LIFT-DC’s On-site Interviews
Our members face many complex barriers to employment. Employers pass over their resumes due to employment gaps; our members don’t score high enough on intricate and often confusing assessments; background checks don’t process correctly; or they simply don’t have the social network to get the job.
“We know how great our members are, but they have trouble getting their foot in the door,” says Catherine, a LIFT-DC AmeriCorps fellow.
Mr. J, a longtime LIFT-DC member and a dedicated father of two, came to us looking for employment after unexpectedly losing his job. He told LIFT, “I just made employee of the month…then one day they handed me a letter letting me know my services were no longer needed.”
For members like Mr. J, LIFT-DC hosted on-site interviews with Hilton, TJ Maxx, Round About Cleaners and Your Pampered Home at our resource center at The Perry School. LIFT-DC’s on-site interviews broke down some of the barriers our members faced on their journeys to employment. The employers saw our members’ interpersonal skills before their assessment scores; our members received timely feedback on their interview; we saw the barriers in the employment process that could potentially disqualify members’ future employment.
After Mr. J spent weeks working on his resume, cover letter and interview skills with his LIFT advocate, he interviewed with employers from Hilton. With the 20 other members participating in the on-site interviews, Mr. J came to LIFT-DC’s resource center – a familiar and comfortable environment – to speak with an employer.
Catherine had a chance to speak with all the employers after the interview sessions. “My favorite part of the process was seeing how excited the employers were to hire our members! Hearing that the employers believe in our members, like I do, was really rewarding.”
So far, five members are employed as a direct result of the on-site interviews, including Mr. J! Our members received feedback on their interview skills to work on in subsequent meetings with their LIFT-DC advocates, and the employers are excited to return back to our offices to conduct more interviews in the near future.
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