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Pre-Interview Jitters

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #1
Greetings :)
I have an interview this Wednesday for a RF position, and I am more nervous than a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I should be brushing up on my technical skills, but I can't sit still for more than a minute before I find myself pacing the room like a locked up pole cat...

Sure I tried that deep breathing thing, but that only works for as long as it takes before I am standing back up pacing the room again :eek:
Any suggestions to helping control these pre-interview jitters?
 
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Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#2
Hope all went well with the interview and the nerves didn't hinder your progress.

I couldn't help earlier as the last interview I attended was around 1983!!!

Mike.
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #3
Hope all went well with the interview and the nerves didn't hinder your progress.

I couldn't help earlier as the last interview I attended was around 1983!!!

Mike.
Well it is only Tuesday here in the US, so I still got about 24 more hours to go. Thanks for the kind wishes :)
 

granddad

Active Member
#5
I couldn't help earlier as the last interview I attended was around 1983!!!
How about last interview 1969 , i got the FE job but 1/2 the pay I was getting at the car factory.
Mike, Good luck.
Just be yourself. How about you take something you designed and made ... a picture paints a 1000 words
 

MikeMl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#6
When I was the interviewer, I really liked to see something that the interviewee had built, too. It usually opens the door to a discussion to see how the interviewee thinks...
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #7
Good Idea with props. I have a few I can bring, thanks :)
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #11
The interview was a very long process. I had to interview with 6 different people. I let my nerves get the best of me. The first guy drew up a DC circuit and had me analyze it. I botched a simple calculation. Another guy had me solve a S-parameter Matrice math problem. I completely drew a blank. All in all, I think I did rather poorly and do not expect a offer. Since this was my first interview in a number of years, I will look at it as a learning experience.
I got to get over my math anxiety issue for my next time.
Oh well...
 
#12
As a contractor, I interview many times a year (1-3 job searchers per year, 4-8 prospective clients per search, 1-3 interviews per client) and I can definitely say you get better with practice.
 

Cicero

Active Member
#13
The interview was a very long process. I had to interview with 6 different people. I let my nerves get the best of me. The first guy drew up a DC circuit and had me analyze it. I botched a simple calculation. Another guy had me solve a S-parameter Matrice math problem. I completely drew a blank. All in all, I think I did rather poorly and do not expect a offer. Since this was my first interview in a number of years, I will look at it as a learning experience.
I got to get over my math anxiety issue for my next time.
Oh well...
Yeah, I've been there as well, treating it as a learning experience is exactly the right thing to do.

Interviewing is a skill, and if its been a number of years often that interview question knowledge is very rusty. You know you know it, its somewhere in your brain, but unless you've used that knowledge recently you forget and feel like you've blown it - but sometimes you haven't and they expect you to not know! This gets worse the more senior you get, as they are less forgiving.
 
#14
The interview was a very long process. I had to interview with 6 different people. I let my nerves get the best of me. The first guy drew up a DC circuit and had me analyze it. I botched a simple calculation. Another guy had me solve a S-parameter Matrice math problem. I completely drew a blank. All in all, I think I did rather poorly and do not expect a offer. Since this was my first interview in a number of years, I will look at it as a learning experience.
I got to get over my math anxiety issue for my next time.
Oh well...
I hate interview questions that are too specific or require a lot of complicated calculations on the spot. For example, asking a candidate to write C# code to rotate a matrix by 90 degrees on a board. They don't prove anything, except to say that an applicant was either lucky to get the calculations/theory right or belong to the type who can do theory stuff well but can't even hold a soldering iron properly. How could those HR people expect the candidate to be able to remember everything and answer the question correctly within such a short time? For me, I would rather ask something as simple as 'tell me what kinds of projects you have worked on' etc. By simply listening to the answer you can tell a lot about the prospective employeee skillset.

BTW, I did have somebody who answered 'Well, I am Microsoft certified [whatever that means, emphasis added] with CCNA, Java and blah blah blah certifications'. I said 'thank you, we'll call you' and showed him the door :)
 
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#16
Oddly I interviewed at google once and they had a process that worked this way but even worse, the interview questions are asked by a person who notes down on a form how correct you are with a numeric scale, and that person isn't necessarily an expert. Then your results are reviewed by a person who doesn't see your answer.

For example, they asked me about servo bandwidth and I said that it is the maximum frequency of sinusoidal command input at which a servo system can achieve tracking before a given ratio of the amplitude. I noted that you need to know the actual range of motion and loading for it to be of any use.

The interviewer marked down a number I didn't get to see. It wasn't until HR rejected me months later that they told me the interviewer marked that their provided answer didn't say it had to be a system (as if this were a property of the servo alone) and that I failed to mention that the ratio is 10%. This is, in fact, a more simplified definition that is fairly useless. If the interviewer had allowed to me explain more I could have told him this. As is their method is sure to get them a guy who can quote a textbook well but has never actually ordered or designed a servo system.
 
#17
I have some friends who work for large corporations like Facebook and Google. For me, being a jet-of-all-trade person who learns everything from software programming to PCB design through trial-and-error, those guys have never impressed me, not even a bit. In my opinion being able to stay in big companies simply involves knowing how to play by the rule, living with weird politics, and maybe learning how to be an expert at some niche area, no matter how insignificant. Those people would have answered the above interview questions perfectly and gained the best possible interview score, yet struggling with the even the simplest problem that many others have no problem with.

I am not blaming the interview process - those companies have thousands and thousands of prospective employees looking for their place. Without a quantitative method of assessment by giving each individual candidate a score, sorting them by highest score first, and selecting the top few for the next round of interview, there would be no other effective interview method. By 'quantitative' I mean asking you to do some calculations or prove some theory which you last heard of many many years ago and grading you on a binary (right or wrong) basis. Obviously with such a standardized process some good candidates would be missed whereas some other not-so-good guys who simply know how to do things by the book would eventually get in, but that's the reality of it.

I know of another guy who works for a very big MNC here in Singapore as a software specialist, whatever that means. I am not sure what he does day to day at work, but just a few months ago he insisted to send his laptop back for warranty repair when all that was wrong with the laptop was simply a third party application that had some weird bugs and was probably not covered by warranty. And yet these guys are probably earning much more than I do, and highly valued by others who do not have the chance to know what they are really capable of.
 
#18
when i conducted interviews - i always ask some questions about the company i was at. so at the bare minimum, take some time to go through the website and ask some basic questions about what the product, culture, leadership or anything semi-intelligent. show the interviewer that you care enough to spend some time doing homework on them.
 
#19
I tend to dislike being intensively quizzed at a job interview.

From the other side of the table ... when I interview candidates I know that I've already eliminated most of the resumes, and that the interviews will be with people who have (or CLAIM to have) the experience I need.

So as an interviewer I like to hear the candidate speak. A lot. I evaluate based upon what he talks about and the level of confidence shown. It's not too hard to distinguish someone who is real from someone who is fake.

Now back to the interviewee's side of the table ... I expect that the job listing has already laid out the skills and experience required. So I don't want to hear questions about too much tech. I want to hear questions about (and to speak about) who I am, what I do, what I like, how I work, and how I think.

If the questions don't let me speak to those areas ... if the questions focus too much on finding an exactly fitting candidate, then I probably don't want the job. I expect to be able to "hit" most of the required skills, but I also expect to grow in my career. If I can only be accepted if I'm a perfect fit, then there's no room to grow, and I don't want the job.

In summary: As a candidate I'm interviewing the company every bit as much as I am being interviewed. It's a two-way conversation.
 

camerart

Active Member
#20
Hi,
Don't do what I did. On the day of the interview, feeling that I had sweaty hands, I put some talc in my jacket pocket, for that handshake moment. Just before the door opened, I had casually put my hand in my pocket, then onto my dark trousers, leaving a hand shaped talc print, and the more I tried to pat it out the worse it got.
It was so long ago that I don't remember whether I got the job, only the talc print.
Camerart.
 

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