Interview and Questions 101

In honor of my upcoming interview this Tuesday, I’ve composed my own version of the dreaded interview. Seriously, if I owned a company, this is the type of interview I would hold. When I was a catering manager, I did often interview potential employees, and while I was still pretty green and used some of the same old questions, I came up with a few of my own. Really the interview is about matching personalities with the company and the other employees.

Pre-Interview Test (AKA: The Idiot Test)

This one’s important. It basically questions the integrity of the person who is applying for a job with your company. Before you bring them in, make them take this short 10-20 multiple guess question “test” asking about hypothetical situations and how they would handle them.

Interview Questions

I think that many interview questions are absolutely trite and pointless. What is your biggest strength? What is your biggest weakness? How do you overcome it? Come on! Think outside the box. Make the interview a little more interesting. Make your potential employees answer questions on the spot that they HAVEN’T prepared for. Dig deep and get creative. Also, positivity is way better than negativity. Even it’s an attempt to see the “humble” side of your future worker bee.

1. What makes you awesome?

2. What was the best thing about your last job?

3. Tell me about a time that you did something that you were incredibly proud of.

4. Tell me about your best friend, and why they are your number one.

5.What do you do better than anyone else?

6. What are three excusable reasons for not coming into work?

7. Follow up to number 6–have you ever used them?

Interview Writing Test

In order to 1) gauge their ability to communicate to the world and 2) assess the amount of creativity/spontaneity that they possess, I would then sit the interviewee down in front of a computer without access to the internet and ask them to type the answer to two of the following questions in Word.

1. Name and describe one character from Punky Brewster other than the title character.
2. Tell me something fabulous about Bridget Jones.
3. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
4. What are the three rules in caring for mogwai (aka Gremlins)?
5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Why?
6. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, why did the chicken cross the road?
7. What is the worst state in the union? Why?
8. Best thing about USA’s Up All Night? Why?
9. What is your opinion of flip flops?
10. Santa or the Easter Bunny? and a good reason why?

And Finally…

A Day in the Life

Or even just an hour…I would ask the employee to demonstrate their ability by completing a short one hour sample of their potential job duties. Whether it’s teaching, writing, editing, designing, computer programming, serving, managing, bartending, accounting, customer service, or any job under the sun…this one’s important. Can. They. Do. The. Job?

A vigorous interview process like this would probably send some people running. Good. I wouldn’t want lazy unimaginative people working for me, anyways.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

To Teach or Not to Teach?

When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to teach kindergarten.

When I was in grade school, I wanted to teach grade school.

When I was in middle school–and I hated middle school…I wanted to teach middle school.

When I was in high school, I wanted to teach high school.

And then I didn’t. I wanted to write. I wanted to be a journalist. I was going to study journalism at Bradley.

And then I was about to start college…and I wanted to teach high school, again. I started at Bradley with a major in English and a minor in Education.

Then, to everyone’s shock and amusement, when I was in college, I wanted to teach at a college. And after a few observations…and waking up at 5:30 in the morning to drive to “fucking Brimfield,” I realized that teaching may not be for me.

So I dropped my Education minor (second semester of junior year), and pursued a solo degree in English. I wrote my undergraduate senior project paper (“What else can you do with an English degree?”) on becoming a liquor sales woman. Yeah, I got an A. I’d like to thank a certain teacher who ROCKED…and loved my “oh-so-hard-work”. Side note: Prescott, please tell me that you knew it was all a bunch of BS…sort of.

So after graduation in 2005 (with the words “Need a job” boldly masking taped on the top of my cap), I tried to get into liquor sales. Or event planning. Or marketing. Or management. Or editing. Or non-profit organizations. Or anything that looked remotely interesting and didn’t require a heck of a lot of job experience.

Finally, I was offered a position as a home decorator for JC Penney… but I had to turn it down due to an overwhelming number of moving violations

In October of 2005, I got a second job (in addition to bar-tending for my parents) working retail at New York & Company. A year later, I landed a gig as a catering manager at a Christian college.

After almost three years of working for the college, I realized that I was never going to stop spraining my ankle. The physical demands were becoming too much and I needed to reconsider my career options. Teaching had always been a dream of mine, and I finally felt that I had the patience and maturity to teach high school English.

Or so I thought.

Straight A’s in grad school. High marks on all of my observations pre-student teaching.

But then came student teaching. A post all its own, student teaching was nothing like I expected. By far, the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, I realized that I did not truly want to teach high school English. I loved reading and writing, and wanted to share my knowledge and passion… but I wanted to share it with people who cared. Not teenagers who barely endured my ranting and raving about how great Mark Twain was.

So I started looking at other options. In the meantime, I needed something to pay the bills. I found a job working for a learning center, where I was working with students in a very different environment than I was used to. It was a little crazy and a little fun. Through this position, I was able to stumble into a copywriter position with a small marketing company. Dream. Job. Until they laid everyone off, of course.

After six months of unemployment, I’m back at the learning center. I love the kids, but I still don’t know if this is the right path for me. Do I want to teach forever? It’s June; I’m sniffling, sneezing, and coughing my lungs up from something that I caught from one of my many nose-pickers. *sigh*

Dear corporate world, please hire me.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!