I've just regained employment after two months of being out of work, so I've got some advice.
Re: Drinking in interviews. The kind of jobs I go for always have competency based interviews, which are situation based. That is, the questions take the form of "Tell me about a time when..." or "Describe a situation in which..." or "Have you ever been in a position where you've had to..." etc. The answers require the STAR format - situation, task, action, result. Essentially, the background, what you did, what happened, and what you learned from/demonstrated. You might have 10-15 of those in a half hour/an hour interview.
I find it's good to accept an offer of a drink - water. After the question is asked, take sip. It gives you a few more seconds to calm yourself and think of your answer to the question.
I also have Aspergers by the way, so find being put on the spot incredibly difficult. The key, as always, is preparation. I've got lots of different scenarios I can call upon for many different questions, and will tailor the answer to the specifics of the job/question, as apropriate.
Two really good questions to ask at the end of interviews by the way:
- "What do you like most about working in the team?" Good for giving you a chance to tie it into your own personality/experience - "Oh, that's what I liked most about my last job! It gave me the chance to..."
- "What opportunities are there for learning and self development in the team?" Employers like you being interested in proactive self development, as it can benefit both you and the company, at local and wider level. Again, tie it into past experience if possible.
Under no circumstance ask any of the following questions: "What are the pay/benefits like?" That discussion will come separately, and can be negotiated or enquired about before or after the interview. If they bring it up, fine, but don't do so yourself, as it sends the wrong image. Asking about holidays is moronic for the same reasons - your focus is supposed to be on what you can give to the company, not what you can get from it.
Always be prepared for the question "What's a weakness that you have" or its competency based equivalent "Describe a situation where you made mistake/things went wrong because of something you did". Never admit something crucial to the job (like the management candidate who answered that question with "When I don't like doing something, I just delegate it" but also pick a real weakness. "I push myself too hard" and "I'm a perfectionist" are meaningless non-answers that are expected. Think about something you're working to resolve, and talk about how you're doing it.
Uh...more to follow later, so I'm not endlessly editing this post or ninja'd.
edited 13th Jun '12 1:56:29 PM by CaissasDeathAngel
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.