Job Interview


Role Dialog
 Narrator  Lex is arriving at an office building to be interviewed for a job opening.  He is dressed in a nice blue suit with a red tie and black patent-leather shoes.  He enters the lobby and looks at the building directory.  He finds that the office he is looking for is on the 16th floor.  He enters the elevator and pushes the button labeled 16.  The elevator dings and the doors close.  Two other people are in the elevator with him.  The elevator begins moving upward, dinging once as it passes each floor.  It stops on the 12th floor and one passenger gets out.  It stops again on the 14th floor and the remaining passenger gets out.  Luther exits the elevator at the 16th floor and proceeds to the reception desk.
 Receptionist  Good morning.  May I help you?
 Lex  Yes, I’m here for a job interview.  My name is Lex Luther.
Receptionist Just a moment, please.  (She looks at her calendar for a moment.)  Yes, you have an appointment with Mr. Peterson from Human Resources.  The interview will take place in Room 1602; it’s just around the corner there.  Please go on in and I’ll let him know you’ve arrived.
Lex Thanks. 
Narrator He goes around the corner and enters Room 1602.  He sees a round conference table with some paper tablets, pens, and small bottles of water on the table.  He sits at the seat that looks like is intended for him.  He waits.  The interviewer enters the room, smiles at Lex, and sits down at the head of the table.
Interviewer Good morning, Mr. Luther.  I’m Tom Peterson from the Human Resources Department.  I’ll be interviewing you for this job position.  Let’s get started, shall we?
Lex Yes, sir.
Interviewer Let me begin by asking how you found out about this position.  Our Advertising Department likes to know this kind of thing.
Lex I saw your company’s ad in a trade magazine called “Computers ‘R Us”.  I was familiar with your company’s reputation and saw that you had a job opening in your Information Technology (IT) Department, and I thought that would be an ideal start for me.  I’ve just graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.  I have a 3.8 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
Interviewer Okay, great.  I’ll let our Advertising Department know about the magazine ad.  Now that that preliminary step is out of the way, the next step is usually for me to ask you to tell me about yourself, so…tell me about yourself.  (Mr. Peterson smiles affably.)
Lex Well, I was an honor student in high school.  I didn’t play sports; instead, I enrolled in all the college-preparatory courses I could, like Chemistry, Physics, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus.  Then I entered college and majored in Computer Science.  In college, I took courses in FORTRAN, COBOL, C++, Visual Basic, JavaScript, and Java.  As part of my coursework, I created several websites from scratch using HTML5 and JavaScript and wrote a variety of business-related computer programs that processed input data to produce attractive, formatted output reports.  I also learned a few computer software programs like Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Visio.  Being a recent college graduate, of course, I have no job experience to speak of, but I’m hoping to find a job in the IT field where I can put my education to good use.
nterviewer Well, it sounds like you have a solid background in computer science.  Since it is an entry level position, you should be more than qualified to meet the technical requirements.  Now let me find out more about you as a person.  What do you think your strengths are?
Lex My strengths…hm.  I would say that I pay attention to details.  I am diligent and thorough.  I can do my own research to solve problems as needed.  I am results-oriented, so I am willing to work long hours to make sure the job gets done right and on time.  I have an outgoing personality, so I should be able to work well as part of a team.  However, I am also independent-minded and I possess initiative, so I could work equally well unsupervised if needed.
Interviewer Tell me about some of your weaknesses.
Lex My weaknesses…  I guess I tend to get bored if I don’t keep busy.  I like to always have something to do to keep my mind engaged.  Repetitive tasks that don’t require much mental effort tend to fatigue me more quickly than if I’m doing something that is interesting and challenging.  I like variety in my tasks.
Interviewer Hm, this entry level job with the Help Desk will involve answering the phone many times a day and helping customers solve their computer problems.  Will that be a “repetitive activity” that will tend to bore you?
Lex Well, that depends, sir.  If the calls are all just resetting user passwords all the time, then yes, sir.  I think I would quickly get bored to death doing that.
Interviewer I admire your honesty on that question.  However, I don’t think that’ll be a problem.  We have a pretty wide range of problems with our users, and you’ll find that your troubleshooting efforts will cover a broad spectrum of technical areas, some of which I’m sure you’ll need to escalate to Tier 2 support, at least until you get familiar with our applications and systems.
Lex Yes, sir.
Interviewer Tell me how your qualifications will help my company.  What can you bring to the job, as it were?
Lex Sir, I can tackle almost any computer problem you can throw at me.  My troubleshooting skills are top-notch.  My goal would be to eventually work my way up to the Tier 2 support team.  But as Tier 1 first-level support, I think I could do high-quality work to solve your users’ problems promptly and courteously.  If I were stumped on a problem, I would not be too proud to ask for help from more experienced members of the team.  Likewise, if someone should need my help, I would be more than willing to share my expertise.  In other words, I think I could quickly assimilate into the team and hit the ground running to quickly become an effective and productive part of the team.  I’m tenacious.  Once I start tearing into a problem, I doggedly pursue it until it’s solved.  I don’t get frustrated easily and quit too soon.  I will bring diligence and reliability to the team.  Being outgoing, I think I can contribute to the spirit of teamwork and camaraderie.  I am also amenable to working overtime if needed to cover someone else’s vacation or sick days.
Interviewer Very good.  Tell me this.  Let’s say you end up becoming a supervisor of the Tier 1 support team, and you notice that one of your team members is slacking off and not pulling his or her load.  How would you handle that situation?

Lex Well, I don’t have any management experience at this point in my fledgling career, sir, but I would probably speak with that person in private.  I would inform them that their productivity seems to be noticeably less than that of their other teammates.  I would make my expectations clear to them and ask them if they believed they could meet my expectations.  If so, then I would consider the issue closed for the time being.  However, I would continue to monitor their productivity and performance levels for the next month.  If I did not see improvement after our talk, then I would meet with them again.  If I don’t see improvement after a second attempt, then at that point I might recommend an improvement plan to bring their performance up to meet my expectations and the job’s performance standards.
Interviewer And what if that person’s performance continued to lag below expectations?
Lex Well, sir, as a supervisor, it would be my duty to try to assign that person other duties that I thought they could perform adequately.  Otherwise, I would have to recommend to my supervisor that they be let go (terminated or fired).
Interviewer Okay.  That’s all the questions I have, Mr. Luther.  Do you have any questions for me?
Narrator Interview continues for a while while Lex asks questions about company benefits, insurance plans, and so on.  Finally, the interview is terminated and Lex returns home.


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