Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What did you do the day before yesterday?

Describe the last job you had before your present one.

This question wants career path information:
  • What does your career path look like?
  • Have you been progressing or promoted from job to job?
  • Were your moves lateral ones, using new skills or are you just hopping to the next attractive contract?
  • Did it relate to libraries?
  • Can you recall what you did?
Obviously, for a person who moved from waiting tables to libraries, the match isn't obvious but you could describe your customer service, handling cash, dealing with difficult people, variable hours, punctuality and, if you were employed there for a long time, longevity in the position. It is a good idea to describe this position, even if it is not related to libraries, if the supervisor for that position is one of your references. You don't have to gloss: you had a student job to survive as a student and the position has given you some applicable skills and a good reference.

If your previous position was in libraries, it is a bit easier to explain its relation to the position you are interviewing for: you are moving up or laterally after attaining your degree. If you have had a series of contract positions, and--in this era of cutbacks--there should be no stigma attached to a contract that was not renewed. Try to show you made a good leap to the next position and believe you can do the same with this one.

The questions this week came from Interview like a Top MBA by Dr. Shel Leanne. Passages from the book are available from Google Books if you are interested.

No comments: