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In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/20/2016 4:54 AM

Hi everybody, I got called in for an in person interview this week, but I dont have much of an idea on this job honestly. I've copy and pasted the link below to the job that I'll be interviewing for. If possible could anyone take a minute to check it out ? I want to go into this interview knowing a few things about this job but I dont know much on Light product and UL Engineering. Also, Would you say this is a legit "engineering" position as well? I dont have much of a choice as a New graduate but definitely would like to know if this kind of job can help further my mechanical engineering career as relevant experience? Position is : Lighting Products Development/ UL Engineer http://elcolighting.com/pages/opportunities-at-elco-lighting thanks alot for any advice!

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#1

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 5:05 AM

Don't want to knock you back, but as a new graduate, I think you'd be way out of your depth:

Established lighting manufacturer in Southern California is looking for an experienced, highly-motivated individual to join their team. The ideal candidate must be detail-oriented and exceptionally organized. Duties include:

  • Design and development of new fixtures
  • Production Quality Control
  • Inspection of manufactured fixtures
  • Coordination of UL requirements with production
  • Improvement of existing product line

Also they're looking for min. 2 years experience!

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#2
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 5:23 AM

You're fine, I mean I thought the same but they called me last week for an In person interview which was odd for me because there was not initial phone interview or anything like that.

Makes me think they are willing to invest and do some on the job training perhaps?

I'm a quick learner and know I can apply my skills but just not sure what to expect in the interview.

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#5
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 6:26 AM

Maybe they got a very small response to the advert, so they've dropped the requirement levels a bit.

I suggest you read up as much as you can find about lighting fixtures and types of lighting, so you're conversant with the names of all the bits and pieces - Wikipedia is a good place to start - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_fixture and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighting the same for UL - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UL_(safety_organization) . This may help, too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inspection#Manufacturing

Also make sure you know all about amps, volts, ohms and watts, and the units of illumination (tho' that's a bit of a mine-field). At least you should be able to talk the talk!

Good luck!

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#6
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 6:39 AM

I've been doing a bit of research and its crazy this job seems more fit for an electrical engineering major. even tho I have taken a circuits class and understand Kirchoff's law pretty well. I will review up on voltage, resistors , etc. I'm currently finishing my prep for the FE exam which has an electrical section so that will re fresh some theory for me.

I'll check those links out. thank you very much for taking the time help!

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#8
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 6:53 AM

I dunno - guess any lighting fixture manufacturer needs to design stuff that's not going to fall apart under its own weight (especially if/when it's a bit hot) and maybe drop 100ft onto the heads of passers-by - that would give them a bit of a bad rep! So there must be a need for mech. engineers too.

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#9
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 7:16 AM

You will gonna do probably "the heat" side of stuff, some call it cooling and how would you integrate it with the design(BOM, geometrics). But' the basic interface equation of heat vs. electrical relationship might there also. Since you are a graduate of BS ME, then you've been through Physics stuff. So, its manageable.

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#10
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 7:32 AM

if its heat transfer related there should be no problem. plus if I need to to go back and review certain concepts I'll definitely do that. I'm looking forward to it though. If I can get the job I'll be excited to apply my engineering knowledge to create that's the biggest thing for me. I honestly enjoyed circuits class except for the more difficult dependent current circuits. for ME's they didn't go too in depth on that. we didn't even have Wheatstone bridge problems on our exams.. so pretty straight forward circuits class.

I'll prep myself for this as much as I can

Appreciate your insight!

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#14
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 9:39 AM

If someone smiles (one or 2 in the panel) and it seems that they may have some idea of what you've been answering there, it's because maybe, some of us here in cr4(excluding me) are your potential superiors. "oh, crap!" Just a possibility...or maybe. Who knows? --Just want to say, you are right asking CR4 forum, you're on the right track.

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#7
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 6:52 AM

Invest more on confidence that you are worth a seed to grow and bloom in a short period of time if given light and complete nourishment.

Maybe they saw something worth to have in their team in your personality. Don't say things you are not, but do not overkill by disregarding/denying your capacity to be an expert in any aspect per your interest. You just need time to grow and emersion. All things, often times are hard at the beginning, when you get used to it, you'll become efficient and brilliant at it.

I learn the basic at school and it was hard. But, often times, the do-it-myself stuff is better than listening to professor and mentors you have no likes and have a confidence with.

Do not limit what you can do, by thinking you can't. Go on, give it your best shot.

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#3

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 5:54 AM

I want that one. So don't go to the interview.

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#4
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 6:25 AM

Sorry I need a job badly. lol this ones mine

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#13
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 8:41 AM

With the knowledge of the company, the role an the skill set required declared so far, <...this ones mine...> (ignoring the missing apostrophe for the moment) would seem to be an unlikely outcome. <...lol...>

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#24
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/21/2016 2:43 AM

You won't get it, either.

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#11

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 7:48 AM

do your research, and just showcase yourself. The are a few things you can gain from this.

  1. One you may get the job as an entry level
  2. The door is opened for a position elsewhere in the company
  3. Most important, you gain experience in the interview process and are able to refine your interviewee skills.
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#12

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 8:12 AM

Be sure to let us know how your interview goes! Next time a CR4 member, especially a new grad, asks for interview advice, you'll have some advice to contribute. Remember, ELCO's decided you look interesting enough to bring in for an interview, so you've already got their attention. Feel good about that, do your homework, and have a great interview.

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#15

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 9:48 AM

they aren't looking for a CEO, the position is more of a testing lab tech. sounds like a great starter job to me. did you participate in a senior project? have you ever made something of commercial value? I'd use that as a visual example of your capabilities

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#20
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 3:46 PM

Yes, I designed and optimized a Re-circulation system for a local business and even though they didnt end up using the final design but they passed our work to professional working engineers (who they initially contracted the job out to) and gave them more ideas to fully re-design their system. That was all HVAC related though but it was great on the job consulting practice in my eyes. Our professors even said the same thing that was the biggest difference in our design project compared to others was the somewhat professional experience we got from it working with a client and keeping him happy lol

Thanks by the way, ill definitely add that in as a capability

The CEO of the company we did the design for has been actively helping me find jobs right now and giving me alot of advice which I really appreciate from his side. If they ask for a reference ill use his name first then the Project engineer who I did a Civil engineering road const. Internship for.

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#23
In reply to #20

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 4:29 PM

No wonder you were contacted. You've got practical experience -- worth so much more than a degree by itself. Learning to work on a project team and to complete a largish project successfully are qualifications every engineer needs and that are hard for students to get. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your job search and how the ELCO interview goes. Great that you've got a mentor!

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#16

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 9:52 AM

Just as your resume is written to get the best job possible, job ads are written to get the best applicant possible. In the end both sides settle for the best they can get. It's a negotiation.

As others have said, do your homework. Find out as much about the company as you can and as much about their products as you can. If you're a new graduate, you are in a good position, a blank slate with a fresh education, and willing to learn.

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#17

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 10:25 AM

they are located in Vernon, its a heavy industrial area, you'll smell the meat packers when you're there.

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 3:58 PM

yea they are definitely in a industrial area lol. Its not located in a nice part of town but at this point I just need a job. All i have is a degree and no engineering experience.

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#22
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 4:21 PM

best of luck, it's a tough market so just get a start at a decent company, this sounds like one

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#18

Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/20/2016 10:54 AM

Learn about the company and tell the truth about your qualifications.

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#28
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/21/2016 8:11 AM

GA.

Yes, the truth. Nothing beats that. Being open and honest in an interview is the best policy. What you are offering in any interview is yourself, no matter who that is. Most forward thinking companies these days are looking for people who can learn and adapt. Sounds like the OP has his foot in the door, now he has to sell himself honestly. Lack of experience isn't a job killer, it's only a starting point. Be prepared to keep learning, that's all.

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#29
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/21/2016 2:10 PM

I plan to keep it honest for sure, If I do get picked up I don't want to create false expectations. really need this to prove myself more so. I've been researching the company hard and who there partners are and what they've done recently in the market. Im more curious to find out about them at this point. Lol

Thanks for the advice.

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#30
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/21/2016 2:27 PM

You must have something to offer or you would not be getting an interview. Hopefully all will work out well for you. Good luck.

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#31
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Re: In person Interview for an engineering position. Advice please!

06/21/2016 2:46 PM

Thanks a lot. I'll keep you guys posted in a few days

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#19

Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/20/2016 12:34 PM

Just had a thought: does your school have a job placement service? A lot of placement offices offer dry-run interviews and other tips for acing your interview. Worth checking out. Good luck!

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#25

Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 4:24 AM

I spent 4 years designing industrial & commercial lighting. the job sounds like a test engineer to comply with UL standards (my experience was working within British Standards). You will need some understanding of voltages & insulation requirements, including surface tracking. It will require some mechanical knowledge in order to mount lamps for testing & possibly to produce test jigs for articulated lamps. Have a look at the catalogues from their web page & get used to the terminology, they measure in lumens & footcandles and talk about colour temperatures. Their catalogues show patterns of light output so I assume they use some sort of lighting goniometer to test that. There is a fairly concise guide to the basic terms here.

I was inserting links for lumens etc but for some reason this reply won't retain the links.

Lumens https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumen_(unit)

Footcandle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot-candle

Colour temperature https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature

Concise guide http://www.theledlight.com/lumens.html

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#26
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 5:03 AM

After spending a few hours researching the company and some work they have done in the area they basically develop Commercial and Residential lighting products. They partnered up with a Sales rep company to help promote their work and I guess they just focus on the design and development. Those are some questions that I will want to ask them and how they contract their work out. From the job description I will have to coordinate with UL standards when producing these lighting systems and inspect already manufactured fixtures for starters.

I have only a day left before the interview. Would you say I should have a basic idea of Lumens and Footcandles measurements going into the interview? Their webpage is mostly promoting the different styles of products they have to offer which from what i see are only in Volts and absolution temp K.

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#27
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 6:02 AM

Look at a couple of product specs. from their catalogues on the web site, they show more detail of the information they provide to their customers.

The concise guide I provided a web address for is a good general guide.

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#32

Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 3:37 PM

Ignre the BS here, Just go for it and see what transpires, Once you know the outcome, you can work on it. If you get the job, one happy chappy. If you don't, then get up and have another go after you fix your errors.

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#33
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 3:39 PM

The only BS I've seen here is in your previous comment.

I believe that the lad was given proper advice by everyone, except you.

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#35
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 3:42 PM

I've been thinking what an excellent exchange this has been, respectful, witty where appropriate, but showcasing the best of the community. This thread would be a good one for any newly-graduate engineer to read before a job interview, regardless of the specific field of engineering. My compliments to all of you!

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#36
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 3:47 PM

Agreed. I think the kid got good advice and counsel. Oops, that's redundant.

The difficulty is in having a student come here and ask to have a career path chosen for them with no useful background.

OP was specific in his question and responsive to the forum's questions back to him.

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#38
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 4:23 PM

I appreciate everyone's advice no other forum was this helpful or detailed. Appreciate everybody taking the time to help me out. At worst I dont get the job but I surely know how to go about the interview process for the next one.

The advice was great!

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#40
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 5:06 PM

Thank you for all of your replies. It's nice to know that someone is "listening".

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#41
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/22/2016 4:06 AM

That's a very healthy attitude, don't take rejection too seriously. I've seen from the perspective of having to work with new employees that the best candidate does not always get the job. There's plenty of advice out there about how to prepare for interviews but very little about how to be the person doing the interviewing. As a result, the interviews are often amateur affairs. Take it all as a learning experience & don't forget, it's a 2-way interview, you are evaluating the company as much as they are evaluating you. They might offer you the job & you decide you don't want it.

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#51
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/29/2016 6:32 PM

surprisingly,

I got called in for a second interview today. I was taking my FE exam when they called so I left a voicemail and and told them I'm ready to schedule it.

What can I expect in the second interview usually? the first interview was short (20 min) and I was honestly am surprised they called me back! I want to better prepare for this one.

Anybody with experience on their second interviews what kind of questions did they ask you then?

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#55
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/30/2016 9:34 AM

Congrat's on the second interview. You must have made a good impression on the first. It sounds like the first was just to cull the herd, so to speak. Personally, I have never been for a second interview, I was offered the position or not, but,, believe it or not, my first job out of university was obtained because my summer work experience (very little engineering stuff), the degree really only got me the interview- he interviewed anyone in my class that wanted one.

When you go to the second, just be yourself and remain honest.

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#56
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

07/03/2016 5:19 PM

thank you for everybodys advice. I felt the interview went well. My only thing I am worried about is the salary inorder to surive in an expensive city like LA...I feel they will offer me something below market value of an entry level Mechanical Engineer. If that happens what should I do?

If the offer is too low for me to survive comfortably I planned to just move back to seattle where My family is because cost of Living in La is really tough.

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#57
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

07/04/2016 8:21 AM

Do your financial homework about living in LA. Set up a preliminary budget to see exactly how much you will need to live and work there(the key word here is "need", do not make your ultimate "wish list", be realistic). If you really want the job and it is offered to you, you have to be prepared and be honest about what you have "calculated" you need for $ if the offer comes through, they may offer advice. See if they offer any "perks" such as helping you financially with any moving costs you may have if the starting wage seems too low. Bear in mind that you do not really have any bargaining position, so tread carefully.

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#58
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

07/05/2016 8:13 AM

There are lots of calculators available online that can help you decide if you're getting a lowball offer, and others that help you get realistic ideas about cost of living. I'd suggest you do a little research with these tools as part of your decision-making process. A salary calculator for the LA area should factor in the supply and demand for engineers with your qualifications so you can tell how low a low offer is.

Other factors to consider, with this or any other job:

  • Opportunities to learn and expand your knowledge base and skill set
  • Corollary to this: opportunity to work with experienced engineers/find a good mentor
  • Benefits, including support for further education/training
  • Salary structure, e.g., do you get a raise if you successfully complete a 90-day trial period? On what basis would you receive salary increases/bonuses?

When I accepted my second professional position (when funding for the first one ran out), my salary was 20% lower than what I'd been earning, but I was promised, and received, most of the difference back in 4 months. I wanted to work for the library director and I sensed that this was a place where I could flourish. Turned out to be the best career decision I ever made. For over a year I walked to work because I couldn't afford to pay to park on campus (or buy gas). I ate mostly brown-bag lunches. No movies, no eating out, no hobbies that cost money. Never have regretting the short period of privation compared to what it bought me.

We're all rooting for you!

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#59
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

07/05/2016 5:30 PM

The factors to consider with the job are great points but how can I figure those out? Would those be legitimate questions to ask if they decide to give me the offer? I do know there are experienced engineers working there and they will train you for a few months and decide which part of the job fits you best basically. I dont know how the salary or the raise because I refrained from those questions during both interviews.

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#60
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

07/06/2016 8:10 AM

Sounds like you have a good sense of the culture; if it feels good, great; if you have nagging doubts and you get an offer, you could ask to talk with someone who's worked there a few years, or someone who's a fairly recent graduate. If the answer's no, though, don't take that as a bad sign.

Money's always difficult to discuss. If you get an offer, though, they'll tell you about compensation (including salary but also insurance, 401k, support for continuing education, the free coffee and donuts etc.) and that opens the door for you to ask questions.

Is there a job placement service at your college/university? If so, someone there could tell you about the etiquette of handling an offer (what to ask and how).

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#37
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 4:22 PM

Goood daaaay Grumpy! You are now an expert in a persons self worth. How will he know his value if he does not learn on his own, his value in the market place or what he actually knows or learned? Ah yes, follow the yellow brick road we all were advised to take.

Best advice for anyone, is to go out and learn. Take the chance my boy, go for it and see what you know and are worth in the market place of life.

May God bless you and keep you. Grumpy rules OK.

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#49
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/23/2016 8:05 AM

The Lad himself?

Or are you making assumptions about our new friend?!

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#50
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/23/2016 9:18 AM

Maybe I should just not try to use foreign language words in sentences.

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#61
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

07/12/2016 8:08 AM

Mais non! Porquoi?

Ah well, c'est la vie...ce sera, sera.

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#34
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 3:41 PM

Really?, you just reiterated what was already spoken. So get back on your tractor,... and move along.

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#39
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/21/2016 4:26 PM

Like Timex, easy to wind up......

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#42

Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/22/2016 7:25 PM

just had the interview don't think it went quite well. including his questions and mine the interview was 20-25 min. which I usually hear is a bad sign.

He asked me what I knew about AC/DC circuits and honestly there isnt much I knew on that question because as a BSME we never went in that Much depth on e circuits. Got stumped on that one.

Then he asked me what I know about lighting lol obviously not much I wasn't able to elaborate on that either except for what I learned in physics and a bit on LED technology.

this job is definitely suited for an EE major unless you just happened to have experience in lighting. Not sure why they even called me. The only thing he was impressed with was me researching into their company.At the end of the interview he said he would review my application a bit more and let me know.

Based off that I'm thinking he wasn't interested. I'd rather find a job that's best suited for ME's anyways. Great experience nonetheless

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#43
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/22/2016 7:35 PM

Taking time to learn about the company means you are really interested in the job, and you are a quick study.

Good luck.

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#44
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/22/2016 7:50 PM

thanks, still from an interviewer standpoint I'm not sure if id be a good candidate.. I mean the job is based around circuit theory heavily. They do use solidworks and print 3D models to test their structures which I have extensive experience in from school. well see if they call back.

The way he threw those technical questions at me caught me off gaurd.

Well see if they call back

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#45

Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/22/2016 7:51 PM

I doubt that there is any academic program in the world that would prepare for that particular job, which depends instead on specific real-world experience in, say, destructive electrical testing. That may have worked against you from the start, but you gave it an excellent positive attitude. There is nothing for you to regret, and I think everybody here wishes for your success in finding a good career match.

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#46
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/22/2016 8:06 PM

I appreciate that. I have to stay positive. No reason not too.

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#47
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/23/2016 7:52 AM

Good attitude. It's all a learning experience. Even if you don't get this one, there will be more opportunities.

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#48
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/23/2016 7:54 AM

agreed, part of the learning experience is getting a small glimpse into the industry on how things get done. And that is enjoyable.

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#52

Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/29/2016 8:49 PM

Can anybody throw out any details on what to expect from a second interview? the interview is with the owner of the company this time and they decide next week on who gets the job from the people they are interviewing.

First interview was strange, the interviewer wasnt rude but wasnt polite at all either. It was more of interrogating interview. He was only impressed with the fact I had researched the copmany and the recent moves they had made. Well thats all I got from his emotionless expression. Not sure if other things stood out as well.

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#53
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/30/2016 4:00 AM

Sounds like the interviewer had a check list of points to cover. Hard to say what the 2nd interview will be like. If they have two or more short-listed prospects it could be in depth to see if you can do the job or it could be more chatty to see if you will fit with the existing team.

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#54
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Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

06/30/2016 8:26 AM

Congrats on the second interview! No advice for you ... is there any way you can find out more about the owner?

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#62

Re: In Person Interview for an Engineering Position. Advice Please!

07/15/2016 9:18 AM

A significant degree of engineering is engineering to constantly evolving standards. That, coupled with the 'accountability' requirement, makes this is a legitimate engineering position.

The lack of proper punctuation (part of the 'communication skills' requirement) in your post would disqualify you if I were doing the hiring, because that's one of the most important criteria I use when selecting candidates.

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