Hey everyone! After applying for a few entry-level planner positions here in Texas, I've got a phone interview scheduled for next Monday morning with a medium-sized town (about 100,000). It's for a Planner I position and I'm excited at the prospect of getting an official planning job. I currently work as an assistant to the city administrator in a small town of 1,500. I think it's generally given me good overall experience of the inner workings of a municipality, albeit a small one. I've been able to kind of "watch and learn" regarding various city dealings.
Anyway, I'm really hoping I don't get asked more technical about my ordinance-writing or development reviewing skills, because I have no direct experience with any of that! I plan to really emphasize my ability to interpret and apply existing local regulations/ordinances, especially in the context of when citizens or developers have questions about them. This kind of "customer service" has been one of my main duties at my present job.
I think I'd be able to pick most of the duties of a Planner I fast enough, but I'm still worried that there's too many gaps in my knowledge of things like state law/environmental regulations and such, and I could go into the job looking like a bumbling underprepared fool.
I guess I'm just being pessimistic, and I know the phone interview is just to wittle the applicants down to the few they want to see in person, but the prospect has made me think a lot more about just how well I could perform in a "real" Planner position, given my current job experience and overall knowledge of things "planning".
I've read the thread by Suburb Repairman about common entry-level interview questions, and I think I'd be able to handle most of them. However, there's some of them that I would honestly have to say "Well, I actually have run into that kind of situation on the job, yet." For example, the question: "Give me an example of one of the most difficult work related decisions you have had to make. When did this happen? What was the situation? etc."
I read that and thought "Man, I really can't think of any real difficult decisions I've had to make", mostly because I'm not exactly in a position of great authority, and thus those difficult decisions aren't given to me to make.
How would ya'll suggest answering questions about aspects of the job that you frankly haven't had any experience with, but are sure you could pick up without much trouble? Because I'm sure I'm gonna get a few of those....and what kind of skills/knowledge do you think would be most important for someone to emhapsize when apllying for an entry-level planning job?
Sorry for the long rambling! I'm just equally excited and nervous about it all! Any responses would be appreciated!