Speaking of Precision Blog

Speaking of Precision

Speaking of Precision is a knowledge preservation and thought leadership blog covering the precision machining industry, its materials and services. With over 36 years of hands on experience in steelmaking, manufacturing, quality, and management, Miles Free (Milo) Director of Industry Research and Technology at PMPA helps answer "How?" "With what?" and occasionally "Really?"

Previous in Blog: Charles Martin Hall — Enabled Our Modern World   Next in Blog: What is Machinability?
Close
Close
Close
4 comments

10 Tips to a Successful Interview in the Machining Industry

Posted February 25, 2011 9:00 AM by Milo

Time for that hiring interview. Congratulations. Whether you are speaking with a Recruiter, an Human Resources pro tasked with hiring, or directly with the Manager that you could be working for, here are 10 Tips To Speak "Successful Interview."

1) Be meticulously truthful and absolutely do not exaggerate. Putting in tool offsets is not "programming."

You need to be more than just another blurry face...

2) Quantify whenever possible. Only in Washington D.C. do numbers not have any legitimate meaning. "Hold operations to 0.0005″ on machine ABC," at least lets them know you have some idea about tolerances and what you have achieved on one machine.

3) Give examples with specifics that clarify, not obfuscate. "Operated automatic multi spindle machine" is vague – it could be a state of the art Tornos Deco or Index Machine, or you could mean an older cam-type Acme or New Britain automatic. The recruiter may chomp at the bit to find a guy who he thinks knows cam machines, only to have an employer annoyed that he found another CNC kind of guy. Be specific, not vague.

4) Tell your story. Why you like to make things. How you are proud to know that people are safer, more comfortable, or shooting tighter groups because you held the precision needed on some critical part.

5) Be prepared to honestly explain your expected career trajectory. The reality is that everybody has to serve their "time", whether its called "apprenticeship" or something else. Unless the hiring manager changed your diapers at an early age, it's unlikely you'll get to be a VP of Operations in two years. So figure this out before the decisionmaker discovers it when you spill it on yourself in their office.

6) Be candid. Tell them what you haven't done. Knowing that upfront allows the recruiter and the hiring manager to intelligently manage risk, not just do damage control.

7) Be yourself. Nobody can fake sincerity, although if you last name is Madoff, you might do better than most. Don't tell them what you think they might want to hear, tell them what you think. It always comes out anyways. Why be fake?

8) Be positive. No one is going to hire Eeyore.

9) Back to that career trajectory have at least an outline of a plan. "Once I am fully capable on setup and programming, I think I'd like to take some courses on _____ " is much better than a blank stare like a deer before the truck hits. You will be asked, so work on it now.

10) Under promise and over deliver. This is the sustainable way to make a life, not just a living.

Final thought, look at the risk in the hiring process. In the case of a bad hire:

  • The candidate emerges from a bad placement with some pay and another employer of record on their resume and some learning at someone elses expense.
  • The recruiter looks like he can't figure out the difference between a frog and a prince, and might lose the account.
  • The employer loses the most - Time spent to train and get new employee working, fees to agency, and any damages that may occurr if the person doesn't work out - including lost business or quality reputation damaged at customer, etc.

Given these realities, it is in everyone's best interest if you provide truthful information that helps all of you intelligently manage the risk of this important decision.

Photo credit

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Milo for sharing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

Register to Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tamilnadu, India
Posts: 836
Good Answers: 42
#1

Re: 10 Tips to a Successful Interview in the Machining Industry

02/25/2011 12:26 PM

Good points Milo.

The strange thing is that, the recent culture on trial service for job seekers had come in many organizations to work and prove one's real worth for a given stipulated period.

This one way, a fair practice about mutual assessment to suit each other and lead to effective decision making process.

You survive or get through based on your results[ escaping local politics too]

__________________
Nature is so graceful and naked. Human possession is ridiculous.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Don't Know What Made The Old Title Attractive... Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - 60 Year Member

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Yellowstone Valley, in Big Sky Country
Posts: 6962
Good Answers: 283
#2

Re: 10 Tips to a Successful Interview in the Machining Industry

02/25/2011 3:53 PM

Nearly all of this sage advice applies to nearly the entire workplace arena.

1) Be meticulously truthful and absolutely do not exaggerate. While in Idaho I ran production for a small steel door shop. I recall one employee candidate vividly: asked point-blank "Do you have a valid Idaho drivers license in your pocket?" was answered "Yes." Question "Are there any restrictions on your valid driver's license?" was answered "No." This, combined with the other elements of the interview and review of his references, resulted in a job offer.

On his first scheduled day at work, he was about three hours late. Like any new hire, there were the insurance papers to fill out, the I-9, the W-2... and now, as he will occasionally be driving the company truck (as was detailed in the interview) we need to photocopy his driver's license. After a painfully long pause, I already knew what he was going to say.

Why oh why oh why would someone lie about something like that? The job offer was withdrawn, he was mad (too bad), and later his wife called and bitched screamed hollered visited with me about it. When I explained there was no employment opportunity here for a man without a valid drivers license... and another long and uncomfortable pause... "What do you mean, no drivers license?"

Be meticulously truthful and absolutely do not exaggerate applies to many areas of our daily lives.

__________________
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. (Yogiism)
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: I'm outa here
Posts: 1924
Good Answers: 196
#3

Re: 10 Tips to a Successful Interview in the Machining Industry

02/26/2011 2:57 AM

Milo - Your 10 tips are terrific. Maybe the best I've ever seen for how to interview.

Perhaps early on your list of todo's will be 10 tips on how to get invited to interview. Specifically for positions in the machine/fabrication shop world.

Not for me. I'm a comfortably retired mechanical engineer. But I often find myself in the position of advising talented youngsters on their careers. And occasionally unemployed older folks that have talents applicable in the job shop world.

Ed Weldon

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 243
#4
In reply to #3

Re: 10 Tips to a Successful Interview in the Machining Industry

02/26/2011 11:36 PM

Ed, i'm at PMPA's Management Update meeting.

i'll take a stab at that when I' m Finished. thanks for the comments guys. Milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 4 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Doorman (1); Ed Weldon (1); Milo (1); s.udhayamarthandan (1)

Previous in Blog: Charles Martin Hall — Enabled Our Modern World   Next in Blog: What is Machinability?

Advertisement