We have a sheet of questions to ask each work camp employer either before or during the interview process. These questions not only aid us in our decision, but also alerts us to what we will encounter during our new work camp position.
Type or neatly write a list that pertains to you and have copies made of it. Keep the copies on file with your resumes so that they are always handy.
If a phone interview has been arranged, take out your questionnaire and fill in the information you have already learned (from the advertisement or perhaps emails or calls already from the employer). This way when you are on the phone you can say, “As stated in your ad, you have laundry privileges. Does that include free laundry or a laundry allowance?
Here is our questionnaire for a sample. Items in italics are our “reminders”. Remember to keep enough space between each question for you to write the answers provided.
INTERVIEW DATE / TIME:
Arrival / Start / Departure Dates?
— Electric (30 or 50 AMP; metered; allowance)?
— Adequate Site Size? ( 4 slides – 1 room doubles )
— Work Schedule / Hours?
— Wage / Salary?
— Hours for Site (If applicable)?
— Uniforms / Dress Code?
Benefits / Perks?
— Laundry (free; allowance)?
— Propane (allowance; discount)?
— Cable TV or SATV (free; discounted)?
— WiFi (free; discounted; park-coverage; speed)?
— Store / Cafe (discounted?)
— Seasonal Bonus?
— Travel Allowance?
If we applied to an employer through an advertisement (or if they contacted us and we are aware of their ad), I tape the ad to the bottom of the questionnaire for exact wording.
Another thing to remember is key words used in employers ads and on their website. You may learn you receive free laundry as a benefit, but the ad may read “limited” laundry. Yet “limited” could be anything. It could mean there is only one washer and one dryer for several work campers. It could mean that it is the business laundry area and that it is only available to work campers at scheduled times. Or something you may not even think of. We recently experienced a “limited” laundry. The employers used this term since the washer had no hot water – it was a cold-wash only. Indeed, it was limited!
Most employers will discuss these things prior to the phone interview, so you should be able to fill in most of your questions. If you do have a concern about something, it is best to bring that up before you get to deep into the interview. There is no sense wasting your time or the employer’s if you feel this isn’t the right position for you.
If you have limited skills, disabilities or prefer not to do certain tasks – make sure you add those to your questionnaire. If the job calls for working in the camp store and the ad state it involves some “cleaning” and you can’t lift over 10 lbs. or refuse to clean toilets, then you need to find out if the employer means sweeping the store and cleaning the windows or something else more physically demanding. There is nothing worse for an employer to have an employee say “I won’t or can’t do that” and it is equally frustrating for the work camper finding themselves in a situation they can’t or don’t want to do – especially if they drove a couple thousands miles for the job.
Take a few minutes and create your own work camp employer questionnaire. These questions will not only help your decision, but will also let you know what you’re getting into. Our motto is “know before you go!”