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Thread: First post-college interview, looking for some advice.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    First post-college interview, looking for some advice.

    Well its finally happened. 3 months of searching and I got my first interview next week. A bit of a drive (close to 5 hours), so I'll be heading down a day early to scope out the town, get a feeling for the area, etc. Its a code enforcement position.

    Im a bit nervous already about this, and I am just looking for some tips besides the ones found in the entry level interview thread. One question I have, is to wear a suit or just go with a sports coat and khakis? The town has a little over 13,000 residents. Im worried that I might look a little overdressed with the whole suit deal, although I guess overdressed is better than underdressed.

    One thing I found kind of different was the phone call I got from the town planner. I did not get to my phone in time and he left me a message, referring to himself by his first name. Should I continue that or call him Mr. Last Name?

    I was also asked to bring some work samples. I have plenty of work samples, but nothing that is really code enforcement related. During my internship last summer, a good portion of what I did was code enforcement, but I do not really have any actual work to show for that. What should I do in this situation? Just bring samples of my GIS work and some writing examples? (GIS was a requested skill).

    Thanks for any tips you can give. I'll be scouring that entry level interview thread from now until Tuesday

  2. #2
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Well its finally happened. 3 months of searching and I got my first interview next week. A bit of a drive (close to 5 hours), so I'll be heading down a day early to scope out the town, get a feeling for the area, etc. Its a code enforcement position.

    Im a bit nervous already about this, and I am just looking for some tips besides the ones found in the entry level interview thread. One question I have, is to wear a suit or just go with a sports coat and khakis? The town has a little over 13,000 residents. Im worried that I might look a little overdressed with the whole suit deal, although I guess overdressed is better than underdressed.
    First of all, congratulations! Interviews can be stressful, and being able to interview well is a very valuable skill especially when hundreds of people are competing over one job. I suppose it isn't a rule set in stone that every job requires you to wear a suit to an interview, but I still think it's a good idea. It shows that you are taking the position seriously, even if you are a little overdressed.

    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    One thing I found kind of different was the phone call I got from the town planner. I did not get to my phone in time and he left me a message, referring to himself by his first name. Should I continue that or call him Mr. Last Name?
    I wouldn't worry about it either way. Don't assume you are going to be judged over a detail as minute as this, you will just stress yourself out and come off as less natural. Personally, I always refer to the people interviewing me by their first name, but I don't think it would make much difference to call them Mr. or Ms. either.

    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    I was also asked to bring some work samples. I have plenty of work samples, but nothing that is really code enforcement related. During my internship last summer, a good portion of what I did was code enforcement, but I do not really have any actual work to show for that. What should I do in this situation? Just bring samples of my GIS work and some writing examples? (GIS was a requested skill).

    Thanks for any tips you can give. I'll be scouring that entry level interview thread from now until Tuesday
    If the majority of what you did during your internship last summer was code enforcement related, you really should find some sort of way to bring in samples of your work. I can see bringing physical work samples as a bit of a challenge, but you will have to be creative about how you present that information. Do you have any specific examples of difficult or controversial code enforcement scenarios? Be prepared to describe specific cases in detail and how you dealt with them.

    Absolutely bring GIS and writing samples. Even if your job right off the bat is just code enforcement, in a small town it is more likely that you will get an opportunity to take on a variety of roles. You have to show your employer that you are capable of thinking critically if you want more responsibility. Showing your GIS and writing samples, even if they aren't directly related to the job, will be a good way to display your specific interests in the field and might bring you opportunities to take on new roles on the job.

    Hope this Helps.
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I am a big supporter of portfolios, both writing and non-writing. There are many types of planning skills, including code enforcement, public speaking, answering telephone calls, meeting with developers, that do not always have tangible products. Fortunately, you have made it an in-person interview so I would spend more time preparing answers to typical interview questions (search the threads on here regarding entry level interview questions). Bring work samples for those projects that have work samples. As for attire, I personally would go with a dark sport coat, slacks, and no tie: it's versatile and shows you put some thought in your appearance without going overboard.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quick bump.

    First of all, thanks for the advice, it went a long way! I felt the interview went well, although I got the feeling he maybe wanted someone with a bit more experience. I have not heard back from them yet. Come to find out, interviews are not big scary monsters, quite enjoyable actually.

    I actually have another interview today. 3 months of nothing, then 2 interviews in 2 weeks. Pretty crazy turn of events there.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by AG74683 View post
    Quick bump.

    First of all, thanks for the advice, it went a long way! I felt the interview went well, although I got the feeling he maybe wanted someone with a bit more experience. I have not heard back from them yet. Come to find out, interviews are not big scary monsters, quite enjoyable actually.

    I actually have another interview today. 3 months of nothing, then 2 interviews in 2 weeks. Pretty crazy turn of events there.
    Just keep at it. It's all you can do.

    As far as samples of work, I have always brought them along, but never have I ever been asked for them, except for my first job out of college, to see if I could write well. Not that I'm an authority or anything, but if I could give some advice: be personable, don't rehearse things too much, try to be as relaxed and easy-going as you can be, within professional bounds. This will allow your personality to come out, and really, after knowing that you can do the job, the next big thing they care about is making sure you aren't weird and hard to work with. So you answer their questions, demonstrate your competence, and try to be yourself.

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