[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16x9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1369098033&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4065082&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1369098033 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)- The job hunt can seem as if you’re chasing a golden goose. You fill out application, after application, after application…and never seem to get a call back or an interview. “They’re looking for people who have the experience, [and] training,” says Yvette Fields, the Birmingham Career Center manager. “There are a lot of jobs available.”
The search begins with hitting the pavement and gathering applications; however, many of the over twenty stores and businesses I visited referred me to websites to submit applications. This is a de facto weeding out process, eliminating people without strong computer skills before they even get in the figurative door. The Birmingham Career Center offers beginners computer classes, teaching enough basic skills to apply for jobs online.
After you either find the site or the paper applications, the questions are the next hurdle. Some of the questions I had to answer included comparing myself to a fictional person and drawing my favorite cartoon character. Most of the questions centered around education and experience. “It could be anything from volunteer work to things they did in school,” explains Derek Camp, store manager at Bama Fever in the Riverchase Galleria. More importantly, according to Camp, is explaining how those past jobs and experience will help you in the job for which you are applying.
If you receive a call for an in-store interview, Camp advises to dress as if you want the job. “Did they take the time to make themselves look presentable for a job?” He adds, “Even though it’s a part time job and it is retail, that’s a huge factor.”
In the actual interview, Fields says the most common question from employers is, “Why should I hire you?” Camp tends to ask open-ended questions, looking for people who can think on their feet. “Is it a one word answer, or is it the type of answer that makes you believe they can carry on a conversation with somebody?”
Other factors to consider when applying for jobs include ringback tones, social media information, and photos you’re tagged in. Fields also stresses that even if you have a dream job, retail and service industry opportunities teach important skills, such as showing up to work on time and working in a team atmosphere. She adds, those learned skills could help you climb the ladder towards your dream, while also eliminating large gaps in employment history.