Posts Tagged ‘holsworthy’

In¬†today’s¬†climate, it’s getting easier for employers to pick and choose who they hire. Some even take this to the extreme and treat job seekers like cattle at a cattle market. They bring them in, hundreds at a time, spend no real time with them and don’t have the means or the method in place to turn them down gracefully. Forgetting how much effort and cost the actual candidate has spent getting to the interview, maybe buying suitable attire for the interview and even hours spent stressing about it.

Fortunately I have a positive example of how the process can be done. The company in question is called Mystery Shoppers, whose website is http://www.mystery-shoppers.co.uk.

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Now I wouldn’t normally mentioned the details as it can seem a little biased but when I have finished stating the lengths this company have gone to, to make me feel like an important candidate, person and potential future employee, I think you’ll agree, they deserve a special mention.

The job was advertised in the local Bude & Stratton Post, it was for a Client Services Manager. Something I felt was suitable, as I have relevant management experience, albeit in other industries and sectors. A nice easy application process, which in the current climate I am always grateful for. Send an CV to either an email address or postal address and the company will be in touch.

The very next day I had a reply, thanking me for my application and informing me that following the closing date for applications, someone would be in touch with me.

The closing date passed and as promised, I received an email inviting me to interview for the position. But would you believe my poor luck, I had got my first passport interview on exactly the same day. So fearing this would be my application over and done with, I emailed Valerie at http://www.Mystery-Shoppers.co.uk and explained my predicament. Valerie replied that she should be able to sort something for me and true to her word, she phoned me a few days later to ask if I would like to attend the interview earlier in the day to complete the paper based assessment, meaning I would have an extra half an hour on the back end of the interview to make my way into Plymouth for my passport interview. Not only this but she had booked me the first slot for my oral interview with Paul Grafton, the Managing Director.

How many companies, go to this length to¬†accommodate¬†a candidate. Rightly or wrongly I have known people be turned down flatly due to having an interview at exactly the same time as another, as the candidate should make themselves available. I agree you need to show commitment but these things happen. And when you do eventually get a job, wouldn’t you rather work with an employer who will make exceptions for¬†extenuating¬†circumstances.

So anyway, I attended the interview. Got offered a nice cup of coffee and completed a nice paper based activity involving a geography exercise. Something I hopefully didn’t do to badly on, after all, I have worked in transport for years.

Secondly we did an interesting group activity,involving a scenario, this was assessed by Paul and Valerie, who made notes on our performance and interactions I’d imagine. Mentioning I’d probably use the gun in the scenario to shoot the tribesmen in order to keep all the survival goods, maybe didn’t help my case for being a fair manager. Although it was taken in the humour it was meant.

Next up, I got a one on one interview with Paul Grafton, who is the Managing Director and a very friendly, experienced and well travelled man. He made me feel comfortable and opted to have a friendly chat style interview, taking notes and letting me express myself in a more relaxed atmosphere. Rather then the usual name forty negative things about yourself scenario, that make you feel very positive about yourself in the middle of a very pressurised environment. I think it went quite well as we over ran our chat a little. Discussing my learning Mandarin Chinese and Paul’s experiences of countries such as China and Saudi Arabia, which I personally found fascinating.

Lastly, I got to actually do part of the job, which would give me and the company an insight into my capabilities. Although at this stage, I was clock watching a little but did do the task to the best of my ability. On an even better plus side, I did in fact make it to Plymouth to prove I was both English and me but that’s a whole different post.

A week after the interview, I got a very nice email explaining that a couple of positions had been filled and apologising for the length of time that had gone. And offering me some positive feedback, which is always what candidates enjoy and saviour the most. Valerie also informed me that I’d hear more in a couple of days regarding the final outcome.

Unfortunately a few days later, I was in fact unsuccessful for the position. But informed I would be considered for future positions, something that I had no doubt was a genuine email, as opposed to the automated ones you receive from other companies, stating you’ve been unsuccessful.

But after all that had happened and the process being so positive all the way through, I didn’t come away from the process feeling negative and destined for the dole for the rest of my life. I actually came away feeling that I’d made an impression and that I could in fact hold my own with other people with similar experience. Now the only people who will truly know the impression I made will be the company. But for my part, I think that they did an amazing job in making a good impression and would happily recommend them as a company going forward and who knows, one day I might need to use a service similar to the one they offer and wouldn’t hesitate in calling Valerie or Paul and make that happen.

Hopefully this will encourage businesses and interviewers to think about the candidate that little bit more in the process. I know with having a thousand applications for a position you can’t address each one individually but try to remember the effort it takes to apply, the impression you leave for the future and the fact that one of these candidates may need to use your service in the future. Mystery Shoppers did and look at the free publicity they’ve received because of it.

Hope you enjoyed the post and feel free to comment as always…..