What did you do during the summer holidays?

Think about this as a potential employer would

i. I got a part-time job stacking shelves at the local supermarket
A. This person shows absolutely no initiative or ambition. I am very surprised they are even taking a Degree course. Working in a Supermarket is fine, no problems in that area. The fact that this was their total achievement for a complete summer is especially worrying. No job offer

ii. I hung out with the guys and went surfing
A. A very selfish and possible egotistical attitude to life. Could be more Hippy on reflection. I will know as soon as I see him/her. If I was interested in surfing, it may warrant a short discussion. I personally hate surfing. Possibilities for Team Membership, but seems to be as a 'clique' rather than genuine Team Membership as required in my Company. No job offer unless he has an extremely good interview - which I already think he will try and bluff. As it stands, I would not offer an interview

iii. I met this gorgeous girl/boy and we spent all our time together
A. Points here for honesty and being prepared to go with new situations and face new challenges. Not what I expect to see on a cv. Probably selfish and inclusive. No interview

iv. I went to Disney world in Paris
A. Wow! I chose not to go to Disney world in Hong Kong, and went to Ocean Park instead on one of my few days off this year. This is your entire summer? Not interested: Next!

v. I looked after my sick Aunt, allowing my Uncle a few weeks rest
A. This requires tact, as it is possible this girl/boy actually does have a heart of gold. Experience tells me this is a most likely either a vast exaggeration of the truth, or that she has the hots for the boy next door. Not dismissed yet, but better be able to show some physical proof in support, and especially a degree of extra-ordinary commitment, usually unknown outside of Southeast Asia. Aunt? Durrr! One very good minute, or you are out the door

vi. I took a vocational course in 'xyz', which will really help my studies next semester
A. This is very commendable, and also extremely worrying. I do have to offer this person a full interview. They have already told me they are not sure if they have the necessary skills for their next semesters study. However, I do need to know more about the course, and if it is complimentary to their Personal Development and Key Skills, or merely a prop to get them through the next year at University. If the reasons and course are all good, I will first suspect a troubled 'Home-life', the course being a means of escape. I would consider less than 5% of these to be entirely genuine and worthwhile

vii. I volunteered for an archaeological dig of Roman ruins at ' local zyx'
A. Your initial rating is between zero and 100. I note you are studying 'Drama' as your Major? Rating is now between zero and 20%. I make a note to check whether there was a film crew associated with this dig. Options:
a . You are a Scorpio. I am extremely worried about your real intentions
b . You are specialising as a Second Reading, in 'Celtic Life, as reflected in Roman Literature' and this dig really relates to what you are studying. I am very open to a higher score, and possible a First - but I need some very positive confirmation and feedback

viii. I went to Summer Camp in France - it was really cool
A . Ok. You will need to demonstrate some real and newly learnt skills. France is the nearest foreign Country to UK, so it is not exactly a big step on the International stage, but it is far better than staying in UK. You have experienced cultural exchanges, and grown as a person, probably? I have the feeling this was an English language camp that just happened to be in France. Open verdict, but could do a lot better unless interviewee proves to be exceptional

ix. I went to Summer Camp in China - it was really hot
A. Now this is unusual, and has caught my attention immediately. Unlike the person above who went to France, this person has actually gone somewhere very different. Like most British companies, we are very interested, and concerned, about the unstoppable rise of the Chinese economy. The form says (s)he learnt basic Mandarin. I am very interested in this candidate. I will need only some simple questions to validate his/her claims. This is currently 80%, and already short listed subject to acceptable interview

x. I Volunteered to help install a water pipe over 10 miles of rough foothills in Nepal. We had a great time and good laughs, even though there was no running water or electricity most of the time
A. This is extremely unusual. I am especially interested in this candidate. My only worries concern if they are a 'Lone Wolf', or a 'Team Player'. I suspect this person may be both, and this is 'Golden'! If your answers to a few basic questions are correct, then you already have the job

Related Pages:Employability,    Questions from Application Forms,    Summer Recess Questions from Employers

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