We provide competency-based behavioral interviewing training for interview teams including hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers.

Kennedy's Column

Make a Good Impression with On-campus Interviews

On-campus interviews provide a great opportunity for companies to make an impression on soon-to-be graduates entering the workforce. Unfortunately, these impressions are sometimes unflattering and it is often forgotten that these students are potential customers, competitors and co-workers.

One of our clients recently told us a chilling story of how her first on-campus interview was conducted. A large national beverage company interviewed thirteen students at her school on Friday. The next day twelve of them received turn-down letters from the recruiter who had interviewed them. The letters were postmarked Friday.

This response seemed callous to the twelve students. They felt that the interviewer had given no thought to their candidacy, nor could he have discussed their potential with anyone else in the company. The students resolved never to buy the company's products again.

How could this happen?

Probably the college recruiting department insisted that all on-campus recruiters send a letter to every student interviewed. This particular recruiter may have decided that he would dispatch the students in which he had no interest, by preparing turn-down letters in advance for everyone on his schedule. Then all he had to do was throw away the letters for the students in which he was interested, and mail the rest.

Unfortunately, the efficiency of his system left no room for the consideration of these twelve students trying to get a job in today's tough employment market. And now this major beverage company has twelve more dissatisfied customers.

If there is anything to be learned from this story it is that when preparing a recruiting plan, all on-campus interviewers should keep in mind the "3 C's." Every candidate may someday be a Customer, Competitor or Co-worker.

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