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University at Buffalo - Career Services - Technical interviewing workshop fall 2013


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University at Buffalo - Career Services - Technical Interviewing workshop fall 2013

University at Buffalo - Career Services - Technical Interviewing workshop fall 2013

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  • The interview may be:Structured, unstructured Screening interviews – phone and face to faceOne on OneGroup – committee, joint, departmental, OR a group of candidates – example “Harris Days” programInteractive Interviews – case interview, presentation, write code etc…Multimedia Interviews – computerized interviews, videoconferencing Alternative interviews – Lunch, Stress
  • You apply to the job and are selected by the recruiter for an interview.
  • Brief article on Electronic/video interviewing tips.  I thought we may need something like this on the web, so I began a short tips article … what do you think?  Judy Video/Electronic Interviewing Tips Interviewing electronically (such as via webcam over the Internet) instead of in person can save time and reduce travel costs for companies today.  With an uncertain economy, companies are increasingly turning to this type of interview.  Although many elements of video/electronic interviews are the same as in-person interviews, there are some significant differences.  Be prepared and you will be your best as you interview for jobs or internships.  Prepare 1.       This interview is taken just as seriously by the employer as an in person interview. Therefore, it should also be taken seriously by you.2.       Be sure the interviewer has your resume and any additional materials they need in advance of the interview.  It may be difficult or impossible to provide materials at the last minute.3.       Practice!  Use the equipment and practice interview to see how you come across to others visually and with your voice.  UB Career Services offers assistance with this by appointment. The Equipment 4.       Give yourself ample time prior to the interview to familiarize yourself with the equipment being used and to be sure that the equipment you are using is working properly.  If there is a person assisting in a location at which you are interviewing electronically, such as the Career Office, they should provide you with a brief overview of the equipment.   5.       If something goes wrong electronically, don’t worry, the interviewer will not hold it against you – be calm, tell the interviewer you are having a problem and if you are interviewing at a location, such as the Career Office, ask for assistance in solving the issue.  Conversely, if you cannot receive a visual signal or audio from the interviewer, you should inform him/her of the problem. 6.       Be sure to place the microphone in a location so that the interviewer will be able to clearly hear you.  Be aware the microphone picks up all sounds – don’t tap your shoes, crack your knuckles, shuffle papers or tap a pen.  Turn off any of your electronic devices such as a cell phone.   7.       Time delay – sometimes there is a slight delay in audio.  If this happens, be sure to wait a moment before answering an interview question to be sure the interviewer is done speaking.The Look 1.       Dress Professionally as you would for an in-person interview.  However, there are some differences to consider for appearing in front of a camera.  Don’t make the mistake of dressing casually below the waist thinking no one will see you.  Avoid wearing white clothing. Plain colored suits without plaids or stripes will appear less distracting on screen.  The best colors would be blue, medium gray, brown or other deep colored suit.  Shirts should be plain in a pastel color to look best on camera. Be sure the outfit is pressed and clean.  Keep make-up and hairstyles simple with minimal jewelry.  If you wear glasses, avoid tinted lenses as it will interfere with eye contact.   2.       Have the camera focus in on you in a close-up shot.  If there is a picture-in-picture feature, see how you appear in advance of the interview. You should appear on camera from about the middle of your upper arms and not have an excess of screen space above your head. 3.       Maintain good posture for your video interview.  Don’t slouch.  Leaning forward slightly towards the camera helps increase eye contact.  Leaning backwards can create a more undesireable feeling of distance. 4.       Make sure your surroundings are clean – don’t distract the interviewer with clutter.  Minimize any background noise or movement.Eye Contact  5.       Eye Contact is important in any interview – You will have to look into the camera, not the recruiter’s image on the screen to achieve eye contact. Avoid frequently looking away as it may appear to the interviewer that you are distracted. 6.       If there are multiple interviewers, remember that you may not be able to make eye contact with the person you are directing your answer to. Thus, be sure to obtain interviewer names, so that you can use their name when directing an answer to them. Voice and Movements 7.       If you are a person who speaks fast when nervous, try to relax and speak at a more natural pace to be more clearly heard by the interviewer.  Keep your movements minimal and at a slower pace – rapid movements will look disjointed to the interviewer.  Once the interview is completed, mute the microphone if possible, prior to getting up and exiting.
  • Questions from Microsoft & GoogleImagine you have a closet full of shirts. It’s very hard to find a shirt. So what can you do to organize your shirts for easy retrieval? What method would you use to look up a word in a dictionary?Every man in a village of 100 married couples has cheated on his wife. Every wife in the village instantly knows when a man other than her husband has cheated, but does not know when her own husband has. The village has a law that does not allow for adultery. Any wife who can prove that her husband is unfaithful must kill him that very day. The women of the village would never disobey this law. One day the queen of the village visits, and announces that at least one husband has been unfaithful. What happens?Reference
  • If PHONE interview - still arrive early, dress up as this will put you in the right mind set. - Speak clearly and listen closely to the interviewerCautions - Phone Stress interview and Phone Scheduled Interview, reading from papers/web – the interviewer knows you are reading
  • None of these hints is going to get you a job if you're unqualified. But they will help you convince people of your qualifications and convince them that you would a valuable team member. You don’t get the offer. What happened? Ask yourself:Are you qualified for the position? Did you research the company? Were you prepared for the interview ?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Holly M. Justice Engineering Career Counselor Career Services 259 Capen Hall Successful Technical Interviewing Techniques
    • 2. Overview • The Interview • What to expect – Types of interviews – Interview process – Types of questions, examples and strategies • Steps to Successful Interviewing • Additional Tips
    • 3. The Interview • The interview by definition: – Interview - a formal meeting in which one or more persons question, consult, or evaluate another person: a job interview. • An interview ideally – should be a conversation in which the job candidate demonstrates their qualifications for the position and their fit with the company culture.
    • 4. Types of Interviews OFF-SITE • Phone • Career Fair • Video Interviewing (Skype) ON-SITE • One-on-One • Group / Multiple candidates • Panel/Committee OTHER (On or Off Site) • Meal –Lunch/Dinner • Tests /Assessments – Online – On-Site
    • 5. Interview Process • An initial screening interview – Typically Phone – Video Interview – Possibly an on-line test • Secondary screening interview – Typically Phone • On-site interview • Secondary On-site interview • Hopefully - Job Offer and Salary Negotiation
    • 6. Strategies for Phone Interviewing • May have informational sheets in front of you • Listen carefully • Speak clearly • Use descriptive language (they can’t see your non-verbal body communication cues) • Use interviewer(s) name (when directing your answer to them) • Quiet location so you won‟t be interrupted • Cell phone battery
    • 7. Strategies for Video Interviewing • Equipment & Software – Practice ahead of time – Positioning of microphone – Time delay of video feed • The Look – Attire – Camera – close up of you – Posture – Background – keep it simple • Eye Contact – Look into the camera (not at the screen) • Voice & Movements – Audio – Speak slowly & clearly
    • 8. Types of Questions • Typical questions • Traditional questions • Behavior-based / Situational questions • Brainteasers/Riddles/Puzzles/Practical questions
    • 9. Types of Questions • Typical Questions – Tell me about yourself. – Why should I hire you? Why are you the best candidate?
    • 10. Techniques for answering the typical questions
    • 11. Prepare for the typical questions: • Tell me about yourself. • Why should I hire you? – List your top 3-5 qualifications – Have 2+ examples for each qualification
    • 12. Ace the “Tell me about yourself” question with a 3 part statement strategy:  Part one:  a one sentence summary of the candidate‟s career history  Part two: a one to two sentence summary of a single accomplishment that you are proud of and will also capture the potential employer‟s attention This accomplishment should be one that is easily explained or illustrated, and one that clearly highlights a bottom line impact.  Part three: A one sentence summary of specifically what you want to do next in your career Reference: Article by Jeff Skrentny, Jefferson Recruiters Report.
    • 13. Activity Preparing for the “Tell me about yourself” question.
    • 14. ACTIVITY “Tell me about yourself” • Think about your answers for each of these parts. • Write down your thoughts Part one: a summary of your academic/ career history Part two: a one to two sentence summary of an accomplishment that you are proud of Part three: A one sentence summary of your short-term career goals Who wants to volunteer to share?
    • 15. Activity Preparing for the “Why should I hire you?” question. On paper, list your top 3-5 qualifications
    • 16. Activity – Company Description Cameron • Cameron is a leading international manufacturer of oil and gas pressure control equipment, including valves, wellheads, controls, chokes, blowout preventers and assembled systems for oil and gas drilling, production and transmission used in onshore, offshore and subsea applications, and provides oil and gas separation, metering and flow measurement equipment. Cameron is also a leading manufacturer of centrifugal air compressors, integral and separable gas compressors and turbochargers.
    • 17. Activity – Job Description GRDP Trainee • Candidates will go through our Global Rotational Development Program (GRDP). This 2-year program is designed to build on the existing technical skills of participants, by exposing them to experienced company professionals in one of our many manufacturing locations throughout eleven different divisions. At least four, six- month rotational assignments are required: • Supervisory • Manufacturing Engineering • Materials • Electives: o Quality o Project Management o Or a 2nd role in Mfg Engineering GRDP participants WILL be required to relocate during the course of the program and one of these locations may be outside of the continental United States. Upon completion of the four rotational assignments, graduates of the GRDP are placed into positions which utilize their experience, training and skill level and fulfill business need. • Qualifications: Outgoing and open to new challenges Desire for operations and manufacturing skill development Must be geographically mobile (willing to relocate) Eligible to work in the US without restriction Must have desired degree, major, and preferred GPA of 3.0 or higher Must have a positive “can do” attitude and be willing to learn new things Must have experiences and show tendency to develop and desire leadership skills
    • 18. Activity Why should I hire you? Who would like to volunteer?
    • 19. More question examples…
    • 20. Types of Questions  Traditional Why did you choose this major? How did you choose this school? What is your one of your biggest strengths and weaknesses? Define success. Define failure. What are your short term and long term goals? What do your colleagues say about you? What do you know about this organization? Why do you want to work for this organization? Do you consider yourself successful? Are you a team player? Explain how you would be an asset to this company. Do you have any questions for me?
    • 21. Types of Questions Behavior-based / situational questions • Uses questions that challenge you to recall ( in detail) what you did, thought, and felt in key situations
    • 22. Techniques for Answering Behavior Based Questions
    • 23. When preparing to answer the Behavioral Based Question: • First, mentally note what skill or competency the interviewer is seeking • Always provide a specific example or situation • Detail your behavior and actions you took to resolve the situation • Share the outcome/result of the situation
    • 24. For Behavior Based Questions • The „STAR‟ Approach for Answering a Question S: Situation – describe the situation T: Task or problem – what dilemma or problem did you face? A: Action – what action did you take? R: Result – what was the result of your action?
    • 25. Types of Questions - Examples  Behavior-based / situational questions Decision Making:  Tell me about a difficult decision you've made in the last year.  Describe a situation where you have had to overcome a problem or obstacle in order to move forward with something. What did you do?  Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information you needed. How did you handle it? Why? Were you happy with the outcome? Goal Setting  What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far and why?  Tell me about a goal that you set that you did not reach. What steps did you take? What obstacles did you encounter? How did it make you feel?
    • 26. Types of Questions - Examples  Behavior-based / situational questions Continued…  Give me an example of an important goal you set in the past and tell me how you achieved it.  Describe a time when your over-enthusiasm for something got you involved way over your head.  Describe a situation where you made a decision and it was the wrong one.  Tell me about a specific day when you had too many tasks to complete.  Describe a time when you acted as a leader to complete a team project  Describe a situation where you have had to work as part of a team to achieve a result. What was your role in this?  Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?
    • 27. Types of Questions Brainteasers/Riddles/Puzzles/ Practical Questions
    • 28. Types of Questions • Brainteasers/Riddles/Puzzles/Practical Questions – Why are man hole covers round? – What could you do to improve this pen? – problem: you have 100 doors in a row that are all initially closed. you make 100 passes by the doors starting with the first door every time. the first time through you visit every door and toggle the door (if the door is closed, you open it, if its open, you close it). the second time you only visit every 2nd door (door #2, #4, #6). the third time, every 3rd door (door #3, #6, #9), etc, until you only visit the 100th door. Question: what state are the doors in after the last pass? which are open which are closed?
    • 29. Types of Questions Brainteasers/Riddles/Puzzles/Practical Questions continued… You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do? How would you find out if a machine‟s stack grows up or down in memory? Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew. How many gas stations would you say there are in the United States? How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? How much should you charge to wash all the windows in San Francisco?
    • 30. Types of Questions  Puzzles continued…  A census taker approaches a house and asks the woman who answers the door "How many children do you have, and what are their ages?” Woman: "I have three children; the product of their ages is 36, the sum of their ages is equal to the address of the house next door." The census taker walks next door, comes back and says "I need more information." The woman replies "I have to go; my oldest child is sleeping upstairs." Census taker: "Thank you, I now have everything I need." What are the ages of each of the three children?
    • 31. Types of Questions Puzzles continued… A man has to get a fox, a chicken, and a sack of corn across a river. He has a rowboat, and it can only carry him and one other thing. If the fox and the chicken are left together, the fox will eat the chicken. If the chicken and the corn are left together, the chicken will eat the corn. How does the man do it?
    • 32.  Puzzles continued… You have 12 balls identical in size and appearance but one is an odd weight (it could be either light or heavy). You have a set of scales which will give three possible readings: Left = Right, Left > Right or Left < Right (I.E Left and Right have equal weight, Left is Heavier, or Left is Lighter). You have only three chances to weigh the balls in any combination using the scales. Determine which ball is the odd one and if it's heavier or lighter than the rest. How do you do it?
    • 33. Software Development Interviews
    • 34. Types of Questions Technical / Practical Questions  If you are a programmer, be prepared to write code in the interview!  There are many programming type interview questions online.  Design a data structure such that given a stream of numbers, you can find the maximum of the numbers at any point and also all the numbers.  You are given a dictionary of all valid words. You have the following 3 operations permitted on a word: delete a character, insert a character, replace a character. Now given two words - word1 and word2 - find the minimum number of steps required to convert word1 to word2. (one operation counts as 1 step.)  Define Data Abstraction. What is its importance? Reference
    • 35. 5 Steps to Interviewing Success
    • 36. 5 Steps to Interviewing Success 1. Know Yourself 2. Know the Employer 3. Interview Preparation 4. Perform at the Interview 5. Follow Up
    • 37. • Values • Needs • Interests • Realistic Goals • Company culture you seek • Experiences • Skills / Qualifications • Specific examples that illustrate your qualifications 1. Know Yourself
    • 38. 2. Know the Employer  Products  Customers/Clients  Size of Organization  Geographic Locations  Financial Structure  Trends/Future Growth  Reputation/History  Training Opportunities  Policies/Benefits  Research & Research & Research
    • 39. 3. Interview Preparation • Review Potential Questions – Career Services website, Career Guide • Formulate Questions to Ask • Know your resume • Research the employer and position • Practice, Practice, Practice! – Career Services •
    • 40. 4. The Interview • Arrive early & be prepared • Dress appropriately • Turn cell phone off • Shake hands firmly & smile • Be polite & positive • Know & use the interviewer‟s name • Assess the interviewer and interview accordingly – Watch for non-verbal clues • Develop a dialogue • Make eye contact • Expect the unexpected • Communicate your skills
    • 41. 4. The Interview Cont’d  Listen & answer questions clearly  Don‟t ramble, get to the point!  Be positive! Turn negatives into positives  Think before responding  Utilize past experiences as examples  Ask appropriate questions  Incorporate information about the company  Utilize key words / buzzwords  Express interest in position & company
    • 42. 4. The Interview Cont’d • Be politically correct • Ask for the job at the end of the interview • Express your interest and enthusiasm for the position • Ask for a business card
    • 43. 5. Interview Follow-Up • Write a thank you letter within 24 hrs. • Discuss the experience with a career counselor • Prepare for the second interview • Provide additional references, transcripts, etc. upon request
    • 44. 5 Simple Hints to improve your success at the technical job interview 1. Smile. Seriously, when you shake everybody's hand, smile at them. 2. Have your story ready. 3. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. If you do not know the answer to a questions, tell the interviewer, “I don‟t know” and then explain to them how you would figure it out. Think out loud. 4. Programmers - Write some code by hand on paper the night before. 5. Ask questions and be prepared with questions for the interviewer at the end of the interview. They expect you to ask questions. REFERENCE: September 24, 2008
    • 45. Career Services Services & tools to help you be successful!
    • 46. • Individual Career Counseling appointment – Discuss interviewing techniques and/or debrief recent interview experience(s) • Practice Interview appointment – Videotaped while being asked interview questions by a Career Counselor and then review the tape with the Career Counselor • Interview Stream tool – *New* – This tool enables you to practice an interview online. You can then review it and you may send the link to professors, friends, or career counselors for feedback. Now in BullsEye! Career Services
    • 47. Career Services • Contact us: – 259 Capen Hall – 8:30am – 5:00pm M-F – Call 716-645-2231 to schedule an appointment – Email us at – Express Career Consult • 20 minute same day appointment • Monday – Friday from 12:00pm- 4:00pm • Call or stop by to make an appointment •
    • 48. Thank you for your time. Good Luck! Holly M. Justice Engineering Career Counselor Career Services 259 Capen Hall
    • 49. REFERENCES There are many resources available to you in order to prepare for an interview. A few resources used to create this presentation are provided for your convenience.  UB Career Services   Career Guide  Job Choices Magazine, National Association of Colleges and Employers , 52nd edition.    rviews/technical-interview-tips.htm   