Job interviews and getting through them

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AlanMooresBeard
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31 Jul 2013, 6:11 am

I've had 3 job interviews during the past 6 weeks and I have another one tomorrow. While I'm pleased to have generated some interest from employers, I have been struggling to get through the interview process and receive an offer for work. The interview I had yesterday for an assistant archivist at a fairly prestigious university went pretty badly and I know that I won't get the job. I struggled to answer questions that caught me off-guard like "How would you deal with a customer who is dissatisfied with the service they are receiving?" and "What are the benefits of libraries and archives working together?" I stammered, left long pauses while answering questions and I even resorted to taking a sip of water after one lengthy pause out of sheer desperation to buy me some time. Having a panel of 3 didn't help either. I had an interview earlier this month at a TV channel for an archivist role and this went a lot better as it was just one interviewer and I was able to articulate myself fairly well in a relaxed manner. Nevertheless, I was not offered the job although the agency working on the client's behalf did tell me that I would have been offered it had their initial choice turned it down.

The interview I have tomorrow is for an administrator at a local charity. I'm keen not to repeat my performance from yesterday so I just wanted to ask how I can do better at this interview? Is there anyone here who has worked in an admin/office role and have an idea of what the employer will be looking for during the interview?



LabPet
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31 Jul 2013, 7:04 am

I do know what you mean. Lately I've spotted quite a few Wrong Planet posts about job interviews. I could write a lot about why Aspies might consider interviews hard, but instead, after my own online searches, I'll share this video with you. Yes, I did look at other sources and some are just plain silly &/or obvious (e.g. be courteous and dress nicely - we know that). Instead, this insight is interesting and intelligent. Anyway, all the best with your (future) interview(s) and I bet you'll do better that what you think. I know this video is kind-of long, but I was surprised at all I learned from her own research/experience:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc[/youtube]


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The ones who say “You can’t” and “You won’t” are probably the ones scared that you will. - Unknown


LabPet
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31 Jul 2013, 7:24 am

AlanMooresBeard wrote:
I struggled to answer questions that caught me off-guard


Many apologies for the 2nd post (sorry!) but about questions that can be typically asked......well, there are some pretty good examples of standard interview questions online that are relevant for practically any level position. Helps to know what they'll ask so you're ready. Still, as per the powerful video I posted, I think your own confidence is the most powerful tool you've got (plus your great qualification :) ). I really hope that Aspies (including myself) don't feel they are automatically bad at interviews - it doesn't have to be that way.

Post script: At about 18:30 of this video, I started crying.....then look at what Amy said.


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The ones who say “You can’t” and “You won’t” are probably the ones scared that you will. - Unknown


AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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31 Jul 2013, 9:59 am

Please realize that it's a numbers game. As a poker player, one thing I might find helpful is looking at the 50/50. How many interviews do I need to have to have a 50% chance of receiving a job offer? (and if they're interviewing eight people for one open position, it's not four interviews. It's actually more than that)

And a three member panel is kind of brutal. They're inviting you to apply for a technical position and then they're essentially asking you to hold a presidential press conference ? ? ? Wow.

Okay, for tomorrow's interview, maybe even write down one, two, or three positives from previous interviews. And then maybe plan something fun and positive afterwards like seeing a movie, win, lose, or draw, no matter how the interview goes.

And a steady eddie, matter-of-fact interview is fine. If it sparkles, if some connection is made, that's fine. But please don't put the pressure on yourself that you have to make this happen, that's awkward. And there's a good chance (many times here in the United States) that the person interviewing you will be someone from human resources and not someone you'll be working with on a regular basis.



ianorlin
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31 Jul 2013, 1:29 pm

I found the part on cortisol interesting and stress. I got invited back for a second interview and I relaxed by listening to music for a little bit before my job interview and was able to speak more easily. I think I need to find a way to focus my thoughts and reduce stress while waiting for the interview.