After you have selected applicants to interview, it’s a good idea to analyze their actions prior to and during the interview. There’s an old saying that actions speak louder than words. Most of these potential employees will be part time, and they may value the job less than full-time employees, so you need to qualify them in advance to avoid any problems.
Here are some things to look for that could spell difficulties later:
- Someone (a friend or parent) comes to pick up an application for the applicant.
- The applicant shows up for the interview with a parent or friend who wants to sit in.
- The applicant doesn’t have a pen or pencil with him.
- The applicant forgets important information, such as her Social Security number.
- The applicant has too many short-terms jobs on his application.
- The applicant lists the reason for leaving a previous job as not caring for the management.
- The applicant can’t find your address and doesn’t ask for directions in advance.
- The applicant is inappropriately dressed for an interview or has a noticeable body odor.
- The applicant fills out the application sloppily—it’s hard to read, has a lot of cross-outs, or has a lot of omissions.
- The applicant arrives late for the interview and doesn’t call when she’s on the way.
- The applicant doesn’t have a phone number or a way to contact him quickly.
- The applicant tells you during the interview that she needs a lot of days off for vacations, appointments, weddings, and so on.
- The applicant is vague when answering questions about a previous job.
- The applicant has another job and wants to fill in with more hours to pay for unexpected expenses.
- The applicant wanted more money but will take your job anyway. (He won’t stay with you for long.)
- The applicant can’t decide whether to take your job until she sees other companies. (In other words, she’s not really interested.)
- The applicant’s parents want to decide when he will work and tell you what hours he’s available.
- The applicant brings a pet to the interview. (Oh yes, it has happened.)
It’s best to check your state regulations for things that you can and cannot say to or ask prospective employees. Once you know the law, you can go to step two—hiring the best, or at least good, employees for your business. If you own a retail store, you’re probably going to trust these employees to use your cash register. Make sure you feel comfortable with them and can give them that trust before you hire them.