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help me get this job

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by txsportsscribe, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    so after a lengthy period of unemployment, i have a chance at a job as the student publications manager for the community college newspaper where i got started in journalism many moons ago. this job would be perfect because it's in my hometown and would give me the freedom to pursue some other journalistic pursuits or maybe even work on a phd.

    a little background on me: in my 40s and was a late arrival to college. undergrad and grad degree work was in journalism and i worked as a grad teaching assistant while pursuing my master's. worked as a copy editor at a daily and as a do-it-all reporter/photographer/page designer at a small weekly while an undergrad. after grad school worked full time as managing editor of a small weekly for a year, then sports editor at a small daily for 4 years and finally as managing editor of that daily for a year and a half. won buttloads of state press association and apme awards but my exit was not exactly amiable.

    i'm to meet with the search committee next week. i've never been through this type of interview so help me sell myself so i can get this job and get off the unemployment payroll.

    many thanks for any helpful advice and a little humorous drivel is ok, too.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    On a serious note, prepare in advance for experiential questions.

    Instead of asking, "So are you good making with deadlines?" Where you say, "Sure, I worked on deadline all the time."

    They may ask questions designed to make you give specific examples of what you did.

    For example they may say, "Tell us about a time when you had too many assignments given to you. What did you do?"

    Or, "Tell us about a time you disagreed with a supervisor's directive."

    You can look up questions like that on the web. You need to look at them and come us with specific examples in your past and cite what you did.

    In the first, you might say you were working on a feature on homeless children and had to drop everything and cover a bank robbery. But the feature on the homeless kids ran the next week and was even better because you were able to spend more time on it.

    In the second, you might say that the company had a new policy on xxx and you said your piece and you went on and just did your job and made the best of it. Then a year later they dropped xxx or whatever.
  3. Iron_chet

    Iron_chet Well-Known Member

    Good advice from Ace. Think of behaviour based interview questions as telling a story, or situation, action, result.

    Focus on the "me" in the story not what the team did.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Look up behavioral interviewing for typical questions.
  5. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    1. Make sure your application packet is correct. If anything is missing or submitted incorrectly, you're out.

    2. Read the job description thoroughly. Pay special attention to any listed 'desired' skills/qualifications/abilities. Make sure you address, at least obliquely, everyone of those in your cover letter. Assuming you possess the minimum qualifications, any listed 'desired' qualification is a road map to what they looking for. It's what they're seeking in your application packet and it's what they're seeking during the interview process.

    3. Have detailed and specific information, anecdotes, etc. about your 'desired' qualifications ready for the committee interview.

    4. Learn as much about the college as possible. What are the student demographics? Have specific details of your previous work experience that includes dealing with people who fit that profile. What initiatives do they have going on? Basic skills, student success, ESL, career pathway? Be familiar with all of that and be able to relate to the committee how specific elements of your work history dovetail with those things when it comes to interacting with students.

    5. Review, as much as you can, the existing work product in that job area. Have specific ideas about what you want to do to change/improve that. However, don't sh*t on what's been done. Find some things about which you can speak positively.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    And since you asked for it ....

    In making small talk with the search committee, don't say, "The co-eds here are pretty hot, huh?"
  7. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Best of luck. I wish I had good advice because I interviewed for a nearly exact position awhile ago, also at a community college, to be in charge of all their publications, alumni, etc. Unfortunately, I didn't get the job, failed miserably in the interview and don't even know why I failed.

    Got an interview with a search committee, although I didn't know it was a committee until I got there the day of the interview. Before, the head guy said it would last about 60 minutes. About 12 people around a table and each asked a question or two. Ace's questions in his first post were nearly verbatim to a couple I had (nothing about co-eds). I thought I answered them with confidence, had great examples, have a good work past, the perfect experience, etc.

    Everyone smiled, the interview ended and I walked out. 20 minutes had passed. Wait, it was supposed to be 60 minutes! Did I answer too quickly, were my answers so horrible they just breezed through everything with no follow-ups? One thing I thought of that might have hurt was when they asked if I had any questions, I mentioned that I had heard that there had been a hiring freeze at the school. I was wondering what had changed and if the position would be up to be cut if the school again sliced the budget. I knew all this to be true, because a friend of mine is a professor at the school and had told me this. But they said, "Oh, no more hiring freeze, this position will be fine, etc." So maybe that bothered them. But still, the interview was only 18 minutes before that, not 60. Maybe I didn't dress up enough, I don't know.

    Sorry I don't have anything good. Be confident, try not to be intimidated by the committee, talk yourself up, etc. Good luck.
  8. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    exactly the kind of questions they asked.

    no worry, they weren't.
  9. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    This can be true to an absurd degree.

    I applied for a communications job at a university. My resume listed each previous job by title/company/years/description. I got a call two days later asking me to resubmit it because they refused to look at any resume that wasn't title/years/company/description.
  10. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    As far as community colleges, I have been through the process and have sat on hiring committees.
    Often times the amount of interest in the job far outweighs anybody's resources for properly vetting all possible candidates. The pre-screening - tossing all packets that are incomplete or incorrectly submitted - is a very important part of the process.
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