Friday, March 7, 2008

Orlando Recruiting Manager Interview – ABC Fine Wine and Spirits

ABC Fine Wine and Spirits Jobs from the EmploymentGuide.comHappy Friday Orlando. As another week comes to an end, we are excited to have a great interview with Will Brain, the hiring manager for ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. Will is in the middle of staffing up 2 brand new locations in Oviedo and Lake Mary and we thought he would have some great information as to the state of the local Orlando market, what makes a stand-out resume and what not to do on an interview.

Hope you enjoy Orlando and take some of Will’s advice when you are out looking for a new job. This is food directly from the mouth of the person that would be interviewing you, so take his advice and make it fit into your job seeking plan. Enjoy!

Greg: Orlando is viewed as a tourism and hospitality market, do you agree with this statement or have you seen that the Orlando population and job seekers have more to offer?
Will: Orlando is one of the top vacation destinations in the world, but what many people don’t know is that our economy is actually very diverse. UCF is preparing to open a medical school, medicine, biotech, computer simulation, gaming are just a few of the industries being attracted to the Orlando area. It’s just a great place to be right now, and in the years to come.

Greg: What separates a good employee from a great employee?
Will: A good employee is reliable, competent at their job but willing to learn more; in our stores, she/he is someone who unfailingly treats our customers as guests, who basically does the best they can at their job. A great employee is someone who thinks creatively, someone who is interested in the future growth of the company, who is eager to learn, and to put his/her knowledge to use—someone who takes ownership of their job, their store or department, the company. Also, because we sell adult beverages, at a minimum a good employee takes that seriously. A great employee takes it personally.

Greg: What are the relationships with management like? How does this affect your daily production?
Will: ABC has only a few management levels, and an open door policy at every level. One thing that’s really important to know is that most management—at every level—started in entry level positions and were promoted. So the managers are very cognizant of what it’s like to do every job they’re training someone for or supervising someone on.
We really encourage people to make the best use of their skills—training and continuing education are encouraged in all areas and required in some—managers often act as training partners. You won’t find a manager refusing to show an interested employee how to do a new task—you’re much more likely to find them encouraging it. This results in teamwork at its best, and goes a long way toward creating that sense of ownership we like to see in an employee.

Greg: What are some characteristics that tend to ruin an interview?
Will: In no particular order:
1. Complete lack of information about our industry. You don’t have to be an expert—or even knowledgeable—but you should at least know what you’re getting into.
2. An incomplete application, indicating information that needs to be pulled out.
3. Unprofessional attire.
4. Lack of interest.
5. Know-it-all attitude.

On the flip side, though, some things that can really improve an interview:
1. Knowledge about our business—not just our industry, but something about ABC besides “I buy beer from you guys all the time.”
2. Genuine interest in working for us. Ask questions, if you’ve got them, about advancement opportunities.
3. Confidence in your skills.
4. Willingness to cop to what you don’t know.
5. Interest in learning the retail business!

Greg: What are things that stand out to you in a resume?
Will: Specific goals. Learning that an applicant’s objective is “to work for an organization that will allow me to reach my fullest potential” doesn’t tell me anything. Jack the Ripper probably had the same objective. But specific goals, along with either educational experience or work experience that shows you’re trying to reach those goals, stand out. Also things that show how you interact with people, as much as your technical skills, because both your technical abilities and your personality are important. And last, but not least, experience or training that applies to the job (not just your goals) you’re applying for—or an explanation as to why you’re looking for something different.

Greg: What does ABC bring to the Orlando community as far as being a Spotlight Employer?
Will: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is a family-owned (3rd generation) company with its roots in Orlando. Jack Holloway founded the company with one small store in 1936, right after Prohibition. So we’re very committed to the Orlando area, as well as all the communities our stores are in. With 70 years in Florida, we are probably one of the most stable companies to work for. We’re growing—we just opened two stores on the west coast, one in Estero and one in North Port; we’ve got two stores getting ready to open in Orlando—in Oviedo and in Lake Mary/Heathrow. And we’re planning to open several more stores across the state this year and over the next several years.

Greg: What are the opportunities for growth that might entice an applicant to visit you at one of your locations?
Will: As I mentioned, we’re in the midst of adding several retail locations to the ones we have now, over the next several years. The wine market continues to grow as well, and Florida is ranked number three in the country in wine sales. This means that interested employees who have or can develop the skills can find lots of opportunities to train for positions in management or in our wine sales staff, and positions waiting for them as they gain the skills needed to fill them. We place a high priority on promoting from within.

Greg: I know that you are opening 2 locations currently in the Central Florida market. What has been the biggest challenge in preparing for the store launches?
Will: The biggest challenge is always finding the right people for the job—someone who’s got the skills or the ability to learn them that we’ve been talking about. But also someone who’s not over-qualified. In the job market today, we’re seeing a lot of applicants from certain sectors that are looking for a job with us, when we might not be the best fit for them. Perhaps I should have put “wants to learn retail” as the number one thing that can help an interview! This business can be a lot of fun, but being passionate about your job is one quality we really like to see in our employees. Finding an applicant who is genuinely interested in the wine and spirits retail industry is not always easy, but it’s definitely rewarding.

Greg: Thanks for your time Will, it is much appreciated to the job seekers in the local Orlando and Central Florida areas.

*One thing I wanted to point out from the interview was that of the resume process. Your intro statement needs to be personal. It needs to have heart and tell the employer your real focus. To quote Will

Learning that an applicant’s objective is “to work for an organization that will allow me to reach my fullest potential” doesn’t tell me anything. Jack the Ripper probably had the same objective.”

What Will is saying is that you need to be informative and give the employer a reason to pick up their phone and give you a call.*

If you liked what Will had to say, head on over to the Employment Guide and check out the great opportunities that ABC Fine Wine and Spirits has to offer. They are also conducting an Open House on March 12 and March 13th. The details are in the postings!

Happy hunting Orlando. See you on Monday!

-Greg Rollett (Orlando JobSpotter and Internet Marketing Guy)


Lord March 13, 2008 at 10:13 PM  

Nice Effort,
keep it up
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