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Yesterday had a long-ass discussion with the folks about how shit job searching is nowadays. And unceremoniously difficult because of how my parents kept reminding me of how I have aspergers and I should tell my employers before applying.
Anyone have any stories of how they've been doing at applying for jobs or tips for when in an interview for certain jobs?
I've learned: even though everybody tells you not to drink tea or coffee in an interview, it's OK to. It shows you're relaxed (however, if you're not relaxed, do refuse: nothing screams nerves like spilling it everywhere). Plus, it also shows you can stomach their brand of a) dishwater or b) tanning fluid without complaint or winces.
It's a fucking nightmare.
Screw you, you cheeky English git.
Hey... if you're really lucky, you get offered the tea or coffee! Most of the time, you need to negotiate with the horrible, overpriced automatic dispensor in the lobby (with ineffective cups).
You drink that porcelain-cupped dishwater (or tanning fluid) down like a champ, and don't complain, 'cos, hey, they're treating you as a human being and not a social security number!
It's been a hard road for me lately, I'll often get into an interview where they spooge over the fact that I'm a Veteran and say all these supportive things about how they love the military, and then when they talk about availability it comes out that I'm still an actively serving Guardsman, to which they lose all their previous vigor and usually answer with "Oh." and I don't get a second interview.
Shit sucks. People love separated Veterans.
Yeah: "flexibility" only works one way, it seems. You're supposed to be as flexible as possible: they don't want to compromise a millimetre (even if the shiny brochure says they do).
Oh... another tip: carry a thin-tipped permanent marker! Ball-point is hopeless with some glossy forms, thanks to the weird lamination they can use. I think it's a preparedness test, or something.
Seriously? Crazy disrespectful cunts. >_<
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:
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
Sweet and congrats my man. When I apply to a job and have myself an interview I'll make sure to contact you for advice on what to say in it.
The best advise is the simplest: don't answer what you think they want to hear. Answer what you'd want to find out if you were in their shoes. It's a fine distinction, but a good one to remember. And, never, ever add unnecessary spin to whatever you say. Spin your plates too fast with no backing to what you say, and they pick up on it.
And, I second all the 'gratz heading your way, Cassias. That is, when I can spell it right.
edited 13th Jun '12 3:58:46 PM by Euodiachloris
Yeah, typically if you want to think about what an employer is looking for, I tend to dislike those "buzz interview tips". It's all about, if you were in that guy's shoes, what would he be looking for? I can only really touch on my own industry (as that's personal info I rather if you wanted personal tips from me that you PM me about it), but doing the buzz things matter less compared to doing the things the employer wants to see a potential employee demonstrate.
I list my greatest weakness as claustrophobia, then clarify that if I get to choose where to sit then it's under control.
Another thing to check for is whether your interviewer is in need of caffeine. That may be why he offers you coffee, he doesn't want to be the only one.
Dude are you shitting me? What makes you think there's a job where claustrophobia would be a hindrance ?
I hate working at burger king, and I have a very empty schedule, I fear they may not want me anymore.
I'm not suited for that environment. My hands shake under pressure so I can't make any food.
But I dont know where else to look. I'd much prefer retail or something but its a miracle I even got this job I think...
And I already graduated college.
DUDE at least you have a job. I'd give anything to work some place. I mean I was technically in the zone a week ago but the place I was aiming to work for was a small business and I lied through my teeth about the experience I had. As a result the dude just gave me the boot saying, "this isn't the job for you".
First rule: if you don't have the specific xp, the best you can do is spin the xp you do have to look as if it might apply. But, that's as far as you can take it. Fraud is fraud.
If they accept you, and then find out you lied like a champ: you could face a fine, or even prison time. That, and, obviously, get sacked.
edited 14th Jun '12 1:41:15 PM by Euodiachloris
Maybe I should've told the dude I have aspergers so he wouldn't have immediately given me the boot.
If you flat out lied, I'm sorry, but you deserved to be shown the door. If you tried blaming it on Aspergers, as a fellow sufferer, that makes me think you deserved it even more because it shows a failure to take responsibility. Exaggerate, spin, etc, but do not say total falsehoods. That applies to interviews and your CV by the way, any meaningless random word, if there is such a thing, could be asked about at interview. Certainly been the case for me. One version of my CV had reference to an interest in dystopian fiction, which really only went as far as my high school dissertation on We, Brave New World and 1984. Still, I was asked about it, though was able to discuss the dystopian genre based on what I did know. If I'd completely made it up, I'd have been exposed.
edited 14th Jun '12 11:15:16 AM by CaissasDeathAngel
I've got CFS... which I have to disclose. If you have a condition that may make itself a relevant factor in your gainful employment, you do have to disclose it when asked.
Unfortunately, most application forms do ask the pertinent question. Suddenly, I'll find that what started out looking rosy goes belly-up because, ever so suddenly, "I'm afraid our part-time positions have been filled by in-house candidates..." when they finally work out what "CFS" means, that is. You know, you could have raised this at the first selection meeting, right? (If that is the real cause, and you suddenly have not only just wised up to the fact that I have a condition to manage, here.)
Sad but true: I've been rejected, to have others pass through... who then drop out later due to their undisclosed drink or drugs issues impacting on their cognition. However, they don't get pulled up on this so much, as living in honest denial doesn't count as fraud.
edited 14th Jun '12 11:21:38 AM by Euodiachloris
They're not allowed to not hire based on conditions like that (even convictions) but they can certainly pretend otherwise.
There is Law as she is meant: and what happens on the shop floor (but in the right weasel words). Different beasties.
edited 14th Jun '12 11:27:18 AM by Euodiachloris
They aren't allowed to discriminate on National Guardsmen either, but they most certainly do, and there isn't a legitimate way I can prove it really.
I'm really crossing my fingers, as I have no other options on the table right now.. I applied for 4 active duty Guardsman positions, 2 are where I grew up, right near my grandparents and the high school I went to. The other 2 are half an hour away from my parents in the Inland Empire, so I'd have a place to stay in transition.
I'm highly qualified, and the reason these positions are even applicable to my unit is because the host unit nearby has had trouble having enough people to fill these spots, and my unit only has maybe 2 other people who would be even remotely interested in relocating for them. The pay is really good as well, about 3700 before taxes in the mojave desert is enough to live like a king on. But in the meantime, I submitted my packets to State at the Guard Bureau, and the jobs close on the 20th. Projected employment date is the 15th of July, and I'm currently running on fumes cash wise, so it's pretty much these jobs or bust. But at least instead of my Guardsman status being held against me, you have to be a guardsman with my specific experience to even apply.
Yeah, I suppose.
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