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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Port Byron, IL
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Interviewing tips?

Hi folks,

I know this is an odd place to ask this type of questions but it seems to me that musicians generally think in similar ways. At least from my experiences.

Here's my dilemma.

I've been working part time since December and have been interviewing since I've stepped down to part time. I stepped down to part time so I can finish my schooling which should be December of this year. However, I feel like I have had the worse luck in history when it comes to interviewing. I've kept steady jobs, good track record with all my jobs, most of them I left on my own terms.

Now, I"m getting to that point in life where I need to start looking for a career rather than a "job". In my observations it seems that aren't many careers anymore. It's mostly just jobs.

The whole main point of this thread is to see if I can acquire any advice or tips from you fine folks in regards to interviewing.

I am interviewing soon for a sales job at a local cell phone store. It's sales but not sales due to the fact my salary is a base pay rather than commission.

I feel that potential job could have the potential to turn into a career. I've had several years of experience in similar roles. However, in most of my interviews they say I interview well but lack the qualifications or experience.

So, I would greatly appreciate any advice that you could give me.

Thank you,

Matt S

PS

I also have a dilemma as well. I will be flying to Hong Kong for 2 1/2 weeks in July to visit friends. Is there a good way to announce this to your new potential employer?

Last edited by Guitarmattms; 02-15-2015 at 11:33 PM. Reason: Additonal information
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 08:16 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Re: Interviewing tips?

I work for a large employer (hospital) and I've seen a lot of people take a "job" just to get their foot in the door. There are usually entry level jobs that don't require any experience. Once you are "inside" a larger organization, moving up from within is not near as difficult... it is much easier to hire from within, so preference is given to current employess. If you are a friendly kind of person and do good work it makes it even easier. In addition, most larger employers will help pay for furthering education. Where I work they will pay 75% of tuition costs as long as it is job related... making it even easier to move up. Also, a larger employer will typically have better benefits like insurance and retirement.

Just thought I'd mention it... I've seen entry level people work their way up very high into upper management/administrator positions over the years.

BTW - I don't know if I would be TOO up front about the trip to Hong Kong during the interview process, it would depend on the job. Not to be a jerk, but it definitely may sway them if it comes down to a decicision between you and another person.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 02:54 PM
dex
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: UK
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Re: Interviewing tips?

I'm going to hijack this thread a little....... this is the thing.
Now I have a somewhat decent job.... a career really, I have been an analyst in the financial sector for over 16 years and I'm somewhat happy at my current job as it's easy and the people are nice but then my company is going through some restructuring and even though my job is secure I started looking at jobs online.

Here's the question. This job listing sort of jumped out and I was just about to apply when I saw that in the cover letter I am supposed to answer a question.
The question in question is:
How long would it take a team of 15 to wash all the windows of all residential dwellings in Manchester?

At first I thought that it was a trick question, like the ones Google are famous for asking

http://www.businessinsider.com/answe...s-2012-11?op=1

but the more I think about it the more I think they actually want the applicants to use available census data, to make some assumptions about the number of windows per property and about number of people per household (although that may be in the census data) and then actually calculate an answer.
Can you guys let me know what you think, does that sound like a trick question or do you think they are actually after a well thought out and well reasoned answer?
Thanks.

Last edited by dex; 03-02-2015 at 03:03 PM. Reason: spelling....
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 03:17 PM
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Re: Interviewing tips?

Well the question if worded as you have written it is a little vague.

A team of 15 what? 15 people, 15 kids, 15 adults, 15 professional window washers?

Or if it is not meant to be vague then they would probably just want to know how you would go about solving the problem. I.e. estimating the number of windows in a single house...
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 03:50 PM
dex
 
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Location: UK
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Re: Interviewing tips?

It is 15 people but it does not say if these are professional window cleaners or if they have pressure washers so I guess they want the applicants to assume things and to be able to explain why.
I was just wondering if it's one of those trick questions like the "How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Chicago?" where the answer is $10 per window.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 05:26 PM
 
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Re: Interviewing tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
but the more I think about it the more I think they actually want the applicants to use available census data, to make some assumptions about the number of windows per property and about number of people per household (although that may be in the census data) and then actually calculate an answer.
Can you guys let me know what you think, does that sound like a trick question or do you think they are actually after a well thought out and well reasoned answer?
Thanks.
I don't think it's either - firms I've talked to that ask that set of questions are typically asking not for the answer, but for the thought process you use to get to that answer. So, just go through and talk about what assumptions you have to make and what data you'd use to get to that estimation. You're on the right track - estimate the number of households, estimate the number of windows per residential house, estimate the number of commercial buildings and the number of windows in a commercial building, and then estimate the number of windows one person can wash in an hour. You'll probably need separate estimations for indoor windows and ground floor outdoor windows vs. non-ground-floor outdoor windows as well, etc.

The answer doesn't matter as much as your thought process, your ability to identify important factors impacting the answer, and your ability to make reasonable estimates.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 11:14 AM
dex
 
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Location: UK
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Re: Interviewing tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
The answer doesn't matter as much as your thought process, your ability to identify important factors impacting the answer, and your ability to make reasonable estimates.
I thought as much but we are a diverse bunch of people on here and as my initial thought was that it was a trick question I thought I better check with you guys.
Also I was secretly hoping that it is a trick question with an easy answer as I really wasn't looking forward to trying to work all this out.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 11:28 AM
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Re: Interviewing tips?

Dex, there are books out there and mock exams for almost any kind of test/interview that exists. If you really want to get hired by a new company and you know in advance that they use the "modern" way of CV filtering and interviewing, you will have to go through the reading/studying process and also take a lot of mock tests.

Where are you from? Sofia? I remember this Ibanez store near Stamboliski Str. Is it still there?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 08:53 AM
dex
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: UK
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Re: Interviewing tips?

So it looks like these strange questions are the norm these days, I sort of understand it for project manager, marketing strategist or any sort of analyst jobs but for sales assistant (Urban Outfitters and Harrods) and bank teller it makes no sense whatsoever.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/wor...view-questions

Best thing about the Guardian is they allow comments on most articles so make sure you check them out.
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