them secretly...

Personally, I quite like going to interviews, it's the writing process that I find soul destroying. Sending off 40 CVs/resumes only to find that none of them give you the time of day is pretty depressing. I think I need to move somewhere with brighter prospects for Mechanical Engineers... The only jobs around here at the moment are all IT related. Dublin isn't exactly filled with factories...
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Old 2012-09-21, 22:21   Link #44
SaintessHeart
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I just went to an interviewer. The job has got fantastic opportunities to learn (especially hands-on experience on integrated network-POS, which is a rare service provided here due to ridiculous amounts of international patent and copyright protections), but the interviewer is coercing me to take a low and long term wage ($1800/mth for 2 years, no AWS and bonus) with a 5.5D workweek. He plays a personal and emotional game with me, so I decided to play a soft-honesty with acknowledgement of superiority (as a sign of respect) image to him.

He is offering me a second interview and I am having second thoughts. It conflicts with my personal goal of going back to school and finish my degree by 26 years old because it is an advisory role (YES, tech advisors get paid THAT LOW here), and the pay is so low over such a long contract period that it makes me want to show the finger.

I am examining my options here, I have an even lower paying job offer with the government and a similar job which is around where I live. This is why I hate the government's treatment of SMEs - the lack of funding and development rights means their contracts are so cheap and unregulated that they have problems feeding their staff.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-09-21, 22:45   Link #45
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I just went to an interviewer. The job has got fantastic opportunities to learn (especially hands-on experience on integrated network-POS, which is a rare service provided here due to ridiculous amounts of international patent and copyright protections), but the interviewer is coercing me to take a low and long term wage ($1800/mth for 2 years, no AWS and bonus) with a 5.5D workweek. He plays a personal and emotional game with me, so I decided to play a soft-honesty with acknowledgement of superiority (as a sign of respect) image to him.

He is offering me a second interview and I am having second thoughts. It conflicts with my personal goal of going back to school and finish my degree by 26 years old because it is an advisory role (YES, tech advisors get paid THAT LOW here), and the pay is so low over such a long contract period that it makes me want to show the finger.
Personally, I'd be happy having any job. It's a lot easier to get another job when you already have one. Of course, you're already working as a contractor, so you have to weigh the position against what you already have.

Still, don't, uh, look a job offer in the mouth. I must have sent out at least 200 applications already, and I'm sill unemployed (though getting interviews). Ireland sucks, I'd kill to be earning 1800 a month.
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Old 2012-09-22, 05:25   Link #46
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Personally, I'd be happy having any job. It's a lot easier to get another job when you already have one. Of course, you're already working as a contractor, so you have to weigh the position against what you already have.

Still, don't, uh, look a job offer in the mouth. I must have sent out at least 200 applications already, and I'm sill unemployed (though getting interviews). Ireland sucks, I'd kill to be earning 1800 a month.
I am not a huge spender and $1800 is enough for me for now. The problem is the 2 year contract and 5.5D workweek; this means I would have less time to trade at night and I can't go back to school. And with the rate of inflation, $1.8k isn't going to cut it beyond next year, at 5.2% since last year I need my income to be at least $2.1k by mid-2013, assuming an increase in expenditure for at least 3 people in my family excluding my sister.

My contract just ended and I am treating this like another contract, basically, serve and FO. The enjoyable prospects are that I get to deal with Point of Sale systems from scratch, and I get funded to experiment with servers - so it is basically what I like vs what I can earn.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-09-22, 05:52   Link #47
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I am not a huge spender and $1800 is enough for me for now. The problem is the 2 year contract and 5.5D workweek; this means I would have less time to trade at night and I can't go back to school. And with the rate of inflation, $1.8k isn't going to cut it beyond next year, at 5.2% since last year I need my income to be at least $2.1k by mid-2013, assuming an increase in expenditure for at least 3 people in my family excluding my sister.
A good point. On the flip side, once you're in the job, you might be able to get yourself a raise. Perhaps you could persuade the employer to give you a performance evaluation after 6 months- 1 year, at which point if you're working well you can get a raise. Tell him what you just said here, that the money is okay right now, but you're not sure if it'll be enough in a year.

Asking right out for more money probably won't get you anywhere (though if the job is in the bag, it can't really hurt), but asking for a raise contingent on performance shows to them that you're confident your performance will be worth the extra pay.

Of course, the best way to deal with all this would be to get another job offer and get the two competing against one another. That's obviously quite difficult...
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Old 2012-09-22, 06:02   Link #48
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Of course, the best way to deal with all this would be to get another job offer and get the two competing against one another. That's obviously quite difficult...
Maybe I should take up the government job (which has the least pay at $1600), looks pretty on the resume while I take my CCNA.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-09-22, 06:14   Link #49
Daniel E.
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Because we already have several threads about this, I decided to merge this new topic with a pretty similar one from a while back.

Always use the search fuction before creating new threads folks.
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Old 2012-09-23, 01:23   Link #50
willx
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Originally Posted by Daniel E. View Post
Because we already have several threads about this, I decided to merge this new topic with a pretty similar one from a while back.

Always use the search fuction before creating new threads folks.
Hey Daniel, sorry, I searched for "interviews" and nothing came up. Didn't think of searching more broad like job hunting.

So.. I just finished my marathon of interviews, it was completely exhausting and draining.. Although each candidate only had 6 interviews this time, not 8-10. I had to interview 8 people and then get in the room with my colleagues and debated them.

Including first round applicants, there were probably 200+ applicants applying for 4 positions.. This final round was down to 16 competing for those 4 slots.. I feel absolutely exhausted, it's inhumane.. Both to them and me!

So catching up here:
I don't ask the 5-year plan question, especially for temporary positions, but for entry-level career track interviews, it definitely comes up often. The best answer for those is:
1) admit that realistically life is full of uncertainties, but you have thought about it
2) talk about what the job will offer you with regards to experiences and career development
3) if the conversation is casual, you can always crack a joke here about a promotion, or "Sitting in your seat would be nice"
4) reiterate how serious you are about your interest in the position and take it as another opportunity to sell yourself
5) I've seen one gutsy guy go as far as, during the final "do you have any questions for me?" sequence, turn it around and say "interviews go both ways, so where can this firm take me in 5 years?"

Last edited by willx; 2012-09-23 at 09:00.
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Old 2012-09-23, 08:47   Link #51
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by willx View Post
5) I've seen one gutsy guy go as far as, during the final "do you have any questions for me?" sequence, turn it around and say "interviews go both ways, so where can this firm take me in 5 years?"
This guy had balls! I might consider stealing that...
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Old 2012-09-23, 09:17   Link #52
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
This guy had balls! I might consider stealing that...
You better have conviction when you say that. The older interviewers know how to match tones to see if you actually meant it.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-09-23, 15:30   Link #53
thankonomics
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Not really funny but I guess a little strange. Straight out of graduation, I applied to a video game studio. My career service adviser from school told me to email her my info after I applied to this specific game studio. Several days later I get a call from another game studio that I didn't apply to, got an interview done over the phone and landed the job. Essentially I applied to one game studio only to land a job in another studio that I didn't apply to ._.
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Old 2012-09-24, 04:01   Link #54
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thankonomics View Post
Not really funny but I guess a little strange. Straight out of graduation, I applied to a video game studio. My career service adviser from school told me to email her my info after I applied to this specific game studio. Several days later I get a call from another game studio that I didn't apply to, got an interview done over the phone and landed the job. Essentially I applied to one game studio only to land a job in another studio that I didn't apply to ._.
But thats good or is it not? It feels like there is uneasyness in your last sentence.
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Old 2012-09-24, 18:31   Link #55
thankonomics
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But thats good or is it not? It feels like there is uneasyness in your last sentence.
Oh no, it's good! I mean I got my foot in the industry, so that's definitely a good thing. It was just a little odd that I ended up at a studio I didn't apply to XD But I guess you can call it a stroke of luck. A bunch of people from my graduating batch have yet to get their foot in the industry :/
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Old 2012-09-24, 18:51   Link #56
Alchemist007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
I am not a huge spender and $1800 is enough for me for now. The problem is the 2 year contract and 5.5D workweek; this means I would have less time to trade at night and I can't go back to school. And with the rate of inflation, $1.8k isn't going to cut it beyond next year, at 5.2% since last year I need my income to be at least $2.1k by mid-2013, assuming an increase in expenditure for at least 3 people in my family excluding my sister.

My contract just ended and I am treating this like another contract, basically, serve and FO. The enjoyable prospects are that I get to deal with Point of Sale systems from scratch, and I get funded to experiment with servers - so it is basically what I like vs what I can earn.
Damn, that only a bit above what I'm making. I'm doing it for the experience since I had relatively jack. Fortunately it's not a contract but I've come to realize that I fucking hate 40 hr work weeks. Trying to stay in shape by jogging or biking after work means I'm tired as hell at the end of the day. My only solace is I'm saving at least most of my money (stupid anime and tech thingies making me buy them) and getting some experience. Also going to my old college's anime club on fridays is basically a godsend, as is Saturday's Toonami.

No idea where I see myself in 5 years, hopefully well into a good job. Maybe once I learn enough Japanese, I could try something in that regard.
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Old 2013-02-25, 02:30   Link #57
SaintessHeart
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Okay, I am preparing for an interview tomorrow morning, and I just realised that I have always flunked in one question, namely "Tell me about yourself".

Can anyone offer tips on this, for someone who is a "drifter" and works from contract to contract, ad-hoc to ad-hoc with absolutely no way to take any reference letters?
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2013-02-25, 03:20   Link #58
NoemiChan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Okay, I am preparing for an interview tomorrow morning, and I just realised that I have always flunked in one question, namely "Tell me about yourself".
Just tell the truth.... I always tells the truth with a big smile. Hey, I'm serious! I never failed an interview.

> Tell them what you're good at that unique in you that aren't found in the others, of course work related.
> Tell them you could work over time.

Last edited by NoemiChan; 2013-02-25 at 04:58.
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Old 2013-02-25, 03:37   Link #59
Chaos2Frozen
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You can always reword to say that you have experiences in many lines of work.

If its appropriate, toss in your keen interest in world politics
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Old 2013-02-25, 04:40   Link #60
DonQuigleone
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Okay, I am preparing for an interview tomorrow morning, and I just realised that I have always flunked in one question, namely "Tell me about yourself".

Can anyone offer tips on this, for someone who is a "drifter" and works from contract to contract, ad-hoc to ad-hoc with absolutely no way to take any reference letters?
The others have given you bad advice here. This is an opportunity to sell yourself. Just sum up all your strengths, and give a short summary of your life up to this point (accentuate the positive!).

This is actually a very good question to be asked, as you can pretty much say whatever you want. Just repeat the points you highlighted in your cover letter/CV.

It goes without saying that you should avoid saying anything negative (about yourself, or others).

Don't bother to talk about non-work related stuff. Why would they be interested?

As for your abundance of contract work, just say something along the lines of "I have a lot of experience of working short term contracts, but I'm hoping to be able secure a more long term 'permanent' contract", if you're afraid your potential employer won't like it (then again, contract work is better then no work, shows you're flexible and willing to work, even imperfect arrangements...).
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