2017-11-08 / Editorial

The art of getting a good job

johnny whitfield

There’s a lot of talk in Person County about the need for more jobs, especially jobs that pay more money.

Some people suggest that more higher-paying jobs would keep more people from leaving Person County each day for work.

There’s surely some logic to that.

There are others who say that there are actually plenty of good-paying jobs in Person County and that companies struggle to fill them, often times because the applicant can’t successfully pass a drug test.

Aside from the fact that such a statement blows my mind, it seems to be true based on comments from business people I’ve spoken with.

All that said, there’s another aspect to getting a good job that has preoccupied my attention the past few weeks.

Undergraduates in my college fraternity asked their alumni chapter to conduct mock interviews and to review their resumes as part of a professional development exercise.

The students sent us their resumes and my Rotary friend Moe Hassan let us use his Raleigh office to conduct the interviews last Sunday afternoon.

Person County Schools Human Resources Director Lori Stacey was kind enough to share some tips on job seeking and interviewing that helped those of us conducting the interviews make the process more realistic and more useful for the students who were getting the practice.

Conducting a mock interview is so much different than if I were, say, interviewing someone for a reporter’s position at the newspaper.

In the real life situation, I know the job I need done and I know the skills I need that person to have.

In a mock interview, in which there is no real job, it gets a little more difficult to develop a set of questions that make the interviewee think on their feet.

But in conducting the interviews, I learned a couple things.

First, job interviews can be unnerving. It’s difficult to be put into a situation where your goal is to impress someone in a short period of time.

You tend to question every response and overthink how you answer those questions.

Interviews, really should be more like conversations.

That’s the most effective way for people to communicate.

Sure it’s possible to give a wrong answer in an interview, but wouldn’t it be better for everyone to know that up front before a job is offered and accepted and the resulting relationship goes bad? Sure it is.

The second thing I learned is this. The future of agriculture in this state is pretty darn strong.

My fraternity is an agriculture fraternity. All the students are studying agriculture or some related field.

Nearly all the students have an agriculture background and many of them intend to remain in some form of agriculture when they graduate.

The students we met were bright and ambitious and they all had a sense of what’s next for them.

Coming from Person County, where agriculture is especially important, that was comforting to know.

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