I applied in-person and the process took 6 days - interviewed at Vacations To Go in August 2010.
Interview Details – I saw an ad on Craigslist for an Online Editorial Assistant at Vacations To Go, and thought it looked perfect for me. They wanted a college grad-preferably an English or Journalism major (mine is English)-to write emails to clients answering questions about the company and/or its vacation packages, edit website content, and attend to various other unnamed administrative tasks.
I immediately responded to the ad by emailing my resume and cover letter to the anonymous address provided on Craigslist. A few days later, I was driving in town and randomly saw the office building itself. I took this as a sign that I should go in and drop off my resume in hopes that they would see it and respond. I did so, and the receptionist gave me the name and email of the hiring manager. The next day I wrote a follow-up cover letter and emailed it directly to the hiring manager. The very next day I got a call from her "co-manager" asking if I would like to come in for an interview the following day. Of course I said I would.
I wore my best outfit to the interview, spoke to the "co-manager" for about 10 minutes and was then informed I was to take an editing and writing test, as well as fill out an application for employment. The editing test was fairly easy and the writing test simply consisted of three questions concerning why I wanted to work there, why I would be the ideal candidate, and an example of "good customer service" I could remember and how that had impacted me. After the test I was told I could leave and that if I had not heard anything in two days I should contact the co-manager.
The very next day, the co-manager called to let me know I had done excellently on the test, and to ask if I would like to come in for a second interview with the hiring manager the following week. Once again, I said yes. Wishing I had saved my best interview outfit for the actual interview, I found something suitable and came in to talk to the manager. She was not dressed professionally, seemed laid-back and only asked me a few vague questions such as, "Tell me a little about yourself." After I explained my situation and why I believed the job would be perfect for me, she informed me about the hours I would be working, which were a little unusual, and what exactly I would be doing-which was answering emails to clients as if I were the CEO of the company, which is apparently what everyone with this job title does there.
She then took me up to meet the department head for a second interview, and he asked me questions like, "Which do you like better, creative or technical writing," and "Where do you see yourself in five years?" I answered honestly and to the best of my ability. As both managers had done before him, he asked if I had any questions for him. I asked if the emails to clients were to assume a certain "tone" or "style" of writing consistent with the CEO's, and he said yes. I told him I had asked the other managers many questions and that I was very clear about the company and the position itself. On the way back to the hiring manager's office, he asked where I lived, and if I would have to commute very far. I said no.
Once I was back in the hiring manager's office, she said that was it and that it was very nice meeting me, and I should "keep my phone near me" and check my email over the next few days, and that I would hear from them soon. She sounded very positive and as a result I was also very positive about the interview. Too positive, because two days later I received an email saying I did not get the position. I called to ask what skills I lacked or what disqualified me and was told they had hired another candidate that was better suited for the position. They gave no details about how this person was "better suited."
Interview Question – There really were no difficult or unexpected questions. "Where do you see yourself in five years" is a bit difficult simply because the truthful answer is, "Who the hell knows?" Answer Question
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