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Posted by SilverBlade (Member # 3541) on June 02, 2005, 21:38:
 
Now that summer is here and I only have to wait until I leave to the UK for unversity, my dad has pushed me to get a job. I probably applied to 20 different job postings on the net, newspaper and at the labour department.

I got one reply, and I am due to have an interview on Wednesday to be an office assistant! Ugh, I was hoping to get a job as an English tutor but since I do not look Western, they are ALWAYS dubious about my competence.

*thumps head against wall*

So, can I ask a few questions?
How do you impress at an interview?
How do you reject an offer?

Thats it [Razz] Looking at all these job offers, it seems like people's work really suck up their lives!
 
Posted by drunkennewfiemidget (Member # 2814) on June 03, 2005, 03:35:
 
To impress at an interview, just stay cool. Be yourself. Don't be overly goofy, but a few jokes to lighten the mood always help. Be competent, lie a little bit if you like, but no blatant lies, cus those will catch up with you. Good, firm handshake, and you'll do fine.

Rejecting a job isn't difficult either, simply say, "I'm sorry, this isn't what I'm looking for right now." or "The job sounds awesome, but I think I'm going to go with another offer I've received" -- whether or not that other offer exists or not isn't relevant -- but make sure you've made something up in your head first, because the interviewer will almost definitely ask "oh really? And where's that?" immediately afterwards.
 
Posted by Serenak (Member # 2950) on June 03, 2005, 11:41:
 
I'm with DNM on this one,

Accept graciously and decline *very* graciously.

In any event *mild* bending of reality (i.e. lying) is normal but try to avoid "digging a hole"...

Any *good* first job is worth far more than you will ever get paid in cash... Try to remember that - especially when you get sent out for coffee and doughnuts....

"Tread on no-one on the way up -in case they kick you on the way down..."
 
Posted by TMBWITW,PB (Member # 1734) on June 03, 2005, 12:05:
 
quote:
Originally posted by SilverBlade:
So, can I ask a few questions?
How do you impress at an interview?
How do you reject an offer?

The best way to impress at an interview is talk. The hardest thing interviewers have to do is get the person to actually speak up and brag about themselves. You need to be doing 75% of the talking or more. Don't be afraid to elaborate, give examples, and ask your own questions.

Rejecting an offer can be tricky. If you don't like the job they are offering you but still want another one at that company you can say that you think that you would rather use your skills in some other capacity (and keep in mind that it is often easier to hire for new openings from within the company than without--i.e., you may want to take the job anyway). If you don't want to work for that company at all the best way is to say that you've taken another offer.

Above all, when rejecting an offer, be polite and gracious. You don't want to burn any bridges. Another job that you want may come up later and you don't want them remembering you as an asshole.
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on June 03, 2005, 14:45:
 
quote:
Originally posted by SilverBlade:

How do you impress at an interview?

.... naked ..... beer ....

</wwcvd>
 
Posted by HalfVast (Member # 3187) on June 03, 2005, 16:45:
 
quote:

Quoth TFD:
quote:
Originally posted by SilverBlade:

How do you impress at an interview?
.... naked ..... beer ....

</wwcvd>

Used to be around here in the summertime the beer distributors
would hire young women to walk around the local clubs in swimwear
to promote their wares. (The beer company's not the women's)
 
Posted by TMBWITW,PB (Member # 1734) on June 03, 2005, 17:58:
 
One more piece of advice for anyone going to a job interview: relax. The person interviewing you is on your side. They want you to be the best person that could possibly have walked in the door for the job because that means they don't have to interview anyone else. They really want you to succeed. Remembering that should help you be confident when you're in that little room.

Then, of course, there are the public speaking basics. Make eye contact*, speak clearly, dress appropriately for the job for which you are applying (and maybe just a little nicer), etc.

* Erm, applies in Western countries at least. I don't know what the cultural norms are in Hong Kong
 
Posted by Evendir (Member # 3839) on June 03, 2005, 22:00:
 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
One more piece of advice for anyone going to a job interview: relax. The person interviewing you is on your side. They want you to be the best person that could possibly have walked in the door for the job because that means they don't have to interview anyone else. They really want you to succeed. Remembering that should help you be confident when you're in that little room.

You know, I've never thought about it like that before. I don't generally have any problems interviewing myself, but that's probably one of the best pieces of advice I've heard on the topic.
 
Posted by SilverBlade (Member # 3541) on June 04, 2005, 07:17:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evendir:
I don't generally have any problems interviewing myself.

They say talking to oneself is the first sign of madness.

[Razz] [Wink]
 
Posted by Eric (Member # 4026) on June 04, 2005, 07:44:
 
Yeah, I agree, you should definitely ask questions. It shows that you are interested in their company and helps you determine if the job is a good fit.

In my opinion, the purpose of a job interview is to start a conversation with the interviewer (not just q&a). Obviously they want to know if you have the skills necessary, but beyond that you have to impress upon them your personality and establish a rapport. If you can start a business relationship with them--even you don't take the job--they might know somebody else or have a future job opening that would be better for you.
 
Posted by Evendir (Member # 3839) on June 04, 2005, 21:42:
 
quote:
Originally posted by SilverBlade:
They say talking to oneself is the first sign of madness.

But I'm such interesting company!
 
Posted by Alien Investor (Member # 242) on June 10, 2005, 01:18:
 
It's been a while, but I can't resist a thread about interviewing!

I agree with much of what TMB said. The interviewer really does start out on your side, and it takes some work to dislodge them. Companies don't interview for fun -- they interview because they have more work than they can do with their current staff, and everybody you meet would like to have another good person on staff to help out.

One thing I like to do, and it works for others, is to study up on the company beforehand. Besides the company's own web site (which is going to give half the story), check a news source. How does the company make money? Are they growing or stable or shrinking? How many employees do they have? Have they made any interesting announcements lately?

It's hard to make yourself relax in an interview. So I will say: it's okay to be nervous. A good interviewer sees a lot of nervous candidates and accommodates for nervousness. If you are interviewing for a sales job, or a lawyer job, you better not be nervous, but for anything else, I think you can be a bit nervous and get the job.

Some people channel their nervousness into talking a lot and that's a good way to make nervousness work for you.

TMB said "don't stop talking" and I agree. If there's a silence in the room, your interviewer wants you to speak into it. And saying just about anything is better than clamming up. Even saying "I'm stuck here" is better than clamming up. Because if you clam up, the interviewer is going to remember that you spent a loot of time clammed up. But if you say something -- anything -- your interviewer has a chance to give you a chance to make a good impression somehow.

If you really do need to think for a minute, go ahead and say "let me think for a minute". And if there is scratch paper or a white board in the room, and you need it, then go ahead and use it -- it's there for you.

If you make a mistake, or don't know something, try to let it go. Just like a written test -- if you lose points on Question 1, you can still get a high score if you focus on Question 2 when it's time for Question 2.

When I interview somebody, I always give them a chance to ask questions of me.

After the interview is over comes the wait, the hardest part. You can send a follow-up note if you want, but at least for me, a follow-up note is not going to affect my evaluation. You might want to check with your primary contact at the company (not every single person who interviewed you) shortly after your interview, and once a week after that.

It's extremely hard, but you have to let go and let the company make their decision. When I am applying for a job, I make two plans: (1) what will I do if they make me an offer and (2) what will I do if they don't make me an offer. I don't try to figure out which plan I'm going to use, because I don't have any more control over that (after I leave the interview). I just have both plans ready while I wait.

You can keep interviewing with other companies until you have a firm offer. A firm offer includes a start date and a specific $$$ amount. Some people might hold out for a written, signed, offer, but I've never had trouble with a verbal offer followed up by a written, signed offer.

You can draw fun analogies here: interviewing == dating, firm offer == proposal, start date == marriage, you don't have to stop interviewing until you have a firm offer.

How to decline an offer -- you don't need to give any explanation, just as the company doesn't need to give you one if they turn you down. You can just say that you've decided not to accept the job. I think in the long run, being honest pays off in a better career.

The advice about jokes and personality and what to wear and so on -- if it makes you feel more comfortable and less nervous, maybe it's okay. But when I interview somebody, stuff like that does not impress me one way or the other.

Whew. Long, long post. And I am interviewing somebody tomorrow morning. [Smile]

Just one re-iteration: it's okay to be nervous.
 
Posted by SilverBlade (Member # 3541) on June 10, 2005, 08:29:
 
Thanks for all that imput guys (especially you Alien Investor).

The interview went splendidly, and I got a wonderful surprise in the last moment when I learned that it wasn't for an office assistant but for an English teacher! Its all agreed now, and I just gotta get the teaching schedule from the headmistress and I sign a contract.

I think the coolest thing is that if there are 10 to 12 students in one class, I get an assistant!! [Big Grin] How awsome is that? [crazy]
 
Posted by Snaggy (Member # 123) on June 10, 2005, 08:47:
 
That would be a 10 on the International Awesome Scale! [Big Grin]

Magnificent Valour! [thumbsup]
 
Posted by TMBWITW,PB (Member # 1734) on June 10, 2005, 08:52:
 
w00t! Mag Valour! That is insanely great. Congratulations! [Big Grin] [thumbsup]
 
Posted by drunkennewfiemidget (Member # 2814) on June 10, 2005, 10:05:
 
Congratumalations.
 
Posted by Aditu (Member # 2340) on June 10, 2005, 10:13:
 
Fabulousity!!! We have ESL students here at the library sometimes. The Oxford Picture Dictionary is useful, if you get to order some of your own materials. Also Lawrence Zwier has a series English for Everyday Activities.
 
Posted by wharton (Member # 4064) on June 10, 2005, 16:47:
 
Hey, don't knock Office Assistant as a first job, unless you don't like the office you're assisting in.

I've supported myself pretty well with consultancies for more than 15 years from the temp jobs I had in school, like receptionist, typist and clerk. Opportunities abound in an office to put yourself in the way of problems that you can solve much better than the people out getting coffee and lunch.

You make their problems go away and they remember you for it. If you have a decent persona, and keep in touch after you're gone, it won't be long before you're back! [Cool]
 
Posted by Alien Investor (Member # 242) on June 10, 2005, 22:00:
 
Yay Silver Blade ... Magnificent Valour to you!
 
Posted by SilverBlade (Member # 3541) on June 11, 2005, 07:20:
 
*gush* Thanks you guys! You all are really sweet and very supportive [Smile]

Snaggy, when I get a paycheck and a bank account set up (shouldn't be too soon since I will need one!) I am switching to Superfan [Wink]
 
Posted by hanelyp (Member # 4079) on June 12, 2005, 21:02:
 
Scott Adams depiction of director of human resources as a devil cat isn't much of a stretch in many cases. [devil wand] On top of that, they're probably ignorant of what the job really requires. Fortunately, someone who does know the job usually does the interview.
 
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on June 13, 2005, 05:30:
 
Hooray SilverBlade!!

That is great. Good luck on your journey into the world of the working.
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on June 13, 2005, 22:30:
 
Congratulations, SilverBlade, that's great news!
 
Posted by alfrin (Member # 3836) on June 15, 2005, 17:52:
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by SilverBlade:

How do you impress at an interview?

.... naked ..... beer ....

</wwcvd>

I'm under the impression that this is the solution for everything, i'm up for a promotion, maybe i'll give it a try, my boss is the same sex though...

But it has to work, the famous druid said so [Wink]

also congrats Silver!
 
Posted by GameMaster (Member # 1173) on June 15, 2005, 18:42:
 
err, about the entry on your site... Was that in american money or???
 
Posted by HalfVast (Member # 3187) on June 15, 2005, 19:01:
 
quote:
Game Master wrote:

err, about the entry on your site... Was that in american money or???

1 USD = 7.77 HKD

Congrats Silverblade! [thumbsup]
 
Posted by GameMaster (Member # 1173) on June 16, 2005, 16:44:
 
quote:
Originally posted by HalfVast:
quote:
Game Master wrote:

err, about the entry on your site... Was that in american money or???

1 USD = 7.77 HKD

Congrats Silverblade! [thumbsup]

Right, but the figgures were posed with just a "$" not a sign of which currency. When I saw how high the figgures were, I figgured "must not be USD," but either way, it's still way cool.
 
Posted by SilverBlade (Member # 3541) on June 16, 2005, 18:45:
 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
quote:
Originally posted by HalfVast:
quote:
Game Master wrote:

err, about the entry on your site... Was that in american money or???

1 USD = 7.77 HKD

Congrats Silverblade! [thumbsup]

Right, but the figgures were posed with just a "$" not a sign of which currency. When I saw how high the figgures were, I figgured "must not be USD," but either way, it's still way cool.
Eh, sorry. I forget that people from the US read my site [Razz] If it WAS in US dollars, I would be through the roof! [crazy]
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on June 16, 2005, 19:09:
 
Hey, even with the conversion to US dollars I'd love to be making what you are!!! What's the cost of living? How soon can I move to Hong Kong? :Insert one of GG's topic appropriate smilies here:
 
Posted by SilverBlade (Member # 3541) on June 16, 2005, 19:32:
 
The cost of living is quite high, but definetely not as bad as the US or the UK. The most expensive part of living is accomodation since land prices are extremely high (for instance, my dad paid 5.5 million HONG KONG dollars for this 1400sq feet house). However, once you got that sorted, food, clothing and other gadgets are very cheap as long as you know where to shop.

The funny thing is that if you come to HK for a job, and I mean all of you guys, half of you will end up being English teachers, and the other half will be computer programmers for some HK internet company. Westerners do better in the business than Chinese people here. [ohwell]
 
Posted by magefile (Member # 2918) on June 16, 2005, 21:43:
 
quote:
Originally posted by SilverBlade:
Westerners do better in the business than Chinese people here. [ohwell]

That's OK - Chinese (and Indian, even moreso) tend to do better in the business here ;-)
 
Posted by SilverBlade (Member # 3541) on June 30, 2005, 07:26:
 
GGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Turns out I didn't get the job!!!

The lady at Graceful Hands told me a few weeks ago that I would recieve the timetable for the next month of what I should do. So, I waited for a few weeks.

Today, I called her again because it is already way past a few weeks and the job was supposed to start on Monday but she just says, "Oh, hello! Yeah, we already hired someone. Bye!" and hung up.

[Mad] [Mad] [Mad] [Mad] [Mad] [Mad] [Mad]


[cry baby] This sucks. Now I gotta rush in hope of getting a job soon! They should have at least had the courtesy of telling me that they are not going to hire me so I didn't reject all the other job offers!
 
Posted by Alien Investor (Member # 242) on June 30, 2005, 07:45:
 
That does, indeed, suck. Sucky company!

(I have a dream that someday, job applicants can take their sucky experiences to a web site and rate the offending company -- so that future applicants can say "I notice you treat your applicants significantly worse than your competitors do -- I'm not going to interview with you, or if I do, I'm going to be less trusting and more hostile to you." But that's kinda remote to the suckiness at hand.)

Did I mention how much it sucks when companies do that? A fast "no" is better than weeks of "we like you, we like you, we like you ... no".
 
Posted by drunkennewfiemidget (Member # 2814) on June 30, 2005, 11:07:
 
Don't feel bad -- I received a phone call with a job offer yesterday while sitting at my desk at work 3 days before my vacation begins that I had to turn down as a result...
 


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