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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suppose this should go in the Apprentice Interview thread, but I wanted to tackle a different angle. Anyway, as stated elsewhere, I took the NJATC aptitude test, and feel like I did well. So, I'm going on the assumption that maybe - just maybe - I will score an interview. The thing is that I'm changing careers in a somewhat large way. I currently work in bio-medical research science as a statistics monkey and writer. Before that, I was a marine biologist/teacher. My major in school was biopsychology. The marine science world does require a bit of hands-on mechanical skill, and I did work as a cable installer of sorts while in college. But only part time. And minimally at that. Anyway, the point of this ramble is that I'm suddenly aware that my paper-based work experience isn't going to impress anyone at the interview. I feel as though I need to highlight the small areas of my recent work that can be "crossed over" (but not like that asshat John Edwards) to the field of electrical work.

Any tips and or advice?
Cheers,
J
 

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When I recently interviewed, it was not at all geared towards what work experience you had in the past, but more towards the following: your work ethic, goals, if you were afraid of heights and capable of lifting heavy things, why you want to enter the union, are you aware and capable of the traveling that may be required between job sites, what you would do to ensure to showed up on time for work regardless of where the job site was and what you would do in unfamiliar situations....

I can't say that your local will do the same and not ask about previous experiences or detailed questions about their local, this was just the experiences I personally encountered. Either way, shake hands, be alert, dress nicely, maintain eye contact and speak with confidence - not arrogance and a nice thank you at the end for the opportunity to be considered for the position.
 

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Good words, Chicago. I will take those to heart. Hopefully my experience won't hinder my chances......

J

Keep in mind with your resume you don't want to come off as a PHD doing a vocational experiment.

P.S. Don't knock John Edwards just cause you don't like his beliefs.
 

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You will have to start over at square one, just like everybody else.

I talked to a Marine kid who was in Iraq working on the electrical systems on jets. I told him the same thing, but I also told him how great the GI Bill is for going into the program. The GI Bill supplemented my buddy's base wage up to where he could live comfortably in the lower terms of the apprenticeship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great, thanks, all. Sorry, killer, just trying to make a little humor. My bad. Much love to Mr. Edwards and his entire Crossing Over TV crew. The vocational experiment approach never entered my mind. This is something I want to do, and fully realize that it means starting from square one. I guess I was just curious as to the best way to avoid sounding like an experimental case. An since some of ya'all have probably hired a few dozen young punks like myself, maybe you know the answer....

Cheers,

J
 

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Great, thanks, all. Sorry, killer, just trying to make a little humor. My bad. Much love to Mr. Edwards and his entire Crossing Over TV crew. The vocational experiment approach never entered my mind. This is something I want to do, and fully realize that it means starting from square one. I guess I was just curious as to the best way to avoid sounding like an experimental case. An since some of ya'all have probably hired a few dozen young punks like myself, maybe you know the answer....

Cheers,

J

Attitude is everything in an interview situation. When it seems your over educated for a job there is a tendency on the part of the employer to think you may jump ship at first opportunity to get something more in your area of expertise, so anything you can say to change that prejudice the better off you will be.

I was also being funny about the John Edwards thing, his show looks like a lot of bs. "Who is a short stocky older man with thinning hair to you, maybe an uncle, grandfather? He has his hand on his chest like the had a heart issue or something..." Only in America.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good words, Killer. Thanks. I guess I'll have to make a point of showing my dedication to the cause. I mean, said dedication is inherent within me, so hopefully my biggest challenge will be to simply convey it.
 

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I actually prefer my apprentices to have NO electrical experience. It's always the ones that had some experience before coming in that give you the hardest time.

But like they were saying, when you first start it's all about attitude and a will to learn. Keep an open mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
More good advice. Thanks. It sounds as if the general concensus is that a willingnes to learn and get dirty is the point to convey. I honestly believe that I possess said traits, and should therefore be able to exhibit them in front of the commitee. I just know that, in former positions in which I've hired folks, I have often wondered extensively about those who are applying for jobs well outside their realm of experience and documented interests. I just don't want to be such an applicant. You've put my mind at ease, and for that, I say thanks...

Cheers,

J
 

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Your interview will not be about what work experience you've had in the past. You're basically hired already and now they want to see how committed your are about becoming an apprentice and to lay out your responsiblities to reach their expectations. Military background is always a plus for character and integrity and not on where you worked.

My interview in 88' was me sitting at the end of large long table with the apprenticeship director and the members of the apprenticeship committee, which consisted of about 8 owners of electrical companies.

The Electrical contractors are investing a great deal of time and money to train apprentices to become future electrical journeyman. Relax, answer their questions and show'em what you're made of. Good Luck!
 

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When I recently interviewed, it was not at all geared towards what work experience you had in the past, but more towards the following: your work ethic, goals, if you were afraid of heights and capable of lifting heavy things, why you want to enter the union, are you aware and capable of the traveling that may be required between job sites, what you would do to ensure to showed up on time for work regardless of where the job site was and what you would do in unfamiliar situations....

I can't say that your local will do the same and not ask about previous experiences or detailed questions about their local, this was just the experiences I personally encountered. Either way, shake hands, be alert, dress nicely, maintain eye contact and speak with confidence - not arrogance and a nice thank you at the end for the opportunity to be considered for the position.

Very well said Chicago.
To the OP, keep in mind the guys here are a bit sharper, or at least give a $hit more than a lot of guys you'll work with on the job; i.e. post #5 (he either heard the word 'marine' and didn't care to pay attention, or has never heard the word 'marine' not associated with Semper Fi)

I suppose I'm just negative due to my current 'leadership' on the job, anyway where did you hear that term 'asshat'? I thought the guys on my local radio morning show originated it, but I guess not.
And if anyone wants to know the definition of "asshat", google John Edwards
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for the words, Joe Momma. It seems as though you've been around a while, and have seen workers of varying abilities and interest level. I will do my best to remain at the top of each category for as long as I am in the industry. Perhaps I'm new, and therefore full of idealism, but the whole industry has be excited and wanting to learn as much as I can. I'm fascinated by the work, and really enjoy the science behind it all. I also like to get outside and get dirty.

Anyway, yes, Chicago Guy has been a pillar of knowledge and advice, so hats off especially to him.

Thanks all, as always,

Edit: as for the term "asshat", I would like to believe that I coined it while describing a creey neighbor of mine. But like all gems in our collective syntax, I probably heard it somewhere and stored it for the most opportune time. Probably from a morning radio show.

J
 
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