Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Interviewing at Tesla

I got this from a site called Quora (a pretty interesting site, check it out).

A guy interviewed at the new age car and transportation place Tesla--full-time job a a powertrain test engineer.

First, he was screened by phone. The recruiter gets to know you, learns about your skills and chats with you about what your role would be. Be sure you can talk about Tesla and why you want to work there.

The second step is the hiring manager or senior engineer going more deeply into your background and qualifications. Discuss problems you've solved.

The onsite interview is next and at Tesla, you are asked to create a presentation about your past work. This took him 30 mins and he presented to six people. There were questions and answers.

After that came one-to-one intervews with each of the six people. Technnical questions about past work, knowledge of fundamental engineering,and behavioral questions--maybe some questions outside of your wheelhouse--such as coding.

They want to see passion about Tesla and their mission. They also wanted to be sure he could be ready to work on day one. That was the conclusion of this applicant.

Did he get the job? Hmmm, didn't say.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Here's a tip: Do what you say you will

Remember the old saying, "My word is my bond."

Or: He was a man of his word. Or she.

Do you have any idea of what a changed world this would be if people did what they vowed or promised or even just mentioned they would do?
Case in point. I asked my daughter, 33, to do a small chore I cannot do because of my mobility issues. She said, "I already did." I was shocked--without 10 nagging repetitions?

THEN--and hour later--I looked outside and she was doing the chore. Our eyes met. "Busted," she joked. So I got the rush of irritation anyway. Could have lived without that.

Or the recent kerfluffle over the guy set to become Speaker of the House of Representatives. Besides running afoul of a determined group of conservatives, he apparently had committed an indiscretion we like to call violating your marriage vows--and his fellow members say this did not influence their dissatisfaction, but they also circulated a letter about vague misdeeds and apparently everyone knew about this.

So he did not stick with what he promised--and look.

Maybe this sounds petty--but this one old-fashioned value could be honored more. It would make a difference. Think about it.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Robots can't do this

I saw a completely creepy show on guys trying to invent sex robots. But that is not what I am talking about--or ever want to talk about.

I am talking about a story by Roger Wu in Nextgov Magazine on three things robots will always do better than humans. This is for people afraid the bots will take their jobs.

The first thing bots can't do well is be creative. Humans see connections that are not logical. A robot would never ask ballet dancers to teach football players how to move. But they are doing more with trial and error--which is akin to creativity.

A robot can figure optimal moves, in other words, but not new games to play.

Robots are also bad at relationships. Humans need to work together--robots don't. Half of communication happens in body language and undertones--robots don't see these.

Robots are also bad at sales. Sales depend on playing on human emotions. Retail sales, for example, often depend on free trials and coupons--to get us to get things we don't need.  Most sales are irrational.

Wu says robots are at the on-cell stage. But great oaks from...well, you know the irrational, nonsensical saying.

You know what needs to go--and go now? Those robots that direct your call...OMG, I despise those! "Please select one of the following so I can get you to the right person..." Oh, bite me, you bucket of bolts!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chill before that interview

Hey--someone I know just got a good job! She actually had three offers. So there are things out there.

Caitlin Boho, CareerBuilder, has some tips for acing your next interview.

Your biggest obstacle is anxiety--over thinking. Sure, do your research (the company, the culture, upcoming mergers, the job requirements), but don't obsess.

Before interview day, scope out the building. On interview day, give yourself plenty of time to get there.

Talk to people before the interview--positive, supportive people--in other words, get warmed up.

In the car or on your headphones, play a favorite playlist.

Eat a good breakfast--include protein.

Get moving, if you can exercise beforehand.

Visualize how it will go--you will look great, the interviewer will be relaxed and pleasant, you will come up with sharp answers.

And as they say--be yourself. If yourself is pushy, interrupty, brash, laughs too hard and too much--tone it down.

Above all--smile.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What happens if you don't get the job

What did I say?
Not everything turns out the way you want. This is an adult life lesson you get to learn over and over.

Elena Lyn, a contributor to Career Contessa, says she once went the distance to get her dream job--all kinds of research, prepared stories on what she had done to match every requirement, even thought up some company strategies. She follow up with a thank you, thought the interviewer liked her--but they went with someone else. Turns out, they already knew whom they wanted.

Back in DC, we called this a job that was "wired." They just look at others for form's sake. It is not really kosher, but it happens all the                                                         time.

The author recommends asking for feedback. How could I be a better candidate next time?

Think back and reflect. Maybe it did not go as well as you thought. Did you talk more than listen?

Maybe you made a mistake--such as scorning your previous job or employer.

Or maybe it was not a good fit--and the interviewer saw it and you didn't. You made jokes, the interviewer was serious.

Maybe someone else was better. This is completely beyond your control.

You may never know--and that is frustrating. But dust yourself off and out you go again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Way you "swipe" about to change

What--these old things?
According to Lauren Gensler of Forbes.com, as of the beginning of this month, retailers are supposed to accept new chip--enabled credit cards less vulnerable to fraud.

As you step to the register, they generate a one-time code that can't be used again, thus foiling thieves.

You won't swipe your card--you will "dip" it--a move we will all have to learn.

Only 27% of stores are meeting the Oct 1 deadline, so you have more time to get used to this.

Sixty percent of card users don't even have the newfangled cards, anyway.

You may have your new card or you may not. (I have not gotten any.)

For now, the stripe reader machines will still work.

Retailers don't want to spend the money for new machines--but if they don't, they will be liable for losses--rather than the banks, as it is now.

Another bummer--the stores without the new machines will be targets for fraudsters--so if you are still swiping, you may be more at risk.

Experts say don't swipe if you can avoid it.

Rats--something else to worry about.

Monday, October 5, 2015

What high schoolers expect for their future

Let's hear it for rich and casually dressed.
Debra Auerbach, CareerBuilder, says when she was in HS, she barely thought ahead to the next day. But today's high schoolers are more future-minded, she says.

CareerBuilder did a survey that showed teens have solid opinions about the working world. And their expectations may vary from those already in the working world.

First, high schoolers have high salary hopes. Twenty-one percent of the youngsters said they would need to earn $100,000 to $149,000 to be "successful." Only 15% of the current workers said that amount.

Future workers were also three times as likely as current ones to want to make $200,000.

High school students dream of making a difference. Over half said making a mark on the world was a sign of success. Only 22% of current workers said that.

Future and current workers both want relaxed dress codes. Seventy-four percent of current workers and 70% of HS students said they should be able to be casual.

Future workers were more optimistic about chances of promotion than current workers.

Somewhat surprisingly, high schoolers saw themselves staying longer in a job--only 16% said a year was enough.

Also surprisingly, fewer HS students than current workers said it's OK to use emojis in work correspondence.

They also were less likely to say it's OK to be late if you get your work done.

So are high schoolers more idealistic about work? Looks like it--which is to be expected. Let's hope they get that $200,000 before they start to take a more jaundiced  realistic view.