Tonight right before bed Brandon asked me to fill out this "interview" for one of his classes. I decided to answer with honesty and candor. I look forward to feedback...
The Career Interview involves interviewing someone about their work! People generally love to talk about the work that they do and usually this is a fun experience for everyone.
We recommend that you try to talk with someone that does the work that you want to do – you can try googling people in the profession and calling them (you do not need to meet with them in person). When calling, let them know that you are a high school student who is interested in doing the work that they do and if they would mind taking a few minutes to answer your questions.
Otherwise, feel free to interview an adult family member or friend – you can always interview a school staff member!
When doing the interview, remember that it is important to be well-organized and professional. The person you interview is taking time out of his or her busy day to help you. Listen carefully to what the person says; you may be surprised by what you learn!
Please use the Interview Question sheet provided below to help you with the interview (or at least be able to fill in the answers to these questions from your notes).
INTERVIEW QUESTION SHEET
Person’s name: Kim Bieske
1. What are your main tasks or responsibilities at work?
I’m part of a three-person team who unloads freight trucks at a Lowe’s Home Improvement store. I stand at the end of a line of rollers and as products roll down the line I grab them and place them onto the department-designated pallets. Once the pallets are stacked approximately 4-6 feet high, I then take a pallet jack and haul the pallets to their respective departments. Sometimes the total weight of a pallet can exceed a couple thousand pounds, in which case I either have a coworker push from behind as I pull, or I walk exceedingly slow and stop as needed to catch my breath and try not to die.
2. What kind of education, training, or other preparation do you need to get into your career? (e.g. college degree, technical training, high school diploma, apprenticeship, on-the-job training)
Before I could begin working as an unloader, I was required to complete computer-based training such as how to safely clean up a hazmat spill, and what to do if an active shooter is in the building (you run and/or hide, is what you do (for the shooter, not for the hazmat cleanup)). Other than that, my OCD tendencies have prepared me to be one of the best pallet stackers in the company. Actually, it was my years playing Tetris as a child that were probably the best preparation for said pallet stacking, as I can look at just about any shaped package and know exactly where it will fit in any given situation, even with my eyes closed.
3. How did you get into this career? (When you were young, did you want to do anything else? Did you have other types of jobs before this one?)
I was originally hired at Lowe’s as a cashier, but after nearly a year of dealing with verbally abusive customers which resulted in panic attacks that left me crying in a bathroom stall, I practically begged to be placed behind the scenes where I would have minimal contact with mean customers. I didn’t always want to be a Lowe’s freight unloader. In fact, when I was little all I wanted was to be a mom, but as I’ve clearly raised brilliant children who will soon make viable adults in today’s society, my job as a mom is nearly finished and I felt that it was time I really tried something challenging.
4. What personal characteristics are required for someone to be successful in your career? (e.g. being organized or creative, writing or speaking clearly, being strong, or good with your hands)
Being a freight unloader requires massive amounts of Hulk strength, of which I am well equipped (until it comes to pulling appliances down from being stacked, then I stand by and let the men feel manly and heave them down themselves). It is imperative that proper lifting be used when picking up heavy items. The extensive amount of bruising I have on my arms, thighs, and shins is not an indication of my proper lifting capabilities, I am just clumsy.
5. Have any recent changes affected your job? What changes to your career can you foresee in the future? (e.g. changes in technology, economic changes)
We used to be a four-man team, but one man left our department to work in the electrical department. Thus the three-man team came to be, except when one exceptionally irresponsible coworker frequently takes advantage of time off and leaves us with a two-man team for days on end, which in turn creates animosity, aggression, and irreparable exhaustion. Also as a result of the changes in manpower which has resulted in extra work for those two of us who actually show up with consistency, I am nearly unable to walk and I have a large purple bunion blooming on the inner knuckle of each foot.
6. What do you like most about your job and the career you have chosen? (In what way(s) is it better than other types of jobs/careers?)
At the end of the day after a hot shower and my required foot rub from my fiance (his requirement, not mine), it pleases me to pour my poor broken body into bed knowing I worked myself so hard I can barely function. It’s better than other jobs because I literally eat all throughout my shift and burn the calories as I go.
7. What do you dislike most about your job and the career you have chosen? (What are the toughest parts, compared to other jobs/careers?)
I dislike when other employees pretend that the work we do is no big deal, but whenever anyone is asked to lend a hand because the two-man team is running on fumes and has nearly passed out, everyone scatters like cockroaches because they know it’s going to hurt. A lot.
8. What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into this career?
When you are finished, please drop this document into your locker in Empower or show your AE teacher so you can receive credit for this required activity!