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View Full Version : First serious job interview in 3 weeks... Help!


alnorth
03-03-2005, 07:50 PM
I am graduating from college this May and have a job interview scheduled in 3 weeks, so I figured a few of my fellow Chiefs fans could give some advice.

Anyway, I am interviewing with an insurance company in Iowa. (trying to get into the actuarial profession, so the job would be located in the company headquarters). Without actually spelling out a dress code, it seems obvious from the people who arranged the interview over the phone that this is going to be a formal affair with suit and tie, etc. They are going to fly me over to their location and the interview is scheduled to last for 6 hours with several different people from 8:30 to 2:30. So to throw another wrinkle into it, I assume they are going to take me out to lunch in the middle, meaning business dining ettiquette will be needed as well.

From what I've been able to find out about the company I'm interviewing with, this job seems like a very nice opportunity for me and I have to believe they are serious by paying for a plane ticket and hotel room to fly in an out-of-towner for an entry-level job. I'm already nervous as hell and dont want to blow this interview.

I never wore a suit in my life, so I dropped $250 at a nearby S&K and picked out a black 2-button suit and pants, a white shirt, a blue shirt, a conservative-looking striped tie, 2 slightly more colorful (dark, not loud) ties, and they gave me an offer to pick out another suit jacket and pants for only $40 more when I come back next week. (Trying to decide between navy blue or some shade of gray)

I'm out of my element here (though if I get this job I'll definitely get used to it quickly). Any comments or suggestions out there to help prevent me from looking like a fool?

Nightfyre
03-03-2005, 07:52 PM
I never wore a suit in my life, so I dropped $250 at a nearby S&K and picked out a black 2-button suit and pants, a white shirt, a blue shirt, a conservative-looking striped tie, 2 slightly more colorful (dark, not loud) ties, and they gave me an offer to pick out another suit jacket and pants for only $40 more when I come back next week.
see you went wrong their :rolleyes: you were supposed to go with a three button suit....

keg in kc
03-03-2005, 07:52 PM
Go naked. That'll tell them you're comfortable, confident and have nothing to hide.

Bowser
03-03-2005, 07:54 PM
Don't rub your teeth.

Iowanian
03-03-2005, 07:55 PM
I'm not a "suit guy" and feel your pain.

I have a couple.......one is a gray jacket, and the other is a dark pin stripe.

My only suggestion is not to wear anything too Loud for a shirt or tie. Don't button Both buttons. I know Hoover is a suit guy.

If you're traveling, take a lint roller.

The only other tip I can give, is to put a napkin or kerchief in your pockets, so you can calm and cooly reach in and dry your hands before 'the big shake'.

Which part of Iowa?

Good Luck.

beavis
03-03-2005, 07:55 PM
Don't shower the morning of. It's good luck.

alnorth
03-03-2005, 07:56 PM
Which part of Iowa?

Good Luck.

Des Moines. How's the weather, town, etc like over there? I'd be living there a few years minimum if I got an offer.

jspchief
03-03-2005, 08:02 PM
Des Moines. How's the weather, town, etc like over there? I'd be living there a few years minimum if I got an offer.

Des Moines is a nice place. Not too much crime, with more good areas than bad. The social scene leaves a bit to be desired, but there's enough to keep you entertained. As far as weather, it's typically about 5 degrees cooler than KC (if that's where you're from).

I live in a suburb north of the City.

As far as the interview, just be yourself. Be confident in your capabilities.

Iowanian
03-03-2005, 08:02 PM
DM is alright...there are alot of suburbs that aren't bad. I don't know what you're used to, but I think Iowa is "good living". They're doing alot of development in DM right now...building a new convention center for a new hockey team, redoing 235(hwy that cuts through the middle).

West Des Moines is growing fast as are Ankeny and Pleasant Hill. The South and East Side are the "rougher" areas....and the Drake Neighborhood.

Weather.....it changes with the seasons...Very nice in spring and fall, nice-terrible hot and muggy in the summer....winter can be bearable to -100....a little colder than KC.

I think a young person would like Ankeny(just a shade North of DM)...lots of young active people there.

I'll try to answer anything I can for you, or hook you up with info. There are alot of posters from the DM area on the planet......Some have met me a few times at bars when I'm in town for meetings.

Its not the most "exciting" place if Broadway shows and big clubs are your thing.....but there are things to do, cost of living is reasonable.

Phobia
03-03-2005, 08:12 PM
Just relax and have a good time. They're hoping to get to know you, which is why it is such a lengthy interview. Lunch probably won't be formal - just something simple in a restaurant. As long as you know how to operate a fork, chew with your mouth closed, and wipe your mouth with a napkin it's not gonna hurt you.

Have you ever been on a first date? This is the same thing except these people will be screwing you in your wallet for as long as you hold their job.

Fat Elvis
03-03-2005, 08:59 PM
Public masterbation is always a big hit in the interview process.

ChiefsFire
03-03-2005, 09:02 PM
DM is alright...there are alot of suburbs that aren't bad. I don't know what you're used to, but I think Iowa is "good living". They're doing alot of development in DM right now...building a new convention center for a new hockey team, redoing 235(hwy that cuts through the middle).

West Des Moines is growing fast as are Ankeny and Pleasant Hill. The South and East Side are the "rougher" areas....and the Drake Neighborhood.

Weather.....it changes with the seasons...Very nice in spring and fall, nice-terrible hot and muggy in the summer....winter can be bearable to -100....a little colder than KC.

I think a young person would like Ankeny(just a shade North of DM)...lots of young active people there.

I'll try to answer anything I can for you, or hook you up with info. There are alot of posters from the DM area on the planet......Some have met me a few times at bars when I'm in town for meetings.

Its not the most "exciting" place if Broadway shows and big clubs are your thing.....but there are things to do, cost of living is reasonable.


mmmmmmmmm

and those Iowa gurls are smokin........

Hoover
03-03-2005, 09:08 PM
I have worked with a lot of the insurance companies in Des Moines, all are good companies. I bet you will be going down town.

Good call on your suit choice. Go Navy with your other one as your black shoes, belt and ties should all work. To save you money.

I do lunch meetings all the time.

Do not get pasta or a sandwich. Get something you can cut with a knife and eat with a fork. The ideal meal would be a Grilled Chieken Breast. Don't order a Sam Adams with lunch go with Tea, Lemonade, or Water.

After lunch to to the bathroom and floss, get one of those little things of floss, I'd also get one of those tooth brusheds you put on your finger. When you are done eating go to the bathroom.

Also never take your jacket off unless the main guy takes his off. If you are with all women, just keep it on.

If you smoke, try to kick it while you travel so you don't reak of smoke.

ChiTown
03-03-2005, 09:10 PM
Public masterbation is always a big hit in the interview process.

My first interview is captured in my avi...............

Rain Man
03-03-2005, 09:10 PM
I'm on the other side of the table now, and here are a few tips:

1. For the love of God, get there 15 minutes early. Don't go in 15 minutes early, but walk around the block until 5 minutes before, and then show up 2 minutes early. Being late to a job interview is the same as not showing up.*

2. The employer most likely doesn't care about your suit and tie, as long as you're wearing one and you look neat.*

3. For the love of God, send EVERYONE who interviews you a thank-you e-mail afterwards.*

4. Bring extra copies of your resume on nice paper, and offer it to them as an upgrade if they're using resumes that they just took off their printer.

5. Research the company beforehand. Memorize two or three things about the company that you can ask them about, or comment on during the interview.*

6. Have a list of questions for them that relate to the job (and not to the pay or benefits). Even if you think you know the answers, just make sure you ask questions when they give you the chance.*

7. Don't take a cell phone call during the interview.*

8. If they offer you something to drink, don't ask for multiple things. Just ask for water.*

9. At lunch, order something in the same price range that they order, preferably slightly cheaper. Don't be the most expensive order at the table.

10. Order something with small portions, so you can talk a lot and not spend the whole time eating.

* - Things that recent interviewees have flubbed with my firm this past month.

Hoover
03-03-2005, 09:11 PM
Also I would live downtown in one of the new lofts if you can afford too. You have Court Ave bars and the AAA Cubs team, Minor league Hockey next fall, Civic Center and the new Arena.

Ankeny is a nice town, but if you are young and single I would want to be in one of three places. Downtown, West Des Moines by the new Jordan Creek Mall, or Urbandale.

The best thing about DSM you can get anywhere fast so it does not matter.

keg in kc
03-03-2005, 09:13 PM
Also, make sure you belch loudly after finishing lunch, as that's a respectful way to indicate that you enjoyed the meal.

dtebbe
03-03-2005, 09:14 PM
My advice is that if you decide you want the job, tell them why are you the man for the job, and then come right out and ask them when you can start.

I own my own company and have the unfortunate task of having to interview and hire. It is just amazing how damn passive the retards I interview are. Just once I would like to have someone tell me that I would be a total dumbass to not hire them. They would get the job on the spot.

Now I'm not saying to call them a dumbass, but if you want the job, ASK FOR IT!

DT

ChiTown
03-03-2005, 09:15 PM
Also, make sure you belch loudly after finishing lunch, as that's a respectful way to indicate that you enjoyed the meal.

Is he interviewing for a Japanese Insurance Company? If so, farting is also greatly accepted.

Hoover
03-03-2005, 09:16 PM
If you are inverviewing with Principal you might be eating at 800 Grand or the Embassy Club. If its in the Ruan Center (666 Grand) you might be eating at the Des Moines Club. There are a bunch of place on Court Avenue as well but non of those aver very formal.

Fat Elvis
03-03-2005, 09:20 PM
My advice is that if you decide you want the job, tell them why are you the man for the job, and then come right out and ask them when you can start.

I own my own company and have the unfortunate task of having to interview and hire. It is just amazing how damn passive the retards I interview are. Just once I would like to have someone tell me that I would be a total dumbass to not hire them. They would get the job on the spot.

Now I'm not saying to call them a dumbass, but if you want the job, ASK FOR IT!

DT


Hire me and pay me truckloads of money, you dumbass.

Rain Man
03-03-2005, 09:20 PM
My advice is that if you decide you want the job, tell them why are you the man for the job, and then come right out and ask them when you can start.

I own my own company and have the unfortunate task of having to interview and hire. It is just amazing how damn passive the retards I interview are. Just once I would like to have someone tell me that I would be a total dumbass to not hire them. They would get the job on the spot.

Now I'm not saying to call them a dumbass, but if you want the job, ASK FOR IT!

DT

Does this work in other aspects of your life? Send me $50, dumbass.

OmahaChief
03-03-2005, 09:21 PM
Here are a few serious answers:

1. Tie a double Windsor knot in your tie. If you don't know how learn ASAP.

2. Make sure to brush your teeth the morning of the interview and check them before you go in to make sure nothing funky is there.

3. Trim your nose hairs. An unsightly nose hair might not look to good. Check for boogers before the interview as well. I know it sounds odd to remind someone to do this but the last guy I interviewed had about 40 nose hairs hanging our. What a distraction.

4. Make sure your fingernails look decent. I suggest filing them. Yeah it sounds girly but a well kept appearance means a lot to many interviewers.

5. Do some research on the company. If they are publicly traded look at the most recent financial statement. There might be a tid bit you can throw in during your interview to show you have done your homework.

6. No wimpy ass handshakes. Go firm.

7. Have some questions that you can ask them so you can partially control the interview. Make thenm questions you know they can answer as not to make them feel embarassed should they not know the answer.

8. Remember to smile and watch your body language. NO crossed arms.

9. Remember to thank them for the interview and their time. Don't forget to take down all names of the people you interview with and send them a quick thank you note. Emails are OK but it seems most still encourage actual mail, I like mailing them.

10. Remember it is your job, not the other schmuck that is also interviewing. If you want it, you take it. You are the best candidate for the job and you should carry yourself that way.

Good Luck!

XXXshogunXXX
03-03-2005, 09:21 PM
I just had a panel interview last week...scared the shit out of me. Be prepared for this...

1) what are your 2 biggest weakness'
2) what are your 2 biggest strengths

Those threw me off, and I almost choked the whole thing because of it. Interviews suck...

Skip Towne
03-03-2005, 09:23 PM
Luckily I have owned my own businesses all my adult life. Nothing but jeans and T-shirts. I've always felt if these folks are going to judge you on how you dress rather than your abilities they can go eff themselves. They wouldn't have hired Sam Walton for damn sure. If you are rejected because you wore a two button instead of a three button suit then you are better off without them. They are all underlings anyhow. The boss wears whatever he damn well pleases. Don't be intimidated by these junior jack offs, just be yourself. If you have the talent you will be bossing them in a couple of years.

Coach
03-03-2005, 09:23 PM
Oh, make sure you also extend your arm out and give a firm handshake. Don't be limpin ya arm out there and just swing your arm out there. Just do a normal handshake, but a little grip.

Rain Man
03-03-2005, 09:26 PM
When I was a pup, I was in a job interview and they asked me to name the capital of Mongolia. I always thought that was one of the more unique interview questions ever.

Fortunately, I'm a geography buff, so it went well and I got the offer.

SBK
03-03-2005, 09:27 PM
Des Moines sucks. The leadership here kills any and all activity for young folks. My bro lives in Ankeny and loves it. I agree Urbandale, West Des Moines and Ankeny are good spots for young folks. Chicks dig townhouses here, so if you want to live by chicks move in near one of those.

The governor is a real tool here, but it has been suggested to have all folks under 30 not pay state income taxes, so that could be an upcoming perk.....

Hoover
03-03-2005, 09:28 PM
Des Moines sucks. The leadership here kills any and all activity for young folks. My bro lives in Ankeny and loves it. I agree Urbandale, West Des Moines and Ankeny are good spots for young folks. Chicks dig townhouses here, so if you want to live by chicks move in near one of those.

The governor is a real tool here, but it has been suggested to have all folks under 30 not pay state income taxes, so that could be an upcoming perk.....
Don't worry about the Gov I'm work on a replacement!

SBK
03-03-2005, 09:30 PM
I just had a panel interview last week...scared the shit out of me. Be prepared for this...

1) what are your 2 biggest weakness'
2) what are your 2 biggest strengths

Those threw me off, and I almost choked the whole thing because of it. Interviews suck...

I had one of those once. The three women were boring me to death, and the job wasn't what I wanted to I stopped em, and told them I wasn't interested and after I thanked them I left. HAHA, I doubt they'd had that happen before.

Fat Elvis
03-03-2005, 09:30 PM
Flash'em a big pee stain on the front of your pants.

SBK
03-03-2005, 09:31 PM
Don't worry about the Gov I'm work on a replacement!

You'll have to labor without me, Im leaving this godforsaken town for Atlanta in the next month or two. :thumb:

If I was gonna be here, I'd work with you though, that dude has got to go.

Misplaced_Chiefs_Fan
03-03-2005, 09:33 PM
When I was a pup, I was in a job interview and they asked me to name the capital of Mongolia. I always thought that was one of the more unique interview questions ever.

Fortunately, I'm a geography buff, so it went well and I got the offer.

Ulan Bator

Hoover
03-03-2005, 09:35 PM
Google Search?

Skip Towne
03-03-2005, 09:41 PM
When I was a pup, I was in a job interview and they asked me to name the capital of Mongolia. I always thought that was one of the more unique interview questions ever.

Fortunately, I'm a geography buff, so it went well and I got the offer.
Ah, you're just saying that because you have all those globes. Nobody knows the capital of Mongolia and even fewer care. You're just shittin' us aren't you?

Rain Man
03-03-2005, 09:43 PM
Dead serious. A knowledge of geography can take you far. (No pun intended.)


I had another job interview once where they were shuffling me around between offices, and they put me in one guy's office for my interview. He was working, turned around and looked at me, and said, "Who are you and what the hell are you doing here?"

Misplaced_Chiefs_Fan
03-03-2005, 09:43 PM
Google Search?

Nope. It's amazing what all you learn as a History major with an interest in Geography and then spend 15 years as an Analyst with the military.

At one time, I could name every country and every captial city in the world. Course, that was before all those Pacific Island nations started popping up and half of the African countries changed their names or built new capitals.

Rain Man
03-03-2005, 09:59 PM
I'm okay with the African countries, except for those Z countries in the south. I always mix those up. The Pacific and Caribbean countries are just a nightmare, and I haven't taken the time to commit the capitals of all the new Stans to memory.

Misplaced_Chiefs_Fan
03-03-2005, 10:05 PM
I haven't really studied the captials of the 'stans either. I knew the capitals to all the Caribbean islands at one time. Now, I probably only recall half of them.

Course, once, long ago, I could not only do the current countries in Africa, I could draw the old colonial map of Africa (circa 1900). Not much call for knowing where Tanganykia, Nysaland, German Southwest Africa, Cape Colony, the Orange Free State or Anglo-Egyptian Sudan lie these days.

Skip Towne
03-03-2005, 10:06 PM
Dead serious. A knowledge of geography can take you far. (No pun intended.)


I had another job interview once where they were shuffling me around between offices, and they put me in one guy's office for my interview. He was working, turned around and looked at me, and said, "Who are you and what the hell are you doing here?"
Well, If it was anybody but you I'd call Bullshit on that Mongolia deal. But you're a little different. I just ran an ad for satellite installers and got 26 responses. Most were from young guys trying to impress me with how many jobs they could do in a day. I told most of them that this is not a race but rather a quality thing. I needed two so I hired a 35 year old cable guy and a 65 year old experienced satellite guy. YES!!! A guy older than me.

Rain Man
03-03-2005, 10:09 PM
65? That's actually pretty cool. Unfortunately, it's probably hard for folks over 60 to find jobs.

Dave Lane
03-03-2005, 10:19 PM
Tell them you don't know William bartee.

Dave

Skip Towne
03-03-2005, 10:31 PM
65? That's actually pretty cool. Unfortunately, it's probably hard for folks over 60 to find jobs.
Yep, I'm sure you appreciate it as you hire people all the time. This guy is an experienced installer who didn't try to impress me with his speed. I'm even having to get him a webtv and a printer so he can do the job. All the other applicants already have that. I know other employers wouldn't put up with that but I know this guy will do me a good job and please my customers. That is much more important to me than speed.

Iowanian
03-03-2005, 10:34 PM
A few years ago, I interviewed with an unnamed telecom company in the KC area who is a major employer.

Upon arriving at the "complex" I was taken down to a fargin Bunker, and the doors had no numbers...and had to be let in.

6hr interview. It included individual interview(with 2 guys I guess), being taken into a conference room and sat at a table...3 guys spent about 10 minutes each just Walloping me with info, while drawing pics on a marker board.......when that flurry was over, they asked me to come to the front, and explain the gist of the information provided, including pictures.

At the time I was about 26, and was told I was the only one under 35 in contention.

I nailed it, but decided I couldn't work in that environment. Too Stuffy, Too Dark, To secretive.

Phobia
03-03-2005, 11:50 PM
In 94, I flew to St. Louis to interview at a plastics company for their Director of IS position. This is the company who makes the plastic air bubbles for Nike Air shoes and many components of K2 skis and inline skates. We interviewed with the director of IS from Nike, the HR director of the plastics company, took aptitude and math tests and finally had a sit down with an effing psychiatrist....

I came out on top as I discovered a week later. But, that still wasn't enough to earn me the job.... I had to go interview with the CEO - who was wintering in Florida.

I flew down there, met him, and hopped on a plane back to Boston an hour later. They offered me the job and I had another offer in Houston for $3k more. I asked them to split the difference because I had some family in StL and it was closer to home. Heh. Nope. They spent $10k to fly me all over the country, put me up, have me tested, and they couldn't come up with another $1500 a year to pay me? My headhunter offered to pay the $1500 for me.... I told him - what happens next year - and the year after? I won't work for these people....

My point is - no matter how bad the interview is for you.... somebody else has been through worse - and aced it. Just relax and have fun. You're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you. If you don't like them now, you aren't gonna like 'em later and you damn sure shouldn't move 2 states away for them.

trndobrd
03-04-2005, 01:38 AM
This may sound silly, but wear your suit out a couple times before you go interview. You'll be uncomfortable enough, you don't need a previously unidentified tag or needle grinding into your flesh all day. Same with your shoes. Wear them out a few times, then shine them the night before the interview. You want to give the impression that you are comfortable with yourself, and that includes your clothes.

Previous advice about YOUR questions was absolutely correct. Have a series of small, medium and really tough questions. I've been in interviews where no one asked me a damn thing, they did all the talking. Obviously, the interviewer liked to hear himself talk...help him out with some question.

Lunch is another issue. I would either order the same thing as someone else at the table ("oh, that sounds good") or just order the special of the day, unless it's ridiculously expensive. Water or Iced Tea is the drink of choice. Don't plan on eating, talk. They want to get you out of the office and see you in a social situation. You are still being interviewed though.

trndobrd
03-04-2005, 01:44 AM
I wonder what kind of advice you would get on the Raiders board....

"When interviewing for a job as the cellblock punk, try not to appear that you are enjoying the prison rape."

"The best way to get hired as an assistant meth chef is to bring some of your own creations to share during the interview."

"While stealing cars doesn't really require an interview, remember that the police questioning after you've been picked up is really an interview for a job as an informant."

"Most pimps just want to know about your previous job performance and potiential for future employment. Try not to bring up the subject of your 5 kids or heroin habit."