Are you ready to crush your next interview? If you’ve found yourself furloughed, without a job, or are ready to upgrade, then this episode is for you! I bring my brother Mark Oakeson, PE, SE onto the show and we discuss some awesome tips for you to nail your next interview. I promise you’ll find something of value here that you can apply. Check out the episode above and get the full show notes below!
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CEA Show Notes
Hey, what's up, everybody? Isaac here and I've got brought on my brother Mark again. Mark Oakeson. And uh, if you, if you haven't listened to past episodes, you got to go check them out. We've done a few episodes together, but Mark is also a practicing engineer that's dealt a lot with interviews and many large projects. So yeah. How are you doing? Everybody? Mark is back in action. So Mark, maybe just briefly you could describe your interview experience. What have you done with the interviews? Well, as an interviewer or an interviewee? Well, I guess you've done both. I've done both, but as an interviewer, I've had lots of experience with that - interviewing people for various positions for, you know, joining my team of engineers. And so I feel like I've got a reasonable amount of experience with this and be able to lend some opinions on what should be done and shouldn't be done. Well, it's going to be a good one. I've got experience too with doing interviews at my own workplace and continue to do interviews for those coming on board. So we've learned a few things, doing interviews and actively being interview. So we created an awesome list of tips for you guys and I think it's gonna be something that you'll find valuable, not only in today's age with the COVID stuff going on. Hopefully, you haven't lost your job, but if you have, then these tips would be awesome for you. But if you're just looking to upgrade in your own position, this would be good for you too. So all right. Let's get started. So the first one that we came up with is research the company that you are actually interviewing with.
Find out what they do, when were they created, you know, when did they start? Do they have a particular mission statement? All of that kind of stuff comes up or can come up in an interview and it makes, I think it makes you look better if you know a little bit of the history of the project, at least it shows that you put some, I guess, skin in the game and trying to figure out who this company is and why you want to work. Yeah. Yeah. This has been a big deal for when I've interviewed people for different positions, but, if they have a base knowledge of the company, man, that that really comes across as a, you have some genuine interest in the position that you're applying for, and you know, that you're on top of things, and you know what you're, what you're going after.
Yeah. Big deal. Yup. And it should be an easy one. You can do that just by jumping on the internet, seeing what projects they got, find out what's on their website. Um, all of that fun stuff. So do your homework, right? That's right. That's right. It's impressive when you do. Okay. Well, the second one we came up with is that we need to understand what position you are actually interviewing for - what, what do you think about that one? Well, I think that's a, that's a big deal as well. I've interviewed individuals that really, it seems like I was on just a, you know, I don't know what position I was on their list of jobs that they were potentially chasing, but when they didn't understand what position and what I was after, it seemed like I was just, you know, one of those positions on their list that they were chasing.
And I wasn't, I wasn't really that important. They weren't really focused on, uh, maybe meeting my needs and, uh, the, uh, requirements for the position that we were offering. I think every company is wanting a certain need filled. And I know in my own work place, a lot of times they have kind of these boiler plate descriptions of jobs for positions. And so you end up reading those and they're kind of, I don't know, they're just kind of boilerplate. It's hard to read. They're Generic. Yeah. It's, it's hard to find what the need really is for the company by reading those bore their plate kind of templates. So you really need to kind of read between the lines and find out there might be one paragraph or something in there about what they specifically want. Yeah. We'll talk about leveraging LinkedIn in our next item here.
But if you know somebody, an individual at that company, man, that's, that's a big deal to maybe talk to them and maybe get a little insider information on what that position, what the needs are - really. If you, if you can do that, you want to do that as well. I, one of the things I noted here is that you need to be able to quickly tailor your responses and your experience. So a lot of times when you're sitting down in the interview, you might not find out what that need is, not totally sometimes, until you're actually in an interview. But you need to be able to tailor your responses in a way that doesn't, you know, even if you were a burger flipper before that, you learned something there that could be applied to this position. So it doesn't, it doesn't matter. Absolutely. We love the burger flippers.
Sorry if that offended anybody, but you know what I'm talking about. There's nothing wrong with burger flippers. They're good people, you know. So our next one, I mean, look at SpongeBob. SpongeBob was a burger flipper. Absolutely it skills. Okay. I'd hire SpongeBob. He's a hard worker. He's a hard worker. So this ties into what we talked about here or what we mentioned here is do job research before the interview and to see what projects they have on their website. And you said leverage LinkedIn. So why don't you dive into that a little deeper? Yeah. So, we've all done little searches. I use LinkedIn, even just in the course of my job when I encounter a new, or get to know a new individual, just to kind of get to know their background and what, you know, not everything isn't listed on LinkedIn, but you can kind of get a sense of an individual's history and what they've done.
And the big thing would be to research, the guy that's going to interview you - actually do the interview. If you know a little bit about his background, where he went to school, maybe some of his interests. Some of those things. It's a, it's a really good thing to bring into an interview. Yeah. I mean if you can do that, great. But definitely, if you could find somebody that actually works there and give you a heads up maybe on either the position or person that would be, that would be awesome. Definitely a leg up on that. The next points that we kind of hashed out here are some of the commonly, most commonly asked questions sometimes that are brought up. And maybe we can think about how to respond to these because I think these kind of stump engineer's sometimes or stump people in interviews. So these are the kinds of questions that people will throw at you and you'll need to respond with a decent response. So the first one that I thought of is that they typically ask you to name some of your strengths. Yeah. Yeah, name some of your strengths. In
my experience, this has been like something that's a little easier to talk about because you're in this mode of selling yourself, right? You're promoting yourself and so maybe identifying strengths you can, you can come up with those fairly easily.
Yeah, I think, I think that's typical. That's an easier, I think that might be an easier one to actually answer when you're doing these interviews because you can pull out stuff, right? It's on your resume. Oh yeah. You should be able to pull something out. And the next one is a little harder and that's usually to name what your weakness or weaknesses are. So how would you answer that one?
Well, what I don't want to hear if I'm an interviewer is, you know, something cheesy like, "Oh, I think I care too much." Or "I think I love people too much" or you know, something. Just be honest. You know, if you, if you have, uh, something that, um, you perceive as a weakness, uh, that you've dealt with in your past, especially career-wise, maybe it's just, man, maybe you're not as organized as you probably ought to be.
You know, something like that would would be an appropriate answer.
I dunno. That's, those are my thoughts. I just, I don't, I don't like the cheesy answers when I'm doing an interview.
Yeah. I think it's helpful honesty and is good. All of us have weaknesses. So too, to talk about a real one, um, probably isn't a bad thing. Yeah.
And it doesn't have to be like self-incriminating necessarily. It's just an honest assessment of yourself and maybe something that you've been working on trying to improve.
It'd be communication. It could be, you know, I'm an engineer. I get lost in the work. I, yeah, I'm not communicating as well as I should and I could do better job with that.
My social skills aren't where they should be, you know? That's, that's all fair,
fair sponsors. Yup. Okay. That's a good point. Here's the next, how about this? How do you, how do you handle multiple projects and tasks at the same time, and when all of a sudden takes priority of the other, what do you do? This we view, I've asked this before and you're trying to gauge, I think you're trying to gauge kind of the communication level, you know, how do they organize their projects and then something helps, takes priority over it. What are you going to do to the other ones? You know, how do you handle that? Right? You throw people in a situation like that and a lot of times it happens. This is really just a communication type problem again and they really want to hear that you are going to communicate with the team, you're going to communicate with the project manager.
I think you're going to be, they want you to be upfront and honest to get ahead of it because when things do go South on a project like if you're trying to cover up stuff or blame it on others, I don't think that goes very well and it always looks bad on you if you're doing it always, always looks bad. So, it's easier just to own it and say, look, you know, this other job has taken priority and you got to tell the other people with the other projects that I can't get to them right now and it's going to take another day or something. Yeah. And team members when stuff like this happens, team members, they usually are understanding and when things change, when priorities change, it's just giving them an explanation on why things are the way they are. So they have a heads up and people are usually understanding.
So that's the way to handle that. What's another one we thought of? We said, why do you want this? Yeah. Why do you want this position? Why do you want this position? I mean, I've asked this question in interviews and gotten some interesting answers in the past, but, uh, this is the one where I'm kind of gauging their enthusiasm for what they're going after. Gives me a sense of, you know, how enthusiastic they are about working for us and getting this job. Yeah, I think I've asked this before and I had an interview or once, and we'll get to this later, but a little body language and how your responses to question like this can really affect if people want you on the team. If you're giving lazy answers or you have no inflection in your voice, like you're not excited at all for this position, you need to pay attention to that.
Pay attention to how your words and how your voice is. If you just are monotone and you know - put a little effort there and tell us why you're excited about this position. Something you want to learn or further in your career or you know, anything to do with that. It's probably going to go way further than giving some monotone answer. Exactly. Or I just need another job or, you know, I got laid off or whatever. This is the question as an interviewer. Like I say, yeah, I'm gauging, I'm measuring your enthusiasm.
For what's coming. So, pay attention to that one guys. The next one is, I typically have seen this, and usually do, is that they always ask like a safety type of question. Because usually, safety is top of mind on with every company especially in civil engineering, they want to know that you care about safety too. So, you know, and I don't know how that's going to be worded, but they typically want you to care about safety as it should be a priority. So just be aware of that. Especially if you're interviewing with construction firms, which is who I'm employed with, that's a huge deal. Usually, it's PPE type questions. You know, making sure you're bringing all your PPEs, you're properly dressed, your got your protection on. And I don't expect like an interviewee to know all of the safety policies, you know, and all the OSHA regulations.
But, that question may come up. And so I'd be prepared to know that that is a priority for the company and having the answers for that, just keep it top of mind. That's right. Okay. How about this one? Describe a time when you didn't get along with a coworker or manager and, or anyone really at the workplace. How did you handle that? Right. So this, this kind of a question, an interviewer is looking on how,a potential employee going to handle conflict, right? Yes. How are you going to deal with conflict and, and adversity because it's going to happen. And so they're interested to see how you, how you typically handle that. How have you answered that as an interviewee? Um, yeah, when they have asked me question like this I do have to go back in my mind and remember specific times.
And usually there's a few, but usually what I give is an example of an engineering concern because typically an engineering one person's opinion is different than another's. And the one I typically have thought about is where we had some geotechnical results given. And one guy didn't agree with a report that was given on a particular boring that was done. And I use that as an argument of either not getting along with an engineer or an issue that I had and then how we resolve that issue to move forward with the design. So that's great. Yeah, and I think in engineering you can always find an example where you didn't either agree with another engineer on something and you can, I mean, you can find something like that, but if you don't have engineering experience, you can always rely back on, on other things you've done there.
I'm sure you have plenty of examples in your life of where you didn't get along with somebody and what did you do to resolve it. Well, as an interviewer, I'm always looking for somebody being, uh, somebody communicating with the individual that you may have a disagreement with. I'm looking for somebody that's being upfront. If somebody is, is going around, if somebody you don't agree with is doing something and you're trying to go around, you know, you're doing some passive-aggressive thing or you're trying to, you know, bad mouth them to other coworkers or somebody else besides going straight to the individual and dealing with the problem straight up. As an interviewer, that's, that's kind of the thing that I'm looking for is somebody who's willing to, once you have some adversity or problem pops up, they deal directly with that individual that may be the source of that adversity or that conflict and they're not trying to skirt around the issue, you know?
Yeah. I think that's exactly what you're looking for. That's what I'm looking for. If you're going right to the source of the problem and if you're communicating, I'm with them about the problem and the issues that they have and come up with a solution to the problem. So, you can tailor that, you can figure that out. But those are, those are the common questions that we kind of jotted down. How important is honesty in the interview process? It's up there man. It's like number one on my list. If I get the sense that you're a lion to me, you're trying to pull one over on me. Man, that really turns me off. You've lost the job. You've lost it. It really ruins everything. Don't do it. Yeah. So don't, I mean don't lie about stuff on your resume. And when we say lie, I think people, what they do is they embellish a lot of what they have and maybe, you know, that could be turned into lying as well. Cause you're, you're really giving a persona that you're a lot bigger, better than you really are. And that's just not the truth. So, you know, people can see through that. But being honest doesn't mean you are short selling yourself either or being like self-deprecating or anything like that. Sometimes people interpret honesty is being interpreted you know as self critical, overly self critical. It's not, it doesn't mean that it just means just be straight up with who you are and what skills you've got. And don't be a used car salesman. And don't lie about your licenses as well. I've heard of issues with that.
You're credentials, yeah. Okay, how about our next one here? We said make sure you can explain why you've moved jobs so quickly if you've ended up, if you've done that on your resume and you're showing that you've bounced around to a few jobs, um, sometimes moving around jobs very quickly can be looked at as a negative thing because as an interviewer, you're looking at a resume and it tells me that you're only going to be with the company for a year if we hire you. So you need to make sure that you can explain that is my thought there. Make sure that you have good reasoning why that's happened and really confirm with the interviewer that you are going to be staying with the company for longterm. So they want to hear, you know, they need reassurance that you're not going to be bouncing around. Yeah.
They want stability and somebody bounced around a lot means, you know, they're not very stable. Maybe they, and this could go back to the adversity issue that we talked about. Maybe they perceive you as someone who once you encounter adversity or some kind of conflict, you're saying I'm done. I'm outta here off to the next job. That's true. They want somebody who's a little more consistent. Yup. So, yeah, make sure you can, you can address that. If you've got a bunch of jobs on your resume, make sure you've either described things you're learning or why that's happened, but make sure you communicated the consistency and that you want to be there longterm. For sure. Let's talk about this. How do we dress in an interview? Well I always like someone who's usually, I would say overdressed.
If you wanted to say if you wanted to compare how they dressed at an interview, uh, compared to what our daily dresses at the office day by day. Because technically we're kind of a business casual, is the way we dress today. But if the interview he pops up and he's wearing a tie and, even a suit, I like it. It's a, it's impressive. It means he's taking this seriously. It's important. And it doesn't matter if your level of dress is a little bit higher than everybody else in the office on that day of your interview. It's always better to be a little, I would say overdressed than underdressed. But just as a general rule, I'd say you plan on, you know, shirt and a tie or overdoing it. Yeah, I agree. It communicates so much more and don't be embarrassed by coming to the place dressed up. I mean, everybody knows you're there for an important reason and that's fine. And I mean, in my workplace where there's a ton of employees working for a local utility, I mean, there are people dressed up professionally, you know, at every level for whatever reason. But the main, the main dress at my place is still business casual. Typically if someone in the group is dressed up, you're always like, what you are you doing? Where are you headed? Yeah. But the point is don't feel weird that you might be a little overdress compared to everybody else. It's a good thing. Dress up, dress up, wear the tie, wear the suit. You know, look professional. Dress to impress. So do that. It'll, it'll, uh, improve your chances in your interview. Yeah. Okay. What if they ask you in the interview, it's all done.
You've gone through it, what if they ask you what your salary conditions are? What if they throw that out there? This is probably more for a more experienced engineer, I imagine. Yeah. They've probably asked this kind of question because people that are moving into a more ex, you know, you've got more experience in your belt. A lot of times it's because you're looking for a higher salary. But if you ask this, what do you say? Well, but I've also Isaac, I've found that the guys could just coming out of school, just newly graduated from school. Well, they've gone to their career centers at their university and they've kind of primed them on what to expect as far as salary goes, what the current market rates are. I use that question to figure out what their expectations are.
I want to know, because in the back of my mind I know what I'm going to be offering and I want to see if that meets their expectations. So what have you heard? Are you throwing out a specific number? My thought on this is that you wouldn't throw out a specific number, but you would say something, you know, that I'm in this ballpark or this range. Yeah, it's all, it's always a range. And I respond to with a range because I don't want to ultimately, I want to make an offer if I really want this individual. But I want to get a feel for what, what they expect, right? What they're willing to accept as far as salary. And it's always, it's always a range. Yeah. It really is. And so that, that's, that's the kind of answer that I would expect as well.
You know, the market's here and I don't care if an interviewee brings up where he thinks the market rates are, you know, that's, that's great. Given what his skill sets are I think that's great, but it's always a range. I was just going to say, there are so many websites too that you can go and research with salaries are now, and many people, even if they're looking for promotion, will go and check out those other sites where you can look up salaries, and use that as leverage to either try to get a promotion or use it as leverage to, you know, in the, in the interview. Yeah. But I would say on this one, just make sure you've done your homework, you understand what the realistic ranges are for your position, given your skills. If it's a starting position, you know, understand where engineers are starting and those are the ranges that you can expect.
I would say that's your answer. Don't be specific. If you do that, you'll probably kill your chances. Especially if you're starting out and you're saying you want $90,000 and that's probably not gonna happen. So no, no. Okay. Let's see. I wrote here to stand out in your interview process. You can stand out a little bit by doing some of the little things, and what I mean by this is like making sure you're arriving early. That would be a good thing to do. Yeah. Don't, don't worry about most of my interviewees, they've been waiting in the lobby for a few minutes because they've arrived early and I like that. Yeah. You want to be early. Don't be screeching in when it's your time. Another one I wrote here is to talk to and chat with the interviewer or search for something in common, you know, do you both enjoy running, is there music that you like or entertainment?
Cars, bikes. The weather usually might come up, but maybe you could try to dig a little deeper on activities, share activities that you did, and maybe there's something there that comes up. I think you could overdo this, you know, you don't want to be like interviewing the other guy about all the stuff he did with his family and who they are and everything like that. I think that could go too far, but, yeah, you could come across as a stocker or something. Yeah, I think you could nail the small talk, you know what I mean? You can, you can do a better job at that because if there is a common interest in something, um, you know, then, then there's something to talk about and people like that. Yeah. And then you create that a little bit of personal connection with your interviewer.
And that can be a big deal. Cool. Another one, is don't be afraid of eye contact. So if I can't look at somebody in the eye, that body language tells me a lot, maybe about their, I dunno, just about their confidence just in general and about, uh, their abilities. It's probably not fair, but kind of intuitively you make, you make some judgments about who they are if they don't look you straight in the eye. Yup. And I also wrote, give a great handshake and that kind of goes with body language. I think. So, you know, watch your eye contact, watch your body language, give a good handshake, don't be slouching in your chair, you know, sit up straight, act like you are into the interview. Don't act like it's just something on your list you got to do for that day.
And what do you do if your cell phone goes off? Somebody texting you during the interview. Oh yeah, I didn't write that, uh, or even talk about it. But you want to make sure your cell phones turned off. I think before you go into these meetings, don't be interrupted by that stuff or If it does, and it's an accident, you just say, Oh, I'm sorry. I apologize. Let me just turn this off real quick. Yeah, but in general, put that thing away. Don't be looking at that during your interview. Yeah. That's probably not a good thing if you're scrolling on your phone and looking at stuff before the interview. It's like, do you want to be here? Right. Do you care? Do you care? Yeah. Don't do that. Good point. Let's get to our next one - we've described being able to, in an interview, listen very carefully, making sure you're not cutting people off with early answers. I have known people that, I don't know if it's because they're antsy or anxious or whatever, but they usually kind of one step you. They get ahead of you on answering a question. I think they're listening to respond. Well, it's not even really listening. They're not listening. They're just, they're trying, they're hearing you, but they're only just hearing you so that they can quickly respond. And maybe the faster answer gets a better review and you're like, no, that's not how it works. But you're better off to listen carefully and make sure you're understanding their intent behind their question and what they're asking before you answer. And that's okay. If you had, if you had to sit there, there was a little bit of silence.
Sometimes silence is a little bit awkward, but, uh, I'd rather have somebody who's thinking about, you know, my question because they've listened carefully and they want to respond properly. Then somebody who's just jumping right back as quickly maybe talking over me, um, that means they're not really listening to what I'm asking. They're just trying to talk as quickly as possible. Yeah, I agree. I have, as an interviewer, I have no problems with you taking time to think about an answer. I know you feel anxious and squirmy and you're thinking, Oh my gosh, I'm filling this because I can't get an answer. That's probably what you're thinking. But the interviewer is not thinking that. They're thinking, okay, this guy's taking this time to think of an answer. And that's totally fine. Yup. That's fair. Yup. We wrote here if you do answer stuff quickly it kind of comes across as a know it all when you're jumping to conclusions or answers before anyone has the chance to finish the questions. So, right. Just, just some warnings there for you guys. Okay. Um, another one is that when you're doing an interview, um, talk about technical questions. What happens with these? Are we seeing more of these? Well,
yeah, I mean I've, I've done interviews where maybe I'm interviewing for a formwork engineer and I'll throw out a more of a technical question, just to see what their answers are. So, you know, this comes with, I guess understanding the position that you're interviewing for. It's a good idea. You've gone to school, you kind of have an idea of what types of technical questions they may throw out at you. Just kinda be prepared in the back of your mind to be able to respond to some of those. I don't think you need to bring your calculator to the interview and you don't need to do those kinds of things, but just be prepared to give intelligent answers to, you know, and if you don't know, then just say, well this is how I would find out that answer. If you didn't specifically know. I, I can look that up. I could figure that out. And this is how I would do it. I sometimes I've had answers like that where they actually explain how they would figure it out since they didn't know exactly. And I liked that better than getting the right answer. Wow. Because I knew they were willing to figure it out and they knew how to do that. And that's really the big deal there.
I've always liked these questions because I've been in transmission engineering and one of the questions we have typically asked is we've described a scenario like you're building a transmission line, let's say in a high terrain up in the mountainous areas where elevation's higher. What are some things you might, you know, consider, might be issues building a transmission line in a high terrain area and there's a ton of answers you could give, and they think maybe you're looking for the exact right one. And that's, that's not really the case. We're trying to just see if you can think about what issues are going to come up if you're building a line in high terrain. And it can get technical, it can, it can get really technical if you're talking about building stuff in higher elevations, but, um, we're just throwing that out there to see kind of where you are at with understanding the position and the job, but also trying to see what you can deduct and come up with as an engineer.
Yeah, it was an issue. What about some of these assessments we talked about? Yeah, so the firm that I'm currently employed with doesn't do that, but my previous employer used to do this with all new hires. They'd have an assessment test. Some of them are psychology-based assessment tests. Some have some actual, uh, you know, skill assessments, technical skill assessments and these are usually tests that you probably have to take if they're having you take these, that means you've passed the interview, you're onto the next level. Oh, good. It's usually an indication that that's, that that's happening. But just be prepared to have to go through some kind of an assessment test. It's starting to become more of a common thing, especially with the larger firms. They want to know your psychology - kind of what makes you tick test.
Yeah. And it's usually administered online and they give you a username and a password. You log on and you take the dumb thing, but it's a test. Yeah. You're an engineer. You've had a million of these kind of tests. It shouldn't be a problem? Right. Yeah. You got one more. Hey, I'm curious, and I don't completely know the answer to this, but in the engineering world, have there been instances that you know of, of doing multiple interview rounds? Have you ever had that? Well, you've done an initial interview and they want to have you come back to do another interview. Oh yeah. Or you've done an initial interview and they wanted to bring you back and bring like the directors or the VP can interview you. Yes, I have. That happens a lot. It depends. The larger firms I would say do that a lot. My first job that I got right out of school that happened. I interviewed with the district manager and he liked me and then he was like, hey, my regional managers coming in town, I want him to see ya. And so I had a second interview and actually interviewed out on a job site and they walked me around a job site and showed me what type of work they actually do. What I would actually be doing is if I got a job with the company. It was kind of cool actually. I kinda got a feel for what I was getting into before I even accepted the position. And got to know some of the upper management. This might be a little off-topic too, but I'm curious your response on this as well.
What about personally knowing people? And those doing the interviews? Just as an example, I've had interviews where somebody has left my company and they want me to go work for them and they already know what you do, your ethic; they worked with you before, things of that nature. And so they're bringing you on. It's almost just like a friendly chat about what they kind of want you to do. And then they bring in other people within the company. Maybe it's the VP or the president or depending on the size of the firm, but, right. Well, what're your thoughts, on that? Well, I think when you have, personally I think when you have connections, a lot of interviews are much easier. Like when they already know your pedigree. Yeah. I don't know.
What do you think of this? I think it's an advantage because if you know somebody personally that you've got years of history with them, all they're doing is trying to sell you to their manager or their superintendent or their supervisor and that's an easier sell. In fact, I just interviewed a guy for a position, gosh, just two weeks ago and he's somebody that I was the guy that knew him and I've worked with him and I've known him for a lot of years. And so, it was very easy bringing him in and it was really just like a catch-up session, you know, how have things been going? What you've been working on? I know who he is, I know his skills and in my position now, I'm kinda the guy that does the hiring and so I didn't have to take him to my CEO or anything to sell him on the deal.
But it was really easy cause I know the guy, I know the guy. And the hiring process there's a lot of feel that you're trying to develop for a person. And all these things that we're talking about is to help your interviewer get a feel, quote-unquote, for who you are and what you're about. When you've got years of experience with somebody that's already a done deal. Yeah. You've already got that. And so don't let that discourage you, I guess from applying from anywhere because it's obvious that they want people to apply. They do, but just help them, help them get a feel for who you are. That's really what they're doing. Hiring is really kind of a gut, kind of a feeling, kind of a visceral kind of an operation, right?
Or a decision. I got all this guy's information. I've interviewed him, I kind of see what he's, what he's about or what she is about and I got a feel for how this person's going to be. I like him. I'm going to hire him. That's kinda how it goes. Building some trust. That's right. Okay. Well let's move on here. So we've talked about the assessments. Let's talk about being prepared to share examples of stuff on your resume. I think employers when you're doing an interview, you know, if you can describe anything that deals with the projects you've done, that tie into what the position's about or budgets, you know, or an experience you've had. Those things kind of go a long way. And what happens is the interviewer is thinking about how those experiences can also plug into their culture and the work that they have going on. So if you can tie stuff or experiences, those things go a long way.
Yeah. In fact, this guy that I interviewed just a couple of weeks ago that I brought up, he had a lot of experience with electrical type work, which isn't necessarily what we do, but I asked him a question about that, sharing examples of what he's done, and he was really good about emphasizing the fact that he had managed a lot of people on his team to get a certain electrical job done and he was able to work through problems. Just the fact that he had that managerial experience, that leadership, was really what came out in that answer. It wasn't that it was electrical work and we don't do any of that cause that he was a leader in that situation.
That makes sense. Yeah, and I think you can do this no matter what experiences you've had. So if you're just a beginning engineer, you can still tie experiences you've had, whether at previous jobs, even though they're not engineering jobs, into the position you're trying to apply for and people still enjoy hearing those things. And how it ties into the position , so you need to think about that. How does this apply? Okay. Well, how about this one? Treat everybody nicely when you're coming in for these.
Yeah. We never want to be condescending. Even the person that greets you at the front desk needs to be treated as if you were talking to the CEO of the company. In fact this is such a big deal that I've done interviews with people that I get feedback from my receptionist on what their perception was of the individual that I was interviewing after I've done the interview. That really gets me to think about what they told me during the course of the interview. You know, if I go to my receptionist and they're like, Oh man, that guy was a jerk. He was like, condescending. He was, you know, trying to look down my blouse or, you know, or whatever. This guy was a jerk. Then I'm like, huh, I wonder if he was lying to me. You know, I wonder if that guy was really tell me and being straight up with me or if he's trying to pull one over on me, you know? Just be careful. I mean, be yourself, but, just be a nice person. You need to treat everybody with respect. That should be just who you are anyway, you know? Yup.
I agree. Treat everybody with respect. You never know whose opinion has some sway on your interview process because your name will come up with, the receptionist or the secretary, you know, they've seen your name on an email or on the resume or you're the final candidate on a list of two or something like that. You know you don't want to leave a bad impression. So treat everybody nice. Don't be a jerk. No. You'll go a long way. That's really kind of the cherry on top is to be a nice person. Be yourself. You don't need to be fake and try to put on a certain persona that you think is going to fit to the culture. That's not what we're talking about with all of this stuff. So just be yourself, be nice, be a good person. We listed a warning here, so just kind of a warning. If you're trying to get your PE, what's your warning here? If you're trying to earn your PE and you are interviewing at a workplace?
Yeah. You want to make sure, and this is a goal that most of the individuals that I interview for, they have that goal. And so one of the questions they usually ask if they're thinking about obtaining their PE is how many PE's work in this office? Will I be working under the direction of a PE as I work here? And I know it's because they're thinking about getting that license. And so I can tell them, you know, how many PE's work and work in this office and how many will be scrutinizing your work and helping you advance in your career. And it's nice to be able to tell them those things. But I like that question because it means they're worried about bettering themselves. They have the PE as their goal. And it's an important credential and we want to be someone that helps them get that.
Yup. And I do know people, I mean we help people through Civil Engineering Academy through the courses that we offer, that they don't have the experience and sometimes that's hard to find. So you got to make sure you're working for a place with a person that can sign off on your experience because you'll need that if you're trying to earn your PE, which I think every civil engineer should get. It makes you much, much more valuable, and marketable in your workplace. So definitely a good, good warning. Okay. Polish it off, Mark. Is there anything else? Anything else you think? No, I think what we've done is pretty comprehensive and I think it's good. If I interviewed somebody who had gone through this list and tried to hit every one of these things I think I'd hire them.
You think they did their homework? Huh? I think they did their homework. Exactly. All right. Okay, guys, we'll go ahead and wrap this up. Hopefully you enjoyed this. These are some sweet, sweet tips when you are trying to land an interview and I think this will give you a leg up if you can listen to what we said, apply Mark's experience, my experience, and use it in your own life. So hopefully, like I said, you're not out of a job, but if you are, use this to your advantage. If you're looking to grow, use it to your advantage as well. I think you can apply it at any stage that you are in your career. So thanks Mark for being on the show again. You bet. I'm sure I'll have you on again in the future sometime. Yes, sir. All right guys. We'll see you later.
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