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Interview skills, need help!

Old 08-25-2017, 12:34 PM
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Default Interview skills, need help!

I recently got laid off from a previous job with a big company. I have applied and have an interview coming up within the company but at a different plant. I'm a mechanic at a nuclear plant, or was, and hope to still be. I've been with the same company for 12 years and have a great record. If it were only that simple, I know I'd have the job.

With the announcement of the halt to build the 2 new plants I was working at, I now have to compete with at least 40 other mechanics, my peers, for a job at an existing legacy plant. This isn't my first rodeo, I had to do the same 4 years ago when the coal plant I was working at was forced into closure. The family and I moved then for this job, and aren't sure we want to move again. I'd like to stay where I'm at.
The interview process isn't one of which your skills are tested but more so on how well you can answer The organizational fit questions such as:
Name a time when you saw someone working unsafe and what did you do?
Name a time when you didn't agree with a supervisor or his decision and what did you do?
Tell us why you are the best person for this job?
Any tips or information on how y'all handle these types of things?
Old 08-25-2017, 12:48 PM
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First thing you should do is write down your answer to each of those questions. Do each on a separate sheet of paper. Make up 6 questions that are in a similar fashion that you think they might ask. BE PREPARED.

Then refine each answer over and over. Get it to the best answer that it can be. Keep refining the answers until you've got them polished and perfected just the way you want it.

You are in effect selling something - YOU. The rules to successful sales:

1. Sell yourself.
2. Sell your company.
3. Sell your product.

1 - Sell yourself. Be confident in yourself. When you sit with that interviewer, he's sitting across the desk thinking "I've got 40 other mechanics that want this job.... why should I hire you?" Let him pick up on your confidence. You've got the experience (12 years). You've shown the commitment that you're a team player (packed up and moved the family for work). Let him know that you can be counted on when needed.

2 - Sell your company. That company is your family. They packed up and moved for the job. The whole "company" committed to the "customer". Let them know that and understand that the whole company is there to support him.

3 - Sell your product. You've got the experience, the know-how, and you can meet or exceed all of their requirements. You can step in first-thing Monday morning and hit the ground running. Convince him that your product is the perfect fit for his requirements.

Then close the deal. Ask for the "sale". Let him know you want the job, and you want to make this easy for him.

Best of luck with it.
Old 08-25-2017, 12:49 PM
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Answer honestly, but try to talk about how your unique perspective helped the situation. Also, do some research on the plant! Know who the plant manager is, know what products they produce, and be ready to ASK questions. As a hiring manager, I want to see that the candidate is as interested in the job as well. Ask why the position is open, ask the interviewer what he/she likes about their job/plant/company, etc. Ask what the perfect candidate would look like (this helps you answer future questions).

Good luck!
Old 08-25-2017, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Drippin Wett View Post
I recently got laid off from a previous job with a big company. I have applied and have an interview coming up within the company but at a different plant. I'm a mechanic at a nuclear plant, or was, and hope to still be. I've been with the same company for 12 years and have a great record. If it were only that simple, I know I'd have the job.

With the announcement of the halt to build the 2 new plants I was working at, I now have to compete with at least 40 other mechanics, my peers, for a job at an existing legacy plant. This isn't my first rodeo, I had to do the same 4 years ago when the coal plant I was working at was forced into closure. The family and I moved then for this job, and aren't sure we want to move again. I'd like to stay where I'm at.
The interview process isn't one of which your skills are tested but more so on how well you can answer The organizational fit questions such as:
Name a time when you saw someone working unsafe and what did you do?
Name a time when you didn't agree with a supervisor or his decision and what did you do?
Tell us why you are the best person for this job?
Any tips or information on how y'all handle these types of things?
I work in an extremely competitive field and would highly recommend getting an interview coach. The $400 or so it would cost you is minimal in the long run.

If that's not an option for you and after re-evaluating your priorities, I would look into the STARR method of answering interview questions:

S-Situation
T-Task
A-Action
R-Response
R-Reaction

In addition to that, I'd dress nice and do everything within your power to not fart and not say f*ck.

Good luck!
Old 08-25-2017, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Dime View Post
I work in an extremely competitive field and would highly recommend getting an interview coach. The $400 or so it would cost you is minimal in the long run.

If that's not an option for you and after re-evaluating your priorities, I would look into the STARR method of answering interview questions:

S-Situation
T-Task
A-Action
R-Response
R-Reaction

In addition to that, I'd dress nice and do everything within your power to not fart and not say f*ck.

Good luck!
This is exactly the response they want with those questions.

Be honest, if you've been in one of those situations talk about how you handled it (hopefully you didn't just let it ride).

Everyone has a time they disagreed with their supervisor.
"Yeah, he was a dick and didn't know what he was talking about but made us do it his way" or "oh no we never disagreed" - you're never getting hired, because you're full of crap. Nobody agrees with their sup 100% of the time.

"I brought him the how/why/what of an alternate way X that my experience said would work, in the end we went with his choice Y." make sure you're fleshing out the entire thing.
-you got your interviewers attention.

I pile on the situationals on candidates when I'm looking for certain behavior.
Old 08-25-2017, 01:09 PM
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As others have said be prepared but practice your answers out loud and with someone that is willing to criticize you.
Old 08-25-2017, 01:31 PM
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All the above.

I interview people from time to time, you wouldn't get in the door for an interview if I didn't think you could do the job. What are managers looking for in a face to face interview from my perspective:

1. To verify that you indeed know what you say you do.

2. See what kind of person you are

3. Gauge how you will fit with the company and team

Biggest mistakes I see people make:

1. They don't know what they say they do

2. They aren't personable. Give scripted robotic answers.

3. Don't know my company or what we do. Some lack of knowledge is understandable, but you should have at least done some research.

4. This is a unique one: they don't ask about the team or the culture. Interview the interviewer as much as they are interviewing you. What is the culture like? How long have people worked here? What would I be doing on a day to day basis? Why are you hiring for this position? What happened to the last person in this role? This shows me that you are looking for a good job and stable company to work for. You don't want to work somewhere where the turnover is high.
Old 08-25-2017, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Danny33486 View Post
As others have said be prepared but practice your answers out loud and with someone that is willing to criticize you.
I have the perfect candidate for that. My wife doesn't mind telling me about what I did wrong.

What makes this hard for me is; this shop at the plant I'm applying for knows me. They know my work quality. I know the plant, I've worked several outages there. Even been called in specifically to help fix things that went wrong during an outage. I don't know that any of that matters to HR, but out of 40 people I got called back because of my attention to detail and knowledge. Now it's up to HR to tell me if I fit? Lol. This is what stumbles me, I'm not a talker.
Old 08-25-2017, 01:43 PM
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Have a plan on selling the prospective employer on why you are better than the other guy, how much extra profit hiring you will mean to the bottom line, and how exactly you will make your supervisor's day to day life better.

If you can sell the interviewer on these things, you'll not need to answer those silly questions.
Old 08-25-2017, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Drippin Wett View Post
I have the perfect candidate for that. My wife doesn't mind telling me about what I did wrong.

What makes this hard for me is; this shop at the plant I'm applying for knows me. They know my work quality. I know the plant, I've worked several outages there. Even been called in specifically to help fix things that went wrong during an outage. I don't know that any of that matters to HR, but out of 40 people I got called back because of my attention to detail and knowledge. Now it's up to HR to tell me if I fit? Lol. This is what stumbles me, I'm not a talker.
You're interviewing with HR and not a hiring manager? Ugg. That sucks.
Old 08-25-2017, 01:49 PM
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Let them know that your a doer and not a talker.
Old 08-25-2017, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Danny33486 View Post
You're interviewing with HR and not a hiring manager? Ugg. That sucks.
Yeah it does. I guess in reality, that's the only way to keep it fair to everyone. Some haven't had the opportunities that I have, and maybe didn't do their best because they already had a job. Who knows. 620 people laid off and less than 100 jobs available within the company, someone has to make the tough and fair choices somehow.
Old 08-25-2017, 02:02 PM
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We only let HR pre screen. I worked at a place that let HR hire without the manager meeting candidates. It was a shit show.

I interview internals from time to time. One common denominator I've found is that internals tend to dial it in and not take the interview seriously. I reserve a conference room for internals.
Old 08-25-2017, 02:06 PM
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Yep, that's the behavioral style interview. The internet is full of sample questions. I would spend time reviewing those and then take stock of your career, experiences and accomplishments so that they are top of mind. The beauty of this type of interview is that you can spin (not lie or exaggerate) your experiences to put you in the best light possible. This of course depends on your interpersonal skills and your ability to read the interviewer.

The STARR approach as mentioned above is spot on. I used this approach when interviewing for my current job and found it very effective. Nine interviews later, I was hired LOL.

Good luck!!
Old 08-25-2017, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Drippin Wett View Post
What makes this hard for me is; this shop at the plant I'm applying for knows me. They know my work quality. I know the plant, I've worked several outages there. Even been called in specifically to help fix things that went wrong during an outage. I don't know that any of that matters to HR, but out of 40 people I got called back because of my attention to detail and knowledge. Now it's up to HR to tell me if I fit? Lol. This is what stumbles me, I'm not a talker.
use that to your advantage, for those several times, have dates ready, people that called you and specifics of the call in, and why they called you.
Old 08-25-2017, 02:35 PM
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I hate these STARR interviews so much that I think I am about to give up and become a cop...I am sure if I go through BLET and do well I can get a job no matter how bad I am at interviewing. I am intelligent and have a college degree with 3.4 gpa but I have a horrible memory and do not like acting/coming up with fake answers.
Old 08-25-2017, 02:48 PM
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Interviewing is like dating. You need to line up some interviews for jobs you don't really want.
Old 08-25-2017, 03:11 PM
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Licensed Control room supervisor at a nuke up the road here.

Research what type of questions this company asks in interviews. It's readily available. You mentioned you have deep knowledge on the plant which is awesome. You also mentioned you'd be interviewing with HR types (there will be Mechanical supervisors there also, I promise, which should serve to put you at ease). Don't neglect researching the company itself even though you already work for them (company goals, employee count, state presence), not just the plant. They probably will ask.

Have a handful of 'win' situations you've been through in your back pocket that you can mold to the different situational questions they probably will ask. Speak slowly and clearly. Take a moment to think before replying. Don't interrupt them when they talk. Huge bonus points if one or two are from your outage time at their plant.

Lastly, and don't laugh, practice OUTLOUD your responses to different questions you think you'll be asked. Seriously. This is huge. It'll calm your nerves when the time comes.

Any questions, don't hesitate to PM me. I don't know the plant type you're applying to (same site as in the remaining nuke or a nearby fossil?) but plan the time you show up accordingly for security entrance. Too early, you put your interviewers in a bind... and late... may as well go home.

CD
Old 08-25-2017, 03:20 PM
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Srs?
Old 08-25-2017, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Coastal Drift View Post
Licensed Control room supervisor at a nuke up the road here.

Research what type of questions this company asks in interviews. It's readily available. You mentioned you have deep knowledge on the plant which is awesome. You also mentioned you'd be interviewing with HR types (there will be Mechanical supervisors there also, I promise, which should serve to put you at ease). Don't neglect researching the company itself even though you already work for them (company goals, employee count, state presence), not just the plant. They probably will ask.

Have a handful of 'win' situations you've been through in your back pocket that you can mold to the different situational questions they probably will ask. Speak slowly and clearly. Take a moment to think before replying. Don't interrupt them when they talk. Huge bonus points if one or two are from your outage time at their plant.

Lastly, and don't laugh, practice OUTLOUD your responses to different questions you think you'll be asked. Seriously. This is huge. It'll calm your nerves when the time comes.

Any questions, don't hesitate to PM me. I don't know the plant type you're applying to (same site as in the remaining nuke or a nearby fossil?) but plan the time you show up accordingly for security entrance. Too early, you put your interviewers in a bind... and late... may as well go home.

CD
Luckily I'm still badged and officially employed until Sept. 30. It's a legacy PWR that I'm applying at. I was at the ap1000's that didn't make it, and before that I was actually an operator at a coal plant that got shut down.
Thanks for the info everyone!!

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