Interview Tips – Help my husband land this job!

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
2551 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

My husband just landed a new job after his company annouced a layoff and it only took him two weeks to get two new offers, so I think he’s pretty good at interviewing! His answers to the above would be..

1. Suit and tie. (I work in research so I get that sometimes that’s not necessary, but it never hurts.)

2. This really depends on what he’s doing – when I was interviewing for my graduate assistantship, I asked about responsibilities, the setup of the lab (how many other students/mentors/etc), potential recruiting issues, the types of measures they use, etc. Usually, researchers love to talk about themselves, so asking questions about them and their research is a good bet 🙂

3. I’m not sure about “asking” for the job, but expressing clear interest and desire for the job is good, because often candidates don’t out-and-out say “I want this”. An addition to that is that my DH has started asking as his last question “Is there anything about me that you are concerned about/have questions about so that I can address it?” and it’s gotten a good response from interviewers who then gave him a chance to expand more on things they were iffy on or needed clarification for.

4. My husband was open about the fact that he was laid off due to a site change for his job (i.e, the company is international and is sending his job off to Europe), and that that’s why he was searching for a new job. It wasn’t a huge point to his new bosses, but does show that he’s not up and leaving for no/a bad reason or got fired.

5. Idk what the standard is, but my MIL is in HR and she says questions about salary and benefits are for when they actually make an offer, not the interview.

6. No help here!

Good luck to your husband!

 

Post # 4
Member
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I highly recommend the book “Knock ’em Dead” by Martin Yate. It just landed me a job offer. In it, he basically tells you everything you asked above. It has advice from actual hiring managers,  the typical questions and how you should answer them, questions you shou,d ask THEM at the interview to impress them (I can attest to this one personally)… How to negotiate once offered the position, how to follow up, etc. etc. 

 

I realize I probably sound like I have a stake in this book (I don’t!) lol, but seriously, it changed how I interview, and it has tons of really insightful things. It answered everything you just put up there. In a nutshell, he should wear a suit and tie. Have him re-read the job posting before the interview, and after summarizing what it says they are looking for, tailor his description of himself (The famous “tell me about yourself” question they ask) to match the job description. Also, keep personal stuff out of the interview entirely. At the end of the interview, he can say something like “We’ll I really think I would be a great fit for this position becuase of X, Y, Z. I really look forward to hearing from you soon. Then a day or two later, send a follow up thank you email.

 

other random things – do NOT ask about pay unless they ask him what his salary needs aThe even then, he can play for time by asking in return “what is the typical salary range for this position”… basically do not bring up compensation during the interview. He will have much for bargaining power regarding salary after an offer is extended.

 

Hope some of this helps.

 

ETA: prepare, prepare, and prepare more. Have him go in knowing about the values and I history of the company. The easier he can rattle off his prepared answers to the usual/basic questions, the calmer he will feel and the tougher/surprise questions won’t throw him off as much.

 

Post # 5
Member
187 posts
Blushing bee

I have been lurking here for a while (mostly in the engagement/waiting section) but I felt a need to reply to this. In full disclosure, I am a guy. I take a lot of pride in my ability to inteview, I went to a big name engineering school where we took multiple semesters with of classes to prep for interviews.

 

1. What should he wear?

 

Definitely a suit and tie (and one that fits him well), I can’t imagine interviewing in anything else. Less formal attire may also be appropriate but it is a sure bet that a Suit and Tie will always be appropriate unless the company expressly states otherwise. Blue, Gray or Charcoal are Ideal, white shirt, solid or conservative pattern tie.

 

2. What are some good questions for him to ask about the company? Are there any “winning” questions?

 

One question that often goes over well is asking if the company has any programs to further his education or professional development. If he knows the company has something like tuition reimbursement for future schooling then have him ask if a lot of employees take advantage of the program.

 

3. I’ve heard from more than one source that he should “ask for the job” at the end of the interview. Thoughts?

 

I have never heard this and really don’t like the idea of asking for the job. I have always been of the opinion that interviews are mutual, their are a lot of companies hiring but far fewer very good jobs, on the other side there are a lot of people looking for jobs but far fewer cantidates. Rather than asking for the job, I make it a point to state that I enjoyed the interview and really like the company (point out specifics) I also like to end with “I look forward to the oppotunity to work with you in the future.” I also highly reccomend sending a thank you card to the hiring manager, thanking them for their time and reiterating that you enjoyed your time speaking to them (and seeing the company/lab if they give a tour).

 

4. He was actually laid off from his last job due to budget cuts. Should he mention this if asked why he’s looking for a new job?

 

Yes, always be honest, but be sure not to say anything negative. In the tech world layoffs happen. However don’t bring it up unless they ask.

 

5. Is there anything he should refrain from mentioning during the interview (like salary, for example)?

 

Salary is always best left for the offer stage, specifics about benefits (insurance, 401k etc) should be saved for later as welll. Company specific benefits, like Education assistance, or programs they mentioned on their website can and often should be brought up, it shows you did your research into the company and it shows what you like about the company. If you mention that you really like that the company will help you with tuition if you go back to school it often gets the manager into a position where they are selling the company to you as much as you are selling your self to them.

 

6. For HR Bees – what makes certain candidates stand out, apart from their experience.

 

I am not in HR but I have interviewed cantidates for technical positions. Confidence is huge, especially if it ends up being a group interview. Look the person asking questions in the eye. If he doesn’t know something, especially if there is a technical interview involved he should simply say “I don’t know” If it was part of a hypothetical then “I don’t know, I would have to look it up” is a great answer. In technical interviews I often ask more and more difficult questions until the person doesn’t know, for two reasons, first, to see what the do know, and second, to see how they handle it. As cliche as it sounds, first impressions make all the difference, a new haircut, pressed suit, firm handshake, eye contact and a smile will go a long way towards having the interviewer on his side.

 

If you can google the company and find out more about the interview process, GlassDoor.com is a good resource. Big companies often have a set interview process, some ask off the wall questions, like How would your life be different if you were a … (duck, rabbit, dog, etc), many tech companies use the STAR method, they as a question like give me an example of a time when you resolved a conflict within a team, then they are looking for a response in a specific format (Situation, Task, Action, Response). If you can provide the company name or share what you know about the process I’d be happy to help with specifics.

EDIT: I almost forgot the most important thing, make sure he is ready with his 60 second sell (elevator pitch, whatever you want to call it) odds are right at the beginning of the interview they will ask something very open ended like tell us about your self. He should have a 30-60 second pitch ready, include where he went to school, where he has worked in the past, what he is looking for in a job today, and where he sees himself going. This shouldn’t include what he does on the side, where he grew up, or how much he loves his future wife. Those things might come up later but the 60 second sell needs to be the pitch that makes the impact. You really want to leave them thinking, wow this guy is exactly who we are looking for.

Post # 7
Member
3635 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@LadyJDAG:  

To wear:  Suit and tie, for sure.  Overdressed is way better than underdressed.  Even if they say “Wow, you’re overdressed!”  You can just brush it off with “Well, they say dress for the job you want!”

To ask:  Definitely ask the questions that you want to know – about the company culture, etc.  But make it clear that you want to work for them.  “How do I help you get a good review?” 

About getting laid off: You can mention it, but don’t dwell on it.  “I had this position, I made these great accomplishments, then I was laid off due to budget cuts and now I’m looking for somewhere else to bring my talents.”

Asking for the job: Let them know you want it.  I only hire people who want a job.  When I can tell you’re there just to feel me out or because you think you might be fired or laid off from your current job – no thanks.  Tell them you’re excited about the opportunity and what you can do there.

To not ask:  Anything about pay/benefits/etc.  Make them want you and then take it up with HR after they make an offer.

Post # 10
Member
3077 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

@LadyJDAG:  yikes, sounds like things are a little rough right now. I’d pull up the email if I was you and make sure everything is done on it. He’s probably left by now so I’m sure it’s too late now though. Just keep fingers crossed! I’m sure it’ll go well!

Good luck to him!

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