This week I was given the task of handling HR or hiring and firing at the restaurant and lounge that I am a day manager at. Upon digging through a ton of resumes past and new and reviewing employment history after employment history, I finally found the perfect candidate to call in for an interview for an administrative position.
The candidate had a great resume, years of experience for the position at hand, and a professional cover letter (minus the pen inked note informing us that they had stopped by again and didn’t get the chance to update their number so they had written it out.)
After reviewing the candidates credentials and compiling a list of notes with more in-depth questions that I would ask, I took the time to call the candidate. The call went to voicemail and I left a detailed message but the candidate called me back shortly to let me know that they were at work and that they would call me back as soon as they got off.
When the candidate returned my call, the pre-interview process began. The candidate answered every question with ease, was comfortable in their answers, and had no problem with me contacting their previous employers or referrals. When asked when they could come in for a face to face interview with me, the candidate answered abruptly to let me know that they could come in as soon as possible. I was elated! So far, so good. There were no problems at all and I was beginning to have a good feeling about this candidate versus others.
Lastly, being that I saw on the candidates resume that they had a current employer, I asked the candidate “Why are you leaving your current job?” and “How soon can you start if you were to be hired?” With a sudden change of attitude and a un-bothered manner the candidate said, “Please, forget them. I’m not going in tomorrow. I can start as soon as I am hired!”
Now two things! Number one…I was utterly shocked by the response they gave. Number two…I was glad to see that they were so excited to start working with us but not in the way that they had just expressed.
To be fair, I still gave the candidate an interview time and date and the next day I interviewed them and again they passed with flying colors and their credentials were superior but that last comment from the night before was still on my mind. So after the interview and before I sent the candidate over to the GM, I spoke with them about interview etiquette and the Do’s & Do Not’s of the interview process and how unacceptable that previous comment was. Being that I was a little more understanding than most, that statement alone could have destroyed their chances of employment. Sometimes the simplest mistake can be the largest factor in why you did not succeed.
The candidate was able to responsibly admit their wrong and make a positive note of it to implement change before they were to continue on as a possible candidate for employment at our restaurant. That re-gained my respect for the candidates professionalism, integrity, and their willingness to work but it has partially flawed some sort of employee trust and loyalty.
Based on my experience, I have decided to share a short pointer list to help future employment candidates seal the deal and get the job that they desire. Don’t be a victim to being too comfortable a.k.a. “Diarrhea of the Mouth”.
Check out my list below!!!!
Why You May and May Not Be The Perfect Candidate:
(A detailed do and don’t pointer list to set you a part from the rest of the unemployment pool and other candidates going for the position that you desire.)
- Maintain Professionalism & Integrity at all times
- Always be respectful! Answer the questions that are asked and nothing less and nothing more.
- There is such a thing as being too comfortable. This is your first impression other than your over the phone, foot in the door, elevator speech. Be discreet and stick to the plan of action to obtain the position. YOUR position!
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable in the work environment.
- Allow room for growth. We are all always evolving. That’s a part of life. Be open to learning and don’t be afraid to mention that you have minimal experience but are very hardworking and willing to strengthen your skills. Employers can respect someone who wants to better themselves rather than someone who is stuck in their ways.
- DO NOT LIE!!! You can do what you can; what you can’t you can learn.
- Always attach a professional and informative cover letter as a preface to your resume. Think of it as an introduction to who you are, specifics and a break down of your experiences, and how you can be beneficial to the company. Especially why you are perfect for the position applied for.
- Always, always, always update your resume and keep copies close by just in case of sooner than expected open availability for a direct or phone interview.
- Be ready and prepared at all times. Any and all questions can be thrown your way. Practice generic answers that you can apply to even your most out of bound question. Practice your smile, and practice your poker face for those hard or uncomfortable questions. Don’t let them see you crack.
- Keep the personals at the door. You can be a human and a droid at the same time. Respect those around you, but everyone has a personal life. Don’t be the talk of the office. KEEP IT TIGHT or contact a close friend or your boss if you are having serious issues that are a direct concern to your job.
- Don’t be late for your interview (Especially if your resume states that you are punctual!)
- Cut out words like TRY and GUESS. Use words like WILL and KNOW. They give the possible employer more confidence in you being to fill the position at hand and handle all the requirements and duties.
- Dress nicely and make sure that your are clean-cut for judgment day. A.K.A. interview day. Appearances such as a bright/welcoming smile, great personal hygiene, and a straight posture are seen first. Make sure you leave a lasting impression.
- Have a professional voicemail and email address just in case you can’t be reached and the possible employer wants to leave a detailed message so that you may contact them back. First impressions, even those unseen or technological are VERY important!
- Lastly, keep up to date on the interview process but do not harass the employer. Let them know that you care and that you are ready for the next step in the hiring process. If they are interested, they will call. Sometimes it may take time so do not stress it. If you have followed these steps then you have done well. If you feel as though you have made a mistake. Do not be afraid to send an email and ask what you could have done better.
- Be confident and be humble! Don’t over think it. If this interview was not a success, retrace your steps and start back at step one for the next interview so that you can seal the deal and gain YOUR position as the best employee!!!