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Thread: Interview advice

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Interview advice

    First off, hello, i'm new to the forum. I'm going into my first interview for a development tech position in a small municipality and was wondering if there were any advice you could offer. What kinds of questions should I be prepared for? How show I present myself? The interview will be conducted by a panel.

    Sorry if my question is redundant but I wasn't able to use the search function.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    At the end of most interviews I've had, they've concluded with, "Do you have any questions of us?" Make sure that you have a couple, the more specific about the agency and its workings the better.
    Back home just in time for hockey season!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    to piggyback on the previous poster, do a little research into the municipality and department you're interviewing with. during the question part ask something like, "i was reading your comp plan and was interested in ......" it shows them that you are interested enough in the position to do some research about it.


    standard interview advice, remember to make eye contact with each panel member.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Coragus View post
    At the end of most interviews I've had, they've concluded with, "Do you have any questions of us?" Make sure that you have a couple, the more specific about the agency and its workings the better.
    A good one is "What are you looking for in this position?" It gives you something to react to plus it is another way of selling yourself by showing how you meet their qualification.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    If it is a tech position, you should brush up on your abilities to answer these questions, since you more than likely will be working counter the whole day:

    Abilities in GIS
    Basic understanding of CEQA
    Land Use and Zoning regs
    Understanding of APNs
    Familiarity with the fee schedule
    Familiarity with Subdivision map act


    These tools would greatly enhance your ability to get a job as planning tech. Remember, the planning techs are the front line in grueling counter work. You don't necessarily have to know CEQA or the subdivision map act, but it would make you shine if you did know some of the basics. Also, even better if you can familiarize yourself with the municipalities fees and ask a question regarding that. Shows that you care. Good Luck!
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  6. #6
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    When the inevitable question comes up...

    "What is your weak point?"

    Don't answer:

    "I'm always late for everything. Just like today, when I was 15-minutes late for this interview."

    Yes, an actual response to an interview question.
    Not a good thing.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    When they ask you if you have any questions, I usually ask them point blank what they think I am lacking in. It throws them off guard but you will hopefully find out more about their thoughts (nodding and smiling by the interviewers can send mixed messages). Asking this question also shows that you are responsive to their needs, reinforces earlier weak talking points, and can ultimately separate you from the rest of the pack. I have used it in a couple of interviews and it really helped me out.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Many government organizations like to ask questions related to:

    your ability to get along with others
    how would you react to a rude customer
    what would you do if you felt your boss was unethical

  9. #9
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Bumping one of these general interview threads

    A recommendation from ol' RJ: if you can't make an interview, please call in advance. It's only common courtesy. I had things to do today other than waiting around for you. On the other hand, I understand if an emergency arose prohibiting you from being here. Please, call at the first possible opportunity.

    BTW, I left a voice mail for the candidate.....we shall see.

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