Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice? - Framing - Contractor Talk

Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?

 
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:57 PM   #1
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Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


I'm hoping some of you can point me in the right direction. The guy called me and said I'm the most qualified for the job and wants to have an in person final interview. Told me to bring my tools so he can see what I have and "we'll go from there".

I'm thinking he may want to test me out, which I hope he does so I can get a sense of what the job is like too.

So I don't have any experience framing or in new construction (which is what he and his team does) and he knows that. But I would still like to go on somewhat knowledgeable and prepared.

So what tools are the "must haves"? I believe he supplies the major power tools, like circular saws and nailers, and if not I can get my own no problem. But for more personal items like speed squares and measuring tape etc... what should I have?


Also any good books to read up on this stuff? I don't want to be a total newbie. But don't worry I'm not gonna go in thinking "I read a book and I know everything" either.

Thanks a BUNCH!!!!!
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:01 PM   #2
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Make sure you have a few sharpened pencils.

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Old 12-18-2015, 06:07 PM   #3
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


For framing hand tools, the bare essentials are:

Tape measure (a good one for outdoor work, I like FatMax)
Framing Hammer
Speed Square
Chalk Line
Cat's Paw
Pencil
Utility Knife
Tool Bags

Other hand tools (levels, framing squares, etc) will likely be provided by the boss.

You'll likely find you'll want to add a couple other tools to your everyday carry as well, but at that point it gets in to personal preference. All of the above are must-haves though.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:10 PM   #4
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Gloves, hammer (20 oz, not some dainty thing), tape measure, safety boots (steel toe at least), tool belt if you have one. Safety glasses and ear protection if you're not afraid to look like a dork. (I'd be a lot less deaf if I looked like a dork when I was younger.) More important than tools, bring a good attitude.


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Old 12-18-2015, 07:14 PM   #5
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Just be honest and open. Obviously, you are not gonna cram enough knowledge in 24 hours to do you any good. Bring whatever tools you have, whether they are finish or framing tools.

I have never asked a potential new hire to bring tools to an interview. That just seems weird to me.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:41 PM   #6
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Most of the others have the tools down pat. You won't be able to cram Framing 101 into your brain in a night.

When I was starting out I didn't have much skill (understandably, being green and all) and I didn't try to hide it.

However, I was enthusiastic about the work and the opportunity to learn and that showed through and got me the job that I learned several others, some with experience, were also competing for.

If this is something you're passionate about then show your willingness to have him direct that enthusiasm in a productive way.

Good luck with your interview.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:16 PM   #7
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Thanks everyone. My attitude is good and enthusiastic about it so I think I'm good there. My interview is Monday morning. Meeting him on the job site. As far as tools, it was only when I asked "should I bring anything?" Since he mentioned the job site. And he replied "bring your tools and I'll check em, then we'll go from there".

Maybe he's gonna want me to demo some skills or maybe he wants to see if I'm actually serious about the job??? Who knows.

I'll read up a little on framing, at least to expose me to the terminology so when it comes up, it will be easier to learn.

Thanks everyone. If there's anything else please don't hold back.


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Old 12-18-2015, 08:48 PM   #8
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


If he knows you have no experience, the can-do attitude, willingness and ability to learn quickly is good.

Make sure you can read a tape quickly, swing a hammer, haul 4 2x4s balanced on your shoulder, and at least differentiate between a stud, joist, and beam.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:49 PM   #9
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Golden view - sounds good. I'll update here.


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Old 12-18-2015, 09:01 PM   #10
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Best of luck to you. If you're attitude is good and the guy is reasonable, I don't see you having a problem. Good help is hard to find.

You may find it helpful to watch a few Larry Haun videos on YouTube. Don't try to memorize any details, as your boss will almost certainly have different processes, standards, terminology, etc. That said, the videos can be a nice primer regarding being on a framing site and how a house comes together.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:12 PM   #11
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Quote:
Originally Posted by thehockeydman View Post
You may find it helpful to watch a few Larry Haun videos on YouTube.
I watched a video the other day, I think it was called "3 framing tips" or something like that and it was him. First time I saw someone drag and lift wood around with a hammer. It cracked me up!

I'll check more of him out over the weekend
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:45 PM   #12
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Quote:
Originally Posted by john91 View Post
I watched a video the other day, I think it was called "3 framing tips" or something like that and it was him. First time I saw someone drag and lift wood around with a hammer. It cracked me up!

I'll check more of him out over the weekend
That's not something I recommend doing in front of the boss.... Better off picking the thing up than hacking away at it with your claw.

If you're 80 years old and still framing like he was, then you can get away with it .
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:42 AM   #13
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


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That's not something I recommend doing in front of the boss....
Haha. I wasn't planning on it. But if I do, I'll just say "but I saw it on youtube."

I'm sure he'll understand. Haha
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:47 AM   #14
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


And most important. Don't be the guy who's always late. I absolutely hate bad attendance records.


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Old 12-19-2015, 10:56 AM   #15
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Heavy headers and walls all get the hammer effect here. Why ruin your back?
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:06 AM   #16
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Be honest, absolutely no BS.

Be neat & clean.

Look him in the eye when you are speaking.

Show up ready to work and ON TIME.

Have your lunch with you.

Leave your cell phone in the truck.

If you get the job don't ever just stand around.

Stack scrap wood, sweep the floor, pack more lumber etc...

Good Luck.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:12 AM   #17
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


If you have a few hours, Larry Haun is awesome. This:
will get you started on the first hour of floor and maybe wall framing. (Can't remember.) It's a bit dated, but the basics are there, and you'll get a good feel for the whole process.

Unless you're chit-hot with a circular saw, don't cut like Larry.

Oh, and bring a lunch, in case the new boss man offers you a day of work as a try-out.

Good luck!
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:46 AM   #18
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Make sure you can read a tape. When I worked for a crew it was the first thing we ever asked the new guy. Something like 65-11/16


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Old 12-19-2015, 12:15 PM   #19
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


1. Never ever ever.. stand with your hands in your pockets.

2. Show up looking like you are ready to work. Be fully strapped and geared up.

3. STAY ENGAGED with whatever is going on. Nothing annoys me more than a worker drifting out into their own world and then I have to say, "John... JOHN.. COME HERE". Then I have to re-explain everything that the rest of the crew was just talking about. I don't mind explaining for clarity but I don't like having conversations more than twice because you were out in "la-la-land" while we were working on a game plan. Even if you don't know what they are talking about, get in the game.

4. Answer questions briefly, directly, and simply. If I say, "John, do you own a safety vest?" and you reply with, "Well.. you see.. what happened was that at my old job... blah blah blah..." when saying Yes or No would suffice, that would be a problem. If the answer is anything other than Yes or No, then just say NO. Never say Yes if there are any doubts in your answer.

5. Don't make excuses or apologies for your screw-ups. Just respond to any form of correction with either "Thank you." or "Understood." or "Yes sir."

I agree with what was said earlier about having a 20oz hammer, a tape, a pencil, a utility knife and a bag at the bare minimum but don't carry so many tools that it makes you look clumsy. I've had newbies come on the job carrying everything except for the kitchen sink and they didn't know any more about what they were carrying than they knew where it was.
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:35 PM   #20
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Re: Have An Interview For Apprentice Carpenter/framer. Advice?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Builders Inc. View Post
And most important. Don't be the guy who's always late. I absolutely hate bad attendance records.


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Do's and Don'ts at an entry level framer's position : Requirements; Strong Back, Weak Mind, Good Transportation. Tools optional.


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