Post # 1
So unfortunately the company I currently work for is having some troubles and is laying off a lot of people. I was told by my boss that my job is okay for the next six months but then he doesn’t know what’s going to happen. So that is really not very comforting haha.
Anyways, I applied for a position with a company which I have always wanted to work for. It is seriously a great company, great pay, great benefits, just everything I could hope for.
I want to know, what do interviewers want to know when they say “So, tell us a bit about yourself”. Do any of you bees have any suggestions? Also what are some questions I should ask. I know the usual “Is there a benefit plans, RRSP plan, etc.” and “Can I ask you what you enjoy most about working here?”.
Do any of you have tips to make me stand out and to make them want to hire me. I already have the skills, I’m just usually pretty shy. I always think the saying “you already have the job, now just don’t lose it” as in they want to hire you until you convince them otherwise.
Any tips or advice would be very much appreciated!
Post # 2
When I ask that question, I want to know general things – like your education, your experience, what you you’ve done in the past that will qualify you for this job, generally what is it about YOU that screams HIRE ME. Don’t tell me how old you are or whether you’re married or have kids, but rather things you do in your spare time that are in anyway beneficial to me as your employer, if you’ve got anything. A good question is “what does an average day look like in this job”, “where do you see the company going in the course of 5-10 years,” etc. Listen carefully to what the interviewer talks about and try to find questions in that.
Post # 3
The best tip I have been given is at the end of the interview ask “is there any reason you think that I am not suitable for this position? Is there anything I may clarify for you?”. This has opened dialog and put me in as the first choice.
Post # 4
I would not ask about benefits in a first interview. Do your research and ask relevant questions that show why you’re interested in the company. Have a list of possible questions but don’t just stick to the list, some of the best questions come from really listening to your interviewer and coming up with followup questions on the spot based on the flow of the conversation!
Post # 5
When they say, tell me about yourself, I always discuss my degrees, certifications, and my job history. I never mention anything personal there – just my work background and what has qualified me for the job.
I like to ask what they enjoy about working with the company (one time the woman was like wow! what a good question – I feel like you’re interviewing me!), what a typical day is like. ALWAYS have a question for them when it comes to the “do you have any questions?” part of the interview. Definitely check out their website, see if anything stands out to you, and ask about that “I saw on your website that XYZ…can you tell me more?”
I also would not ask about benefit/compensation, etc. in the first interview.
Good luck!! 🙂 I am shy too and HATE interviews.
Post # 6
Don’t have much additional info to add, but I wanted to second the PP that said not to ask about benefits, pay, etc. As important as that stuff is, the interview is about you selling yourself, not the company selling the position to you. You can ask about the position, history of the company, etc. Asking about benefits is better suited for when the job is offered to you. Good luck!
Post # 7
Great, thank you ladies so much! Here’s hoping!
Post # 8
1) “Tell me a little bit about yourself” — they just want to hear you talk and get a feel for your style and your personality. They can obviously read all they want to about you on your resume. Just talk for about a minute or two about your background — your schooling, your career path thus far, what you’re looking for next, and what led you to this company.
2) Asking about benefits — don’t do that yet. Save all admin/HR-type stuff for your negotiations.
3) Be engaged and conversational — the best interviews I have conducted have been with people who ask questions throughout the interview as they naturally arise, rather than just waiting for me to say, “So, do you have any questions?” Show that you are interested in the work they are doing, and, more importantly, that you’re knowledgeable about what they do and you have ideas of your own.
Post # 9
Think of it as “resummercial” and take two minutes to describe your “story” while also selling yourself. Your education, your experience, how you ended up in your field, any major accomplishments and why you love what you do.
I always ask “What is the culture like here?” “What do you enjoy most about your job?” “What would a typical day look like in this role?” “Are there opportunities to grow?”
Remember, you’re interviewing them as well. Whenever I take on that perspective, I feel a lot more confident about the experience overall. You want to make sure you want to work there and will be a good fit!
Post # 10
stillme: Thanks for the tips. That’s definitely a good thing to keep in mind, to ask questions throughout. Also, do you think I should mention anything about my personal life? I’ve heard they like to hear things that make it seem like you’re grounded and not going anywhere. Would it be stupid of me to mention my schooling and my work and then say something about how we just bought a house?
orchardbride29: I’ve never thought of it like I’m interviewing them as well, that really sounds like it would help. Although, this company is pretty awesome so I woulldddd like to work there haha.
Also, one more question: I know you are supposed to call or email the person you interviewed with to thank them for their time, I’m going to be interviewd by three people. The person who would be my supervisor, their supervisor, and the Hr specialist. Who would I contact? And should I email or call?
Thanks so much for all the advice so far ladies! I hope I can keep it in mind when I get to the interview!
Post # 11
Well, I think telling them you just bought a house could be a good thing, but I’d read the vibe first. I wouldn’t mention it if it seems like a very formal interview — in that case I’d just stick to business! But if they are chatty and friendly with you, then I’d work it in.
As for the thank-you thing, I’d email (not call — too intrusive) all 3 people you interview with within 24 hours.
Btw I am no expert on this, but I HAVE conducted a bunch of interviews for work. I recently hired 3 people to work under me, and I’ve hired a bunch of other people in the past. I work in academia/research, but I think the same basic rules apply to just about every field.