Speed-dating meets job interviewing in St. Petersburg

4:58 PM, Jul 19, 2011   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- Time was of the essence at a St. Petersburg job fair on Tuesday.

Even in the computer age, applying for a job usually means submitting a resume. Then it can take days, weeks, even months before you get a call, an interview, and maybe a job offer.

Inside the St. Pete Coliseum, it was all done in just five minutes. With stop watches counting down, well over a hundred applicants came looking for about two dozen bank jobs being offered by Community Bank.

They say you never get a second chance at a first impression, and that was certainly the case here.  Introductions made. Resumes exchanged. Interviews conducted on the spot.

In fact, a first impression was basically the only impression applicants had a chance to make.

Brent Riesenberger, applying for a personal banker position admitted "The pressure's on, but again, I think if you're the right candidate for the position, I think it almost speaks for itself if you're the right candidate for the position."

Jaki Hale agreed. And it's better than waiting, she said.

"It's hard to get a real person to talk to you, so that's what's great about this. You come here and you're guaranteed to speak with somebody," said Hale.

The positions offered ranged from branch tellers to personal bankers and managers - $30,000 to $150,000.

Positive prospects moved on to meet with bank brass. If that worked out, then they met the owner, Trevor Burgess.

"Most people decide they're gonna make a hiring decision in the first two minutes," said Burgess. "But we give people five minutes."

The unemployment rate in Florida stands at 10.6 percent. The newest figures are expected out this Friday. If they follow the national trend, it may not be great news. Which is why the people who were here were grateful for an opportunity to put their best face forward.

Even if they have to make it quick.

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