Job Interview today.....ugh

I have a job interview later today. I am nervous as hell.

First let me say that I am aware that my self-esteem is not at 100%. Who’s ever is? My problem is this: No matter how damn positive and confident I present myself, I have a lot of trouble “selling” myself. I have read many books about how to win job interviews, handle tough questions, and so on. While I have learned a great deal by reading these, I still have never learned how to make the employer think, “Hmmm this guys gooood. I want to give him a shot here at our company.”

The above is one of the major reasons I have been having difficulty getting a new job. All I ever can do is be honest, positive, and open minded as I possibly can. I don’t know how to show Mr. Bossman or Ms. Bosslady, that I
(a) want the job
(b) can do the job
(c) am reliable
etcetera… BEFORE they hire me. I just don’t understand the logic behind this. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. I can tell you how damn good I did at ACME Co. and how I never was late or missed any work, and how I got along with everyone at work, blah blah blah. That doesn’t mean squat. I think YODA said it best when he said: “There is no try, only do or do not”

So give me a freakin chance to DO or DO NOT. Employers are ass backwards. Would you sink 30K into a new vehicle based solely on the vehicles reputation and the salesman’s pitch, without even taking the car for a test drive? I think not! I fail to see the difference in hiring a person. Why should Mr. Bossman sink 30K @ year into me based solely on my reputation and work ethic, without giving me a “test drive?”

I know some of you are probably thinking: "The interview is the test drive. How so? How does me sitting here telling Mr Bossman how good my work ethic is, prove to Mr. Bossman that I can (example) package 5,000 products in eight hours, or even do better? It doesn’t. Attitude and incentive only go so far.

Maybe I am the one who is in error, maybe not. I know the job market hiring process has changed greatly over the last 20 years or so. I remember when a person only had to have ONE interview at a given co. intead of (now) two or three.
I remember when employers would give you a “test drive” by hiring you and seeing how you do for a week or so, before taking you on permanently.

My last job had one such boss. He was the best damn boss I ever had. He took me on for a day to see how I would perform, and how I myself, liked the job. It worked out great and I then had a job that I loved. Unfortunately, I lost that job, not of my own accord, and due to circumstances which were beyond my boss’s control. :frowning:

What is your opinion/feelings of all the above?

Well, there’s my rant for the day. Wish me luck. I’m going to do my best to win the interview, let’s pray I get the job. :stuck_out_tongue:

I totally agree with you. I always wish that somehow I could be given a chance to prove myself, that somehow they could just give me the job and then see how good a job I could do.

I also know from being part of an interviewing group that the presentation can really be deceptive–people who seemed sharp and ideal have turned out anything but.

I sympathize with you–good luck!

I’m off for an interview in about an hour and a half. it’s for a job within my company, but out of my department. I really, really need to get out of my department. Wish me luck!


I just got back from my interview…it went REALLY well, so maybe I’ll get this one!

Any interview where the last question is “Are you interested in the position?” is good in my book.

The idea about having someone work a day/week and see how they do works for some jobs, but does not for most. In many jobs it takes some time to “learn the ropes” - depending on the job it could take months or even years before you learn everything.

I think the basic idea behind the interview is to get some insight into a person’s character - not particularly easy, given the rigamorale and formality associated with job interviews. So, though you can’t necessarily show Mr. Bossperson you want and can do the job and are reliable, you can demonstrate that in the interview.

Want the job - you wouldn’t be at the interview if you didn’t, and an experienced interviewer will certainly pick up on a “I don’t care if I get the position” attitude.

Can do the job / reliable - this is where you say (as confidently as you can) “I believe I can do this job and do it well, because…” (I am hard working, I am honest, I have (fill in the blank) skills, etc.) Try to come up with specific examples from the past (work-related, preferably, or personal experience) to demonstrate these claims. e.g., I caught a co-worker stealing printer toner cartridges, and I asked him to put them back. When I saw them do it again next month I knew I needed to inform his superior… ok not the best example, but think of something else…

Good luck.

That’s a good last question, Falc… I must admit, the best last two questions I’ve recieved at the end of an interview (for my current job) were…

If we take a day to decide, you won’t go to another company, right?

followed by

How much do you want to make?


Good luck MSK, StGermain! I’m sure it’ll go wonderfully… And good job on the good interview, Falcon. :slight_smile:


I got the job! I start tomorrow night. I will be working third shift 9pm-5am doing overnight stocking at a supermarket. full time, great benefits, and fair pay. It’s not the best job, but it’s a job, and right now that’s all I really care about is earning money. I hope I can adjust to becoming one of the living-dead, working in the wee hours of the night.

I guess it really isn’t so bad. I figure if I sleep about 5-6 hours a day I will still have a lot of day left to utilize. We’ll see what happens. Wish me luck.

“Shop smart… Shop S-mart!” Bruce Campbell

Congratulations and Good Luck!

Woohoo! Great job, MSK. I hope you enjoy the work! Flirt with those cute register chicks for us, huh? :slight_smile:


I’d love to, but the store won’t be open while I am working, so there won’t be many babes there :::sigh:::

I’ve frequently been on the other side of this situation, as the interviewer rather than the candidate. Here are a few of my thoughts. They may or may not be applicable to your situation, because I don’t know what your career is, but hopefully they’ll be useful to somebody here. I mostly interview computer hardware and software engineers, but people in other engineering fields may find a very similar situation. I do technical interviews, and the candidates also talk to other people who do the non-technical interviews. This basically means I’m trying to assess (b), while I let somebody else worry about (a) and (c).

For starters, as someone else mentioned above, there’s a problem with just letting candidates “try out” for a few days. Let’s say that I want to hire you to write device drivers for some whiz-bang new card we’re making. Now, this probably isn’t something you can do off the top of your head, because you don’t know the hardware-level details of our card. It might take you weeks or months of learning register assignments and DMA buffer formats to get to that point.

If our goal is to hire an experienced person who can come onboard and make almost immediate progress, I might want to see that you already have experience writing drivers for similar hardware. But much more commonly, I’m interviewing somebody fresh out of college, and frankly I don’t care if they’ve written a device driver in their life. I’m more interested in getting people with the best overall “gears”. This year you might be writing a device driver, but next, you might be maintaining a C++ compiler, or optimizing some volumetric rendering code. I’m not necessarily looking for people who have done those exact things, but I’m looking for people who have the necessary fundamental computer skills to come up to speed on any of those things. In other words, I want good computer scientists, but not necessarily those with direct experience in what they’re being hired to do. We’ll help you learn that!

Different interviewers have different ways of assessing these things. My appoach is usually a combination of several things. First, I usually talk to candidates about their past projects, such as in school (senior project, master’s thesis, etc) or previous jobs. This is nice because it guarantees that it’ll be a subject matter they are familiar and comfortable with. I can often use this to assess a level of skill. If you claim to be, say, a whiz at prolog optimization theory, and I believe you are after talking to you about it, then I have good confidence you could also learn to write that device driver we need. On the other hand, if your greatest project was putting together a web page or something, I might be skeptical. It’s important not to try to bullshit me here. I’m likely to ask you technical questions about whatever you claim to have done, and if you try to BS me, I will know. :slight_smile:

And second, I usually have candidates solve a few simple problems. These are not designed to be “tricky” - they’re really quite easy, but they do require that you have a basic grasp of computer engineering. I generally provide as much guidance as necessary during this part - I just want to see that you have some basic problem solving skills and more or less grok computer science.

Other things to remember: (1) I’m not your adversary. I’ll do my best to put you at ease and make you feel comfortable. I’ll even help you if you appear stuck or at a loss for what to say. It helps a lot not to be defensive. But at the same time, I can tell the difference between nerves, and lack of skill. (2) I don’t care what you wear. Sweats, jeans, tux, whatever. I’m trying to assess engineering skills, not fashion sense. (3) You’re welcome to ask me things. Determining if there’s a good match is a two way street, and information should flow in both directions.

Hope that helped somewhat, if not for you then for somebody. If you have questions, I’d be happy to try to answer. Also, good luck in your interview!

peas on earth

My advice, get used to working with some wierd people.

It took me awile to appriciate some of my night crew’s sense of humor.

Congrats MagicalSilverKey on the new job! I hope its everything you hoped for…the one thing I noticed about the job I got offered on the spot that made me feel really good was that they were selling me on the company as much as I was trying to “sell” myself…actually more so, which made me feel good.

Falcon, I’m thinking all the positive thoughts I can for you–good news comes in threes or something. :slight_smile:

The manager jokingly warned me about the freaks on 3rd shit. I guess there is some truth to the rumor. I will found out tonight. I’m not too crazy about the whole idea of this job and am a bit squirrely about it. The worst part IMHO is going to “assisting customers.” Ugh! I have never liked that part. Thank God, that I only have to endure two or 3 hours a night around customers. I’m not anti-people, but I am not the most outgoing person either. I just have to chin up and roll with the punches for now. This job is just a foothold until I can get myself settled financially and move on. Got to think positive.! ugh

MSK, how many other were interviewed for the job and how many people were offered one?

Hiring a person for just a week or two isn’t worth it to the employer. All of the training and time spent on that new employee would be completely wasted.

And what about the other interviewees? Most of them are going to go into that interview with a “I must kiss his ass at all costs” mentality, so what is the interviewer supposed to do?

All of the potential employees are going to present that “willingness to work” attitude, so under what criteria does the interviewer select one employee over the other for that week-long test run?

Hope is not completely lost though. A lot of companies are hiring employees through temp agencies for a brief period of time, and if the employees are up to par with what the company expects, the company will hire them as a permanent.

That’s how I was hired at my previous tech support job. I was hired there, but was payed under the temp agency. After three months, I proved myself to the company, and was hired by them as a permanent. Luckily though, I was able to flee that hell hole.

But anyway, you got the job, so congrats.

Well, I didn’t get the job. The woman who did the hiring had many wonderful things to say about me, but in the end they went with someone with more technical experience. She did say she’d be talking to the heads of other departments to see if they had anything open. sigh Life just sucks sometimes.


Just out of curiousity, did they ask the standard interview questions?

“What are your weaknesses?”
And you give the standard BS answer “Well, sometimes I just work too damn hard. Workaholic, that’s me. I’m just an eager beaver.”

Just once, I want the opportunity to answer that question truthfully - “Weaknesses? Motivation. Sometimes I just can’t get my lazy ass outta bed in the morning. You ever fall back to sleep in the morning and dream you got up and went to work? That happens to me all the time. Close number two - punctuality.”

*[sub]All of the above is paraphrased from some comedian I saw, but whose name I can’t remember right now.[/sub]

BratMan - Nope, nothing like that. She did most of the talking, describing the job, etc. I told her I was tired of credit management (I’ve been in credit my whole adult life - 20 years) and looking for a change. She knew me from before. She also called my retired boss to get a report about me. She seemed very impressed, especially with what my old boss said.


I had a 2nd interview today for a job I’d originally interviewed for about 2 months ago. It went well - it took two hours and and I interviewed with three people, including a HR person. Now we’re negotiating salary. Wish me luck!