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Author Topic: Job hunting...
SilverBlade
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Icon 1 posted June 02, 2005 21:38      Profile for SilverBlade   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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!

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http://www.silver-blade.net

Posts: 303 | From: Hong Kong | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2005 03:35      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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.

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2005 11:41      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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..."

--------------------
"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

Posts: 1936 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2005 12:05      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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.

--------------------
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
óMiss Piggy

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2005 14:45      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SilverBlade:

How do you impress at an interview?

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

</wwcvd>

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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HalfVast

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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2005 16:45      Profile for HalfVast     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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)

Posts: 795 | From: In the mitten around the abductor pollicis brevis. | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2005 17:58      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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

--------------------
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
óMiss Piggy

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Evendir
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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2005 22:00      Profile for Evendir     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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.
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SilverBlade
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2005 07:17      Profile for SilverBlade   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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]

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http://www.silver-blade.net

Posts: 303 | From: Hong Kong | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Eric
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2005 07:44      Profile for Eric     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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.

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Evendir
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2005 21:42      Profile for Evendir     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SilverBlade:
They say talking to oneself is the first sign of madness.

But I'm such interesting company!
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Alien Investor
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Icon 10 posted June 10, 2005 01:18      Profile for Alien Investor     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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.

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SilverBlade
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2005 08:29      Profile for SilverBlade   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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]

--------------------
http://www.silver-blade.net

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Snaggy

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Icon 14 posted June 10, 2005 08:47      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That would be a 10 on the International Awesome Scale! [Big Grin]

Magnificent Valour! [thumbsup]

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 4 posted June 10, 2005 08:52      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
w00t! Mag Valour! That is insanely great. Congratulations! [Big Grin] [thumbsup]

--------------------
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
óMiss Piggy

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2005 10:05      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Congratumalations.
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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2005 10:13      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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.
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wharton
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2005 16:47      Profile for wharton         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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]

--------------------
South Philly, West of Broad
where tourists die

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Alien Investor
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Icon 4 posted June 10, 2005 22:00      Profile for Alien Investor     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yay Silver Blade ... Magnificent Valour to you!

--------------------
"love without fear"

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SilverBlade
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Icon 1 posted June 11, 2005 07:20      Profile for SilverBlade   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*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]

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http://www.silver-blade.net

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hanelyp
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Icon 8 posted June 12, 2005 21:02      Profile for hanelyp     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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.
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted June 13, 2005 05:30      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hooray SilverBlade!!

That is great. Good luck on your journey into the world of the working.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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csk

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Icon 1 posted June 13, 2005 22:30      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Congratulations, SilverBlade, that's great news!

--------------------
6 weeks to go!

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alfrin
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Icon 1 posted June 15, 2005 17:52      Profile for alfrin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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!

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Art is Resistance / Resistance is Art

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted June 15, 2005 18:42      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
err, about the entry on your site... Was that in american money or???

--------------------
My Site

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