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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully I'm posting in the right area, please move the post to the proper location if not.

Hey everyone, my name is Michael and I have an interview coming up as an apprentice electrician (Inside Wireman) with a local IBEW the 8th of April (this upcoming Tuesday), and I was wondering if anyone had some tips they would like to share.

Just to give you a little info about myself, I'm 26, married with a child, and I've been working as a server the last 7 years, but after giving some serious about a career, I feel being an electrician is the best thing for me. I don't have any experience working in construction, so I'm a afraid that might hurt me in the interview process. The closest I feel I can get to expressing some kind electrical aptitude is to share how I've built computers from the ground up on my own. I would like to mention this during the interview because working with my hands, using my brain and being on my feet is one of the reasons I find being an electrician appealing, and even though building computers is interesting and takes some finesse, I don't want to be hunched over all day... I want to move around, and use my mind all the same. Overall, I want to be an electrician because it would leave me with a sense of fulfillment and purpose knowing that I was the guy that made the lights turn on :)

My dad was a marine electrician in Norfolk, VA for 10 years as well, so I plan on mentioning that too.

Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading guys. :thumbup:
 

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ANY MONKEY CAN RUN!
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Hopefully I'm posting in the right area, please move the post to the proper location if not.

Hey everyone, my name is Michael and I have an interview coming up as an apprentice electrician (Inside Wireman) with a local IBEW the 8th of April (this upcoming Tuesday), and I was wondering if anyone had some tips they would like to share.

Just to give you a little info about myself, I'm 26, married with a child, and I've been working as a server the last 7 years, but after giving some serious about a career, I feel being an electrician is the best thing for me. I don't have any experience working in construction, so I'm a afraid that might hurt me in the interview process. The closest I feel I can get to expressing some kind electrical aptitude is to share how I've built computers from the ground up on my own. I would like to mention this during the interview because working with my hands, using my brain and being on my feet is one of the reasons I find being an electrician appealing, and even though building computers is interesting and takes some finesse, I don't want to be hunched over all day... I want to move around, and use my mind all the same. Overall, I want to be an electrician because it would leave me with a sense of fulfillment and purpose knowing that I was the guy that made the lights turn on :)

My dad was a marine electrician in Norfolk, VA for 10 years as well, so I plan on mentioning that too.

Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading guys. :thumbup:
Well if I had to do it over I would be behind a desk sorry but
if I could go back in time id like to be behind a desk putting chips inside a computer . Then working in the field it sounds like fun trust me its work .
 

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Dress nicely. Be cordial. Put your best foot forward. Entering an apprenticeship assumes you know nothing about construction or electricity, yet, that's what the apprenticeship program is for so, don't worry that your inexperienced because it's assumed that's a given. Showing that you enjoy building or creating anything is a plus. Good luck!
 

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The interview is be at the gang box by 7:00, the work is 100% physical and 100% mental, for the first four years your ears are for listening and your mouth is for eating lunch.Money's there, just work hard for it. That's it. O ya 277 hurts, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dress nicely. Be cordial. Put your best foot forward. Entering an apprenticeship assumes you know nothing about construction or electricity, yet, that's what the apprenticeship program is for so, don't worry that your inexperienced because it's assumed that's a given. Showing that you enjoy building or creating anything is a plus. Good luck!
Well that's refreshing to know. And here I was beating myself up because I thought my ignorance would disqualify me. Thanks for the info.
 

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Well that's refreshing to know. And here I was beating myself up because I thought my ignorance would disqualify me. Thanks for the info.
Every guy here started out with nothing in the head, so now it's your turn.

Work hard, and study your books well, and before you know it you'll be a journeymen electrician,,,,,,,,,Good luck and welcome to the forum.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So.... I just had my interview about an hour ago with the local IBEW 150 here in Libertyville, IL. I'm a bit nervous. I wore a shirt, slacks and tie and dressed the best I could without overdoing it. I found it kind of funny I was better dressed than the guys who were interviewing me lol.

The interview seemed a bit short to me. I sat before 8 people and they all scored me based on how well I answered the question. Some of the questions were, "What was the hardest project you ever did?" I shared with them first how my dad was an electrician for many years and how in 2006 I built a computer on my own with no outside help and that it was challenging, but I did it and it proved I can do anything that I put to my mind to do. Then they asked, "Is it still working?" And I said, "Yes, until I gave it to a friend lol".

They then asked me a question along the lines of, "Describe a situation where you had to complete a task and you didn't know how to complete it on your own". I brought up the computer again and shared how I didn't know what to do, but I went on Youtube and looked through manuals and learned how to do it on my own.

I then shared with them how I didn't like building computers per se, and they all laughed. I shared how I want to work hard and be on my feet and that would give me a sense of purpose. Before I knew it, the interview was over :p I would say it was about 8-10 mins.

Another question was, "I see you took algebra and college? And you got an S? What does that mean?" I said, "It means satisfactory which means I passed." I told them how I went to electricprep.com to prepare for my aptitude test because I needed to refresh on algebra, and hopefully my score reflects my ability. I was being honest

I wish they had asked me more questions. I tried to be as concise and to the point as I could. One of the gentlemen asked me, "What work do you do?" And I replied, "I'm not working right now. I'm a dad and I'm spending a lot of time with my son right now. Honestly, everything I've been doing up until this point is to get this position and that's where my focus is" (I applied in November). He then asked, "If you didn't get this position, would you apply again?" And I said, "Yes, I would".... and I wondered why he would ask me something like that?

*sigh* We'll wait and see. Do you guys know if apprentice electrician interviews generally are 10 mins? There were 5 other guys they had to interview, so I'm guessing it was 10 mins per person?

Rant over.
 

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They only have 8 or 10 questions they ask in every interview. So ten minutes is not that bad. If there are ten openings and only 15 guys got a interview then your chances are decent but if there are 300 guys trying to get in then your lack of electrical background might hurt you.
 

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Thanks for posting your experience. I have interview coming up in a week, and this is just the kind of thing I joined this forum for. Keep us posted on how you did, let us know if you got in, and what your next step is going to be!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bad news :( I didn't make it in.

Well, time to look for something else, or some other way in.

So I live 40 mins away from Chicago in Mundelein, IL.... does anyone know some way I might find some other way into the trade?
 

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When I interviewed for my apprenticeship, I went there in jeans, a flannel shirt, and with a bit of dirt on my hands. I figured that since I wasn't being interviewed for a desk job, it was better to show that I was a worker who was willing to get my hands dirty, and not some prima donna.
It worked, and I had zero experience at the time.
 

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Prior experience isn't required at all. Believe it or not the local prefers that you have no experience because then they can teach you their way of doing things. Just keep trying. I am a member of IBEW local 3 in NYC. Several of my friends didn't get in at first either but eventually they did. Call the hall and ask them to notify you when their are openings in the apprenticeship again.
 

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I'm not in a union shop so it's quite different. But my boss hires everyone that comes through the door. 3 days to a week later he asks us what's up with the guy. Most do not make it. The old if they say they have 6 years experience that really means 2 seems to be very true. If a guy says he can bend pipe they throw him to the dogs right away. Because of our extreme need for decent pipe benders. A quater of them need three pieces of paper to calculate for an offset, another quater don't think they need a tape measure at all and another quater will say F it, I lied. I don't know how to do this that well. That leaves us with a few part time or retired guys a side from our regular crew. Pita!

If I were you I would not give up. You have been to the puppet show and seen the strings. You know what they are going to ask for and a little of what they are looking for. Send an email or phone call back thanking them for considering you. Then get a gig as an electrical helper where ever you can. Or if u have to... Any construction job will be better then nothing. Just get familiar with a job site and tools. Re-apply and be ready to nail the questions they asked. Their is a wealth of knowledge here. Take advantage of it. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate all of it.

I'm not going to give up. If I knew of something I could do or somewhere else I could go, I would, but I don't. The problem is, within the IBEW, you have to wait 1 year to re-apply, which I will most likely do, but I would like to start my career asap.

I like the prospect of starting a construction job just to get some exposure to the kind of environment I'll be working in for the meantime... the problem is, I don't know where to look. Shoot, I'd be willing to start in a non-union apprenticeship if I had an idea where to start... which is why I'm posting here lol. The benefit of the union is they have a flashy sign and private location and you know exactly where to go....everyone else I'm not sure.

Where should I start looking?
 

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Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate all of it.

I'm not going to give up. If I knew of something I could do or somewhere else I could go, I would, but I don't. The problem is, within the IBEW, you have to wait 1 year to re-apply, which I will most likely do, but I would like to start my career asap.

I like the prospect of starting a construction job just to get some exposure to the kind of environment I'll be working in for the meantime... the problem is, I don't know where to look. Shoot, I'd be willing to start in a non-union apprenticeship if I had an idea where to start... which is why I'm posting here lol. The benefit of the union is they have a flashy sign and private location and you know exactly where to go....everyone else I'm not sure.

Where should I start looking?
Have you looked into broadband tech, cable/internet/satellite installer, security system installer, cell tower tech, landline phone tech, computer networking or some similar low volt tech job? I have an interview coming up with the IBEW, but if I don't make, I already work at the call center for a cable/internet/phone company, and transfering to a BBT job is my plan be until I can apply again.
 
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