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  1. Darth Lord of the Sith ITSpectre's Avatar
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    #26
    I cannot stress this enough.... RESEARCH the company!!!! I like to create at least a page of data on the company.... Learn the 5 Ws
    Who - Who is the CEO, managers, etc...
    What - What does the company do
    When - When did the company start
    Where - Where are they located, how many offices they have, where did they start and where will they be in a few years
    Why - Why do you want to work for the company, why you would be a good fit (sell yourself)
    How - How does your experience line up with the job description. How would you be an asset to the company, how will you help the company meet their needs

    Again... this is basic relationship 101. going on a interview is like going on a first date....You have to show the other person (the hiring manager) why they should hire YOU above every other candidate they will interview or have interviewed already.

    Also the best way to answer "Why should we hire you" can be easily answered by tying in how YOUR skills match with the Job description....

    Useful tips.

    1. Arrive 15min early to the interview
    2. Bring copies of your resume in a nice leather portfolio.... (you can get one from walmart)
    3. Bring a pen
    4. Bring a copy of the job description and be prepared to refer to it during the interview
    5. Always ask about security, parking, signing in with the front before the interview (its usually provided but its good if you ask first)
    6. Study basic troubleshooting steps before the interview.... Know how to troubleshoot office 365, Outlook, IE, Chrome, Safari, etc...

    A question I have been asked is "describe a time when you had to deal with a angry or irate customer how did you handle it" Use this time to talk about how you calmed down a user that was upset and empathized with them, took control of the situation and solved their issue

    Another question you may be asked is "Why did you apply for this position" - This is the time to tie in your company research, and the job description, and mash it all together to explain how you would be a good fit for the position.
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  3. Senior Member LordQarlyn's Avatar
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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by ITSpectre View Post
    A question I have been asked is "describe a time when you had to deal with a angry or irate customer how did you handle it" Use this time to talk about how you calmed down a user that was upset and empathized with them, took control of the situation and solved their issue
    This. It's a question I always ask potential candidates, because, we do have customers, internal and external, who can be (well okay often are but I shouldn't talk bad about my customers lol) very difficult. I have my own prepared replies when I get asked this question, all based on my actual experiences.
    For my helpdesk team, I go a step further and also ask one or two scenarios involving problematic customers to get an idea how they will handle rude, annoying, or clingy users.
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  4. Darth Lord of the Sith ITSpectre's Avatar
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    #28
    Quote Originally Posted by LordQarlyn View Post
    This. It's a question I always ask potential candidates, because, we do have customers, internal and external, who can be (well okay often are but I shouldn't talk bad about my customers lol) very difficult. I have my own prepared replies when I get asked this question, all based on my actual experiences.
    For my helpdesk team, I go a step further and also ask one or two scenarios involving problematic customers to get an idea how they will handle rude, annoying, or clingy users.
    The best way to tackle this question is honesty....

    There was a time when a user called in about said issue... the outlook profile was corrupt... I empathized with them, told them I will fix it for them... remoted into their workstation and fixed it.

    Managers and hiring managers especially on a help desk team care about TEAMWORK!!!! They want to hire someone that thinks like a team player.... They don't want someone who is too independent because your on a team when you do help desk work. Another thing to point out about getting a help desk job is simplicity... They want you to be able to explain complex things in laymans terms 24/7. trust me you will find yourself explaining how to fix Office 365 so that a 10yr old can understand it.

    More advice:

    Watch out for the personality questions and be prepared for them or off the wall questions such as,
    - What makes you cry
    - if you had 100,000 what would you do with it. (trust me the answer is NOT to work on the Help desk. this question is to see how helpful you are... if you would give to help OTHERS!!!)
    - If you could do anything you want to do in IT what would it be (use this question to tie yourself into the company to grow, learn, and build with them)
    - if you had your own help desk how would you run it (again try to tie in the company in your response)
    - How would you handle a network outage or power outage (this is the "take control" question. they want to see if you will take control of the situation and rise to the occasion)

    Hope this helps you. My motto is "Always go in with a full clip because you have more ammo that way"
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  5. Pancakes and Lasagna kurosaki00's Avatar
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    #29
    40 interviews and no bites? Err... there is something going on. I suggest to contact someone you know and have them mock-interview you, or find out if someone you know, knows someone that works on IT and ask for a favor and have them mock-interview you.
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  6. Lost & Not Found
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    #30
    Quote Originally Posted by kurosaki00 View Post
    40 interviews and no bites? Err... there is something going on. I suggest to contact someone you know and have them mock-interview you, or find out if someone you know, knows someone that works on IT and ask for a favor and have them mock-interview you.
    Mind you, I did state that 4 of them were POST my attaining my AA from UoPX, and another 2 interviews after that were POST attaining the A+ certification.
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  7. Senior Member scaredoftests's Avatar
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    #31
    I don't think that makes a difference. The interviewers knew that when they brought you in.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
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  8. Member Panther's Avatar
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    #32
    Quote Originally Posted by ReonBalisty View Post
    I have been searching in the area I am in for the last year and a handful of months, and I have had 100+ applications sent out within a 20 mile radius and I have had 40+ interviews where I have been passed up for other people with their bachelors or Net+ certification. As I am making my 3rd attempt for my Network+ (I scored 700 on the second attempt), I am really trying to find something in the field for the experience in my resume. I am kindly asking if anyone knows of anything within the Northern California Area of Chico that has openings or will for this type of position.

    I have had great interviews, and then get the "thank you for trying" email/letter/phone call. It is a great demoralizing factor in the job hunt, I just want to see if anyone has anything for entry level IT.

    Thank you all for your time.
    What's the experience in you resume? Is that IT experience? What area?

    Edit: I see it now ...
    "My hands-on EXP is 17-18 years of working with workstation/SOHO systems as a freelance troubleshooting break-fix tech."
    Last edited by Panther; 09-06-2017 at 12:19 AM.
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  9. Member Panther's Avatar
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    #33
    Quote Originally Posted by NetworkingStudent View Post
    The resume is landing you the interviews, but you're not able to close the deal. This is happening to me too. I'm a tad past entry level.

    I would say visit your local Work Force Center and mention the issue with the interviews. The Workforce Center should be able to give you some advice regarding the interviews..

    Also, see if the workforce center or your school can schedule a mock interview with you, at least this way you might be able to figure out what you your interview weaknesses are.

    My questions:

    Do you have a college degree? AAS or BA

    Have you looked at volunteer IT potions?

    Have you worked with any IT recruiters?

    Have you done any mock interviews?

    Do you send email and surface mail thank you cards after the interview?

    Please look over this document as it has helped me in the past:

    Preparing for the Job Interview


    http://mikenation.net/files/Preparin..._Interview.pdf


    Good Luck!!
    Adding:
    Are you willing take a pay cut?

    I'm in a similar boat. Though, have many years in the private world. Recently joined the job market. Gettin a few phone interviews, but nothing further. Granted, I'm fresh in the job market. I hope not to be in it too long, but I don't know.

    I don't have any kids. I think I'm willing to take a pay cut to get back working asap, and also to compete with people are who will work for less.
    Last edited by Panther; 09-06-2017 at 02:45 AM.
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    #34
    Quote Originally Posted by ReonBalisty View Post
    I am very confident going into interviews, I mention my schooling through University of Phoenix (Which I got my AA in IT Sec this last January).
    Maybe you shouldn't be 'very confident' when you mention your AA. The bachelor degree is the equivalent of a high school diploma, nowadays.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReonBalisty View Post
    My hands-on EXP is 17-18 years of working with workstation/SOHO systems as a freelance troubleshooting break-fix tech.
    .
    So, that puts you at an age close to 40? Maybe you are experiencing ageism. Your supervisor may very well, be younger than you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReonBalisty View Post
    So I inquire what they are paying for the position, and I glorify my question with the fact I have 3 other dependents that require that I make money doing something.
    Never mention pay? Why? What purpose does it serve, since you aren't getting offers?!

    Never mention family/kids. Some employers may feel you're more prone to call out to take care of the kids/family.
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  11. Member Panther's Avatar
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    #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Daneil3144 View Post
    Maybe you shouldn't be 'very confident' when you mention your AA. The bachelor degree is the equivalent of a high school diploma, nowadays.



    So, that puts you at an age close to 40? Maybe you are experiencing ageism. Your supervisor may very well, be younger than you.



    Never mention pay? Why? What purpose does it serve, since you aren't getting offers?!

    Never mention family/kids. Some employers may feel you're more prone to call out to take care of the kids/family.
    Great point. I believe it's illegal for employers to ask if you have family/kids, during an interview. Thus OP, don't volunteer that info.

    They can figure your age too, without directly asking. For example, if topics of when you graduated comes up.

    Unfortunately, I think with the internet, employers nowadays have an easier time to find your age and family/kids status.
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  12. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Panther View Post
    Adding:
    Are you willing take a pay cut?

    I'm in a similar boat. Though, have many years in the private world. Recently joined the job market. Gettin a few phone interviews, but nothing further. Granted, I'm fresh in the job market. I hope not to be in it too long, but I don't know.

    I don't have any kids. I think I'm willing to take a pay cut to get back working asap, and also to compete with people are who will work for less.
    good point

    OP will need to take a pay cut. Typically, the first job out of school is help desk. You will need to research what the typical pay is in your state for help desk. Is it 10-15 an hour? 10-12 an hour? is it 15-20 an hour.....ect.

    Someone mentioned a mock interview, I agree. Can the OP go to the unemployment office and do some mock interviews?
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
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  13. Lost & Not Found
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    #37
    Ageism, wouldn't think that as a 28yo male would constitute me as "old." (As a 10 year old I enjoyed working on my 98SE doing reinstalls via floppy disc and CD). Taking a drastic pay cut as you folks put it, at 10-12 an hour I can barely pay for my rent let alone utilities, other expenses and what not that revolve around my kids.

    I more recently did an interview with a company as IT for a Programming QA business. I found out that the job itself is not like helpdesk at all. The job posting itself states 30-35k annually (where as in, I make 34k a year where I sit). And with my "basic" skillset, I would be seeing the bottom of that scale more than the higher end. And from what I gathered from the Interview, the job was more like that of an IT Systems Admin rather than that of a starter/helpdesk(which was what the job posting itself promoted). One of the perks, and I kid you not, was a "game room" (this "hr" person stated this 3 times in the interview), but no mention of real benefits, 401k/vision/dental/health insurance (stuff I already have at my current employ).

    The pay seemed low compared to a more recent staffing firm offer that is attempting to get me on board with the local hospital as Helpdesk(21.85hrly FT).

    I have a feeling if I take the first job as IT in the QA firm that I would be offered the hospital job and would have to take it due to the exponential pay increase and benefits.

    As now that I have the Network + in hand, I am getting more interviews than I did with just the AA and the A+ combined.
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  14. Member Panther's Avatar
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    #38
    Quote Originally Posted by ReonBalisty View Post
    Ageism, wouldn't think that as a 28yo male would constitute me as "old." (As a 10 year old I enjoyed working on my 98SE doing reinstalls via floppy disc and CD). Taking a drastic pay cut as you folks put it, at 10-12 an hour I can barely pay for my rent let alone utilities, other expenses and what not that revolve around my kids.

    I more recently did an interview with a company as IT for a Programming QA business. I found out that the job itself is not like helpdesk at all. The job posting itself states 30-35k annually (where as in, I make 34k a year where I sit). And with my "basic" skillset, I would be seeing the bottom of that scale more than the higher end. And from what I gathered from the Interview, the job was more like that of an IT Systems Admin rather than that of a starter/helpdesk(which was what the job posting itself promoted). One of the perks, and I kid you not, was a "game room" (this "hr" person stated this 3 times in the interview), but no mention of real benefits, 401k/vision/dental/health insurance (stuff I already have at my current employ).

    The pay seemed low compared to a more recent staffing firm offer that is attempting to get me on board with the local hospital as Helpdesk(21.85hrly FT).

    I have a feeling if I take the first job as IT in the QA firm that I would be offered the hospital job and would have to take it due to the exponential pay increase and benefits.

    As now that I have the Network + in hand, I am getting more interviews than I did with just the AA and the A+ combined.
    I think a benefit of speaking with a counselor at the local unemployment office (aka Career Center, Work Force, Work Source) is staying the right frame of mind, in the midst of your job search.

    For example, the pay is low (because it doesn't pay the bills). Don't let them know this. Don't object. Be agreeing. The goal is, see if you can get them to make you an offer to hire you. Basically, you get to decide (later) If you will accept the job. Not them rejecting you because they sense that you think the pay is too low.

    That's just one example. I think it'll apply for other topics too besides just pay.

    So, staying the right frame of mind, you can nip things that might be off putting and not get you to the next steps. I'm practicing this mindset myself.
    Last edited by Panther; 09-06-2017 at 07:13 AM.
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  15. Senior Member knownhero's Avatar
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    #39
    All I do before an interview is research the company. Then I walk in and just be myself. I feel like I under prepare, though it gets easier when you're interviewing for a specialist area in IT rather than HD.
    70-410 [x] 70-411 [x] 70-462[x] 70-331[x] 70-332[x]
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    #40
    I'm going to agree with some of the other guys in here. Maybe you shouldn't be 'too confident'. This is a helpdesk job after all. If you're that technically gifted and have so much experience, then why are you applying for a 'lowly' helpdesk job?

    A little humility goes a long way in these situations. You need to convince them you're going to be a good employee. One that doesn't think he's above the job offered.

    Maybe I'm completely wrong, it's just the way it came across is all.
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  17. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #41
    The best interviews I have had were ones that were more of a conversation vs a traditional interview: employer tells you about the job, asks you questions, and then asks if you have any questions for them.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
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  18. Lost & Not Found
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    #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudonym View Post
    I'm going to agree with some of the other guys in here. Maybe you shouldn't be 'too confident'. This is a helpdesk job after all. If you're that technically gifted and have so much experience, then why are you applying for a 'lowly' helpdesk job?

    A little humility goes a long way in these situations. You need to convince them you're going to be a good employee. One that doesn't think he's above the job offered.
    As someone who has zero exp in the enterprise portion of the field (Except for educational environments) the only option is to start ground floor. I have had 2 interviews with a school district and been offering amazing pay, but wasn't chosen due to lack of EXP with enterprise environments or that someone had that BS in IT (which I am attempting now).

    It is a demoralizing thing to have to keep interviewing and having them get you in the door, ask questions, then tell you that you are lacking in the exp they weren't looking for when they posted their ads.
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  19. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #43
    Quote Originally Posted by ReonBalisty View Post
    As someone who has zero exp in the enterprise portion of the field (Except for educational environments) the only option is to start ground floor. I have had 2 interviews with a school district and been offering amazing pay, but wasn't chosen due to lack of EXP with enterprise environments or that someone had that BS in IT (which I am attempting now).

    It is a demoralizing thing to have to keep interviewing and having them get you in the door, ask questions, then tell you that you are lacking in the exp they weren't looking for when they posted their ads.
    It took me three years to find an IT job once I finished college. Yes, three years!! You will question why you choose IT? Why change jobs/careers..? Trust me I questioned these often daily when I was looking for my first IT job. It's really hard to find someone that will give you a chance.

    I was in the same boat as you, except I didn't have kids. Keep applying, stay positive, and you will find something!!

    These you tube channels I listed below have some good advice, maybe you can check them out and see if they help you? I know they helped me.

    PC Simplest
    https://www.youtube.com/user/PCSimplest

    Oregon Jobs
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2d...7w5x9toZDjJhyg

    Information Technology Q & A Show
    https://www.youtube.com/user/partnerwithwilliam

    Du'An Lightfoot
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeX...-VZ0VHX9ZV2Abw


    God bless. I know you will find an IT job!!!
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
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    #44
    As far as clothing...

    Be careful about wearing full suits to interviews. It depends on the company. If the company is a laid-back company that lets employees dress like gutter-bums during work hours, you will come across as a tight-a$$ square and therefore "not a good fit".

    Unless you know for sure a company expects interviewees to wear a suit/business-proper attire, dress slacks and nice shirt and tie might be the safest bet. With some companies you may be better off with business-casual attire (nice polo instead of shir/tie), but it's so hard to tell. That's why I stick with nice shirt/slacks/tie but no jacket unless I know for sure the jacket will be expected.

    But be clean, neat, well-groomed, regardless of what you wear.
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    #45
    For a normal IT job in a normal city, I'd go a bit different, Dockers, leather shoes, sport-coat and dress shirt but no tie. But I don't think a manager is going to gig you points for either. Look neat and professional but in the IT world, do a tie or a coat but not both.
    2018: CCIE Written (R/S) (done - Jan), CCIE R/S
    After that: MBA, OSCP
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    #46
    Quote Originally Posted by ReonBalisty View Post
    As someone who has zero exp in the enterprise portion of the field (Except for educational environments) the only option is to start ground floor. I have had 2 interviews with a school district and been offering amazing pay, but wasn't chosen due to lack of EXP with enterprise environments or that someone had that BS in IT (which I am attempting now).

    It is a demoralizing thing to have to keep interviewing and having them get you in the door, ask questions, then tell you that you are lacking in the exp they weren't looking for when they posted their ads.
    It's been about 3 months, have you been offered a position? Which BS IT are you going for, have you been admitted and taking those courses while looking for a better paying position? I hope everything is working well for you... if not, keep pushing foward.

    There are three things you should look at. 1) Completing that degree while working or looking for another position.

    2) Continue with your certifications, since you have an AA in IT from UofP and CompTIA certs, continue on with those vendor neutral certs from CompTIA and then find a specialization of your choice (CCNA or MS, etc).

    3) Experience, since you're already working in a similar position as Help Desk or Entry Level IT, why not ask the company you're at to allow you or put you into Temp Assignments in other divisions/departments?
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    #47
    Companies and organizations post ads for (and give interviews for) jobs that they know they are going to fill internally. They do this to cover their a$$es for the wrath of the EEOC. So they post ads, waste job-seekers' time with interviews and have no intention of hiring any outside job-seekers for that position. This is coming from the mouths of a few HR people have known over the years.

    I have had interviews that were over 2 hours long. Everything seemed to go GREAT. They would tell/show me things about the job that no one would be told/shown unless they thought they were going to hire you. I would leave feeling like I had it in the bag! But a few days later they would notify me that I did not get the position because they hired from within. They knew they were going to hire from within the day they posted the ad!

    This is life in America. The good thing is it gives you experience with interviews and there's always a possibility that the company might call you at a later date for another similar position. But it's still aggravating and it's really a waste of time and money for everyone involved. But that's the way it is in a litigious society like the USA. Lots of wasted time and money all done out of fear.
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    #48
    Quote Originally Posted by ITSpectre View Post
    I treat finding a job like trying to start a relationship with a Woman....
    Call and send your info to them....
    Then they respond.
    If you call too much you scare them off. If you contact too much you will scare them off. I live by that rule. There are times where the job will just never reply and that's ok. But just like in getting to know a Woman.... a job will contact you if they want you. The same way a woman will contact you if she wants to chat and get to know you.
    Lol!

    Truth of life isn't it? I always look back and wonder if I ever went into creepy stalker territory, or at least gave that impression.
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  25. Senior Member
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    #49
    Quote Originally Posted by LarryTR View Post
    Companies and organizations post ads for (and give interviews for) jobs that they know they are going to fill internally. They do this to cover their a$$es for the wrath of the EEOC. So they post ads, waste job-seekers' time with interviews and have no intention of hiring any outside job-seekers for that position. This is coming from the mouths of a few HR people have known over the years.

    I have had interviews that were over 2 hours long. Everything seemed to go GREAT. They would tell/show me things about the job that no one would be told/shown unless they thought they were going to hire you. I would leave feeling like I had it in the bag! But a few days later they would notify me that I did not get the position because they hired from within. They knew they were going to hire from within the day they posted the ad!

    This is life in America. The good thing is it gives you experience with interviews and there's always a possibility that the company might call you at a later date for another similar position. But it's still aggravating and it's really a waste of time and money for everyone involved. But that's the way it is in a litigious society like the USA. Lots of wasted time and money all done out of fear.
    True, but I think it generally helps if you go into it assuming that 99% of your interviews are going to be a complete waste of time, other than the practice you'll get.
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    #50
    Problem is, I never knew this until about 5 or 6 years ago. So it's REALLY demoralizing when you have a REALLY good interview that takes up 2 or more hours, just to find out they hired from within. But not knowing that was their plan all along, it makes you wonder if you actually know what a "good interview" is.

    None of this is necessary. A company should not have to waste it's time ore money nor the time and money of others. I bet most people don't know what I found out 5 or 6 years ago. I hope many newbies read this post so at least they go into it armed with the knowledge of how this all works. Otherwise, they get massively demoralized and depressed...like I did before I was privy to this knowledge.

    Anyway, I digress. I just hope as many people as possible read my post so they understand that just because you didn't get a job, it doesn't mean you are worthless. It could VERY LIKELY mean you are being played by a system that forces employers to play you.
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