I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at Tacoma Public Utilities in August 2011.
Interview Details – I applied for the Customer Service Representative position in June, was invited to take a job performance test in July, and found out I ranked in the top 10 early in August. About two weeks later I was called to schedule a phone interview with the Customer Service Operations Manager. Later in the same day as that interview, I was called back to schedule a panel interview for early the following week. Finally, by the end of that week I was called back with a job offer, and I'll be starting my training in about two weeks.
All in all, the process went well. It takes a while from the the day you apply to the day you're hired, but it's obvious that the company really cares about the quality of their applicants, so it's understandable.
The phone interview lasts about 20-30 minutes. The first half of that interview is more of an informative summary of the position and its duties, followed by approximately 3-4 behavioral type questions.
The panel interview can be intimidating if you're a nervous wreck like me. If it comforts you, the panel consists of the Customer Service Operations Manager, and a supervisor from each "dept." (i.e., Call Center, Front Office, Back Office). I had imagined being interviewed by 4 city managers or something equally intimidating.
I highly recommend that you practice for your interviews, as I believe that's what helped calm some of my nervousness. I won't tell you the questions that I was asked, because I put a lot of work into my preparation, but I will tell you that you should focus on being able to answer Behavioral type questions relevant to the position, and to practice those. Because you *will* need to know exactly how your work experience fits into the company's philosophy, and you'll be asked to provide specific examples.
The panel interview lasts approximately 1 hour, but is very relaxed. If you've prepared for your interviews, you believe without a doubt you're qualified, but you're nervous, just relax. The fact that you've made it this far is a sign that you've already impressed some people. Just be yourself and let your personality shine. Good luck :)
Interview Question – Questions about situations faced at work and how you handled them. View Answer
Negotiation Details – No "negotiations" were involved. Starting salary, in my case, was set to the first rung on the payscale, and benefits offered are the same for all employees in this department. What may happen, though, is you'll be competing for a limited number of slots, and some of those slots may be permanent, some temporary. From what I understand, they'll rank the people they want to offer a job, and then call them in that order and ask them what position/schedule they would like. So if you're high ranking, you'll have more options.
I applied online and the process took 4 days - interviewed at Tacoma Public Utilities in May 2009.
Interview Details – Took a test to see if I met the minimum requirements, then received a phone call for an interview. The interview had 4 people and myself in it and lasted about an hour. They asked many questions as did I. I heard back within the week offering me the position. I followed up with multiple calls to get more information such as benefits, ect. and turned in paperwork in the office and within about 3 weeks was in the building training.
Negotiation Details – didn't really negotiate.
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