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Interviewing advice

 
Greenhorn
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I'm looking for some interviewing advice.

I'm a talented, experienced programmer with over 10 years of experience. My problem is EXTREME fear and nervousness on interviews. I have a bad memory to begin with, and I'm terrible at oral exams that are often given in interviews.

As a programmer, one doesn't really need a great memory, one simply has to know how to look things up, and I'm very good at that. But I don't make a good impression on interviews because I don't think well on my feet, especially when I'm nervous.

Any advice would be most appreciated. I've stayed at an unsatisfying job for many years now, mainly for this reason.

Thanks so much. I really do appreciate it.

-Cindy
 
Ranch Hand
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Mac IntelliJ IDE
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One simple suggestion - Go out for interviews for jobs that you do not really intend to accept. That way you can practice your interview skills without being under pressure. Infact make it fun, try out different things and observe how the interviewer responds to those. But if you are going to try something really whacky, make sure it is not at a place you may be going back to for a real interview

I am sure more helpful advice from other ranchers is on its way.
 
Greenhorn
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Hi Cindy,
Even I had that problem but dont worry you can surely overcome it..
My idea would be to meet up with few of your friends and give some mock interviews...Be confident on whatever you have done so far....just reharse and speak to yourself about the answers for most possible questions...

Lastly When you are in the interview room just think that the person who is interviewing you is a fool(This really helps)...

And above all this interview is not the end of world..There are lot of other avenues in the world...

So my Best wishes for your new job..Do let me know after u land in one...
 
Ranch Hand
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I'd suggest thinking of the categories of questions you are likely to get, something along the lines of:
  • what kinds of work have I done before?
  • what tidbits of technical know-how do I have in my brain?
  • how do I use my brain when faced with a problem?
  • how do I behave in a team?
  • what is it I want from my career?
  • what kinds of know-how do I think employers are looking for but I'm safer just admitting I know very little about?


  • I think a part of freezing is fear of the unknown. Do your homework on the subject closest to you - yourself - in order to reduce the unknown. Maybe you'll still have interview questions you can't answer as effectively as you might hope, but you can improve the situation by reducing how frequently that happens. When you are confident about what you can answer, you may also find yourself more confident to say "gee, I have no idea how to answer that one - can I mull it over while we continue with other questions?". May not be the strongest answer, but could be an acceptable improvement over having a blank look on your face when an interviewer asks you a question that stumps you.
    [ February 13, 2006: Message edited by: Reid M. Pinchback ]
     
    Ranch Hand
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    One suggestion is go for interview thinking you are going for a technical discussion with your friend with whom you would like to share your knowledge. Dont take it as a interview.

    Once you complete the interview try to recollect all the questions and yours answers write them in a notebook. Stary analysing what are all the questions you didn't answered and why.

    Before going for a interview you can ask your friends to take a mock interview.

    Good luck.
     
    Author
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    I also endorse doing mock interviews (I reguarly do that with some of the college students I work with). Additionally you should try the Toastmasters club. They focus on public speaking, but that self confidence will likely be applicable to interviews as well.

    --Mark
     
    Ranch Hand
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    May I suggest a book "What color is your parachute.".
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1580087272/sr=8-1/qid=1140039962/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-9446830-5074465?%5Fencoding=UTF8. I read this book (not this 2006 edition) a long time ago and picked up wonderful tips and sites for job searching and interviewing. You should be able to pick this up at your local library.
     
    Ranch Hand
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    Hi Candy
    Befor going to interview ,write down and practice possible question by stand in front of mirror and talk to your self for atleast 5 minutes.It do help to boast your confidence.

    Best of Luck
     
    Cindy Carr
    Greenhorn
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    Thanks everyone, lots of good advice.

    Here's a more specific question. Do you think there's a way to explain that I can work around my bad memory? If I need to work on something that I haven't done in a long time, all I need to do is refresh my memory by reading a book or googling the subject, and in a few minutes my brain is back in that kind of space. I don't really know how to explain that in a convincing way in an interview situation. Any concrete suggestions for how to handle something that you don't remember, but could be back up to speed on it very quickly in an interview situation?

    I very much appreciate any ideas you have.

    -Cindy
     
    author
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    I have not got a good memory either. That is why I spent lot of time refreshing my memory prior to inyerviews by wading through my collection of Java/J2EE books and articles and finally came with an idea of self-publishing my on book at Java/J2EE or Java/J2EE.
     
    Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
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