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Pomp and Circumstance (first job interview)
Old 04-30-2017, 06:31 AM   #1
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Pomp and Circumstance (first job interview)

We drove the 200 miles to my daughter's state u yesterday. Their winter semester ends and their graduation is about 2 weeks earlier than everyone else. The were lots of kids graduating, it took over an hour for them to walk up grab a degree and a quick picture with the college president. There were only 7 with degrees in applied mathematics - She has the math 'gene'. The key speaker started his speech with "Now the tuff times begins, you have to find a job" I got to thinking about that and how things have changed.

In the fall my daughter sent dozens of applications out to every hiring program she could. She had what I'll call good talking points: a semester in Australia and a summer working for the navy both with an internships and magna cum laude. She found that navy scholarship the same way.. internet browsing and sending resumes. She got a call from a major defense contractor about 30 minutes from the house to come in for an interview. The firm had flown in candidates from all over the country. Geek: "I don't care for that planner it doesn't have enough space to capture my thoughts" yeah an applicant actually said that and my daughter and the company "babysitter" cringed. According to my daughter Geeks also don't always dress appropriately. Think sun dress in early winter. Don't get the wrong picture my daughter isn't by any means a snob. Her interview outfit was neat, appropriate and bought on the cheap. She admitted being extremely nervous, sitting in the corner, petrified, taking it all in. When she left the building she knew a couple of offers would be forthcoming, better yet there's a name grad school nearby and she's accepted there too.

What I found the most interesting is she didn't tell her friends. Her best buddy, a cum laude business graduate doesn't have a job and what I understand is neither do any of her friends. I was there 40 years ago it took some time to get into a gold cuff link firm but, I did so through the back door. There were some very bad jobs along the way. When I started my job search I too had one not very good suit. It makes me smile to think about it. You've heard it in one form or another - "the struggle makes you stronger". I'm not so sure but, it does make you laugh at the end of the game.

Care to share you first job experience?

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Old 04-30-2017, 07:59 AM   #2
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Not counting high school jobs, my first job was my last job. Hired as a civil engineer college intern at a heavy construction contractor and was offered permanent position early in senior year. Had a few different positions along the way and retired as VP in 2014. The interview would have been in 1977 when I was 19.

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Old 04-30-2017, 08:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by user5027 View Post
Not counting high school jobs, my first job was my last job. Hired as a civil engineer college intern at a heavy construction contractor and was offered permanent position early in senior year. Had a few different positions along the way and retired as VP in 2014. The interview would have been in 1977 when I was 19.

37 years... Nice run.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:30 AM   #4
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I graduated high school a semester early. I couldn't wait to get out of that place. I had a full time laboratory job with a American safety consulting and certification company lined up and had to wait 2 weeks for my 18th birthday to roll around before I could start. I do not recall anything about my interview 37 years ago. They must have seen something worthwhile in the green behind the ears 17 year old sitting in front of them. My only work experience was a short stint at McDonalds and a year or so as a checker at Kmart.

I completed my BS in chemistry utilizing tuition reimbursement from employers.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:46 AM   #5
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First job interview was for a small-business defense contractor. The job was in the bag, so to speak, since a relative worked there. They paid me more than I expected--about $12K in 1980.

Fortunately, I learned quite a bit about publications in 5 years, and set out on my own. It took 4 years to ramp up, and I never looked back.

Fast forward 35 years. I walked into an interview for a contractor, and the first employer was in the same building. My employer uses them to satisfy small-business requirements.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:55 AM   #6
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My interview at Megacorp was different. I had many jobs during HS and college, plenty of experience interviewing and working, but the US was in recession and, for the first (and only) time in my life, at grad school I wanted but was unable to find work. So I left and with my Venezuelan bride, went to her country of birth.

This was early OPEC and Ven. was in full growth mode. The land of unfilled jobs. Businesses were desperate to hire and I was given job offers when DW called for an interview.

It was incredible. Her uncle helped orient me, and I quickly and easily lined up interviews. At the time my Spanish was adequate but needed improvement. Nonetheless, six interviews, 11 job offers. Then I got an interview with Megacorp, which didn't go well because the day before I was badly sunburned. Typical gringo thing. They still offered me a job - sort of, because I needed "one more interview". Which turned out to be 6 more, and took a month. I later found out that there were so many because they had hiring needs across the company and more than one dept. wanted to hire me. A reflection on their desperation, not my skills.

We had no money and were eating bread, cheese and deviled ham, so at the 4th week I called, thanked them for the consideration, but declined further interviews because I needed a paycheck desperately and couldn't wait. Two phone calls later, we agreed on one final interview the next day. I waited for 3 hours, it lasted 5 minutes, I got a job. I even had to beg for my paycheck, because the first day was the 25th, after the monthly payroll had closed for the month, and they said it would be rolled into the next month. I couldn't wait. We needed food and I had to buy a suit to wear (but that's another story).

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Old 04-30-2017, 09:32 AM   #7
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I graduated from college in NYC in 1958. I got a job offer in Columbus Ohio, My parents drove out with me, and left me the car-a 53 Chevy. I drove them to the airport, watched the board the plane, and saw it take off.
After it disappeared in the distance, there was a long drive back to where I was staying. I said to myself, "you are on your own now", and never looked back.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:36 AM   #8
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I only had two interviews for employers - once in 1974, once in 1981. Both civil engineering/land surveying firms. 1974 was for a part time summer job that eventually became full time after junior college. My 1981 gig lasted until 2014 when I retired, and I still do consulting work for the firm today. These interviews were low key. But I've gone through several interviews for prospective clients that were quite rigorous.

ETA - But I remember what a business school professor told our class: "whether you like it or not, people judge you by the way you look". I make sure that I'm dressed to the nines and looking as good as possible for an interview.
The wilderness is calling and I must go.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:52 AM   #9
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One gets accustomed to interviews when in medicine. First, you interview for medical school. I applied to 7. Then for residency, everyone goes to interviews as well. They do a system called Match Day where you list your top five and the programs list their top choice candidates. So I guess my first real job interview was my first practice. I actually looked at 4 practices that were hiring and was offered a decent salary at my first choice-a mile from DH's college roommates house. I didn't have a fancy suit. It was obvious that I was going to work there; it seemed like a good fit.

My son is a year out of college and is still looking. He's filled out applications in two states and is on the alumni list at his school. He has had one interview. He drove 5 hours, spent the night in the area, interviewed, then drove home. He hated it. They treated him like dirt. No way was he going to work there. There just aren't enough jobs in his field.

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