Direct and abstract interviews

So, yesterday I had two interviews… both for retail positions.

One was the second interview with the company that I had mentioned last week… and I got the job! 🙂

It’s another seasonal position, so it’s only for two months. And mostly evenings and weekends, where job A is mostly mornings, so they should fit together well to almost be close to a full time amount of hours… even though job B pays right at minimum wage, and is less hours (15-20), and says they aim towards 2-4 hour shifts so that everyone stays “fresh” lol.

The difference in mentality going into both of these interviews was really noticeable. So much easier to relax a bit when you already know you’ve been hired for another part time short term job, so the bills are likely to be able to be paid for the next few months regardless of the outcome.


But then today, I had an interview for a good job. What some around here even go as far as to call a real job…. as opposed to retail etc.

It’s actually a pretty similar position to a job I had 5 years ago.

Except that one was a half hour drive away…. and this one is less than 2 miles away.

And this one pays better…. would be the highest I’ve been paid for a job by about 2 dollars an hour. Plus has good benefits.

Plus the obvious perks of being both non-seasonal and full time… which very little else that has been calling me back has been.

But I was more than a bit amused by the completely different approaches for the interviews.

Most of the “good job” interviews I’ve done have been years back… so I’d sort of forgotten a bit how much different the questions are.

“Make ends meet” job tend to be very practical questions.
Do you have reliable transportation?
What experience do you have doing this sort of task?
How well have you gotten along with past coworkers?
Have you ever been fired?
Do you have any issues with criminal background or passing a drug test?
What would your past manager say about your work performance?

But the better jobs… are so much less connected to any sort of real connection to the tasks of the job.
How do you define “dependability”?
What traits distinguish a good listener?
What 5 traits do you see as most valuable in interpersonal relationships?
If diversity is valuable to you, why?
What characteristics define you most as an individual personality?

There were others… but those were the ones I remember offhand from today’s round. Overall, it went ok. Not great, but not awful either.

Very very different mindset than these retail interviews I’ve been going on lately. Not too far out from one’s I’ve done in the past… but it’s been a while… and took me a minute to get back into the groove as I hit a brief moment of panic remembering how rough some of these questions can be when you are someone who tends not to be the best at organizing things verbally while still trying to process ahead mentally.

But slightly amusing to me was that in each type of interview, I had a question where I accidentally forgot what sort of interview it was, and answered with an answer that works better for the other type… and got asked to clarify.

On the retail interview, it was a question about how many absences do you consider to be too many.

I gave this nice several sentence answer about how it varies some on the circumstances, and that if you are sick enough to have your work performance be seriously impaired it is probably in the best interest of all involved that you not be exposing coworkers and hindering things from being accomplished, but these should be no more than is truly necessary.

I then got asked what that would be as a number. LOL

On the other side of the questions, I fumbled the define dependability question, by simply answering that to me it meant ability to be counted upon without concerns. And promptly got asked to elaborate.

Ah well. A difference to remember when future interviews come. 🙂

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