Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How Employers Evaluate Job Applicants: 2. The Decision Making Process

Along with recommendations provided by outside sources, employers also evaluate and catalog less intangible personal traits that are presented by the applicants themselves. Converted by employers into qualifications, these traits are acquired and measured from an interview through the actions and behavior of an interviewee, as well as from other credentials. This can occur directly, face-to-face, or through remote resources and correspondence.

© 2014 Don Arday.
This information is offered to give job applicants a look at the job hiring process from the standpoint of an employer seeking a new employee. Considering what happens during this process from an employer’s viewpoint can help applicants prepare better job applications. A portfolio, resume, bio, and other bits of information are not entirely responsible for a candidate receiving a lucrative job offer. Other supplemental considerations such as an applicant’s personality, conduct, attitude, and values strongly influence a decision to hire, and surprisingly in some instances, even more so than their skills or achievements.

Getting to “know” an applicant is a high priority for most employers. This explains why nearly every salaried position requires more than one interview, or a series of interviews with different persons within a company. Interviews and other investigations are all for the purpose of establishing a comfort level with the applicant before making him or her an offer. It is nearly impossible to consider every standard every company could possibly use, but the following essential prerequisites are seriously considered as part of the evaluation process.


It is said about some people one encounters that they “have personality”. The phrase generally refers to someone with an outgoing, bubbly, vibrant, gregarious, noticeable, or notable mannerisms. A misconception many applicants have about personality is that they themselves should possess these fervent mannerisms. The truth is that it is most important to have a personality that will blend naturally with the personality of the company they are seeking employment with, and company personalities do vary. Some company personalities are energetic and boisterous while others are more modest and reserved. The bottom line is, employers are looking for a good fit concerning personal mannerisms.


An interviewer can tell a great deal about an applicant by the way they conduct themselves in an interview. Conduct within a company can be very formal, or it can be casual. This depends on many factors including the type of company, the industry the company serves, cultural influences that exist, the company personality, etc. For instance financial and law firms are generally conduct themselves more formally than design and gaming firms. The jewelry industry is more formal than in the more casual fashion industry. And companies in Japan conduct themselves so formally as to be almost ritualistic, whereas American companies have a much less structured form of conduct. Like personality, employers are looking for applicants who demonstrate an understanding of the type of conduct exhibited by the company they are seeking employment from.


Although attitude and conduct are both forms of behavior, attitude differs from conduct in that conduct is about how an applicant accomplishes tasks, whereas attitude is more about what an applicant’s thinks about the tasks he or she accomplishes; in other words, an applicant’s opinion and mind-set. Demeanor plays a very important part in whether an applicant may be offered a job or not. Interviewees that even show the slightest hint of narcissism, insensitivity, egocentricity, or inattentiveness are quickly removed from consideration. These forms of attitude are often presented through body posture, facial expression, and inflection in speech, but a problematic attitude can also be detected in an applicant that doesn’t seem to be listening or fails to answer questions directly.


Employers believe their employees should have good values, and they search for job applicants who possess them. A job candidate who believes in, has an opinion and can converse about, commendable ideals, standards, ethics, and principles has a distinct advantage over one who hasn’t placed value(s) on what they do; and it is surprising how many job seekers have not, particularly when it comes to standards of quality and excellence.


Employers cross-reference an applicant’s personality, conduct, attitude, and values with the desirable skills sought after by the employer such as leadership abilities, a willingness for teamwork, task-based initiative, work ethic, time management abilities, organizational skills, self-discipline and self directedness, critical judgment, creativity and ingenuity, and ability to communicate. And in the end, impressions and knowledge from personal contact with candidates, are combined with outside recommendations and verification data to form the final assessment of a job applicant.

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