Over the past week much has happened. Not only did I receive numerous emails asking which candidate was selected, I was asked how the decision was made.
Quick recap: Recently, Tropical Air of Central Florida, located in the Longwood area, searched for an administrative/office support staff. With the help of Goodwill Industries (Job Connection) and Christian HELP, applicants were interviewed, resulting in four final and well-qualified candidates.
Second interviews were held over a three-day period (last week):
- All four applicants earned great marks for dress attire.
- All four applicants arrived in a timely manner, approximately ten minutes early.
- Nonverbal communication went well; eye contact, voice tone, attitude, and hand shake matched expectations.
- Three of the four asked well-researched questions at the conclusion of the interview.
- Two of the four sent follow-up notes within the appropriate time (two neglected the letter).
- One of the four not only followed-up with a note, but also initiated a phone conversation, inquiring about the position while desensitizing latent employer concerns.
- All four applicants felt comfortable with the environment and confident job functions would be handled with little hesitation.
- Two of the four applicants offered beneficial unique contributions.
Decision time: Impressed by the four candidates, a choice had to be made
- The decision was made based upon who we felt wanted the job more than the other candidates. For the two candidates not submitting a follow-up note or call, the impression was they were not as interested in the position as the other two.
- The follow-up letters “showed” a desire to be part of our team. With this said, two candidates remained in a slot designed for one.
- An additional phone call and strategy by one of the candidates in an effort to desensitize our concern leaned the decision her way.
- Though education level was not officially considered, offering an advanced degree and unique value beyond the other three candidates helped sway the decision.
To summarize: There are many factors employers take into consideration during the interview and hiring process.
- Appearance: Dress appropriately. Never wear sweats, jerseys, jeans, or fun casual.
- Nonverbal: Show interest with good posture (no slumping in the chair), eye contact (do not stare as that can be creepy), firm hand shake, and always wear a smile.
- Arrival: Ten minutes prior to scheduled time is considered proper. Do not arrive more than ten minutes early as this is disrespectful. If you are going to be late, call and explain (most employers know things happen and will understand).
- KSA: Prove you possess the fundamental knowledge, skills, and abilities to get the job done.
- Professionalism: Courtesy goes a long way.
- Company research: Have several questions ready, proving homework and diligence is on your side.
- Follow-up: This is often the tie-breaker. A simple hand written note and quick call often differentiates close calls.
If you are invited to interview but not offered the position, always follow-up with a thank you note. Truth is, not all initial hires are the right choice. Changes can (and do) happen, making the next in line the newest employee.
To review and consider career development books and resources, including material designed specifically for those transitioning from military service, resume / cover letter construction, networking, and interview strategies as well as employment guidance for ex-felons visit www.edu-cs.com, www.CareerBreakOut.com, or www.2ndChanceUniversity.com.
Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Career Break Out: www.CareerBreakOut.com