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So you need advice for a Job Interview, Eh?


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So you got a job interview coming up.  You researched your company, practiced your sales pitch and then....they throw an odd ball question at ya, in which you never heard before.  To make matters worse you do not know how to answer or respond to said question correctly.  Or perhaps you simply have difficulties with particular interview questions and feel that you want to understand WHY they are such a silly question in your job interview.

 

I created this thread to help those who need  help with a job interview questions, since a lot of people are out of work, I figured why not help each other out.  I been on 60 plus interviews (I am not kidding, that is a lot of interviews), after I graduated with my MBA (Masters of business Administration, with the concentration of Information Systems Management.) So it can get frustrating.

 

But at my current job, I am a Senior Foremen/Manager and I hired people and asked common and not so common  job interview questions. So I have been of both sides of the fence for at least a bit.  I may of went through so many interviews, but you learn from trial and error on how to better yourself. 

 

As for me I always come up second it seems....If I can make it to the second, third and in rare cases a FOURTH interview, then I must be doing something right.

 

Also If you have NO experience and need advice on how to GAIN experience for that job you want, also feel free to ask.

 

If I cannot answer your question, then I am sure someone will be able to help you along the way.  so ASK AWAY!

 

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Edited by Rye_B_P
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First question: Inbetween revising for exams, I've found my first possible job at 16 at a sportsware shop not too far from here. I'm just wondering what to expect, do I show off my personality traits? They haven't specified what sort of job it will be until I go there so what do I write in my CV (resumé)? Some advice would be great!

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(edited)

First question: Inbetween revising for exams, I've found my first possible job at 16 at a sportsware shop not too far from here. I'm just wondering what to expect, do I show off my personality traits? They haven't specified what sort of job it will be until I go there so what do I write in my CV (resumé)? Some advice would be great!

 

TL:DR version: Here is a good example for a first resume from the link below...

 

 

http://jobsearch.about.com/library/samples/blhsresume2.htm

 

Now, BELOW I go into GREAT DETAIL about how to go about this, so use the example above and read on as I will try to explain how to go about this.

 

 

Focus on a basic 1 page resume, since I feel it would be easier for you then making a CV (Curriclum Vitae). CV would be longer in length, and gives a lot of details.  So a basic resume would be a good start.

 

 

 

OK, your first resume is usually the hardest to write, due to the fact that writing your first resume usually has no job experiences listed on it, for someone so young.   So From the top, list your name, town, state, contact information (phone, and e-mail).   Next you want to list under "Education", where you are currently going to school. (You mentioned you are 16, so I assume this is high school.) List the FULL NAME of the high school you go to and the year you STARTED to go and the expected graduation date.  (You could also put down the "YEAR #### - Present" as  an alternative, if you are still in school.)

 

 

As a side note, I would suggest to make a separate E-mail, used ONLY for jobs.  So, make this E-mail a professional looking one. 

 

 

Example: yourname@yahoo.com, so if your name is John Doe, put in "JohnDoe@yahoo.com.  Or JohnD@yahoo.com. 

 

 

You DO NOT want to use an e-mail that looks like you just made up a name, like ponyPUN 2354@yahoo.com.  To them that looks unprofessional and the idea is, in a big E-mail database, it is easier to look up your name if that E-mail with your resume came from an E-mail Address that is similar to your name.

 

 

Next Section I would put down experience, however you do not have any, so I would skip this.  Instead focus on your current Academic Awards, which you should put under "achievements". Some Examples would be perfect attendance award (along with the year you received it), Scholarships, "Best student of X activity" and so on.  Do not underestimate the power of such rewards, since employers like the idea that a young person has the ability score so high at such an early age. Also putting down good attendance award, shows the employer that you have a good record of coming to work/school on time and ready to do your job.

 

 

Moving on, I would STRONGLY suggest to do some volunteer work, so you can start claiming experience in a related field, in which the employer is looking for. You may not get paid, but you do gain experience and employer like the idea that someone as young as you is willing to dedicate time to learn on something you like doing. 

 

 

So being you have no Experience as a volunteer, then no worries for now, just keep in mind that volunteer work is not just learning about a given job, but also help you network and give you an edge on getting a job you want, if someone is willing to help ya out in the job department. So I would suggest to try to do some volunteer work for charities,  to help build on your resume. so being you are very young, they can forgive you for not have a lot of experience in the first place. 

 

 

 

You said that this is a sportswear shop and you don't know what this job entails. So I would suggest in the next sections, you should list your interests/activities that you do.  A sportswear shop would be looking for an athletic and/or sports fan.  So putting on your résumé of how you play sports like football, basketball and so on, shows you have a genuine interest in the profession at this store and it being a sports, store, you will feel more motivated to help customers out who share similar interest in sports. 

 

 

If you are not athletic, then the alternative is to show them you have an interest in sports in general. (I.E, Do you like watching sports on TV?) They are going to look for people who are INTERESTED in sports, cause people who are interested in sports are more motivated to work in a  sports store vs., someone who hates sports, so they do not just see it as another  paycheck. Employers are going to be picky in this job market, so its best to make it look like you are the "best" fit for the theme and position of the store.  Dont' be afraid to ask questions, but ask questions on what the position entails and what they are looking for.

 

 

Finally your skills section, so what are you good at?  Put things down that are related to the position in which you are applying for.  So being you do not have much information on the position, I can't go into too much specifics.  however some examples of some skills you could put down are things like....

 

 

1) Proficient at time management

 

2) Patient with people

 

3) Observant

 

4) Quick learner

 

 

Remember!  These are only examples, so if you put them on your resume, be prepared to explain EACH trait and give EXAMPLES of why you feel that these personality traits/skills are your core strengths.  Employers are looking for you to BACK UP what you put on a resume. So here you would be including your personality traits.

 

 

As for the interview, try to save your questions for the END of the interview, the only question you should ask at the beginning (cause you don't know what this job entails yet) is to ask "In detail, what is this job and what do you need someone to do in this position?".  Wait for them to explain it, and save your questions for the end.  DO NOT interrupt them, let them finish their explanations, cause they may answer some of your questions in which you might have.

 

 

Finally, If you get more details about the position, feel free to come back and tell me  and everyone else about it, so we can all further assist you.  The more details about the job description, the better me and anyone else can help you out.

 

 

I didn't get my first job until, I was 18, due to so many employers, only wanted to high people at 18 or up. So perhaps you will get more lucky then me.

Edited by Rye_B_P
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TL:DR version: Here is a good example for a first resume from the link below...

 

http://jobsearch.about.com/library/samples/blhsresume2.htm

Now, BELOW I go into GREAT DETAIL about how to go about this, so use the example above and read on as I will try to explain how to go about this.

 

Focus on a basic 1 page resume, since I feel it would be easier for you then making a CV (Curriclum Vitae). CV would be longer in length, and gives a lot of details. So a basic resume would be a good start.

 

OK, your first resume is usually the hardest to write, due to the fact that writing your first resume usually has no job experiences listed on it, for someone so young. So From the top, list your name, town, state, contact information (phone, and e-mail). Next you want to list under "Education", where you are currently going to school. (You mentioned you are 16, so I assume this is high school.) List the FULL NAME of the high school you go to and the year you STARTED to go and the expected graduation date. (You could also put down the "YEAR #### - Present" as an alternative, if you are still in school.)

 

As a side note, I would suggest to make a separate E-mail, used ONLY for jobs. So, make this E-mail a professional looking one.

 

Example: yourname@yahoo.com, so if your name is John Doe, put in "JohnDoe@yahoo.com. Or JohnD@yahoo.com.

 

You DO NOT want to use an e-mail that looks like you just made up a name, like ponyPUN 2354@yahoo.com. To them that looks unprofessional and the idea is, in a big E-mail database, it is easier to look up your name if that E-mail with your resume came from an E-mail Address that is similar to your name.

 

Next Section I would put down experience, however you do not have any, so I would skip this. Instead focus on your current Academic Awards, which you should put under "achievements". Some Examples would be perfect attendance award (along with the year you received it), Scholarships, "Best student of X activity" and so on. Do not underestimate the power of such rewards, since employers like the idea that a young person has the ability score so high at such an early age. Also putting down good attendance award, shows the employer that you have a good record of coming to work/school on time and ready to do your job.

 

Moving on, I would STRONGLY suggest to do some volunteer work, so you can start claiming experience in a related field, in which the employer is looking for. You may not get paid, but you do gain experience and employer like the idea that someone as young as you is willing to dedicate time to learn on something you like doing.

 

So being you have no Experience as a volunteer, then no worries for now, just keep in mind that volunteer work is not just learning about a given job, but also help you network and give you an edge on getting a job you want, if someone is willing to help ya out in the job department. So I would suggest to try to do some volunteer work for charities, to help build on your resume. so being you are very young, they can forgive you for not have a lot of experience in the first place.

 

You said that this is a sportswear shop and you don't know what this job entails. So I would suggest in the next sections, you should list your interests/activities that you do. A sportswear shop would be looking for an athletic and/or sports fan. So putting on your résumé of how you play sports like football, basketball and so on, shows you have a genuine interest in the profession at this store and it being a sports, store, you will feel more motivated to help customers out who share similar interest in sports.

 

If you are not athletic, then the alternative is to show them you have an interest in sports in general. (I.E, Do you like watching sports on TV?) They are going to look for people who are INTERESTED in sports, cause people who are interested in sports are more motivated to work in a sports store vs., someone who hates sports, so they do not just see it as another paycheck. Employers are going to be picky in this job market, so its best to make it look like you are the "best" fit for the theme and position of the store. Dont' be afraid to ask questions, but ask questions on what the position entails and what they are looking for.

 

Finally your skills section, so what are you good at? Put things down that are related to the position in which you are applying for. So being you do not have much information on the position, I can't go into too much specifics. however some examples of some skills you could put down are things like....

 

1) Proficient at time management

 

2) Patient with people

 

3) Observant

 

4) Quick learner

 

Remember! These are only examples, so if you put them on your resume, be prepared to explain EACH trait and give EXAMPLES of why you feel that these personality traits/skills are your core strengths. Employers are looking for you to BACK UP what you put on a resume. So here you would be including your personality traits.

 

As for the interview, try to save your questions for the END of the interview, the only question you should ask at the beginning (cause you don't know what this job entails yet) is to ask "In detail, what is this job and what do you need someone to do in this position?". Wait for them to explain it, and save your questions for the end. DO NOT interrupt them, let them finish their explanations, cause they may answer some of your questions in which you might have.

 

Finally, If you get more details about the position, feel free to come back and tell me and everyone else about it, so we can all further assist you. The more details about the job description, the better me and anyone else can help you out.

 

I didn't get my first job until, I was 18, due to so many employers, only wanted to high people at 18 or up. So perhaps you will get more lucky then me.

Thanks for this advice, although the sportsware job opportunity went quicker than I imagined I'll still be looking. Nevertheless this is a lot of great info you've given, a lot more than expected (then again, I didn't know what to expect). So thanks for this as it should be really useful!
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Allow me to chip in. What I found in my experience with job interviews is that the hardest questions tend to be the competency ones, either because you have enough experience that it's hard to make out what experience is applicable on the spot or because you have so little experience that you just haven't faced that situation to begin with. But ultimately, they all follow a very similar pattern on the basis of the kind of job that you're applying for. Knowing the job spec really helps identify which one of your experiences will be of use. Here's a few examples:

- Was there a time when you were faced with a difficult deadline and how did you manage it?
- Have you ever faced conflicting priorities? How did you determine which was the top priority?

For one, whether you tell of an experience in which you succeeded or failed in a certain project or whatnot is not important. What the employer really wants to see is that you demonstrate what you took from your experience and what you learned, for example, about managing your time, managing your team (whether you had a leadership role in said team or not), cooperating with your manager/leader, and honesty above all else. Of course, it is better to bring up an example of success if you can, especially if you're aiming for higher positions.

 

But what's even more important is establishing a two-way conversation with the potential employer. More than your skills, what employers want is someone they can work with. Asking questions along the way is excellent, and always make sure to have questions for them at the end of the interview. If nothing else, people really like to talk about themselves, and asking them questions is the best way to show interest in working for them, much more so than answering the typical question of "why do you want to work for us" in my book. Good examples are:

 

- What do you like about working here?

- What new projects is the company looking to work on?

- Are there plans for expansion (and how does that relate to the role in question)?
- Is there anything in particular that you would change about the company?

 

And then there's also these which ought to be saved for last

 

- Are there any more questions you have for me?

- When would I begin working for you if I am extended a job offer?

 

To me, questions for the employer are a good way to keep a conversation going and that's bound to make an impression on them, and it's good to know this at any level of employment, whether you're just starting out or aiming for management positions. I hope this helps :)

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(edited)

Another trend that I am noticing among interviews is them asking the following...

 

"How is your job search going?"

 

"Anyone else call you in for an interview?"

 

"If so, what company and where?"

 

My analyse of this is, the employer is looking to see if you are "in demand" or not.  From what I gather, they want to see how much time they have before they can prepare an offer to you.  However I have seen that this is used against the person, if they answer: "I have no other interviews at this time."  Since if they have too many candidates, they can mark this one off as "not suited for the job.", which I think is wrong.   I have seen how some would try to make you an offer more quickly if you do have an interview with a competitor.

 

I would suggest that if one is in this case, do not get cocky.  Instead say something like "It is only fair that I hear what they have to say in the interview, I have scheduled this Friday. I do not have an offer yet, but I do have an interview, schedule with them."

 

This response would suggest to them that you are being interviewed, but not in a hurry to accept anything that they throw at you.  It shows that you are "in Demand" so to speak.  However do not lie about it, if you do not have an interview then be honest about it. but if you had an interview within the last few weeks, I would suggest you mention it, to show that you were interviewed and were being considered.

 

At the end of an interview, it is OK it ask "When shall I expect to hear from you?", since it is a nice way of asking when you should hear back from them on their decision.

Edited by Rye_B_P
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