Having a panic attack, calling all word warriors to the rescue!

Discussion in 'Anything Goes' started by Disneychildwithin, May 13, 2019.

  1. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin No Disney Character Left Behind Proclaimer

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    Okay, so my stomach is in knots and my heart pretty much won't stop racing...I have my FIRST JOB INTERVIEW next week!! Here's why I'm freaking out, for the past 2 decades I've been a stay at home mom...yup, that pretty much covers it. So when I'm asked the inevitable "what makes you qualified" question, or "what are your skills," I've got NOTHING! :eek::oops: I have my degree in Criminal Justice, but I can't even say that's a good thing since everything I learned is pretty much gone. My husband is no help, he thinks I'm overqualified for this job, but of course that's because he loves me. Can't be overqualified when I've never worked! So I'm turning to you to help me figure out how to word any stay at home mom skills into the interview questions. As it is I'm pretty sure I"m gonna be shaking, mumbling and at some point might just beg them to give me a chance. I can picture it now, me yelling at them "I just wanna chance!" lol

    The job is clerking at the Sheriff's office. I'm still very interested in what I majored in, I figured this would be a good way to try to get my foot in the door ya know?

    I won't even talk about my resume...:oops: Took me forever to write that up, and then when I applied online got stuck for even longer on coming up with references. I'd be okay if I could tell them I've worked closely with The Easter Bunny, Santa, Cupid and Three Kings for the past 20 years...but nope, don't think that's gonna help. I'm a collector, I know how to buy/sell/trade my collectibles...been doing that since forever...not sure that helps either.

    Would love to hear about your experiences/recommendations, anything and everything people. Come Friday I don't want to lose my strength and cancel that appointment...I'm so nervous the idea is SO tempting...but the side of me that wants to be a good role model for my kids is keeping me from doing it so far. So please, let me hear it.
     
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  2. krand1276

    krand1276 Well-Known Member

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    I just went/am going through a similar thing with our local police station. Is it a panel interview (oral board) or just an interview (to your knowledge)? Those are going to be two totally different animals and will have me giving you different advice.

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  3. akarih

    akarih Meme Lord

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    Congratulations! Good luck! So sorry, no help here, just words of encouragement!

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  4. MerlinEmrys

    MerlinEmrys Hicitus Pinicus!

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    Talk about your ability to multitask, for sure! As a stay-at-home mom, you've got that down to a science. In something that's probably a bit "interruption-prone" as a sheriff's office, that sort of ability to easily stop and start an activity as something more pressing comes across your desk will be imperative. Your ability to identify and prioritize what activities need the most attention the soonest, what can hang tight for a second, etc. Your ability to stay focused on a task in a high-distraction environment. You're also (I'm sure) able to quickly and efficiently diffuse situations that could easily escalate (I'm thinking someone on the phone or at the desk being awful).

    Adults are just big children with paychecks. So however you handled being a stay-at-home mom and the types of hurdles you jumped there, I can guarantee you'll run into more of the same in a clerical position that deals with people and their problems. :)

    But if all else fails, remember, you're amazing, and you'll put your heart and soul into it. That alone will put you above most other applicants. ;)
     
  5. Tokaji

    Tokaji Pins and Needles

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    ^ What he said. ^ Let's add a few more:

    You certainly can't and don't back down in the face of adversity, rudeness or "unwinnable" situations. You've kept your cool in the face of dirty diapers, vomit, all kinds of sicknesses and injuries. What do you have to fear in a grown-ass adult screaming like a child?

    Your family is reason numero uno that you want this job and believe in the work you'll be doing. Keeping your family safe is the job of the Sheriff's department. Not to mention, as you said, you want to be an example to your kids.

    As a mother, you know exactly how to take care of people who don't always take care of themselves. Sound like any detectives/troopers/officers you know? Not only can you keep yourself on task, but you can help others stay on task and make time/decisions that will be best for them.

    Mayhap I will think of more later...

    Also, CONGRATULATIONS!!! All the luck in the world to you!
     
  6. KJackson1195

    KJackson1195 Active Member

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    Wow...good luck. I remember when my wife decided to go back to work. Much like Metlin said "you have all the coping skills". Dont sell short "the Easter Bunny, Santa, Cupid and Three Kings for the past 20 years". You have 20 years of juggling scheduling (appt, field trips, vacations, teachers conferences, homework...etc) handling real life emergency while trying to remain calm, attitude adjustments, negotiating so everyone wins, tears and hugs when needed.

    If anyone's equip to handle the police department you should be. Being a stay at home mom brings a different level of compassion for those around you in the work place that helps everyone get better. You've learned skills that someone that hasn't been in your shoes does not have. Not many make it 20 years being a stay at home mother. It takes determination and resolve to not give up when things get hard. Those 2 alone are talents that will help in your interview. Good luck and wish you the best.





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  7. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin No Disney Character Left Behind Proclaimer

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    @krand1276 , all I know is that they said I had been selected for an oral interview with the Captain, Lieutenant and the manager of the Records department. 3 people that are intimidating as it is!

    @akarih, thank you, I welcome any and all support!

    @MerlinEmrys , awesome advice. I can definitely multi-task! Not so sure about the de-escalating skill, my kids will quiet down out of fear, strangers may laugh at my attempts.

    @Tokaji, more wonderful advice! Love your examples, if there's any mothering needed I can provide that for sure!

    Running to get my notebook, gotta write these ideas down.
     
  8. Disneychildwithin

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    I don't know why this is making me so emotional! lol Thank you for your words!
     
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  9. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    Working in accounting, that is 100% administration, I have a few suggestions.

    Talk about how organized you are. As a mother I'm sure you have systems that help you stay organized. Also talk about how you are used to multi-tasking and prioritizing certain tasks depending on the needs of your employer. Those both go over well for such a position. You can also say how you can stay calm under pressure, are used to high stress environments, and are effective at meeting deadlines.

    I hope this helps!
     
  10. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin No Disney Character Left Behind Proclaimer

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    Okay, so my number 1 self-doubting issue is, doesn't everybody have these skills? I mean, everyone there will most likely have families that they too take care of in the same way...

    I've been going over some examples of interviews, many not very helpful since all those people have work related skills and experience of some sort. One of the don'ts mentioned was talking about family? I can't see myself having a conversation where I wouldn't bring up my family, that's all I know!
     
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  11. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    Every person and interview is different. An interview is all about how you market the skills you have. Sure I may be organized because I catalog my pins, or do well at working to deadlines because I know I have to give in my rent cheque the same time every month so I make sure it is done, but my employer doesn't need to know where my skills come from. They just have to know I HAVE them
     
  12. krand1276

    krand1276 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's an oral board. It's extremely intimidating (on purpose). Very different than a regular interview. I sent you a pm.

    Don't expect them to smile. They can't show any emotion as to if it's a good answer or a bad one. Don't expect eye contact with anyone except the one who asked the question. The questions are different than a regular interview. It may be filmed/recorded.

    They will start with a "give us a 3 minute professonal history of yourself". Write it down, practice, practice practice. Memorize.

    Prepare a closing statement. It's not a time to ask questions about the job. Practice. Memorize.

    The situational questions they ask won't really have a right or wrong answer. Use your best judgement.

    You're going to do great! The fact that you have a criminal justice degree is a huge thing! PM me if you would like to chat about it further.

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  13. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin No Disney Character Left Behind Proclaimer

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    Sure does!

    Also have questions about weaknesses that I'm sure is a question usually asked? I've got a lot of those! lol No experience for starters, but I'm not currently on social media, is that something I should/shouldn't mention? Computer tech savvy I'm not, but any type of program that the department uses I can and will definitely learn immediately.
     
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  14. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin No Disney Character Left Behind Proclaimer

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    Excuse me while I pass out for awhile...
     
  15. krand1276

    krand1276 Well-Known Member

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    Better to know before hand than step into it now knowing what to expect.

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  16. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    I practice for hours in a mirror for an interview. I talk it out in the car on the way to do my groceries, or when I am going to the mall, or anywhere actually, massaging my words to make it sound more and more professional. When they ask for a weakness don't list something that actually makes you seem weak. When they ask me I make something sound like a strength. If they ask why you have no professional experience turn it around to a positive of why, do not go from the negative ever. If you want to say you aren't tech savvy, then you can say that you don't have a lot of experience with the specialized programs they use but you are a fast learner and you are confident that you'll be able to pick it up quickly.

    No matter what you have to be confident in yourself and your skills. If they are calling you in then it is for a reason, and remember to always have questions prepared for them too. It's not just them who are interviewing you for a position, but you are also interviewing them as well.
     
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  17. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin No Disney Character Left Behind Proclaimer

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    How about we mission impossible this with face masks? Whatcha doin next Monday?
     
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  18. MischiefMade

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    I will be off work that day actually. It's Victoria day long weekend! All you have to do is remember that you are there for a reason, and you have what it takes to make it through. I know that's easy for me to say from all the way on the other side of the internet, but I did just do this myself at the beginning of this year. I didn't like where my job was headed so I started searching and had a new job in 2 weeks. I bombed a few interviews during that time but I didn't give up and I really sold myself in to this current position. Failure comes with risk, but you can and will do great things if you just stay confident in yourself
     
  19. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    Luuuucccyyyyyyyy.

    Everybody has beaten me to all the skills I'd suggest you highlight. You've gotten TONS of excellent input, so just take a deep breath and read it through again, carefully, and start to believe it of yourself that you smart and capable and can totally tackle this interview. (Cuz you can.)

    What I will add: I just had the incredible joy (so not) of interviewing for an open position in my department. I received 100+ resumes, many of which were rejected upon first scan because I could really tell the person who'd applied was just sitting at his/her computer, hitting "apply" on every job that came up. (For example, my open position is entry level, and I had folks highlighting "30+ years in publishing." At least read the ad so I know you have attention to detail--one of the skills this job requires, ha ha ha). I interviewed 10 candidates (the first batch of 5 didn't pan out but the second batch of 5 netted some good candidates, thank God). And the one I'm probably going to hire is the "dark horse" candidate who has been working for a while in an entirely unrelated field but wrote me an incredibly thoughtful and compelling cover letter outlining why her acquired and demonstrated skills would translate well into the position. I liked the sound and feel of it; my spider senses started tingling. So instead of "filing" her application, I corresponded with her to ask her to explain her interest further, and her response was equally well-written and well-reasoned. Her correspondence in both instances showed me that she has excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and critical thinking skills (which, sorry, cannot be taught). She presented herself substantially better than some of my "perfect on paper" English majors who should be prime candidates for this job. She had competition for the position, but her honesty and straightforward, down-to-earth manner helped her present her case for why she'd be the best choice.

    So ... go and pick Katherine's brain for the specifics of how to approach the oral board--it's a very specialized type of interview and you want to hit the correct notes and form. (It doesn't sound like the type of situation where a display of wit and humor would go over well. Bummer! Ha ha.) But at heart, remember who you are and be honest about your experiences when you're talking to them. Don't be defensive or self-deprecating ("Well, I'm just a stay-at-home mom, but ..."). OWN IT and be proud of everything you've accomplished in your lifetime. Believe that you are the best candidate for the position and present yourself as such. Make your case! When you demonstrate confidence and competence, you never know what doors will open.

    Good luck, girlfriend!!!!
     
  20. krand1276

    krand1276 Well-Known Member

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    This is super solid advice!

    As someone who also hires people for a living, I agree with the rest of Ann's advice too!

    And as for the weakness issue, choose something that's not really relevant to the position. I sniff out the throwaway answers that turn them into good ones. I usually ask for 3 of them because people usually have two throwaways up their sleeve. The third is usually real.

    You have a lot of us pulling for you hoping for good things.

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    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  21. Shelterkat

    Shelterkat A Very Merry Unbirthday!

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    All very great advice above! And remember to breathe. And promise to reward yourself afterward with a great pin purchase;)
     
  22. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    Oh, I knew I was forgetting a point, ha:

    So, 100% follow the "rules" for this type of interview process. Practice your phrasing, stay calm and unemotional (they don't want a robot, but I bet they don't want a candidate who seems prone to hysterics, either, ha ha), all that good stuff that the serious, intimidating folks like. But at the same time, keep it simple. Think about how you explained to your husband (and to us) why you want the job and why you think you'd be good at it. One mistake people sometimes make is to "fancy it up" so much that they either sound stilted or insincere, or they lose the thread partway through if they panic. You'll be nervous--anyone would be nervous!--so when it comes down to it, just speak from your heart. Be clear and straightforward. Prospective employers like candidates who present well, but (at least for me, maybe it's just me because I'm in publishing and words matter a LOT), I reallllllyyyyyyyyyy can't stand the folks who sound utterly fake, as if they have copied and pasted from some cheesy manual on "how to write a cover letter that will get you in the door." I know over-the-top when I hear/read it, and the applicants who pepper their cover letters with Meaningless Phrases and the Top 7 Words Employers Want to Hear make me "file" your resume pretty darned fast. Ha ha. When in doubt, speak simply and honestly. That resonates.
     
  23. Disneychildwithin

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    [​IMG]
     
  24. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    I just pretend that I am a high elf that thinks I am the best thing known to man when I write my cover letters.
     
  25. Disneychildwithin

    Disneychildwithin No Disney Character Left Behind Proclaimer

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    It's freaking me out a bit, not being able to use humor in any way...and worse, if I do being the only one laughing in the room!
     
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