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Topic # 94288 7-Dec-2011 16:03
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Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Why should we choose you over the other applicants? Why do you want to work for Macrosoft?

What is the interviewer actually looking for here?

I'd love to hear from someone who is/has been in an interviewing role. Thanks!

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  Reply # 555115 7-Dec-2011 16:59
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From experience, the interviewer is trying to ascertain whether or not the candidate is serious about working in the role they are applying for.

The questions are asked, the answers are given, the body language that accompanies the answers is analysed...

At the end of the day, it is a costly exercise to hire someone who is "only there for the money" or "just needs a job" to then have them leave after a month once they find the job they are really looking for.




Michael Skyrme - Instrumentation & Controls

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Reply # 555137 7-Dec-2011 17:19
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  Reply # 555142 7-Dec-2011 17:28
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McNulty: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Why should we choose you over the other applicants? Why do you want to work for Macrosoft?

What is the interviewer actually looking for here?


I've just finished hiring for two hospitality positions, had 200 odd applicants, only did 10 interviews.

It's not only the answers I'm after.  I'm looking at the person's body language, how they answer, if they mention something that contradicts what they've put in their CV.

As an employer, I'm trying to get a good grasp on who the person is, in the half hour or so I have to chat to them.  I have to make a decision whether they will be a good fit not only in the position, but also into my team of existing staff (I have 9 staff).

You need to see yourself as a product, and you need to do your best to get your most positive traits across to your potential employer.

A couple of suggestions off the top of my head would be:
  • Do your research.  Nothing impresses an employer more than you giving examples that actually apply to the business
  • The shotgun approach doesn't work.  Cater your cover letter to the employer (none of this "to whom it may concern" or "dear sir/madam").  Your CV should also be no longer than two pages, short and sweet.
  • Don't be late to the interview, and dress smartly.  Avoid overly friendly language and keep it clean.

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  Reply # 555150 7-Dec-2011 17:49
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I don't think it really matters so much what they are looking for, by asking those painful generic questions. You/us/we just need to see it as another opportunity to sell yourself.

And they're basically a gift because you know they're (or something similar is) coming. Which means you can have a well thought out answer prepared and PRACTISED in advance.

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  Reply # 555152 7-Dec-2011 18:01
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I read on Stuff.co.nz one of the journalists that works there, was fresh out of uni on the dole and sending out his CV to every journalists job he could find, no replies back. So he decided to change his CV and add a bit of character to it by setting it up as a comic, yep you read right. His CV was a comic. He got the job at Stuff.

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  Reply # 555158 7-Dec-2011 18:17
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As above, they're trying to find out about you. The 5 year bit shows you've given some thought to careers and all and can signal long term targets that aren't compatible with the job.

Mainly it's about how you answer. There's no real right or wrong here, but it's a great opportunity to come across as sincere. The 'Why are manholes round' question is a great example.

As above, you are brand/product you, so you really should know why they should pick you over other people if you want to sell yourself...

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  Reply # 555186 7-Dec-2011 19:55
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Kaos36: So he decided to change his CV and add a bit of character to it by setting it up as a comic, yep you read right. His CV was a comic. He got the job at Stuff.


One of the front of house guys I hired a couple months back sent his CV as complete narrative.  He mentioned how proud his mum was of his achievements.

It read really well, was very funny.  It showed he was a character, he aced the interview, and is now one of our best staff members.

This suits the position though - hospo is all about being outgoing, full of energy.  Not sure if this would fit a more technical role, your mileage may vary.

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  Reply # 556546 11-Dec-2011 09:17
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Kaos36: I read on Stuff.co.nz one of the journalists that works there, was fresh out of uni on the dole and sending out his CV to every journalists job he could find, no replies back. So he decided to change his CV and add a bit of character to it by setting it up as a comic, yep you read right. His CV was a comic. He got the job at Stuff.


My wife has been applying for library jobs for a couple of years.  She works there part-time, but has struggled to land a permanent full-time position.  She's taken a creative approach to her applications, and has in the past used a slideshow to supplement her CV and covering letter (which landed her a fixed-term part time role), and most recently created a website through flavors.me.  It's a gamble - some people see it as creative and left-field and it can help to set you apart from the dozens of candidates that all blend into each other after a while.  Other people don't like anything that deviates from the cookie-cutter, form-based norms of job applications.  But sometimes the gamble can pay off.  I think the hardest part of any job application is trying to find the thing that separates you from all the other wannabes.  Like a lot of people have said here already, the actual answer is less important than how you answer it.  Someone who sticks in the interviewer's mind after they leave the room has a better shot than someone who is bland but gives a perfect answer.  Just make sure you stick in their mind for the right reason...

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