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Leadership Experience?


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#1 Mr_Freeware

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 02:02 AM

it wouldnt let me post this in the speak easy for some reason. maybe its better here anyway.

im sure a lot of interviewers ask this question. im gonna be honest. i dont think i've ever had to lead anything in my life. i'm 22 years old, btw. but if (or actually- when) someone asks me to tell them about a time i had to lead something, what do i tell them? i dont think giving them an honest answer will go over well. which is a shame. so i guess im supposed to make something up.

i remember when i applied for a job at target. the job was to stock shelves. i remember the person asking me questions like err..."tell me about a time that you had to overcome a difficult situation and how did you solve it?" and the person also asked me about i time that i took a leadership role. i hate lying. especially when i know its a boldface damn lie. and i really wanted to answer the question honestly and say something like "well, i don't think i've ever had to lead anything. in fact, i dont think i would make a great leader at all. but that shouldn't matter because all i'll be doing is stocking shelves."

well i didn't say that. instead i gave them a B.S. answer. that's what they want i guess. because the honest answer wouldn't have worked. long story short- i didnt get the job. i dont think it was because of the interview though. i didnt really want the job anyway.

but yeah; i think the whole interview process is stupid. i can come to work on time everyday, do the job, not steal, go home, and then get paid. but im not good at passing a BS test to get a job. i also feel stupid and belittled to have to basically bow down to someone and beg for them to give you a job.


err. i dont know. discuss... :thumbsup:

Edited by Mr_Freeware, 01 May 2008 - 02:03 AM.


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#2 Budapest

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 02:12 AM

Leadership experience can come from any aspect of your life, such as sporting teams and the like.

Also, if you don't feel like lying to the interviewer about your leadership experience then I think the best thing to do would be to try and turn the discussion onto the skills and abilities that make a good leader. That way you're demonstrating that you understand what is required in a leadership position, even if you don't have the relevant experience.
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#3 KoanYorel

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 05:36 AM

Just for the record Mr Freeware your post appears in the Speak Easy forum queue three times.

Our Guide for that forum notes that "All topics must be approved by the Moderators. Any member may start a topic, but it will not appear until approved."

We'll be removing those from the Speak Easy since discussion is here now.
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#4 groovicus

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 06:22 AM

Leadership does not just come from being in charge. You can demonstrate leadership stocking shelves quickly, and neatly, and in doing so, show others how to take pride in their work. You show leadership by stepping outside of whatever role you are given; a leader will take time to help customers find things, even though they were hired to stock shelves. A leader will try and find ways to take on more responsibility in order to become invested in the business. A person leads from whatever position that they are in, even if it is just to show others that they care about the world around them.

Your potential employer doesn't want to hear "I'll just stock shelves". They want to hear "When I am not stocking shelves, I'll grab a broom and sweep floors; I'll help bag groceries; I'll take out the trash. I'll come in when I am sick. I will cover for others when they are sick. I will show up on time" They ask those BS questions because they want to know what kind of person you are. They want to hire people that will be worth investing in, and will represent the company favorably.

Just now you had a chance to lead by example, and instead you chose to not worry about punctuation and proper grammar. That tells me that you do not care how you appear to others, nor take pride in yourself. That is why you didn't get the job. Leadership is doing your best, even when it doesn't matter.

i also feel stupid and belittled to have to basically bow down to someone and beg for them to give you a job.

If that's what you think it is, then you better get used to food stamps. If it came right down to it, I would shovel pig poop for 12 hours a day if that's what it took to take care of me and my family. And I would be the best damn shoveler they had ever hired.

#5 jgweed

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 07:17 AM

There is a whole cottage industry devoted to writing books and pamphlets about what questions to ask in an interview, and the same authors cheerfully sell books about how to answer each of the questions. Canned questions often get canned replies in the interview game.

Most interviewers are less interested in the the actual reply than in how it is framed and what it shows about the person being interviewed, and use the question and answer to lead the conversation in more pertinent directions. A good strategy for the person being interviewed is to use the time to set himself, or herself, apart from the other people being considered and to "show off" their strong points.

Cheers,
John

Edited by jgweed, 01 May 2008 - 07:19 AM.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#6 Orange Blossom

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 02:56 PM

I happened to run across a very good book about interviews last year, and I learned a lot from it. The interview is a time for the interviewee to learn more about the job and company just as it is a time for the interviewer to learn about the applicant. Each wants to find out if the other will be a good fit.

I had an excellent interview last year that actually turned out to be an hour-long discussion conversation. We came out with a mutual respect and understanding of each other.

If one is not interested in the job, that will show. Lies don't work in an interview, honesty does. Showing a willingness to learn, adaptability, problem-solving, interest in the company and the field by having done research, asking relevant and important questions are all important in the interview process. Providing examples of how one can benefit the company or organization is also important.

I figure, if one isn't interested in the job then don't apply. Why waste their time, and why waste one's own?

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#7 Queen-Evie

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 09:53 PM

The questions are also asked so the employer can see how you react to questions, how long it takes for you to reply, how well you articulate your answer, and good interviewers can read between the lines. They look at your facial expressions, your body language. A lot can be learned about an individual just by closely observing someone. Does the person keep in eye contact or do they tend to let their eyes wander? What is the tone of voice? Do you sound interested or bored or desperate?
An interviewer will take all these things into consideration. The person who interviewed you may have picked up on your disinterest in the job. All I can say is welcome to the real world.

#8 Mr_Freeware

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 12:34 AM

groovicus- your post was the most helpful and it gave me a lot to think about. maybe i don't care how i appear to others. should i? i know you can't please everyone.

Orange Blossom- i know what you mean by wasting time. but this was a unique situation. i filled out a thing on a computer at target. when i finished, someone came and took me to a room. it wasn't until the interview that i was actually told what the job was. (and that it was an overnight job). when asked if i was still interested, i said "yes" just so i could see what the interview was like. i might of taken the job but it was an "i can take it or leave it" thing for me.

Queen-Evie- i really don't think i did anything to suggest i wasn't interested. it was interesting how the interviewer kept looking down and hardly looked up at me at all. i actually got called back that night to come in the next day for another interview, then the next day i got a phone call by them an hour before the scheduled appointment informing me that they changed their mind or something. so if it had anything to do with the interview, i don;t think it was because i gave a bad interview, but probably because someone gave a better interview. they said that there were like 2-3 other people they had to interview after me.

Edited by Mr_Freeware, 04 May 2008 - 12:36 AM.


#9 smurfgod

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 07:22 AM

Well, I'll tell you what got me my last 3 jobs, take from it what you will. The first job was at the best paying factory in town, going in I had a lot of manufacturing experience, but on the flipside a rather long job history. It was a group interview, which i despise, but i really wanted this job. The key question he asked me, like every other interviewer asks, is what makes you think that you are the right person for this job. Looked him dead in the eye and gave him an honest, straightfoward, no BS answer, I work hard and like to be compensated for it and I heard that this is the place where that happens. got called back for testing the next day and 2 days later i was on the floor making headlights. Lasted 2 years before I had to quit, being 6'6" working at a japanese factory geared for people who are 5'3" hurts after a while...

Next one was selling Kirby vacuums door to door basically. In that one I was all about friendly and money. I asked him about the pictures on his desk, talked about my kids and told him a couple of stories from high school. In short showed him i could make friends with people in 5 minutes, key for being a salesman. But the job didn't work out because frankly it was kind of shady and people are intimidated by letting a large man into their home so he can vacuum their floor.

Then it was Walmart. There they were looking for honesty more than anything else since on a daily basis you are in a position to rip them off. And was being interviewed by 2 people at once, a manager and personnel, so it was sort of rough. There I had to show them the one thing i took from the Kirby experience, ambition. Told them the truth, that i know that everybody has to start from the bottom but i wanted to work somewhere I could actually go somewhere. Actually I told the manager that someday i wanted to be in his seat on the other side of the interview. And found out that he had been a stocker, the personnel lady was a cashier and the store manager was a cart pusher. They hired me on the spot, June i'll have been there 3 years.

The moral of the story is, adapt. Know exactly what they're looking for and bring forward the qualities you possess that best illustrate that. Become their dream employee and 7 times out of 10 you will become their employee.

#10 ruby1

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:50 AM

maybe i don't care how i appear to others. should i? i know you can't please everyone.

at ANY interview for whatever job it is VITAL to present yourself in a clean and decent manner

someone asks me to tell them about a time i had to lead something, what do i tell them?


OK ; have you been in a family?or ever led an animal on a walk, think laterally

think the whole interview process is stupid

why? ALL of us have to have an interview; even going to college, or Uni


i also feel stupid and belittled to have to basically bow down to someone and beg for them to give you a job


what makes you feel like this

at the interview you will NOT be the only candidate; you need to put YOUR case forward in as strong terms as you can ; NO one will 'hand you a job on a plate'

I have about 10 job applications on the go at present ; I KNOW I AM in contest with many others for each job; the best applicants on paper will be shortlisted for interview
THEN I have to start to sell MY self IF I get an interview ...........

#11 KoanYorel

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:54 AM

There is another alternative.

Build your own business.
Then you are the hiring and firing boss? (Tho' I'd hire another to do such.)
The only easy day was yesterday.

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