The #1 reason your interview doesn’t get you the job…

In 2016 my college days were coming to a screeching halt. In high school, I had my five year plan. I was going to obtain an Associate’s Degree at a local community college, transfer to a four year school where I would obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy and then duh…I’d immediately be employed making a six figure salary. HA! A girl can dream, right?

So there I was, at the end of my plan…three months left of college with no idea what was coming next. In March of 2016, I saw my goals coming to fruition, but finding a place that would hire a newly graduated college student was proving to be more difficult than any professor or colleague could have prepared me for. 

Three months before graduation, a college professor emailed me about a potential bookkeeping  job at my local YMCA. At this point, I applied simply because, well…it was a job. I had been through countless interviews for potential jobs. It gives me anxiety to look back and see that young 22 year old interviewing for company after company. It wasn’t until my interview at the Y until I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.


Preparation is critical to your success in an interview. Is this your first job or are you applying with a resume filled with quality work experience? Whether you are looking for a part-time position or a full-time career, here are some tips and tricks on how to rock your interview here at the Greater Peoria Family YMCA.

First, you want to learn about our Y, the community we serve, and the culture we strive to achieve. Oh, and make sure you know about the position you are applying for.

Top 6 questions to think about when you’re applying at the Y:

  • Where is the Y located? (We are not downtown anymore…I can thank my GPS for directing me into North Peoria the day of my interview, seriously people…be more prepared than I was!)
  • Did you know the Y is a not-for-profit? (Yep, the Y gives more than $100,000 in scholarships & community programs in Peoria)
  • What are the community needs that your new role will be addressing? What evidence is there that shows your local Y is meeting their community needs? (Google this. Impress us!)
  • What are the responsibilities of the position you are applying for and how do you fulfill these? (READ THE JOB DESCRIPTION!)
  • What are the opportunities for growth? (Personal and/or job related)
  • What benefit package does the Y offer? (Yes! Part-Time employees can save for their retirement too!)

Alright, so you want to really impress us? (Don’t worry…you can thank me for this one later.) Know our mission statement! Yes, reciting it word for word is impressive, but tell us how our mission here at the Y compares to your own personal mission. Do our values at the Y coincide with your own personal values?

Can you imagine going to work knowing that what you do each day positively affects the lives of the people in your community? At the Greater Peoria Family YMCA, you’ll do just that.

A job that I had applied for almost three years ago not only provides me with a paycheck, it provides me with the ability to strengthen the community I live in. I started as a Billing Coordinator and have worked my way to assisting our Director of Accounting and HR in being able to hire potential rock star employees. I take pride in the work we do here at the Greater Peoria Family YMCA. I mean, can I really call it a job if I love what I do each and every day?

Apply today, and you too, can belong to something greater. Click here for current openings at the Peoria YMCA.

~Ellen, Accounting, Human Resources, & Admin Assistant

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