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Job interview dilemma

  1. Mar 25, 2009 #1
    i have one tomorrow for a defense contractor. it will be for a stats intern position. its a formal interview, where they will ask me some questions, and they will also show me around the company and have me meet some people. a month ago, i had the phone interview. will i likely get the position? this company is about 30-45 min drive from where i live

    but i got another internship position yesterday for a company that does physical modeling of the oceans and solves problems for clients, which mostly includes naval research centers. it requires a physics background, most of the employees have physics degrees. the work sounds more interesting than stats. but the drive to this company is about an hour and a half, so i cant commute there if i work there in the summer. also, this company is only a couple years old, so there are only about 5 full-time employees

    what should i do if i get accepted for both positions?

    the question is which one should i take. the one that features work that i will probably like better (i'm looking towards physical/mathematical modeling as a career), or the one for the bigger, defense contractor (i want to work on military aircraft, missiles, and weapons) that is easier to travel to?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    If they see an example of your writing, probably not. Is it so much trouble to use proper English?

    Second, how the heck do you think a bunch of strangers would know the answer to whether an unnamed company was planning on hiring an unnamed individual? If the see this as an example of your critical thinking skills, again, probably not.

    They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. My advice to you is to be very careful to speak properly, write properly, and before you do any of these things, think.
  4. Mar 25, 2009 #3


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    A recommended forum


    In regards to the creepypasta13 question I would go for the defense contractor because of the name value especially if youre planning on working in the defense industry.
  5. Mar 25, 2009 #4
    if they are showing you around the company then yes you will get the job unless you mess up.
  6. Mar 25, 2009 #5
    ok, that makes sense
  7. Mar 25, 2009 #6
    This question amazes me. If we had said, 'no, it is unlikely that you will get the position,' would you not go? Bombed the interview on purpose? Cried?
  8. Mar 25, 2009 #7
    agreed. The question amazes me on a few other levels, too.

    @OP: Life is full of difficult decisions and it's unrealistic to ever expect someone else to make such a personal decision for you, even if you had actually given some specific information. The important things to take from this are a bit of knowledge about the questions you should be asking yourself -

    - what do you want out of your career?
    - money? job security? job satisfaction?

    To make this decision you need to first of all focus on it being a possibility, that is; prepare for the interviews. Telephone interviews are a starting stage for most companies, and given that in the defence sector there can be as many as 50 applicants per position I think you be a bit premature to start counting the chickens. Then if you get offers you have plenty to think about. The applicants day with the formal interview is designed as a taster for you as well as them, they want to you know what kind of enviroment you'd be working in so you know if you'd be happy there, or not. List the benefits of each position and try to make a measure of how they tie in with your life ambitions, then you're starting to answer some of your own questions.
  9. Mar 25, 2009 #8


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    He is interviewing for an internship position which means it is probably safe to assume he is a student and the benefits/job security does not matter as much as what it adds to his resume.

    Did anyone ever play the telephone game as a child? I had no idea it could happen in internet forums too but I think reading last post then skimming through OP causes it.
  10. Mar 25, 2009 #9
    Me, I'd rather take the job I like more. Even if the company isn't well known, the clients are and you could build on that in your resume. Having a company on your resume simply for the name and doing work you're not interested will tend to drive you in the direction of that type of work. Companies with that type of work will look at your resume more seriously and those offering the type of work you want will look at it less seriously. Working along with the others for a company you like will give you the opportunity to ask them serious questions about how they do what they do which can be invaluable when you are searching for a real job. You may even decide to ask them for a permanent job.

    (I've worked for small companies and big companies including the big communications company known for its 2-way radios and telephones. In that one the summer interns just did filing or other work nobody wanted to do.)
  11. Mar 25, 2009 #10
    well, from the interview today (for stats intern position), the interviewer said she'll get back to me in 2 weeks, since I believe she said she's going on vacation next week

    I will most likely then take the position that I interviewed for on monday (for physical modeling intern).

    but the thing is, I'm still not a 100% sure yet.

    I have yet to submit my thank-you note to both interviewers, but I plan on submitting them right after I post here.

    for the physical modeling internship, the interviewer already submitted me a job offer through email.

    for the thank you letter for the monday interview, should i mention that i still need more time as to whether i want to accept the offer or not? i dont want to make it seem like i already accepted the offer as i dont want him to mistake my thank you note for a job offer acceptance note

    Also, for the stats internship, would it seem redundant to submit another thank-you note since I already submitted one a few weeks ago right after the phone interview? (the same person interviewed me today as when I had the phone interview)
  12. Mar 25, 2009 #11

    D H

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    In those thank you letters, do please write in sentences. Sentences start with an upper case letter, end with an appropriate punctuation mark, and contain a subject and a predicate. Sentences should not start with "well", "for", or "also". It is a good idea to coherently link multiple sentences together to form paragraphs.

    Your writing style is seriously lacking. It will get you in trouble and it may cost you a job.
  13. Mar 26, 2009 #12
    Why are you all hating on him? Just answer his question and be done with it. I'm sure when it comes to more serious writing, such as corresponding with the company engineers and/or representatives, his writing will change to a form that is acceptable.

    creepypasta, I would suggest going with the defense contractor. It has been my experience that interning at well known and large company will open more doors for you. If I were to look at a resume and see someone worked for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, BAE, etc over some random new company that's only been on the block for 2-3 years, I would obviously call the fellow with the defense contractor position. Plus, it might be better to see how you like the big corporate culture.
  14. Mar 26, 2009 #13


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    Why is it "hating" to ask that someone bother to use proper grammer? Sure no one's grammer is perfect, but we're talking about basic sentence structure with capitalization and punctuation - the rules you learn in grade school. Using them makes it easier to read a person's writing - communication is more efficient. Ignoring them is, in my opinion, disrespectful to the intended audience.

    Do you mean as opposed to the engineers, scientists and other professionals who read these fourms?
  15. Mar 26, 2009 #14
    Perhaps he's hoping that one of their recruiters lurks the physicsforums ;).
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