When people would come to my place of business for an application, that’s when I really started the interview process. I would take stock of all the non-verbal cues that I was given by the potential applicant, and let me tell you, there was plenty of information for the taking.
If someone came in to pick up an application, and they weren’t dressed appropriately for the type of job I was looking to fill, I would immediately dismiss them as unprepared. I would do the same thing if they came in groups, or if they did anything else that I thought was unbecoming to an employee.
The truth is, when I have one position to fill, and there are a seemingly limitless number of applicants that are equally skilled or qualified, my goal is to not waste time looking at any potential problems. I used a little system that I have since found most employers use something similar to.
I would almost never identify myself as the person who would be making the decision as to whether or not someone would be hired. I believed that information would only make the applicant act in an abnormal way for them. I wanted to see how they were when they were comfortable, relaxed, and not dealing with the boss. Right there is where many people took themselves out of the running. As I gave the applicant their application, if the applicant had already taken themselves out of the running, I would place “TNT” on their application. If ever asked, I would say that meant they were ‘dynamite’, but really, it meant, “Thanks, No Thanks”. These people usually got a call or letter saying we were going in a different direction, and that we would keep their application on file for a year, just in case anything opened up. The reality was, we would keep it on file for the next time they tried to apply for a job.
The important thing to remember here is that you are always ‘on’. When you are looking for a job, no matter how much you may think otherwise, you have to be on your best behavior, because you never know who makes the decisions. It could be the person you pissed off before when you were a customer has a good head for faces, and will remember you when you come back as an applicant. Also, unless you are absolutely positive that you don’t want to work at a place in the future, you want to make sure you are cultivating a positive image about yourself. This may mean avoiding acting like stereotypical teenagers when you are out with your friends, but it may also mean collecting a paycheck while your friends are still hassling the workers at the food court.