do interviewers already have their favourite?

(17 Posts)
threeisthebest Sun 02-Feb-14 21:22:39

Are they just going through the motions with about half a dozen candidates on the off chance that the favourite may make a dogs dinner of the interview.

I have an interview next week and know that I am qualified to do the job. But, I am not great at selling myself in interviews. I have done all the preparation possible but my mind blanks when I am nervous. I am undecided whether or not to take some notes in, part of me thinks this will go against me.

What I want to know really is that if my interview isn't great compared to the other candidates but I can obviously do the job, how much emphasis is placed on the interview?

themessyapron Sun 02-Feb-14 21:31:04

Take the notes!

The interviews I've done where I've taken notes have been my best. Keep coming second damn it, but I'll get there! I don't think the notes have gone against me at all.

I've interviewed people who have notes and I wouldn't mind at all - after all you want to hear the maximum about the person you're interviewing. It's not a memory test

Good luck! smile

themessyapron Sun 02-Feb-14 21:38:30

Oh and lots of emphasis on the interview sadly.

I did an interview course with Women Like Us. It really helped me

Think about the likely questions and write out your answers in full using the CAR model. Circumstance, action, result.

For eg

"Can you tell us about a change you've made in the workplace?"

C: when I was working as a secretary two years ago for Xcompany, I was given the task of overhauling their filing system. The files were a mess and everything was disorganised

A: I started by reviewing what they currently did. I then did x y and z. (List actions)

R: the result was that I changed the way we did things. The change meant that everyone saved time - on average two hours a week each - which of course made the way we did admin much more efficient and therefore ultimately was giving the company better value for money. I was really pleased with that project and got some great feedback from senior management

HTH smile

threeisthebest Sun 02-Feb-14 21:38:43

Thanks messy

I don't really feel comfortable taking notes. I personally don't think it looks good.

However, I really really want to take them. I have so much that I want to say in the interview but I waffle and talk with no structure when I am nervous.

I might reconsider.

themessyapron Sun 02-Feb-14 21:39:32

Read your answers lots but have them to have to refer to.

leftangle Sun 02-Feb-14 21:44:26

Sorry but a lot of emphasis is placed on the interview in my experience. Everyone interviewed would, on paper, be able to do the job so it usually does come down to performance at interview.

I've never known the team go in with a firm favourite although there may be stronger candidates / reserve candidates they all have an equal chance at the interview stage.

Notes should be fine. Also it is generally obvious when people are nervous and some allowance would be made.

Try and be clear in your own mind - you can do the job, you would be good at the job, you really want the job.

Good luck

blueshoes Sun 02-Feb-14 21:46:02

If you catching yourself waffling, just pause and say "to answer your question ..." and then answer it as succintly as you can. People forgive a multitude of sins in between if you go back to their original question and answer it.

blueshoes Sun 02-Feb-14 21:48:41

Instead of bringing in notes, could you role play with a friend? Interviewing, like any other skill, gets better and smoother with practice.

Rehearse your answer to the question "tell me about yourself". They might start with some variation of that and if you use that to get into the flow of the interview, that will help to calm your nerves for the rest of it.

HelloBoys Mon 03-Feb-14 10:16:06

I am unsure as to whether I'd use notes...

BUT as to whether interviewers have favourites. the last job I was shortlisted for (down to last 2 candidates, 2nd interview) the role went to someone who already knew someone in the company. It was a real shame as I think both the HR woman and the man who'd have been my boss would have preferred me to the other candidate (the man even said as much).

And in the past I've been to interviews where you've guessed it they already have other people working there and interviewing for the same role. 99.9% of the time unless you're an extra amazing candidate you won't win as someone already with their foot in the door has more of a chance by knowing people already there. And me as a candidate are only told this after the interview... so essentially a waste of my time interviewing.

HaveYouHeardOfGoogle Mon 03-Feb-14 10:22:56

I interview within my job and I'm not a fan of people bringing notes in to be honest. You can explain that you are nervous, most people are, but an interview is about getting a sense of a person and not just having them refer to words they have written down.

Definitely go over questions you think they may ask and rehearse answers. Also have a question to ask them at the end. It shows you've thought about the job itself if you can.

HelloBoys Mon 03-Feb-14 10:26:44

Haveyouheard - that is good advice. I always run through interviews. I would never use notes but it is good to get feedback from interviewers.

To me, being honest if I were to interview someone I would not be impressed with a note taker. shows lack of preparation.

2014ThisIsMyYear Mon 03-Feb-14 22:40:48

Don't take the notes in. But make lots of notes in preparation, and use them when practising, as if you were preparing for an exam. An exam about you - your very own specialist subject! If you practice lots, either alone or with a friend, you'll soon find you don't need them.

AnneWentworth Wed 05-Feb-14 12:36:56

Really to no notes? Personally I take my CV and the job description and on one of them I will have written relevant prompts. I.e if the job description says 'organising complex travel at short notice' next to it I will have written the company where I did that, how I do it but is abbreviated form so that if they ask I can refer.

In my field it is usually a run through of my cv and a couple of questions asking how I would manage a process. If you have the experience then you just need to find the example and be truthful.

I also look on interviews as much about me wanting to work there/for them as them wanting me. This I find really calms me down and gives me confidence.

The last three roles I have actually had two job offers each time with the above approach.

If notes make you feel uncomfortable don't take them but I do write things down, e.g. An employer once asked me to take them through the process I would use to boom a specific trip for them, it involved various components and if I hadn't written it down I may have forgotten an element.

Good luck op.

deardarlingpleaaeexcusemywriti Wed 05-Feb-14 12:38:50

I personally wouldn't take notes.

I also wanted to say - yes, they may already have a favourite applicant from the paper sift (but obviously can't make that know) but that person might be you!! Be positive!!

Zizio Wed 12-Mar-14 19:30:47

I went myself for more than 20 interviews in one year and from my personal experience I got anxious in my first few interviews irregardless of how much I had prepared. I however did end up taking speech/voice lessons and learned breathing exercises. I became less anxious and confident when I did breathing exercises prior to the interviews. Personally myself I tend to do well in one to one interviews with the line manager/director as opposed to a panel with a mixed bunch of people from different departments.

Interviewers do also come with all sorts of personas. Some are ego centric you wonder how they got a managerial/hr position, some engaging that you walk out through the door thinking you got the job and those that are simply dismissive either by body language or the words they utter. There are those who are professional and very well trained that even if you didn't get the job you would still feel that you tried your best, you were given a chance and wouldn't think much of favoritism.

Mostly interview questions do evolve around the role, your experience(CV), strengths and weaknesses. It can be difficult to thoroughly prepare for an interview however I think its important to always do a background research about the company. Again breathing and voice exercises can be useful to calm down nerves.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 17-Mar-14 21:23:43

I write the questions I want to ask in a notebook with enough space to keep down some notes on me on the facing page.

stowsettler Tue 18-Mar-14 09:21:35

Very often when I am interviewing I have what I think is my 'favourite' based on the CVs I have read. However, I almost never end up appointing them because others do better during the interview.

I would definitely say take your notes in if it makes you feel more confident. To an employer that just shows how keen you are.

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