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what makes a good interview and how do i find a good job for me?

-I'm 16 almost 17, unemployed, and not a good home worker.
-not sure what to get into job wise.
-I'm not great talker and i'm shy around new people but i work well with others.
-It may not seem like i listen sometimes but i just take a lil longer to process stuff
-i'm not sure if you'd call this a disability but i did have back surgery
#job-search #interviews

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


5 answers

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Don’s Answer

Gage, to help figure out what you might want to do, start by doing your own self-assessment.

1. Ask yourself what classes you've enjoyed the most so far -- do you like technical courses like Math, Science or do you prefer more creative courses like English/Writing or Art/Woodworking? While we won't remember every bit of knowledge we learn in school, some skills are used more often in some jobs than others. For example, if you want to be a software programmer or manage a database of electronic records and run reports, you might need more technical skills, but if you want to design graphics for multi-media usage (websites, printed billboards, magazines), you might do well if you enjoyed and have experience with creating things using software like Adobe Creative Suite.

2. Next, ask yourself what type of work environment do you prefer and who you would want to interact with (co-workers or customers)? Would you rather work in small groups (work remotely or in office cubicals), or prefer to do work in a busy, fast-paced and more public-facing environment (like a large manufacturing floor, or a retail storefront)? Would you rather interface with other co-workers only, or would you prefer to interface with customers? Communicating with co-workers can sometimes be easier and less pressure than when communicating with customers directly. So, if you know what type of workspace you would rather be in and who you'd rather interact with, these factors can help you determine what job(s) to pursue.

3. Lastly, ask what type of tasks you like to do everyday? Would you rather work with your mind in a job where you are stationary most of the time, or a job that requires more movement (standing, walking around) and using your motor skills. Most office jobs involve answering emails, phone calls, and using the computer for administrative work. Other jobs involve lifting and moving goods (like in a warehouse) or production assembly in a manufacturing plant, where you use your physical motor skills more often. Other jobs require you to stand and present to customers (i.e. show merchandise in a retail store and try to sell them the goods). Ask yourself which of these typical tasks you would enjoy and which ones you would get bored with, or aren't appealing to you.

Once you answer these questions for YOU (and there is no wrong answer, only what you believe is true), I would do the following:
a. Do a Google search to learn more about the job (in terms of projected demand and job growth in the next 10+ years, how much does it pay hourly or salary, what are the opportunites to advance from there, etc.)
b. Find someone in that job in your area and ask them to share what they like and dislike about their job

In terms of what makes a good interview, once you know what your strengths are and have decided to apply for jobs, remember to have a prepared answer for why are you interested (passionate) about that job, and give them a list of reasons why you are a good fit for the job. The person conducting the interview will take notice of a candidate when they can demonstrate knowledge about the job, and relate it to their background and skill set. If you can answer their questions in confidence and connect the dots, that will make you shine above the other candidates who are applying for the same job.

Good luck!
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Glynis’s Answer

Hey Gage,
While I understand you'd love to get a job as soon as possible, sometimes it might be best to start with Volunteering. Volunteering builds experience and helps you build a reference base. Most teens need a solid reference to get a job & work experience. Anyone hiring a teen wants to be sure they're dependable and will turn up to work.

Volunteering a few months opens you to new experiences and new connections. It could be as simple as helping at a food back, animal shelter, beach cleanups, tree planting (there will be several local volunteering opportunities) .. Start small an hour or 2 a week.

Don't worry about being shy - that's part of growing up.

Good luck.
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Nicollee’s Answer

Resume Writing and Interview Tips for Federal Jobs (

In all things work related
• Be professional
o Dress
o Speech
o Attitude
• Recognize your audience
• Foster and build relationships
• Do your best
• Ask for help when you need it
• Remember every day is a job interview
• Always have fun

Resume Introduction
• What are your goals?
• Hint: the job you are applying for!
• What have you done to prepare for this job?
• Why are you the best fit?
• What do you have to offer the position, the team, the office?
• Why should you be considered?
*Be concise
*Use specific examples
*Convince reader of your merits
*May include “feel free to contact my supervisor and anyone else who may know me”
*Maximum 1 paragraph
*This is the readers first impression of you

Resume Content
• Reverse chronological
o List most recent experience first and work backwards
o Use relevant experience as far back as you need to go
o Include relevant unpaid/volunteer experience
• Do not leave gaps in time
• Clearly show how you meet the knowledge, skills, and abilities for the job (results)
o Experience
 Include amount of experience
 Include level of experience
 Provide examples
o Accomplishments
 What did you do and how did it make a difference
 Provide examples
• Be specific and include only relevant information
o State the facts
• Resume should be written for specific job
o Match experience with requirements
 Incorporate relevant key words from job announcement

Resume Outline Suggestion
• Contact Information
o Name
o Address
o Phone
o eMail
• Resume Introduction
• Work Experience
o Title
o Company/Agency and location
o Supervisor name and phone number
o Dates of employment, grade, hours worked
o Summary of job accomplishments
o Additional experiences (special assignments)
• Education
• References
• Optional: Professional challenges or successes
• Optional: Summary of skills
• Optional: Job-related training
o Only include if relevant to job applying for

Resume Content Recommendations
• Use action words to begin sentence
o Developed, performed, executed, etc.
 Use a thesaurus!
• Do not leave gaps in time (very important)
• Explain acronyms and use sparingly
• Avoid jargon
• Use a mix of paragraphs and bullet points
o Be consistent
• Number of pages: always more than one to about 10 pages
o Limit lists of trainings and other skills to 1 page
• Do not ramble
• Illustrate your personality in your resume

Resume Rating (this is what hiring panel looks for in your resume)
1. Qualifications
2. Experience related to job you are applying for
3. Career progression
4. How this position fits into your short term and long term career goals
5. Ability to concisely summarize information
6. Writing skill/Ease of reading
7. Attention to detail
8. How serious you are about this potential position

Federal Resume Tips from Human Resources
A federal resume differs from a civilian resume in its structure, length, and content. Do not be surprised or concerned if your federal resume is longer than your civilian resume! This is because you must provide a detailed account of previous work experience to demonstrate that you have meet the qualifications and requirements listed in the federal job announcement.

When applying to a federal position, it is essential to tailor your resume to the job announcement rather than using a generic resume or the same resume for every job application. Each job announcement may have different qualification requirements that you will need to address in your resume. If you fail to include any required information or additional documents, your resume may not be forwarded to the Hiring Official for consideration.

• Your resume is your opportunity to make a great first impression and is an example of your written work. Misspelled words, incorrect grammar, or confusing context can reflect poorly on your attention to detail.
• Within the Bureau of Land Management, a computer does not scan your resume for “buzz words”. Your resume is reviewed by a Human Resources (HR) person.
• If you include classified or government sensitive information, photos of yourself, or encrypted and digitally signed documents, your resume will not be forwarded to the Hiring Official for consideration. In addition, your resume should not include your social security number or other personal information such as age, gender, religious affiliation, etc.
• You should read the job announcement top to bottom. A federal job announcement will list any applicable education, selective factors, and/or the specialized experience required for that position at each recruited grade level.
• It is best to review and/or print the assessments questions prior to applying to the position The questions should give you an idea of the type of experience needed to perform the position, which can help you modify your resume. Just remember, how you have answered these questions must also be fully supported in your resume. If you have marked that you are an expert in a certain area or task, then you should detail in your resume this expert experience.
• It is crucial to review the specialized experience required for the position. If you feel you possess the required specialized experience (or substituting education for experience is authorized), then you must clearly detail this experience in your resume. This experience must be listed as duties under the specific position held so that the HR person reviewing your resume can quantify one year. If you include this in a cover letter or in an area that is not depicted by a start (month/year) and end (month/year) date, the HR person cannot quantify the one year of specialized experience and you may be found not qualified.

Other Resume and Application Tips
• Read the announcement carefully and include all required information and documentation
o Always upload your most recent SF-50
• Cover letter may be required (this would replace resume introductory paragraph)
• If uploading your own Resume over Resume builder:
o Use 12pt font
o Be sure to include all the information resume builder requires
o Upload as PDF not a Word document
• Format, spelling, and grammar matter
• In USAJobs make sure the location you are applying for is in the list of desired locations
• Remember what jobs you have applied for
• Use professional sounding email address
• Only apply for jobs you are ready to accept if offered
o Do your research
o Be confident in your ability to perform at the grade you are applying
 Apply for the lesser grade if you need to to be most successful
• There are benefits to “growing up” in a position

Interview Preparation
• Do your research
o Learn about the office
o Learn about the resources
o Learn about the town
• Make notes
o Prompts for specific examples of experience
o Research findings
o Questions to ask
• Be Ready
o Write down phone number
o Double check time zone
o Give yourself time before and after interview

Written Interview
• Be prepared
• Follow instructions
o Written interviews are typically completed via email and include specific instructions such as time and page limits
• Keep time
o Do not submit even 1 minute late
• Include an introduction to stand out
• Answer question completely and precisely
• Explain how your experience relates to the job you are applying for (even if you have not done that job – show how your experience translates)
• Proofread for content, grammar, spelling, and readability
o Use easy to read font (ex. Times New Roman 12pt)
o Be mindful of style and tone
• Demonstrate your personality

Phone/ Virtual/ In Person Interview
• It is okay to be nervous
• The best interview is a conversation
o Build a relationship with panel members
• Be prepared to take notes
o Make note of interviewers’ names
• Be sure to answer the entire question
o Jot down questions as they are asked
o Ask them to repeat if needed
o Back up claims with facts
• Go beyond plain facts and achievements
o Tell a story
• Give specific examples
o Relate answer back to the question
o If possible, give 2 very different examples to demonstrate breadth of knowledge
• Spend just as much time talking about your losses as your wins
o What did you learn and what will you do differently
o List areas you need to improve and your plan to make those improvements
• Talk about how you work with others
o Highlight humility, respect, passion, resilience
• Use calculated pauses
o Don't feel the need to fill silence
o Pausing to think creates intrigue
• Be thorough but concise with answer
o Stay on topic
o Do not ramble
• Be yourself – let your personality shine

Interview Follow-Up
• Send a thank you email to interviewers
o Include any additional information you may have remembered after the interview
o Highlight a strength/skill that meets the needs of the office (based on question(s) asked in interview)
o Invite interviewers to contact you if they desire more information
o State that interviewers may contact current supervisor or anyone else that may know you
• Be patient when waiting to hear back
o Call HR if it's been a while
• Realize that if you are not selected it is not personal
o A better opportunity will come

Other Interview Tips
• Return call or email with interview invitation ASAP
o Express your enthusiasm
• Interview from a quiet place with a reliable phone
• Call in no more than 2 minutes before
• Stick to the time allowed
o Time management
• Roll with technical challenges

Other Job Search Tips
• Every day is a job interview!
o It’s a small world – you never know who you will cross paths with again in the future.
• Whatever job you are in, do the job well – even if you hate it because (1) you accepted this position, (2) the mission of the agency is fulfilled in every job, and (3) every day is a job interview
• In USAJobs make sure the location you are applying for is in the list of possible locations
• Remember what jobs you have applied for
• The hiring process can take several months, be patient
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Kash’s Answer

Hi Gage,

1) You still have lots of time, I did not have my first real job until I was 19, you are ahead of the game looking while you are still in high school and any work experience at all for your age will be valuable on your resume.

2) Some of my first experiences when I was a teenager were working for my grandparents and other family members. Cleaning up yards, washing cars, helping organize or cleaning out a garage or storage unit. I then started working at convenience store, then as a janitor, then working in an office as an admin. I tried all of these jobs in just a few years time and got to learn what I liked and did not like doing, the only way to find out is to jump in! Putting yourself out there and getting started is the hardest part but once you have gotten started you will find your way.

3) I was always a fairly shy and introverted person growing up, there are so many ways to work on this. Most jobs are going to require working and communicating with others and there are a lot of options to work on opening yourself up and working on being less shy.
- Public speaking classes
- Join Clubs and groups that require speaking at school
- Practice interview role playing with parents, teachers, mentors, or friends

4) When it comes to processing things at your own pace there is nothing wrong with this but here are a few hints on how to let people know:
- Take notes when someone is speaking if they are instructing you or teaching you something, this will let them know you are paying attention but trying to process and retain the information they are sharing with you
- Simple verbal confirmations such as "I hear you, let me think for a moment" "Thank you for explaining this to me, I'll think on it" etc.
- Repeat the summary of what they explained back to you so you can have them confirm you understood

You will do great!

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RAVI’s Answer

You are still a teenager and a High School Student. It is natural to feel "not to listen". I felt the same at your age and I saw the same thing with my kids at your age!

Having said that do not underestimate yourself and do not feel you are limited because of your surgery.
Since you had back surgery, it may be better you focus on education and do well in High School, get into a college and get a good job down the road.

If you are looking for a job right now, you can be Host in a good classy restaurant, front desk support person in a medical facility, Spas, service representative for companies that let you work from home and provide product support details etc. If you are good with Phones and such many phone companies are looking for part time people to work in their stores.

To help improve your shyness, and bring your personality out, you can search Youtube for videos on personality improvement, how to dress, how to speak, how to present yourself in interviews etc. You may be able to get some help within your school and guidance councilor or local community colleges and Libraries as well. Learn Microsoft Office tools usage that will help in all kinds of admin jobs. You can get all the education needed for free on Youtube itself.

Start with Youtube videos. Ask from some known successful people near to you, reach out to friends, guidance councilor, and family for advise.

You have taken the first step to reach out into this forum. That itself shows that you are eager to learn, improve, and succeed.
Best wishes.