Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Off-Topic > Off-Topic > General off-topic  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 22.05.2017, 16:50
amogles's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 10,806
Groaned at 227 Times in 191 Posts
Thanked 22,512 Times in 9,559 Posts
amogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond repute
Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

My stepson has finished university and is now looking for work.

He had his first interview last week, and things didn't go very well.

I've told him that this is normal, chalk it up as an experience, and move on.

But he's still grovelling over specific questions that he messed up on.

The interviewer asked him why he had taken more than the minimal time to complete his university course. The interviewer specificially said, if you took longer to complete your course, how can I trust you to complete work you're doing for customers on time.

He replied something about customers sometimes changing the specs and that causing projects to overrun. Whereas that is very true, it doesn't answer the question.

So he turned the question around and asked me what I would have said in his place.

So I'd like to hear the collective wisdom of the forum on this one.

One approach I suggested is what I call the honest approach. Admit you made some mistakes, partied a bit too much, but you had your wake up call when the exam results came in, buckled up, worked hard from then on, and it didn't and won't happen again. Plus side is that you are being very honest, negative is that you are admitting a weakness.

Another approach is to build it into a strength. Say the university recomends this many semesters but you are allowed more, and you took advantage of that and studied extra stuff.

Any HR expeienced folks out there who can give guidance on the "right" response.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 22.05.2017, 17:02
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 12,537
Groaned at 193 Times in 170 Posts
Thanked 18,088 Times in 7,369 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

So... he failed some exams and spent more time at university then normal as he needed to do retakes?

Or did he just spread out his university experience so he could do other things?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 22.05.2017, 17:04
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,086
Groaned at 486 Times in 405 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

tell them he was partying too hard and missed a vital exam so had to retake a year
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 22.05.2017, 17:06
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 258
Groaned at 59 Times in 28 Posts
Thanked 158 Times in 92 Posts
profetas is considered unworthyprofetas is considered unworthyprofetas is considered unworthyprofetas is considered unworthy
Re: Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

It is always good to try to focus on the positive, saying something like, people come with different level of preparation in university and that is mainly due to where they were educated. I would then focus on the fact that even though I was less prepared I worked harder and caught up all the preparation work mine previous institution didn't provide me and managed to complete the task where over XX% will just give up. Where XX depends on the University. Like ETH is/was around 50%
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 22.05.2017, 17:21
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 7,886
Groaned at 285 Times in 214 Posts
Thanked 17,652 Times in 6,199 Posts
k_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

Quote:
View Post
The interviewer asked him why he had taken more than the minimal time to complete his university course. The interviewer specificially said, if you took longer to complete your course, how can I trust you to complete work you're doing for customers on time.
he could have asked the interviewer if he/she has ever been young and had fun.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 22.05.2017, 17:22
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vaud
Posts: 4,552
Groaned at 492 Times in 321 Posts
Thanked 4,099 Times in 1,952 Posts
CorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

Comparing a project vs a one or more year long activity is entirely dumb.

So it would be like skipping work one day under false illness pretenses, everybody does that now and then. OUCH maybe not to say to HR lol.

Ok let me try again:

This is very different situations. I took longer to complete the course but I have acquired numerous other experiences such as x, y and z. All which can be useful for the said job because of a, b and c.
As for trust and commitment on the job, I have strong work ethic and morale which I hope I can demonstrate to you, for example during the probation period.

Now piss off and ask me decent questions you mor... erm. Ok I'm out.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 22.05.2017, 18:08
curley's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: canton ZH
Posts: 11,476
Groaned at 183 Times in 151 Posts
Thanked 12,885 Times in 6,738 Posts
curley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

Quote:
View Post
.........
The interviewer asked him why he had taken more than the minimal time to complete his university course. The interviewer specificially said, if you took longer to complete your course, how can I trust you to complete work you're doing for customers on time.
.......

One approach I suggested is what I call the honest approach. Admit you made some mistakes, partied a bit too much, but you had your wake up call when the exam results came in, buckled up, worked hard from then on, and it didn't and won't happen again. Plus side is that you are being very honest, negative is that you are admitting a weakness.

Another approach is to build it into a strength. Say the university recomends this many semesters but you are allowed more, and you took advantage of that and studied extra stuff.
The question/comparison is stupid. But hey, most HR questions are. At least this one was not immediately recognisable from their booklet

Honest answer is always the best. But this 'wake-up call' and 'will never happen again' things I wouldn't say. I would honestly admit I was a student, had lots of side interests and involvements. Now I'm applying for a job and working on a professional project is a whole different assignment.

<<and you took advantage of that and studied extra stuff>> he can only say that if he really did as he will be asked to name the extra stuff (If you're in a hole, stop digging?)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13.06.2017, 10:58
Divesnowboy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Konwileggdorf
Posts: 499
Groaned at 5 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 365 Times in 175 Posts
Divesnowboy has an excellent reputationDivesnowboy has an excellent reputationDivesnowboy has an excellent reputationDivesnowboy has an excellent reputation
Re: Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

This is always most fitting on such posts... :-)

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 13.06.2017, 11:01
Chemmie's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 4,108
Groaned at 31 Times in 27 Posts
Thanked 4,894 Times in 2,214 Posts
Chemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

As someone who did the same thing (7 years for a bachelors degree), I answer this question honestly--and if they don't like it: I know that I won't fit well at that company.


All the positions I got, the interviewer appreciated the story: I went to a party school, I enjoyed life, I broadened my experiences and horizons.


But HR can be tools!


Best of luck to the stepson. It's an adventure and roller coaster of finding a job just like school was.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 13.06.2017, 11:35
lost_inbroad's Avatar
Unbridled Mod
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Town or region
Posts: 11,436
Groaned at 628 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 16,010 Times in 6,268 Posts
lost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Job interview advice, dealing with tricky questions

He can tell them that he personally wasn't satisfied with his grades and that those weren't bad grades by all means but he sets the standard higher for himself and therefore, decided to retake some subjects. It may have taken him a bit longer but the prolonged stay had enabled him to improve on quality work. Thus, (and this is when he stares HR dead in the eye), if you would like a rush job, he won't stand for it because whenever he puts his name on a piece of paper, they can be rest assured that the work is done properly.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Seeking advice for dealing with significant visa overstay Lavern Permits/visas/government 8 30.05.2016 10:15
Advice appreciated [dealing with real estate upon separation/divorce] saasfeesteve Housing in general 0 01.06.2015 22:31
Any advice on dealing with a plague of mice? Bobby.Buchi Daily life 29 24.07.2013 08:17
need advice with dealing Ricardo.ch & Swiss Post Sumerkirima Finance/banking/taxation 28 02.09.2012 21:09
[Wanted] Advice on dealing with naughty children Hsiang Daily life 44 05.06.2009 23:29


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 16:08.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0