*I GOT THE JOBBBBB!!!!!!*Help/tips on not to bomb an interview?

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sinistral55
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I'm very rusty and haven't done any interviews in a long time, plus I have been so discouraged that I'd stopped job hunting altogether. I'm also very nervous, introverted, and way more articulate in print.

Also, I don't have anyone to practice interviewing with. I don't want to come across as desperate. Any advice would be much appreciated!!!


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Last edited by sinistral55; 03-28-2013 at 10:34 AM.
I always have two goals going into an interview: 1) sell myself subtly in every answer, and 2) show the hiring person how I can make their lives easier. I try to accomplish #1 by working in stories from my academic or work experience in every answer, and I do #2 by trying to show the interviewer problems that I've dealt with successfully, so that they know that I can do that for them as well. I find that keeping those two goals in mind can change an ok answer to one that works well.

I also prepare a list of questions to ask at the end that will show I've done my research about the position and I'm ready to move past what I can find out about the job from the internet and really get down to it. I ask about the work environment, what has made people in a comparable position successful, etc, rather than questions about what the company/group/whatever does since that info is usually readily available online.

I'm a law student, by the way, so I spend a lot of my time trying to work on my interviewing skills by going to workshops, mock interviewing sessions, etc, if that gives me any credibility

ETA: it also helps me as far as confidence goes that with the things I apply for, I only get an interview if my resume makes it past some screening. So I remind myself that they are already interested in me, and they already feel like I could fit in this position. It's just my job to give them more reasons to think that way.
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Dress conservatively, unless you are going for a wildly creative position.
Smile!
Bring extra copies of your resume.
Thank the interviewer(s) at the end. Tell them you are really interested in the position! Many people neglect to do this.
Send a snail mail note thanking them again. Some people suggest email instead, but my current boss mentioned that he was impressed that I took the time to write a real note. You can do both - a short email directly afterward, again expressing interest and mentioning one or two reasons why the job would be a great fit, and again in a regular mail note. Thank the interviewer for the informative/helpful/pleasant (fill in an adjective) interview and again mention one or two of your strengths and why you would be a good fit for the company.
It's OK to be anxious and nervous - shows that you want the position. Almost everyone is anxious during an interview - they expect that.

Best of luck, sweetie! I'm introverted and nervous also so I understand how tough it is. Please let us know how it goes. We are rooting for you!
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I think you should study the job description and company information, and create at least three bullet points in your mind that clearly show how your previous work experience is relevent to and needed in the job you're interviewing for. Memorize those bullet points. And try to work at least one into almost every answer.

Best wishes!
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

I'd suggest practicing some answers, out loud, to yourself. You don't need another person there. Just say the words out loud. I'd prepare how to answer:

"Tell me about yourself"
"Why are you interested in this position"
"What are your strengths" (and give examples)
"What are your weaknesses" (and give examples)

And also prepare a few key points you want to make sure you mention.


With this info all prepared, you're pretty much set to answer anything they ask, however they ask it. Just remember to practice your answers OUT LOUD. Also, make sure you have a list of questions for them prepared. It's the worst if they ask you if you have any questions, and you have nothing to say!
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"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
Piggybacking on Whome?'s post...
When given really open-ended questions (like "tell me about yourself"), don't ramble and veer off into totally unrelated stuff. Remember the goal is to sell yourself for the job. Tell them where you went to school, what you studied, a couple of the most relevent positions you held, your key accomplishments were there, and your overall career goals...to the extent that they sync w/ the company you're interviewing with.

Think hard about your strengths. They can score the job for you.
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3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

All the points above are excellent tips, and I would like to add that many times you can get a feel for what kind of questions they will ask you be re-reading the job description. Does the job description say you will be required to make decisions regarding rapidly changing priorities? Prepare an example of when you have done this in the past.

Also, fix your hair and make-up, wear a suit (depending on what you're interviewing for), and smile. Your answers matter, but the hiring manager is also looking for someone s/he would like to work with. Rapport can help get you and edge. Good luck!
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Your description of yourself sounds like me.

One thing that I like to remind myself is that it is okay to take a couple of seconds to think when they ask a question. It is better to have 10 seconds of silence followed by a competent answer, than to launch right into an answer without thinking and ramble on.

Also, on a related note, keep answers relatively concise. I actively avoid getting into situations where in the back of my head I'm saying "why am I still talking?"

My last thing is to remember to get business cards from your interviewers. They will not always offer them, and if you forget to ask, you will have no way to send a thank you note. I have had this happen, and it feels terrible.

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Oh, have you ever heard of the STAR interview method? A lot of companies interview this way now, so it might be good to look up some of the types of questions that are generally asked.

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I would also have some focus on answering questions that you might have. You need to make sure, as much as you can in an interview, to find out if you really want to work with this company. I worked really hard to get a position one time that I very quickly hated. If I had just asked to speak to some of the people that I would be working with directly, I would never have taken the position.

I think when you have questions to ask about the actual position it makes you seem centered, intelligent, confident (definitely not desperate.) When I used to interview people and they would request to ask some questions, eight out of ten people ask about salary increases, personal time off and other benefits. My best hire ever wanted to see where she would be working and with whom she would be interacting the most. She was the bomb. I offered her the job an hour later after I checked her references.

If I was interviewing you and you said something like, I'm a little nervous. I don't interview often but this position is of real interest to me, then I would probably see you more as a person. Not too many people like to interview. Good Luck!
sinistral55
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I would also have some focus on answering questions that you might have. You need to make sure, as much as you can in an interview, to find out if you really want to work with this company. I worked really hard to get a position one time that I very quickly hated. If I had just asked to speak to some of the people that I would be working with directly, I would never have taken the position.

I think when you have questions to ask about the actual position it makes you seem centered, intelligent, confident (definitely not desperate.) When I used to interview people and they would request to ask some questions, eight out of ten people ask about salary increases, personal time off and other benefits. My best hire ever wanted to see where she would be working and with whom she would be interacting the most. She was the bomb. I offered her the job an hour later after I checked her references.

If I was interviewing you and you said something like, I'm a little nervous. I don't interview often but this position is of real interest to me, then I would probably see you more as a person. Not too many people like to interview. Good Luck!
Originally Posted by macluan
Yes, I agree! This is the one thing that I'm sure about re: this position--it's one of THE best places I have ever worked for. Company-wide, not just my present position. Like, if I can get on permanently here, I am NOT leaving anytime soon.

In past interviews I always made a point to have a list of prepared questions to ask the interviewers, which seemed to make a positive impression and I believe helped me land some of my past jobs.

But these past few months.....sigh....if I even GET an interview, it seems like all the things that worked for me in the past just don't work anymore.

I'm trying to be confident because of my actually having GOTTEN an interview this time---when I applied for positions here in the past, I could never even get one.

Trying really, really hard to prepare. I'm really pissed because my suit won't be cleaned in time for the interview. I couldn't get into the dry cleaners earlier because I had to attend an event at my daughter's school.

So I went out today and bought a new blazer to match my good black pants. I'm about to go look up the STAR interview info now, and save some stuff to my laptop so I can prepare questions and stuff today and tomorrow.

Last edited by sinistral55; 03-23-2013 at 03:15 PM.
sinistral55
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Here is the position description, if it helps any:

POSITION SUMMARY

SURGICAL SERVICES BILLER

Collects billing data and accurately enter billing information. Enter patient information into ESI OR Journal accurately for maintenance of records.

Job Requirements

1. Work requires a minimum of 6 months data entry experience.

2. Work requires up to three months training to learn the billing process.

3. Work requires experience analyzing and solving problems, and prioritizing work.

4. Work requires experience performing basic mathematical calculations & communicating effectively at a level generally acquired through completion of a high school education or GED equivalent. Basic computer spreadsheet skills required.

5. Work requires a valid driver’s license issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia with positive driver’s points.


I'm really interested in #2 because I feel like it would really benefit me. All my experience so far has been almost, but short of, actually BILLING. I would really welcome learning something like this.

Also, I am a temp who is assigned to this company. I will have worked for this temp agency--at a VERY, VERY LOW rate of pay, I might add--for 2 years soon.

A friend encouraged me to apply for these positions (2 were open; one has been filled). I get daily emails of open positions for this company, and had initially bypassed these two, because I didn't realize that I might be qualified for anything re: billing. Then she told me what the work entailed, and I went ahead and applied. I was NOT expecting any response whatsoever.

On the application where it asks who referred the applicant to this position, I made sure to put her name. I love (love, LOVE) my present assignment but the department I'm in is just so SLOW in opening new positions to apply for.

I NEED THIS JOB SO BAD!!!!!!!! HIRE ME PLEEEEEEEEEASE

Last edited by sinistral55; 03-23-2013 at 03:36 PM.
If you get the opportunity, try to work in how committed and enthusiastic you are about this company. And try to show how your familiarity makes you a good choice.
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Sinistral--good luck tomorrow!! You can do it.

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sinistral55
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Thank you everyone!!! We had a snow day here but I will be there come hell or high water. Luckily the roads dont seem bad.

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Sinistral - please let us know how it went!
2/c and some 3A. Modified CG.
Protein sensitive
Highly porous. Color over grey.
Best 1st day method: Super Soaker
Conditioners: Curl Junkie Beauticurls Strengthening Conditioner,
Deep condish: Curl Junkie Curl Rehab
Stylers: Mix Curls in a Bottle into everything for shine. Terrible pj
Sometimes try roller sets - classic glamor but I prefer my curls.
Every day is a gift
Sending one up for you!
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sinistral55
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THANK YOU again everyone for the encouragement!!!

I feel like my face was frozen in a nervously weird position, but the two ladies were SO nice and I think it went well overall.

I ended up being way OVERPREPARED because nobody asked me my strengths and weaknesses and to name a time when I encountered a great setback at work and how I overcame it...

I don't know if she asked my current director about me beforehand, but she didn't even have my resume in view. She seemed so familiar with me and my resume already. They were a lot more relaxed and laid-back than I was. I definitely let them know up front how nervous I was.

I got complimented twice on how prepared I was. She said they had a couple more interviews but that she's trying to get a decision out by the end of this week.

Thanks again to everybody....it really means a lot.



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Sounds like it went really well!

Crossing my fingers for you.

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sinistral55
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One question, though.

Their dept is mere steps from mine. Should I send a thank you note via interoffice mail? Send it via regular mail i.e. post office?

I really need to burn off this nervous energy.....arrghhh

I know an email is not especially recommended. I kinda dont want to do an email, anyway

I just came back down the hall after coming back from lunch and she wished me a good afternoon....

I just hope I didn't come across as a total weirdo.

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Last edited by sinistral55; 03-25-2013 at 01:21 PM.

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