Well the first interview at UW park side went well.
There were three people I would interview with, and I was told that each would ask five questions, but that some questions would have multiple parts, so it might seem like more than just five questions.
At first I was worried because all three of the people would be in the room at the same time, but it went well and helped in that if my answer covered more than one persons question, they would check it off, and they wouldn’t have to ask that question later.
Many of the answer that I give are short vignettes (as short as I can make them) from longer stories that I have of my significant accomplishments. When I tell the vignette, I layout the situation in general, so they know what I am talking about. This is also helpful when I tell a different vignette from the same story line, in that I do not have to do as much setup, and it also shows how big the scope of some of these projects are. I also have more than one in case they want a “different” example, just to make sure I am not a one trick pony.
The hard part for me is in keeping it short, because I just talk to much, and just keep throwing information at you, and eventually end up sidetracked on a completely irrelevant topic. The interview is only 45 to 60 minuets long, so if I am not careful I could end up wasting five minuets on why I prefer custard to frozen yogurt, which while entertaining at the time, is not likely to get me a job.
There were a lot of people skills questions which I did not anticipate, as the job has no direct reports, but I think I did OK with them.
Example: “Talk about a time where two key people dislike a product or program but for different reasons, and how you reconciled that?”
Example 2: “Talk about a time when you had to put forth a policy change that was unpopular?”
Example 3: “Talk about a time where someone was unhappy with you, and how you resolved it?”
Lucky for me I have been in these situations, many times before, and I could pick from ones that went well, but this time I am preparing answers, so I can deliver them more effectively.
By far my favorite question was: “If we asked your previous supervisor about you, what would they say?” The reason it was my favorite is because I could answer is like this, “He would say that am awesome, and that he was sorry to see me leave.” Then I asked if they wanted a letter of recommendation.
When we were done, they asked if I had any questions, and I told them that I had the same question for each of them, “With what you know about me, what trait or ability do you see me using here.” This is a good questions because it lets me know where they see me fitting into there organization, also it helps them mentally place me in the job, and finally if there is a second interview, I know what strengths to play up.
One of them liked my sense of humor, an other could not decide where to start because I had too many useful skills, and the third didn’t answer my question, but rather took the time to sell me on the job. Then they all started talking up the job.
In most interviews, they always try to leave you smiling, even if they are not going to give you the job, most say “you did really well, it was nice talking to you”. But I have learned the hard way that that is just smoke and mirrors. The interviewer will usually not take the time or effort to sell the job to you, unless they actually want you. So I took that as a good sign.
And they did ask me back for a second interview.
I have go back Wednesday, so I will try to post as soon as I get back on how I think it went, wish me luck.
I’ll spend tomorrow and Wednesday morning prepping for the questions.