Valley Works: Interviews key in hiring process

October 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
More than five thousand people showed up at the job fair put on over the summer by the Big Fresno Fair.

800 of those applicants are working here the fair.

Willie Gray is one of the 800 people who landed a job with the Big Fresno Fair.

"I love working out here, this is my first time at the fair," Gray said. "And it was like a blessing for me to get hired here, because it's like the economy is still bad when it comes to jobs."

So, out of those 5 thousand people who showed up at the job fair what made Willie stand out?

"The best thing about that gentleman, he was well dressed, extremely prepared. He had his resume, had copies of the application and he articulated himself well and he knew what he wanted when he came in," Louri King, Deputy Manager of the Big Fresno Fair said.

Louri King, deputy manager of the Big Fresno Fair, says Gray did everything right including acing his interview, which is considered to be a huge factor in getting a job.

"Because you're seeing the people who are interviewing you and they are seeing you and you are making an impression in person," workshop facilitator Elaine Free said.

It doesn't matter if you're interviewing for a landscaping position or managers job, the process can be nerve-wracking, just ask any of the people attending this interview skills workshop at Central Valley professionals, a job club for out of work professionals.

"It's very good just to practice interviewing cause a lot of times I become very nervous interviewing," job seeker Lorraine Shenefield said.

Shenefield, who had an interview later that day, is practicing a method called the STAR technique. STAR stands for situation, task, action and results.

Shenefield says remembering those four words can help you answer some of the most common questions asked during an interview.

"Because it gives you a quantified way of doing it. You have a problem, you solve that problem and you tell the results and that's the most impressive way to give an answer to a question," she said.

Questions like 'describe the worst problem you've had at work and tell me how you resolved it'. A lot of people call them trick questions, but they're actually behavioral, designed to give employers an idea of how you will handle future situations.

"Because what you've done on your previous job is going to show them your attitudes, your actions on your new job," Free said.

And Willie Gray is working hard to make a good impression on his new employer - he'd like to continue working for the fair.

"I am really thankful for the position that they gave me and I am looking forward to coming back next year if they will allow me the chance," Gray said.


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