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View Full Version : Have you ever interviewed people for a job?


jcmom
05-25-2009, 08:26 PM
My 15 yr. old daughter had applied for a job at a local summer camp and just found out she didn't get it. The woman told her past employees wanted to come back, so they're using them. Makes sense to me. However, my husband thinks it's because my DD used two of her young friends as references. She had never filled out an app. before and just went by people whose numbers she knew by heart. Anyway, I don't think a person that's doing the hiring would call references before interviewing the possible employee. It would seem backwards to me. Am I wrong? With the crummy economy jobs for kids are hard to come by anywhere, let alone in our area. I just don't want my DD to take this personally even though I think that's what she's doing. Thanks for your input......

MrsWildchild
05-25-2009, 09:33 PM
It could be that the jobs were already "filled." Sometimes that have to open it up to the public, even though they already have people selected. It could be the reference thing. I think people like to see references that go like this: John Smith, manager, McDonald's, etc. They may have checked the references first. I'm sure there are no hard and fast rules. Sometimes the people doing the hiring are not "experienced hirers" either, and if there is a protocol, they're not aware of it. It likely just that they had a lot of applications to choose from, and she was one of many unsuccessful candidates.

I have never interviewed anyone for a job, and it sounds like she never got that far, but I've heard about some interviews that were, in my opinion, "good" interviews, in that the questions were not vague and general, they were relevant. Such as in interviewing for a tourist kiosk, they ask the candidate, "How far is it to Gros Morne National Park?" Or for a maintenance job, "How do you repair a such-and-such?" Or "How often should you check a...?"

Hopefully, she doesn't take it personally, this is just a part of life. Job-hunting is hard, takes practice, and is an art that can be fine-tuned.

JustAFloridaGirl
05-26-2009, 01:49 AM
Although I've never actually done the actual interviewing, I have been a manager at a retail store and one of the duties included accepting applications and deciding whether or not they were even worthy of putting in the store manager's inbox.

Yes, it's completely plausible that the reason she wasn't hired for the job is because previous employees have seniority. However, your husband does have a point. Employers do generally want to see responsible adults as references. Managers and supervisors from previous jobs are the best, but if you don't have previous work experience then teachers, pastors, adult family friends, etc. are the next best bet. In my experience, the references section of most applications asks for the name of the reference, the relationship of the reference, the contact info for the reference, and number of years they have known the reference. If this is the way your daughter's application was set up, then yes, it's completely possible that the employer could surmise that the reference was just a young friend of your daughter and it would reflect badly.

Before your daughter fills out another application I would tell her to find and ask permission of at least 3 trusted adults who have known her for a while (not family members!) to use as references. Again, I'm not saying that this is definitely what cost her the job in this particular case, but in general it's just better job search strategy to use a responsible adult as a reference. I'm surprised your daughter has not been required to take a career resource class in school...when I entered high school it was mandatory for all Freshman to take a career resource class where we learned all about filling out applications, doing job searches, writing resumes, etc.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be what seems to be the little things that cut people out of the running for a job, and it's only going to get worse as the economy keeps tanking. Employers are usually inundated with applications under normal economic conditions and the only way to keep up with them is to have to make snap decisions based on gut feelings and first impressions. With the economy the way it is, that sort of thing is only going to become even more dog eat dog and the only way to stand out in a good way is to make perfection your goal.

A couple more tips...if she doesn't already do so, make sure your daughter dresses modestly and with care even just to pick up an application. Trust me, if an prospective employee comes in in torn jeans and a ratty t-shirt and asks for an application, they're going to be remembered and it's going to get back to the hiring manager. I would suggest no skirts of any kind, although some might argue that a knee length or floor length is ok. Mini-skirts are definitely NOT ok, though. When I was working at a clothing store, a woman came in to drop off an application wearing a button down shirt and a mini-skirt. That application immediately went in the trash, even though she very well could have bought that very skirt from our store and been a great employee. The fact that she came in dressed like that showed that she had no forethought on what might be appropriate, and an employer isn't going to hire someone who doesn't think ahead.

Remind your daughter to be pleasant to every employee she comes across through the whole job search process. Not only do you never know when you might come across the big boss, but chances are your daughter will be handing her application to a regular sales associate or customer service associate, who will then give the application to the hiring manager. Managers listen if these employees have personal impressions of the applicant.

When picking up or dropping off an application, try to avoid doing so during a busy time. For a restaurant, the best time is Monday-Thursday between 2pm and 4pm. For a retail store it's probably Monday-Thursday in the morning. Don't even bother trying during a weekend ANYWHERE because chances are, even if your application is stellar, it'll get lost in the shuffle.

If, when dropping off an application, the person taking the application offers to let you speak with the hiring manager, take the opportunity (which is another reason it's a good idea to dress nice when picking up and dropping off applications.) If the offer isn't made then ask if you can speak with the hiring manager.

Follow up on all applications within a week.

And that's all I've got right now. I wish your daughter good luck!

cftwo
05-26-2009, 08:41 AM
References are usually not checked until after an interview, though I do sometimes look over them. It would be a good idea to have her get information on some adults who have known her a long time (friemds of the family, pastor, etc.) so that next time she fills out an application she'll be prepared.

I hope she finds a good job. At 15, she MAY be too young in some areas to get a "real" job. She might also spend this summer collecting references by doing yard work or babysitting or something like that.

jcmom
05-26-2009, 10:57 AM
Thanks cftwo. I guess that was my main question.......whether references would be checked even before she interviewed. After she had filled out the app. we talked about adults that know her and her work ethic. She was prepared to clarify references. This was a job working in a kitchen and making cones at the snack shack, not some high powered interview process. She learned something as did I.
Thanks all

vaknitter
05-26-2009, 11:47 AM
Tell her not to take it personally. I worked for the local YMCA while in college as a fitness trainer. I attempted to pick-up more hours with them as part of their summer camp and didn't get the job. They interview every year, but ultimately anyone that wants to return from previous years gets first choice.

Abbily
05-26-2009, 02:41 PM
Clearly you've already talked to her about putting better references so I won't go there.... I used to do hiring for a grocery store so I interviewed A LOT of 16 yo's. No, we never called references before interviewing. I think probably they were being honest about past employees wanting to come back. I think if they wanted her enough to spend time calling references, they would have given her the chance to provide better ones.

Knitting_Guy
05-26-2009, 06:24 PM
In my past career in the telecommunications industry I did far more interviewing/hiring than I wanted.

There are any number of reasons for her not being hired ranging from exactly what the woman told her to interviewing poorly to wearing the wrong clothes to the interview. References wouldn't be included as they are not usually checked prior to a first interview.

Interviewing well is a learned skill and something that must be practiced and prepared for in advance. She should just chalk it up to experience and learn from it. Hopefully during her Senior year, she will receive some job preparation training which includes how to fill out applications, how to prepare a resume, and how to interview well.

When I taught school I feel that teaching my students how to prepare for an interview and how to interview well were the most important skills I could teach them.

jcmom
05-26-2009, 09:10 PM
Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone. Being a homeschool mom I should think of preparing her for interviews etc. Honestly, I feel she did everything right. She always dresses modestly, knows how to communicate with adults, works hard, and has lots of great qualities. I've been known to say I have the greatest teenagers around......not only do I love them, I like them.
Actually, DD is already thinking of other ways to make money this summer.

FreeSpirit
06-08-2009, 06:28 PM
My 15 yr. old daughter had applied for a job at a local summer camp and just found out she didn't get it. The woman told her past employees wanted to come back, so they're using them. Makes sense to me. However, my husband thinks it's because my DD used two of her young friends as references. She had never filled out an app. before and just went by people whose numbers she knew by heart. Anyway, I don't think a person that's doing the hiring would call references before interviewing the possible employee. It would seem backwards to me. Am I wrong? With the crummy economy jobs for kids are hard to come by anywhere, let alone in our area. I just don't want my DD to take this personally even though I think that's what she's doing. Thanks for your input......

I know this post has already been answered but I just had to tell you that my daughter did the same thing when applying for her first summer job. She listed her three best friends as references. I told her not to, that she needed to list adults such as the pastor, youth choir director, teacher or guidance counselor, or the parents she had babysat for. She wouldn't listen to a word I said, gave me "the look" which means that you, the parent, are such an idiot.
She was horribly embarrassed at the interview when they told her they would need the names and phone numbers of three ADULTS who had known her a long time. Being my mother's daughter and my grandmother's granddaughter, I couldn't help saying I told you so!

knitfan
06-10-2009, 06:17 PM
I agree with JustaFloridaGirl's post. I was a personnel secretary several years ago with the power to tell the person doing the hiring whether someone who had just walked in to pick up an application looked appropriate. I was also told to tell the person in charge of hiring if anyone came in to fill out an application and didn't bring a pen. Their application immediately went in the trash, even if they had taken an hour to painstakenly fill out the application.