Job interview with 10+ people

Discussion in 'Community' started by dPratt, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. dPratt macrumors member

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    Aug 16, 2004
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    Knoxville, TN
    #1
    Tomorrow I have a promising interview for a web design position. Basically, I'm going to meet 3 people for lunch, then interview with 2 of them, then interview with the entire design team (10-12 people, I think), then interview with 2 others from management, meet with HR, and finally a tour. All of this is going to take about 4 hours. Not that I have a ton of interviewing experience, but I can pretty much handle an interview with a couple of people. However, I really don't know what to expect out of the "firing squad interview" (their term). Anyone have experience interviewing with a large group and care to give a couple of pointers? Thanks :)
     
  2. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

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    #2
    Be presentable: nice hair, clothes, shave, no tattoos showing etc.
    Be confident: don't show concern or doubt, not even indecision
    Be polite: yes sirs etc.


    CONFIDENCE ;)
     
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #3
    Try to get in at least one joke about monkeys.

    I did at my last interview!
     
  4. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #4
    Show enthusiasm and animation when talking about your previous projects and experience. That 'get up and go' attitude really does impress if it comes down to 2 candidates with similar experience.
     
  5. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

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    Jul 10, 2004
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    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    #5
    Show your knowledge of the material, but don't be snobby about it. Remember to bring a portfolio if you have one.
     
  6. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    #6
    In my experience, the "firing squad interview" will only have a few people who are asking most of the questions. In this regard, it is a lot like a 2-3 person interview. The rest of the "squad" will sit back quietly and just listen to the goings-on. Just make sure you don't forget they are still there. I've found that this technique is often used to give all those involved the feeling, whether valid or not, that they have participated in the process and is sort of a rule-by-committee. Don't be too worried, though. It probably won't be as bad as the name implies.
     
  7. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #7
    I think trying to be friendly and personable is helpful as well. They have to want to work with you, after all. But what you're really asking about is group interviewing isn't it. I've never been interviewed by more than 3 people at once. I think it's important to try to talk to everyone and try to engage with everyone, but that's hard with that many people. Still, it's not just the questioner's question. Everyone's listening to your answer.

    And have good questions for them. Like who each one of them is.
     
  8. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    #8
    When interviewing with a lot of people, most of the folks will not say much of anything, letting a few lead the discussion. Make sure you include everyone by looking every person in the eye to acknowledge them, without holding contact so long as to threaten them or make them think you are more than a little psycho. And try to relax about it. Often, one of the main objectives here is to make you feel "on the spot" to see how you react.

    Good luck.
     
  9. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #9
    don't get nervous and talk too much. give concise answers.

    be sure to compliment the work of their web team thus far...don't be fake about it, just find the items that are noteworthy.

    and a good way to keep the interview going well without having it all focused on you is to ask questions.
     
  10. unfaded macrumors 6502

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    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    Earrings on males.

    I've had conflicting reports of what to do with these (and have seen men with earrings wear them in interviews). They should, in fact, be taken out, yes?
     
  11. dPratt thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #11
    Thanks for all the good (and quick) advice. I thought it might be the case that with a group of people only a couple of them would be talking, but what do I know.

    So here's another question. How important is it to have printouts of websites? Most of my portfolio is digital. I have a version on CD in case there's no internet access. But it seems that even a 'good' printout of a website really isn't all that good. I will, of course, take the final printed brochures in my portfolio. But what about the websites? Personally, I'd rather show them digitally (since that's the intended medium, obviously). But is it a bad idea to count on that?
     
  12. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #12
    be an active listener, look them in the eye when they talk and nod you head like you care even when it is even painfully boring.

    give a firm handshake, in my opinion generally besides your apperance, this is one of the first things they will remember you by. it isn't that important in the long run, but starting out with a good impression doesn't hurt you.
     
  13. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

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    Location:
    Michigan
    #13
    I would take some prints of your sites as a backup, but I would ask them if there is a projector or other setup where you could demo some features of your site. Taking initiative on something like this would be seen as a good thing I would hope. If it is not feasible due to the circumstances of the interview than fall back on your prints and just discuss the layout/features with them. You may even want to call HR ahead of time and see if this can be arranged for your interview.

    Two things I always try to do for interviews is to study up on the company you are interviewing with so that you can talk about their sites/products with them - this shows interest in their company on your part and that you are self-motivated. It will also help you in subtle ways throughout the interview.

    The other thing is to be polite, professional, confident - all those things everyone else already mentioned. However, don't forget to be yourself because you are too occupied thinking about what you should be doing/saying. You have to be genuine, insincerity is easy to pick up on and I have always been easily turned off by it the few times I have had to interview others.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
     
  14. snkTab macrumors 6502a

    snkTab

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    Nov 13, 2004
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #14
    SHAKE HANDS (FIRM) AND INTRODUCING YOURSELF TO EVERYONE!

    I don't care if there are 30 people in the room and it takes 15 minutes. If you are in a room and another person enters, stand (important) shake and introduce again. This goes double if the person who entered was female.
     
  15. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #15
    Try to control the interview. Bring a portfolio, and talk about it and all the stuff you did. Most interviewers will sit back and let you drive, just asking a few questions here and there. Then they'll say "do you have any questions for me"? Have some! Ask about how projects are run, the work environment, the tools, the responsibilities, etc.

    This doesn't work for everyone (some people will look at your portfolio for just 5 mins and then ask you their own questions and try to stump you or look for weaknesses), but works about 80% of the time.

    BTW if you're being interviewed by 10 people, what's probably happening is that you'll have 6 short interviews in a row with 1-2 people. Be friendly and feel free to say the same things and ask the exact same questions. :)
     
  16. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #16
    Excellent advice. I would add

    Ask questions, don't be so quick to answer either
    Make sure you look each of them in the eye at some point
    Ask questions
    Ask questions
     
  17. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #17
    in aviation, it is as important to be likable as competent. competance is judged in a simulator, likability in an interview. This people want someone they will like, the best artist, who is also an arse will not get the job.

    Don't get defensive (Not saying you are) to any negative or constructive critisim of your work. Say something positive like " I see what you're saying", or even an "OK". Be positive, conscise, and very likable. Don't forget to smile some!

    Have atleast 2 good, solid questions you will ask. This will show both your understanding of the industry and how it will relate at that job, and that you are indeed intelligent.

    NEVER interupt a comment or question. Killer/instant death.

    Good luck. Hopefully you will find a job where you are a good fit. That is what is most important.

    Let us know how it goes! :)
     
  18. LifeIsCheap macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz.
    #18
    One of my peers at work here does a similar thing. What he does is the first formal interview where they see if you're any good. The second bit with the rest of the team is more of a meet and greet to see if you're going to fit in. In these circumstances the questions from the team are usually just finding out a bit more about you workwise and socially.

    Don't know if this is what you might come up against but if it is then just try to relax, have a few witty/interesting observations to hand and ask as many questions as you like. "What's it like working here?", "What's the best thing about the job?", "Do you guys hang out after work?" etc etc. Any questions that are open ended and can't get closed down with a yes/no answer.

    Good luck!
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #19
    Yeah, if they ask you why you want to work for them, point out some examples from sites that THEY have made. Then they may ask you what weak points you see, and ask you what you would do differently.

    In 3 person interviews, one guy's job is just to observe. The other 2 are busy coming up with questions, but you have to impress that 3rd guy in every way.

    If you're interviewed by 10 people, you'll have to impress 8 of them, minimum, so do everything possible to be generally pleasing to a wide audience. No matter what your qualifications, they won't want to let you go if they all like you and want to get to know you better. ;)
     
  20. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

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    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #20
    When I first came to Japan I interviewed to work at a conversation school. The interview was about 5 hours if I remember correctly. First we all sat in a classroom while we were told about the business. Then we were told about the different classes offered (levels, etc.) then after that we were taken downstairs to the kids classrooms. We were split up into different rooms (10 people per room) given a card with a target phrase/target vocab on it, and given 5 minutes to make a lesson/activity that would last 2-3 minutes with the other candidates acting as kids. After we did that, we all went upstairs and took an English test focusing on grammar. Then we waited outside in the hallway and were interviewed one-by-one by 3 people.

    I was surprised at the answers people gave to some questions. "Why did you come to Japan?" and 1 guy said "this was a graduation gift from my parents" and someone else said "eh, I thought I'd check it out" Totally the WRONG answers to give :rolleyes:

    Also, I looked up the company on the web and read about them a little bit, like who founded it, when it was established, and other basic history. Lo and behold at the interview they asked me what I knew about the company.

    Sorry to ramble on, I hope this helps a little. Good luck on your interview!!
     
  21. AmigoMac macrumors 68020

    AmigoMac

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    Location:
    l'Allemagne
    #21
    Things Not to do at an Interview

    *“She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the same time.”
    *

    “Stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application.”
    *

    “A balding candidate abruptly excused himself and returned to the office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece.”
    *

    “Asked to see the interviewer’s resume to see if the engineering executive was qualified to judge the candidate.”
    *

    “Told the interviewing executive he was out of his league.”
    *

    “Announced she hadn’t had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and French fries and wiping the ketchup on her sleeve.”
    *

    “Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.”
    *

    “Interrupted to phone his wife for advice on answering specific interview questions.”
    *

    “When asked about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing.”
    *

    “Pulled out a Polaroid and snapped a picture of me. Said he collected photos of everybody that interviewed him.”
    *

    “Demanded more money and that if he got the increase it was a done deal and then after getting the bump, declined because he felt as though the higher salary would create too high of expectations in his performance.”
    *

    “During an interview, his wrist watch alarm went off and he shut it off, apologized, and said he had to leave for another interview.”
    *

    “A telephone call came in from his wife on his cell phone. His side of the conversation went like this: 'Which company? When do I start? What’s the salary?' I said, 'I assume you’re not interested in conducting this interview any further.' He promptly responded, 'I am as long as you’ll pay me more.'"
    *

    “His attaché case opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled, revealing ladies’ undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume.”
    *

    “Candidate said he really didn’t want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one.”
    *

    “Asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk. When I said it was my wife he asked if she was home now and wanted my phone number. I called security.”
    *

    “Candidate dropped his coffee cup under table and was under table for at least 15 seconds looking for it.”
    *

    “Candidate cleaned his ears with his car keys during the interview.”
    *

    “When asked what he aspired to do X years down the road, he responded: 'Certainly not what you do -- this seems tedious.'"
    *

    “Two engineering managers interviewed another engineer, who made good eye contact with them but kept making eye contact with another person to our right that wasn’t there.”
    *

    “A candidate who implied he wanted to work there, but needed a certain week off in the following August to go to a Star Trek convention, because he had a 'killer Borg outfit.'”
    *

    “A fellow responded to a question by putting on a Boston accent and replied loudly, 'Ask not what your company can do for you but what you can do for your company.' About ten seconds of silence ensued.
    *

    “A candidate that flossed in the parking lot in the presence of the hiring managers after a lunch meeting.”
    *

    “A district sales manager that showed up for an interview with a sports jacket over a “Van Halen World Tour” T-shirt.”
    *

    “A designer that literally had such bad body odor the first three interviewers abbreviated their interview and canceled the rest of the day’s schedule. One of the interviewers had to open the door to the office to create a cross breeze.”
    *

    “During the course of an interview, I asked a candidate to explain an unaccounted gap in the dates on his resume and he replied, “ Yeah, I was kind of bumming around at that point, but I’ve done a 360 degree turn since then.”
     
  22. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

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    BXL
    #22
    lol
    Where did you get those? Are they all real?

     
  23. dPratt thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    #23
    Thanks again for all the advice. The interview went really well. And because I know everyone has been anxiously awaiting an update, I thought I'd share. I was offered and accepted the position today. I'm really excited. Not only should the job and the people be great, but it also means a fairly significant pay increase :)

    Oh, and the firing squad interview wasn't bad. It was just a casual exchange of questions (from both them and me) after we went through my portfolio. And it was a good thing I took printouts of all my stuff since there was not computer in the room with the large interview. Anyway, thanks again!
     
  24. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

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    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #24
    Congrats on the new job! :) Thanks for the update.
     
  25. snkTab macrumors 6502a

    snkTab

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    Nov 13, 2004
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #25
    No wonder I didn't get hired. lol.


    Your lucky, I'm going through an interview process myself. It's taking forever. I have another interview on friday.
     

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